questionsi don't know what i want and there are too many…

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While not as compact as a soundbar, you might also want to consider a set of higher end PC speakers. I have one of those thinner TV's and the built-in sound is pretty bad. The smaller sound bars were not much better. While looking, I found a nice set of PC speakers with a sub-woofer for less than any decent sound bar. They sound great, and I am able to put the sub-woofer down next to the TV stand where it is out of sight.

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@shawnmiller: cool site ... though their definition of budget probably needs some work ... 250 seems like alot to be called budget price ... though in comparison ...

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@djbowman: No kidding - you can get a 5.1 home theater in a box for under $250. Wouldn't sound great, but probably as good as any sound bar since it would have a dedicated subwoofer.

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I got this Sony HTCT260H in the mail yesterday from Black Friday shopping, and yes it's still priced for how much I bought it for ($188). A lot of B&M stores had this up for sale last weekend for $199.

Reasons why I got this soundbar and not a 5.1 (more or less) system.

1) We've gone through 5.1 systems for a long time now. The wires are ugly and it's a hassle plus the bulkiness of having a receiver. Plus we have pets and they like to chew on certain things like licorice.
2) We live in an apartment. Don't get me wrong, this soundbar is freaking loud at max volume enough to wake the neighbors. This system has a "night mode" that I just tested last night and it seems to work. What it does is it pretty much makes the speakers "whisper" or be more less "oomph" while still being clear to hear the sounds without waking up the apartment.
3) Wireless subwoofer = no wires.
4) Bluetooth connectivity, need I say more.

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Oh, I realized I didn't comment about sound quality.

I'll give it a solid 10/10 compared to my built-in television speakers. It's definitely an upgrade and for the price I paid, it delivers. Sound is crispy and bass is not exaggerated.

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@djbowman: If it makes a difference, the 'best budget' link @shawnmiller posted is actually only $199.
(High end was only ~$1,149)

:)