What Are Your Favorite Soundbars? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 85 Old 11-23-2013, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Scott. There definitely has to be a distinction powered and unpowered and then needing a sub or not. And then there is the question of sound quality which the Sonos Playbar is just average at best. The problem is people like it but just don't realize how much better sounding stuff is out there. I too am looking for one.

 

To keep things manageable, I've decided to limit this guide to powered soundbars, because they serve best as a replacement for the TV's onboard audio. As for subwoofers, the vast majority of soundbars need one to sound their best—the only ones I'm considering for the guide that probably don't are the Atlantic Technology 235 with H-PAS technology and the Zvox 580, and maybe the SpeakerCraft CS3. From what I've read (including a review just posted by imagic on AVS), the Sonos Playbar actually sounds very good as long as you include the Sonos Sub. Many AVSers have recommended including the PlayBar in the guide, and many pro reviewers also include it in their top soundbar lists, so I think I'm going to include it (along with the sub) as well.


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post #62 of 85 Old 11-24-2013, 06:37 AM
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I purchased a Sony HTCT-260H and I CANNOT recommend it. The wireless subwoofer goes into standby mode quickly and will not awaken unless you cycle the power on the soundbar.
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post #63 of 85 Old 11-24-2013, 11:55 AM
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I have to say the Bowers & Wilkens Panorama is the bed I have heard.  It can fill  room of almost any size and is great for music, as well as TV.  It isn't cheap, but worth the price.

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post #64 of 85 Old 11-24-2013, 12:54 PM
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I use the Panorama in the kitchen and while i think it's the best 1 piece unit for tv and blu-ray movies, I do not like it at all for music. A pair of Dynaudio Focus 110As with built-in amps can connect to the tv or anything else and are my favorite small audiophile speakers.
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post #65 of 85 Old 11-24-2013, 02:27 PM
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I agree that there are MANY superior options if looking beyond a sound bar.  But if forced to look solely at Sound bar's for a choice, I do like the B&W (and actually the Energy as well for bang for the buck).

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post #66 of 85 Old 11-25-2013, 08:08 AM
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The Wirecutter website has an article on soundbars. For the budget 'bars, he likes one of the Vizios (see the article for model number). For high end powered 'bars, he recommends the Martinlogan Motion Vision, which costs around $1100. He also likes the Atlantic Technology Powerbar 235 (about $650). He also says the Goldenear 3D Array ($1100) has the very best sound, but it is passive and must be driven by an AV receiver. I live in a small town hours away from the nearest city and haven't been able to listen to any of these 'bars. If i buy one, I'll have to buy it on the internet "sight unseen," er, "audio, unheard." Has anyone listened to the Atlantic, Martinlogan, or Goldenear?
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post #67 of 85 Old 11-25-2013, 01:58 PM
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Pic of the B&W Panorama above the Panasonic TV.
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post #68 of 85 Old 11-26-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orbitron View Post

Pic of the B&W Panorama above the Panasonic TV.

So top-heavy, I'm getting dizzy. smile.gif

Whhuu...? Why??

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post #69 of 85 Old 11-26-2013, 12:20 PM
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Well, the middle cutout fits the oven and with the tv above, it went higher. Besides, Audio 101, the higher you go, the better the high frequencies. smile.gif
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post #70 of 85 Old 11-29-2013, 10:03 AM
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Found a cheap and seemingly decent soundbar with wired sub on Amazon: The Samsung HW-F355. I've just ordered it a few hours ago for a small bedroom. Let's see how it turns out.

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post #71 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 12:00 PM
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Can any of the soundbars be connected to a receiver? I prefer to have optical cables from blu-ray player and cable box going to my HK receiver and then to a soundbar?

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post #72 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

So top-heavy, I'm getting dizzy. smile.gif

Whhuu...? Why??

Wow -- a sound system that goes from 20 Hz all the way through the microwave spectrum --
Is there a crossover between the soundbar and the microwave emitter? smile.gif
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post #73 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadus View Post

Can any of the soundbars be connected to a receiver? I prefer to have optical cables from blu-ray player and cable box going to my HK receiver and then to a soundbar?
Using a soundbar defeats the purpose of a receiver.
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post #74 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadus View Post

Can any of the soundbars be connected to a receiver? I prefer to have optical cables from blu-ray player and cable box going to my HK receiver and then to a soundbar?

 



I guess you mean that you want to switch between different optical sources, but most soundbars have only one optical input. Well, you can use your TV as the switch. Most TVs have an optical output. You can plug your sources via HDMI to the TV and then the TV will output to the soundbar via optical.
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post #75 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 06:42 PM
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I'm concerned how the Panasonic plasma will process DD and DTS and output through the soundbar?

Panasonic 60VT60
Sony PS3 Fat Boy
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post #76 of 85 Old 12-11-2013, 06:45 PM
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Most likely it will pass through those streams. You can test it with your receiver. Connect the source to the TV and the TV to the receiver via optical. Also, modern soundbars can accept those streams, but make sure before buying.
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post #77 of 85 Old 12-12-2013, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arqui3D View Post

Most likely it will pass through those streams. You can test it with your receiver. Connect the source to the TV and the TV to the receiver via optical. Also, modern soundbars can accept those streams, but make sure before buying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arqui3D View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadus View Post

Can any of the soundbars be connected to a receiver? I prefer to have optical cables from blu-ray player and cable box going to my HK receiver and then to a soundbar?

 



I guess you mean that you want to switch between different optical sources, but most soundbars have only one optical input. Well, you can use your TV as the switch. Most TVs have an optical output. You can plug your sources via HDMI to the TV and then the TV will output to the soundbar via optical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD-Master View Post

Using a soundbar defeats the purpose of a receiver.

