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"Sound Bar" speakers any good?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking about getting a "sound bar" speaker such as a Polk SurroundBar that I can mount under a flat panel TV to improve the sound. I'm not interested in running speaker wires all over the place in this particular room so I thought this might be a good solution. I'd be driving it from a receiver, and probably pairing it with a subwoofer.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup? Are the surround effects actually noticeable? Will music sound ok?

Thanks
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by parmenides View Post

I've been thinking about getting a "sound bar" speaker such as a Polk SurroundBar that I can mount under a flat panel TV to improve the sound. I'm not interested in running speaker wires all over the place in this particular room so I thought this might be a good solution. I'd be driving it from a receiver, and probably pairing it with a subwoofer.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup? Are the surround effects actually noticeable? Will music sound ok?

Thanks

It varies by soundbar. I heard the big Yamaha soundbar a few weeks ago and it sounded quite good. I'd never mistake it for a good 5.1 system, but it did the job and yes it did produce a decent surround effect bouncing sound off walls that were a good 20 feet away. It's pretty pricey though, but it does have the amplification built in, so you don't need a receiver and the extra wires running up the wall.
In case you haven't seen this, here's a soundbar roundup.
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/spe...000-page6.html
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by parmenides View Post

I've been thinking about getting a "sound bar" speaker such as a Polk SurroundBar that I can mount under a flat panel TV to improve the sound. I'm not interested in running speaker wires all over the place in this particular room so I thought this might be a good solution. I'd be driving it from a receiver, and probably pairing it with a subwoofer.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup? Are the surround effects actually noticeable? Will music sound ok?

Thanks

I would expect a good stereo experience from a surround bar, not surroundsound. I setup my parents with the original Polk Surroundbar, and it is of good build quality. The sound is 'eh' but it matches the wall mounted LCD nicely. Look to Yamaha for the most realistic virtual surround sound experience from a surround bar - but it's limited by power output and room characteristics.
post #4 of 6
It's easy to hide wires if you're willing to invest in a little time and effort. There is even some flat speaker wire that disappears under paint. To me, I'd much rather spend the time removing and notching (if necessary) base boards and casings, running wire channel or taking the time to run the ubber flat paintable speaker wires rather than "settle" for a sound bar. I've just not heard any that even remotely come close to a "real" sounding 5.0 experience.

DeCorp invisible speaker wire

Cable channels
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:


In case you haven't seen this, here's a soundbar roundup.
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/spe...000-page6.html

Great link, thank you. It's interesting that almost all of them are powered and have their own surround processors.

Quote:


I would expect a good stereo experience from a surround bar, not surroundsound. I setup my parents with the original Polk Surroundbar, and it is of good build quality. The sound is 'eh' but it matches the wall mounted LCD nicely. Look to Yamaha for the most realistic virtual surround sound experience from a surround bar - but it's limited by power output and room characteristics.

That sounds about right. My real theater is in the basement with some decent 5.1 speakers. The sound bar would be for a bedroom setup where I want to keep it simple. The surround doesn't have to blow me away, I just need something better than the TV's built-in speakers.

Thanks for the responses.
post #6 of 6
My Clients have been very happy with the QP series from Pinnacle.
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