What speakers?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bythor, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. bythor macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    Hi. I'm a newbie here so sorry if I should be posting on another thread.

    I have the following: Imac, Macbook Pro, Ipad2, Apple TV, Samsung 42" telly.

    I'm looking to get some decent speakers for the telly, I guess some kind of surround sound and ones that can also play my music from the ATV. Is all this possible in a simple method, without taking out a mortgage? Can anyone point me to a system that's maybe going to do all of this or at least most of it?
    Thanks for reading!
  2. festerfeet macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2011
    China and UK

    Yes this is all possible, perhaps the best way to get started is to tell us what size of room you are going to be putting the system in, and what you budget is.

    Also what films and music do you watch/listen to as this might help give a little more specific guidance.:)
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Maybe a soundbar?


    Won't break the bank either, and they sound a lot better than you might think.
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Bookshelves and avr will probably be your best option. It'd help to know room size and budget though.
  5. bythor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    thanks for your replies....

    sorry it's taken so long for me to get back, I've been at work I should have said when I posted!

    I don't think I'd want to spend more than a couple of hundred pounds, but lets not make that a definite limit of there's something out there that really appeals. The room isn't very big, I'd say a 'standard' size living room in a mid terrace house. all sorts of music and movies (sorry that won't help I guess).

    In the meantime I'll go google soundbar and avr first of all....

    thanks again:)
  6. badman89 macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2011
    When I bought speakers, I was on an even smaller budget than you. My limit was $250 (including receiver). I got these speakers: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-F6000...4E20/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330194670&sr=8-1 (currently listed at $120 for the pair). They worked out great for me. If your budget allows, you can even get a sub-woofer for about $100 and the sound would be much better.

    And a simple A/V receiver. I bought a used one off eBay, but you can get a new one on Amazon for about $100 (a basic one).
  7. bythor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    thanks badman. Looks like they're discontinued, at least in the Uk - I'll keep looking for them though.
    I also like the soundbar idea if only for lack of wires, looking at the panasonic one with wireless sub woofer so far....
  8. Fast duck macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    I can't recommend any cheap subwoofer. Low, low budget level subwoofers are moreso bass boxes than actual subwoofers. They're usually bloated and ill-controled with their transients. One of the cheapest decent subwoofers is the BIC America F12, but that costs 180usd alone (a very good price but nearly maxes out your budget)

    You can however, get a pair of bookshelves right now with avr, and eventually save up for a subwoofer.

    Once again I'll throw out the PSB recommendation. They make outstanding budget speakers, and sooner or later you can probably find a great deal on a used pair or even new pair-- alpha or image line.
  10. adam2000, Feb 27, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012

    adam2000 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2012
    Your question is quite broad and that would make it somewhat difficult to get specific answers. You will get many different answers since there isn't much specifics but thanks to this forum and helpful people you will get some good hints and from what I read so far there are good answers. Also, people will understand differently when you say you have standard size living room :). Readers from the US will think of bigger rooms than those out of US and it sounds like you are not in the US.

    There are many things to consider when buying sound systems/home theaters but if you keep few general ideas in mind, you won't be overwhelmed and confused.

    Check this link out. It might be helpful.

    In general:
    * Sound quality is very subjective. Everyone will have different opinion about what speaker sounds good so as a first step decide on what kind of setup you are going to go for rather than what speakers you will buy.

    * When budget is in consideration, HTIB (home theater in a box) systems give you the most for your money. HTIB systems are the ones that include blu-ray player (most of the time), speakers, streaming services (although nothing beats ATV2's interface and usability), and some extra inputs for other devices like cable boxes, Playstation, ATV2, etc.
    Samsung and Sony home theaters are good performers in general if you are looking to have the blu-ray player included. Samsung HT-D5500 is great for the money but if you don't care about the blu ray player, Onkyo HT-S3400 is wonderful for the money. It's like HTIB without the player. See below for pros and cons of home theater in a box systems.
    All-in-one package that will give you satisfactory performance although not audiophile level.
    Saves space since the BD player, receiver is all in one console
    Customization is very difficult. Most of the time you can't upgrade components if you want to.
    When something breaks, the whole system may be unusable - one of the worst parts of all-in-one systems

    * To get the best performance with tight budget, get the best stereo speakers the money can buy with a decent avr. Bookshelf speakers are great for such purpose. Adding a sub will improve the experience even further. Buying separate components will always be the more expensive choice and it will require more space but it is well worth it in the long run.

    Soundbars are great option for budget and space oriented sound setup but unless you spend few extra hundred bucks for soundbars like Yamaha's, virtual surround might be disappointing if you are looking for surround sound. Room acoustics are also important to get good virtual surround. Smaller the room, better the effect due to better sound reflection.

    * Regardless what setup you go for and whatever speakers you end up with, you can always tweak the sound to its optimum level by learning how room acoustics change the sound. It takes several trial and error but at least this is the part that doesn't cost anything :) Positioning the sub in the right place in the room will make a big difference the way you will hear the sound.


    I read this guys articles all the time. Although he has some expensive taste in sound equipment, he does know his stuff.

    Good luck.
  11. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You really need to not only provide a budget but you also need to get out and find solutions within your budget that you like the sound of. Sound's a very subjective matter. The budget you posted may be tricky as you'll either have to go with powered speakers (in many cases these are lesser quality and offer fewer inputs but may be suitable for your specific needs/wants) or include a receiver in your budget.
  12. bythor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    great advice

    Thanks everyone for your very helpful advice and suggestions. I'll do some research then , and maybe go into some local stores to hear what's on offer. As soon as I can figure out how mark this one as resolved I will!!:)
  13. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Keep in mind for surround sound you're looking at speakers and a receiver. Not just speakers.
  14. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I've just got a Sony HT-AS5 surround kit - currently going for ~£250 in the UK.


    Does what you want - its a big subwoofer unit with 4 satellite speakers. The Apple TV, your DVD player, any satellite/cable box you have go to the 3 HDMIs on the subwoofer, then a single HTMI goes to the telly. Unless its a new telly with "Audio Return" on the HDMI then you'll also need an optical TOSlink cable from the telly to the sub.

    Some of the bells and whistles only work if you have a Sony telly, but even with my Samsung TV it automatically mutes the telly speakers when you turn it on, and you can control volume with the TV remote.

    Sound quality is pretty good for a (relatively) cheap surround kit.

    Only caveat is that it seems to be a discontinued model (but there's still stock around) so don't count on being able to get things like the iPod dock option without a hunt.
  15. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    Start with a 5.1 receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers. There's no limit to what you can spend, but pick out a pair of speakers that sound good to you and a receiver with HDMI inputs that supports at least 5.1 surround.

    You won't be able to take advantage of the surround sound right away, but as your budget allows over time you can pick up a subwoofer, center channel speaker, and surround speakers, in whatever order you prefer.

    The benefit to this sort of plan is that you can get good sounding equipment without wasting any money on components that are going to be replaced.

    Your other alternative is to pick up a "home theater in a box" for a few hundred bucks (or pounds). These usually include five small speakers and a subwoofer and sometimes even a basic receiver. I have a couple of friends who have done that, and if you're just looking for passable 5.1 surround then it's not a bad idea. The problem though is that the individual components won't be of terribly high quality, and if you plan to upgrade later on then you won't be getting the most for your money.

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