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Best all-round system for Music & Tv?


Novice Member
Hello - I wonder if someone can give their advice.

I have a sound bar which I quite like for movies (ysp 2500) but playing music it seems a bit week and unsatisfactory. Not an audiophile in any way but I really like music and listening to the small details which I seem to get better up in my office upstairs.

I have been looking at a compact bluetooth unit which gets good reviews (sony srx 9) but with the cost and placement of the soundbar having both seems to much (cost and devices). I wonder if there is anything that will do both?

I'm not fussed about having perfect surround as my room is very narrow and long so the ysp isn't being used to it's full potential anyway - I also don't particularly want wires everywhere (well I would but the wife doesn't!).

I did look at the Sonos playbar - that seems to market itself for TV and music, but reviews are mixed with some saying it only works well with the sub (£££ ouch) and others saying it's the most overrated device around.

Is there anything that realistically would be a good solution for music and movies or am I resigned to having 2 music devices?

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hi and welcome

Yes - 1 box can do it but amp and speakers will be separate.

You don't have to be a audiophile to appreciate music the way you want to hear it and if you want the best for the budget (which is what?) you're not going to get good sounding music from an soundbar IMO. Their main function is to improve the TV sound and provide pseudo surround/stereo sound without all the speakers, cabling, etc which they can do with good effect, But not better than a proper 2.0 or 5.1 amp/speakers combo

The Sonos playbar maybe a step up from the yamaha soundbar in terms of music quality. How much so or if even not much better at all, i cannot say. Their priorities are different to a soundbar and geared towards streaming and multi syncing music which they are seriously dam good at and it could be fair to say that they may have put more effort to how it sounds musically. That said, it still soundbar at the end of the day.

The Sony blue tooth speaker I fear will not be much better than either the yamaha soundbar or the Sonos. It will be ok if relaxing or working in the garden or cooking in the kitchen but not - IMO- as a main music setup. And unless your TV has a headphone output socket, you could not connect your tv to it.

What is your music source and what is the budget?
How big is narrow and long room?

You may want to think about a conventional amp and speakers or if space is a premium, a decent mini hifi that has digital connection for your TV. Both will sound better than the soundbar but a conventional hifi will mostly sound better than the mini hifi. That does depends on your expectations however.

For the price of the Sony (circa £600) you could get a decent amp/speakers or a mini hifi. Adding a sub will might take you above £600 but massively so.

Marantz PM6005 with Monitor Audio BX2 £429

Marantz PM6005 Amplifier w/ Dali Zensor 3 Speakers £429

Marantz PM6005 Amplifier w/ Wharfedale Diamond 220 Speakers £399

YAMAHA AS501Black Stereo Amplifier - £250
YAMAHA AS301Black Stereo Amplifier £170
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651ABlack Stereo Amplifier £350

YAMAHA AS301Black Stereo Amplifier

MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2Black Speakers Per Pair £279

A mini hifi solution can work but mostly are low powered compared to stereo amp and may not be enough to fill the room. They may also have more than you need in terms of cd player, tuner, Streaming etc. they aslo have analogue and optical digital input so will accept a TV audio output

Marantz MCR610
Marantz MCR510
Cambridge Audio One
Cambridge Audio Minx XI
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Novice Member
Don many thanks for helping out with a length post, really appreciated!!!!

I am happy to go the sepeartes route if that's what's best - I was just looking at those before I saw your post.

May I ask, what's the difference between a hifi separates setup that plugs into the tv and a Home Cinema separates setup that plays music? They seem to be the same to me (1 amp + 2 speakers) but they are always sectioned apart in reviews / shops.

I did have an Onkyo system which was good, though not as nice as the Yamaha.

My budget is about £800 if I could get rid of the soundbar I have now.

My room is approx 17x11 ft with the tv in the corner.

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hifi setups are designed for just audio and predominately music, has less channels (2) than a HC and on the whole, sounds better than an equivalent priced AVR and higher. It can play tv audio because the tv decodes the audio format and pushes out as PCM which the Stereo amp can work with as it cannot decode itself.

Home cinema Comes in 2 types.

The all in ones that come with DVD player, amp and maybe a receiver all in one box and speakers that are usually specific to that box. Seldom can you add external components to them and definitely cannot upgrade parts of it. They hardly ever sounds good with music but that does depends on expectations.

The other type of HC is an a AVR which deals with audio and video signals from external sources. AVR's allows for any choice of speakers, audio /video sources decodes all current audio formats and has many features which a stereo amp does not have or need. It performs better than a HC all in one box when it comes to music but to equal a stereo amp performance, it will cost 3 or 4 time more than a equivalent sounding stereo amp. The reasoning behind this is that an avr has 6, 8, 10 or more speaker channels, plus hdmi, audio format decoding, surround sound modes, etc included, so money spent per channel is a lot less than on a same price stereo amp.
There a is also the processing and extra circuitry in the AVRs pre amp which also affects music quality

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
If you want surround sound then an AVR is needed. One with good musical ability + speakers will be a big improvement over a sound bar but also cost more and cables in sight (If unable to be hidden) where the missus could see and have a fit.

Marantz and Yamaha avr are known fir good music but the amps alone that are capable are pretty much your total budget.

A stereo setup will still have cables but less and easier to hide. Tv audio and music will be improved massively, obviously no surround sound but stereo imagine will be on point so creates a phantom center when watching. Films.
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