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Moccasin
Jul 23, 2012, 03:03 PM
My brother's birthday is looming and I have agreed with his fiancée to buy him a sound bar and Apple TV with contributions from her and our parents.

Thing is that we set ourselves a budget of £100 for the sound bar. I'm now thinking that this really isn't enough and maybe I should forget the ATV and spend more money on the Sound Bar to get a better model.

Anyone got any advice on what to look for in a decent sound bar model? Their TV is a recent LG LCD but most sound bars only seem to confer to the older outputs.

The DVD is a 4 year old Panasonic HDD recorder and don't think it has much connectivity.

All advice appreciated.



ZolakJHS
Jul 23, 2012, 03:26 PM
I'd be careful with the soundbar purchase... as there are a lot of cheap options out there that are really just doing glorified stereo sound. They only sound good compared to the TVs speakers, which are universally awful.
If you are looking for surround sound simulation (not as good as real, but okay depending on the room) the Yamaha Digital Sound Projectors are pretty good. You can hook up a subwoofer to them as well. That is what I use for my living room (setting up a full surround sound system in the room might have triggered divorce paperwork). It is significantly more than $300 USD for one though. I think I paid $700 for mine (with subwoofer) about 4 years ago.

Macman45
Jul 23, 2012, 03:33 PM
It's just an opinion, but I tried out a lot of top end sound bars and came to the conclusion that they are overpriced, and really not that good. At best they are a compromise, you can never get true DTS out of them, and the top end Pioneer I tried out in-store was £600 in th elk and the sound was underwhelming. Okay I'm a pro musician so am fussy about sound, but I grabbed an Onkyo and speakers for less money and the sound is superb:

Just priced one up for a buddy...your side of the pond there are some fantastic offers now:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=onkyo

HobeSoundDarryl
Jul 23, 2012, 03:33 PM
Vizio 510: 5.1 surround sound via a wireless link to the subwoofer and dedicated rear left & right speakers. Surprisingly good sound for relatively little cost.

Worst things about it is that some people have some issues with the LCDs (which does not affect the sound quality) and that it has only 1 Toslink optical audio input and 1 analog stereo input. So if you want to push multiple sources through it, you need some kind of middle device to flow more inputs into 1-2 outputs.

As others have posted, this is not 5.1 surround to the fullest... but it is better than many sound bars that are just stereo or faux surround. And it's much closer to the price target than great 5.1 (real) surround systems.

Fatboy71
Jul 25, 2012, 01:59 AM
My brother's birthday is looming and I have agreed with his fiancée to buy him a sound bar and Apple TV with contributions from her and our parents.

Thing is that we set ourselves a budget of £100 for the sound bar. I'm now thinking that this really isn't enough and maybe I should forget the ATV and spend more money on the Sound Bar to get a better model.

Anyone got any advice on what to look for in a decent sound bar model? Their TV is a recent LG LCD but most sound bars only seem to confer to the older outputs.

The DVD is a 4 year old Panasonic HDD recorder and don't think it has much connectivity. All advice appreciated.

To me the idea of purchasing a soundbar is to improve the poor sound that pretty much all LCD slimline tv's have. Too be honest, £100 is not going to get you a really decent one. I would use the money that you would have been getting the Apple tv with and put it together with the money you would be getting the soundbar with. At a later date get the Apple tv.

I have a Yamaha soundbar, this one:
http://www.johnlewis.com/231604280/Product.aspx

I paid around £220 for it, but the sound quality is fantastic. The good thing with this soundbar is that you don't need to find additional space for a sub woofer. I'm really picky, but I find that there is no need for an additional sub woofer, has the one it has built in is superb. You can adjust the sub woofer level on the soundbar ive mentioned via its remote control, i have the sub woofer on mine turned to maximum, and find its more than enough for me, explosions in films have a real punch. I can't recommend this soundbar enough.

