questionsare sound bars worth buying?

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vote-for5vote-against

The sound bars will sound better than your TV, but not as good as a discrete receiver/5.1 setup. Think of them as similar to a nice iPod dock. (A number of them actually support iPods.) There are varying price points, and you get what you pay for. If you have limited space, no room for audio components, and want to hear better sound than what comes with your TV, then by all means get one. If you're expecting the same performance as a nice Denon/Klipsch matched system, it's just not going to happen.

Soundbars tend to be, due to their lack of complexity and non-intrusiveness in the living space, "wife friendly." Unless your wife is an audiophile :)

vote-for6vote-against

soundbars will almost always surprise and impress with their output vs footprint, but I think that manufacturers need to focus more on a sub $100 market where you get some bang for your buck versus a Home Theater In a Box solution. My advice is don't bother buying an expensive soundbar - look for a refurb or a cheap brand - it will almost certainly beat what your tv used to sound like.

vote-for2vote-against

I recently upgraded my stereo with a 625 watt 5.1 receiver made by pioneer. I looked at soundbars because the speakers on my tv are horrible. I have never regretted getting the receiver and a set of speakers. I can upgrade later and get more speakers and a subwoofer if i want. The audio is fantastic even with the cheap set of radio shack speakers i bought. If you are a regular music listener i would steer clear of the soundbars, even the ones with a sub.

vote-for4vote-against

Most soundbars will sound better than the average HDTV but still sound tinny. I have a ZVOX 550 which is more like a cabinet that sits under my TV stand. It's got a built-in amp, subwoofer and 5 speakers and sounds far better than any soundbar I've ever heard. Of course, it also costs over twice as much as a soundbar, but you get what you pay for.

My only complaint with it is that it offers no visual indicators for volume or phase cue (surround sound simulation), so I have to just push the buttons on my remote until things sound right.

http://www.zvoxaudio.com/cgi-bin/item/400550x

vote-for2vote-against

I use a combination of sound-bar + stereo receiver. The sound bar is great for dialog as a center speaker, and if you compliment this with wide-range stereo, the experience is quite good. @snapster is right, the higher-end sound bars are not that much better than the run-of-the-mill.

vote-for2vote-against

I never really cared for a sound bar. Its OK for high/mid range, but no bass response. Even a cheap 5.1 home theater has better bass response. But, if space is limited, you don't have a choice. Almost any external speaker is better than a TV speaker.

vote-for2vote-against

i would think that the easiest solution to your problem would be to get the soundbar. Most TV sets don't have top end speakers in them. A sound bar, although not the optimal choice for listening, will fix a no sound issue. I would guess tht since you aren't going to replace the tv until it blows up, I would look at getting a speaker system in a box. If you can find an elcheapo, you can pick and choose what you will use from the set. Most el cheapo's don't cost that much.

As far as sound goes, if you don't own a sub, you don't know what you are missing. An elcheapo set will have an unpowered sub, which will make a difference when coupled with a set of speakers. the sub can be put fairly far away from the tv itself.

vote-for2vote-against

If you are looking for something inexpensive but adequate, you may want to consider the Vizio Soundbar at Wal-Mart. I was checking it out two days ago and it is really decent for the price of $98. Here is the link http://www.walmart.com/ip/Vizio-High-Definition-Sound-Bar/11046520

vote-for2vote-against

i would even suggest looking at todays logitech speaker deal. (Or the many others like it) It will only output in 2.0 but if your TV has R & L audio outputs it'll sound really good. You can set it to matrix mode to use all the speakers and sub woofer. I bet you could also leave out any of the speakers you don't want. Leave out the surrounds and they'll sound really good.

vote-for3vote-against

For your bedroom (limited space) scenario, I would say the sound bar is probably worth it. I don't imagine you care about surround sound in the bedroom if you were using the TV's speakers before. Don't go crazy though. Even a cheap one should be better than your TV's speakers were.

EDIT: Be sure to consider what kind of audio outputs your TV and/or receiver has available so you know if the sound bar is compatible w/o buying adapters.

vote-for3vote-against

I'm not too worried about sound quality, considering it is just my bedroom, and 5.1 surround sound would probably be overkill, but @snapster the 69.99 sound bar doesn't seem bad. As long as it is marginally better than the one's in my TV, I probably won't complain. Thanks for all the help!

vote-for1vote-against

Would def. suggest a sound bar! I picked up a vizio 2.1 one with a wireless sub...http://www.vizio.com/home-theater-1/vsb210ws.html?___SID=U out of stock there but you can find cheaper elsewhere....or if you prefer a 5.1, http://www.vizio.com/home-theater-1/vht510.html