Basic soundbar for parents

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
I have recently bought a Samsung UE50TU7020 4K TV on behalf of my parents and am going to visit them later next month to set it up. They may be satisfied with its sound but I've read reviews which describe it as poor and that seems to be a common issue with many modern thin TVs. Due to that, I may also get a soundbar for them.

The most important factor for my parents is that it's easy to operate. I've seen some with different sound modes like 'Film', 'TV' and 'Music' as well as the more common bass and treble settings. They are in their 80s and struggle with things like that so volume control is all they want. I would like to connect it to the TV using optical and I believe there's a setting on the TV where you can set audio out to 'Optical'. They have a Virgin TiVo so I'm hoping that entering a code to enable its remote to control the TV volume will control the soundbar volume when the TV's in 'Optical' mode.

I haven't asked them about a subwoofer yet but I doubt they'll be too bothered with that. Making speech clearer is more important and setting it reasonably loud without distorting the sound. Another important feature is that it auto turns on/off based on whether an audio signal is being received. I basically want to make it that they don't need to use the soundbar's remote or at least use it only very rarely.

I've seen soundbars as cheap as £24.99 on the Currys website and have read various reviews with the usual mixture of 1-star and 5-star reviews which make it difficult to choose. My parents would probably agree to pay for whatever I choose for them but I don't want it to cost more than necessary for their requirements. I'm looking at it costing up to £100 although I may consider something a bit more than that.

Any recommendations or advice would be appreciated.
 

Hokusai Wave

Well-known Member
Any soundbar is going to be an improvement on tv speakers.
 

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
I bought one of these for my parents - easy to set up and use (they're also in their 80's) and sounds decent even at the (high) volume they have it.
Thanks, that's the sort of thing I'm looking for.

Can I ask if your parents are able to control the soundbar's volume using the same remote they use to control their TV? My understanding is that this can be done with most soundbars but I just want to make sure.
 

smallieboy

Active Member
@jurassicmark - I don't think they can but that's because of the TV, I think, rather than the soundbar; I've never been able to get the TV remote to work with their STB either, even though I could get my remote to pair with their STB.
 

Frank Smith

Active Member
Do they really need a soundbar if they are in their 80s and struggle with technology? Yes, TV speakers are "poor" but that's only when comparing them to a separate sound system. TV speakers by themselves are more than enough if you're not looking for a cinematic experience.
 

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
@jurassicmark - I don't think they can but that's because of the TV, I think, rather than the soundbar; I've never been able to get the TV remote to work with their STB either, even though I could get my remote to pair with their STB.
My parents have a Virgin TiVo PVR which allows the remote to be set up to control the volume of TVs and soundbars but I'm not sure if it will work for the more obscure makes and models. I also have the same PVR and I used to have a Goodmans soundbase but I couldn't get the PVR's remote to control its volume.

I suspect the bigger name models will work with the PVR's remote so I'm tempted to choose one of those if it's required. My parents are bad enough at mislaying the one remote they currently use without having to use another one just for changing the volume.
 

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
Do they really need a soundbar if they are in their 80s and struggle with technology? Yes, TV speakers are "poor" but that's only when comparing them to a separate sound system. TV speakers by themselves are more than enough if you're not looking for a cinematic experience.
It won't be until the new TV is set up and working that they will know if its sound is adequate for them. They currently have a Panasonic plasma and are often using subtitles as they can't hear what people are saying. That plasma TV is quite bulky by modern standards and I might be wrong but the sound quality of this new thinner TV may be worse.

They're not really interested in a cinematic experience but if a soundbar can make it easier to hear what people are saying then that's got to be a good thing. If they decide to have a soundbar, my hope is that I can set it up so they rarely need to touch it or its remote. That's why I've talked about getting the PVR's remote to control its volume and it automatically turning on/off.
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
No experience of it.....or any other soundbar for that matter...but I've just seen the Roku soundbar ...which gets good reviews has been reduced to £99 on Amazon

Looking at yamahas myself.....tried to hear 2 in a.shop last week...guy in there couldn't get either to work !
 

jdevil

Distinguished Member

Use code SAVE10 and you can get this for £99. I don't think you've find anything better at the price range, Sky used to sell these for £350 few years back.
 

jurassicmark

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the recommendations.

I'm visiting my parents next week to set up the TV. If they decide that they require a soundbar then I'll let you know what I choose for them.
 

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