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Advice on Adding Speakers to my HDTV

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I have a new Samsung HDTV which I'm loving, except for one thing: the sound. A very typical complaint for these, from what I've read...

Problems are mainly difficulty hearing voices and having to constantly monitor the volume to avoid shattering the windows when an explosion occurs or a gun shot goes off, while still being able to hear people speaking. Very annoying.

Also, I've noticed with certain sounds in the low range, like the sound made by the warp core in Star Trek Enterprise (haha sorry I'm a geek) the tv can't seem to handle these sounds well and will emit a bothersome vibration noise from the speakers.

So, I know the ideal thing to do is to invest in a good receiver and a solid 5.1 system. Unfortunately, I can't justify the cost of that right now, and I'm also renting my place which is a townhouse (shared wall with neighbour). As a result, I can't blast my music and turn up the bass as much as I would like, so for the time being, it is unfeasible (both cost and practically) to get a really good sound system.

So what does that leave me with? Well I have looked at soundbars, but I have read countless reviews and I'm not convinced. Yes, they would be alot better than my current tv speakers, but in terms of longevity, how long would I actually stick with these? Also, I'm not a die-hard audiophile but I am not an average user either. I was happy to spend $200+ on headphones, and $200+ on my IEMs for listening to music and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I'd rather spend a tad more and get something that I can use for a year or two at my current place, and still enjoy for another couple years when i buy my own place and save up for a really epic sound system. Also, this would theoreticaly be alot better if i ever wanted to play some music from my tv.

So I believe this means I should look at a decent 2.0 or 2.1 system. Any thoughts on my train of thought?

I have looked a some polk speakers like these - seems like a good sale. http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/polk-audio-tower-speaker-rtia5-black-single-speaker/10090949.aspx?path=6e14b4c2a3b54e8ec4385b41512070f7en02

The price is still a little high for my taste but maybe that's what these things cost. Also, I would presumably need a receiver for these right?

Oh, my hdtv is a SamsungĀ® UN46EH6000

Help appreciated. smile.gifsmile.gif
Edited by diofree - 5/2/13 at 9:45am
post #2 of 10
diofree,

Without a stated budget, we can't really make any recommendations. Looking at those Polks I'm guessing you're okay with up to $300/speaker. Not sure if you have ever heard Polks and like them or not and I'm not sure where you live, but Fry's has the RTi12 for the same price. To me, the Polk's tweeters are a bit fatiguing at medium to high listening levels. My preference is for the Infinity P363 which Fry's also has on sale on occasion for $117 each. They have a more neutral sound with more bass than the RTi12 in my experience. Another option would be to get the Infinity P163 and get three of them across the front for more clear dialog. Fry's often has those for $57 each. If you need more bass you can add a sub.

Either way you go, you will need to get a receiver or amp to power them. I would recommend a refurbished Denon 1712 or 1713 from accessories4less.com.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply!

I went back home and looked at my setup. I really seem to have zero room for tower speakers unfortunately. frown.gif

I guess I'll have a second look at soundbars to see if they would do the trick frown.gif
post #4 of 10
Well, the Infinity P163 are bookshelves if that matters. They even have a smaller P153 if that will work for you. Or an even smaller P143 series bookshelf. Pioneer also has some pretty small bookshelves as well. The SP-BS22-LR. There are many other bookshelf speaker options that will be far better than a soundbar, but those are the only two I have experience with.
post #5 of 10
Buy yourself a decent set of bookshelves now and when you move and have room for towers or a better setup you can use the bookshelves as surround speakers. Surrounds do not necessarily need to be timbre matched to your LCR so you can reuse the bookshelves later. You can find a decent receiver with 5.1 to pair them with and have the start of a nice upgradeable system. You can run them in phantom center mode and if that doesn't do it for you you can add a center from same line of speakers.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I like your advice, it's definitely future-proof. Question though, are there any bookshelves that are more attractive? They all seem to look like ugly black boxes to me.

Also, shouldnt the bookshelves be at ear level? In my case they would be quite low.

I'll take a picture of my hdtv to give you an idea of my situation.

Picture: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lg53umbcewet11x/CameraZOOM-20130502183452202.jpg
Edited by diofree - 5/2/13 at 5:42pm
post #7 of 10
Option 1: Tilt the bookshelves to point towards your ears.

Option 2: The Infinity P363 towers are fairly slim and may fit on the glass shelf on either side of the TV. They are only 8 3/8" wide if you remove the plastic feet. If not, they are 9 1/4" wide. Looks like they may even fit to the side of the shelf if you move the doggie bed over a bit.

There are VERY nice looking bookshelf speakers out there. You'll just spend more on them though. It's possible to get some nice looking AND sounding bookshelf speakers at $600/pair. I just don't know of any myself that I can recommend.

Edit: Corrected speaker width with feet from 11" down to correct width of 9 1/4"
Edited by duc135 - 5/2/13 at 9:29pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Duc. Very helpful smile.gif
I appreciate your responses. Just out of curiosity, is infinity a very good brand, I haven't that name much before (though that is probably to be expected, i only know a handful of names)?

Another stupid question, and this is probably going to give you a brain aneurism, but in all seriousess, how much better would you say 2 of those would be vs something like this:
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/samsung-samsung-sound-bar-with-wireless-subwoofer-hw-e550-hw-e550-zc/10205510.aspx?path=6a212b5e497e39294ce24c23b83fc8c1en02

Don't shoot me! smile.gif

Back to your response. The doggie bed can definitely move over, however there is a large front-facing window RIGHT there so i wouldn't really want the window obstructed with a tower speaker. I can take more pictures if that helps. I know my situation is FAR less than ideal, so I'm sorry for that.

I could be wrong but i think having such beefy speakers on the little glass table will look strange.
Edited by diofree - 5/2/13 at 7:40pm
post #9 of 10
Infinity "used" to make VERY high end speakers. Speakers that cost well north of $60K for a pair. They are now more of an entry level speaker, but don't let that deter you. They are owned by a little company you might have heard of, Harman International. Harman happens to own the likes of Mark Levinson, Revel, JBL, Crown, Harman Kardon just to name a few. If you have ever heard their flagship speaker brand Revel then you can get an idea of what the Infinity will sound like. I own the Revel F52 which is a $7K MSRP (of course I didn't pay anywhere near that for them) speaker and would say the Infinity P363 is about 70% the Revel sound quality at less than 5% the cost. As I had mentioned before, I hands down prefer the Infinity over the Polk RTi12 which is the higher end speaker than what you had linked to. Unfortunately, speaker sound is all subjective so you may think that the Infinity may sound like crap to you. If you're anywhere near the southern CA area you are more than welcome to come have a listen before you buy.

As for looks, that is also subjective. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem having giant towers on the glass table, but I'm easy to please and have no fashion or decor sense. I had to have my sisters pick paint colors, fixtures and furniture for my house when I remodeled. I'm the guy who just needs a bed and shower when I travel. I really don't care what the hotel room looks like so long as it's clean. If your curtains are as far open as you usually have them then you should be fine. If not, I would make a cardboard mockup if possible and see how it would look.
post #10 of 10
+1

I owned Infinity speakers for many years, and still have a pair as surrounds. I'll always have a fondness for them. Despite their consumer grade those you have chosen (as I recall) have very impressive frequency response measurements.

Good luck to you!
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