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TV sound bars?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author TV sound bars?
mousegarden
My girlfriends hearing has deteriorated somewhat, and she can't hear the TV as well as she once could. So, to save adding bulky monitirs, and cables etc, I've decided to get her a Sound Bar, they look like bollocks to me, but some folks seem to like them, has anyone had any experience with these things?

hmmm..... seriously, i just don't get it confused
gentle_attack
I'm gonna be totally honest I considered them when I had a new job/new apartment situation... the reviews are just horrible from anyone who realizes there are other options. I went with a Denon receiver that has bluetooth for playing off my phone, and some $180/pair pioneer speakers. Get compliments on both the setup and sound every time people are over.

Does your TV have bluetooth capability? Maybe you could buy your lady some wireless headphones? I don't see cranking up the TV and a soundbar as the most elegant solution here. This looks pretty cool actually: https://www.hammacher.com/Product/87173?cm_cat=ProductSEM&cm_pla=AdWor dsPLA&source=PRODSEM&gclid=Cj0KCQiAp8fSBRCUARIsABPL6JZM1Mk3bthDl2naMUY 0NjWQHVQiJSGKVGdypvfW2POTYwpbPWnVFqwaAvXOEALw_wcB

good luck in your mission, that sounds very thoughtful!
mousegarden
gentle_attack wrote:
I'm gonna be totally honest I considered them when I had a new job/new apartment situation... the reviews are just horrible from anyone who realizes there are other options. I went with a Denon receiver that has bluetooth for playing off my phone, and some $180/pair pioneer speakers. Get compliments on both the setup and sound every time people are over.

Does your TV have bluetooth capability? Maybe you could buy your lady some wireless headphones? I don't see cranking up the TV and a soundbar as the most elegant solution here. This looks pretty cool actually: https://www.hammacher.com/Product/87173?cm_cat=ProductSEM&cm_pla=AdWor dsPLA&source=PRODSEM&gclid=Cj0KCQiAp8fSBRCUARIsABPL6JZM1Mk3bthDl2naMUY 0NjWQHVQiJSGKVGdypvfW2POTYwpbPWnVFqwaAvXOEALw_wcB

good luck in your mission, that sounds very thoughtful!


Those armchair speakers look kinda cool!
You're right about better alternatives, I've got a spare pair of monitors in the basement, a pair of Behringer 3031's, if she can't hear those something's definitely wrong! I can bung them down behind the TV, so as not to upset the
decor toooo much!

hihi
revtor
Usually easy to set up, cheap and sound better than built in speakers. But... real speakers and an amp sound a lot better (if that matters) but require more $$ space and time to set up right Also, a sound bar will probably work 100% with your tv’s remote while separate speaker system may not...
rico loverde
just recently picked up a Samsung soundbar w subwoofer for our new TV. It was a pretty low level one, around $200. The sound is shit TBH. I didn't expect much of it but thought it would be better than this. The highs and mids are so smudged and blurred that I have to crank it to understand talking. I know my hearing is starting to go, everyone in my family seems to start losing their hearing around my age but even considering that this soundbar is horrible.
mousegarden
revtor wrote:
Usually easy to set up, cheap and sound better than built in speakers. But... real speakers and an amp sound a lot better (if that matters) but require more $$ space and time to set up right Also, a sound bar will probably work 100% with your tv’s remote while separate speaker system may not...


I thought I could feed the monitors from my TV headphone jack, that's on the remote regarding level.
mousegarden
rico loverde wrote:
just recently picked up a Samsung soundbar w subwoofer for our new TV. It was a pretty low level one, around $200. The sound is shit TBH. I didn't expect much of it but thought it would be better than this. The highs and mids are so smudged and blurred that I have to crank it to understand talking. I know my hearing is starting to go, everyone in my family seems to start losing their hearing around my age but even considering that this soundbar is horrible.


Sounds like the one I was considering, thanks for the heads-up!

thumbs up
melodydad
I use a cheap Cambridge amp and a pair of JBL Control-1 speakers which sit nicely each side of the screen.
mousegarden
melodydad wrote:
I use a cheap Cambridge amp and a pair of JBL Control-1 speakers which sit nicely each side of the screen.


Very good, and easily obtainable from Richer Sounds! The Behringer C1 equivilants are also very good.

thumbs up
slicetwo
I use a Vizio one at work on my desk (it got replaced in my home theater by an amp and polk audio speakers). It's not terrible, but it's not fantastic. It was like $99 when I got it. With that said, if you can swing a real amp and speakers, def. go that route.
mousegarden
OK, trouble with a seperate amp and speakers is, as we found out last night is that unless you get one with a remote control you can't adjust the volume from your seat, this is the end of the world for my girlfriend...

Dead Banana
slicetwo
mousegarden wrote:
OK, trouble with a seperate amp and speakers is, as we found out last night is that unless you get one with a remote control you can't adjust the volume from your seat, this is the end of the world for my girlfriend...

Dead Banana


You can always pick up a cheap universal remote.
dubonaire
mousegarden wrote:
OK, trouble with a seperate amp and speakers is, as we found out last night is that unless you get one with a remote control you can't adjust the volume from your seat, this is the end of the world for my girlfriend...

