Question Please recommend audio components to purchase for excellent immersive surround sound experience

Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#1
Hi, I need some advice on audio components to purchase. I have a Sony XBR-49X900E 49" 4K HDR TV. Specifications of the audio features of the TV and the motherboard are shown below.

I use the computer system to watch TV, 4K youtube videos, play 4K games, etc. in a small bedroom. I want to create an immersive surround sound environment that I can sense things flying all over me at different heights, things moving around in different directions and distances, atmos effects. Could you please recommend audio components that I need to achive these? Thanks.


Specifications of the TV:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/televisions/xbr-x900e-series/specifications



Specifications of motherboard's audio features:

Realtek® ALC S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC featuring Crystal Sound 3
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming
120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
Audio Feature :
- DTS Connect
- DTS Headphone:X
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
- Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs
- EMI protection cover to prevent electrical noise to affect the amplifier quality
- Power pre-regulator: Reduces power input noise to ensure consistent performance
Separate layer for left and right track, ensuring both sound deliver equal quality
Premium Japan-made audio capacitors provides warm, natural, and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Back I/O Ports: 1 x 8-channel Audio I/O ports that can connect to 2, 4, 5.1 or 7.1-channel speakers
- HDMI and DisplayPort ports
 
May 30, 2000
15,003
23
91
#2
How much did you want to spend? Will this be a home theater setup, where you would use a receiver, or did you plan to do it all using your pc?
 
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#3
I plan to do it all using my PC. As for budget, perhaps below $1500. Of course the less expensive the better without compromise of performance. If it costs over 1K, I can wait until Black Friday.
 
Oct 18, 1999
20,775
73
126
#4
Small bedroom? I say the best pro gaming headphones you can afford.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,714
492
136
#6
Then you should post in the home theater pc forum. Sorry, but I haven't kept up with the tech for HT PCs.
It really fits in this area better.

It sounds like they want to buy a receiver, that supports at least a 5.1 or 7.1 setup.

However, since this is for a small bedroom, I doubt they want huge towers with rear speaker cables running everywhere, and such. Probably their best bet is to head into a place like Best Buy, and check out some of their bookshelf speakers. A good 2.1 (or better yet a 3.1) should be plenty for a small area. Everyone's hearing is different, and a speaker that sounds good to one person will sound horrible to another.

I run a 3.1 setup in my living room (two towers, a center, and a sub-woofer), and I can't say I've been disappointed watching movies or listening to music.

https://www.mtx.com/library-home-audio-choose-surround-system
 
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#7
I live in an apartment. My room size is about: 400 cm x 250 cm. I use half of the room most of the time. Let's call that an Active Area of size 200 cm x 250 cm. In the Active Area, I sit between a large desk of size 200 cm x 90 cm and a bed.

If the sound source is from my PC only, do I need a receiver? I thought we only need a receiver if the sound source is from an independent DVD drive.

In BestBuy, I found the Sony HT-ST5000 very good but they have a much higher ceiling and the sound was very loud. I heard that it is not immersive as it cannot be paired with back speakers. It is also very expensive. As I live in an apartment, I cannot turn up the volumn too loud as my neighbours will complain. I have a headset but although it is comfortable to wear, wearing for over half an hour is not ideal.

I also tried Vizio SB36512-F6 36" 5.1.2 at a store. It sounded quite immersive. Again, they have much higher ceiliding so I don't know how it will sound in my room. There is also a newer SB46514-F6 46" 5.1.4 which costs 2.5 times more. I can't find one in local stores to try.

The Creative Lab's Katana got very good reviews by users but when I heard the sound from youtube review videos, the sound sounded like those generated by computers in the 80s. Not sure if it sounds much better in real life.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,714
492
136
#8
About the best budget speakers are the Pioneer Andrew Jones series. They sell them at Amazon, Best Buy, BH Photo, etc.

That's what I have for my center and two front towers. I think I got the towers on sale for like $60 each, and at that price they are a steal. I really didn't like the sub-woofer however, so I went with a Sony for that portion.

While you don't have to have a receiver, it will make your life considerably easier and give you the best audio.

If you want to have a 5.1 setup, here are a couple of bundles at Amazon (one without the sub-woofer which is "meh" in performance).

$504
https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-PK52FS-Theater-Speaker-Package/dp/B00IK8I9K2?th=1

$375
https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-PK52FS-Theater-Speaker-Package/dp/B00IRH0QMA?th=1
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,714
492
136
#9
I As I live in an apartment, I cannot turn up the volumn too loud as my neighbours will complain. I have a headset but although it is comfortable to wear, wearing for over half an hour is not ideal.
Honestly, a really good comfortable pair of headphones would be perfect for your use. Forget using a headset, pick up a pair of really good, comfortable headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 or Beyerdynamic DT 880 (or several other models they offer).
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,466
13
106
#10
1500 is a bit low for what you want, your describing an atmos system, 7.1.4 or higher system. that requires and 11.1 or better receiver


just not realistic

if you can settle for 5.1 or 7.1 then its doable
 
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#11
1500 is a bit low for what you want, your describing an atmos system, 7.1.4 or higher system. that requires and 11.1 or better receiver


just not realistic

if you can settle for 5.1 or 7.1 then its doable
Thanks. Is it much better to get a receiver and speakers separately than buy at 5.1 or 7.1 soundbar with "atmos" capability? Am I correct that if I use soundbar, it will take up CPU processing. If I use receiver, all the audio processing will be done in the receiver thus leave the CPU to do other computationally intensive work.
 
