ARTICLE: Soundbar or AV Receiver – which one should you choose?

sebna

Member
If it involves the living room, SWMBO has to be consulted. That's a fact of life.
I guess we are a bit unconventional couple as I have taken care of decorating most of the house so I guess that makes it easier doing it the way I wanted ;)
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
The reviews of the LG SN11 are looking terrible too. No wonder it was half price at Currys in Black Friday. Like I said looks like all of the soundbars are rubbish. The subs on those listed are crap too.
They are compared to a sub from a proper hifi company, svs,bk ,rel etc
 

DrH

Active Member
I have a sound bar in my lounge, a Samsung HW-MS650. It sits neatly under the TV in the unit. It sounds miles better than the TV speakers. As it has only 1 HDMI input then we have to use ARC when listening to sky or a blu ray. It is really easy to use as it comes on when the TV is switched on. I had a stereo set up before which was a Marantz amp and Q acoustics concept 20 Speakers. It sounded much better than the sound bar but was only used by myself as it was a bit more complicated to use.

In my HT set up I have the equipment in my signature which is much more expensive, it sounds better by miles in every way, but again only I use it.

Sound bars have there place to improve upon the TV speakers and if you have not heard better then they ok. For A full on cinematic experience then the dedicated speakers and AVR route is the one I would choose.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
I have a sound bar in my lounge, a Samsung HW-MS650. It sits neatly under the TV in the unit. It sounds miles better than the TV speakers. As it has only 1 HDMI input then we have to use ARC when listening to sky or a blu ray. It is really easy to use as it comes on when the TV is switched on. I had a stereo set up before which was a Marantz amp and Q acoustics concept 20 Speakers. It sounded much better than the sound bar but was only used by myself as it was a bit more complicated to use.

In my HT set up I have the equipment in my signature which is much more expensive, it sounds better by miles in every way, but again only I use it.

Sound bars have there place to improve upon the TV speakers and if you have not heard better then they ok. For A full on cinematic experience then the dedicated speakers and AVR route is the one I would choose.
horses for courses.
 

MichaelV

Active Member
There is no question in my mind that a good receiver paired with good speakers will always sound better than a soundbar. Back in the day, even a modest receiver paired with the then $500 or so Energy Take 5 package absolutely killed for under a grand. The question is can you fit all those speakers and wires into the space you’re using and is that space amenable to good surround? For my living room in Hawaii, with a particular wife and a wall made entirely of windows, the answers to those questions was no so I’m very happy I settled for the B&O Stage, which does a fantastic job.
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
I read those stories I and honestly don't understand how his wife can make decisions about his hobby? Does he chooses to which hair saloon she goes for her? I would go crazy living like this.
Life is Life, different relationships have different dynamics. But anytime where Hubby & SWMBO have different Hobbies, & it involves the main part of the House....
Mancaves were invented for a reason! (The "Garden Shed" was the original English Mancave back in the Days when I was growing up!) :)
 

Tegs200

Active Member
Thanks. Doesn’t have atmos speakers in the rears though does it?
No it doesn't but it still sounds really good and I'm sure they will release upfiring rears plus the Atmosphere bubble is excellent , I had a LG Sn11 and returned it for the Arc which is much better imo and for everyday use plus its future proof with updates and won't be worth nothing come next year , all soundbars will only have a limited height effect which ever one you buy as they can never replicate a dedicated system with celling speakers so I just went for quality in the end.
 

Tomurai

Standard Member
Soundbars are good solutions when compared to regular tv speakers. They are also ok for listening to music. But you should know that you are buying a surrogate, that can't match a multichannel or stereo setup for movies or music not even if you spend more than a 1000s. They work well for regular people, after all most people listen to movies and music on horrible setups so even a soundbar is magic for them. I used some soundbars when i was with my parents, now that i got my own place, considering that i'm 50% music 50% movies i got a stereo amp (marantz nr1200) that has hdmi in and arc and speakers, and i can say that they work very well, big soundstage (that depends on how you place them, if you cramp them together it becomes difficult) clear vocals in the centre and good channel separation. Of course you don't get surround or overhead effects, but i can say it is still immersive, way more than a normal soundbar. Also I believe than subs are a bit overrated, especially if you live in a flat or with people than are not interested, you don't really need them or probably wont' be able to enjoy them because you will receive complaints. And if you are not passionate about big action movies filled with explosions and rely mainly on movies based around dialogues, they become a bit redundant. I once got complaints from a neighbour for "heavy bass" from Parasite movie played on stereo speakers :blush:
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
For Atmos upfirers. having a flat, reflective Ceiling is pretty obvious, but I often wonder what defines a "low roof". I get that the higher the roof, the louder the Atmos speakers must run, & also dispersion will cause less & less precision, but I've never seen anywhere what is the optimum & maximum distance the Ceiling should be from a standard Atmos certified upfirer. Maybe I've just missed that nugget though I've searched before.
I know that not all speakers are born equal, but Atmos certified upfirers tend to be very similar in their Size & Design
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
It is a shame we cannot get a really amazing sounding Soundbar for £2000. I returned my Ambeo Bar as it was broken and is riddled with issues - check out all the owners threads. If you have limited space with no room for rear speakers or sub then there is a massive compromise. You end up with Soundbars that have tiny speakers and cannot move enough air.

