Do I need a Soundbar that supports 4k? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Esilbe1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Question Do I need a Soundbar that supports 4k?

I am doing research to purchase a new soundbar to accompany my new OLED TV (LG B6). I came across an article on CNET that said for a receiver to accommodate '4K Audio' it needs: HDMI 2.0, 2.0a, and HDCP 2.2.

https://www.cnet.com/news/do-i-need-...with-my-4k-tv/

How necessary these specs are for a soundbar, and do they exist in soundbars today, especially the Denon Helos or Sonos. I am confused about whether I need to consider them in my purchase.

I'm replacing an older, Sony soundbar. I have a TIVO Roamio/Apple TV/Cable Box. I just want better sound quality at a reasonable price. I also do not want to buy another soundbar, say, within the next couple of years because what I buy is suddenly obsolete.
Esilbe1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 01:23 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Swampfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Are you planning on using the sound bar as a video switch (HDMI) or are you going to use the TV as the video switch and audio decoder to send an audio only stream to the speakers?
Swampfox is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 03:49 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4,369
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1889 Post(s)
Liked: 1095
If you are planning to use the TV as the video switchers then any sound bar with ARC or optical will be fine.
Ellebob is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Esilbe1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post
Are you planning on using the sound bar as a video switch (HDMI) or are you going to use the TV as the video switch and audio decoder to send an audio only stream to the speakers?
I do not have a preference because I don't understand which is better for my setup:

Tivo
LG OLED B6
Apple TV
Cable Box

I want to make sure if/when I watch 4K content, the audio is equivalent.
Esilbe1 is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 05:23 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4,369
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1889 Post(s)
Liked: 1095
If you connect the devices to the TV you will get 4K and use ARC or optical from the TV to the sound bar (or receiver) and everything will work fine.

You only need a sound bar that can handle 4K if you want to connect your devices to the sound bar (or receiver) first. For some sources like Blu-ray/ UHD players there are some advantages to doing it this way but not for your situation. Buy the sound bar that sounds best to you and not worry if it has 4k capability.
Ellebob is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Esilbe1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
If you connect the devices to the TV you will get 4K and use ARC or optical from the TV to the soundbar (or receiver) and everything will work fine.

You only need a sound bar that can handle 4K if you want to connect your devices to the soundbar (or receiver) first. For some sources like Blu-ray/ UHD players there are some advantages to doing it this way but not for your situation. Buy the sound bar that sounds best to you and not worry if it has 4k capability.
Thanks. Very clear. One last question or two: Does a more expensive sound bar mean better sound? I'm going from a 2009 Sony soundbar, probably to a Denon Heos Home Cinema. Will I notice marked improvement in sound quality?
Esilbe1 is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 05-15-2017, 08:06 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4,369
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1889 Post(s)
Liked: 1095
More expensive is not necessarily better sounding. Just like cars and other products they are often designed for different purposes. Some place more value on features, some on better surround effects and others better sound quality. There is no one perfect sound bar no matter what the cost.

Of the two you are considering I'd say the Denon is better sounding with more connection options. The Sonos needs the sub in my opinion but is easier to use and set up, has more music services, a better app and better whole house integration. If you are going to be integrating these with a house music system the Sonos also goes over its own wireless network and doesn't compete with the bandwidth of your Wi-Fi. Normally, this is not an issue but if you plan on having multiple different streams you may have drop outs especially if other users are doing things like streaming Netflix, etc.
Ellebob is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 05-17-2017, 11:41 AM
UHD Addict
 
aaronwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern VA(Woodbridge)
Posts: 36,668
Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9817 Post(s)
Liked: 6486
If you want the better quality audio, you need a speaker bar with at least HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a. And a speaker bar with the ability to decode the Advanced Audio codecs. That way the speaker bar can decode the higher quality lossless codecs like Dolby True HD or DTS-HD MA. With the optical or ARC you are getting the same audio we had over twenty years ago with legacy DD and DTS.(Although some devices are capable of sending/receiving lossy DD+ over the ARC)

And then even better would be a speaker bar that handles DD Atmos and DTS:X.

57TB unRAID1a--49TB unRAID2--76TB unRAID3
TCL 6 Series--Sony UBP-X800--Philips BDP7502--Onkyo HT-S7800
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme
aaronwt is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 05-17-2017, 11:44 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Liked: 107
My HT-RT5 is HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a, but doesn't support HDR pass through. So make sure you get a bar that supports HDR 4K passthrough and you should be golden.
Fuzalert is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 05-17-2017, 12:23 PM
UHD Addict
 
aaronwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern VA(Woodbridge)
Posts: 36,668
Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9817 Post(s)
Liked: 6486
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzalert View Post
My HT-RT5 is HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a, but doesn't support HDR pass through. So make sure you get a bar that supports HDR 4K passthrough and you should be golden.
If it has HDMI 2.0a then it supports HDR. I think the RT5 is like my HT3 since they came out around the same time? It only has HDMi 2.0. Which does not support HDR.

I have an RT5 and an HT3 and they are basically the same feature wise. Only the RT5 has rear speakers and the HT3 has better audio quality. I need to sell my RT5 since it's been boxed up for over a year. And I want to replace my HT3 with an Atmos/DTS:X speaker bar.

