Should I just switch to a soundbar? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-26-2019, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I just switch to a soundbar?

Hello, my current setup is a 10 year old Bose Acoustimass (10 series I think) with a Denon AVR-590 receiver. Around December 2016 (When I bought my PS4 Pro) I made the switch to a digital optical cable since the Denon receiver does not have 4k passthrough so I could no longer hook my PS4 Pro up to my Denon receiver and get the full features of the PS4 Pro. I hadn't really done a lot of gaming/movies w/ my surround sound as I was mostly gaming with headphones. A couple of months ago I got a 4k TV (Vizio P-Series Quantum). With the new tv I started utilizing my surround sound with movies from netflix/amazon/other built in apps but again, the only way to get the audio to my receiver was through digital optical cable (Deno AVR-590 has no HDMI ARC). I have done almost no research on audio for about 10 years so I didn't know much of anything about ARC/eARC or Dolby Atmos or any of the "new" things of last 10 years as I was content with what I was doing. Maybe it is a combination of me getting older ears or the digital cable impacting quality of audio available to me or whatever the combination may be, but I feel like I am hearing almost nothing from my Surround Back R/L channels (5.1) unless I am standing right next to them. I bought a new receiver today (Denon S540BT) but I'm reluctant to even open it now that I have it for fear that hooking up the HDMI ARC and utilizing an HDMI bandwidth which would allow HD Audio will not actually improve my audio experience. I have only heard two sound bars (one was a higher end the other was lower end) in a home setting and both sounded great. I had no issues hearing people talk, I was clearly picking up on smaller audio cues and overall was a better experience from what I currently have now. Will setting up the new receiver with HDMI ARC but still using the same Bose speakers really be better or should I just take this receiver back and get a decent soundbar and figure out something else for the Bose Speakers? When I first got my current setup and hooked it up with HDMI, I remember (it was 10 years ago so maybe I'm remembering wrong) my audio experience being pretty good. Is it me? I know it isn't the best thing in the world but does my setup just suck? Any help/advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,
-Z-
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-05-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Zanghor View Post
Hello, my current setup is a 10 year old Bose Acoustimass (10 series I think) with a Denon AVR-590 receiver. Around December 2016 (When I bought my PS4 Pro) I made the switch to a digital optical cable since the Denon receiver does not have 4k passthrough so I could no longer hook my PS4 Pro up to my Denon receiver and get the full features of the PS4 Pro. I hadn't really done a lot of gaming/movies w/ my surround sound as I was mostly gaming with headphones. A couple of months ago I got a 4k TV (Vizio P-Series Quantum). With the new tv I started utilizing my surround sound with movies from netflix/amazon/other built in apps but again, the only way to get the audio to my receiver was through digital optical cable (Deno AVR-590 has no HDMI ARC). I have done almost no research on audio for about 10 years so I didn't know much of anything about ARC/eARC or Dolby Atmos or any of the "new" things of last 10 years as I was content with what I was doing. Maybe it is a combination of me getting older ears or the digital cable impacting quality of audio available to me or whatever the combination may be, but I feel like I am hearing almost nothing from my Surround Back R/L channels (5.1) unless I am standing right next to them. I bought a new receiver today (Denon S540BT) but I'm reluctant to even open it now that I have it for fear that hooking up the HDMI ARC and utilizing an HDMI bandwidth which would allow HD Audio will not actually improve my audio experience. I have only heard two sound bars (one was a higher end the other was lower end) in a home setting and both sounded great. I had no issues hearing people talk, I was clearly picking up on smaller audio cues and overall was a better experience from what I currently have now. Will setting up the new receiver with HDMI ARC but still using the same Bose speakers really be better or should I just take this receiver back and get a decent soundbar and figure out something else for the Bose Speakers? When I first got my current setup and hooked it up with HDMI, I remember (it was 10 years ago so maybe I'm remembering wrong) my audio experience being pretty good. Is it me? I know it isn't the best thing in the world but does my setup just suck? Any help/advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,
-Z-

I think you'll be fine using the setup you have if your Bose speakers are compatible with the new AVR. If you use HDMI ARC from the TV, make sure the TV supports DD, DTS and DD+ over ARC. HDMI ARC will not support any HD lossless 5.1 formats like Dolby TrueHD or DTSHD-MA, so if you want to use them, the sources will have to be connected to the AVR first and the video will have to passthrough to the TV, so then you would have to make sure the new AVR will passthrough 4K 60FPS HDR video to the TV. Whether "HD" audio will improve your audio experience over DD/DTS 5.1 depends on your own ears. I don't have the $ to go HD audio or Atmos, so I can't say, but I doubt I would hear a difference large enough to justify the complex set up and cost. Sound bars are more of a cable and speaker form factor for ease of setup and a clean look rather than performance. I got a sound bar just because I didn't have any 5.1 system and wanted the convenience.
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