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Review: Energy Power Bar Soundbar

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Just thought I would post my recent experience with this relatively new / hard to find Soundbar by Energy. Purchased mine from Sears for $370 after sale and promo code (ELEC05 for %5 off). Plus I think that was with a $10 gift card I had. Receipt isn't with me right now.

I'll start with some basics about my living room layout and the system this soundbar is supposed to replace.

Room Setup: Standard ceiling height (8' or something like that) carpet on the floor. The room is roughly 15x15 with my TV on the wall and sofa is exactly opposit. So about 14' away while sitting.

Old System: Klipsch Promedia Ultra (5.1 PC speakers, setup using just 3.1). I used the optical out from my TV to an old Sound Blaster Extigy (discontinued External USB Soundcard, works quite well if you can find one). The drawbacks to the system was lack of volume controls. The IR port on my extigy is dead, and my speaker set started to develop a pretty strong buzz that was constant. I'm surprised at how long it lasted since their promedia speaker amps where pretty much notorious for blowing up (not literally).

Pro #1: The setup (as with most soundbars) was as simple as hooking up the power and running an optical cable. If you aren't hanging it on the wall it's literally a 5min process to unbox it and be up and running. The wireless sub paired up instantly with the soundbar. This soundbar does not have a remote of it's own. The unit picks up on the volume controls of your existing remotes and I didn't have to mess with programming it. Worked instantly.

Con #1: Not a big fan of the piggy back volume control. The sound just isn't right when using both the soundbar and the internal speakers. When I switch off the internal speakers on my samsung set I'm prompted with a nice annoying "Not Available" message on screen every time I mess with the volume on the remote. This is a major turnoff. I haven't been able to find a way to disable that message on my TV..ugh..

Pro #2: The sound is definitely a major upgrade compared to the internal speakers. In my testing I was able to crank the volume up to levels uncomfortable to the ears with no distortion. This is the first soundbar I've ever had so I can't compare to any others but based on the specs and the company I would certainly have this unit at the top of my list.

Con #2: The sound thus far is a little underwhelming compared to what I was using. I've only had it a couple of days now so I'm sure there is a break-in period as with all speakers. The audio quality is nice and clear and plenty loud. The highs are a bit harsh but I think with some break-in that might mellow out a little. I'm no speaker expert so maybe after break-in maybe it'll go the opposite direction lol.

I'm a fan of bass and while this unit does put out some decent bass it just doesn't satisfy compared to my old setup. Being that the sub is wireless I did try multiple corners/spots in my room but nadda. I have the volume dial max on the sub and it is just barely enough for my enjoyment.

Again not being a speaker expert I dunno about the specs on my Promedia sub compared to a real HT Sub but the promedia was like being in the middle of a thunderstorm compared to a light spring shower with the sub on the Energy system. I knew going in that my old setup had dual 8s and I'm guessing alot more power to the sub, but I was just hoping being a more of a true HT sub that the energy would have put out a little more.

I was on the fence between this soundbar and the Onkyo HT-S7409 (which I know will be a big diff) but I was hoping this soundbar would give me enough of what I wanted to get by. I plan on keeping it for the next week or two before I decide on returning it.

Oh, some of the movies I tested so far. All Blu-ray. Inception, Cars, Apollo 13, Toy Story 3, and some various MP3s

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer.
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post #2 of 5
Fry's has this soundbar on sale this week for $199. Energy is made by Klipsch.
post #3 of 5
What did you think of the sound quality for music alone? I'm thinking of using it for a secondary TV that would be used only for kids TV watching, background music for parties, and sports.

Thanks,
Josh
post #4 of 5
You said:
Con #1: Not a big fan of the piggy back volume control. The sound just isn't right when using both the soundbar and the internal speakers. When I switch off the internal speakers on my samsung set I'm prompted with a nice annoying "Not Available" message on screen every time I mess with the volume on the remote. This is a major turnoff. I haven't been able to find a way to disable that message on my TV..ugh..

Someone on another thread mentioned a really good idea... if your TV has a headphone jack, plug a dummy cable (or even a spare headphone) into it - then you can adjust TV volume without doing anything to the actual TV speakers (goes to headphone, instead).
post #5 of 5
I'm trying to find a solution for that annoying message when changing volume too. I haven't bought this unit yet, but like to know if this problem can be solved before I buy. Does this unit have it's own IR codes? If so, can't you just use that to adjust volume from a Harmony so that you don't get the pop up warning?
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