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Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Old 01-11-12, 11:58 PM
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Recommend a TV Soundbar?

I'm looking for a soundbar to go with the LG Infinia 55LW5600 TV. I can spend around $250, but $150-$200 would be great.

I'm not an audiophile. I don't want a 5.1 speaker system due to my layout. I also don't want booming sound, because it'll wake the family. I'm just looking for something that sounds nice and is a step up from the TV speakers. And I'd really like it to be easy to set-up and use.

I'm leaning towards the Sony HT-CT150. But also looking at the LG LSB316, Samsung HW-D450 and the Panasonic SC-HTB10. Any opinions on these or other similar soundbars? Anything I need to know before I buy one?

Thanks.
Old 01-12-12, 10:56 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Well most around here (including myself) will talk about how they are just a waste of money and you have much more control, more close to what the movies wanted by spending a little effort and going 5.1. That there are few places that you can't make it work and fit the decor with just a little imagination and a weekend's worth of work. And most modern systems have a setting(s) to increase the CC while lowering everything else for the very reason you mention.

Having said all that...I may be in the market for one too! HA! LOL!! But I only want it for the bar TV and what gave me the idea was I saw one with an iPod/iPhone dock. But I likely won't spend $50-$60 on it...if I decide to try it.

IMO, if all you want to do is improve you TV speaker, I'd start by seeing if your TV has an output for a speaker. Than you could just plug a center channel (probably need an efficient one) in it.

Some of them come with subwoofer or have the ability to hook one up. I'd look for that if this is bedroom or living room set (or one you watch movies on).

Not much else to say about them. Other than really consider if you can't make a 5.1 system work before spending that kind of money.
Old 01-12-12, 12:59 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

i got a refurb vizio soundbar for our bedroom tv (32 inch lcd) for like 50 bucks. I wasnt expecting much for the price but it was totally worth the price; much better sound than the tv speakers and can go louder than needed. also i could program my Harmony remote to control the soundbar volume.
my only problem with it is that i didnt measure before i bought it and i figured that for 50 bucks it wouldnt be too big but it actually ended up being a good deal wider than my 32 inch tv, haha
Old 01-12-12, 02:12 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

These days the most newer TVs come with very average speakers. I guess manufacterers are trying to save money to compete. For just TV watching I do not want to turn the whole 5.1 system on (fortunately my few years older TV still has decent speakers) . So soundbar may not be a bad option

You may want to look at this one, has great reviews on Amazon ( I can't post links yet)

ZVOX 555 Low-Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System with Optical and Coaxial Digital Inputs.

edit..just saw your price point this may a bit over that !!
Old 01-12-12, 03:55 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by DaveNinja
i got a refurb vizio soundbar for our bedroom tv (32 inch lcd) for like 50 bucks. I wasnt expecting much for the price but it was totally worth the price; much better sound than the tv speakers and can go louder than needed. also i could program my Harmony remote to control the soundbar volume.
my only problem with it is that i didnt measure before i bought it and i figured that for 50 bucks it wouldnt be too big but it actually ended up being a good deal wider than my 32 inch tv, haha
I also brought a Vizio soundbar. A refurbished Vizio VSB200 HD Sound Bar for $55 from Tigerdirect with free shipping back in Aug. The only thing that disappointed me about the Panny TC-P50S30 was the sound. So when I seen the price on this soundbar I decided to give it a try. I really like it much better sound that what I was getting from the Panny TV. When I open the box I thought this was a brand new unit.

My sister-n-law was going to buy one for my mother for christmas. She said they cost about $100 after tax her at the local Walmart. I told her what I paid for mine. So we ordered another one when it went on sale at TD again. We mounted it on the wall just above my moms bed. Her Panny 42" Plasmas TV is about 30 feet away. So I purchased a 35" optical digital cable from monoprice.
Old 01-12-12, 03:57 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by DaveNinja
i got a refurb vizio soundbar for our bedroom tv (32 inch lcd) for like 50 bucks. I wasnt expecting much for the price but it was totally worth the price; much better sound than the tv speakers and can go louder than needed. also i could program my Harmony remote to control the soundbar volume.
my only problem with it is that i didnt measure before i bought it and i figured that for 50 bucks it wouldnt be too big but it actually ended up being a good deal wider than my 32 inch tv, haha
I also brought a Vizio soundbar. A refurbished Vizio VSB200 HD Sound Bar for $55 from Tigerdirect with free shipping back in Aug. The only thing that disappointed me about the Panny TC-P50S30 was the sound. So when I seen the price on this soundbar I decided to give it a try. I really like it much better sound that what I was getting from the Panny TV. When I open the box I thought this was a brand new unit.

