Home Theatre or Sound Bar on a Budget?

Audaxual

Junior Member
Mar 16, 2012
1
0
0
Hi guys, I just got a new HDTV and while it has a great picture (just as it did in the store) the audio sounds like it's coming from a pair of tin cans. I've already put money down on the TV so I'm a little strapped right now.

Do you guys have any suggestion for a good system for my TV? My budget right now is 200$. The TV does have an S/PDIF connection, so that is what I would prefer to use. The TV only has 2 HDMI connections so I want to keep those as available as I can.

Is it worth it to go 5.1 for 200$ or should I go for a sound bar instead?
 

nsafreak

Diamond Member
Oct 16, 2001
7,093
3
81
With that budget? A sound bar no doubt as a pair of just front channel speakers would take all of your budget. As to which ones I would recommend in all honesty I'm not sure as I haven't personally listened to many soundbars myself. I'm sure somebody will make some recommendations for you though.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
Ebay, Boston Acoustics soundbar + wireless woofer. If you just want to improve the sound of your TV it will be perfect.

5.1 on a $200 is a waste IMHO.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,889
15,050
126
Hi guys, I just got a new HDTV and while it has a great picture (just as it did in the store) the audio sounds like it's coming from a pair of tin cans. I've already put money down on the TV so I'm a little strapped right now.

Do you guys have any suggestion for a good system for my TV? My budget right now is 200$. The TV does have an S/PDIF connection, so that is what I would prefer to use. The TV only has 2 HDMI connections so I want to keep those as available as I can.

Is it worth it to go 5.1 for 200$ or should I go for a sound bar instead?

it is coming from a pair of tincans :biggrin:

get a receiver and speakers. Bigger issue is room dimensions and placement constraints.

don't bother with soundbar. Waste of money.
 

velillen

Platinum Member
Jul 12, 2006
2,120
1
81
don't bother with soundbar. Waste of money.

Meh for what they are and at their price point (sub 200) they arent bad. My grandparents have one and it actually sounds pretty decent. If you dont want speakers off to the side and only have thta budget i see no problem with one personally.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,889
15,050
126
Meh for what they are and at their price point (sub 200) they arent bad. My grandparents have one and it actually sounds pretty decent. If you dont want speakers off to the side and only have thta budget i see no problem with one personally.

I would rather save that 200 toward something better. But of course that is just me.
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
Meh for what they are and at their price point (sub 200) they arent bad. My grandparents have one and it actually sounds pretty decent. If you dont want speakers off to the side and only have thta budget i see no problem with one personally.

If you are only looking to "up" the quality of your TV speakers then a sound bar is fine. Hell, anything is better than TV speakers. Secondly, if you don't want to mess with running speaker wire everywhere than soundbars are perfect for that as well. Vizio and JVC make some good sound bars. Although I am not sure that $200 is enough even in the soundbar world.

However, if you are wanting to move into the HT world, then I'd begin looking at something more. Even some of the basic Home Theater In A Box setups will give you substantial sound quality increases over a basic sound bar.

FWIW, I use this. Technically, it isn't a soundbar as it has separate L/C/R drivers and it has to be used with an amp/receiver as it only has speaker terminal connectors on the backside so you can't just plug a TV into it. I was forced to use this setup as I my living room area is so small I couldn't have separate speakers for L/C/R channels. Although this soundbar is an absolute beast, I can't wait to move into a bigger house one day and go the tradtional non-soundbar home theater route. The sound imaging becomes limited when using a soundbar like mine as those three channels are so close together.
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,889
15,050
126
If you are only looking to "up" the quality of your TV speakers then a sound bar is fine. Hell, anything is better than TV speakers. Secondly, if you don't want to mess with running speaker wire everywhere than soundbars are perfect for that as well. Vizio and JVC make some good sound bars. Although I am not sure that $200 is enough even in the soundbar world.

However, if you are wanting to move into the HT world, then I'd begin looking at something more. Even some of the basic Home Theater In A Box setups will give you substantial sound quality increases over a basic sound bar.

FWIW, I use this. Technically, it isn't a soundbar as it has separate L/C/R drivers and it has to be used with an amp/receiver as it only has speaker terminal connectors on the backside so you can't just plug a TV into it. I was forced to use this setup as I my living room area is so small I couldn't have separate speakers for L/C/R channels. Although this soundbar is an absolute beast, I can't wait to move into a bigger house one day and go the tradtional non-soundbar home theater route. The sound imaging becomes limited when using a soundbar like mine as those three channels are so close together.

I bought a cheap ass Daytek HTIB for like 130 and it sounded so much better than the tv speakers. I used it as sound system for my son's bedroom :biggrin:
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,399
51
91
Anything is going to sound better than the tv speakers.

If you want a little better sound but don't want to throw too much money at it only to toss it when you upgrade later, I think a $40-50 set of 2.1 computer speakers would do just fine.
 

jhansman

Platinum Member
Feb 5, 2004
2,768
29
91
Ignore what has been told to you hear and go listen. There must be somewhere within driving distance that you can audition such a component. Separates probably will give you better results, but if that's not what you want, see if you can hear what a soundbar offers.
 

boomhower

Diamond Member
Sep 13, 2007
7,228
19
81
I bought a Sony soundbar/woofer set-up on sale for $200 a couple years ago. I'm happy with it. Does it sound like a high dollar set-up? Of course not. Does it sound 100x better than TV speakers? Yep. Down the road I intend to pick up a high end Yamaha soundbar. I love the idea and running speakers everywhere just isn't my cup of tea.