Sound bar for TV

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Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:38 pm

Anybody have a rec for a TV sound bar? We just got a new TV and while it doesn't sound awful, the built-in speakers are nowhere near as nice as the ones that are built into our old Westinghouse (which is now in the bedroom). I don't want to spend a ton and my wife kind of vetoed a full HTIB solution, but I talked her into a sound bar. I showed her what they look like at wally world, but rather than just buy one off the shelf there I thought I'd look for a good recommendation. Seems like most of these things are in the sub-$300 range which is very doable for us.

BTW it's a 50" RCA LED we got on sale at Kmert. Nothing is going to be mounted on the wall, and there seems to be adequate space on the TV stand, which is 41" wide. I'd like to just set it in front of the TV on the stand, and we have about 4.5-5" before it becomes an obstruction.

Thanks!
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:43 pm

I went with a Yamaha sound bar for my 52" which works great! I think I picked it up for around 150ish on a sale day.

Edit: It's the YAS-101 model.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:45 pm

I, too, am looking for a good Soundbar recommendation. For reference, I'm using a 42" LG LN5300 (I think... it might be the 5400).
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:01 pm

I went with the sony HT-CT660. I had to downgrade from my full 5.1 system due to less space @ my new place, but it does an admirable job. Need to finishing proper EQ on it though
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:09 pm

YAS-101.

Amazing sound for the money, only real issue is that it lacks analogue inputs, but only medieval TV's lack digital out so you should be fine.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:13 pm

My dad got us this Samsung one for Christmas, and it works pretty well. The subwoofer is wireless, and the bar has bluetooth, so you can connect your smartphone to play music.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:19 pm

Hehe, was about to post a thread just on this subject, sound bars.

My friend has a Sony HT-CT660 and its pretty damn awesome for the price he go it for (less than 300 he told me).

I somewhat in the market for one right now but that Sony model is very alluring right now.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HT-CT660-46- ... B00C25I5TE
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:30 pm

Is there a reason you want a sound bar and not a studio monitor + amp solution (like the B652 + DTA-1 combo at PArts Express) as a cheap solution to sound?
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:52 pm

For around the $200 mark, the Yas101 is a decent option.

For $300 or a bit more, the Sony HT-C660 is supposed to be pretty good. If you can find it for $350 or less, I'd also take a look at theLG NB4530. A key element of sound bars is conserving the asthetics of flat-panel TV in a living room space. The NB4530 is the most elegant looking sound bar I've seen, complete with real aluminum materials (not all plastic like most). Though if not wall mounting, some of the asthetic benefit of the NB4530 might be wasted.

Reviews of LG NB4530:
http://www.whathifi.com/review/lg-nb4530a
http://www.trustedreviews.com/lg-nb4530 ... tem_review


Personally, unless mounting in the living room, I'd do what I could to avoid sound bars and just go with a pair of decent bookshelf speakers as this will get you more sound quality bang for your buck. Especially if I already had a receiver. And if I didn't, I'd be sorely tempted to spend the money on a pair of powered monitors. But I do acknowledge the asthetic and connectivity/operational drawbacks that could precipitate from a stereo speaker set up.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:04 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Is there a reason you want a sound bar and not a studio monitor + amp solution (like the B652 + DTA-1 combo at PArts Express) as a cheap solution to sound?

Just space mostly. I'd have to get a stand or a rack for a receiver (though the DTA-1 is tiny! Cute!), or speaker stands for the monitors and I'd like to avoid that. My TV stand is 40" wide but it only has 3 spaces and they're taken up by the DVR, the PS3, and the OG Xbox/Wii, respectively. The rest of the space is fold-out doors with media storage.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:16 pm

the LG and Samsungs are all amazing. Wireless Subwoofer a nice add on if it has one.

I've done the cheap soundbar (Vizio) and had nothing but synch issues (the optical would not work) and that one is now sitting on a shelf.

I've got one from The Source (they still exist in Canada) and am rather happy with the unit, the complaint is with the credit card remote.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:22 pm

Another kind of general question that will help narrow this down for me is the subject of digital audio. If I want to do digital out, I can't put everything into the TV and run the digital out of the TV, correct? My understanding is that the digital output of a TV is only for a signal brought in over the tuner, is that right? So the only output from the TV I could reasonably expect is the 1/8" stereo headphone jack, correct?

