Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

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Alexa9
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Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:04 am

Looking for a home theater stereo and floor speakers. Not that interested in surround sound (room is not good for it) but may be in the future.

Yamaha Bluetooth Audio & Video Component Receiver Black (RX-V385BL)
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Bluetooth ... b_title_ce

Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Floor-Standing Speaker - Pair (Black)
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CS3-4-Dr ... r+speakers

How is this for a basic setup? Should I be spending a bit more on anything and what will that get me? Thanks. I like that this stereo has HDMI input/ouput. The speakers are highly rated for a budget but I'm sure I could find some higher grade ones if it's worth paying more.

stan1
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:10 am

We've moved away from home theater to a nice TV with a sound bar and that's worked well for us. Pluses include much easier to set up and operate since we just use the TV remote and no need to dust off stacks of AV equipment. If you don't have a new TV I'd consider upgrading the TV to one that has an internet connection with built in apps for streaming services and an integrated or attached sound bar before I spent $500 or more on a traditional receiver/speakers. I do realize some people might have a strong preference for better sound quality but the arrangement I describe has worked well for us and the simplicity is a nice bonus.

rebellovw
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:12 am

I'd go with some small satellite speakers such as def tech which are very reasonable in cost or step up to well reviewed kefs ls50

Then get a great sub like something from rythmik.

It's a 2.1 and would have a small footprint and put those sonys to shame.

Dottie57
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:14 am

stan1 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:10 am
We've moved away from home theater to a nice TV with a sound bar and that's worked well for us. Pluses include much easier to set up and operate since we just use the TV remote and no need to dust off stacks of AV equipment. If you don't have a new TV I'd consider upgrading the TV to one that has an internet connection with built in apps for streaming services and an integrated or attached sound bar before I spent $500 or more on a traditional receiver/speakers. I do realize some people might have a strong preference for better sound quality but the arrangement I describe has worked well for us and the simplicity is a nice bonus.
I agree. Too much to contend with in home theatre and am happier with soundbar.

What I do miss is my old kg2 klipsch speakers.

gundlached
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by gundlached » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:15 am

Sony does not have a good reputation for speakers. For speakers, go with a company that only makes speakers (i.e., avoid those that also make tvs or receivers), with the notable exception of Pioneer Andrew Jones series.

LarryAllen
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 am

We got the big old system and NEVER use it. Watch TV too much but never use the surround sound. Wouldn't bother with it when we move. Waste of money to us.

quantAndHold
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:24 am

At the last house, I used a receiver I already had, and a pair of audiophile quality Polk speakers. It sounded awesome.

In the current house, the room layout is different (no room for the receiver), and I just use a good quality soundbar and subwoofer. The audiophile speakers sounded better (of course), but when I’m watching a show, it’s not something I would ever notice. The main advantage to the receiver and speakers was when the TV was turned off and I was listening to music. A $3-400 home theatre system isn’t going to sound that much better than a $3-400 sound bar, and the sound bar is easier to deal with.

gundlached
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by gundlached » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:26 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 am
We got the big old system and NEVER use it. Watch TV too much but never use the surround sound. Wouldn't bother with it when we move. Waste of money to us.
You can hook it up to the cable box so that the cable remote controls the volume

squirm
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by squirm » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:26 am

I've never liked separate speakers for the TV, we just use the built in ones...However for speakers, I like Sonos.

squirm
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by squirm » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:28 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 am
We got the big old system and NEVER use it. Watch TV too much but never use the surround sound. Wouldn't bother with it when we move. Waste of money to us.
I remember when I bought the surround speakers for a big CRT I had...that was when surround was all the rave...never enjoyed it....didn't seem to fit that the sound was coming from all directions and the picture is right in front....Maybe cause I'm older, or maybe wiser, but the plain TV speakers seem to be the best fit for us.

rebellovw
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:29 am

Like I said 2.1 with focus on best sub you could afford. Rythmik makes fantastic subs at very reasonable prices. You could pick up some bookshelf sats on Craigslist if your budget is tight and upgrade them later if you decide you are into it. The Yamaha is fine.

rebellovw
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:31 am

I can see not liking surround if you had a crappy setup. It really shouldn't be obvious and distracting and doesn't take a lot of money to get right.

squirm
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by squirm » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:36 am

rebellovw wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:31 am
I can see not liking surround if you had a crappy setup. It really shouldn't be obvious and distracting and doesn't take a lot of money to get right.
I think the problem for us was when I turn on the TV I'm not looking to be dazzled with sound, I really don't care what the newscasters sound like and when we get home from work, the last thing I want is blasting TV sound....come to think of it, we don't even watch much TV, except for the local news and some sitcome reruns.

