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Author Topic: 2.1 Sound Bars???  (Read 3038 times)

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Offline DigiGal

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2.1 Sound Bars???
« on: December 13, 2013, 05:59:12 PM »
Anybody got recommendations or opinions on these?  Here's the specific application we're looking at...

We recently replaced a secondary television with a 42" LG Smart TV LED-LCD, as part of a remodeling project and of course the sound leaves a lot to be desired.  This is not our primary television, it has an optical digital output.  No analog output, though we currently hooked it's headphone output up to the Bose Wave radio which is what we used to use for the old CRT unit which this LG replaced. 

Hooked up to the Bose the televisions sound is acceptable but we're contemplating an LG 2.1 sound bar.  Looking at LG because in sticking with same manufacturer this setup could all be operated with just one "magic" remote.  LG's NB3530A 2.1 Sound Bar is what the manufacturer recommends for the set we picked up.  This television is the one guests would operate so we'd like to get the operation down to just one remote for their simplicity.   

We're not expecting 7.1/5.1 home theater quality on this but would like sound quality as good as the Bose Wave radio or ideally better.  The LG sound bar recommended for the set has its own remote which would only be needed to set it up.  Once configured the system would turn on and off automatically when the televisions optical output is active and volume is controlled by the television remote for everyday use.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 06:00:56 PM by DigiGal »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 06:50:13 PM »
My parents have something very similar, I can't remember the brand however.  It's perfectly fine for their TV viewing use and probably for what you plan to use it for.  I'd say it's sound quality is on-par with a Bose Wave radio in the mids and highs yet with superior low end level and extention due to the subwoofer.  They had the sub across the room behind a sofa when they first hooked it up and I moved it to the empty space behind the flat pannel TV which is located on a diagonal in a corner bookshelf unit and the sound integrated much better.

I've played my recordings through it's optical and 3.5mm inputs to share with them and for that it's less optimal but okay, it's fine for background music, but not much of a primary music system for people who care about good music sound quality.  My parents also have a Bose 2.1 sat/sub system on another TV and that sounds superior to the soundbar/sub, but that comparison may not carry over to the specific model you are looking at.
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adrianf74

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 08:40:45 PM »
I auditioned a whole bunch of these at one point (Polk, Bose, Samsung, Yamaha, and one or two others) and I found the sound very unidirectional and tinny/lacking.   For TV watching, it was okay but for movies or music, it was a mess.  But it all depends on the target audience; just because it wasn't for me, it doesn't mean it won't work for someone else.

Offline DigiGal

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 09:23:16 PM »
Tinny is not the goal, that's the problem with the sets built in speakers.

Guess we'll have to give the one we're looking at an audition or make sure we have a no hassle return if we don't like the way it sounds. Consumer Reports liked the Vizio S3821w which may or may not fit the goal of single remote operation once setup.

We're spoiled by great sound with our other systems so putting up with tinny sound is not something we would tolerate but we're not expecting real HiFi either. We could always just keep it hooked up to the Wave Radio and let everyone deal with the extra remote at least it's sound is workable for the application.

Appreciate the experienced comments, keep them coming. The typical online product reviews by regular customers are hard to trust when it comes to sound quality so I thought I'd get a better idea from TS members that have experience with them.
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

adrianf74

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 09:32:43 PM »
Maybe 'tinny' is the wrong phrase to use -- 'thin' is more like it.  The soundbar will be a huge improvement over the built-in's but won't hold a candle to a proper 5.1 setup.   I wanted to get away from a 5.1 setup in our condo so I auditioned many makes/models and went with a 5.1 setup in the end.

Offline mattmiller

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 04:53:48 PM »
Consumer Reports liked the Vizio S3821w which may or may not fit the goal of single remote operation once setup.

Couldn't you use a programmable universal remote (Logitech Harmony or similar) to give you more flexibility?
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Offline DigiGal

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 05:45:47 PM »
This setup is using the LG "Magic Motion" remote linked earlier and again here. It's unique Siri like voice mate command and screen curser/mouse type UI make the operation of the sets smart features very smooth.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 02:46:50 PM by DigiGal »
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

Offline DigiGal

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Re: 2.1 Sound Bars???
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 12:43:37 PM »
Well after downloading and reading the manual for the LG Sound Bar, published spec of 10% THD for both the Sound Bar and the Subwoofer we decided to look at other options.  Stormy weather kept us in researching online instead of getting out to audition them.

We found Pioneer's SP-SB23W Andrew Jones Soundbar System to peak our interest yesterday.  Overnight as part of the holiday sales the price for it at Amazon dropped $100.00 this morning (perfect timing)  So with the substantial savings brining it in line with what the LG was going for we ordered one and will try it out, if it isn't acceptable we'll return it.  We managed to snag it at CNET's lowest price history for the unit.

In particular drfreeman60's comments at the  AVS Forum thread linked here are very favorable of the Pioneer.

Early units had a hardware defect in the bluetooth implementation which isn't really a concern for us.  It's not a feature we plan to use anyway but Pioneer has developed a hardware fix and will replace any affected units if we should get one with the problem.  The Pioneer was also a Sound & Vision Top Pick and C|NET Editors Choice, so we'll give it chance for this application it looks promising.

Home Theater Geeks 169: The art of the Speaker bar Scott Wilkinson hour long video interview with Andrew Jones discuss the science of speaker bars.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 02:43:40 PM by DigiGal »
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

 

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