Thanks!

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post #78 of 85 Old 12-12-2013, 07:21 AM
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I just bought a new house and moved in this week and was thinking that a soundbar would be a good way to keep the living area from looking unorganized/cluttered. I currently have a HK receiver and Velodyne 5.1 setup that sounds fantastic, just need a smaller sub. I don't want the audio equipment to overtake the living area which is 9ft wide x 12ft long, under 1000 cubic ft.

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post #79 of 85 Old 12-25-2013, 10:13 PM
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Have cable running into an Oppo 103, video out to tv and am looking for a soundbar to hook up to the Oppo's audio out...... can be HDMI or any other combination. Just want good sound without spending an arm and leg for it........................... Am going to my Best Buy to look at the Klipsch, ZVOX and Pioneers mentioned in this thread...........
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post #80 of 85 Old 12-31-2013, 12:01 PM
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Okay, after 4 days of visiting 4 different Best Buy stores in the Greater Kansas City area to check out soundbars, here are my findings. They have a wide assortment of soundbars set up for a person to listen to, but, NONE of them outside the Magnolia room had the sub hooked up, and none of the ones outside the Magnolia room had remotes. Of course at every store they tried to push me into either a Sonos or an Energy sound bar from the Magnolia Room. I listened to the Klipsch SB1, Pioneer Sb23W, and the Sony 660,that were mentioned here, but none had the subs hooked up, so I couldnt get an actual idea as to how they sounded. They had the Zvox 580, and the Bose Solo, but of course none of them had them hooked up for a person to listen to. I listened to all the soundbars they had on display outside the Magnolia room, but again, couldnt tell due to no sub being hooked up.

The soundbars/systems inside the Magnolia room were all in excess of $1000, which is above my budget for now. I still have no idea how any of these soundbars sound as a unit with the sub hooked up, so I am off to Nebraska Furniture Mart where I will hopefully find some of these previously mentioned soundbars actually working with the sub connected and the remotes available to play with the settings. WIll check back in with my findings...............
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post #81 of 85 Old 01-02-2014, 11:10 AM
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Pinky

Even with subs hooked up, it is almost impossible to get an accurate impression of how any of the soundbars you mention actually sound. If you are serious, purchase one, take it home. If it sounds good and performs well in your room with your equipment, keep it. If you feel something is lacking, return it and try another. I would trust professional reviews over what you actually hear, even in a Magnolia sound room, in a large cavernous building. I am an experienced listener, sadly with older ears that are now missing a lot of audio. In my search for either small speakers or a soundbar to replace my full size tower speakers and sub-woofers, I brought many items home and can tell you that many that sounded promising at Magnolia or a few other dealers fell short when placed in service in home.

I think most of your choices are promising and most are reasonably priced.

One further note. As with much in the audio world, price has almost zero correlation to sound.

David

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post #82 of 85 Old 01-02-2014, 07:06 PM
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David,

I know all about the "old ear" syndrome to which you refer.....lol.... And I do realize the difference between the large room vs where I will be using it. Have read horror stories about returning things to BestBuy, so just wanted to go look at features and get a general idea of how they sound, and the settings one can customize. I figure the Magnolia Room incident was just Best Buy trying to up-sell something in my personal opinion. I did go and listen to some soundbars at Nebraska Furniture Mart in their more realistic sound room, and found a few I liked, however, I think I am going to wait a little bit and see what reviews people give the new Denon DHT-S514 soundbar thats due to hit store shelves (per a Denon rep) in 2 more weeks, Mid January 2014. A good friend has been trying to steer me away from soundbars all together, and get a "real setup", ie...rcvr, speakers, etc..... his preference has always been Denon. I showed him the URL for the soon to be released soundbar, and he found nothing wrong with the specs, but like you, and I agree, need to see some reviews, make a choice, buy it, and see how it sounds at home......



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post #83 of 85 Old 06-13-2014, 03:27 PM
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My Yamaha YSP-1 (with Polk 100w subwoofer) is still going strong after 9 years.
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post #84 of 85 Old 06-15-2014, 02:55 PM
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post #85 of 85 Old 06-16-2014, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Morgan View Post
After listening to a variety of soundbars I settled on the Sony HT-CT660. For a few hundred dollars, the sound is actually quite good for what it is -- certainly far better than the built in speakers in my 60" Panasonic plasma. (But it doesn't hold a candle to the discrete multi-channel setup in my theater room. )

It's bit of a pain to mount a soundbar on the wall and route all the cables through the wall to the TV, but the extra work definitely helps with the WAF. It makes for a very clean look.

BTW, there are products available that are designed to help run video/audio cables through the wall for TVs and soundbars, just google for "flat panel in wall cable management". Mine is by PowerBridge and I'm very happy with it.

This is the sound bar sent to me by Amazon for review. It certainly is better than the sound of my Panasonic GT50 built in speakers. But it has absolutely zero virtual surround effect. I had one of the Unisen sound bar Mitsubishi TVs and that had a better sound and you could direct it to where you sat in relation to the tv. Those TVs also had a subwoofer out and I believe my Oynko $100 sub in a wood cabinet vs the plastic Sony sub not only looked better but sounds better and had more options such as the ability to choose the cross over frequency. So yes, this is better than what any TV has (besides the Mitsubishis) but it could have been better for the price.
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Sonos Playbar Tv Soundbar And Wireless Speaker For Streaming Music , Sonos , Speakercraft , Sony Ht Ct660 46 Inch Sound Bar With Wireless Subwoofer , Zvox 580 Low Profile Single Cabinet Surround Sound System With Optical And Coaxial Digital Inputs , Pioneer Sp Sb23w Andrew Jones Soundbar System
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