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Old Mar 25, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1
iWoz
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I'm planning on purchasing surround sound for my lounge, just wondering if anyone has any recommendations, I have a 50' 1080p HDl plasma tv a playstation 3 I'd like the surround to play out of both for movies and gaming on ps3 and normal tv for live sports events ie the world cup.Im lookingat spending max 150
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 08:58 PM   #2
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iWoz View Post
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I'm planning on purchasing surround sound for my lounge, just wondering if anyone has any recommendations, I have a 50' 1080p HDl plasma tv a playstation 3 I'd like the surround to play out of both for movies and gaming on ps3 and normal tv for live sports events ie the world cup.Im lookingat spending max 150
You're not going to get anything good at that price. Everything will be junk.

You need to spend around $1000 just to get bare minimum decent sound quality ($300 receiver, $700 speakers).

Put another way, how much did you spend on your tv + ps3? Do you think it looks good? If so, then you should plan on spending at least an equal amount on audio to get comparable quality. Sound is 50% of home theater, why would you only devote 10% of your budget to it? Especially with blu-ray and uncompressed audio.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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I thought the original post was a bit misplaced here (there are a lot of better places to read reviews of low-end surround systems) but I thought the reply was exceptionally unhelpful.

I've used a $225ish Panasonic 5-disc changer with 5.1 surround since 2004 and nobody including me has ever complained about the sound. It's loud and clear. The subwoofer shakes the floor and makes my beverage vibrate in the glass if I crank it.

Some people, including me, are simply not audiophiles. My system is "good enough." If I ever replace it, it would be for reasons other than the sound, for example to go wireless.

Not a UK link, but this is something like what I have, and it works fine.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158HDX2...5.html?tp=6419
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 01:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombat888 View Post
I thought the original post was a bit misplaced here (there are a lot of better places to read reviews of low-end surround systems) but I thought the reply was exceptionally unhelpful.

I've used a $225ish Panasonic 5-disc changer with 5.1 surround since 2004 and nobody including me has ever complained about the sound. It's loud and clear. The subwoofer shakes the floor and makes my beverage vibrate in the glass if I crank it.

Some people, including me, are simply not audiophiles. My system is "good enough." If I ever replace it, it would be for reasons other than the sound, for example to go wireless.
I suppose that is your opinion. However the op asked for a good audio system to go with what sounds like a fairly expensive tv and blu-ray player combination. Based on what he has, pairing it with an ultra-low-end audio system makes no sense. It's the equivalent of buying a BMW and pairing it with the wheels with from a Corolla. You'll still be able to drive around, but is it really a BMW driving experience? Of course, if you've never driven a BMW, you might never know the difference.

A $300 computer will do the same basic tasks as a $2000 Macbook Pro. A $100 lcd monitor can be bright and clear and show colors. But is it accurate? Is it actually reproducing true colors?

And regarding audio, volume doesn't mean much. Shaking means nothing, other than maybe an underpowered and cheaply designed subwoofer. Range, accuracy, and tonality mean something. Do the sounds actually sound like they do in real life? Does an instrument actually sound like it does in real life? Does the subwoofer actually create low bass and not just vibrations?

I have no doubt that your current audio system seems adequate to you, and I'm not suggesting you run out and spend thousands on a system. However, something that might be adequate for your needs is completely different from good. I'd suggest listening to a decent audio system some time, if merely to have a benchmark to understand what good audio actually is. And I'm hardly an audiophile. I have what is considered a low-to-mid-range audio system, as I don't want to spend 10K+ on a system. But I do know what good audio is supposed to sound like and I believe that if I'm going to spend $2000+ on a HDTV, I'm going to pair it with comparable audio.

To me, any $400 5.1 audio system will be just this side of pitiful. Frankly, if that was my budget, I'd save my money and just use the built-in speakers on the tv, since the sound quality would pretty much be the same. I wouldn't even bother with a 5.1 system.

But hey, whatever, some people think $300 TVs are good and spending any more is stupid. And some people think a $600 Windows box is equal to a $2000 iMac.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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He did say "good" - but he also gave a price. He's clearly asking what the best he can get for about that price is - for example, Sony's good, avoid Panasonic (or whatever - not real examples).

And I keep the subwoofer turned down, for the most part.

The system I have, which is typical for what you can get for under $300, sounds pretty good to me. I'm not saying it sounds as good as a $1000 or $10000 system, I'm sure it doesn't. But I don't care about the difference.

The only drawback in my mind is that I have wired speakers scattered around the den. At some point, I'd like to at least go wireless, or ideally, wall-mount them.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Probably the best thing to do at this price range is a home theatre in a box. I would look at something from Yamaha, Pioneer, etc. As has already been mentioned, what "sounds good" is both highly individualistic and also determined by the size of the room. A set of Logitech 5.1 computer speakers like the X-540 might be perfectly suitable for a bedroom, office, small den.

Personally I am running Polk Audio RM85 set in my (small) living room, and combined with a small sub (PSW 111), the sound is perfectly adequate for the room. By no means audiophile quality, but far better than the TV's built-in speaker. I'm driving it all with a Denon AVR-590 receiver. However, this setup, modest as it is, still runs about $700.

I would suggest AVSforum.com for lots of good reading about audio (and video) systems at every possible price range. Be warned, it's overwhelmingly big, but there's lots of good information there.
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