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plasticpenguin

Soundbars

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Do they make a big difference?

Reason for asking the question is currently the Sky box is rigged to the Leema which allows me to hear TV programmes and films through the PMCs. However, we are having our living room re-jigged after the festive break and this'll allow us to the TV and hi-fi around a little. The option is to use something like a soundbar as opposed to relying on the amplifier.

How close or how different will a soundbar be - sound quality wise - to my current set-up?

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The problem with sound bars IMHO is that they were originally conceived by Yamaha to use their sound beaming technology which of course is very expensive. All the cheap ones are just basically small speakers in a long thin box and suffer accordingly soundwise. Unless you need one for aesthetic reasons or can afford a proper one, i'd steer clear.

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Most are bought from Curry's need I say more :doh:

Joking aside unless your spending upwards or a grand by which time you could put that moneys in to a descent pair of active speakers they all sound pretty poor let alone the wireless subs they add to add presence that is totally lacking form sound bars ,

We did have the sky sound box which for the cash wasn't half bad but still not as good as two separate speakers either side the of ones tv , kefs new smaller actives look the part at a grand I'd place my cash there ,

Good luck 

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1 hour ago, Naimkiller said:

Most are bought from Curry's need I say more :doh:

Joking aside unless your spending upwards or a grand by which time you could put that moneys in to a descent pair of active speakers they all sound pretty poor let alone the wireless subs they add to add presence that is totally lacking form sound bars ,

We did have the sky sound box which for the cash wasn't half bad but still not as good as two separate speakers either side the of ones tv , kefs new smaller actives look the part at a grand I'd place my cash there ,

Good luck 

Hadn't thought about active speakers. But they'll need to be small, where they can hang on the wall or squeeze them on the TV stand.

Any suggestions will be welcome.

Cheers.

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2 hours ago, chebby said:

They look good. Might pop over to RS at some point over the festive period and get a handle on the scale.

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45 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

They look good. Might pop over to RS at some point over the festive period and get a handle on the scale.

This should give you an idea of the physical scale ...

gallery-mr1-01-2400px.jpg

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I quite like sound bars in certain circumstances.

  • Sound bars are handy for TV/cinema sound as they usually have a dialogue/centre channel that can be turned up so you can easily hear the dialogue in movies. 
  • They also usually have settings to compress the dynamic range which can make late night viewing easier/less neighbour annoying.
  • Separating the TV and hi-fi sound may also allow you to better setup the hi-fi and so improve your music listening. 
  • They are a big step up from built in TV speakers.

The Yamaha Musiccast Bar 400 and sub are about £500 and should be better than an inexpensive pair of active speakers for TV/movies as they have that dialogue channel. For music it is another story, and if all you use your TV for is a radio tuner and watching music events then my thoughts are best ignored. If you like the odd movie, however, then a sound bar is a great addition, especially if it lets you max out the hi-fi. 

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Sound bars are a significant step up from the speakers in a TV, but compared to Leema & PMC’s errr no. They are a convenience product, neat, not too many wires on show etc. Not really meant to compete with “proper” Hifi.

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4 hours ago, chebby said:

This should give you an idea of the physical scale ...

gallery-mr1-01-2400px.jpg

They look the part. Need to get a feel....

Got to see yet if I'm going to change the TV and how that pans out with the final moderations made to the living room. There's many more permutations. 

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Super Wammer

About a year ago, I bought the Harman Kardon SB10 soundbar, which comes with a sub. The reviews were favourable, but at around £300 I wasn’t expecting the Earth. It’s good when watching action movies, plenty of weight. It has a kinda pseudo surround, which is reasonably effective. Overall though, it’s not that impressive. The daft thing is that one can increase/decrease the bass, but no treble control, which it definitely needs. 

On the plus side, it’s very discreet, the bar itself is slimline and being able to site the sub anywhere in the room is great.

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Super Wammer

We were in a similar situation, PP.  I used to run the telly through the Hi-Fi when it was all along the same wall.  When we moved the living room was big enough to have the Hi-Fi one end (to listen down the length) and the telly sat across the room from the sofa. 

I chose a sound base, much like a bar but greater internal volume, so better sound.  We got a Canton, a regular Best Buy, about £300 from John Lewis where I could demo it. Richer often has them too. Has proper tone controls and you can Bluetooth to it as well. 

They are almost giving them away now, though there are newer models too.  https://www.richersounds.com/catalog/product/view/id/33033/s/canton-dm55-blk-1/category/100/

Edited by Nopiano

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On 16/12/2018 at 14:53, Nopiano said:

We were in a similar situation, PP.  I used to run the telly through the Hi-Fi when it was all along the same wall.  When we moved the living room was big enough to have the Hi-Fi one end (to listen down the length) and the telly sat across the room from the sofa. 

I chose a sound base, much like a bar but greater internal volume, so better sound.  We got a Canton, a regular Best Buy, about £300 from John Lewis where I could demo it. Richer often has them too. Has proper tone controls and you can Bluetooth to it as well. 

They are almost giving them away now, though there are newer models too.  https://www.richersounds.com/catalog/product/view/id/33033/s/canton-dm55-blk-1/category/100/

The Canton looks good. Until the living is done, It's all guesswork.

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Super Wammer

Not heard one but the following is designed and made to be used with a SKY Box it is designed and made by Devialet who make some very expensive other Digital gear .

https://www.sky.com/shop/accessories/soundbox?DCMP=knc-GOOGLE-nc-Soundbox-Sky

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Pp

In your situation, I'd stick to the leema/PMC stereo for movies as it will be far better/engaging than a soundbar.

If it's no longer a possibility due to moving your stuff around, then a decent sound bar can sound pretty awesome for a small outlay in cash.

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