1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

TV Soundbar advice please

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nortonrider, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    We finally broke down and bought a new TV:
    (like this one)

    The pic is great (Dish HD), but now I have to address the sound.

    The soundbar/subwoofer seems like the most popular option.
    I saw one with a tuner built in which interests me.

    Is the sound quality good enough to be used replace my stereo and play decent sounding music (CD's, etc...)?

    Any recommendations as to Brands, Price, etc...?
  2. Like everything, there's a big range in terms of quality and price. What sort of price range are you looking at? LG, Samsung etc. have sound bars that are decent yet fairly cheap.

    I was looking at sound bars but ended up getting a good deal on a 5.1 setup in the end.
  3. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If your stereo truly provides full-range sound, I wouldn't expect a sound bar to do the same unless it's a really good one and those aren't cheap. Another issue has to do with the number of sources- if you have Dish, CD/DVD/BD and others, a sound bar won't have enough input jacks. You can, however, connect all of your sources to the receiver and run speaker wires to a passive sound bar.

    Built-in TV tuner or for radio? I don't think I have seen either, to be honest.
  4. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    Depends what quality of sound you want.

    There are some pretty good soundbars out there + subs if you require it.....which you probably will if you want to play cd's.

    Don't go by the wattage rating of the sound bar.......wattage ratings don't dictate the sound quality.

    But........don't buy a cheapy soundbar either.....go to store and have a listen to different ones.

    Home theater is a slightly different sound experience from a good old 2-channel stereo.

    You absolutely HAVE to listen before you buy.

    I have a home theater rig with a hefty sub...........when I hear music on it from a movie it is not bad.........but I have a number of EQ options on the amp.....which I use to get the best sound I want.

    Only a handful of cd's are produced in 5.1........most are in the 2.0 format......so your home theatre amp will default to 2-channel stereo or it will try to convert it to stereo.

    I find that the sound sounds best when I'm on stereo setting for the home theater amp any........even when watching a movie.
  5. If you have a decent stereo, just hook it up to your TV. I have yet to listen to a sound bar that I would pay money for.

  6. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    The Sonos bar with sub sounds really good and it does fill a good-sized room, but A) they limit the maximum output, B) it lists at $1398 for the combo and C) there's no margin in Sonos, even for a high volume dealer, which means there's no deep discounting of the price.
  7. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    $1400. is waaaaaaaaaay to steep for me, heck, the TV was $400. and that was tough to swallow.

    I was thinking like $250. max!
    there seems to be quite few 5.1 surround systems available for that price point.

    I have a nice stereo, just not in the same room as the TV so I can't hook up to that.
    Thanks for the input, I guess I'm gonna just have to go shopping and see what;s actually available.
  8. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    If LG makes a sound bar, buy it. Then you should be able to do everything with one remote. Even if it doesn't have the best specs, not having to juggle remotes is a worthy tradeoff.

    That's how it worked with my Panasonic.
  9. If you have the room, I'd go with a 5.1 surround setup (well, I did).

    In that lower price range, the sound quality you'll get between a sound bar and surround sound is going to be fairly comparable and while the 5.1 will take up more room, it will give you true surround sound.

    I picked up an LG surround system and the rear speakers are wireless, which is nice, a small box plugs into the mains and acts as a wireless receiver and amplifier for the rear speakers.
  10. Depends on the TV and Sound system you are using. I have a Samsung TV and LG surround sound, the Samsung remote also controls the volume of the surround system (the TV automatically detects there is an external sound source). Heck, when I turn the TV off it turns the surround sound off too.

    Granted, it doesn't control the Blu Ray, Apps or Radio. But for the most part that isn't an issue (as it's primarily used just as a surround sound).
  11. I'm in the same boat as nortonrider, new HD flat screen in a relatively small room, I don't want to do 5.1 and run wires all over my bedroom, a good sound bar and decent sub should do. It's a typical master bedroom (around 25'X25'), and I just need a step up from the pure crap speaker system these flat screens come with. I don't even need a tuner or music capability, just for the TV/Video player.
  12. Sadly seems to be the trade off with them getting so thin (and with keeping within a price point).

    Your bedroom is bigger than my lounge... :spit:
  13. That would be cool. My flat screen is a Sony.

  14. I don't know if it's common to everything which uses HDMI, but it appears to be a communications protocol called Consumer Electronics Control (CEC):


  15. Sneakypete


    Jul 22, 2009
    My advice would be to not bother with a soundbar. I spent £400 on one and was rather disappointed - after six months I moved it to a bedroom TV and bought a Denon mini hi-fi with DAB radio and a CD player (also about £400). It fits in the same space under the TV and the sound is excellent. I'm not interested enough in TV to bother with all that surround sound stuff - a simple stereo setup is all I need.
  16. I have the 5.1 Sonos setup (Playbar, SUB and two Play:1's) and it sounds KILLER. The volume limit isn't an issue to me, as it's unbearably loud long before maxing it out for me. Granted, with the 2 additional speakers I suppose I get more volume from mine as well.

    That being said...the cost is insane. But I'm just enough of a gadget nerd to want it badly enough to splurge. With the two Play:1's for rear satellites, it came to $1800+. But the wireless bridge was free, and since I was talking to the Magnolia home theater guy in the Best Buy where I got it, he counted that as a "home consultation" and knocked off another $100 bucks. I've since picked up one of the Play:5 speakers that I can run my turntable into (it's the only Sonos speaker with a line-in to broadcast music across the other speakers in your setup) and an additional Play:1 in my bedroom.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Same here.

    The 2.1 system I installed in my kitchen would work great in a bedroom. I bought used Yamaha micro components and use two in-walls with a passive sub over the cab above the fridge so zero footprint room-wise. Everyone who's heard it with Fios TV, DVD and CD playback are shocked. I don't even have the 22" TV centered on the in-walls. All components are in cabs and I control them with a Logitech Harmony remote and an infrared repeater.

    I spent around the price of a midrange soundbar for the whole setup... but I understand some folks want new equipment and simpler installs. My kitchen rocks.

    BTW In my master bedroom I have some vintage Signet floorstanding speakers, a Definitive Technology center channel, flat panel surrounds and a Harman Kardon receiver. My bedroom rocks even harder.