But I think Sonos makes good quality speaker products.

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tyrion
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by tyrion » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:39 am

We recently moved and went the sound bar route for the downstairs TVs. They just look cleaner, and wireless subwoofers are great for watching movies and are easy to hide away in corners.

Now in the bedroom, I have my ‘old’ Onkyo home theater receiver set up with some new ELAC bookshelf speakers and a wired subwoofer. I have rediscovered the joy of listening to music. It also works for the TV sound, of course.

In my speaker research, I found that most people agree that a subwoofer is valuable/necessary for home theater. Optional for music - depends on what you listen to of course.

I would say look at ELAC Debut, Kef Q100 and pioneer Andrew Jones speakers - all should be in the same price range as the Sony speakers. Bookshelf plus subwoofer works well, or floor standing with or without sub.

rebellovw
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:43 am

squirm wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:36 am
rebellovw wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:31 am
I can see not liking surround if you had a crappy setup. It really shouldn't be obvious and distracting and doesn't take a lot of money to get right.
I think the problem for us was when I turn on the TV I'm not looking to be dazzled with sound, I really don't care what the newscasters sound like and when we get home from work, the last thing I want is blasting TV sound....come to think of it, we don't even watch much TV, except for the local news and some sitcome reruns.

But I think Sonos makes good quality speaker products.
Definitely. News is horrible in stereo.

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Alexa9
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:39 pm

The built in TV sound is pretty bad on most TV's. Soundbars are pretty good but not enough for understanding British dialogue. I think floor speakers are ideal for action movies without excess bass that a subwoofer brings and also great for music in the living room. Bookshelf speakers are decent but not enough low end for movies. I do notice that there is a wide range of the floor speakers that I've looked at from $99 Polk to $5000 Dynaudio.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:26 pm

Personal preference: I would not settle for a soundbar. We have 3 TVs with an AVR and 5.1 (and up) speaker setups. DW was initially hesitant, but now she really loves the systems.

I would check out the AVS forums for speaker recommendations. I have a strong preference for internet direct (ID) speaker companies over most "brand name" speakers sold by the big box stores.

Good luck!

rebellovw
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:39 pm

You do not sound like an audiophile or HT'phile - I think you should buy locally where you can listen (take home and listen) and see if it works for your specific interests and take back if it doesn't.

Not to many options- I was at Bestbuy last week and they had two nice towers that would fit your bill - one from Polk and one from Klipsch.

You can take back if you do not like them and try the other - just make sure the packaging looks exactly the same as when you bought them (also check their policy - my guess is they will definitely take returns.)

Best of luck.

iamlucky13
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:53 pm

Speakers seem to me to be tough to make recommendations for, because it's difficult to know what different users's expectations are. Those Sony's are no doubt pretty decent, and I expect will not only far overpower any similarly priced sound bar (in addition to the simple fact that discrete speakers let you get better left-right discrimination than a soundbar can due to the greater separation), but should also be capable of a more accurate frequency response over more of the full audio spectrum.

But I also guarantee if you dig around dedicated audio forums enough, you will find plenty of listeners deriding them as trash. There's a wealth of information on some of these forums if you care to learn more, but also a bottomless reservoir of personal preferences and opinions masquerading as factual information, especially from those with very keen ears and likewise very high expectations for sound quality.

So, if you want to give those a try, I strongly suspect they will meet your expectations, but I'm hesitant to give a resounding recommendation not having listened to them personally, and not knowing your expectations and listening background. For all I know, you might be perfectly happy with a good sound bar like others are suggesting.

What I can offer is a suggestion for one of the more popular budget systems of recent years, which is the Pioneer SP-FS52 towers (or the bookshelf speakers from the same series). Pioneer consulted with a high end speaker designer by the name of Andrew Jones on these, with an emphasis on selecting components strictly based on value. The visual design is as boring as they get, and the power handling is unremarkable (but sufficient for most living rooms and certainly much higher than all but the top end sound bars and any home-theater in a box), but they've gotten consistently good marks from reviewers and in technical tests for accurate, pleasant sound reproduction. I'm not saying with certainty that they are better than the Sony's, but assuming you won't have a chance to listen to each in the same environment and choose, they're a safe choice at a good price.

