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Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

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Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

Old 01-16-15, 10:57 AM
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Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

We are building a house that will be finished around Summer and the Man Cave is the only upstairs room so I am looking at options on how to get a good movie watching experience in a 16 x 20 room. Right now in my current house I have a Yamaha Receiver that I bought in 2001 that recognizes DTS and came with several speakers and a subwoofer. It was one of those "All in one" systems from Best Buy and it's been pretty good and still works well but I kind of wanted to upgrade since this is a new house that we are planning on staying in a long time.

I went yesterday to Best Buy to look around and haven't looked at surround sound systems in a while and noticed that there were a lot of soundbars that also sounded pretty good. I really liked the Bose Cinemate soundbars but wanted a lot of suggestions and opinions. I'm cool with using a soundbar on a smaller scale but not sure about using it for my Man Cave.

So here are my questions:

1) Would a soundbar work well for a 16 x 20 movie room or should I stick with the typical multi speakered surround sound system with in ceiling and in wall speakers?
2) Can someone suggest a good surround sound system or soundbar for a movie room?
3) Do I even need to upgrade my Yamaha system? It's 13 years old and I would like to but it still works well. Maybe I could use it downstairs in the den.
4) Where is the best place to buy from? Best Buy? Fry's? Amazon? Somewhere else?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:55 PM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

Soundbars suck. Bose sucks.

Get yourself a new receiver that can take advantage of the HD audio codecs and hdmi inputs that your current receiver do not support. I would also recommend against the "All in one" boxes as the speakers almost always suck as well.

Go for a Denon, Onkyo or Yamaha receiver for a decent price. If you want to save some money, you can get a refurbished receiver from Accessories4Less. I bought one from them myself a few months back.

As far as speakers, it will depend on what you want to spend. A good sub can make all the difference. I recently got myself an SVS sub, and my home theater experience has completely changed.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:00 PM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

Troof, soundbars suck, especially if you're planning out a man-cave. Soundbars are okay only for small rooms like apartments. Get a good new receiver, the brands T-Bone mentioned are plenty good and won't cost a lot. And if you're having the house built, see if you can have them install surround wiring in the walls before they sheetrock it. I did that a few years ago and it's been great. Makes it very easy and clean to install the speakers after. And for the love of God, don't buy into Bose. Frys has specials a lot for speaker packages like Polk. Better value and better sound.

Last edited by E Unit; 01-16-15 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:09 PM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

i gotta say, as much as soundbars are maligned, i love mine in the upstairs bedroom. it is clear and crisp. i often have to turn the subtitles on for an English movie in the family room with just TV sound. it sucks compared to HDTV with soundbar, but i know receivers are the norm and way better.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:16 PM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

Pioneer receiver, Def Tech speakers, done deal.
I'd stay away from Onkyo receivers as a friend of mine purchased one a few years back and has had the HDMI board replaced on it twice for crapping out.
...AND NO BOSE!
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Old 01-16-15, 04:17 PM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

I don't think soundbars are bad, they're certainly the better option for places like bedrooms and you want pseudo-theater like sound, but if the OP is building a man-cave, it shouldn't be used in a 16x20 room. But bedroom, sure.
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Old 01-17-15, 08:56 AM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

Well, you didn't suggest a budget. I'm assuming your Yamaha set was $300-500. Here is a $1500 serious upgrade to that:
http://www.svsound.com/speakers/prim...-satellite-5-1
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...airplay/1.html

A soundbar is not an upgrade to your old 5.1 system. Even if it has great speakers and they sound good, it is either a downgrade to 2.0/2.1 or simulated surround. Simulated is never as good as the real thing. Since you have this dedicated room, play with it.

The above is a great starter set. I chose the items because they have an excellent upgrade path (as opposed to replacement), and while $1500 may seem expensive if you aren't a crazy AV person, this set will sound as good and offer as many features as many systems costing twice that. When set up and calibrated properly, this would probably amaze you at the upgrade to your Yamaha system.
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Old 01-20-15, 09:16 AM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

I won't go ballistic pricewise but I'm not skimping either. I would prefer under $1500 but I'll go up to $2000. My old Yamaha "All in 1 Box" system was around $900 back in 2001. It was pretty nice and a really good system for back then. I have also decided to get a nice soundbar for the living room but in my Man Cave I will definitely get a Speaker system of some sort. Thanks for the replies so far and please keep them and any suggestions coming. I'll be looking at all the links anyone provides. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-15, 09:28 AM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

For Man Cave you need a dedicated 5.1 system.

If your receiver does 5.1 ( even if it is not HD ) you can keep it for now - start with good speakers first and than you can get a new receiver.

Here are some good 5.1 compact speakers with Sub if space is an issue

http://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Tec...YTCJ1Y0QTVEJ3D

http://www.amazon.com/Mirage-Speaker...peakers+mirage

http://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Tec...ive+technology
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Old 01-20-15, 10:18 AM
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Re: Should I get a typical surround sound system or a soundbar for my Theater room?

If the Yamaha has an analog 7.1 input, you can even get the HD sound from a bluray player with a 7.1 output. Although there aren't many of those.
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