• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Home Theater Soundbar vs decent 5.1 or 7.1 setup

mark123

Member
Messages
1,046
Just put a contract down on a new to me house and getting ready to sell ours. My existing mid-range home theater setup consists of a Lexicon MC12 preamp/processor feeding into a Outlaw Audio 200x5 power amp and a 5.1 B&W speaker setup. It has served me well for past 10 years but would like to try to simplify the setup in the new house by going with a decent sound bar and powered sub.

New living room is open space shared with dining room, around 20X50 in size with 20x30 or so for the living room. Old living room is 15x20 or so that I have my current setup in and it still sounds great. The main issue is the processor doesn't have very good HDMI support (everything is connected from the source to toslink for audio) so it limits my use of things like a Roku that plugs direct into the TV. I'm really thinking about just going with a decent sound bar setup under the TV and simplify but have no idea how much I will give up or possibly gain by using a soundbar. Decent HT audio quality system has been a pretty big factor for me in the past but not so much for the wife and kids and I really don't watch that much TV anymore but when I do, I'd like to have it at least decent sound quality. I also get a new man cave/office/music room around 25x25 in size just for me and plan on relocating my existing setup into it.

Any recommendations on a decent sound bar setup for a pretty large room or am I going to regret not going the full 5.1 or 7.1 route?

Thanks
 

Steve Dallas

Member
Messages
8,295
Why not go with something in between? A good stereo pair with a decent AVR will sound better than any sound bar IMHO. When faced with your exact dilemma, that is where I ended up. I have a Yamaha Aventage receiver pushing a pair of KEF Q100s to good effect in a big open concept living room / kitchen like yours.

I need front ported speakers due to them living in a bookcase, so that might be something to think about. I think Elac makes 3 or 4 front ported models now...
 

Alan Dunn

Member
Messages
1,294
Yamaha YSP5600mk2
Sennheiser Ambeo

My wife watches more TV than I do. We have the Yamaha ysp-5600 and she absolutely loves it - to the point she blows up if it's not turned on.
It's not so great for music - but for tv and movies it's very good at filling a 35x15ft room
 

83stratman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,567
You don't say what B&Ws you have, but unless you don't like them or they are physically too big or small for your new space, I'd keep them. Just get a new/modern pre/pro or sell the Outlaw and try to sell the Lexicon and get a new modern receiver, then call it a day. I would never consider a soundbar for anything more than a bedroom.
 

captwillard

Member
Messages
1,347
Just put a contract down on a new to me house and getting ready to sell ours. My existing mid-range home theater setup consists of a Lexicon MC12 preamp/processor feeding into a Outlaw Audio 200x5 power amp and a 5.1 B&W speaker setup. It has served me well for past 10 years but would like to try to simplify the setup in the new house by going with a decent sound bar and powered sub.

New living room is open space shared with dining room, around 20X50 in size with 20x30 or so for the living room. Old living room is 15x20 or so that I have my current setup in and it still sounds great. The main issue is the processor doesn't have very good HDMI support (everything is connected from the source to toslink for audio) so it limits my use of things like a Roku that plugs direct into the TV. I'm really thinking about just going with a decent sound bar setup under the TV and simplify but have no idea how much I will give up or possibly gain by using a soundbar. Decent HT audio quality system has been a pretty big factor for me in the past but not so much for the wife and kids and I really don't watch that much TV anymore but when I do, I'd like to have it at least decent sound quality. I also get a new man cave/office/music room around 25x25 in size just for me and plan on relocating my existing setup into it.

Any recommendations on a decent sound bar setup for a pretty large room or am I going to regret not going the full 5.1 or 7.1 route?

Thanks
The Dali soundbar is supposed to be pretty nice.
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
Yuck, yuck & yuck... You’re going to a larger room that’s open to a larger room and your thinking of putting much less into that space? Look at the size of your current drivers than think about the size of a soundbar’s drivers.. next imagine your current outlaw amp at true simultaneous 200 W per channel and take that down to some stupid sound chip class D card inside of a cheap Best Buy toy sound bar.

By trade I am a low-voltage integrator. In other words, I design, engineer, sell, install and service smart tech solutions in homes. Most of my jobs are automated lighting, shades, network, security, surveillance, door locks, climate control,Whole house audio, distributed video, home theater and a whole bunch more with very complex macros at a touch of a button. I do simple surroundsound set ups in family rooms and bedrooms, larger systems in great rooms, media rooms, game rooms and of course dedicated theaters.

There are a few, and I do mean a very few, very good quality, very high end and unfortunately very expensive sound bars out there. 90% of these are passive and still driven by a true amplifier.

In your situation, at the very very minimum, I would install a passive large good quality sound bar for your LCR and then I would complement surrounds using in ceiling speakers and I would try to do an in ceiling or in wall subwoofer to minimize and clean up your space.

I woke up one morning With tinnitus. There was no warning, there was nothing that I did to expose my ears to damage. I just instantly lost 30% of my hearing in my left ear and it sounds like somebody’s crumpling paper in it 24 seven. Several different neurologists and EMTs tell me this is very common in males between 45 and 55 for no rhyme or reason to wake up with this issue. All that to say, I actually appreciate good quality audio more than I ever have. Phone speakers, little tiny sound bars are now incredibly painful to my hearing. But good quality nice sounding audio is much much better. That should illustrate that your fatigue that you subconsciously will experience with the crazy stupid little sound bars that people stick on their TVs. That’s my two cents.
 

bubbaheat

Member
Messages
303
I prefer systems that can move more air. The Sonos Sound Bar / Sub system is about as good as it gets for that kind of setup but I still prefer big speakers for big sound. ELac makes great entry level stuff. https://www.elac.com/
 




Trending Topics

Top