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Soundbar help


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:23 PM

I have a Sony XBR 960 that has pretty decent sound, but I am intrigued by soundbars. I have a small room, don't want an elaborate system, minimal wires and such. Reading various reviews is tough as people have different expectations of these things.

There is a Samsung model on sale for around $300 incl tax. Has a sub woofer, blue tooth, 1 HDMI.

I'm obviously not looking for the Imax experience at home, but would like some type of surround type sound experience with an increase in lows.

What can I expect from a soundbar, is the audio experience dramatically better than reg good sound from the TV? Would a soundbar in this price range satisfy?

I know each person has their own expectations, just wondering about these things in general and if the sound experience warrants the cost. Thanks for any help.

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#2 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:24 PM

I have looked at several soundbars and have yet to find one with the connectivity I seek. With that being said they do sound better than a TV does. Best if you can audition them using media you are familiar with so you can decide the sonic characteristics for yourself.

I would also look at what you expect to connect to it and how so you don't grab something that won't do everything you wish.

I am a big proponent of the real thing however Yamaha has been producing a line they call "sound projectors" for some time now and these have an amazing presence. I am running one in a 736 sq ft room and its very satisfying. They run 42 or 22 little speakers (depending on the model) each with their own dedicated amp all built in to the bar and an external sub is advised. But their price tag is a bit high.

However they have been on the market for about 5 years meaning there may be some older inventory or third party units for sale on these. 2 Basic sizes the smaller of the two would be in your sizing range. If you do procure a used one be sure you get the microphone for proper calibration.

Just be sure whatever you buy it hooks ups the things you expect to in a proper manner and it sounds good to you.

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#3 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:54 PM

I have a HR 21 receiver from DTV, a blue ray player, and a Sony XBR 960. I wouldn't imagine that I should have issues with the connections.

Thanks for the response.

#4 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:36 PM

I have a Sony XBR 960 that has pretty decent sound, but I am intrigued by soundbars. I have a small room, don't want an elaborate system, minimal wires and such. Reading various reviews is tough as people have different expectations of these things.

There is a Samsung model on sale for around $300 incl tax. Has a sub woofer, blue tooth, 1 HDMI.

I'm obviously not looking for the Imax experience at home, but would like some type of surround type sound experience with an increase in lows.

What can I expect from a soundbar, is the audio experience dramatically better than reg good sound from the TV? Would a soundbar in this price range satisfy?

I know each person has their own expectations, just wondering about these things in general and if the sound experience warrants the cost. Thanks for any help.


Soundbars will produce better quality than TV speakers but pale in comparison with 5.1 and 7.1 systems. But if that's the way you want to go take a look at the Polk Audio Soundbar 3000. Retails for $349.99. If money isnt't a problem they have a more impressive line after the 3000.

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#5 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

I have no illusions about them vs 5.1 or 7.1. I just want something better than tv speakers, even though the XBR speakers are decent. I will give those a look, I was thinking about going up to $400. Appreciate the advice

#6 OFFLINE   hfa

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:57 AM

I have the samsung he450 280 watts plus subwoofer and the Boston Aus. tv30 300watts with sub .Love the samsung for its power and fullness and to date the sub has not cut off. SAMSUNG FOR SOME REASON DID NOT DESIGN ARC TO WORK WELL WITH SAMSUNG TV AND THAT IS THE BIGGEST COMPLAINT. Like the lighted display for inputs, volume level and hdmi. On soundbars , there is a problem with the wireless sub cutting out or loosing connection. The e450 has done very well and I like it more than the Boston tv 30. Bought it because of the Boston name and it has NOT Done Well. The sub cuts out all the time and the unit will not respond to your tv remote. It does not come with its own remote. When it works it is Great, but most times you are at your console pushing a button to lower volume or input and guessing as there is no display. There is no hdmi. PAID $299 FOR samsung AND SEE WHERE THE bOSTON TV30 went up to $599 - not worth the price.
Polk 6000 makes a good unit with hdmi. Like samsung. Try to stay around 180 to 300 watts with sub to have fullness and power. Could not use a 5.1 system and like the soundbar design and super easy connection.

#7 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:04 AM

By connectivity I mean digital inputs. Sorry if I wasn't clear. Although you may not be shooting for a 5.1 or more experience, the digital 5.1 input streams have a more open sound and more full dynamic range even on little speakers than a 2 channel PCM or analog inputs.

TV's usually have an optical out for the material processed on their own tuner and not a true 5.1 pass through for external inputs as most would like.

Again, its really what you like, can afford, and fits your requirements.

With three 7.1 set ups, one 5.1 set up, a Yamaha YSP-100, and a Bose 321GSGX operating currently in my home, I've played with more than a few toys over the years:grin:

Don "just a big kid livin the dream" Bolton

I have a HR 21 receiver from DTV, a blue ray player, and a Sony XBR 960. I wouldn't imagine that I should have issues with the connections.

Thanks for the response.


What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?


#8 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:50 AM

By connectivity I mean digital inputs. Sorry if I wasn't clear. Although you may not be shooting for a 5.1 or more experience, the digital 5.1 input streams have a more open sound and more full dynamic range even on little speakers than a 2 channel PCM or analog inputs.

TV's usually have an optical out for the material processed on their own tuner and not a true 5.1 pass through for external inputs as most would like.

Again, its really what you like, can afford, and fits your requirements.

