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

Coulson

Distinguished Member

ferrism

Novice Member
Really? I have read the thread and can’t see too much wrong. What am I missing?
I'm on my second Ambeo now and this one is also faulty. If the Sennheiser App connects more than 50% of the time I consider myself lucky. When I switch inputs on the Ambeo it disconnects from the TV completely, leaving the internal speakers on. It gets very hot. When the remote happens to be working, Codec information comes and goes. Effectively I have a volume control and next to no other control.
Maybe it's a bad batch ...... yet again!
 

Ach0w

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

I was trying to make the argument that an AVR separates system is no more complicated than a soundbar if the AVR supports CEC and ARC, which most modern units do.
 

hawkmoon

Standard Member
Horses for courses, I listen to as much music as watching films, after many years of playing around with av receivers, 5.1 & 7.1 I finally decided I really wanted better music. Hence a good if not stupidly expensive system, Rega P3, Apollo and Brio with some tannoy speakers already owned. At the time purchased a sound bar so tv sound was a bit above the tv default when the sonos arc came out I bit the bullet and brought one already owned a couple of bits instant surround system.

Yes the films do not sound as good but more than acceptable and to get as good music with an Av system it would have a lot more expensive.

Only gripe I have is I had to dig out the firestick as the Samsung disney app does not support atmos.
 

barkzz

Active Member
I think the answer to this is very much dictated by ergonomics and willing to accept compromise. Having previously had dedicated AV and Sub/Speakers it would indeed take some serious beating.

However, due to current living room layout after a house move, and practicality, the Soundbar & wireless sub/rears is the perfect combination. Im willing to accept it may not be as good, but its the perfect halfway house. In my case I went for the HW-Q90R before it went EOS, and once all the bugs had been fixed. Perfect for my needs, decent at music, decent at TV & Movies. Soundbar tech will only get better, but yes it will always be one step behind a dedicated setup.

As for the poor bloke who's Mrs wears the trousers, you shouldn't have to justify your purchase, I'd be questioning the controlling nature of "her indoors", but that's a separate issue :)
 

lookandlearn

Novice Member
Has anyone come across a side-by-side comparison of the Samsung HW-Q90R and the LG SN11RG? It seems an obvious one to do but none of the regular reviewers seems to have done it.
 

barkzz

Active Member
Has anyone come across a side-by-side comparison of the Samsung HW-Q90R and the LG SN11RG? It seems an obvious one to do but none of the regular reviewers seems to have done it.

I recall reading somewhere and-from feedback that the LG’s base and subwoofer weren’t as tight, and more woolly by comparison. Atmos effects and soundstage slightly wider and overhead for the bubble effect with the LG. Samsung the better unit overall with tighter response, bass, and better musically if lacking slightly in atmos immersion.
 

NorvernRob

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

My relatively cheap Sony DH790 does too. I understand Soundbars where it’s not practical to install a separates system, but I couldn’t get my head around spending £1300 on one when for the same money I got a 5.1.2 Atmos separates system with the Sony 790 AVR, BK double gem sub and Monitor audio in-wall and in-ceiling speakers (the one concession being Radius 45’s for the rear surrounds as in-wall wasn’t possible).
 

PlanetaryReference

Active Member
I moved to a 4 box bar-based wifi surround 4 months back and I can say my prior singles system had less visible cabling and looked less physically imposing. I now use two power boards plus three AC extension cables, and their chunky connector plug ends (which are impossible to hide or stow away behind most items) to go into two-pin AC connectors for each WiFi speaker. So I don't feel I have less cable now, or less visible cables, or less ugly cabling. AC cables are uglier than clear poly copper speaker cable, IMO. I could hide and minimize the singles speaker cables much more easily. So for me cable aesthetics didn't improve with the wifi speakers. I would not call it a wireless system. That marketing term is not exactly honest about the required connectivity situation. But it's in my man-cave, so I don't care much. But it would be similar in a living-room installation. So I'm not sure a 4 box surround bar has aesthetic advantages over a 5.1 system.

Plus I had to plonk the bar on my large desk in front of a large TV monitor. So aesthetically my desk took a big hit, with a genuinely large, heavy (occasionally fluffy) sound bar sitting almost in the middle of it, and has usurped my desk real estate rather biggly in the process. So I'm not so sure Sound bars are clear winners on aesthetics. For me it was the other way around.

Who prefers the look of AC cables over speaker cables? Probably no one. So maybe the downsides of AV Amp surround over 4 box 'bar' surround is being over-stated some. For a full Atmos AV amp system speaker cables would be a significant issue though.

However I was surprised to find the 4 box bar system sounded better than my prior singles system, so the prior impression/prejudice that a bar can't sound as good as singles, was dispelled for me, they can, and some bars do sound better than separates. So overall, it was worth getting a higher-end bar wifi system with .4 Atmos on top of it all.
 
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milano j

Active Member
I think the answer to this is very much dictated by ergonomics and willing to accept compromise. Having previously had dedicated AV and Sub/Speakers it would indeed take some serious beating.

However, due to current living room layout after a house move, and practicality, the Soundbar & wireless sub/rears is the perfect combination. Im willing to accept it may not be as good, but its the perfect halfway house. In my case I went for the HW-Q90R before it went EOS, and once all the bugs had been fixed. Perfect for my needs, decent at music, decent at TV & Movies. Soundbar tech will only get better, but yes it will always be one step behind a dedicated setup.

As for the poor bloke who's Mrs wears the trousers, you shouldn't have to justify your purchase, I'd be questioning the controlling nature of "her indoors", but that's a separate issue :)

Exactlly this ^^^^^ l have heard 2 great soundbars... Samsung Q70R/90R in rooms no more than 24m sq, both where excellent in the bass department even more than enough although slightly lacking in the surround/directionality dept compared to a quality seperates system,my system is wasted in my size of room ie 20m sq, when a quality soundbar would have been more than enough.....hence l am in the process of selling it....and replacing it with a quality soundbar
 

theworkflow1

Novice Member
If you have the room for it then I’d choose both. An active soundbar has its own built-in surround sound processing as well as amplifiers which can negate the need for a receiver, while passive soundbars do not have these features and require a separate receiver. So both are necessory.
 

StefanBFC

Well-known 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.

I can't agree with any of this, replacing separates for better separates its straight forward.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
And of course you can have both - plenty of options to use a passive Speakerbar with your preferred AVR if you like the Soundbar 'look' below your TV.

Joe
 

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