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

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Interesting thread. IMO, the greatest issues facing this hobby (being "proper" AVR/AVP based surround sound systems) vs. soundbars are, in no particular order:

1. Aesthetics of the kit - the best sound comes from big boxes and most people don't want them in their rooms. People also don't want loads of cables - wireless, active speakers/sub would help overcome this.

2. Lack of space for the kit - most people are rationing their living space

3. Technical know-how required to operate the kit - we take it for granted but even talking about this stuff to some people makes their brains ache, let alone trying to work it.

4. Don't know where to start or what to buy - not enough good dealers around and the ones that are usually have the pricier gear.

5. Perception of cost - forums like this that can (wrongly) suggest that unless you spend a tonne of money it won't sound any good at all so many don't think it's worth bothering at all.

6. Actual cost - separates ain't cheap and people have other priorities.

7. Lack of demo rooms that show how good it can be - if Currys entered the market and put AV demo rooms in every large out of town branch that would shake things up a bit (like the U.S. has "Best Buy"). It wouldn't change the high end but £500 AVRs with sub/sat speakers would sell well and get more people into the hobby.

8. Lack of awareness, especially amongst millennials - earlier this year my 22 year old son told his mates in the pub "hey, my dad just got a pair of new subwoofers and they sound amazing" and apparently got the response "What's a subwoofer?".

9. Lack of care - a key difference between us AV hobbyists and the masses is that we actually care deeply about having cinema sound quality and they don't. George Lucas may have once said that the sound is 50% of the movie experience but I don't think most people see it that way at all. For them it's all about the picture - spend £3k on a new OLED and (if you're lucky) £200 on a sound bar to go with it, job done. Personally I'd be spending >75% of that budget on the sound system.

Despite demonstrating my various separates based surround sound systems to many friends and family over the past 28 years I've been incredibly unsuccessful in influencing them to get into it themselves. They all seemed to love it and gazed in wonder but that's not enough for them whereas I was totally sold on my first Pro-logic demo in 1994.
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I rather wonder if issues aren't being confused here.

1) Fundamentally the sound-bar, which could just as easily be built into the TV, and is in some cases, competes with the speakers.
2) The AVR (or AVP + Amp) is a separate device doing surround sound decoding and amplification for passive speakers. The AVP (whether standalone or part of a more integrated device) ought to be superfluous, as there is no reason why the TV (or speaker system) couldn't do it. However this doesn't look like it's going to happen.

For me, a soundbar won't replace the speakers, as I have better speakers with better positioning, used also for listening to music, including multichannel SACD (decoded by the player).

eARC can't eliminate the need for external processing, it's a means of feeding such a box with its signal.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Who suggested if they actually had valid reasons and honestly couldn't accomodate without excuses a receiver, speakers, and subwoofer/s, that they wouldn't suggest that they look at a soundbar instead?



To be blunt, you all the way through this thread.

If I'm incorrect then please direct me to the bits where you actually acknowledge that they do sound quite good.

Besides which, this thread isn't a AV receivers vs Soundbar debate. I think that it is supposed to be a disscussion on whether soundbars will superceed AV receivers? I think most people are of the same opinion and that opinion appears to be no, not now or any time soon.

Soundbars are very accessible, very easy to accomodate and more readilly available than AV receivers. This makes them immensely popular. They do not however do everything an AV receiver does and are less versatile in terms of connections etc. If they were to replace AV receivers then they'd need to be like for like.


After saying this, I do expect AV receiver options to diminish and more than likely become more expensive?
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
I rather wonder if issues aren't being confused here.

1) Fundamentally the sound-bar, which could just as easily be built into the TV, and is in some cases, competes with the speakers.
2) The AVR (or AVP + Amp) is a separate device doing surround sound decoding and amplification for passive speakers. The AVP (whether standalone or part of a more integrated device) ought to be superfluous, as there is no reason why the TV (or speaker system) couldn't do it. However this doesn't look like it's going to happen.

For me, a soundbar won't replace the speakers, as I have better speakers with better positioning, used also for listening to music, including multichannel SACD (decoded by the player).

eARC can't eliminate the need for external processing, it's a means of feeding such a box with its signal.


Yes and no.

Most of the better soundbars include much of the processing and audio decoding as you'd get with most AV receivers.

I don't however think that many people are buying one to replace speakers with and I've a feeling that those buying one are more than likely already devoid of speakers and compromised when it comes to accomodating them?

