questionsany suggestions for a 5.1 home audio system?

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I agree with @rprebel. $300 is not much to work with but I did find these Link.

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$300 is low - even for low end.

I still have crappy speakers from a theater-in-a-box that don't even impedence-match my receiver. But I replaced my subwoofer and center channel.

I bought a Pioneer VSX-521-K back when it was under $150. It's a nice HDMI receiver for the price. But it blows half your price. It's been discontinued, so if you can find it new you might find a great deal. Otherwise the VSX-522-K is still around.

For my center channel, I got a Polk CS10 for around $100. I spent around $100 on my powered subwoofer, which was a Sony.

But that alone goes to $350 and doesn't give you any surrounds. I haven't bought my surrounds yet, because everything already sounds great. My crappy speakers sound incredible despite their lack of low-end, compared to how they sounded on the original dvd player they came with

The center channel and the receiver are the two most important parts of a home theater kit. Clear dialogue is important.

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@hirshy: I'm not impressed with that ONKYO system. The center channel weighs only 1.5 lbs. (Center Speaker: 3-1/4" (8 cm) cone). The MartinLogan I linked you to has a center channel weighing 5 lbs (1" soft dome and 2 x 3.5" poly cone). I can't stress enough how important a center channel is. All dialogue is directed to the center. By the way, MartinLogan is a high end speaker company, but if you don't want them, look for something else with a strong center.

For comparison, my center weighs 17 lbs.

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Hmm what about a 2.1 speaker system including a receiver? I feel like I could probably get something better quality if I cut out the surround sound... And it seems like the current receiver we have doesn't include an HDMI option... Plus I think the plan is to mount our TV and in that case, we would want something which is less bulky...

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How powerful is the receiver? I'm assuming she already has one, because if the $300 budget is for speakers plus a receiver then your options may go down to near zero.

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Found this while looking through the Klipsch offerings. It's a 7.1 speaker system, but it is a good price for what you're getting. Maybe if she doesn't yet have a receiver, you could just convince her to get a 7.1 receiver too. It's blowing the lid off the $300 budget, but not by too much if you find a good deal.

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We got an Onkyo 7.1 system (can't remember the exact model right now, I'm bed bound) roughy two years ago and it was around the $300s from Frys Electronics.

It's not a Bose or Klipsh, but it had enough kick to get your neighbors wondering what's with all the rumbles if they were outside your house.

Sounds even more legit when it's calibrated with the mic it comes with, I had to do this again the other week because we moved speakers and got a bigger TV (had to place speakers behind TV and treble was muffled).

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Also, I don't think she wants a 7.1 system due to the size of the room... But I will look into the onkyo and klipsch systems. Any comments on the Onkyo 5.1 home theatre system? Link:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120200

I have never heard of Onkyo; most of the speakers I get are for my computer or just headphones (I have Sennheiser headphones and Logitech Z623's for my laptop)... Home Audio is a completely different ball park :/

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@hirshy: That Bravia system looks great. I just can't figure out why it's under $200. The only thing I can come up with is the dvd player. Maybe it's an older model and they're just trying to get rid of them. That works to your advantage, since you're just looking for the speakers anyway. From the specs, it seems the Bravia is the best.

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@hirshy: To "hide" a link in your comment, you do this:

[words go here]xxxxx(link goes here) <--remove the xxxxx

Hope everything with your mom's setup works out.

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@hirshy: You could buy this receiver Link for $249.95 (regular price $299.95). It comes with a free pair of Pioneer bookshelf speakers, which is basically what you're getting when you buy a home theater in a box. Later, you could buy some main speakers and use the Pioneer bookshelves as surrounds. Then buy the center to timbre match your mains and add a subwoofer. I would rather see you piece it together over time than waste your money on some system you could never upgrade.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GGXGU6

Weirdly enough I just posted a link to a 5 speaker set that are built by Klipsch under the Jamo brand.

$169.99

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We have complete in-wall / in-ceiling sets with powerful subwoofers, center channel, speaker wire and wall plates for under $300 !
http://www.onlyfactorydirect.com/c-137-surround-sound-sets.aspx

Does not include receiver, but we are an authorized dealer for Pioneer. You are going to get the most power and features, with quick digital processing for the least amount of money from Pioneer. The speakers offer superior sound quality and OFD offers a 30-day "No Hassle" guarantee, so if you are not fully satisfied we pay return shipping and offer a full refund.

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It's more expensive, but BOSE is the way to go. Take a look at the 3-2-1 System