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So I've narrowed it down to Sony HT-ST7 and Bose Cinemate 130 since this is my price range.

Both are in a similar price bracket, which is better? Is Sony's simulated 7.1 a big advantage or just a gimmick? Which is the better sound experience?
 

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So I've narrowed it down to Sony HT-ST7 and Bose Cinemate 130 since this is my price range.

Both are in a similar price bracket, which is better? Is Sony's simulated 7.1 a big advantage or just a gimmick? Which is the better sound experience?
I own the HT-ST7 and while I like it Its not worth the asking price. I got mine as an open box from Best Buy for about $800 and It probably wasn't even worth that. I also own the HTCT660 and the YSP-1400 and it definitely sounds better than the 660 by a lot but I can't call it between the 1400 and the HTST7.

The Sony as I've posted also causes interference with 5GHz WiFi networks. You'll have to use the lower channels if you have a router that's in the same room as it.
 

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The HT-ST7 - It has actual midrange drivers and tweeters along with an actual subwoofer. Notice bose doesn't list or show what drivers they actually use or any of the technical specs? It's because they use tiny crap drivers with no tweeters and a 5 odd inch driver known as a "bass module" because it isn't even close to a subwoofer.

The 7.1 in the HT-St7 isn't a gimmick either - it doesn't simulate 7.1, it outputs actual 7.1 sound and uses the separate drivers for each channel. It has a huge soundstage and replicates side surround speakers well but it can't replicate the rears, so don't expect to hear things from behind.
 

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I own the CineMate 130. It blew my mind! It does a great job at simulating surround sound. I was watching the season finale of Walking Dead and when they are in the car surrounded by zombies I felt like I was there. When a door knocked behind the abusive father/husband I turned around to figure out who the heck was knocking at my door so late at night.
 
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