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Need help choosing soundbar.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey guys I need help choosing a sound bar. I don't really know to much about them or how they work. I know I want one that is gonna give the feel of surround sound tho. I've read a little info on them tho. The room is a kinda small room I have a picture posted(sorry there not great) where the tv is gonna go, that closet is gonna b removed to make the space so I can hang up my tv and also the soundbar I wanna b able to hear my directv, blu ray, and xbox 360 out of it. I'm
Not looking to spend a whole bunch of money but i still wanna spend some cause I don't wanna get a ****** bar. If you need anymore info just let me know. Thanks for all your guys help.

The second picture is just letting you see how much space i will be getting once the closet is removed.
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8 luder 97 View Post

Hey guys I need help choosing a sound bar. I don't really know to much about them or how they work. I know I want one that is gonna give the feel of surround sound tho. I've read a little info on them tho. The room is a kinda small room I have a picture posted(sorry there not great) where the tv is gonna go, that closet is gonna b removed to make the space so I can hang up my tv and also the soundbar I wanna b able to hear my directv, blu ray, and xbox 360 out of it. I'm
Not looking to spend a whole bunch of money but i still wanna spend some cause I don't wanna get a ****** bar. If you need anymore info just let me know. Thanks for all your guys help.

The second picture is just letting you see how much space i will be getting once the closet is removed.

Best thing to do is read a bit more about the soundbars available and try and narrow it down a bit by what features you need, as one example,, do you need HDMI inputs or not,,, and a bunch of other questions you need to ask yourself and then post,,,, there are a growing number of soundbars out there these days that all have different features,,,,, what might be the best soundbar for one person might not be the best soundbar for you.

Soundbars that you might want to read up on in detail would be some of these,,, all of them very good bars.

Sony's CT-100, CT-150, CT-350.
Vizio VSB200WS and gettng released Sunday, the Vizio VHT210.
Yamaha YSP's (all of them)
JVC TH-BA1

My favorite that I own at the moment is the JVC,, but that does not mean it would be your favoite,,, different needs for different people.

Some folks on here will tell you a certain bar to get, simply because thats the one they own,,, and some people like to feel they made the best choice,, thats just human nature.

As far as you not wanting to spend a bunch of money, you need to be more specific about what a bunch of money is to YOU,, a dollar amount would be very helpful to narrow down some suggestions for you.

Hope that helps a bit.

Cheers
Davyo
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I'll read up some more on soundbars, but one thing I don't really understand is how I would connect them. My plasma has two hdmi inputs, both which are being used. I would like to hear my directv, blu ray ( which are the two connected through hdmi) and my xbox( connected through comp) how would I go connecting all three so I can hear it through the soundbar?
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8 luder 97 View Post

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I'll read up some more on soundbars, but one thing I don't really understand is how I would connect them. My plasma has two hdmi inputs, both which are being used. I would like to hear my directv, blu ray ( which are the two connected through hdmi) and my xbox( connected through comp) how would I go connecting all three so I can hear it through the soundbar?

There are several ways to connect everything,,,, one way would be,,,, leave everything connected as is to your plasma and get a bar with an optical input and then just run the optical out from your plasma to the bar.

If you want to go all HDMI,, get a Sony CT-xxx that has 3 HDMI inputs (I forgot if the xBox has HDMI out, Im not a gamer) hook everything into the Sony and then just run one HDMI from the Sony to your plasma.

Those are just a few examples of possible hook-ups.

Your price range for a soundbar ?????

Cheers
Davyo
post #5 of 9
I agree with everything Davyo says above. When you talk about surround with a soundbar, this is a different animal than 5.1 surround from a dedicated system. Sound bars for the most part do simulated surround. There are exceptions that actually have five channels and do require dedicated amplification channels for each. These tend to be moderately to very expensive plus the added cost of the additional amplification or receiver.

I have owned an expensive 5.1 system (I still have 2.1 of it for listening to music) and I have owned three soundbars and thinking about testing a fourth (the JVC BA1 mentioned by Davyo).

The soundbars I have owned from Yamaha, Sony and Vizio all had some for of simulated surround. Depending on your room these could be convincing or just plain weird. Looking at your photos, it appears that you have good walls for bouncing the simulated surround, so you may acheive good to great results.

Remember that most simulated surround is going to come from the front and sides. However, if you have experienced a quality surround system in a home or theater, you already know that is where the sound should originate from anyway. If you notice sound coming from behind you, that usually means that the rear speakers are not adjusted correctly (too loud).

If you go into the purchase of a soundbar with the purpose of replacing the terrible sounding audio from almost all TV speakers with acceptable to good audio, you can then appreciated any extras that you may come out with. Such as decent simulated surround or audio leveling.

I also have a personal opinion concerning HDMI and soundbars. Unless you need extra HDMI inputs because of the number of HDMI components you own, HDMI seems superfulous. It makes much more sense to my eyes, to have all of my components connected to the television and use my TV input selector for switching between components. This allows me to have a nice THX mode for watching Blu-Ray movies at night as well as a slightly brigther Custom mode for watching sports (college football is now five weeks away) in the afternoon.

Of the three units I have owned, I prefer my current, Vizio. The others were good but better is the enemy of the good.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah sorry about that I forgot to post my price range. I'm not looking to spend more then $400. Well I don't need three hdmi inputs on the sound bar because I actually only have 2 devices that use the hdmi cord, my third device, the xbox, uses component cables.
post #7 of 9
Hi sk8, your price range covers pretty much all the self powered HTIB soundbars out there. Just about everybody has a BB nearby, not to mention a Frys or equivalent. Why not go check out some soundbars in person?

Like davyo and drfreeman, I have a simple set up that doesn't require HDMI, but I can give you a real world example of why it may matter to you.

A guy I know has a professionally installed 52" LCD mounted about 8' off the floor. Last year he decided to buy a blue-ray player. I asked him how he was going to connect it. As I saw it, he had two options. Either take the TV off the wall and rewire, or connect via HDMI 4 and have an HDMI cable hanging down from the wall. He found either option unacceptable, and in the end he didn't buy a player. However, if he'd owned a newer AVR, or a Sony soundbar, it would have been no problem. Everything hooked up to the rear of the AVR, or the rear of the Sony sub, then one HDMI out to the LCD. Simple. Since you're planning on wall mounting, this advantage may be of interest to you.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

I agree with everything Davyo says above.

I have owned an expensive 5.1 system (I still have 2.1 of it for listening to music) and I have owned three soundbars and thinking about testing a fourth (the JVC BA1 mentioned by Davyo).

Hey Dr,,,, yes,,, get the JVC BA1 and check it out,,, I would be interested to see what your take is on it,,, there are so few owners here on AVS of the BA1 and some of the so-called "pro" reviews really dont say much.

Im very interested to see if others are as impressed with the BA1 as I am,,,or,,, if I am the lone wolf in my praise of the JVC.

Cheers
Davyo
post #9 of 9
I have a HTPC that uses HDMI (audio + video) for the front room and VGA + speakers for the bedroom. Due to limitations with Windows 7 (and Vista), I can not use both analog and digital audio at the same time! So I have to stop Media Center and toggle between digital audio pass-through each time I switch viewing rooms! bummer, but it works.

I'm looking for a small soundbar to use in the bedroom that can handle DTS/AC3 audio. (like the Sony CT series) But I do not want (or need) a sub-woofer in the bedroom.

I have a Vizio 32" TV in the bedroom. I was hoping their new soundbar would (finally) have support for DTS... unfortunately not.

I just saw a review on the Panasonic SC-HTB10. It looks like it might do the job.

Any other ideas out there
(on a budget...)
Thanks for any help
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