So I have a PS3 and a DVR from Comcast that both go out via HDMI, and a Wii and Xbox that are plugged into a component switch (so they share one input on my TV). My best bet is getting something that can take the HDMI inputs as well as an analog input, correct? That Sony that RtFusion linked has 3 HDMI inputs and an analog input. I'm thinking that might actually be my best bet. It has a third HDMI input so when I do down the road get a PS4 that can plug in as well. That might be the only way to do it "right" without getting a receiver and speaker combo.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:24 pm

Actually, both of my panel TVs output on the TosLink output whatever is playing into the TV speakers.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Hmm, weird. Maybe it's a limitation of my TV (which is an RCA LED 50" I got at Kmert for $460 last weekend on sale). The owner's manual says digital audio out will only work for the tuner and is not supported for HDMI inputs.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:17 pm

I was looking into getting one of the vizio sound bars for my Panasonic VT 30 55inch since I really don't have the money for anything better.
Luckily I have my gaming system hooked up to the same TV with a pair of OLD Advent powered partners studio monitor speakers that are quite good.
I ended up getting a Sound Blaster Z sound card that has optical in and out. I hooked up the optical out on my Cable set top box to optical in on my SB Z and it works great! No noticeable delay and lip sync is perfect. The reason I say No noticeable delay is because when I turn the volume up on the TV when the sound is coming out of the Powered partners it has a very slight echo sound that I am chalking up to a tiny bit of delay.
I know my PC's Monitor speakers sound a heck of a lot better then that vizio sound bar would have sounded. Almost audiophile quality for stereo.

One thing is for sure, With the new sound card the sound you hear is only as good as the recording itself. I have noticed that the 889 realtek chip would make it where you could not tell the difference between a good recording and a bad recording. But the 889 chipset sounds 200% better then the 600 series realtek sound chips that was in my Gateway 4860 series H67 i3 2125 w/HD7750 HTPC/light gaming rig that was hooked up to my monitor speakers before.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:42 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Hmm, weird. Maybe it's a limitation of my TV (which is an RCA LED 50" I got at Kmert for $460 last weekend on sale). The owner's manual says digital audio out will only work for the tuner and is not supported for HDMI inputs.

My old Panasonic TV is in a similar boat as yours, with one difference: other input sources can still output via the TV's optical out, as long as it is 2-channel PCM. For 5.1 Dolby Digital you need to be coming from OTA broadcast.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:46 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Hmm, weird. Maybe it's a limitation of my TV (which is an RCA LED 50" I got at Kmert for $460 last weekend on sale). The owner's manual says digital audio out will only work for the tuner and is not supported for HDMI inputs.

looks like they did not want to license the passthrough which would have added to the cost of the TV.

the other thing is to possibly give it a try to see... you never know the manual may be incorrect.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:32 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:Is there a reason you want a sound bar and not a studio monitor + amp solution (like the B652 + DTA-1 combo at PArts Express) as a cheap solution to sound?

Just space mostly. I'd have to get a stand or a rack for a receiver (though the DTA-1 is tiny! Cute!), or speaker stands for the monitors and I'd like to avoid that. My TV stand is 40" wide but it only has 3 spaces and they're taken up by the DVR, the PS3, and the OG Xbox/Wii, respectively. The rest of the space is fold-out doors with media storage.


You could just put 'em on the floor. My instinct is that real speakers will sound better than a sound bar, but I could be wrong. Good speakers could also do double duty for music playback.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:12 am

Arvald wrote:the other thing is to possibly give it a try to see... you never know the manual may be incorrect.

I have a pair of Behringer MS20s which have both optical and coax digital in. I can't get the TV to put out sound unless I hook up our digital OTA antenna and tune in. :(

FireGryphon wrote:You could just put 'em on the floor. My instinct is that real speakers will sound better than a sound bar, but I could be wrong. Good speakers could also do double duty for music playback.

Anything will sound better than the built in ones. :lol: I can have them on the floor I just have to give plenty of clearance for the doors of our TV stand since the doors have shelves built in as well.

For now I'll use the Behringers via the headphone output on the TV. It's better than nothing. Kind of wish I'd gone with the wider version of the stand, because then I'd have room to the sides to set the speakers, and then that could be a more permanent solution.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:47 am

I'm using NHT SuperPower system 2.1 connected to TV via TOSLINK with a Fiio D07 DAC. I use a preamp that came with the NHT system to control the sub/sats, but they no longer sell it. SQ is listenable, but no remote, so convenience is not so great. My room acoustics is not ideal, so may need to buy sound panels .

