Soundbar vs Surround Sound?

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by No Whey, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. No Whey Audiophyte

    No Whey
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    I've been upgrading my home theater a bit recently and I put of the sound system until last, because it's usually the most cumbersome. I definitely want surround sound, but every home surround sound system I've ever seen installed in a house is lousy because the sound is projected to the center of the room and everyone is usually sitting around the edges.

    I've been looking researching sound bars really like the the VIZIO Universal HD Sound Bar, which claims to have a "virtual" surround sound system called SRS TruSurround HD. Has anyone used this before? Or something similar, I'd prefer an easy set-up that won't alter the "feng shui" my wife assures me our lounge has... Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ljaggers Junior Audioholic

    ljaggers
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    If you are really looking for surround you probably shouldn't go with a surround bar. There are a lot of companies that promise great "virtual" surround but it is very unlikely that it works like they promise. Most of the time these systems depend on a specific size/dimension of room in order to reverberate the "surround" sound off the back wall and then to your ears.

    However, if you just want quality sound, the Vizio + Wireless Sub option will give you that. My brother-in-law recently purchased this set and I was (surprisingly) impressed with the range and clarity of sound it produced. Don't let the price of this bad boy scare you off.
  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    A properly setup system does not send all the sound to the "center" of the room - that tells me you have't been in a room that was done right. A proper setup distributes sound over a wide enough range, but it won't be perfect for every seating position. A surround bar is a good compromise, but it isn't going to give you the best surround experience and just like having actual speakers, the result will depend entirely on it being able to be set up correctly within the room.
  4. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    I agree with j garcia - sounds like whatever you've had before wasn't properly calibrated and/or arranged. Every system is going to have a sweet spot, it's inevitable, but shouldn't equate to sounding lousy anywhere outside that spot. Sound bars, IMHO, were invented strictly for wives, and husbands who could not get them to agree to a multichannel speaker system in their living rooms. :) The ones I've heard don't sound terrible, but they're never going to give you a true surround sound experience like a full 5.1 or 7.1 setup will. To put it in other words, they are the in-between option between using TV speakers (yuck), and a full surround sound system, not a replacement for a surround sound system.
  5. HDPCsound Audioholic

    HDPCsound
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    Surround sound is the way to go, you have much greater control over the sound and placement.
  6. BluBitRates Enthusiast

    BluBitRates
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    Surround sound. Floorspeakers, center channel rears and a big subwoofer
  7. ljaggers Junior Audioholic

    ljaggers
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    Spoken like a true American.
  8. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    Definitely surround. I've heard a few good soundbars, in the sense that they don't massacre sound, but my ears are not fooled by the digital magic. They still sound as though everything is coming from under the TV. Soundbars are OK and high on the convenience thing if you're not very critical about sound.
  9. yepimonfire Audioholic General

    yepimonfire
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    my advice is to avoid SRS like the plague
    if you want to go with Virtual surround then get something with dolby in it
    i have several DSPs on my receiver all the SRS ones are WRETCHINGLY HORRID sounding
  10. zhimbo Audioholic General

    zhimbo
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    Here's the thing:

    Soundbars are EVEN MORE dependent on seating being in a particular location, and have very limited adjustability relative to independent speakers. They can work pretty well - if you arrange your room around the soundbar's needs.
  11. flippo Audioholic

    flippo
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    soundstage

    what you want is speakers with a wide soundstage and large sweetspot. Mirage speakers have a very large sweet spot. for satellites you can get the os3 or you can get the floorstanding version.

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