Soundbar / HTIB 5.1 System Killer for ONLY $750?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Are you looking for a 5.1 complete system for only $750 that will absolutely crush the sound of a soundbar or HTiB system at this price range? You'll wanna check out our most recent 5.1 Recommended System for $750 ASAP!

Our goal was to offer a system rivaling a sound bar while also doing justice to critical music listening too. In the end we ended up with a 5.1 system complete with everything you need except for the display for your new home theater system. This recommended system is based on direct experience or formal reviews with all products contained herein.

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Read: $750 5.1 Home Theater Recommended System

Think you could do better? Give us your alternatives below and they may just get featured in an article refresh.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Great write up. It would be nice to see this updated/refreshed periodically as new equipment comes out, and perhaps even show an option at $1250-1500. :) I'm not shopping ;) but others are!

Thanks, Team AH!
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Do you think the Dayton SUB 1000 at $120 outperforms the Monoprice 12" for $100 (currently on sale for $92 but that's not regular retail)?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Those Daytons look a lot like the new Paradigm Monitor line. Every time I see the Paradigm, I have to look close to see which it is.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Do you think the Dayton SUB 1000 at $120 outperforms the Monoprice 12" for $100 (currently on sale for $92 but that's not regular retail)?
Monoprice lists frequency response at 50hz to 250hz. The dayton is listed at 30hz to 140hz. How accurate that is? I don't know.

The Monoprice looks like it would make a great midwoofer for the few that use them.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Monoprice lists frequency response at 50hz to 250hz. The dayton is listed at 30hz to 140hz. How accurate that is? I don't know.

The Monoprice looks like it would make a great midwoofer for the few that use them.
I talked a buddy into getting one and helped him set it up. It surprised me. It's a decent little sub. A great sub at a hunnert bucks.
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
Hi, I'm a home theater newbie with a tight budget and signed up on this forum to ask questions. I found this article and loved the idea so I am actually starting to piece this system together starting with the AVR that I got for $230. I just noticed the MK402 and MK442 speakers are 4ohm while the Denon AVR-S540BT is minimum 6ohm. I'm concerned about the mismatch and am wondering if you have information that wasn't published regarding using 4ohm speakers with a higher ohm AVR. Was this an oversight? Do you recommend anything else on a tight budget that will sound as good or better in the 6-8ohm range? Am I worrying about nothing? I just don't want to purchase something that will fry my brand new AVR or speakers after a few months. Please help! Thanks!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
If you don't crank the system hard, they will work with that AVR. One problem with running low impedance speakers is they pull more current from the amp, and that generates more heat. Well, if you don't listen at loud levels, that is a way to keep the current down.

Another interesting budget speaker is the Monoprice MP-T65RT which as reviewed here. Something else to look at is the Dayton MK442T speakers reviewed here. Both should play well on your AVR.
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
Hey shadyj, thanks for the reply. The MK442T speakers you linked are 4ohm as well so I'd have the same problem. When you say listening at loud levels, what is considered loud to an audiophile? I did plan on using this system to listen to music as well and was going to take the advice of the author and upgrade to 5 MK442's to use as LCR and rears. My idea of loud is in the 85 to 95 decibel range. I don't think I'd ever listen to music that loud and for long these days. I think for me, the loudest I'd ever play music would be around 75db and the loudest I'd ever play home theater stuff would be in the 60 to 65db range. Would those levels, give or take a couple decibels, be harmful to the AVR in this set-up?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Hey shadyj, thanks for the reply. The MK442T speakers you linked are 4ohm as well so I'd have the same problem. When you say listening at loud levels, what is considered loud to an audiophile? I did plan on using this system to listen to music as well and was going to take the advice of the author and upgrade to 5 MK442's to use as LCR and rears. My idea of loud is in the 85 to 95 decibel range. I don't think I'd ever listen to music that loud and for long these days. I think for me, the loudest I'd ever play music would be around 75db and the loudest I'd ever play home theater stuff would be in the 60 to 65db range. Would those levels, give or take a couple decibels, be harmful to the AVR in this set-up?
I wouldn't pay too close attention to base specs such as '4-ohm' or '8-ohm' and instead look at measured impedance charts, which tell the real story. What you want to look for is where the impedance curve dips the lowest and how steep the phase curve is at that point. That is far more relevant than some nominal ohm rating. Let's take a look at the MK442T impedance chart:

Here we see it does dip down to 5-ohms from 200 Hz to 300 Hz, which is actually a very heavily used band, but the phase angle isn't too severe. A budget AVR could run this speaker, but if you ran it loud for a long time, than maybe the low impedance of this range might catch up to the AVR and send it into auto-shutdown.