For the receiver, Yamaha seems to pretty consistently produce fine products with a lot of features. When I've been shopping and looked up discussions on audio forums, the basic trend of discussion about Yamaha seems to be, "Yeah, they're ok, but I prefer X." Basically, good quality and pricing, but not remarkable. I'd say it's another safe choice, especially if you're only driving 2 speakers.

Any new receiver will have HDMI support, and most seem to have Bluetooth to make it easy to stream music from your phone or other device.

That particular receiver won't power most pairs of tower speakers at their max properly, but you shouldn't actually need need to power most tower speakers near their max to fill a typical living room with good sound.

For a sub, the matching Pioneer "Andrew Jones" branded SW-8Mkii I would rate as marginal. I've got one paired with a set of Infinity towers similar to the Pioneers I suggested. It's fine for my expectations. It fills in most of the lower frequencies so that all but the deepest sounds can be heard - again, better than what is usually paired with soundbars or home-theater-in-a-box systems - but doesn't go as deep as a larger, more expensive sub would. The power rating is also marginal for matching with either those Sony or the Pioneer towers I suggested. If you want to get close to a theater-level experience at home, you will want something with a higher power rating and a larger driver - 10" or 12".

The SVS brand has been pretty popular in recent years for a good value in subwoofers. I haven't talked myself into spending the $500 for one of their entry level subs yet, but it seems there's not really any reviewer with anything other than praise for SVS.

LarryAllen
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:39 pm

gundlached wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:26 am
LarryAllen wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 am
We got the big old system and NEVER use it. Watch TV too much but never use the surround sound. Wouldn't bother with it when we move. Waste of money to us.
You can hook it up to the cable box so that the cable remote controls the volume
The TV speakers are fine. Huge waste of money to ME.

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gasdoc
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by gasdoc » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:02 pm

Quality sound bar with a wireless sub-bass. Simple, clean and sounds great. This, from somebody that in the past had to have high end home theater. Maybe I am getting older?

gasdoc

Afty
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Afty » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:16 pm

gundlached wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:15 am
Sony does not have a good reputation for speakers. For speakers, go with a company that only makes speakers (i.e., avoid those that also make tvs or receivers), with the notable exception of Pioneer Andrew Jones series.
+1 on the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers. I have a 5.1 set and they are amazing, comparable to speakers costing several times as much. The floor standing ones are about $130 each.

If you want a step up from that, I would go with the Elac Debut series, also designed by Andrew Jones.

I previously had a sound bar and there is no comparison. Even top of the line sound bars don’t have large enough drivers or enough space between them for good stereo separation.

treypar
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by treypar » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:17 pm

I use a Sonos playbar with wireless sub and movies sound great. Very happy with this solution.

rayson
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by rayson » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:48 pm

I just recently assembled a home theater system on a budget. Wife and kids are very pleased with the following HT set up for a total of $1600. Granted none of us are audiophiles, this system has far exceeded our expectations.

1. DIY projector frame with 120" screen $25
2. Denon AVR X1400H 7.2 Channel AV Network Receiver $250
3. Front speakers - Infinity R253 Floorstanders ($200/each = $400 total)
4. Center speaker - Infinity R263 $250
5. Rear bookshelf speakers: Pioneer 4" Bookshelf Speakers - Black (Pair) $70
6. Subwoofer: BIC F12 $212
7. ViewSonic PRO7827HD DLP Home Theater Projector $399

Watching movies or sports - priceless!!! :beer

yogesh
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by yogesh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:58 pm

I did bit of both and happy with either:
- TV with builtin 4.2 80W Atmos (TV Remote)
- Projector with Denon AVR + 5.1 Monitor inwall Speakers (Logitech Harmony Hub)

I hate wires, speakers, remotes so minimalist setup much like my investments in signature :-)
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VT | Retirement: TR2040

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:16 pm

rayson wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:48 pm
I just recently assembled a home theater system on a budget. Wife and kids are very pleased with the following HT set up for a total of $1600. Granted none of us are audiophiles, this system has far exceeded our expectations.