My sister-n-law was going to buy one for my mother for christmas. She said they cost about $100 after tax at the local Walmart. I told her what I paid for mine. So we ordered another one when it went on sale at TD again. We mounted it on the wall just above my moms bed. Her Panny 42" Plasmas TV is about 30 feet away. So I purchased a 35" optical digital cable from monoprice.
Old 01-14-12, 07:15 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Thanks for the input. I'll check out that Vizio soundbar.
Old 01-14-12, 04:17 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by soundman2
These days the most newer TVs come with very average speakers. I guess manufacterers are trying to save money to compete. For just TV watching I do not want to turn the whole 5.1 system on (fortunately my few years older TV still has decent speakers) . So soundbar may not be a bad option

You may want to look at this one, has great reviews on Amazon ( I can't post links yet)

ZVOX 555 Low-Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System with Optical and Coaxial Digital Inputs.

edit..just saw your price point this may a bit over that !!
I just don't get this and never have...sorry....

What does "whole" surround system mean? How is it harder to turn on than a sound bar? Or makes it so difficult about turning on your audio system. With todays remotes it is seemless. How would using the audio/surround system (that is designed to play....sound) make anything sound worse than it really is?

Several years ago I helped a friend set up a system in which the TV had no speakers (well it really wasn't a TV I suppose as it had no turner either). So he uses his 5.1 system all the time.

In my media room, I use a front projector...again no speaker in the projector. So the surround always must come on. And with so many shows in HD (CSI, Criminal Minds, even Dave Letterman) it sounds great! And even shows on odd channels or not in HD there is really no issue with the sound. I mean it is either mostly coming out of the CC or the two front speakers (which in my system are all matched) so either way is fine.

I mean I don't get spending more money on a sound bar when you have a perfectly good surround system. Or are you saying there are times when the sound bar sounds better than the "whole 5.1" system? If that is the case I think I'd respectfully suggest spending money on upgrading the surround system rather than get a sound bar.
Old 01-15-12, 12:11 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I just don't get this and never have...sorry....

What does "whole" surround system mean? How is it harder to turn on than a sound bar? Or makes it so difficult about turning on your audio system. With todays remotes it is seemless. How would using the audio/surround system (that is designed to play....sound) make anything sound worse than it really is?

Maybe it's a matter of convenience or simplicity for other members of the family who may not grasp (or want to learn) about turning on tuners, etc. just to watch TV. I know that episode of Modern Family where Claire doesn't understand the home theatre remote is a stereotype, but my wife is the same way. There's no way she'd ever want to have to learn about using a tuner just to be able to watch TV, or a movie, or whatever. She just wants to turn the TV on, tune it to a channel (or an input) and watch with as simple a remote as possible (such as the satellite box remote or the TV's own remote).

That's part of why I bought a Zvox for my "big" TV in the basement. I wanted upgraded speakers, but I knew the wife wouldn't be able/wouldn't want to learn about using a full home theatre system, so the Zvox was a nice compromise. Plug it into the TV, set the TV's audio setting to 'variable' and voila, the Zvox turns itself on/off with the TV, and the volume is controlled through the TV, too. Is it 5.1 surround? No. Is it as easy to use as the TV by itself? Yes.
Old 01-15-12, 03:54 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by soundman2
ZVOX 555 Low-Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System with Optical and Coaxial Digital Inputs.

edit..just saw your price point this may a bit over that !!
Dammit! This is exactly what I'm looking for. Now I have to shell out $400.

It's funny, the TV stand I'm getting is a little low. So I was looking for something about 4-5 inches high I could use as a base under the stand. This'll do the job nicely.

Thanks.
Old 01-15-12, 04:03 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
I'm leaning towards the Sony HT-CT150.
I've had a Sony HT-CT100 soundbar system for a couple of years. I really like it. It sounds very good and is easy to set up and use.
Old 01-15-12, 12:41 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by mythmaker18
Maybe it's a matter of convenience or simplicity for other members of the family who may not grasp (or want to learn) about turning on tuners, etc. just to watch TV. I know that episode of Modern Family where Claire doesn't understand the home theatre remote is a stereotype, but my wife is the same way. There's no way she'd ever want to have to learn about using a tuner just to be able to watch TV, or a movie, or whatever. She just wants to turn the TV on, tune it to a channel (or an input) and watch with as simple a remote as possible (such as the satellite box remote or the TV's own remote).

