Best Sound System for Limited Space ?

Regev

Regev

Audiophyte
Hi folks :)

I just moved to a new place. Looking for speakers to connect to my TV. I don't use it for hours a day, but I do use it for:

55% of the time - Playing on the Xbox Series X with guests
20% - Watching UFC/soccer on TV
20% - Music from Youtube/Phone
5% - Netflix movies

Again, really limited on space. I have the space for either a pair of 7.5" wide bookshelves (with or without a subwoofer of 7.5" *height* max), or just a soundbar and a subwoofer perhaps.

What will I be better off with, for the use cases I described above?

I am NOT an audio fanatic. In fact, I am currently with a LG UM7310 70" TV and am very happy with the sound of its speakers ^^ However, I fondly remember the time with my Microlab SOLO 7C speakers in the past (put them at my parents, they enjoy them so much I don't wanna take em back), so I thought I should invest a little bit in a pair of external speakers.

What do you say?

The options as I currently see:

2 Studio Monitor Bookshelves

RCF Ayra Pro 5 (recommended by my cousin's husband who has an audio equipment company), which I found at a big promo here for $186.5 each - making for a total of $373 for a pair of them (about $200 less than the retail price). Here's the product page:

https://www.rcf.it/en_US/products/product-detail/ayra-pro5/1022568

What worries me - aren't studio speakers more "flat" in nature - accurate, short-distance focused, etc for audio recording purposes rather than enriched, slightly manipulated sound of "recreational speakers" built for home ? And how do you integrate their volume with the TV remote? Do you have to get up each time you want to change the volume? And do you change the volume for each of them at a time?! I know they're connected with two separate power cables, so I assume volume and everything is controlled independently..?

"Normal" Bookshelves

Edifier R2000DB, which normally costs $317 here, but are on promotion for $271 for the next 7 days. Seems very similar to the Ayra Pro 5 in dimensions and specs (I think? I'm no sound expert). Also have the benefit of bluetooth and a remote control for comfort. Hopefully can integrate them to the TV's remote control. Product page:

https://www.edifier.com/int/en/speakers/r2000db-bookshelf-bluetooth-optical-rca

Can also get the R1700 or R1850 for even cheaper.

Soundbar

Everybody seems to hate them, but I see they all have HDMI+ARC which would allow me the convenience of controlling their volume through the TV remote? I'd love to be able to cancel the TV speakers compeltely and control the speakers volume from its remote control, but hey, not at the price of much inferior audio quality if that's the case.

Anyway, here are some models I can get here:

Samsung HW-T650 ($293)
Samsung HW-T550 ( $240)
Sonos Beam ($448)
PolkAudio Signa S2 ($407)
JBL SB160 ($243)
JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass ($360)
LG SJ3 ($282)
Sony HTS350 ($249)
Denon DHT-S316 ($274)
LG SK8 ($422)

There are other models too, of course, so if you have one in mind by all means mention it.

Would love to know your experienced opinion.

Thanks!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I think with that TV you will need HDMI connectivity? If so, you will have to get one of the soundbars.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I don't even see that model listed on the LG site....is it a 7370?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I only see hdmi as an option like shadyj says but manual is only in Arabic that I can see....and I'm limited to English.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Here's what I see behind the TV, if that helps:

If that optical connector is an output, which I am guessing it is, you can connect a DAC to it and then speakers to the DAC. If that is the case, either the Edifier speakers or the RCF speakers should be pretty good, better than a soundbar. Edifier looks decent from what I have seen but I am curious about RCF. I think either out to be good.
 