I personally simply believe they appeal to 2 different sectors despite their similarities as far as their fundimental purpose is concerned.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
What I'm aware of is that most people don't want an AV receiver and multiple speakers.

True, but what they don't know about and/or cant see the value of day to day, they tend not to want anyway.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
True, but what they don't know about and/or cant see the value of day to day, they tend not to want anyway.


I don;t think it really has anything to do with which is better. The fact is that most people either cannot accomodate a conventional home cinema like setup or simply do not want the hassle and additional cabling associated with it.Cost isn't always a factor either. Some of the better soundbars cost more than you can buy an entry level AV receiver and a budget 5.1 speaker package for.

This isn't anything new and the complexities of home cinema have always detered people from buying into home AV and AV receivers. AV receivers have always been a product that sells to a niche market. Soundbars simply sell more because they can be more readily employed than an AV receiver. I don't think the increase in sales of soundbars has meant that those who bought one would have otherwise bought an AV receiver had they not had the option to buy a soundbar?

What you want or desire isn't always practical.
 

Cevolution

Suspended
To be blunt, you all the way through this thread.

Why would I, because receivers, speakers, and subwoofer/s are generally vastly superior... Soundbars are not close enough in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend a soundbar (not that I often bother to waste my valuable time giving advice to others, I've got better and more important things to be doing [including enjoying my setup and watching movies], they can spend their own time researching it all and working stuff out for themselves as far as I am concerned), until after the person had gone into great detail to explain their situation, and a had provided adequate information, for me to look over and examine all variables.

Not in all cases, but I often don't believe in the wife excuse, because if this really is an important hobby to you and you're not really just a casual enthusiast, then your significant other should be completely accepting of it (especially if it's something you were into before you met them), and should let you do what you want, otherwise, I personally wouldn't settle, because they are not the right person for me. How would they like it if I wasn't supportive, and told them no about a hobby that they are passionate about?

If I'm incorrect then please direct me to the bits where you actually acknowledge that they do sound quite good.

Why would I acknowledge that, I don't think they do sounds quite good in context, which means in comparison to receiver, speakers, and subwoofer/s setups, soundbars are a last resort compromise as far as I am concerned.

Besides which, this thread isn't a AV receivers vs Soundbar debate. I think that it is supposed to be a disscussion on whether soundbars will superceed AV receivers? I think most people are off the same opinion and that opinion appears to be no, not now or any time soon.

Which was the very first thing I said in the very first sentence I posted in this thread.

They are very accessible, very easy to accomodate and more readilly available than AV receivers. THis makes them imensly popular.

You keep saying things similar to this when it has never been mentioned or disputed by anyone, let alone me... What has this have to do with what I originally said about people picking soundbars for aesthetic purposes, for you have taken this conversation in this irrelevant direction away from this initial meaning? If you're pressing for me to acknowledge your opinion that they're great products which provide a quality experience extremely close to receivers, speakers, and subwoofer/s, I'm not going to.

They do not however do everything an AV receiver does and are less versatile in terms of connections etc. If they were to replace AV receivers then they'd need to be like for like.

This was never something I touched on or really cared to discuss... Personally, I don't care, receiver/amps, speakers, and subwoofer/s in general are significantly superior in terms of audio quality, that's all that matters, and wins the argument no matter what you say... Most people that purchase soundbars can make a receiver, speakers, and subwoofer/s setup work for them, and can achieve a superior experience over a soundbar... The majority of their objections can be overcome, they just choose not to and don't want to.

After saying this, I do expect AV receiver options to become fewer on the ground and more than likely more expensive?

What else is new? Unfortunately the masses (and their ignorance) greatly dictate the direction the industry goes in, for instance they're too blind and deaf to be able to appreciate the superior picture and audio quality that Blu-ray's and 4K UHD Blu-ray's offer compared to streaming and download services, and have chosen poorer quality for convenience over this... They are greatly responsible for physical media sales and the market declining, and people like me that value higher quality receiving less and paying more for it every year.

Reason for editing: Noticed a spelling error.
 
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D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
8. Lack of awareness, especially amongst millennials - earlier this year my 22 year old son told his mates in the pub "hey, my dad just got a pair of new subwoofers and they sound amazing" and apparently got the response "What's a subwoofer?".

See post 69. Son in law, same age.