Dead Banana


You should be able to adjust the volume output of the TV.
revtor
Does sound quality really matter that much when watching tv? Get a sound bar and be done with it. If your GF was used to the built in speakers, then a sound bar will be 100% improvement. Just make sure it works with the remote.
drip.feed
I despise the bastard who came up with the idea of soundbars. To deliberately engineer awful sound into a TV so you can up-sell essential speakers is right up there with aerating ice cream. angry
thomachine
I bought a Harman Kardon onyx studio 3 recently. Looks decent, sounds suprisingly good. And can be had at a big discount. I paid something like $120 for mine. There is a studio 4 that also starts getting heavily discounted as well. Could be an alternative to a soundbar.
mousegarden
dubonaire wrote:
mousegarden wrote:
OK, trouble with a seperate amp and speakers is, as we found out last night is that unless you get one with a remote control you can't adjust the volume from your seat, this is the end of the world for my girlfriend...

Dead Banana


You should be able to adjust the volume output of the TV.


That's what I thought, as I have my Creative speakers plugged into the headphone jack, but.....there are two settings on my Sony TV, one for internal speakers, and one for "cinema system" On speaker setting, the internal speakers are always on, you can't turn them off, the volume goes up and down regardless of whether it's connected to an external amp. On cinema setting, the output volume is disconnected from the remote control, and is solely controlled by the external amp, I guess most surround amps have remotes, so it isn't a problem. It's complicated further because we have a TiVo box plugged into our TV.
monoscan
my girlfriend has a refurbished vizio soundbar. not my pick but for basic audio needs, it does the job well.

we also have that little bluetooth bose speaker thats like $150 i think. It does bluetooth or 1/8" in and that thing can get pretty loud and still provide clarity. that might be a usable option too. [its so small and portable, but i'd rather get audio through that than our soundbar!]
mousegarden
monoscan wrote:
my girlfriend has a refurbished vizio soundbar. not my pick but for basic audio needs, it does the job well.

we also have that little bluetooth bose speaker thats like $150 i think. It does bluetooth or 1/8" in and that thing can get pretty loud and still provide clarity. that might be a usable option too. [its so small and portable, but i'd rather get audio through that than our soundbar!]


That's a good Bluetooth speaker, but I'm thinking of getting a MiniRig, its range is better than the Bose, and battery power lasts longer.
dubonaire
mousegarden wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
mousegarden wrote:
OK, trouble with a seperate amp and speakers is, as we found out last night is that unless you get one with a remote control you can't adjust the volume from your seat, this is the end of the world for my girlfriend...

Dead Banana


You should be able to adjust the volume output of the TV.


That's what I thought, as I have my Creative speakers plugged into the headphone jack, but.....there are two settings on my Sony TV, one for internal speakers, and one for "cinema system" On speaker setting, the internal speakers are always on, you can't turn them off, the volume goes up and down regardless of whether it's connected to an external amp. On cinema setting, the output volume is disconnected from the remote control, and is solely controlled by the external amp, I guess most surround amps have remotes, so it isn't a problem. It's complicated further because we have a TiVo box plugged into our TV.


That's annoying. I have a cool minimal remote for my preamp:

Funky40
i have some 10€ speakers, each. Only the "speaker/woofer" no shell,
and a 5W Amp from ebay. I use those behind my keyboard controller for the Piano as additional speakers, but had them first, for test purposes, placed behind my sitting position when watching some Film on my computer.

thats a elegant and cheap solution to enhance Speak-understandability of films,
while keeping overal sound level low, if you can place them behind you or sideways in a small(er) distance

Visaton FRS8-M
https://www.thomann.de/gb/visaton_frs_8m.htm
load the page in german and see the comments in german.


my main point here:
if she has problems to understand the speaking, the distance of the speakers would be my first thing to watch and change.
Having many speakers vs. just stereo also adds ALOTS in regards to understandability of speak.
having some in different distances, some small ones closer to you, can add tremendously on the "roomyness" of the speak btw.
mousegarden
Funky40 wrote:
i have some 10€ speakers, each. Only the "speaker/woofer" no shell,
and a 5W Amp from ebay. I use those behind my keyboard controller for the Piano as additional speakers, but had them first, for test purposes, placed behind my sitting position when watching some Film on my computer.

thats a elegant and cheap solution to enhance Speak-understandability of films,
while keeping overal sound level low, if you can place them behind you or sideways in a small(er) distance

Visaton FRS8-M
https://www.thomann.de/gb/visaton_frs_8m.htm
load the page in german and see the comments in german.


my main point here:
if she has problems to understand the speaking, the distance of the speakers would be my first thing to watch and change.
Having many speakers vs. just stereo also adds ALOTS in regards to understandability of speak.
having some in different distances, some small ones closer to you, can add tremendously on the "roomyness" of the speak btw.


She wants a surround system now, after hearing a friends she says it makes things really clear, especially voices.
I want a Ferrari too, as it really makes getting from A to B so much quicker...

hihi
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