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Sound Bars, Worth Buying?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Rich, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've considered that method of purchasing. To me it actually makes sense. I can't believe that 650 was that bad, could it have been defective in so many ways? I've never seen any speaker boxes that had subwoofers built in them (I have two Polk tower speakers that have the subwoofer setup) that worked as well as a stand alone woofer.

    I tried a Yamaha AVR a few years ago, left me wondering how good Yamahas are. I know Cholly likes them. I didn't look at their woofers.

    Rich
     
  2. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    I think I'm finally done buying audio equipment. When it comes to speakers, I am rather prejudiced. I have a pair of Acoustic Research AR-3 speakers I bought in 1960 at a Poughkeepsie Audio Society meeting. My only regret is that I didn't take AR's offer of a free upgrade of my speakers to AR-3A's They still have great sound after all these years. If I had the money and wanted a new home theater sound system, I'd certainly be looking at Definitive Technology, Martin Logan or Bowers and Wilkins. Not being that wealthy, I'm very happy with my Paradigms. As to economy speakers, I really like my Energy Take Classic 5.1 system in my bedroom. Energy speakers are a Klipsch Canada product.
    I've had AVR's by Pioneer, Onkyo and Philips in the past in addition to the now 3 Yamaha receivers currently in use. Before the onset of 5 and 7 channel systems, I built a monophonic musicians amplifier from plans in Audio Engineering magazine in the late 40's or early 50's and teamed it with a Radio Craftsmen FM/AM tuner and a Jensen bookshelf speaker system. I gave them to my father when I went into the Army. I built a very good Knight kit stereo amplifier from Allied Radio in 1960. the quality of which surprised the folks from Macintosh labs when I took it to one of their amplifier clinics. I used it for many years along with a Dynakit FM tuner and preamp and the AR's. I initially had a Rek-O-Kut turntable with Shure arm and cartridge and later went to a Dual turntable, which I still have. I've had tape recorders by Eico, Magnecord and Ampex.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I got the Polk Omni SB1 soundbar yesterday and hooked it up. It came with practically no instructions or links to an online manual. I got it working, it sounds great. Cheap, little remote. About the size of a credit card. Wouldn't you think a device that originally cost almost 700 bucks would have a decent remote? Geez.

    I finally found a couple You Tube videos that sort of explained the proper hookup and how to program other remotes for controlling the volume. I tried to program my remotes and didn't do well. This morning I found the online manual and got better instructions.

    The subwoofer is impressive. The Samsung SBs kinda melded the bass sound into the rest of the audio, the Polk SB's subwoofer is distinctly separate. Much better.

    Comparing the Polk and the Samsung 450: The 450 does more, it can hook up to my TV via Bluetooth, it has a very clear display for volume and other options on the front of the SB, the Polk just has a few LEDs that tell you what's going on--not very easy to tell anything. The 450 has a much nicer remote. Lots of better things about the Samsung, but the Polk sounds much better and that's got to be what influences anyone buying a SB, right? I think so.

    I'll keep working on the Polk. I did find another Samsung model that might be better than the 450. If I become dissatisfied with the Polk (I was ready to send it back last night) I'll give that a try. I'll be back...

    Rich
     
  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I think I have everything fixed on the Polk. It appears to be a keeper! I was getting really discouraged...

    Rich
     
    jimmie57 likes this.
  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I've got the Polk mini in my bedroom and it is fine for that use. Since the bar is so narrow there isn't much separation.

    Got the Samsung kW950 in the front room. It is wonderful! Has some upfiring speakers for Atmos support and is plenty wide for decent separation. Got its own set of quirks, which seems to be pretty standard for Samsung since the tv and 4k player from Samsung also have their own twitches.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. camo

    camo Godfather

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    The Zvox Soundbar SB700 came in today. Doesn't take the place of a full surround system but sounds very good on both movies and music. The only other soundbar to compare with is the Sony XT1 and this wins hands down.
    Easy hookup 5:1 through optic cable (No ARC) and setup with Dish remote easy. If using Sony TV make sure TV speakers is off, Audio system on and select digital audio out (audio 1).

    It has a feature I don't need yet for slightly hearing impaired called accuvoice, I'll recommend for anyone that struggles with understanding dialog.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Samsung products always seem to have glitches...but you can't beat them for things like PQ. That SB you have: I just looked on Amazon, almost $1200! Frugality stops me from buying that.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I did check out the ZVox SBs you mentioned in an earlier post. Again, frugality strikes...

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The Polk Omni SB1 is settling in nicely. Now I'm looking for a remote I can use to replace the cheap credit card sized remote that it came with. I'm gonna try one of my old TiVo peanut remote and see if that is satisfactory. There is a rather interesting learning curve with the Polks, apparently Polk folks don't like to go into much detail about the features of their products. Just programming remotes is a trip.

    Rich
     
  10. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Since I bought a new house I've been spending money like a drunken sailor on liberty in Olongapo!! :) Got mine for a shade less than $1K as "new open box" or some such on Amazon.

    For all its quirks and glitches, it is one fine sounding soundbar, rivals many standalone setups IMO.
     
    Rich likes this.
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Break out the plastic and get a Harmony One! :)
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm gonna start a thread about Harmony remotes...coincidentally. I gotta stop the remote spread in my rooms.

    Rich
     
  13. camo

    camo Godfather

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    I purchased a couple Klipsch Reference Premiere Bookshelf speakers RP-160M that sound like full blown towers, even in stereo mode blow my soundbar away. I'm so impressed by the Klipsch speakers I'm going to piece 5 or 7:1 maybe atmos receiver system together.
     
  14. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I have a Sonos playbar and sub and love it
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Well, I've had the Polk sound bar for almost two months and I'm thinking about selling all my speakers and AV units and buying another one. I just can't say enough about this sound bar, it's good enough to make me give up my AV systems. Of course, I plan to buy additional speakers to turn the SB into a 5.1 system, that seems easy (and expensive) to do.

    Rich
     
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