Please help - 2 channel stereo setup

YippeeKiYay8K

Novice Member
I’m hoping you knowledgeable people can help me out.

I originally posted a thread seeking help on selecting a suitable AV receiver and speakers (fronts and centre) for a 3.1 setup. I was originally planning on getting a 7.2 receiver as I may (a very unlikely may) end up getting some surround L/R built into the wall.

The other day I went into a local Hi-Fi store and demoed a number of speakers and decided to buy the Wharfedale D320 bookshelf speakers (we were very impressed with the sound from such tiny speakers) and the Wharfedale D300c as I was initially set on a 3.1 setup through an AV receiver. I did like the Evo 4.1 but the matching centre speaker is too big for us.

However, upon reading up on a few forums and receiving advice from knowledgable people (thanks @dante01 and others), it sounds like I’d be better off going for a stereo amplifier and buying two bookshelf speakers. I never considered this as I always thought a 2 channel setup would result in poor audio quality for film/TV, especially dialogue.

I currently use a JBL Cinema SB 450 (soundbar) hooked up to my TV via optical (the Arc HDMI input has gone - either on the SB or my TV). I only have a PS4, 4K player and Apple TV 4K hooked up to my TV. For music I use a Bose Wave SoundTouch.

I’m looking to buy a setup to replace the soundbar and Bose Wave to improve on the sound quality, the major issue with the soundbar is the dialogue. My partner has hearing problems so we’re having to have subtitles on all the time. We don’t want the setup to be too big (ie floor standing speakers) as the room it will be in is used a lot for having friends over, so we don’t want the setup to be a dominant feature of the room.

Whatever setup I get I’ll be using it equally for music and film/TV. I haven’t got a turntable yet but will be looking to get one soon.

I'm looking to cancel my speaker order tomorrow and use advice from members to buy a suitable system.

I do have a reasonable budget for the system, but I was hoping not to go above $3500(AUD) unless I have to. If I do go for a 2 channel stereo system, I’d probably need a sub too so that would need to be factored in. Is $3500 going to be enough to buy me a 2 channel stereo setup that will out perform my current soundbar and give me great music enjoyment? If so, what amp and speakers should I consider, and will the D320s be ok to keep? As mentioned before, we don’t want floor standing speakers and the bookshelf speakers will sit on top of our entertainment unit on either side of the TV.

As most of my music listening is done via streaming, should I get an amp with Wi-Fi or can this be done through phone / computer? Or would it be best to get a stereo amp/receiver and a DAC with streaming capabilities?

If it helps my living room is 5.8m x 3.8. About 2m x 3.8 is not used for entertaining as it is an empty space with some wall furniture and one seat that we use for reading. We sit about 2.5 metres from the TV. The room is also carpeted.
 

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