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug98/a ... ustic.html

http://www.nhthifi.com/SuperPower-2-1-D ... egory=3781
http://www.fiio.com.cn/products/index.a ... =105026003

I also looked at AudioEngine A5 powered monitors and Swan M50W sub/sat system.

http://www.swanspeaker.com/product/htm/view.asp?id=443
http://audioengineusa.com/Store?search=Audioengine+5
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:10 pm

So my wife wants a big area rug for the living room (which has a hardwood laminate), and anything in the 10x7 range is going to be big enough that it would hide speaker wires going from a receiver to surround speakers that could be placed on end tables that sit by our couch. So maybe I can convince her that waiting and using the Behringer speakers would allow us to get a reasonable 5.1 setup.

HTIB or separate speakers/receiver? I want something with HDMI switching because if I'm going to be fidgeting with inputs, I don't want to deal with "well some of this goes through the TV and some of it goes through the receiver" nonsense. Also, does adding a switching HDMI receiver add to input lag? Or does it basically just pass through the video signal while playing back audio? My new TV has way lower input latency than the Westinghouse before it, so now I don't really notice HDMI lag on my PS3, but I don't want to in the future, either. Looks like $300 would buy a nice enough Onkyo HTIB and a longer roll of speaker cable, and it's well reviewed on Amazon.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:40 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:So my wife wants a big area rug for the living room (which has a hardwood laminate), and anything in the 10x7 range is going to be big enough that it would hide speaker wires going from a receiver to surround speakers that could be placed on end tables that sit by our couch. So maybe I can convince her that waiting and using the Behringer speakers would allow us to get a reasonable 5.1 setup.

HTIB or separate speakers/receiver? I want something with HDMI switching because if I'm going to be fidgeting with inputs, I don't want to deal with "well some of this goes through the TV and some of it goes through the receiver" nonsense. Also, does adding a switching HDMI receiver add to input lag? Or does it basically just pass through the video signal while playing back audio? My new TV has way lower input latency than the Westinghouse before it, so now I don't really notice HDMI lag on my PS3, but I don't want to in the future, either. Looks like $300 would buy a nice enough Onkyo HTIB and a longer roll of speaker cable, and it's well reviewed on Amazon.

If your budget is $300, go with the Onkyo. If you can go a bit higher, start with the speakers you have and a Yamaha or Onkyo 5.1 receiver in the $350-400 range (make sure it supports OSD over HDMI, some of the cheapest receivers do not) and then begin building the surround system progressively.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:46 pm

Better yet don't get a suond bar all. I have not been blown away by them at all. In my bedroom I use a klipsch 2.1 computer speaker system that sounds better to me than any sound bar I have heard.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:31 pm

ludi wrote:If your budget is $300, go with the Onkyo. If you can go a bit higher, start with the speakers you have and a Yamaha or Onkyo 5.1 receiver in the $350-400 range (make sure it supports OSD over HDMI, some of the cheapest receivers do not) and then begin building the surround system progressively.

What am I giving up by not hooking up surround speakers right away? What I mean is, will the receiver know what's attached so I don't lose sounds that sound be in surround speakers?
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:33 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
ludi wrote:If your budget is $300, go with the Onkyo. If you can go a bit higher, start with the speakers you have and a Yamaha or Onkyo 5.1 receiver in the $350-400 range (make sure it supports OSD over HDMI, some of the cheapest receivers do not) and then begin building the surround system progressively.

What am I giving up by not hooking up surround speakers right away? What I mean is, will the receiver know what's attached so I don't lose sounds that sound be in surround speakers?

Yeah, just make sure you select the right speaker mode.
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:38 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:What I mean is, will the receiver know what's attached so I don't lose sounds that sound be in surround speakers?

If you're not hanging speakers off the receiver's surround speaker terminals, it won't automagically see that and remix the 5.1 into a pseudo 5.1/2.1. You'll need to delve into the receiver's menus to tell it to output pseudo 5.1 to a 2.1 speaker array. You may not like the outcome of the receiver's "translation effect".
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Re: Sound bar for TV

Postposted on Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:27 pm

OK that makes sense. Not in any hurry right ATM since the Behringers sound decent, but the more time we spend in the living room the more sense it makes.
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