How long until AV Receivers are history & the future of home cinema sound ?

wardieuk

Standard Member
Surely we can only be 2-3 years away from really great performing Atmos sound bars (improving from current models) and 360 reality immersive wireless sound. There will always be people who want AVR's and separates but with AVR's getting ever more expensive, cost has to be a factor. Surely the death knell for this tech is on the horizon ? Is it time to wait rather than upgrade your receiver ? For a typical 5m x 4m living room, will a sound bar be the best option ? What is the consensus for the future of TV sound ? I'd love to know other peoples opinions
 

whitehart

Well-known Member
Cant see that ever happening, a sound bar for listening to vinyl or mp3's etc nope. the difference in quality in sound from a dedicated speaker system like a 5.1.4 upwards is always going to sound better than a soundbar, a cinema wouldn't use a sound bar either or any such event. Nope the market for AVR's and soundbars will remain alongside for many many years
 

Praetorpwj

Active Member
Surely we can only be 2-3 years away from really great performing Atmos sound bars (improving from current models) and 360 reality immersive wireless sound. There will always be people who want AVR's and separates but with AVR's getting ever more expensive, cost has to be a factor. Surely the death knell for this tech is on the horizon ? Is it time to wait rather than upgrade your receiver ? For a typical 5m x 4m living room, will a sound bar be the best option ? What is the consensus for the future of TV sound ? I'd love to know other peoples opinions
I’m not sure on what basis you anticipate soundbar tech to imminently be able to rival a Receiver based 5.1.4 system. Are there any current sound bars that come close?

5x4 is a good sized space and people have amazing 9.1.6 systems in much smaller. I also don’t see much evidence that cost is killing the market; people seem happy to spend a lot at all levels; especially in a post pandemic world.
 

alebonau

Distinguished Member
our space is 5.5 x 6 and its really good for 7.1.6 really enjoying ...

there is no ways id give it up for a sound bar...the speakers apart from front 3 which are upfront, the rest are on wall or in ceiling so dont intrude. even if i had a sound bar i wouldnt use the space up front in any case... and no sound bar is going to replicate the capability of my front stage ...let alone replace all the discrete speakers on wall or in ceiling...

no death nell... you see folks typically getting a sound bar where just want a step up from the TV... those wanting the full surround experience still go for all the speakers and appreciate why ..

cant see this changing any time soon...

not to say there wont be heaps of folk going for sound bars... as with (eg like us) also just using the TV speakers which tend to be good enough for news and some sport... or watching some every day tv or something ...

but for the full movie experience. or where ever wanting the full immersive experience ... id always be using my entire speaker set...
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
I am fortunate to have both with a soundbar arrangement in lounge as TV speakers in latest TVs just don't have the interior TV volume to do them justice and that's where soundbars step in I have a dedicated 5.1.2 setup in another room

I would agree that soundbars have a place but will not replace a dedicated avr + speaker set up. Relying on bouncing sound off a ceiling just isn't the same as dedicated speaker placement :(
 

simonb3665

Active Member
They certainly have their place and have understandable mass appeal for cost and ease but most basic budget separates will be far superior for the accuracy of sound replication.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I don't think that separates will every disappear. What I feel may happen is active speakers with the centre channel or a smaller hub wirelessly transmitting audio to all the speakers around the room becoming more common place. I think Sony have developed a budget solution of this kind recently

I know those who enjoy both stereo and cinema will still use very good avr or a dual system which means they will have more boxes whilst keeping the same amount of speakers around the room

I suspect Atmos will evolve like surround sound and become less focused allowing easier placement as it was before Atmos came about using the simple (so long as its somewhere near, it'll work principle)

For soundbar's, are they here to stay? I can never see them disappearing either. You may also see a bigger polarized evolution of them with the cheaper ones offering the basic's plus Atoms (as it will be less focused) and then those like separates who have/want to use a great soundbar employing bits of the active speaker solution for the front 3.0.2 and using wireless rears for 2.0.2 for the rears leaving a respectable woofer to fill in the 0.1.0 as we are starting to see

