Looking for a decent surround sound system?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Airforcekid, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #1
    I have never had a surround sound system I mainly just worry about video quality. I have a ATV, Boxee Box and Xbox 360. What is a good system under $250 and would be easy to set up for my devices? Thanks for any help I'm pretty new to surround sound. Also what is the difference between 5.1 and 7.1 and watts such as 500 or 1000?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #2
    5.1 indicates 5 speakers and 1 subwoffer [3 fronts, 2 rears]

    7.1 indicates 7 speakers and 1 subwoffer [3 fronts, 2 rears, 2 sides]

    watts indicate the amount of power both that a receiver can output and what speakers are rated to play.

    I would personally stay away from HTIB setups, but that's likely all you will find for $250.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    #3
    htib?
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    EvilShenaniganZ

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #4
    HTIB, Home Theater in a Box.
    Comes with everything you'll need. But anything for $250 won't be all that great. I would save up for something better. Or buy piece by piece. Grab a receiver and two fronts. Later when you have more $ add on the surrounds and a sub.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #5
    This is a little over my budget but would it be worth it on amazon for $350?

    Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    NY State
    #6
    I could be wrong because the Audiophiles on here are more insane about codecs, lossless vs uncompressed vs lossy, etc. BUT I've always heard Onkyo is a good brand and definitely not "crap" unless your comparing it to McIntosh stuff. 7.1 Surround is probably over kill but then again it will sound amazing provided you have the right stuff to feed it (i.e.: Transformers 3, 8 channel discrete DolbyTrueHD and maybe some video games I can't name), just make sure your not buying an overkill amount of speakers when you can't feed the beast 99% of the time with its DTS/Dolby 999999 channel hunger (lol). If your really committed to quality though buying piece by piece is the best way to go with anything in my opinion. Buying piece by piece allows you to customize things the way YOU want not the way some company says is the best and depending on how you do it, it might be cheaper or more expensive in the end.

    EDIT: I should mention speakers and cables are NOT something you should ever cheap out on ever ever ever! Its almost inarguably vital that your cables are not ****! My 5.1 system was wired with some cheap excessively long cable designed for some other POS system and not my Sony multichannel decoder (its old, but it runs pretty well) and my dad was wondering why the rear speakers sounded like crap...I re-wired the whole thing with the right gauge of wire and watched The Dark Knight in 6 channel DTS and nearly **** my pants...so yeah make sure you buy good cable and don't make it longer than it needs to be!
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #7
    Start with a good receiver and a good pair of front speakers. You can add in the other channels as you go. If you are on a budget, I'd recommend you stick to 5.1. 7.1 only makes sense if you have the proper room setup and enough money for a bunch of good speakers and a good source, like a collection of the latest blurays.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    NY State
    #8
    Just curious...what type of set up do you run? If I were OP I would get more than just left, center, right....having no rears leaves much to be desired..
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #9
    I bought a Samsung Blu-Ray HTIB three years ago. 1100 watts, 7.1 surround. Works great, fills my needs, price was right (just under $500). There's absolutely nothing wrong with HTIBs.
     

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