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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this is gonna be a fairly long post, but I want to make sure I give the right info to get the best advice. I recently moved into a new home and decided to upgrade my home audio and video setup. For the TV, I opted for a Vizio M651D-A2R and have so far been very pleased with it, especially the 3D! The audio portion has been a lot harder decision as I have a lot of specifics within my budget of $500-$600.

I have been using a Kenwood VR-715 Surround receiver for the last 12 years or so with the original subwoofer and I upgraded the original front and center speakers to a Pioneer Andrew Jones floor speaker set and center speaker 2 years ago. This improved the sound significantly for music and movies, and was getting the job done pretty well. Unfortunately, during the move, my receiver was broken. After 12 years I figure I got my money's worth and was actually very excited about upgrading. The logical move would be to buy a nice new receiver and upgrade my subwoofer and rear speakers, but this is unfortunately not an option for me as my wife desires a much more minimal approach in the new living room. More specifically, a soundbar or compact 2.1 system. I am not at all a fan of this, but keeping the wife happy is pretty important. But to keep me happy, I need some quality sound for both movies and music. The most appealing options I have looked at in my budget so far are:

The Vizio S4251w-b4

With this choice I could add the 5.1 speakers for a movie and then put them up during normal viewing. Concerned about the music quality though.

Bose Cinemate Series II

A lot pricier but very compact with what seems like much better sound quality. Unfortunately, it is limited on inputs and does not have Bluetooth.

Harman Karson SB26

Looks great on paper with Bluetooth and supposed awesome sound quality, but I am concerned about it being able replicate surround sound and fill a large open layout living room with no rear speakers like the Vizio or ability to spread them out like the Bose.

Please let me know your thought and opinions on these or any other recommendations you may have.

Also worth noting, I will be moving the pioneer floor speakers to my office and hooking to my computer through a Sony 2 channel receiver as a nice upgrade from a $50 Logitech set, so they won't go to waste.

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