Please recommend a pair of good speakers for large screen TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, May 21, 2018.

  1. hajime macrumors 68040

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, the height of my 49" TV is 27" (from the base to the top of the TV). It is sitting on my desk . I am looking for a pair of speakers that gives excellent surround sounds and if possible also good looking. What recommendations do you have?
     
  2. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    #2
    Look into a Soundbar. Many to choose from, some are 5.1 with wireless subwoofer, surround sound and all. Or 2.1 bars if you don't want to spend as much (no surround, but decent sound).

    I picked up a Vizio 5.1 3 years ago. It has three speakers in the bar itself (center\Left\Right) and the satellite speakers (Rear Left\Right) plug into the sub which wirelessly connects to the bar. The bar itself has optical TOSLink to get digital audio from the TV. More than enough for a decent sized room.

    You can find decent bars in the low-mid $100s, and some high end Sonos and Polks in the $500-700 range.
     
  3. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #3
    techwarrior is right. Get a soundbar with a subwoofer. I've got a Samsung I got for $119 that is superb. And it's expandable for surround. LG also makes some very good bars, too.
     
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Thanks. Just to reconfirm. Soundbar means those horizontal bars usually put under the TV? I have one with subwoofer from Samsung connected to another TV. Since I put the 49" TV on my desk, I have to put the soundbar between the TV and the desk?
     
  5. Phil in ocala macrumors 6502a

    Phil in ocala

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    #5
  6. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #6
    Sounds like it. Mine sits in the space between the bottom of my TV and the table it sits on. The subwoofer sits on the floor. My soundbar sounds a lot better than the old stereo I used to run sound through.
     
  7. Phil in ocala, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

    Phil in ocala macrumors 6502a

    Phil in ocala

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    #7
    I used to work for Sony...Marketing knew the house wife dictated what went into the house...she wanted something small, unobtrusive....thus the sound bar.....The priority was small and cheap.
     
  8. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #8
    The sound's really good, though!
     
  9. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    #9
    If you don't like the form factor of a soundbar, you might consider Sonos' Playbase. It costs the same as their sound bar, and is essentially a soundbar in the form of a platform the TV can sit on. You can pair it with a subwoofer and/or two Play:1 speakers as rear/surrounds. Not cheap, but it does sound very good. Supposedly it will also be Airplay 2 compatible.
     
  10. verdee macrumors newbie

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #10
    Just got a sonos playbar and sub. Expensive, but sounds great. I actually bought the surrounds too and just put them in other rooms as Alexa enabled speakers. The sonos system is awesome if you are looking to expand to whole home sound at a later date
     
  11. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    #11
    Not necessarily, but probably the best bet. The bar could go behind, or in front of the TV on the desk, mount on the wall, etc. It usually connects to TV via coax or optical audio cable and you can find cables in various lengths.
     
  12. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #12
    I bought one of these, Vizio SmartCast 5.1, and to me it sounds really good. It was only $150 at Sam's Club. It has wifi and ethernet as well as toslink/digital and acts like a chrome cast speaker for streaming from a phone or tablet (as well as HDMI ARC and optical connections). For that price I was impressed.



    Mike
     
  13. Unami macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I got the ht-xt1soundbase from sony, and i‘m happy with it for the money. obviously, only 2-3 speakers won‘t give you a real surround sound, you‘ll need at least a 5.1 system for that.
     
  14. CaneCollegeboy macrumors regular

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    #14
    This makes so so so much sense
     
  15. Phil in ocala macrumors 6502a

    Phil in ocala

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    #15
    _______ Everything is relative...some people would say they bought a Chrome Book and its great too.
    Quality High Fidelity sound has never been cheap...especially stuff made in China....you get what you pay for applies here.
    --- Post Merged, May 24, 2018 ---
    Yes you will...I have a 7.1 system and the comparison to sound bars is like comparing a Apple Mac Pro to a Chromecast computer.
    The speakers in these sound bars are about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
     
  16. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #16
    Did you actually read the OP? :rolleyes:



    Mike
     
  17. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a

    EthanNixon

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    #17
    Since sound and appearance are the first two things you mentioned, I would not recommend a sound bar. They do not sound good (comparatively speaking to what's available), and often look like odd black bars...

    I would recommend traditional speakers and an integrated amp, or powered speakers at the least. I have a pair of MartinLogan Motion 15s, which are powered by an Emotiva Amp/Preamp, but that is just my setup. You can get a pair of speakers from very reputable companies for $500 or less, and then an integrated amp for around the same price.

