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Sound Bars?


The Monkey
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Ideally I'd like to get a real HT setup, but the reality is the funding and wife support simply isn't there at the moment. However, I am in the market for a Blu-Ray player. And I was also thinking about one of those soundbars that are being pitched instead of having 6 speakers. Are these things any good? If so, are there any that are relatively inexpensive? I'm pretty lo-fi when it comes to HT so I don't need a super high-end solution.

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Dinny ... I got a Yamaha YSP-1 4-5 years ago when it was the only game in town. Wanted it for a den for decent HT presentation, and it hasn't disappointed. It fit perfectly on the wall below a Panasonic 42" plasma. Sound is not even close to full on 5.1 or n.1 HT, but worlds better than the tv speakers. It has done what I wanted, and I am happy with it. Did a quick look, and it seems everyone makes them now, and they are pretty cheap. If I were buying now, think I would stick with Yammy or Denon, and it looks like $500-600 will get you something good.

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When I bought our HT setup last spring, it was for watching movies and I wanted the surround experience. So I got a smallish 5.1 HTIB (HT in a box). To ease the wiring issue, I got a "wireless" connection to the rear speakers, which was an additional option. Wireless here means that a signal is sent wirelessly to a small amplifier to which the two rear speakers connect via normal speaker wire.

The setup is a big improvement over TV speakers and gives fairly good sound (for a $700 system) for movies. A setup like this is non-obtrusive and may work for you aesthetically while still giving you surround sound. So you might want to look into this.

Disclaimer: I've never listened to a sound bar and am just assuming that it doesn't really do surround. An earlier post alluded to that too.

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I am also in the same predicament, as I want some kind of cheap home-theater setup that takes very little space but sounds nice. I was thinking two tall skinny speakers and a sub that can power the entire system (2.1 system I guess) , but this soundbar thing seems interesting as well. Any suggestions beyond the soundbar?

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I am in much the same. The nice Yamaha soundbars with the little calibration mic look good but my room and tv placement is going to present a lot of trouble and I want some assurance before dropping that much.

I wonder if I can get a trial from somewhere to try before I buy or buy and return etc.

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  • 11 months later...

The soundbars I've heard are a ripoff for what you get. I think you're better off with some cheap Insignias.

I bought these like 7 years ago for $45. Much better sound than the bars I've experienced.

I've been meaning to upgrade forever but never do because these 'aren't broken'. The tv on the other hand, is getting upgraded soon, hence the wire mess.

TV_December2010.jpg

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How would the Quad 12L Actives do for this?
Dew et.

If you still need to go soundbar because of the form factor and/or WAF, there is (probably) one sound bar that would be good, but I forget which one it is. The Yamaha? Or rather, one of the Yamahas? They use the same technology as passive radar arrays (in reverse, obviously) to "direct" the sound, by phase delaying each driver based on the input, and which channel it corresponds to. Maybe they all use that now, I don't know.

Here is a bunch of reviews.

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