Yeah you won't get the sound quality of a seperate 7 speaker surround system from a soundbar, but to me, soundbars are for people who either don't have the room for a 7 speaker surround system, or they don't want to be running cables around the room. I got a soundbar because I didn't have the room. If you get a good soundbar, in my opinion it's not a compromise on sound quality unless you are an audiophile.

Re connections:

The Yamaha soundbar I've mentioned has a coaxial input for STB (sky+, freeview box etc), optical output for BD (this is where you connect a DVD, Blu ray player etc), then there's a optical input for TV. You can just connect the tv directly to the soundbar, but I done this with my tv (which is 2 years old), but I found the sound quality was good, but not as good has when I wired the devices into it separately.

If you do run out of optical ports on a soundbar, it's possible to purchase a one in, 2, 3, or 4 out optical switchers, so its no big deal if you need more optical ports and you have none left on your soundbar. I got a good one from Keene Electronics for around £50 has after I'd got my soundbar I got an Apple tv and needed an additional optical port to connect it to, the optical switcher comes with a little remote that allows you to switch between the connected sources.

Here's a link to it:

http://www.keene.co.uk/electronics/multi.php?mycode=AUD41

There's a review on the John Lewis website for the soundbar, which gives a bit more info

http://www.johnlewis.com/231604280/Product.aspx#BVRRWidgetID

If you need anymore advice, just ask and I'll see if I can help :)

Moccasin
Jul 25, 2012, 03:36 PM
To me the idea of purchasing a soundbar is to improve the poor sound that pretty much all LCD slimline tv's have. Too be honest, £100 is not going to get you a really decent one. I would use the money that you would have been getting the Apple tv with and put it together with the money you would be getting the soundbar with. At a later date get the Apple tv.

I have a Yamaha soundbar, this one:
http://www.johnlewis.com/231604280/Product.aspx

I paid around £220 for it, but the sound quality is fantastic. The good thing with this soundbar is that you don't need to find additional space for a sub woofer. I'm really picky, but I find that there is no need for an additional sub woofer, has the one it has built in is superb. You can adjust the sub woofer level on the soundbar ive mentioned via its remote control, i have the sub woofer on mine turned to maximum, and find its more than enough for me, explosions in films have a real punch. I can't recommend this soundbar enough.

Yeah you won't get the sound quality of a seperate 7 speaker surround system from a soundbar, but to me, soundbars are for people who either don't have the room for a 7 speaker surround system, or they don't want to be running cables around the room. I got a soundbar because I didn't have the room. If you get a good soundbar, in my opinion it's not a compromise on sound quality unless you are an audiophile.

Re connections:

The Yamaha soundbar I've mentioned has a coaxial input for STB (sky+, freeview box etc), optical output for BD (this is where you connect a DVD, Blu ray player etc), then there's a optical input for TV. You can just connect the tv directly to the soundbar, but I done this with my tv (which is 2 years old), but I found the sound quality was good, but not as good has when I wired the devices into it separately.

If you do run out of optical ports on a soundbar, it's possible to purchase a one in, 2, 3, or 4 out optical switchers, so its no big deal if you need more optical ports and you have none left on your soundbar. I got a good one from Keene Electronics for around £50 has after I'd got my soundbar I got an Apple tv and needed an additional optical port to connect it to, the optical switcher comes with a little remote that allows you to switch between the connected sources.

Here's a link to it:

http://www.keene.co.uk/electronics/multi.php?mycode=AUD41

There's a review on the John Lewis website for the soundbar, which gives a bit more info

http://www.johnlewis.com/231604280/Product.aspx#BVRRWidgetID

If you need anymore advice, just ask and I'll see if I can help :)

Thanks for your reply. Pretty much confirmed what I thought. It was my idea to buy an Apple TV and my brother is annoyed by his TV speakers.

I'll have a look at the model you suggest and speak to his fiancée to check.

Fatboy71
Jul 25, 2012, 04:40 PM
Thanks for your reply. Pretty much confirmed what I thought. It was my idea to buy an Apple TV and my brother is annoyed by his TV speakers.

I'll have a look at the model you suggest and speak to his fiancée to check.

No problem :)