Soundbars - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 09-16-13, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
tripplej's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,982

Hi guys,

When looking at soundbars instead of having speakers, what "features" should one look for?

Are all soundbars alike or no? I am assuming no since soundbars come in various lengths and price ranges..

Any reason not to go with a soundbar?

tripplej is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 Old 09-16-13, 06:58 PM
Elite Shackster
hjones4841's Avatar
Silly Girl!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central AL
Posts: 2,620
Re: Soundbars

Soundbars are definitely not created equal. So try to listen before you buy. As compared to a more elaborate 5.1 system, soundbars cannot compete on providing a surround environment. Couple with a generally limited frequency response, unless paying top $s, and they come out as a convenience rather than a true performance option.

I have two Zvox 580s, which are kinda like a sound bar, only much larger and not meant to be wall mounted. They are meant to be put on a table and have the TV sit on top. They have dual 6.5 "subs" if 6.5" speakers can be called subs. One is the kitchen and one in a bedroom. Overall, very pleasant sounding but, again, no competition for a full 5.1 system.

Some soundbars have separate subs, some wired, some wireless. That helps the freq response some, but not the limited surround effects, which for all soundbars has to be synthesized since there are no side or rear speakers.

So, if a full 5.1 system is an option, by all means go for it. For convenience and an all-in-one solution, go for the best soundbar the budget will allow.

Hug your pet today!
hjones4841 is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 09-16-13, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
tripplej's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,982
Re: Soundbars

hjones4841 wrote: View Post
So, if a full 5.1 system is an option, by all means go for it. For convenience and an all-in-one solution, go for the best soundbar the budget will allow.
Great insight hjones. Appreciate it. I was looking for a soundbar for the guest bedroom. I didn't want something fancy since it is for the tv that is there for the guests.

I will have to see if I can do a hearing test on soundbars. Thanks once again.
tripplej is online now  
post #4 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 09:17 AM
Senior Shackster
Jeff Aguilar's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 166
Re: Soundbars

I have purchased 3 soundbars in the past 6 months. All for different needs. I have my home theater in a room upstairs for movie watching. We bought a new tv for the family room so I thought I would buy a sound bar for there. I bought the new Vizio 5.1 sound bar from Costco for $279. It has rear speakers that connect to the wireless sub. I could not use the rear speakers in my family room. That sound bar looks and sounded fantastic. I ended up giving it to my son who just moved out, he needed something for his apartment and he doesn't have a sound system. This worked great for him and the rear channels sound great.

I then went to replace the sound bar in the family room. My wife did not want a separate sub since it boomed and kept her up if the kids were downstairs watching TV. I ended up with the Yamaha YAS-101BL. It was only $159 at Costco. It is much smaller (width wise) than the Vizio and has a very, very small sub built into the bar. It sounds great for the family room. It is a little bit older so it does not have a Bluetooth connection. Which is fine since I have my two channel system in the family room.

For my bedroom I bought a Panasonic sound bar. I bought it at Costco too. It was $149. It has a Bluetooth connection, I connect my iphone to it sometimes when we go to bed. It sounds better than my iHome alarm clock. But I dare not turn it up to much, the sound sucks at a moderate level for music.

I think these affordable sound bars sound good for TV watching but not for music. But I do not use it for music. If it going to double for music, I would spend a little bit more and get the best you can for the money. I never tried the Vizio for music. I think it would sound better than the Panasonic I bought. It does sound OK for movies but it does not replace the Theater Room upstairs in my house. I would recommend the Vizio as an affordable decent sounding sound bar.


I'm just an old thug huggin redneck realtor ready to sell you a shack!
Theater Room
Mitsubishi HC-4900, 120" Elunevision Screen, Atlantic Technologies A2000 7 Channel Amp, Denon X4000, Energy Veritas LCR, Twin SVS 16/46 PC+ Subs, Tivo
Two Channel System
Yaquin MS-20L, Music Hall MMF 2.2 Record Player, Denon 301-MKII Cartridge, Shengya CD-S10 Tube CD Player, Energy Veritas 2.4 Main Speakers and twin Outlaw 8" Subs
Jeff Aguilar is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 09:32 AM
Senior Shackster
Mike0206's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Beaumont, CA USA
Posts: 652
My System
I have a soundbar as well but the reason for the purchase was I needed something instead of tv speakers until I could get(afford) a completely new system. I purchased the Yamaha yas101bl which sounds pretty fantastic for what it is. I also got a small polk psw111 sub. at the very least I wanted a soundbar that could utilize an external subwoofer by having a sub out connection and the Yamaha has that. It's now in the bedroom of course and I rarely watch tv in there but when I do, it's enough to keep me content and not wanting a more elaborate system in that room. My kids have a tv room as well with a complete system in there and I may swap out the soundbar to go in there at some point and put that system in my bedroom but only cause that's what we do right? Change things just because.
Mike0206 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
tripplej's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,982
Re: Soundbars

Thanks Jeff and Mike.

I appreciate your comments.

This is exactly what I wanted to know.

I wanted something more then the TV speaker in the bedroom and having a full "home theater" speakers, etc. was kind of overkill so I thought soundbar would be a happy medium so to speak.

I will investigate the models you got and the price is very nice. Thanks once again!
tripplej is online now  
post #7 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 01:19 PM
Elite Shackster
Andre's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,381
My System
Re: Soundbars

Your really nice to your guests... HT in their bedroom. In our bedroom we wanted better sound over the TV speakers and I added some AudioEngine 2s
amazing sound from a tiny powered speaker. As for soundbars unless your TV can actually output dolby digital all you will be getting is DSP surround
Andre is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 01:23 PM
HTS Reviewer
Peter Loeser's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,753
Re: Soundbars

Take a look at the new Pioneer "Speaker Bar" as they call it. It's not out just yet, but looks promising in terms of sound quality based on the reputation of the Andrew Jones speakers.
Peter Loeser is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 09-18-13, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
tripplej's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,982
Re: Soundbars

Thanks Peter and Andre for your suggestions. I do like to have my "guests" enjoy their stay!
Some people like to watch a movie late at night so by adding the soundbar, it will enhance their movie experience. (anything is better then tv speakers).

I will take a look.

Appreciate the input.
tripplej is online now  



Quick Reply

Register Now



Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address



Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.


See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome