DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Old 07-08-15, 01:57 AM
  #1  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Is there any real difference between a soundbar and a stereo receiver setup? I don't want a full 5.1 setup. I just want something that is better than TV audio, but I don't want the hassle of having wires and speakers all over the place. So I am looking to get either a soundbar or stereo receiver with two speakers.

I know soundbars often come with a subwoofer. Is a subwoofer possible with a stereo receiver? The stereo receivers I see listed on Amazon say they are 2.0 and not 2.1 so I don't know if a subwoofer can be used with them. I don't really want a subwoofer right now because I live in an apartment building so I can't have the walls shaking. However, if I ever do move into a house I would like the option of having a subwoofer then.
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 07-08-15, 09:32 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Not really much difference. Quality of speakers would be the only thing. (well, obviously shape is different) And you can find bookshelf speakers that are higher or lower quality than the average soundbar. And soundbar subs aren't anything special.

There's usually a way to use a sub with any receiver. But most stereo receivers aren't set up to handle a sub themselves, no crossover or easy sub output. They usually have a 2nd set of speaker outputs, you could always use the B output to a sub, although that means the receiver is using its amp and will need more power to handle the additional speaker. Looking at Yamaha's line, stepping up to the S500 gives an actual sub output. All that said, the option most people take is to buy a surround receiver and only use it for stereo. You don't have to use all the channels, and these generally have more sound options, like a proper sub crossover.

However, you may not need a receiver at all. Look at powered monitors, these are bookshelf-sized speakers with built-in amps. Run from the output of your TV and you are done. I'd recommend the AudioEngine A5+ myself, sub optional. I can't imagine any comparably priced soundbar could touch the A5+ for sound. (I have the A2+ for computer speakers, excellent sound)
Spiky is offline  
Old 07-08-15, 11:38 AM
  #3  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

The AudioEngine A5+ looks to be out of my price range. I'm not looking to spend more than $300 on this. The A2+ looks to be more in my price range. How does the A2+ differ from the A5+?

The soundbar I am looking at buying is the Sony CT370. It has good reviews on Amazon. I also like that with the Sony soundbar I can use HDMI-CEC to control it with my TV remote. I don't think I would be able to do that with standalone speakers like the AudioEngine.
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 07-08-15, 02:52 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

In that price range that soundbar is certainly the simplest way, and probably least intrusive to the room. Esp if you like what CEC does.

There are ways to do bookshelf type speakers if you want to look at it. Some Dayton Audio or NHT speakers would sound good at $100 or less each. And a Lepai T amp to drive them would be better quality than receivers in this price range, I imagine. You'd have to have the right output available from the TV for any of these, prob a variable analog out (headphone). Definitely a bit more work, though.

I do like the A2+, great sound. They are smaller than the 5, everyone says the 5 has better audio. And the 5 has its own remote. I tend to put audio quality above other considerations, but I don't mean to overly influence anyone, there are lots of great options.
Spiky is offline  
Old 07-09-15, 02:46 AM
  #5  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,821
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

The subwoofers that come with sound bars are usually not the wall-shaking type

I wouldn't get a soundbar without a subwoofer, but just don't think that you will get anything that will blow you away like a full stereo system. At least not in the <$200 range.
Psi is offline  
Old 07-10-15, 09:42 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

I think I am going to buy a pair of the A5s for my tv based on your recommendation Spiky. Can I use these later for attaching to a receiver in a surround sound system? It's been a while since I have had anything HT related besides a TV and just bought a house. Have to ease the wife into a full set up but the A5s look like a great way to have better sound now for the time being. Want to pair the with the S8 subwoofer.

Last edited by FantasticVSDoom; 07-10-15 at 10:34 PM.
FantasticVSDoom is offline  
Old 07-11-15, 12:33 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

They don't have speaker level inputs, most don't in this genre. (powered monitors) So, if you wanted to use them with a receiver, it would have to be one with line-level preouts. Or a preamp instead of a receiver. Very doable, but the bottom end models wouldn't have this, so if a future receiver is the plan, have your eyes open to that.

Of course, if you end up liking AudioEngine, they do have "normal" non-powered speakers for use with a receiver, too.
Spiky is offline  
Old 07-11-15, 07:38 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Got ya. Well I think this will be a great alternative for now. It may be a while before I can get everything done because I don't want to have speaker wire everywhere and want to have everything put in wall and ran through ceiling. And if it doesn't work, I can always put these up stairs in the office and hook them up to my computer.
FantasticVSDoom is offline  
Old 12-23-15, 04:49 PM
  #9  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 32,715
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

I currently have an old Yamaha receiver form the late 1990s and shelf speakers that I bought in 1982 (!) They're not terrible, but it's time to upgrade.

I like the simplicity of a bar speaker system, but I'm not sure what models I should be looking at. I can go up to around $1000 (although I'd like to keep it below that).

As I understand it, I will be able to play anything that's plugged into my TV (BD, AppleTV, cable box) through the bar speaker system, right?

The only downside is that my wife likes to listen to the radio through the current receiver. I don't think I can get a bar system that is also a receiver, right?

Any suggestions are most welcome.
Bandoman is offline  
Old 12-24-15, 08:21 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Well, there would be bars that have 2 inputs for the TV and receiver. Or, the receiver could still be used between the TV and bar. Or, get one with bluetooth and use a phone to play radio. Or, these exist...
http://www.amazon.com/iLive-Bluetoot.../dp/B0084ZYH5C
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0S6-0004-00037
Spiky is offline  
Old 12-24-15, 03:23 PM
  #11  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 32,715
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Thanks, Spiky. I need to do a lot of research.
Bandoman is offline  
Old 01-11-16, 06:11 AM
  #12  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: 837 Oakton St, Suite G, Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 25
Re: Difference between soundbar and stereo receiver?

Big speakers may provide the look of a major sound producing machine, but remember, looks can be deceiving. While it is true large speakers have the ability to produce eardrum pounding sound and are an excellent choice for a large room, sound bars and smaller speaker systems are more than capable of producing quality sound. Make an informed decision and learn how to ensure a quality set up by reviewing the following section.
multisystem is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.