    For an integrated amplifier, I would recommend the ProJect MaiA. Super simple, all the ports you can need, and it doubles as a solid headphone amplifier. - https://www.crutchfield.com/p_252MAIAB/Pro-Ject-MaiA-Black.html?search=integrated+amplifiers

    For speakers, this is extremely subjective. I work in this industry, and can recommend a few different brands that will give you great performance and value. Definitive Technology, SVS, and MartinLogan will all offer something at $500 or less.

    www.definitivetechnology.com
    www.svsound.com
    www.martinlogan.com

    I hope this helped.
     
  18. jdiamond macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Hi - I don't know what you consider "good sound quality", but IMO, most of these designs for television speakers are not very good. I'd recommend a pair of audiophile grade bookshelf speakers. You can get some with integrated amps for convenience, but if you add an amp, you get a broader range of lighter and cheaper speakers. I have personally used the Orb Audio Mini T3 amplifier - it's the size of a deck of cards, and it replaced $250 huge conventional amplifiers from Onkyo and Sony and honestly sounded better. Some entry level, small, audiophile grade speakers I've used with my TV include:

    - Monitor Audio Bronze bookshelf speakers (these are the largest and would fill a decent sized room).
    - Audio Engine A2+ speakers - these are tiny and have internal amplification - they sound great, but can't fill a large room - still incredible sound quality.
    - Anything from Cambridge Audio...

    Honestly, entry level quality speakers trounce high end entertainment speakers in my experience, and can actually be cheaper. "Looks great" largely depends on your stands and the choice of color and finish of the speakers - your taste varies. I currently use the Monitor Audios out to the sides of the room on beautiful wood stands... And they only take up the space of a shoe box.
     
  19. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I asked Sony. They just recommended me to use their products.

    Some soundbar have simulated immerse surround but only work under Windows. They just serve as normal speakers under Mac. Without such simulated immerse surround sound, it is better to buy a pair of speakers than that kind of soundbar?
     
  20. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    #20
    Of course they did, just as Vizio and LG would recommend theirs.
     
  21. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Actually, are Sony's soundbars good?
     
  22. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a

    EthanNixon

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    #22
    I don't want to sound mean, but no sound bars are good, with the exception from an actual audio company (MartinLogan, Bowers and Wilkins, etc). Getting a sound bar is like using an iPhone for spreadsheet work. It gets the job done, but it isn't designed to do it the best. Sound bars are not designed to sound great. They are designed to be inexpensive and convenient.

    There is no such thing as simulated surround sound. Either you have speakers behind you, or you don't. No speaker in front of you is going to sound like it's behind you. That's physics. Unfortunately some people believe marketing too much.

    Get yourself a nice pair of bookshelf speakers and a nice integrated amplifier.
     
  23. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #23
    There is some information missing here. What kind of output jacks do you have on the TV as in an "audio out" or "aux" ??

    Do you want active speakers (like computer speakers with the amp built in) or passive speakers (such as room stereo speakers where you hook up to receiver)?

    What is the max size speakers if placed to the left and right of your TV? If you got a soundbar, did you read what is the optimal distance to be seated away from the speaker and realize you are sitting most likely too close?

    If you can match TV out (most likely source for you) to a pair of active speakers you may save yourself some grief, however you may also need to manually (at some level) play with the audio. There are quite a few good options out there but you need to provide a bit more info.
     
  24. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    #24
    To an audiophile, perhaps. To the average ear, soundbars can be a good solution. "Good" is whatever fits both your ears and budget and space constraints.

    There are 5.1 soundbars which give you a decent surround solution. I picked up an Vizio 5.1 bar a few years ago for a Living Room TV, about $150 including speakers and cables. It does the job infinitely better than the TV speakers for general TV viewing.

    Could I do better? Sure, but at what cost and complexity?

    My main TV is connected to a Sony AV receiver with 7.1 speaker system. It is closer to a $700 solution and is able to produce immersive sound for intense action movies. But, I don't need that kind of sound experience for everyday use like news, sitcoms, etc.

    OP is looking for speakers for a TV that sits on his desk, so I would assume space is a big factor. An amp and speaker solution would likely be overkill.
     
  25. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #25
    Thanks. That is a good point. Details of the TV is shown here:
    https://docs.sony.com/release//specs/XBR49X900E_mksp.pdf

    I guess active speakers is better. Ideally, small but powerful speakers. Do the speakers have to be tall enough to match the level of my ears in order for me to experience realistic immerse environment?
     

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