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· Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved into an apartment and don't want to string wires for my surround system. Anyone have any experience with the Polk Audio SurroundBar?
 

· Registered
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5,915 Posts
Not the polk one, but I have heard to Yamaha one and it was pretty decent.

Obviously not quite as good as dedicated speakers in each location, but as long as you have a pretty standard square type room, it sounded pretty darn good. Was not as good in an open space though as it did not have anything to reflect the sound off of.
 

· Dry as a bone
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12,321 Posts
The SurroundBar or the SurroundBar 50?

I don't have either, but can mention a couple of things:

1. The SurroundBar 50 is one of Home Theater Magazines top pics, but they don't recommend the regular SurroundBar.
2. As with any soundbar, it's dependent upon your room. If you have one wall that's just sheetrock and another that has a curtained window, it might not work that well. It's designed to "bounce" sound off of existing wall. For the same reason, if the soundbar isn't centered on the wall (with equal distance between it and the adjoining walls), it might not work well either (sound from one side will arrive to your ears at a slightly different time than sound from the other side which will create and echo effect).
3. If you can center your TV, your room is fairly symmetrical and you don't have any accoustical issues, the SurroundBar 50 should work well for you.
4. The ZVOX 425 is also a top pick and it's a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 50.
 

· Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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5,178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ZVOX works with your existing system, or no? I have three optical inputs and don't want fewer.

The room isn't perfect for such a thing, but it need not be perfect. Once I can sell my house in Michigan in a year or two, I hope to buy something out here and I'll build speaker wire into the room. ;)
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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36,634 Posts
I did a pretty long demo of the Polk SurroundBar and didn't end up buying it. it would have been good for my room if I had only one person, but I ended up feeling that the surround "zone" was too small for more than one person at a time. I didn't think that the sound was weird or out of phase when out of that zone but I did not get the surround effect.
 

· Old Guys Rule!
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5,048 Posts
As stated above, soundbar performance is tied to room dynamics (size, shape, placement, wall material). At best, you get 3.1 sound with apparent rear surround depending on your seating position. In a less than ideal situation, you'll lose that rear surround feel.
If you don't have an existing HT receiver, you could consider a Home Theater in a box (HTIB) system with wireless rears for the same price as a quality soundbar.
 
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