That's part of why I bought a Zvox for my "big" TV in the basement. I wanted upgraded speakers, but I knew the wife wouldn't be able/wouldn't want to learn about using a full home theatre system, so the Zvox was a nice compromise. Plug it into the TV, set the TV's audio setting to 'variable' and voila, the Zvox turns itself on/off with the TV, and the volume is controlled through the TV, too. Is it 5.1 surround? No. Is it as easy to use as the TV by itself? Yes.
My wife was exactly the same way with our media room. And for the most part I was fine with that....keep her out!!

Till she got my kids to turn things on for her, but since she was "scared" to turn anything off...she just left it on!

Sooo...Harmony remote to the rescue. It makes it as easy as the TV. I even labeled them EXACTLY as you mention "Watch TV". "Watch a Movie". One button on, one button off. Couldn't be simpler. Of course added others for the kids, "Play PS3", "Play a CD", etc.

But my point was, if you have to turn on an audio system, you have to turn on a sound bar. Where is the difference? If you have to control the volume on an audio system, you have to control the volume on a sound bar. Same. One difference is with multiple inputs. But again, with a universal remote....it is seemless.

And if that is the point, than she won't care about quality. And just get a $50 dollar one. Why spend the money some are talking about??? An awesome remote is much less and would be easier.
Old 01-16-12, 09:24 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

I agree with some of the above comments - it is easy to turn the 5.1 on. I have a 5.2 system with two cranking subs and big towers for front. I am good with my system and know how to use it well. I prefer surround and all, for movies and may be Football games. For regular TV watching - TV shows, news and channel surfing, I just prefer the normal TV speakers. Sometime I like steaks but on normal day mostly burgers

TV soundbars are not a substitute for 5.1 sytems, and don't much care for them, though I can understand why some people may want them. Hey I have friends who pay $100+ for cable and have 32inch tube TV. ??
Old 01-16-12, 11:09 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
But my point was, if you have to turn on an audio system, you have to turn on a sound bar. Where is the difference? If you have to control the volume on an audio system, you have to control the volume on a sound bar. Same. One difference is with multiple inputs. But again, with a universal remote....it is seemless.
Actually, with a Zvox, you don't have to turn it on or control its volume separately, like you might have to do with other soundbars. It turns itself on/off with the television, and when you set your TV's audio output to "variable", then there is still only one volume control (not a separate one for the TV and the soundbar). Once you have the treble. bass, etc. settings the way you want them on the Zvox, you never have to use its remote again.

If anyone is considering a base/pedestal-style Zvox, though, you'd be well advised to do some research and make sure your TV stand can support the additional weight. With my 60" TV and the Zvox 575, I was just under the maximum weight load that it could support. These things can be heavy and huge, but as one poster said, if you were wanting to raise your TV a few inches, that's another side benefit to a Zvox over a conventional soundbar.
Old 01-16-12, 01:13 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by mythmaker18
Actually, with a Zvox, you don't have to turn it on or control its volume separately, like you might have to do with other soundbars.
Why would you ever have to control volume "separately"? Maybe with some kludged-together setup using headphone outputs or something. The point is that you just have a different volume control with a different setup. There is setup to do the first time, but you described similar stuff with the Zvox, too. Same = Same.

It's so weird to me that people have this image ingrained that more speakers (or steak) is not acceptable for "minor" usage. In fact, a more efficient amp-speaker system is going to be far better for the news or other low-end usage, since it will be clearer and have better audio. (on average)

[hint: put the steak on a bun...aka: turn the volume down]
Old 01-26-12, 12:00 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by Spiky
Why would you ever have to control volume "separately"? Maybe with some kludged-together setup using headphone outputs or something. The point is that you just have a different volume control with a different setup. There is setup to do the first time, but you described similar stuff with the Zvox, too. Same = Same.
I tried a Samsung soundbar with my 52" TV and it wouldn't allow the TV's remote to control the volume using the default optical connection. That particular soundbar forced using the soundbar's own remote control for volume. The optional headphone-jack connection was horrible (I think it was only the left or right channel, not stereo), so I took it back.

It's so weird to me that people have this image ingrained that more speakers (or steak) is not acceptable for "minor" usage. In fact, a more efficient amp-speaker system is going to be far better for the news or other low-end usage, since it will be clearer and have better audio. (on average)

[hint: put the steak on a bun...aka: turn the volume down]
I never said it "wasn't acceptable", I said that for minor usage in my situation (just watching regular shows in the living room, a wife who doesn't want to learn any new remotes, finds HT gadgets confusing, etc), the built-in speakers were okay.
Old 01-26-12, 02:38 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I just don't get this and never have...sorry....