Regev

Regev

Audiophyte
You mean something like this?

https://img.ksp.co.il/item/46637/b_2.jpg

Can't I connect the speakers directly to the TV through the dual RCA cables?
Also, how do I control the volume, say, of the RCF? by physically getting up each time to rotate the knob ?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
You mean something like this?

https://img.ksp.co.il/item/46637/b_2.jpg

Can't I connect the speakers directly to the TV through the dual RCA cables?
Also, how do I control the volume, say, of the RCF? by physically getting up each time to rotate the knob ?
Yes, that looks like it would work but you might want a nicer one than that if you can afford it. That is pretty barebones as DACs go. I would get a DAC with a remote control so you can adjust the loudness from your seat. I don't know what is available in your area, but something like this would work. Here is another one that would work. Here is another one. There are many DACs and they can range in price and feature set quite widely.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Found the ports in the setup guide, seems the rcas are only inputs. The digital optical out is the only option other than hdmi.
 
Regev

Regev

Audiophyte
Yes, that looks like it would work but you might want a nicer one than that if you can afford it. That is pretty barebones as DACs go. I would get a DAC with a remote control so you can adjust the loudness from your seat. I don't know what is available in your area, but something like this would work. Here is another one that would work. Here is another one. There are many DACs and they can range in price and feature set quite widely.
What if, instead of a DAC, I use a Bluetooth adapter/receiver/whatever it's called, so that the speakers are connected wirelessley to the TV? Would that allow me to change the volume through my TV remote, or will I need the bluetooth remote as well? Also, do you lose any quality due to the wireless BT signal, or any other drawbacks?
 
Regev

Regev

Audiophyte
Found the ports in the setup guide, seems the rcas are only inputs. The digital optical out is the only option other than hdmi.
Does optical allow controlling the volume through the TV remote?
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
Hi folks :)

I just moved to a new place. Looking for speakers to connect to my TV. I don't use it for hours a day, but I do use it for:

55% of the time - Playing on the Xbox Series X with guests
20% - Watching UFC/soccer on TV
20% - Music from Youtube/Phone
5% - Netflix movies

Again, really limited on space. I have the space for either a pair of 7.5" wide bookshelves (with or without a subwoofer of 7.5" *height* max), or just a soundbar and a subwoofer perhaps.

What will I be better off with, for the use cases I described above?

I am NOT an audio fanatic. In fact, I am currently with a LG UM7310 70" TV and am very happy with the sound of its speakers ^^ However, I fondly remember the time with my Microlab SOLO 7C speakers in the past (put them at my parents, they enjoy them so much I don't wanna take em back), so I thought I should invest a little bit in a pair of external speakers.

What do you say?

The options as I currently see:

2 Studio Monitor Bookshelves

RCF Ayra Pro 5 (recommended by my cousin's husband who has an audio equipment company), which I found at a big promo here for $186.5 each - making for a total of $373 for a pair of them (about $200 less than the retail price). Here's the product page:

https://www.rcf.it/en_US/products/product-detail/ayra-pro5/1022568

What worries me - aren't studio speakers more "flat" in nature - accurate, short-distance focused, etc for audio recording purposes rather than enriched, slightly manipulated sound of "recreational speakers" built for home ? And how do you integrate their volume with the TV remote? Do you have to get up each time you want to change the volume? And do you change the volume for each of them at a time?! I know they're connected with two separate power cables, so I assume volume and everything is controlled independently..?

"Normal" Bookshelves

Edifier R2000DB, which normally costs $317 here, but are on promotion for $271 for the next 7 days. Seems very similar to the Ayra Pro 5 in dimensions and specs (I think? I'm no sound expert). Also have the benefit of bluetooth and a remote control for comfort. Hopefully can integrate them to the TV's remote control. Product page:

https://www.edifier.com/int/en/speakers/r2000db-bookshelf-bluetooth-optical-rca

Can also get the R1700 or R1850 for even cheaper.

Soundbar

Everybody seems to hate them, but I see they all have HDMI+ARC which would allow me the convenience of controlling their volume through the TV remote? I'd love to be able to cancel the TV speakers compeltely and control the speakers volume from its remote control, but hey, not at the price of much inferior audio quality if that's the case.

