Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Home Sound System Question/Help


Recommended Posts

Ok all... so I have pretty much decided that I need to get a home sound system, or want to. Lots of reasons - I'd like to be able to have better sound on the TV watching games, on-demand movies; would love to have decent sound on dvd player and eventually on blu-ray player; would also love a good option to play radio and/or ipod/comp via a speaker system in the main part of the house.


Ultimately, I'm a total newbie and have no clue on many matters... but I am a tough sell on anything over $50 and I like to know I'm getting the best for my situation.


Here's what I've looked at/thought...


Sound Bar Systems: In general, I like the lack of wires and clutter. I don't think I care much about true surround sound or anything, so a neat little system that sits right in front and doesn't take energy is a super plus. They aren't super cheap though, at least not for decent ones. What I don't like is that no sound bar I've seen has great reviews. Most are quite mediocre. Two have stood out...


Samsung (I like the brand) offers a soundbar with wireless subwoofer that looks decent. It won't fix my ipod/computer/radio issue. But it does have some solid inputs and I like the wireless sub, though I've heard it's incredibly weak ... perhaps just audiophiles being pricks, though?


Sharp has a sound bar with subwoofer and receiver. I like the idea of the receiver, which allows me to connect the ipod or listen to radio, etc. Solid inputs again. Downsides are it is not wireless, not even the sub, which defeats some of the advantage of the soundbar. I also don't much care for Sharp - though I could be convinced.


Both of these are in the same 250-300 price range.


Full Receiver/Speaker Systems: In general, I like the full receiver option. Makes me feel 'grown up' and I know that eventually I'll probably want one anyway. Lots of input and output options, the true surround option is there, overall probably much better in terms of the end product - quality sound. I don't like that most are a bit more expensive, but more importantly, require wired speakers and a lot more work to connect to the tv, etc and get them really running well. Two options I have narrowed a bit...


I have found a Onkyo 509 receiver on sale for 50% off and a set of 5.1 Polk speakers on sale for 70% off on Amazon. Still together it comes up to over $400. But, the receiver looks alright and like it will last a while - not 'retiring' anytime soon. And the speakers look good enough to keep around as well. The downside is that I don't know enough about speakers and all of this to figure out if I'm missing what I really should get. There's a Denon receiver for around the same price as the Onkyo, but it's a feature swap - less power to the speakers for better input adjustment, etc. Again, I know nothing about what I 'need' for speaker power, just what I'm reading in reviews.


The other option here are what are called "Home Theater in a Box" systems. Receiver and speakers pre-bundled together. Onkyo, Yamaha and Denon all offer systems around $250 to $300 on sale right now. In general, the systems are weaker, the receivers are bumped down a bit and so are the speakers. Again, I don't know if it's a good deal for a guy who doesn't much care or if I will be annoyed at lack of features in a year - not acceptable in my book.


I don't have a blu-ray player or any real HD items going on (the tv is, but I'm not paying the cable upcharge at present), but I know I will eventually. The bluray might one day save me on the ipod/comp connections if I do a soundbar, but I wonder if I'll care that the soundbar isn't as good as speakers when I get to bluray/HD components.


So... that's my brain for the last 72 hours... lots of research and reading, no decision, no clue. Help me. Or yell at me and tell me to just not buy anythign!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted a system for the same reasons you listed.


Not being a huge audiophile I wanted ease so I bought a "Home Theater in a Box" from Sony for around $250. I liked it much more than I expected. I think surround sound adds a lot to DVDs and HD movies. I never expected to like it as much as I do. My wife had big doubts but she likes it a lot as well. Sometimes I use it for sports, but mainly I use it for movies both On Demand and DVDs.


Because of how much I like the surround sound I'd be wary of the sound bars. I know it simulates sounds from different areas, and some do it well, but I wonder how it compares to actual speakers spread out.


Mine is about 5 years old now and I havent had a problem with it and it has been able to do everything I wanted. Again, I am not a huge audiophile but I like the way mine sounds and I have been happy with it for years now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spen, if you are anone are interested in my still in the box system, you are more than welcome to have it...Honest injun


I never was, I just thought it was nice of you to make the offer. I am happy enough with the one I have.


After this long I finally have all the settings the way I like so I no longer fool with it every time we watch a movie and irritate my wife!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally took the dive and was able to find pretty much exactly what I was looking for. In the end, got a $500 receiver and a $1000 set of speakers - both already marked down for holiday shopping by over $600..... and the marked down another $450 on New Egg as a combo deal. :)


Cost me a little bit more than a HTIB system (maybe $100-150 more than others I had looked at) but the stand alone receiver has more power and features and the speakers are far and away better. Woot Woot. haha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...