May 30, 2000
15,003
23
91
#12
If you want atmos, then stay away from the soundbars. They just don't work right because the sound comes out of the top of the soundbar, and bounced off the ceiling, then it's supposed to be directed down to the listener. Needless to say, it doesn't work well.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,714
492
136
#13
If you want atmos, then stay away from the soundbars. They just don't work right because the sound comes out of the top of the soundbar, and bounced off the ceiling, then it's supposed to be directed down to the listener. Needless to say, it doesn't work well.
Another thing to point out concerning sound bars, is at least when I auditioned them out in the stores, even budget bookshelf speakers sounded better than they did.

And I even tried the high-end sound bars because I wanted to save the space, but I was really unimpressed with the sound quality and quickly turned my focus to traditional towers / centers / subwoofer. Everyone's hearing and expectations differ, but that's my little diatribe.
 
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#14
Anybody tried Dolby Dimensions? All these reviews seem to be from the company or some youtube reviewers. Not aware of reviews from actual consumers.
 
Sep 29, 2004
18,630
10
91
#15
Your best bet is to see how much a refurb Denon that supports Atmos is at accessoriesforless

https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...1.html?home_audio_key[]=atmos&brand_f[]=DENON

If you can mount on the ceiling, go for it. If not, just place some decent speakers up high and refelct the sound off the ceiling.

So, what you should aim for is a 5.1.2 setup.

If handy, you can not do better than something here for the prices available:
https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-theater-speaker-kits.html

Let's say you spend $100 per speaker there. That's $700. Then get a $400 Denon refurb. That's $1100. That leaves you with $400 for a sub. And frankly, you don't need nothing much. I'm sure there are some good options out there. Just get the biggest damned sub you can afford!

Subs are interesting. Dual subs are best because of something called nulls. Get two of these for $150 each:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MOZ1WHY/?tag=vsavsforum-20&ascsubtag=YT906

There $1400 ignoring shipping costs. ROCK ON!

FWIW:
Perhaps two or three of these?
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=9723

Subwoofers are interesting. There are ALOT of good budget options out there. You will not beat diysoundgroup for the price and performance. You will not go wrong with a refurb off of accessoriesforless. And for subwoofers, do some research. Get atleast a single 12" sub or dual 10ers.

If you are handy, I did dual ported 18" subwoofers powered for $800 and it's rediculous! Obviously, that's intense The amp alone is $300 or so, so it's probably out of your reach. Amps worth buying start at around $300. But there are some insane subwoofers out there for like $150 that displace alot of air!



EDIT: Wait, is this a PC build or Home Theater build?
 
Last edited:
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#16
Thanks. Usually where do people put the receiver when it is connected to a desktop PC ? I have a 49" TV on my desk. I probably don't want to put a receiver there.
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,466
13
106
#17
receiver can go anywhere, as long as the input cable can reach it
 
Dec 11, 2002
18,387
5
91
#18
Atmos and other multispeaker surround setups are ideal to sound amazing for a wide area of the room. This is made to sound good for multiple listeners that require a large listening sweet spot. For personal listening, nothing beats the imaging and soundstage of a good pair of headphones or stereo speakers. If you don't like the comfort of headphones, you could also consider earphones. Movies and games are able to simulate binaural audio. For a personal listening experience, nothing beats them for spatial imaging.

 
Last edited:
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#19
I read that wireless headphones such as the Dolby Dimensions are unable to do atmos due to the bandwidth. Is that true? However, on Dolby, they list Plantronics RIG 800LX and other wireless headphones of the series as atmos headphones. Am I missing something?
 
Dec 11, 2002
18,387
5
91
#20
I read that wireless headphones such as the Dolby Dimensions are unable to do atmos due to the bandwidth. Is that true? However, on Dolby, they list Plantronics RIG 800LX and other wireless headphones of the series as atmos headphones. Am I missing something?
I'm not a fan of wireless headphones. A good pair of audiophile wired stereo headphones that's designed for accurate soundstage and spatial imaging would beat any of the purpose built gaming/multimedia headsets. To get Dolby Atmos, you'll need to get a receiver that can decode it. For games, the sound engine is already built in with their own binaural HRTF audio encodings.

For headphones, I'd recommend one of the Planar Magnetic headphones from Hifi-man. The HE400i is a great deal at $160. These are known for the best soundstage/spatial imaging at the price. The Beyerdynamic DT880 recommended by Usandthem is another great choice.

For earphones, the best ones you could get are the Shure KSE1200 Electrostatic earphones. These are the closest thing to a sonic teleportation. The sealed IEM design has incredible isolation, furthering that sensation of sonic teleportation. They're really pricey at $2000
 
Last edited:

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,275
49
106
#21
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#22
Sorry I forgot to mention that I have a Plantronics 80935-21 Audio 655 USB Multimedia Headset with Noise Canceling Microphone. Are those recommended products much better than the one I have?
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,466
13
106
#23
the only issue with headphones is you dont get the feel of the base you would get with a good subwoofer. no chest thumping

it does into fall into the immersive category the OP requested.

i did my 3.1 for @ 1000
cost break down as follows
AVR - 350 (refurb denon 2100)
sub - 200 (klipsch sub 12 hg)
L/R - 120ea (infinity p363)
C - 150 (infinity pc351)


everything was on sale, and took some time to put together

take your time, watch for deals, build the system a bit at a time and you can save some money
 
Apr 12, 2018
289
4
41
#25
I tried the Creative Katana since my room is small and I cannot mount speakers to the wall. Also don't want to have too many things on the desk since my TV is 49" already and I have a full tower PC next to it.

Compared with the nice but desk facing speakers from my Sony 49" HDR 4K TV, this thing does feel like it brings up the sound experience to the next next level. Things do seem to fly around me. I might be wrong but probably compared the top of the line Atmos audo systems with speakers installed on the ceiling and and also surrounding the entire room, the experience is probably just 20% less good but at much lower cost. Do you think the 20% less than perfect experience is correct? I am not an audiophile so maybe my standard is low.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads



ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS