Help with Home Cinema System Purchase

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by geomac79, Apr 14, 2019 at 11:01 AM.

  1. geomac79

    geomac79
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    Hello All,

    Ive been a long time reader but not a poster. Ive been trying to research on my own all different types of Home Cinema systems there are for my room but Ive come to the conclusion its best to ask the people who know best.

    I thought my quest was easy to start with and I went to the Bose shop and demoed the Bose 650 Lifestyle kit, lovely looking and the sound was good but expensive for what it was. I started looking a the reviews on line and even went to a few stores but never really got a proper answer on my needs.

    Im looking for a kit that will look nice as its in the main living room and not over power the room with its looks, this was the main reason I looked at Bose. My budget ideally is about 2-3k that's for everything involved in a home cinema system. I will be buying a new TV as well to go with it but I thought it would be better to get the sound system first.

    Below is my room layout and Im open to any suggestions anyone has.

    Thanks in advance
    upload_2019-4-14_14-55-26.png
     
  2. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    The general advice with Bose Lifestyle systems on these forums is this.

    Buy
    Other
    Sound
    Equipment

    Bose does make some good stuff, maybe a little pricey, but decent.

    Their lifestyle systems, however, aren't just a little pricey, they're a triumph of marketing and style over substance and hugely overpriced. They're not awful, but you can spend far less, get something neat and compact looking and it will sound far superior and have more and better features.

    For example, if you want something similar to the Bose with a soundbar up front and then small speakers for the surrounds.
    Monitor Audio Radius ONE AV Gloss White 5.1 Speaker Package - Speaker Packages - AV Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    You could spend another £400 or so on a decent but cheaper end AV Receiver and you'd have something better than the Bose for about 1/4 of the price.
    That's one example.

    Fancy an Atmos system?
    Denon AVR-X2500H AV Receiver with Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 AV Speaker System

    Or how about some larger, but flat panel speakers?
    Denon AVR-X2500H AV Receiver with KEF T205 AV Speakers

    How about a bargain with a set of speakers that are reckoned to be better than their replacements but are selling cheap?
    Denon AVR-X2500H AV Receiver with Monitor Audio Mass AV Speakers

    How about a multi-award-winning AVR and a glowingly reviewed speaker package combined together?
    Sony STR-DN1080 AV Receiver with Q Acoustics 7000i Slim 5.1 Speaker Pack

    AVR's too chunky for you, switch them for a Marantz 1609 or Yamaha RXS602. Like the looks of the Bose speakers a little too much then have a look at Cambridge Audio Minx 22's

    All of these will sound far superior to the Bose system at a fraction of the cost.


    Your room is a decent size so are you set only on small satellite speakers?

    While they might look great they won't fill the room the way larger speakers can. I'm not against small speakers, I have them, but the room is considerably smaller than yours.
    Something like QAcoustics 3000 range can be very room friendly and be a nice upgrade over lifestyle speakers.
    Q Acoustics 3010i 5.1 package

    If you have a hunt around the previous generation are still out there, very highly regarded and at a bargain price.

    I'd also possibly look at a 5.0 package rather than 5.1 packages, quite often the sub is the weak link, particularly with sub/sat systems. You can get a really great subwoofer from the likes of BK Electronics for not much cash.
     
  3. geomac79

    geomac79
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    What a great response Sloppy bob thanks.

    I did look at the q acoustics 3050i as the floor speakers would probably look nicer than putting them on the wall. The question the comes if I’m willing to go for those floor speakers are there better out there.

    Too many choices opening up now :)
     
  4. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Good advice above. Bose far too expensive.
     
  5. Hoku

    Hoku
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    A few questions might be in order to help narrow down any of our suggestions;

    * What are your principal sources? Do you intend your system to be used for music?

    * If so how important is this to you compared with home cinema / surround sound capability?

    * Do you have any specific aesthetic limitations to please a significant other such as finish & colour?

    Personally some subwoofer/ satellite systems are pretty capable with surround sound, but can fall down a little with the all-important centre speaker making voices sound a little closed in & boxy, and they might struggle with 2 channel sources to be convincing. At the same time a heartily sized centre speaker does draw attention to itself visually so there may be a balance to strike there.

    Your room is a decent size so something very small might struggle to fill the space without being stretched too hard.


    I’d recommend actually listening to as many systems as you can. From experience I’ve had many a shortlist in the past that has quickly evaporated when I’ve listened to them. And conversely some systems I’ve ended up being very impressed with weren’t on my shortlist. So try not to be too influenced by reviews. Use them as a guide, but use your own ears & wallet to decide.
     
  6. geomac79

    geomac79
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    Hi Hoku.

    The main use will be for watching movies, I will barely use it for music as I have Sonos in my other room if I want to listen to music and this suffice for me.

    One of my main concerns with the small speaker systems was filling up the room, when I demoed the Bose system the room was 1 3rd of the size of mine.

    It would really need to be black As the living room is black and gold just now.

    I understand where you are coming from with having demos the problem I have is I’m limited to where I can go as I stay in a small town miles from any big city’s.
     
  7. Hoku

    Hoku
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    Fair enough, but it’s a lot of money to burn if you’re not happy with the results.

    Most experienced posters here would likely have learned the hard way at some point that buying equipment blind just because it’s a tempting deal often leads to buyers remorse.

    So make the needed journey and buy with your ears.

    I’d really recommend at this point, getting off the internet & going to a dealer like Richer Sounds or Sevenoaks (there are other perfectly acceptable dealers: if you give your location other posters may be able to give suggestions of dealers they’ve had good experiences with locally to you).

    Tell them you’re using it for movies only, your budget and precisely what you expect it to include, your room size, what your sources will be (i.e. TV streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime, or Blu-ray) and aesthetic considerations like ‘those floorstanders are just too big but those would be acceptable’, or whether you were after freestanding or wall mounted rear speakers, then just let the dealer set up a suggestion for you.

    Book an appointment beforehand. Don’t turn up on a busy Saturday when the shop’s jammed with customers and expect an A* service. Also if your source is Bluray, take some discs with you that you’re familiar with.

    Generally dealers will offer discounts if you buy the AV receiver and speakers at the same time.
     
  8. geomac79

    geomac79
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    Hoku, I know you are correct and the reason I'm probably struggling is that fact that I do need to go and listen to them in person.

    I did go into the Richer Sounds store in Glasgow but just never got a very good feel for the place and that put me off straight away.

    If anyone has any suggestions on stores that are close to Irvine Ayrshire it would be much appreciated.
     

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