As for speakers, will we see more dedicated speaker including upward firing speakers like you see with the Klipsch R-625FA being incorporated in all types of speakers. That's something to keep an eye on, but as many people enjoy upward firing speakers the least and already place them as Atmos Highs (the less focused route as I've mentioned above), I suspect it'll be a small niche market (which ultimately may find more ground if people upgrading from Atmos soundbar's which employ this solution)

The other side is if people are happy to purchase many speakers and scatter them around the room, then the manufacturers are not going to change the formula as it's been working for the 30 years I've owned cinema
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Soundbars are a convenience for better audio other than TV speakers because they are simply better than those fitted to TVs with very few exceptions. They will however never be able to compete with a correctly placed speaker arrangement and AV amp. They don't have the spacing nor the depth of 'box' to fully exploit good audio.

great performing Atmos sound bars
You sound like my grandson who works for Currys. He does say it with a twinkle in his eye because he knows the truth. ;)
 

wardieuk

Standard Member
I did say in 2-3 years time. I know they are not there yet but I can't help look at Sony's HT-A9 set of speakers and think with a dedicated center speaker down the line and improvements, this is the future. I also ponder why Sony hasn't released a new updated AVR and can only think that they assume the future doesn't lie with separates
Soundbars are a convenience for better audio other than TV speakers because they are simply better than those fitted to TVs with very few exceptions. They will however never be able to compete with a correctly placed speaker arrangement and AV amp. They don't have the spacing nor the depth of 'box' to fully exploit good audio.


You sound like my grandson who works for Currys. He does say it with a twinkle in his eye because he knows the truth. ;)
Is that you Grandad ?
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Sony not releasing new avr's is only something that's happening over here I feel. I thought the same, but I sure I was corrected on this front. It could be that the competition and shortage of some parts has made them revaluate where to sell their new avr's

I suspect once the semiconductor issues have resolved themselves and production has caught up in 2-3 years, that we will see more avr's by the likes of Sony

Sony's HT-A9 was the item I was thinking about, but maybe its not as budget as I thought. Its nothing new really as Sonos have enabled you to use the Sonos Play Bar with a pair of play 1's plus their Sub for about the same money. All they've done is used more Play 1's and enabled them to decode surround sound which I'm sure Sonos (if they wanted) could have done when they released the Play 1 and Play Sub (something which I talked to the Sonos Rep about many times)
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
AVRs and separate speakers are a declining market, but I don't think it will ever disappear simply because sound quality and directionality cannot be matched with a sound bar.
Another issue in the mix is that large speaker boxes are no longer wanted in our living rooms.
So for convenience the sound bar wins, but if, like me, you have a projector in your home cinema, it has to be an AVR.
 

simonb3665

Active Member
With the Sony's HT-A9 You have a processor box with just one earc hdmi connection and then power to each amplifier in each separate speaker and subwoofer if I understand it correctly. So closer to separates than a soundbar? I would hope that this can interface with the Sony Acoustic surface audio screen oled for an interesting solution. Getting power to each speaker needs a bit of thinking about though and personally find it easier to route speaker cable than power cables.
Ultimately we are in 'lifestyle' av. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all but to have a stab at replicating lifelike sound stage and dynamics is a different thing.
Anyway the uture seems to be a >13inch screen and wireless buds :)
 

dlaloum

Active Member
"Lifestyle" systems have improved, and continue to improve....

The market originally created by the likes of B&O will continue to grow, and expand into lower price brackets (Bose anyone?).

You don't necessarily need an AVR to get the full processing suite - it could be built into the TV, or Soundbar - but top sound will still require multiple speakers.... which may masquerade as artwork, or be otherwise integrated.... but still present.
 

sebna

Member
I am not sure I am interested in living in a world where I am forced to use a soundbar.

Long live pre / amp combo or at least a great AVR :)
 

wardieuk

Standard Member
I think the Sennheiser Ambeo seems to get great reviews, all be it an expensive sounbar and the HT-A9 will be upgraded in a couple of years. I just look at the cost of speakers, cables, amps (Denon prices seem to be going up daily ***) and just can't help but think that amps days are numbered (ignoring the loyal fanbase) I think Sony as a company will only grow bigger in this market with their continued 360 Reality Audio. I wish I was wrong because I love my old Denon amp etc but at a time I need to upgrade, purchasing a Denon 3700H at £1299 is an expensive outlay that makes me ponder alternatives especially as my speakers will also need upgrading at even more cost. I just think we are at that 'tipping point'.
 

Barney Gumble

Well-known Member
I am not sure I am interested in living in a world where I am forced to use a soundbar.

Long live pre / amp combo or at least a great AVR :)
I don't wish to live in the current mess of the AV world. The industry is taking the Mickey out of the public with this absolute ball ache of a mess by way of HDMI.

In their eagerness to make a quick buck, products are being pushed to market that are simply not functioning as they should, which isn't limited to features that appeal to gamers and next generation consoles. This is compounded by the fact, the two licensing bodies just chucking in the towel and saying any screen can now claim to call itself HDMI 2.1, even if they aren't capable of any feature set of the 2.1 spec.

This is why AV is a declining market, it isn't user friendly. There will always be the hardcore but, I can see more and more people opting for the convenience of a one box system.
 

sebna

Member
I don't wish to live in the current mess of the AV world. The industry is taking the Mickey out of the public with this absolute ball ache of a mess by way of HDMI.

In their eagerness to make a quick buck, products are being pushed to market that are simply not functioning as they should, which isn't limited to features that appeal to gamers and next generation consoles. This is compounded by the fact, the two licensing bodies just chucking in the towel and saying any screen can now claim to call itself HDMI 2.1, even if they aren't capable of any feature set of the 2.1 spec.
Been
This is why AV is a declining market, it isn't user friendly. There will always be the hardcore but, I can see more and more people opting for the convenience of a one box system.
I don't think it is anything new. It has always been like this. It is a relatively niche hobby. Most of my life I never met anybody who had a need for anything more than TV speakers and still most of my friends and family continue this trend.

We as a hobbyist visit forums and talk to like-minded people and we maybe start to slowly build this vision of reality where most have AVR and speakers when really it is not the case.

Bugs are normal thing. They always were on the bleeding edge. I learnt it the hard way too many times before and I am no longer tempted by new releases to be a beta tester. I avoid them like a plague. I usually go for 2nd or 3rd iteration of implementation of a given standard which usually means skipping a generation or two of hardware releases until it is really stable.

It is like buying 16ch pre ATM. I am just not ready to deal with all the problems. Next gen... Maybe, if they sort themselves out by then :).
 
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I very much doubt a soundbar will ever replace a decent 5.1 / 7.1 or whatever configuration you have system!

There are some decent soundbars on the market but they’ll never be able to match a well put together separates system.

It’s the same with hifi - a B&W Zeppelin / Naim Muso etc is a nice 1 ‘box’ system but will never rival / replace a well put together hifi
 

simonb3665

Active Member
Earlier comments about 'lifestyle' av weren't meant to be derogatory. There is no comparison between them and the performance of separates with full size speakers and subs correctly placed. I appreciate the higher level of performance doesn't make a difference to 99.99% of the population though and the inconvenience of having full-size speakers in a non-dedicated living space isn't acceptable to most. To be honest, as I type I have some background music playing through a Sonos in the same room as I have Lyngdork/MK HiFi setup.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The soundbar hasn't replaced AV receivers and soundbars are still not as accomodating as most if not all AV receivers.

You can only replace something if you've something that fulfils all of the the same requirements in all aspects of its use.

Soundbars are popular because they offer a lifestyle option to those less interested in home AV, but who still like the idea of what home AV can bring to the table. The lifestyle option is however compromised by its lifestyle orintated design and indeed its function.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
One thing that annoys me with AV Receivers are all those legacy video connections. And the higher up the range you go the more they cram in.
 

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