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looking for audio setup input and suggestions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
first time posting. after doing some reading im not sure how i want to spend my money or on what i want to spend my money.

Current setup:vizio 55" LED LCD
Connected to the TV via HDMI:
-xbox360
-PS3
-cable box.

Budget: +-$500

i use the PS3 for all DVD/BD viewings (plus games) and the 360 is used for games, viewing videos files from my PC, and as a media center extender for my HTPC that's located in another room.

I've looked at a few 5.1 HTiB setups (notably Onkyo systems) as well as a few soundbar + sub woofer solutions (notably the vizio soundbar + wireless sub).

what im looking to get predominantly is overall better sound quality than what the TV speakers give me. I'd like a 5.1 system but it isn't a deal breaker

My question is, for my needs and the number of devices that im using, is a system with a nice receiver really necessary to get full 5.1 sound? i feel like a lot of connections on the back of the receiver would go to waste. and since the PS3 does all the sound decoding id need or care about with regards to movies, i don't need an receiver to do all the decoding, just processing the PCM data.

in the realm of sound systems im a noob so please go easy on me if i didn't explain everything well enough, or am missing anything that might help me make a decision.

thanks!
post #2 of 8
Look at an Energy Take Classic 5.1. These can be had for under $300. Combine it with a low cost Onkyo receiver from ebay and it will blow away TV sound.
post #3 of 8
Most anything is better than TV speakers.
A soundbar is a step up (perhaps).
An HTiB is a better step up for sound and convenience.
A receiver and 5 speakers with a sub is the way to go.

As for, "and since the PS3 does all the sound decoding id need or care about with regards to movies, i don't need an receiver to do all the decoding, just processing the PCM data"... you may have a misunderstanding.

Bottom line is, do you just want an "upgrade" for better sound (stereo only) or looking to utilize the surround potential that's possible from cable/xbox/ps3?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Bottom line is, do you just want an "upgrade" for better sound (stereo only) or looking to utilize the surround potential that's possible from cable/xbox/ps3?

i think you articulated what i was thinking and trying to say perfectly so thank you .

at a budget of ~$500 i was thinking that id really just be mostly limited to getting upgraded stereo sound. this would satisfy me (for now) but in the long run i would like to utilize the 5.1 and get the full experience.

The room this setup would be in is about 22ft long and 15ft wide with 8ft ceilings if that helps in recommending anything.
post #5 of 8
Any of these (or something similar) would be better than "stereo" IMO.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstempl...c=abcat0200000
post #6 of 8
A sub in your budget won't make much of a difference in that room, so I wouldn't worry about getting one right away. I would get two full range tower speakers, so you can still get some nice bass. If you dilute your budget to much more than that, you will end up with no bass whatsoever.

There are two directions I would consider with that budget. One is to buy two nice full range speakers and a disposable AVR, with the intention of upgrading the AVR later. The other is buying a decent AVR and two cheap speakers, with the intention of upgrading the speakers later.

For option one, you could buy the Infinity Primus p362. It is perhaps the most highly regarded tower speaker in it's price bracket, if you don't believe that then go look in the Infinity Primus thread in the speaker forum. You could get a inexpensive receiver off of craigslist or ebay which could power those things just fine and still stay under your budget, but you might have to do without newer features such as HDMI and DTS/TrueHD decoding for the time being. It will still sound very nice though.

For option two you could buy something like a Onkyo TX-SR607 which has all the features you will want, and get a couple of speakers off of craigslist or ebay or audiogon. You could buy a couple of these guys and move them to use as surrounds when you get more formidable front speakers, like say the above mentioned p362's. The advantage of doing option 2 is you aren't losing any money at all, although you don't get as nice of a sound right away.

If it were me, I would probably go for the first option, but that is me, and I love great sounding music, I am a audio junkie and I need my fix right away. The one thing I wouldn't do is buy a 5 channel satellite speaker set or a sound bar, those just wont have as massive of a sound as some good tower speakers. And also, you will need a real sub to get any kind of decent bass in a room that large, as it will have to pressurize that entire space, so remember to look in the subwoofer forum for ideas for that, otherwise you might just end up throwing money away.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
while that onkyo receiver is very nice, since the ps3 can output PCM, i'd only need a reciever that supports 5.1 and can handle PCM via hdmi correct (since id be connecting all 3 devices via hdmi)? i wouldn't need to get one with all the decoding features. or am i dead wrong?
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
while i liked the primus 362s, i wanted something out of the box so i went with the Onkyo HT-S6200. Newegg has them at what i consider a steal at $519 with $10 shipping. i figure i don't need HDMI 1.4 since i dont plan on getting any 3D tv (not that into 3D anyway) in the next 3-4 years. and the speakers will suffice until down the road when i hopefully upgrade them to better speakers/sub with the decent receiver the 6200 set comes with. being my first home theater setup i figure its a good setup. hopefully you'll all agree, or at least see where im coming from.

thanks for your help and suggestions!
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