To him a subwoofer is in a car. So, there's an assumption that the boxes in my lounge are there to do the same thing (make young people deaf massively distorting inside a tin box).

3. Technical know-how required to operate the kit - we take it for granted but even talking about this stuff to some people makes their brains ache, let alone trying to work it.

One of our sons (20) watched last time I was reconnecting/moving everything. His comments were like I was doing a heart transplant.

And people who look behind the AV cabinet say "wow how did you get it to look so tidy and organised".

It wasn't hard. Hardest bit is that the power amp is connected by RCA to DB25, so you have to read what each RCA is... and by my age I'm just starting to get some presbyopia. :(
 

wardieuk

Standard Member
I’m disappointed with the huge hikes in price Denon have put in their amps especially all the hdmi issues they had recently. I think they will be like petrol prices and when they get more stock and parts in, we won’t see a price drop again. I think these hikes are here for good which is why I’m disappointed Sony didn’t launch a new avr. Might have shaken the market up a bit
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
I'd gladly accept a soundbar over an AVR for our living room. Problem is nothing fits the bill. Still waiting for one with decent sound quality, proper room correction e.g. Dirac and a dedicated sub preout with full bass management. But for a cinema room....:rotfl:
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I don't however think that many people are buying one to replace speakers with and I've a feeling that those buying one are more than likely already devoid of speakers and compromised when it comes to accomodating them?
Indeed I see them as being marketed as an update to the internal speakers of (budget) TVs rather than as a downsizing option for people with a surround sound system. In that sense, they compete with the all-in-one HT systems.

I see the AVR (AVP component thereof actually) as a separate device as a necessary evil, not as a requirement.
 

Phooo

Active Member
I did go from an avr2600 with q acoustics 3010i and 7000i to a sound bar sn11rg and with surrounds and sub . As moved house and left old setup as part of deal

Sound was not as good so decided to look at replacement . Managed to get ma bronze 50 5.1.2 speakers and avr2700 for less than a full sonos set up . As I was looking for white only option for sound bar is sonos or bose but both need earc (my projector only passes dd+ and I use an apple tv as easy for everyone in house to use) for atmos from .

This set up is awesome for the money and sound separation is excellent

Issue of more boxes I prefer left and right in white to one long bar . as i have a ust projector centre speaker neeeds to go in media unit below . Sub and surrounds no change but less visial impact as now white

Sound and room correction is 100% better . I am sure soundbars will get there but still a bit to much plug and play for me .

Happy went back to receiver
 

Cevolution

Suspended
No, people purchase a soundbar because it is less obtrusive than an AV receiver.
State the obvious why don't you... Nowhere have I disputed this.

To further extend on my response to your quote above from the other day, you have also contradicted yourself with that comment, and have supported my original statement by saying this... Because you disagreed with what I initially said about people purchasing soundbars due to how they look in their homes/aesthetics, compared to receiver/speakers/subwoofers, however here you have said exactly that, by saying that they purchase soundbars because they're less obtrusive, hence, they do care about how they look aesthetically... It's exactly the same thing.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
To further extend on my response to your quote above from the other day, you have also contradicted yourself with that comment, and have supported my original statement by saying this... Because you disagreed with what I initially said about people purchasing soundbars due to how they look/ aesthetics, in their homes, compared to receiver/speakers/subwoofers, however here you have said exactly that, by saying that they purchase soundbars because they're less obtrusive, hence, they do care about how they look/aesthetics... It's exactly the same thing.


If you say so.


:thumbsup:
 

Cevolution

Suspended
If you say so.


:thumbsup:

I do say so... Perhaps you should elaborate if you meant something different, because, what you said certainly does imply exactly the same as what I was saying.
 

dlaloum

Active Member
Sigh - most people buy soundbars because the sound from a TV is poor...

Soundbars markedly improve TV sound.

If a Soundbar does some fancy surround function - it will help to sell it, but probably won't be its main selling point in any case - just a minor differentiator from soundbars that don't have the feature.

Most buyers aren't interested in "cluttering" their room with more speakers, gear, cables, etc....

The whole surround / immersion discussion isn't on their radar - and the salesman that raises these, is likely to be ignored.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Soundbars aren't bad I've used q acoustics qtv2 for the money very good easy to use don't need to faff with inputs.

Personally though rather have q acoustics 3010i / wharfedale diamond 9.0 with wharfedale diamond sw-150 then budget avr
 

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