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Soundbar vs 2.1

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am trying to figure out what to get for the family room set up. It will be used mostly for movies, however one side opens to the kitchen and I would like to be able to stream wireless music.
The room is about 20X19 and the seating distance would be about 15 feet.

Initially I though I would do a 5.1 system and bough the pioneer receiver from Costco as it was a good deal. However, recently I went to a store to listen to speakers and got introduces to the Yamaha YSP 2200 soundbar, which the guy personally owned the 3300 and said is very good, Initial demo and I also liked it, but don't know if it would be appropriate for my room. This interested me in soundbars and the minimalistic look that I can have, so I have looked into the high-end soundbars and the def tech also sounded good, but not as surround as the Yamaha YSP

I have been reading up on the Bose 1sr and its supposed to be good as well, but lack of Bluetooth and hdmi inputs is keeping me away from it.

Then I also hear things like for that price I will be better of going the even the 2.1 route.

I am kind of torn as to what I should do, I m no way an audiophile and the HTIB setup that I have I enjoy that very much which leads me to think that if the soundbar sounds close to that I should be good. I just don't know if in my room layout the YSP or any other sound bar will sound good and give me the 5.1 surround.

Has someone been on the same situation and what worked for you and what was your reasoning,
post #2 of 8
I had a YSP-2200, i thought it sounded pretty good in the store demo too. I got it home, set it up, calibrated it for best positioning for my room. I know for a fact that I got the best sound out of it that I possibly could. The longer I had it, the more i hated it. The projected speaker sound was very tinny. I sent it back and got a Yamaha RX-A820 receiver with two Ascend CBM-170 bookshelf speakers. No surround at the time, but it was substantially better than the soundbar. No comparison! I now have my CMT-340SE center speaker and the sound is now twice as good as it was. I'm sure when I add the Rythmik LV12R sub and CMT-340SE mains, it will sound like the best system on earth. Stay away from soundbars, stay away from Bose.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I understand what you are saying, however wife doesn't want speakers all around in the family room, so I am hoping that the soundbar works, I see a few happy with their YSP in the soundbar forum.
If i go this route I will be getting the bigger YSP 4300.

The other option was to go with 2 def tech 8060ST but price becomes an issue there.
post #4 of 8
It really depends on your budget. Get the right finish w/ gloss and the right set-up that gives you really good sound and I heard over the past some wives were fine with it. Check out the Evolution Acoustics MicroOnes.

I will never spend money on a soundbar.

You can go with the KEF's which are the thin and flat yet still offer good sound. Just mount them on the wall.

Edited by NAIM101 - 10/7/13 at 3:40pm
post #5 of 8
Perhaps something like the Cambridge Audio Minx series might interest you.


Definitely small enough to be wife friendly but still produces a very good sound. The Yamaha soundbar is $800, for that you could get 3 Min 21's and a $240 sub. If you have a local dealer around you, you could get the Min's for a decent amount less than what Amazon sells them for and bump up the amount used for the sub.
post #6 of 8
I just went through this process between sound bars and speakers. If you are in the price range of a Yamaha 2200 you will definitely get better sound out of 2.1 system if it is set up correctly and decent size. There is also a trade off amongst the sound bars. The ones with better sound I thought were the Atlantic Technology and Paradigm but the Yamaha had better surround effects. None of the sound bars beat a 2.1 system but it partly depends on your speaker placements.

Almost any decent speaker and believe me I tried many in the under $600 per pair range that has 5" woofers or bigger will destroy the sound bars for sound quality. If you are looking at tiny speakers like Bose or the Cambridge audio you might have better luck with a sound bar, I tried both. Placement is important with speakers and if you are going to place them close together you won't get a good soundstage and you might as well go with the sound bar. Here are the sound bars I liked in no particular order.

Atlantic Technology
Yamaha but only the tall one, I think 5100. The 2200 not as good for sound quality. The 5100 was pretty pricey though and you still have to add a sub. I tried their 4300 that came with a sub but it did not compete with the 5100 in my opinion.

I tried a lot of speakers but I ended up with the Paradigm Shift A2 with Monitor 8 subwoofer. Of the speakers I listened too my favorite for sound was the A2s and the ease of set up in the system made it a no brainer. I did try my friends Ascends but I liked the A2 better, but the Ascends still destroyed the sound bars. If you are using a receiver you will have more speaker options but I was able to have all my components go to my TV and connect the speakers with the audio out of the TV but I needed a optical to RCA adapter which was about $50 on Amazon. So I didn't need any extra components. I chose the monitor sub because of the built in EQ which made a dramatic difference in my room without needing an external EQ or processor. You can get more bass from the internet subwoofer companies but the EQ made such a difference and I didn't want to anything more complicated in my system. I also wasn't worried about earth shattering bass.

The only thing I don't like about the A2 speakers is it takes them about 15 seconds for the speakers to sense the audio signal when I turn on the system. the A2s are pretty good for bass themselves if you are just looking for better sound quality and not deeper bass. But, I think sound bars and speakers benefit from a sub.
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by sid369 View Post

I understand what you are saying, however wife doesn't want speakers all around in the family room, so I am hoping that the soundbar works.
I was in the same position as you that's why I tried the soundbar. A decent center speaker without any other speakers sounds much better, even though it is a mono channel. Anyway, you can always try and send it back, just make sure you keep all the packaging.
post #8 of 8
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