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I need recommendations for a living room setup. The TV's audio stinks. The room is only for TV, some movies, and some music. I have a suround sound system upstairs. I'm not looking for that for this room.

What do you guys recommend in a 2.0, 2.1, or 3.1 system? I have a Pioneer VSX-1014TX-K receiver. Just need speakers.

Thanks!

Jason
 

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It depends on several things: size of room, your desire for full frequency sound, possibly waf, budget...if you only watch tv and occasional dvds, you might go 2.0 with a nice pair of bookshelves/towers. You'll miss the lowest frequencies, but a good pair will be a huge improvement over the tv sound.

You might run the receiver in 'phantom' center during movies which blends the center signal into right/left mains which can be pretty good, but not sure if that mode will work properly without surrounds. Alternatively, you could go with bookshelves and cross over to a sub: this is really a big difference in sound, cost, and space requirements and the resultant sound will show it, just be sure to have bookshelves that reach 80hz minimum, preferably 60hz.
 

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The current budget darling setup would be 3 behringer 2030p (assuming that you have space to use one as your center) and the Dayton 12" sub from part express. With the proper wire from monoprice, should come to just $400.

I've personally found that low-frequency reproduction is essential for a good experience, even with "TV" (action shows have some pretty good sound these days). A 2 speaker setup will get you by, but the imaging falls apart is you're sitting off-center, as you would be from the side position. A 3rd center channel keeps everything anchored where it should be.
 

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IMO the issue with 3.1 is that matrixing codecs collapse the soundstage / feel of things even worse than 2.1 collapses the imaging. I've tried both, and with a pair of towers that have good dispersive properties, sitting too far to one side is perfectly fine for TV watching... i definitely don`t notice anything). It still handles hard pans perfectly fine. You don't need to fix the sound to the screen, as long as it's not fixed to the speaker - if the speaker's tweeter dissapears well it works out fine.

For 400 I'm gonna recommend pair of towers:

http://www.emptek.com/e5TiB0324.php

F3 around 50hz, which does imply a sub would be nice but it's not the end of the world for every day tv watching. And you could eventually get a sub later. I own their big brother the e55tis and use them in stereo often, and it sounds perfectly fine even well off axis (one of my favorite TV watching spots... where I`m sitting right now.. is actually to the left of the left speaker, which is far left of the TV and very far left of the right speaker... on paper that's bad imaging but it`s really fine unless I`m listening to music, in which case I go sit on the regular sofa actually facing the TV and leave this seat to whoever`s annoying me that day :p)
 
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