1. DIY projector frame with 120" screen $25
2. Denon AVR X1400H 7.2 Channel AV Network Receiver $250
3. Front speakers - Infinity R253 Floorstanders ($200/each = $400 total)
4. Center speaker - Infinity R263 $250
5. Rear bookshelf speakers: Pioneer 4" Bookshelf Speakers - Black (Pair) $70
6. Subwoofer: BIC F12 $212
7. ViewSonic PRO7827HD DLP Home Theater Projector $399

Watching movies or sports - priceless!!! :beer
That looks good to me! And a lot like the first (4.1) budget system I put together in our living room!
Had the same Bic sub, which is now serving a den setup.
I had a pair of Infinity bookshelves for the sides--and still do--in the living room.
Also had a Denon AVR--which moved from the living room to the MBR to the den. Have Denons in all three setups now.

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Kenkat
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Kenkat » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:33 pm

I have a predecessor model of the receiver - Yamaha RX-V381 and am very happy with it. It will also adjust for your room dynamics and for my set up made a noticeable difference.

Speakers are better if you can hear them in person but in general agree that the name brand electronic speakers are usually just average. If you want a decent, non-surround 2.1 system, add a subwoofer and a center channel speaker. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a big improvement.

There is a big difference between just the TV speakers, hooking up your stereo to the TV, a sound bar, surround sound and true 5.1 or better surround sound. Sure, the news doesn’t need surround sound, but an NBA playoff game? Yes. A movie? Yes. We recently watched Jesus Christ Superstar Live on Easter. Surround made for a truly great experience.

Surround sound has come a long way where now, for programs coded for surround, each channel is specifically coded for specific sound. So you don’t experience that effect of hearing things behind you except things that are meant to be behind you. So if you are watching an NBA game, the game sounds come primarily through the center channel speaker, with the front and rear surrounds filling in arena sounds / music and the rears filling in crowd ambiance.

Bacchus01
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:10 am

You’re going to get lots of answers.

I have a home theater with 120” 4K projector, Klipsch Reference speakers and an SVS sub driven by an Onkyo receiver. It rocks. We never use it. The kids use it daily for video games.

In our family room downstairs we have a 65” 1080P TV and used an old Bose cube system driven through a Yamaha receiver. It’s my football watching setup. Works just fine. Bought the Bose at a agarage sale for like $50.

For our main TV we have a 55” 4K TV in a large vaulted d ceiling room. Room volume is probably 8000 cubic feet. We use a sound bar and remote sub. For 99% of our TV watching, it works perfect. For most users, soundbar is the way to go. I just can’t recommend a receiver, bookshelf, sub combo.
Last edited by Bacchus01 on Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jalbert
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by jalbert » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:50 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:04 am
Looking for a home theater stereo and floor speakers. Not that interested in surround sound (room is not good for it) but may be in the future.

Yamaha Bluetooth Audio & Video Component Receiver Black (RX-V385BL)
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Bluetooth ... b_title_ce

Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Floor-Standing Speaker - Pair (Black)
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CS3-4-Dr ... r+speakers

How is this for a basic setup? Should I be spending a bit more on anything and what will that get me? Thanks. I like that this stereo has HDMI input/ouput. The speakers are highly rated for a budget but I'm sure I could find some higher grade ones if it's worth paying more.
Your ears and not your browser provide the way forward. Go listen to them with some familiar music and decide which you like.
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whodidntante
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by whodidntante » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:03 pm

I bought these speakers for my home audio setup and I'm very pleased. I have a 5.1 system but I am confident that a 2.1 system would also please.
https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monit ... B006QL0XXQ
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003V ... UTF8&psc=1

The price on Amazon can be beaten, I paid $99 each and $199 for the sub. My subwoofer is no longer made but Klipsch subs are great. I personally feel that a subwoofer adds a lot for action movies and sci-fi.

I would not suggest Bluetooth speakers or Sony speakers. Bluetooth audio quality is poor.

bloom2708
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by bloom2708 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:06 pm

We have a Bose Cinemate GS II system on one tv and a Bose Cinemate 15 system on the other.

Compact, superb sound and bass from the sub. Very easy to use. One optical cable from tv to unit.

4-5 years back I ripped out all the 5.1 system and related cords, cables. Less is more.

This has amazing sound. Volume and depth, bass in a small package:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bose-Cinemate- ... Sw-RFaUvEl
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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02nz
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by 02nz » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:12 pm

+1 on others' recommendations for ELAC speakers. Go with the Debut series if you want to keep the cost as low as possible, or consider stepping up to the Uni-Fi series. Or go with the Pioneer speakers (e.g. SP-FS52) designed by the same acclaimed designer, Andrew Jones, who designed the ELAC speakers. Hard to do better than these three at the budget price level.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by jehovasfitness » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:13 pm

Klipsch HD wireless. Amazing sound and I'm no audiophile. No speaker wires.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:21 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:24 am
At the last house, I used a receiver I already had, and a pair of audiophile quality Polk speakers. It sounded awesome.

In the current house, the room layout is different (no room for the receiver), and I just use a good quality soundbar and subwoofer. The audiophile speakers sounded better (of course), but when I’m watching a show, it’s not something I would ever notice. The main advantage to the receiver and speakers was when the TV was turned off and I was listening to music. A $3-400 home theatre system isn’t going to sound that much better than a $3-400 sound bar, and the sound bar is easier to deal with.
I too had awesome floor speakers from Polk Audio. With the new house, I couldn't be bothered to set them up, so I got a Polk sound bar for under $200. It's 90% there is terms of doing quality.

dsmclone
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by dsmclone » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:33 am

I've had a home theater in my basement for the last 10 years but have been playing around with A/V for a lot longer. Here is what I can tell you:

Cheaping out on A/V receivers and projectors is usually fine since the technology always seems to be changing. I have a 8 year old $1,500 Denon A/V receiver that gets killed by a $300 Sony receiver that I bought last year. My 5 year old projector that cost $1,200 now needs a new bulb that costs $400 so I'll just buy a $800 1080p projector instead of $2k on a 4k projector that in 4 years down the road be $800.

Where you don't want to cheap out is on speakers. I probably over spent on speakers/sub about 15 years ago but 15 years later, everything still sounds great and I really don't have an urge to upgrade.

barnaclebob
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:08 am

If your system is difficult to use then its not setup right. The only extra button I have to push is to turn the receiver on and now just control the volume on the receiver remote. I could probably program the receiver remote to turn the TV on but haven't gotten around to it.

OP I'd recommend a receiver that has a HDMI input on the front so you can easily plug a computer or any other input into it easily for a picture slideshow or something like that.

I've got a Klipsch passive sound bar powered by a Onkyo receiver and will be adding a wireless sub soon. It sounds great but needs the extra base. But I don't have a good setup for floor speakers or surround sound. A sound bar is as good as I can do.

Afty
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Afty » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:23 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:08 am
If your system is difficult to use then its not setup right. The only extra button I have to push is to turn the receiver on and now just control the volume on the receiver remote. I could probably program the receiver remote to turn the TV on but haven't gotten around to it.
If your TV and receiver both support HDMI ARC (if they're newer than 2012 or so, they probably do), then you won't have to push any extra buttons -- the receiver will automatically turn on when you turn the TV on, and you can adjust the volume from either the TV or receiver remotes. If the devices you plug into your receiver also support HDMI ARC, then the receiver will even switch to the right input when you power on a device.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:36 am

Afty wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:23 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:08 am
If your system is difficult to use then its not setup right. The only extra button I have to push is to turn the receiver on and now just control the volume on the receiver remote. I could probably program the receiver remote to turn the TV on but haven't gotten around to it.
If your TV and receiver both support HDMI ARC (if they're newer than 2012 or so, they probably do), then you won't have to push any extra buttons -- the receiver will automatically turn on when you turn the TV on, and you can adjust the volume from either the TV or receiver remotes. If the devices you plug into your receiver also support HDMI ARC, then the receiver will even switch to the right input when you power on a device.
Better yet, get a Harmony remote to control all that (and any subsequent additions). No extra button pushes; ARC (which can be problematic) not required. Toss all other remotes into a drawer.

barnaclebob
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:29 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:36 am
Afty wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:23 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:08 am
If your system is difficult to use then its not setup right. The only extra button I have to push is to turn the receiver on and now just control the volume on the receiver remote. I could probably program the receiver remote to turn the TV on but haven't gotten around to it.
If your TV and receiver both support HDMI ARC (if they're newer than 2012 or so, they probably do), then you won't have to push any extra buttons -- the receiver will automatically turn on when you turn the TV on, and you can adjust the volume from either the TV or receiver remotes. If the devices you plug into your receiver also support HDMI ARC, then the receiver will even switch to the right input when you power on a device.
Better yet, get a Harmony remote to control all that (and any subsequent additions). No extra button pushes; ARC (which can be problematic) not required. Toss all other remotes into a drawer.
Not a fan of the harmony remotes, they don't work as well as the roku remote which is what gets the most usage. The roku remote somehow knows how to turn the TV on so its only a two button/two remote startup and shut down.

iamlucky13
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:49 pm

dsmclone wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:33 am
Cheaping out on A/V receivers and projectors is usually fine since the technology always seems to be changing. I have a 8 year old $1,500 Denon A/V receiver that gets killed by a $300 Sony receiver that I bought last year.
Killed in terms of output or in terms of connection options?