Now let's take a look at the MK442 MTM speakers:

They do have a similar dip in the same range, similar phase angle, but they also dip down to 4 ohms at 4 kHz with a sharp phase angle. It's a harder load, but again, if you don't blast this speaker, it will probably be fine on your AVR. Not the most benign load and not the worst, but it depends on how you use the speakers.

My guess is that you won't be pushing the system hard enough to send it into shutdown. Can you tell me the size of the room that you are listening in? Also, what will be the distance from the speakers to the listening position? Telling us dB that you listen at isn't all that informative without that other information.
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
My room is about 13'x18' and we usually sit about 9'-12' ft from the TV depending on which side of the couch (TV is in the corner, which I hate but can't put it directly in front due to a fireplace. Mantel is pretty high so if mounted above, would be craning our necks to watch).
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
By the way, thanks for the further explanation and charts. The second chart is exactly why I'm nervous.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
My room is about 13'x18' and we usually sit about 9'-12' ft from the TV depending on which side of the couch (TV is in the corner, which I hate but can't put it directly in front due to a fireplace. Mantel is pretty high so if mounted above, would be craning our necks to watch).
By the way, thanks for the further explanation and charts. The second chart is exactly why I'm nervous.
At a 12 ft listening distance, I think maybe the MK442T might be the speaker to get. If it was closer than 9 ft, the MK442 might be OK, but 9 ft+ is a bit far for that speaker. I like the voicing on the MK442T better anyway. If you do decide on the MK442, one that that is important to getting the best sound out of it is to make sure the tweeter is level with the listening position ears. For surround speakers, I think there are better choices than the MK442 for that role. Just use the MK402 for surrounds or maybe the Dayton B452-AIR speakers, or Polk T15 speakers.
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
Thanks for the info shadyj! I was thinking the 402X which is the newer model with softened tweeter tuning and better crossovers. I just don't know the performance difference between those and the B452-AIR series. Again, I wanted to use this system for music as well but I'm figuring I'd only use 2.1 for that and not the surround. Thoughts or any other recommendations? I did find a couple package deals on Amazon which I'm not sure how they perform so any info anyone has on these would be much appreciated as well. See next post for links bc I am 1 shy of being able to post links.
 
J

James_G

Audiophyte
Klipsch HDT-600 Home Theater System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CMVY7Q/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_QLzuDbE238CF8

ELAC Cinema 5 Home Theater 5.1 Channel Speaker System (HT-C131W-K) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07746MCB6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_gMzuDb3SFPESR

Onkyo SKS-HT690 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System (Black, 6) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004W2NE5K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_KMzuDb3TE1XFT

Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker Package (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B8CN8NU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_aNzuDbW0E47ST

This one just keeps going up in pPolk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System with Powered Subwoofer |Two (2) T15 Bookshelf, One (1) T30 Center Channel, Two (2) T50 Tower Speakers, PSW10 Sub | Alexa + HEOS https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TZ7T3GX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_wNzuDb0B9VZ5M
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Thanks for the info shadyj! I was thinking the 402X which is the newer model with softened tweeter tuning and better crossovers. I just don't know the performance difference between those and the B452-AIR series. Again, I wanted to use this system for music as well but I'm figuring I'd only use 2.1 for that and not the surround. Thoughts or any other recommendations? I did find a couple package deals on Amazon which I'm not sure how they perform so any info anyone has on these would be much appreciated as well. See next post for links bc I am 1 shy of being able to post links.
The 402x is undoubtedly a better speaker, but then it should be since it is more expensive. The B462 AIR speaker is fine as a surround speaker in a budget system though. It is not bad, and it is light and has a keyhole slot in back so it is easy to mount. There is a review of it here. The MK series is better on stands, or a mount that sets them off the wall like this one. You don't want to mount the MK speakers flush against the wall on account of the rear porting. From those speaker packages, I think I would go with the MK speakers over any of those, although the others would probably be easier on your AVR. I know the Polks would be, at least.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Gene didn't write this article, Tony Leotta did.
Yep, it was a collaborative effort though. I'm working with Tony to get ALL of our recommended systems articles updated this year.
 

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