With three 7.1 set ups, one 5.1 set up, a Yamaha YSP-100, and a Bose 321GSGX operating currently in my home, I've played with more than a few toys over the years:grin:

Don "just a big kid livin the dream" Bolton


Thanks Don, I misunderstood your post. I have a SONY XBR 960, it was top of the line back then, don't know about the inputs.

#9 OFFLINE   steve053

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:32 PM

Due to the WAF I went with a Polk Audio Soundbar and a sub about six years ago. It's a significant upgrade from any tv speakers that I've heard and I'm still happy with the overall sound - for both movies/tv and music.

That being said, it's not true 5.1.

Just note that the Polk soundbar connects via speaker wire, so you'll most likely need an AVR between the soundbar and your source.
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#10 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:02 AM

Stopped by Best Buy today and the guy suggested the Polk system hands down. The one for $349.

Seems like a pretty easy install, what is an AVR?? I asked about connectivity, just said I needed to plug it in and that was it.

#11 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:31 AM

Stopped by Best Buy today and the guy suggested the Polk system hands down. The one for $349.

Seems like a pretty easy install, what is an AVR?? I asked about connectivity, just said I needed to plug it in and that was it.

AVR = audio video receiver. The Polk 3000 uses the optical out of your TV so you don't need a receiver. It also has analog inputs. Also it's $305 on Amazon.
Just another old geezer killin' time till time kills me.

#12 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:46 PM

The more I read different stuff, the more confused I get.

Reading several web sites about soundbars and such. Many like it, some don't. Some say it knocks out their wifi connection. Some call it average, some really like it. Ugh.

Bottom line. For a smallish room, at that price point, would any of you suggest me going ahead with getting it?? Is this the best unit sound wise?

#13 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 07:03 PM

The more I read different stuff, the more confused I get.

Reading several web sites about soundbars and such. Many like it, some don't. Some say it knocks out their wifi connection. Some call it average, some really like it. Ugh.

Bottom line. For a smallish room, at that price point, would any of you suggest me going ahead with getting it?? Is this the best unit sound wise?


For $399.99 you could step up to Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Home Theater System. It's designed for small rooms and will give you the benefits of a 5.1 system.

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#14 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:10 AM

It doesn't look like these are wireless, unless I'm mistaken That would be a deal breaker, my wife doesn't want speaker wires running all over the room. I'm looking for a wireless system, soundbar wold be one option. Wireless speakers would be another.

The main problem I have with running speaker wires is this: My television is in the corner of the room, which is off the kitchen.


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This is the shape of my room. the television is in the corner where the Xs are. The line at the bottom is the wall where an L shaped couch sits that also runs along the other wall (where the Is are). The opening leads to the kitchen, so I don't have a wall or a floor area that i can run wires across. Id there any way to run wires with this room setup, or should I just use a soundbar due to the setup of the room??

Edited by miesque1127, 29 July 2012 - 12:28 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   hfa

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:13 AM

soundbars like the polk 3000/6000 do not have wires to run around the room. THEY are a soundbar and if included subwoofer. Most subs are wireless and can be placed 15/30 ft away from the sound bar. HOOKUP IS BY OPTICAL CABLE, RCA JACK/RED WHITE CABLE OR HDMI. Some split speaker systems like the samsung hwe550 allow the soundbar to split on each side of tv and the speakers have a 16 ft cord that connects from speaker to speaker and then optical cord to sub to tv. From your requirements it sounds like one of the polk soundbars is a fit . POLK SYSTEMS GO FROM 180 WATTS WITH SUB AT 80 WATTS TO 280 WATTS SUB AT 120/150 WATTS. Price range from $299 to $599. Sound bar for 5.1 systems do need speaker wire and some of the Bose 3.1 system But not the soundbar you are asking about. Most polk, sony, samsung and lg are hooked up as follows optical cord to the optical input on tv to optical input on the soundbar ,flip the on switch on the back of the soundbar check your wireless # 1-7 and match it to the wireless # on the sub set you low to high volume on the sub place the sub anywhere in the room set the soundbar below or above the tv plug soundbar and sub in an outlet and turn the soundbar and tv on. You can adjust from there. Easier than hooking up a blueray. Keep your box incase of return . Most folks here love a 5.1 system and i had and loved them for years until i moved to a complex where soundbars were the only way to go. Have a boston tv30, samsung hwe450 and zvok 555 soundbar and they are great - not 5 or 7 speakers, but good and fulfilling.

#16 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 03:21 PM

Thanks so much for the advice. Sounds like I should go the Polk soundbar route, if I'm looking for a wireless system. Seems like most are recommending the Polk as the best option for sound quality.

#17 OFFLINE   miesque1127

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:42 PM

One last thing.

There is an opening to the room, right next to the tv. I've been told that if a soundbar doesn't have 4 walls to bounce sound off of, they don't sound as good. Is this true??

#18 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:34 AM

I use a Rocketfish Wireless Speaker Kit. The transmitter connects to the rear speaker connections on my Onkyo and the receiver sits against the back wall where it plugs into a power outlet. It has wires to the rear speakers but depending on what you have back there you can hide them. They are available at Best Buy, Amazon, etc. BB has a better price than Amazon. Today. :lol:
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#19 OFFLINE   bnewt

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

has anyone been able to get their soundbar to turn on/off with the tv & also have the tv remote control the volume?????

If so, how did you connect?

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#20 OFFLINE   tuananhpl1

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:05 AM

Thanks so much for the advice. I need it






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