From what I've seen, equivalent power handling and THD have only pushed modestly down the price scale over time, but when you buy a new receiver, all but the cheapest are going to have the latest HDMI pass-through abilities, bluetooth, and more, and you don't have to spend much more to get jump from 5 to 7 channels and get automatic setup.
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:36 am
Better yet, get a Harmony remote to control all that (and any subsequent additions). No extra button pushes; ARC (which can be problematic) not required. Toss all other remotes into a drawer.
Samsung's proprietary implementation seems to be particularly problematic.

I'm reasonably satisfied with my Harmony. It takes a while to start everything up, but it's far, far easier to use than the remote Denon provided with my receiver, which ends up somehow locked in modes where it won't control anything, or where it only controls Zone 1 if I select Zone 2, and other oddities.

dsmclone
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by dsmclone » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:54 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:49 pm
dsmclone wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:33 am
Cheaping out on A/V receivers and projectors is usually fine since the technology always seems to be changing. I have a 8 year old $1,500 Denon A/V receiver that gets killed by a $300 Sony receiver that I bought last year.
Killed in terms of output or in terms of connection options?

From what I've seen, equivalent power handling and THD have only pushed modestly down the price scale over time, but when you buy a new receiver, all but the cheapest are going to have the latest HDMI pass-through abilities, bluetooth, and more, and you don't have to spend much more to get jump from 5 to 7 channels and get automatic setup.
Connection options, setup, zone options, ease of use, surround options, etc. You're right, power is about the same but that's never been a concern of mine.

bogglizer
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by bogglizer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:15 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:14 am

I agree. Too much to contend with in home theatre and am happier with soundbar.

What I do miss is my old kg2 klipsch speakers.
I still have my kg2's. I don't think I've spun a record in 20 years, though.

CRC301
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by CRC301 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:11 pm

We had a soundbar+subwoofer system and it sounded great in our apartment. When we moved to a house with a large great room, we turned the soundbar volume all the way up and still couldn't hear well. Upgraded everything to a 5.1 with a/v receiver setup and it is very noticeably better. It is a bit confusing to setup though but if you're mildly technical you should be able to handle it. If not, get a soundbar but find a good one that acts like 3.1 system and has large wattage per channel if the room is big.

Floor standing speakers are more expensive than bookshelves but you might not need a subwoofer. Bookshelves are smaller and cheaper but you definitely should get a subwoofer then. Always get a system with a dedicated center channel. If it's there, most dialogue will be output from it and it will be very clear and loud; if not, the receiver allows you to make that one speaker louder than the rest if you have trouble hearing dialogue. I used satellites for my surround speakers and I regret it, they don't sound as good as the bookshelf speakers in the front.
Last edited by CRC301 on Tue May 01, 2018 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

nick evets
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by nick evets » Tue May 01, 2018 7:24 am

^^^ is good advice.

Random thoughts:
5.1 > 3.1 > soundbar + sub > internal speaker(s)

I'd encourage everyone to at least try for a decent 3.1 system -- the center-channel speaker makes a huge difference.

AV equipment has terrible resale. There are some terrific deals on high-end, used equipment if you search, that can rival the BestBuy consumer stuff in price.

iamlucky13
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 01, 2018 2:48 pm

nick evets wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:24 am
^^^ is good advice.

Random thoughts:
5.1 > 3.1 > soundbar + sub > internal speaker(s)

I'd encourage everyone to at least try for a decent 3.1 system -- the center-channel speaker makes a huge difference.
I've seen a lot of discussion about this in the dedicated audio forums. I haven't talked myself into spending the money on a center channel speaker yet, but am curious about this, and made sure to mount my TV high enough to fit a center channel under it on my entertainment center in case I get one later.

Most receivers, if configured for 2.1 or 2.0, just mix the center channel at equal volume into the left and right speakers (sometimes called a "phantom center"). I'm not aware of a fundamental issue with this in terms of basic sound quality.

Rather, my understanding is for viewers not sitting an equal distance from each speaker, the sound is perceived as coming from the closer speaker instead of from the TV - it can be really obnoxious to have significant perceived disconnect between what you're seeing and what you're hearing.

