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Sound bar systems

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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 123audiovideo



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Posted February 25 2009 - 06:09 AM

Can any one recommend any good sound bar systems under $600? Also, please share your experience with them. I am planning to buy this system for my living room.

#2 of 7 Kevin Stewart

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Posted February 25 2009 - 07:49 AM

I'm not a big fan of soundbars due to their limitations. You need to remember that they work by attempting to bounce the sound off of walls. So, in order for them to work, your display (assuming the soundbar will be directly below it) needs to be in the exact center of the wall. Additionally, the adjoining wall surfaces need to be the same. In other words, if you have a flat wall on one side and a bookcase (or fireplace or curtains or anything else) on the other wall, it won't work. They also limit the audio effect to basically one seating position (the one directly in front of the display). If you have a couch that seats 3 people, only the person in the middle will hear things correctly. If you have a chair or loveseat of something else off to the side, the effect will be even worse.
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#3 of 7 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 25 2009 - 09:17 AM

You need to remember that they work by attempting to bounce the sound off of walls.

Not all soundbars do so. Some acheive their affect by sophisticated computer-controlled delay patterns that fool the ear into "placing" the sounds somewhere else in the room. These systems are adjustable to compensate for placement and will even work in rooms with open sides. Any single speaker design is going to involve compromises, but in some application they are the best among a number of different compromises.

I looked into soundbars ages ago when when my brother-in-law was thinking about adding a sound system in his very open plan and accoustically awful family room. The alternative would have been something like a Bose system because my sister would insist on virtually invisible speakers and in-wall was not an option. (Surround placement - assuming my sister didn't veto those based on wiring alone - would also have been hideous. The couch is over 10 feet from the back wall, there is a sunken bar on one side of the room, a metal spiral staircase leading to the open loft on the other, and 20 foot ceilings throughout.) Sadly I didn't keep any of the links I looked at during my search, so I don't know which systems aren't dependent on reflecting off walls. But a little Googling should turn them up quickly enough - and probably a few others that I missed or that weren't around at the time.



#4 of 7 Kevin Stewart

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Posted February 26 2009 - 02:33 PM

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
Not all soundbars do so.

Sorry, should have said "any soundbars under $600", which is what the OP was inquiring about. I don't think any sub $1000 soundbars have delay patterns.
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#5 of 7 alexle92



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Posted March 05 2009 - 11:58 AM

I just purchased a Sony HT-CT100 which is a 3.1 Soundbar + Sub package. I have a fairly small room at 14x14 so the 3.1 simulated surround sound is pretty good. I picked it up at Best Buy for $280 regular price $329.99. It also has 3 HDMI ports which is great for the price. I highly recommend it if you have a small space!

#6 of 7 xxl2



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Posted October 29 2012 - 06:55 AM

so let me get this right if i have stuff like train layout in back a sound bar wont work good

#7 of 7 Dave Upton

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Posted October 29 2012 - 07:49 AM

A sound bar will work fine for dialogue and limited reproduction of the multi-channel listening experience, but it will always be somewhat obvious that the sound is originating from a single source. It depends how picky you are and what your listening goals are. If you just want something better than TV speakers, a soundbar can be an excellent choice - but only you know how much "surround" you want in your sound.

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