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Soundbars - the good, bad and the ugly?


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#1 vetAndrew Lyle

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 00:37

Hey Neowin!

I'm trying to decide what is the best option for my new home.

I was originally planning on running speaker wire from the main entertainment wall in my living room, to the ceiling behind the chairs.

However, before the walls go up in my house, I've noticed running wire could be very difficult, just how the builder has things built.

I noticed a really nice sound bar at bestbuy today and began thinking about an alternative solution to hardwiring my living room.

I'm not an audiophile so sound isn't going to make or break my entertainment experience.

Does anyone here have / had a sound bar? What did you like about it, hate, and would you recommend it to anyone?

Thanks!


#2 HawkMan

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:04

If the look is important, check out the samsung convertible, if the sound is important, check out Yamaha or Arvani Ergosound II

LG HLX56S also scored best in test at a AV magazine here. seems very bulky though, if you want built in BD, it woudl probably be better to go with one of those with vertical slot loading.

#3 Jub Fequois

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:22

My brother got himself a Harman/Kardon soundbar + sub of some sort. It sounds remarkably well for what it is. I'm used to my (quite large) audio system and obviously you can't compare the two, but for movies the soundbar solution isn't bad at all! Just go to an audio store and ask to try it out yourself.

On an unrelated note, one of my cats just closed my laptop and lay down on it, so I'll take that as a sign to go to sleep.

#4 Raze

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:27

I have a Yamaha soundbar and love it. I have it wired with digital coax from the cable box and HDMI from my Blu-ray. It has an excellent sound stage, accurate placement of instruments for music and good surround for movies. For the small size it puts out very reasonable volume levels. I compared several at our local electronics store, Samsung, JBL, Boston, Polk, Klipsch, Panasonic, Sony, Harmon and Bose. For the money and sound quality I chose the Yamaha.

For me I would rank them as 1. Yamaha 2. Klipsch 3. Panasonic 4. Sony 5. JBL 6. Samsung 7. Boston 8. Harmon 9.Bose I did not care for the Vizio and the Bose are stupidly overpriced. The LG was not hooked up, but I've heard them before and they have a good sound.

Check the connection type you have, HDMI, digital coax, and/or digital optical. Most soundbars have multiple connections and types.

#5 jerzdawg

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 16:10

If wires are the only issue. Consider a decent 3.1 setup as the quality will be significantly better than a sound bar. Surrounds obviously add to a movie experience but a nice 3.1 is still great for movies


#6 OP vetAndrew Lyle

Andrew Lyle

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  • Joined: 15-December 03
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1

Posted 03 February 2013 - 16:11

Thanks :)

I'm just looking for a midrange soundbar, just to see if they really are right for my house. My living room is 16'2 x 13'6, so I think it would be fine for my size house.

#7 HawkMan

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 16:21

If wires are the only issue. Consider a decent 3.1 setup as the quality will be significantly better than a sound bar. Surrounds obviously add to a movie experience but a nice 3.1 is still great for movies

Good sound bars are 3.1 with wireless sub, excellent sound bars like the Yamaha's use array speakers with tens of speakers, to not only make it 3.1 but also very great surround, by taking a step beyond virtual surround using the array to make the sound waves "collide" behind you.

#8 z0phi3l

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 16:22

Mom has a Vizio 2.1 soundbar setup and it sounds remarkably well for what it is, you get a nice bass thump in action and war movies and the bar itself does a decent job at mimicking surround sound, it's not top of the line great, but for the average movie watcher should do nicely

#9 jerzdawg

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:13

Good sound bars are 3.1 with wireless sub, excellent sound bars like the Yamaha's use array speakers with tens of speakers, to not only make it 3.1 but also very great surround, by taking a step beyond virtual surround using the array to make the sound waves "collide" behind you.

Nice, wasn't aware how good the sound bars could be.



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