So it seems to me like a 3.1 setup has a benefit primarily if you watch movies with people seated all around the room. When it's just my wife and I, we can both sit pretty well centered.

I'm only mildly interested in going to surround sound, but the layout of our living room would make the speaker placement inconvenient, so I have no plans to do so.

Some more semi-random thoughts: The built-in TV speakers for our fancy flat screen were plainly inferior to those in the used 24" CRT it replaced from when I was a poor recent graduate - both quieter and less range. Even completely ignoring action movie sound effects, it just leaves too much out of the experience to have actors with great voices like Patrick Stewart or Morgan Freeman sounding barely better than if they were talking through the telephone. And even when just watching the news, it's easier to understand what is being said when you've got adequate volume and full range sound.

With new TV's having no room for decent speakers, and because the better screens available today beg to be paired with better sound than the norm from the pre-HD era, I think a good soundbar is the best solution for most folks.

I knew from visiting friends and family and feeling their soundbars or home theater in a box sets were still a bit lackluster or more commonly, unbalanced sounding that I wanted a step up from that.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue May 01, 2018 3:17 pm

You are correct about the "phantom center." I have a phantom center in my living room where the only seating position for tv & movies is the couch. While a center speaker is desirable, some compromises must almost always be made in a sound system. I had no matching center speaker available and no easy spot to place one even if I did. We don't notice the absence of a center speaker as the center channel dialogue (and other sound) is directed to the two main front speakers by the AVR. Hence we have a 4.1 setup rather than a 5.1 arrangement. No complaints here.

We do have center speakers in our other two systems as they were available and easily placed in those rooms. When used for music playback the center channel isn't used anyway--at least not for us. Our music is played only through the two front main speakers and the sub in all three setups (ie, 2.1).

CRC301
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by CRC301 » Tue May 01, 2018 3:28 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 2:48 pm
nick evets wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:24 am
^^^ is good advice.

Random thoughts:
5.1 > 3.1 > soundbar + sub > internal speaker(s)

I'd encourage everyone to at least try for a decent 3.1 system -- the center-channel speaker makes a huge difference.
Most receivers, if configured for 2.1 or 2.0, just mix the center channel at equal volume into the left and right speakers (sometimes called a "phantom center"). I'm not aware of a fundamental issue with this in terms of basic sound quality.
You still lose out on being able to adjust the dialogue sound level independently of the "effects" sounds that would play from L/R channels (center channel is mostly used for dialogue but can produce "effects" sounds as well).

Also, depending on the L/R speakers you have, the number of tweeters/woofers, and cross-over circuitry in them, the dialogue could be muddled/distorted when being mixed into the L/R speakers. This is especially true if the dialogue is happening while a lot of simultaneously output "effects" are being output as well. Whether you noticed that problem or not depends on your ears and the specific speakers so probably not a terribly big deal...

Hanksmoney
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by Hanksmoney » Tue May 01, 2018 3:35 pm

gundlached wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:15 am
Sony does not have a good reputation for speakers. For speakers, go with a company that only makes speakers (i.e., avoid those that also make tvs or receivers), with the notable exception of Pioneer Andrew Jones series.
I got a 2-channel stereo T-amp and 2 Pioneer Andrew Jones bookshelf speakers, total of about $130 for the setup. My TV outputs to it, but can easily move it for pool parties and such. I found it a good way to get quality sound with the basic components and not all the other stuff thrown in with receivers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F0H8TOC/r ... 06755&sr=1

quaternion
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by quaternion » Tue May 01, 2018 5:28 pm

+1 that speakers matter more than receiver. Bookshelf is probably better bang-for-buck than floorstanding. Pioneer, Q acoustics, and Kef have inexpensive bookshelfs that get good reviews.

If you're planning to stick with stereo, you could skip the surround receiver and get a stereo-only model. The constant updates to HDMI standards quickly obsoletes equipment, while stereo audio (SPDIF/digital) essentially reached the limits of human perception years (decades) ago. Plus, my experience is that coax/optical SPDIF are more reliable than HDMI. Onkyo 9010/9050 and Yamaha R-N301 seem like good Stereo+SPDIF options.

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BeerMoney
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Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

Post by BeerMoney » Tue May 01, 2018 6:04 pm

KEF Q100's are on sale, really well regarded:

https://smile.amazon.com/KEF-Q100-Books ... s=kef+q100

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