57TB unRAID1a--49TB unRAID2--76TB unRAID3
TCL 6 Series--Sony UBP-X800--Philips BDP7502--Onkyo HT-S7800
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme

Last edited by aaronwt; 05-17-2017 at 12:32 PM.
aaronwt is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 05-17-2017, 04:45 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4,369
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1889 Post(s)
Liked: 1095
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
If you want the better quality audio, you need a speaker bar with at least HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a. And a speaker bar with the ability to decode the Advanced Audio codecs. That way the speaker bar can decode the higher quality lossless codecs like Dolby True HD or DTS-HD MA. With the optical or ARC you are getting the same audio we had over twenty years ago with legacy DD and DTS.(Although some devices are capable of sending/receiving lossy DD+ over the ARC)

And then even better would be a speaker bar that handles DD Atmos and DTS:X.
This is simply not true. You can have sound bar with tiny 2" full range speakers with no tweeters that can decode all the latest formats while a sound bar that only has optical and only decodes DD/DTS but uses 4.5" midrange drivers and tweeters will give much better sound. Of course the best solution is if the sound bar with the better speaker design also has the capability to decode the lossless formats. The problem has come about because they keep trying to make sound bars smaller and thinner. Just like TVs whos sound became crappier as they made the TVs thinner and no longer had room for even 2" full range speakers. In fact sound bars have become popular because TV sound has become so bad.

Some other facts. Most sources from cable, satellite and streaming use standard Dolby digital and not the lossless formats. So for much of the average person's viewing material it will make no difference. The OP has sources that only use these formats. For Blu-ray/UHD players they convert the lossless formats to DD/DTS with the least amount of compression for that format which is not a big difference from lossless. There is definitely a bigger difference in lossless compared to sources that use more compression. For the average person and not the enthusiasts like us, discs are dying. Many installations we see now do not even care about getting a disc player of any type. Enthusiasts are the exception, I expect Blu-ray/UHD to eventually be like SACD now where only audio enthusiast care about it.

If you want Atmos/DTS:X then you definitely need a sound bar that can decode the lossless formats and of course be able to handle the video formats your TV/projector is capable of displaying. For instance the Yamaha YSP-5600 can decode Atmos/DTS:X lossless formats but has the older HDMI chips and only has enough bandwidth to handle basic 4K and not 4K with HDR. If you are not looking for Atmos/DTS:X in your sound bar then get the sound bar that sounds the best and has the features you desire but going for one with all the latest HDMI might not be the best sounding. For the OP your sources are not lossless.
Ellebob is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 05-19-2017, 07:53 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Swampfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esilbe1 View Post
I do not have a preference because I don't understand which is better for my setup:

Tivo
LG OLED B6
Apple TV
Cable Box

I want to make sure if/when I watch 4K content, the audio is equivalent.
I agree with Ellebob
Swampfox is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 07-31-2018, 01:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 370
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 279 Post(s)
Liked: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
This is simply not true. You can have sound bar with tiny 2" full range speakers with no tweeters that can decode all the latest formats while a sound bar that only has optical and only decodes DD/DTS but uses 4.5" midrange drivers and tweeters will give much better sound. Of course the best solution is if the sound bar with the better speaker design also has the capability to decode the lossless formats. The problem has come about because they keep trying to make sound bars smaller and thinner. Just like TVs whos sound became crappier as they made the TVs thinner and no longer had room for even 2" full range speakers. In fact sound bars have become popular because TV sound has become so bad.

Some other facts. Most sources from cable, satellite and streaming use standard Dolby digital and not the lossless formats. So for much of the average person's viewing material it will make no difference. The OP has sources that only use these formats. For Blu-ray/UHD players they convert the lossless formats to DD/DTS with the least amount of compression for that format which is not a big difference from lossless. There is definitely a bigger difference in lossless compared to sources that use more compression. For the average person and not the enthusiasts like us, discs are dying. Many installations we see now do not even care about getting a disc player of any type. Enthusiasts are the exception, I expect Blu-ray/UHD to eventually be like SACD now where only audio enthusiast care about it.
The average person shouldn't forget about disks or players because they don't require any data connections and work better at the same time. What about enthusiasts that want quality, but have an average salary? I just don't think it's worth it to pay 100% more for 10% better sound. 2 channel sound to 5.1 ok, 480i to 1080P ok, but DD to TrueHD or DTS to DTSHD-MA, not worth it.
You probably don't need a SB with 4K video passthrough.
Tfid is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 01-13-2019, 06:06 PM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Thanks guys for the useful information. I have question regarding this topic.... I have a LG 4k OLED and planning on buying a 4k Blue-ray player after I find a sound bar in a 200 to 500 price range. So my question is if I find a sound bar that doesn't support 4K can I use the tv that is 4k HDR to decode then connect the sound bar to the tv via HDMI without loosing sound quality? I'm only interested in getting the best possible sound for movies. I don't really care about the other stuff that comes along with the sound bars. I'm comparing the newer JBL 3.1 sound bar with the 4k and hdr10 capabilities to the older Denon HEOS HomeCinema and Polk Audio 9500bt. The Polk Audio doesn't even have HDMI. The JBL 3.1 has total of 9 speakers while the Denon HEOS has 4 and the Polk Audio has 8. I just dont know the quality of the speakers and how they sound. Then the price....the JBL is $500 and the Denon is $400 and the Polk is $350. Does anyone know how do these sound bars compare? It looks like I would get the best of both worlds with the JBL but is that the case? What do you guys think?
Bmajewski is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 03-15-2020, 10:14 PM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 0
My TV doesn't support Dolby Atmos
If i buy Soundbar Dolby Atmos, is the Dolby Atmos come out through the Soundbar?
I Play Movie MKV file at USB Drive
march22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Soundbars

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off