Anyway, here are some models I can get here:

Samsung HW-T650 ($293)
Samsung HW-T550 ( $240)
Sonos Beam ($448)
PolkAudio Signa S2 ($407)
JBL SB160 ($243)
JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass ($360)
LG SJ3 ($282)
Sony HTS350 ($249)
Denon DHT-S316 ($274)
LG SK8 ($422)

There are other models too, of course, so if you have one in mind by all means mention it.

Would love to know your experienced opinion.

Thanks!
Totally depends on your budget, but if you're not an audio fanatic why not spend a bit less and get some great bang for buck speakers? Dayton Audio B652-AIR for example? Small and very good for the money ($60). You might find they meet all your needs. Then you can spend the savings on other stuff.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
What if, instead of a DAC, I use a Bluetooth adapter/receiver/whatever it's called, so that the speakers are connected wirelessley to the TV? Would that allow me to change the volume through my TV remote, or will I need the bluetooth remote as well? Also, do you lose any quality due to the wireless BT signal, or any other drawbacks?
I think you would need the wireless audio transmitter to have its own remote. The sound quality wouldn't suffer though. The TV remote probably doesn't control the volume level of the optical output. Some of these DACs may have apps that can control the volume through a smartphone.
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
since it looks like you're willing to spend $500, here's a suggestion:
1) Yamaha WXC-50 streamer/DAC (~$350)
2) Lepai 2020i amp (~$25)
3) Dayton Audio B652-AIR (~$50) OR MK402X (~$70)

Yamaha will give you a much better DAC than the basic budget ones AND give you internet radio, other streaming services, and connection to your own music collection if you desire later on. Also includes remote control (w/ physical remote or smartphone) so you can do your volume across the room. It's basically a small pre-amp with streaming built in. It includes optical input so you connect your TV directly to it. Your TV will be the A/V switch for your gaming consoles via HDMI.

Lepai will give you adequate power for your speakers and it includes 1 RCA input (perfect for the Yamaha).

Dayton Audio will round it out with great bang for buck sound. Although the MK402X is rated at 4ohms according to retail specs...may need an amp w/ more grunt. B652-AIR may be the safest bet.

A variation could be:
1) Yamaha WXA-50 (~$450)
2) Dayton Audio B652-AIR / MK402X

The WXA-50 is a full class D amp (so no need for Lepai) with all the streaming functionality of the WXC and includes the same optical in (to connect your TV).
 
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O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
If that optical connector is an output, which I am guessing it is, you can connect a DAC to it and then speakers to the DAC. If that is the case, either the Edifier speakers or the RCF speakers should be pretty good, better than a soundbar. Edifier looks decent from what I have seen but I am curious about RCF. I think either out to be good.
You can ONLY connect speakers directly to the DAC if you go with powered speakers (which the Edifiers are I believe). Otherwise, you'll need an amp in between the DAC and the speakers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You can ONLY connect speakers directly to the DAC if you go with powered speakers (which the Edifiers are I believe). Otherwise, you'll need an amp in between the DAC and the speakers.
shady knows (he's our speaker reviewer)....and both the Edifier and RCF are active speakers.
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
my bad. i'm a newbie. but tho i quoted Shady, it's actually targeted at Regev who i'm assuming doesn't know what Shady knows.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
OP, just buy a new TV, the built-in speakers of some of today's TVs will blow your mind. I've got two late model Sony TVs and each rival the sound I get from a pair of JBL L100t3's at average volume around 45db. Now if that's not your inclination, and since your TV does not power external speakers understand you'll also need to buy an AVR. Your total expenditure would be in the $1000 arena. So, consider what's most important and then choose. At any rate, although a sound bar is another option, the expense of one that will satisfy will be in the arena of an AVR plus speakers so I'd just go with a Marantz NR-1200 2.1 Receiver and a pair of JBL Stage a130 speakers for less than $800. This is a stereo affair which gives you output to a sub if you choose to add one at a later date.
 
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