Perhaps a 2 channel £2000 speaker/amp or is a better option even though it is only stereo.

interesting to compare 2 channels HIFI speakers in stereo vs soundbars for movies? For example Samsung 950 soundbar excluding rear vs Stereo HIFI speakers such as KEF LS50W.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'interesting to compare 2 channels HIFI speakers in stereo vs soundbars for movies?' - I know where my money would/does go :)

Joe
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Thank god I`m not in the situation where I have to think which one to buy.
But my friend was. His wife said that all speakers and movies must go. He finally got permission to buy soundbar. When she saw the subwoofer (6 or 8 inch), she wasn`t happy at all (I was ready to leave). He has to do all kinds of demos to show that he could keep it.
I guess they are happy after all.
Wow, what a reasonable woman she sounds like.
I'm a bloke who likes a tidy set up and my soundbar sub is the only wart on a pretty face and it's problematic to position but my Mrs would never expect, or ask me to get rid of any of my stuff.
 

NorvernRob

Distinguished Member
Setups don’t have to have boxy speakers all over, the sub doesn’t have to be a huge square box and it doesn’t all have to be black.

I suppose my setup might be obtrusive in the sense that it dominates one wall, but with a false wall and in-wall and ceiling speakers, plus a slim BK Double Gem sub I think it’s pleasing to look at.

AB6D86CF-0EA0-4AA9-88BE-01D206D6F742.jpeg
586CB4B8-C03A-4D52-9B77-8BD2B8222E8B.jpeg
 

andyman2

Active Member
I don't have problems with base on my soundbar, JBL 9.1, it's mostly set at 2/5 and I don't live in a flat. I did previously have separates and would do again if I had a dedicated cinema room but in a lounge the bar with wireless rears is perfect for us. When I moved I analysed what I was watching and predominantly it was sport and Netflix series, so decided against a full A/V setup. I can get lossless audio from my BR player for the occasional film, it sounds great to me!
 

Ach0w

Novice Member
I have a sound bar in my lounge, a Samsung HW-MS650. It sits neatly under the TV in the unit. It sounds miles better than the TV speakers. As it has only 1 HDMI input then we have to use ARC when listening to sky or a blu ray. It is really easy to use as it comes on when the TV is switched on. I had a stereo set up before which was a Marantz amp and Q acoustics concept 20 Speakers. It sounded much better than the sound bar but was only used by myself as it was a bit more complicated to use.

In my HT set up I have the equipment in my signature which is much more expensive, it sounds better by miles in every way, but again only I use it.

Sound bars have there place to improve upon the TV speakers and if you have not heard better then they ok. For A full on cinematic experience then the dedicated speakers and AVR route is the one I would choose.

Your setup need not be complicated. I've got a 6-input AVR which supports eARC. TV also supports eARC and has 3 additional ports.

Together, we can connect up to 9 devices (only 3 in use, until I can lay my mittens on a PlayStation 5), and the sound always goes to the AVR. It's seamless, good quality output.

HDMI CEC and eARC make operating this a breeze, no more complicated than a soundbar would be.
 

DrH

Active Member
Your setup need not be complicated. I've got a 6-input AVR which supports eARC. TV also supports eARC and has 3 additional ports.

Together, we can connect up to 9 devices (only 3 in use, until I can lay my mittens on a PlayStation 5), and the sound always goes to the AVR. It's seamless, good quality output.

HDMI CEC and eARC make operating this a breeze, no more complicated than a soundbar would be.

it is the rest of the family that find it complicated, so the sound bar in the lounge is ideal
 

MARKAT

Active Member
I went from an AVR and 5.1 set up to a Yamaha YSP2500 a few years ago. The soundbar is OK but I'm now selling some of my old kit to go back to separates.
Have been watching some reviews by a guy called Andrew Robinson on YouTube who has recently reviewed a number of soundbars as I was contemplating a better soundbars instead but I'm still not convinced. The sennheiser ambeo looks decent enough but it's expensive and I could get a fairly decent AVR etc for similar money. Decent to my ageing ears anyway.
Stay safe all
Mark
 

MARKAT

Active Member
To add further, I've never been 100% happy with the setup and surround of my YSP. In a normal living room where you have furniture up against the walls like an awful lot of people I'd imagine, I've never been really happy with it. Imagine what my wife would say if I told her I was moving the sofa into the middle of the lounge to make the most of the surround sound. Just my 2 penneth.
 
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lookandlearn

Novice Member
Here are a couple of other considerations.
1: Replacing a soundbar with a more advanced one is simplicity itself. Replacing a separates system with all the cabling and installation issues is a nightmare.
2: Quite a few sounders are eARC compatible. There are at present no eARC AVRs and no indication that any will appear in the near future.
 

Russ_64

Well-known Member
#2 is incorrect - all Denon and Marantz AVRs have eARC, even my 2018 SR7013.
 

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