1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Soundbar questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by Dswankey, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    What I'm hoping to achieve with this thread is answers from folks here who currently use a soundbar.

    I do not watch a lot of television when I do it's either a sporting event, documentary, nature show or the occasional series and movie. I think we can all agree that internal speakers of most TV's these day sound terrible. I'm just looking for somewhat better sound and clearer dialogue

    My first question

    If I get one that has the ability to decode 2.0 & 5.1 does the unit itself know to switch between the 2 specific to the programming?

    What is HDMI (ARC)? as opposed to Optical and I hope this doesn't open a can of worms but from experience which would you say is most preferable?

    Do soundbars play well with OTA programming and the accompanying audio signal?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. valvenator

    valvenator curious bystander, serious procrastinator Subscriber

    first: a BUMP:beerchug:

    second: I don't ever remember TV speakers not sounding terrible.

    Well, except for my uncle's all in one console that wasn't all that bad.
     
  3. kwkshift

    kwkshift Member

    Messages:
    80
    Usually, if it's a crappier soundbar, it will downmix to 2.0, no matter what signal it is fed. Nicer ones that have multi-channel ability can play in 3.0, 3.1 (with a matching subwoofer), or even 5.0 - 5.1 (again, with a matching subwoofer).

    Soundbars can go from about $100 for a basic Polk or similar, to $1000+ for something like these:

    https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/sound_bar/ysp-5600/index.html

    Or, if you want a real beast that can do Atmos and everything else you can throw at it check out:
    https://us.creative.com/soniccarrier/

    I have demo'd it and it's wild.
     
    Dswankey likes this.
  4. slimecity

    slimecity Super Member

    Messages:
    2,891
    Location:
    New Zealand
    There is a home theater section in AK - you may need to move this to get more responses ...
     
    Dswankey likes this.
  5. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Thanks for the feedback!

    As for the Yamaha and the Atmos great suggestions but I'm not planning on spending a lot of money as I just want to upgrade the sound plus I don't watch enough to warrant the expense. I will say that I won't be going the cheap route either. I'd like to be in the 2 to 4 hundred range
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  6. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Good call, I did not realize that there was a home theater section
     
    slimecity likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,022
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I'm in your camp as well. I don't watch a lot of TV--news, weather, sports, documentaries and re-runs of ancient shows--not a big movie buff, and the ones that I do like to drag out occasionally are too old to have modern encoding for audio. I WAS an early adopter of HT (5.1) a couple of decades ago, but it just wasn't worth it--running wires everywhere, placing speakers everywhere, and the constant "need" to upgrade to the next best thing--why do you think used AVRs are a dime a dozen?

    I use soundbars with a sub on all of my TVs, and they all fall in the $200-500 price range. They are all wired (no wireless BS), and they do just what I need. They can fill the room with sound, and can simulate/expand an HT effect--I know--they are not a "proper" HT set-up, but CNN is not THAT much better in 9.2 than 2.0.

    And yes--the speakers in most TVs suck--but what do you want out of something that has to work in a 1.5" space? My laptop has "Dolby Advanced Audio by Harman Kardon", but it ain't no stereo, either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Dswankey likes this.
  8. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    Since you rarely watch TV, avoid the expense of a soundbar and turn on your TV's closed captions.
     
  9. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,506
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    I use a ZVOX Sound Base that works great for my bedroom application and has a sub out also.
     
  10. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Seriously? I never said I rarely watch tv and the purpose of the thread in my initial post is to find some answer to the questions posed.
     
  11. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,226
    Location:
    Piney Flats, Tn.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Location:
    west Texas
    The speakers that came with my Elite Pioneer Plasmas are very acceptable for most tv listening. Yes the bass falls off rapidly starting around 70 HZ, but that's OK.
     
  13. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    Clearly I misunderstood your statement.
     
  14. galactus2

    galactus2 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Virginia
    Your question about ARC is that is an Audio Return Channel. It’s on most of the current TVs and from what I understand, it allows the audio pass-through from a blu ray or DVD player connected by HDMI to the TV. Someone more technical than me can explain it better.
     
  15. Aspen

    Aspen Active Member

    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Actually the "return" part means that the audio returns from the TV to your receiver for playback. If you are watching OTA tv or the web via a smart tv your can return the audio so you can play over speakers hooked up to the receiver using one one HDMI cable between the receiver/soundbar and your TV.
    It can be tricky to get to work properly so you may end up getting the audio out of the TV by digital optical/coax or RCA cables. What audio out does your TV support? Most will only support 2.0 out from the TV and maybe or may not be both digital and analog. Figure out what the TV can do then look at soundbars and if they are compatible.

    Pass through is a feature in a receiver that allows you, for example, to watch a cablebox show connected from the cablebox to a receiver then to the TV on your TV without having to turn on the receiver. The signal can passively "pass through" the receiver. Usually only the last source selected on the receiver before powering off can be watched this way.
     
  16. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
    16,364
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    IME just about all TV's will support 5.1 on the digital output when using the TV's internal tuner. When using an external source many only support 2.0 on coax/optical out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Thanks for the replies, I put the soundbar purchase on the back burner for the time being.
     

Share This Page