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Advice for Stereo Home Theater Speakers or possibly Sound Bar (1 Viewer)

DDunn

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Hi everybody,

I have a new home and am setting up a temporary home theater room until I can build a more dedicated space in a year or two. I would very much appreciate some of your expertise on helping me with a simple set up. Here is what I'm looking for:

- I watch movies - not really any sports, gaming or anything of that nature.

- I would like good quality sound for motion pictures, with special emphasis on voice clarity. I currently have an older sound bar and a lot of time dialogue is very hard to hear in the mixes coming out of that thing. Having good voice clarity for dialogue in movie mixes is my top priority. I do not mean I am to the point where I need this artificially boosted in some way, just good clarity.

- Since I have young children in the home and this is not yet a dedicated theater space I do not intend to listen to things at very high volume most of the time nor with thundering bass, so getting those things is not really a concern or priority.

- I would like to spend $500 or less, but would spend up to $800 or so if there was something worth doing that for.

- Since this is a temporary setup for a year or two, I do not really care about surround at this time, so that is not a priority, but I would not reject this if a recommended soundbar system or something comes with surround speakers.

So in sum, I'm just looking for good quality sound for motion pictures in my budget with good vocal/dialogue clarity. If does not need to be especially loud or bass heavy - fine if it is, but that is not my priority.

Potential options to achieve the above:

- Simple stereo is fine for me - I understand this might be the best way to get good clarity in voices. So if this is the case, please advise on the best way to go about a simple stereo system (what speakers do you recommend, should I just hook them up via the headphone jack on the TV, etc.)

- If a sound bar will work for what I want and deliver good sound with good voice clarity then please direct me to one that you guys would recommend. I know some sound bars are more elaborate with center channel speakers, wireless subwoofers and other things, and that is all fine, too, as long as high quality voice clarity is kept as the primary concern.

- I know that a three channel system (stereo speaker and center channel) might be the best way, too. Any recommendations on doing this if this is the way to go?

There is so much out there to learn and it is pretty overwhelming for somebody new to this. I would be very appreciative for any advice you can give me related to this specific set of needs.

Thank you very much for your time.

David
 

John Dirk

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Welcome - First and foremost, verify your configuration is not somehow responsible for the muffled dialogue. In other words, make sure you have the appropriate sound mix selected in the TV menus.

Since you seem pretty resolute that this will be a temporary space and are not overly concerned about performance you might want to look into some HTIB packages. Here's a good primer if this interests you.

https://www.lifewire.com/best-home-theater-starter-kits-to-buy-4062692

Personally, however, if I were in your situation I would probably just continue with what you have and save the cash for your eventual permanent space. In your stated price range, whatever you might buy now would likely not be something you would want to later install in your dedicated space.
 

Jim517

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I would not waste my money on a HTIB. I would buy a decent receiver and the 2 or 3 front speakers. Then down the road add a sub and surround speakers if desired.
 

Lord Dalek

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A 3.1 sound bar, like an LG SL6Y or Samsung HW-R650, is probably the most affordable solution considering your current request. Voices traditionally come out of the center and having a dedicated channel for this will help prevent bleed from the left and right if you're mixing them together. Plus you can adjust it and add a wireless rear kit further down the line.
 

JohnRice

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- Simple stereo is fine for me - I understand this might be the best way to get good clarity in voices. So if this is the case, please advise on the best way to go about a simple stereo system (what speakers do you recommend, should I just hook them up via the headphone jack on the TV, etc.)
I think it's been mentioned, but that is the opposite of the case. You want a dedicated center channel for optimal dialog, which you can get in a soundbar, but soundbars also can do some weird stuff to reduce the number of drivers. Are you wanting to avoid having a surround sound receiver? there are two basic types of soundbars. Most are self contained, and very limited. There are a few "passive" ones that work like regular speakers, and you connect them to a surround sound receiver.
 

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