How can a $300 soundbar sound better than $700? Just demoed at Best Buy.

KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,914 22 9
#21
I went ahead and ordered the Yamaha from A4L for $150. Reviews of it are pretty great and it supports a bit more than the Pioneer I was considering. I'm still skeptical that it will sound decent, but for the price I'll probably be happy with it.
I hope it works out for you.
Kind of funny, the driver complement is the opposite of a typical two way speaker:
You have a 6.5" woofer and I'd consider the 2-1/8" full range effectively a mid-tweeter!
I think you understood the compromise of a soundbar when you made the decision.

Montucky puts it well - if beating the TV speakers is your objective, that is easy.
But if equaling separate speakers is your objective you will be disappointed (even if you sawed it in half and separated the speakers by 6 feet, there would be significant improvement)!

Just looking at this unit on paper, You will not have the crisp top-end of a dedicated tweeter, otherwise, I would expect it to be pretty decent.

Hope you will give us a report and also let us know if Yamaha has figured out any effects that are beneficial!

Looking at Yamaha's more expensive options, they are going smaller on the sub (at least the spot check I did) and adding "beam" speakers which I'd guess to be an effort to throw sound around the room as if you are going to get 5-7 channel sound out of a soundbar. That seems like the kind of gimmickry Steve81 mentioned where the more expensive units sound worse.
 
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Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
2,999 18 1
#22
Looking at Yamaha's more expensive options, they are going smaller on the sub (at least the spot check I did) and adding "beam" speakers which I'd guess to be an effort to throw sound around the room as if you are going to get 5-7 channel sound out of a soundbar. That seems like the kind of gimmickry Steve81 mentioned where the more expensive units sound worse.
FWIW, I did review a Yamaha pedestal sound bar with the "beam" speakers here. The TLDR version is that while it worked to some extent, it was in no way a substitute for an actual discrete surround system. In addition, the sound bar's built in subwoofers were a bad joke at best.

Suffice it to say, Yamaha wasn't exactly thrilled with my review, and more or less opined that trying to apply audiophile standards to such a product was going beyond what their target market would expect. While probably true, it's not beyond what Audioholics' target market would expect, and personally, I'd prefer no surround to a flawed attempt at simulating it.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,215 6 1
#23
I hope it works out for you.
Kind of funny, the driver complement is the opposite of a typical two way speaker:
You have a 6.5" woofer and I'd consider the 2-1/8" full range effectively a mid-tweeter!
I think you understood the compromise of a soundbar when you made the decision.

Montucky puts it well - if beating the TV speakers is your objective, that is easy.
But if equaling separate speakers is your objective you will be disappointed (even if you sawed it in half and separated the speakers by 6 feet, there would be significant improvement)!

Just looking at this unit on paper, You will not have the crisp top-end of a dedicated tweeter, otherwise, I would expect it to be pretty decent.

Hope you will give us a report and also let us know if Yamaha has figured out any effects that are beneficial!

Looking at Yamaha's more expensive options, they are going smaller on the sub (at least the spot check I did) and adding "beam" speakers which I'd guess to be an effort to throw sound around the room as if you are going to get 5-7 channel sound out of a soundbar. That seems like the kind of gimmickry Steve81 mentioned where the more expensive units sound worse.
This pretty much sums up what I feel about sound bars in general...



But I do agree, the driver layout doesn't promise much, but for $150 for the whole unit there is only hope to sound better than my TV. I've got 3 other systems in the house to listen to if I need higher quality audio.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
679 1
#24
When I demoed some at BB a while back the Vizio sounded best to me. Soundbars are a crapshoot for all the reasons you posted. I just want to find one that is 2.1 or 3.1 that sounds decent. It's for a bedroom so it doesn't have to be great.
Me too.

Every time I run into a "sound bar with atmos" or something I just end up shaking my head.

Like: how about you make not-painful 2-channel sound? If I want surround sound, I'll use discreet speakers. I use a soundbar because the TV or monitor has crap speakers; not because I'm setting up a home theater.

If I can just find a not-insanely-priced soundbar (with external woofer, I'm sure) that sounds like an OK pair of bookshelves, I'll be thrilled.

Hell: I will gladly take a monoral soundbar that was also physically large, and combined a transmission line, group (2-4) reasonably large midrange drivers (4"?) and some sort of horn tweeter.

I don't need positional audio from my soundbar, I need non-painful audio from my soundbar!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,840 6 1
#25
FWIW, I did review a Yamaha pedestal sound bar with the "beam" speakers here. The TLDR version is that while it worked to some extent, it was in no way a substitute for an actual discrete surround system. In addition, the sound bar's built in subwoofers were a bad joke at best.

Suffice it to say, Yamaha wasn't exactly thrilled with my review, and more or less opined that trying to apply audiophile standards to such a product was going beyond what their target market would expect. While probably true, it's not beyond what Audioholics' target market would expect, and personally, I'd prefer no surround to a flawed attempt at simulating it.
The thing that fries my a$$ is they think they can have it both ways. But really, how can they sell this crap to normal people with all the promise of surround sound glory, and then turn around and tell you your standards are too high. Wtf...
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,840 6 1
#26
Me too.

Every time I run into a "sound bar with atmos" or something I just end up shaking my head.

Like: how about you make not-painful 2-channel sound? If I want surround sound, I'll use discreet speakers. I use a soundbar because the TV or monitor has crap speakers; not because I'm setting up a home theater.

If I can just find a not-insanely-priced soundbar (with external woofer, I'm sure) that sounds like an OK pair of bookshelves, I'll be thrilled.

Hell: I will gladly take a monoral soundbar that was also physically large, and combined a transmission line, group (2-4) reasonably large midrange drivers (4"?) and some sort of horn tweeter.

I don't need positional audio from my soundbar, I need non-painful audio from my soundbar!
Lol! My friend called me the other day to BS and told me how he had listened to a 1k HK soundbar with atmos in BB. I didn’t realize right away, but after about 5min I figure out I was on a tirade about marketing and real surround and on and on.

I just wish they would call something what it is. It everything can be a Swiss Army knife.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,038 9 12
#27
The thing that fries my a$$ is they think they can have it both ways. But really, how can they sell this crap to normal people with all the promise of surround sound glory, and then turn around and tell you your standards are too high. Wtf...
You have to remember- their target customer hears sound from behind them and hopes someone will find a coin behind their ear.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
679 1
#29
Oh, they can, but in my opinion they're best once you step up to a passive bar.
So... two center-channel speakers bolted together?

Of course, you're also throwing hundreds of watts at 'em versus the built-in puny amps that most sound bars contain.
That seems unlikely. Even an 85db-sensitive speaker would hit 100db @~40w

Overall though, I will still almost always prefer a proper discrete setup, but don't completely discount the concept of a bar. Right tool for the job sometimes for sure.
Yep.

Home theater? Discreet setup. Guest room TV? Soundbar.
 

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