New to HT Audio need some advice

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
14,202
4,401
136
UPDATE 12/16/2015 :
I finally broke down and purchased the Sony STRDH750 receiver, the Pioneer SP-C22 center channel speaker, as well as a pair of the Pioneer SP-FS52-LR Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing Loudspeakers for my front speakers. I plan on picking up the matching Pioneer subwoofer in late January or early February. I also picked up a Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable since I inherited a bunch of records recently. All of these should arrive before the end of the week (Thank you Amazon Prime!)

After reading the manual for the Sony STRDH750 it seems like it will do what I want for the headphones, but I'll update this thread once I have it all set up.


Original post
_______________________________________________
I'm looking to get a better home theater setup and have a few specific needs. One of the main things I'm looking for is better voice clarity in movies and TV shows. As I get older I'm finding it harder to understand voices, and have been told that what I need is a separate center channel, something my current 2.1 soundbar does not have. I'm thinking I would like to start with a 5.1 system. I want to keep the price as low as possible. I was looking at the Pioneer VSX-524-K for my receiver, and the Monoprice Premium 5.1-Channel Home Theater System.

The next thing I am looking for is the ability to have a set of headphones connected and playing the same source at the same time. My father has severe hearing disability and can only really hear with a special hearing aid setup that uses RCA connections. This is a secondary consideration as my dad does not live with us and only visits 4-5 times a year. But it would be nice to have it working for him.

So, my questions.
Does having a separate center channel really help make voices more clear?
Is there any way to have a set of RCA headphones playing the same source at the same time, with the VSX-524-K or other reasonably priced receiver?
Is the VSX-524-K even a good receiver?
Is the monoprice speakers any good, or what would you recommend without going too high in price?

Thank you in advance for your expertise.
 
Last edited:

bluepumpkin

Junior Member
Oct 18, 2015
15
0
0
try one of the Klipsch HT sound system .... expensive, impressive and unforgettable sound for years!
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
So, my questions.
1. Does having a separate center channel really help make voices more clear?
2. Is there any way to have a set of RCA headphones playing the same source at the same time, with the VSX-524-K or other reasonably priced receiver?
3. Is the VSX-524-K even a good receiver?
4. Is the monoprice speakers any good, or what would you recommend without going too high in price?

Thank you in advance for your expertise.

1. Yes. Absolutely.
2. Several ways to do it. The one I know is take the RCA Outputs on the back of the receiver, use a y RCA to 3.5mm stereo mini jack connector and plug into a wireless earphone base. Ex. Sennheiser RS 120's. The problem is almost no low end receiver has RCA outputs anymore. Sometimes you can grab the sound from your source, but that's a pain when you have multiple sources you want to put through the earphones. Ex. Cable box can be set to output to both Stereo RCA and HDMI.
3. It'll do the job. You don't need a top of the line receiver to improve center channel clarity. (I may have some people disagree, but the difference is, to my mind, relatively minor for dialogue.)
4. They're fine. You really just need 3.0 or 3.1 if you like some boom. For center clarity sometimes it's best to turn on Dynamic Range Compression as well as jack up the center speaker settings. Yes, it won't sound as good for music and it won't match a true theater, but the dialogue will be clearer.

I'd probably get this:

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-C2...=1445210378&sr=1-10&keywords=pioneer+speakers

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LFTQ1GW?psc=1

and call it a day. I think getting a fat center with pretty full range is the most important thing in making clear dialogue. You can grab a sub if you need. Cheap sub=go BIC. More Sub? Go SVSound.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,751
3,068
121
I actually have a older version of that center speaker.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404

But I paid $99 for it at the time.

Yes it helps.

I have various other older ones used elsewhere, but for the price I'd say the Andrew Jones speakers are pretty impressive.

Have been using Sony receivers awhile now, my old 5.1 finally died awhile back and went to a 7.2, but I'm sure there will be a lot of feedback over those even.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J356C0K?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDH750...iewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

But I even bought that on sale att, you always can shop around a bit of course.
 
Last edited:

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
center channels are not vocal only, if you are having hearing issues, #1 use the equilzier to reduce high and low frequencies just a little, and #2 see a hearing specialist. I'm not saying you need a hearing aid at this point in time but now would be a good time to find out where your hearing stands. Especially if turning up the volume on things will only make it worse
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,512
208
106
go 3.1 first

spend more money on better speakers

ad surrounds later
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
14,202
4,401
136
I'd probably get this:

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-C2...=1445210378&sr=1-10&keywords=pioneer+speakers

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LFTQ1GW?psc=1

and call it a day. I think getting a fat center with pretty full range is the most important thing in making clear dialogue. You can grab a sub if you need. Cheap sub=go BIC. More Sub? Go SVSound.

Thank you for the recomendations. You are probably right, I think I'll build a 3.0 system first and put some money away for a subwoofer maybe around Black Friday.
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,512
208
106
get frys email flyer
they have some deals
i got my klipsch sub12 there fore 199
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,512
208
106
it goes on sale almost weekly

they also have various speakers onsale, last week were the infinity p363 for $98 a good deal.
2 weeks after i got them for 115 on amazon.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
get frys email flyer
they have some deals
i got my klipsch sub12 there fore 199

I've never been impressed by Klipsch subs. The guys at Frys tried to impress me with a Klipsch 15" sub and I found it terribly slow. Big boom, but it took forever to hit and wasn't exactly crisp. I'm no expert on Klipsch subs, however. They seem to make a lot of them that change every year.

Of course, if you like it, that's all that matters.