What does "whole" surround system mean? How is it harder to turn on than a sound bar? Or makes it so difficult about turning on your audio system. With todays remotes it is seemless. How would using the audio/surround system (that is designed to play....sound) make anything sound worse than it really is?

Several years ago I helped a friend set up a system in which the TV had no speakers (well it really wasn't a TV I suppose as it had no turner either). So he uses his 5.1 system all the time.

In my media room, I use a front projector...again no speaker in the projector. So the surround always must come on. And with so many shows in HD (CSI, Criminal Minds, even Dave Letterman) it sounds great! And even shows on odd channels or not in HD there is really no issue with the sound. I mean it is either mostly coming out of the CC or the two front speakers (which in my system are all matched) so either way is fine.

I mean I don't get spending more money on a sound bar when you have a perfectly good surround system. Or are you saying there are times when the sound bar sounds better than the "whole 5.1" system? If that is the case I think I'd respectfully suggest spending money on upgrading the surround system rather than get a sound bar.
I agree. I've never understood why anyone would rather listen to tv speakers, or soundbar, instead of a 5.1/7.1 sound system, under ANY circunstances. Most systems have a "Midnight Mode" or something similar, to quieten the sub late at night when others are asleep, so it doesn't bother them. Also, as mentioned, a Harmony remote is very wife friendly. My wife loves our's. I'd much rather listen to regular tv programs, and even the news, in 7.1 surround, instead of stereo. It even makes commercials worth watching, because a lot of them are very good in surround.

With everything off, if you push the watch TV button on the remote, it turns on the tv and makes sure it's on the right input, turns on the cable/sat box, and turns on the HT receiver and makes sure it's on the right mode. Then all she has to do is control the volume and change channels, which you have to do anyway with any remote.

If she decides to watch a DVD movie, she can push the "Watch Movie" button, and the remote will turn off the cable/sat box, turn on the DVD/BD player, make sure tv in on right input, and make sure the receiver is set to right mode. Then, put disc in and do as normally would. Pushing the "OFF" button turns everything off. Couldn't possibly be any simpler.

If you want to listen to surround, when everyone has gone to bed, and don't want to bother them, you can always get some 5.1 surround headphones. Then you're the only one that will hear it.
Old 01-20-13, 04:41 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Bumping this thread from a year ago.

Anyone know if any worthwhile soundbars have come out in the last year? We're putting a tv in a new room and don't have the space for a receiver, BD player, etc. Basically, just have a 46" Panasonic Viera, a DVR and space for a soundbar to sit across the front.
Old 01-20-13, 09:27 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Worthwhile for what? I have never liked the fake surround that comes from one/two speaker locations, including soundbars. But as replacement for weak TV speakers, run in simple stereo, I think a lot of them are probably a great idea.
Old 01-20-13, 09:57 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

^ Worthwhile for supplementing weak tv speakers I suppose. Obviously not as ideal as a 5.1 setup, but assuming better than the alternative. Just not sure if the $$ is worth it.
Old 01-21-13, 12:27 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

I have the Vizio VSB200 soundbar and have been really happy with it. It serves as a great replacement for the TV speakers which are usually sub-par even on the expensive TVs.

I guess it makes sense as TVs are getting slimmer and slimmer the acoustics of the speakers get worse and worse.

You can pick-up as refurb one for $50-$60 and unlike many of the under-$100
soundbars out there which often just have RCA inputs this one does have an optical cable input.
Old 01-22-13, 11:21 AM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

are there any good soundbars that are not any wider than 28 inches and doesn't need a subwoofer - I'd like a soundbar that can be placed on a bookshelf over a small TV

oh and with bluetooth capability.
Old 07-13-22, 11:37 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

A few hours ago Samsung.com had the Samsung HW-Q950A 11.1.4ch Soundbar for $699.99. Retail price is usually $1799.99. Also some people were able to order a 55" Samsung TU7000 Crystal 4K Smart TV & Samsung HW-Q950A 11.1.4ch Soundbar. For $800 + Free Store Pickup at their local BestBuy.com.
Old 12-17-22, 05:54 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Is a $200 Bose sound bar even worth it? I mean I read such great reviews. Or just cheapie nothing?

Can sound bars go bad after awhile? Years and years I’m talking, but subtle, not completely useless, but small differences like certain characters in video games not being completely audible?

I swear my Zvox is slowly dying, but just not sure.
Old 12-17-22, 09:05 PM
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Re: Recommend a TV Soundbar?

Anything with moving parts will wear down eventually. Nature of the friction beast.

Check reviews on Visio soundbars. I have the 3.1 and it puts out some sound for under $200. I've always considered Bose overpriced.
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