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Question Soundbar purely for clear voice and dialogue - stupid?

Gremlins

Established Member
For the past days i have been researching soundbars. It seems pretty negative, many recommending speakers and receiver instead.

However, i am not looking for super detailed sounds when it comes to explosions and such. All i want is clear voices and dialogue. Is this too much too ask for a soundbar? Or will i have to go with a center speaker setup? I'm leaning towards soundbar because setting up a home theater seems a bit difficult for someone with no experience.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
A sound bar will usually be better than a TV, as the speakers are at least pointing in the right direction!!

The problem with dialogue is that it is not sent in isolation to the centre channel in most mixes, so it's very difficult to isolate it and boost it. Some sound bars have a dialogue enhancement feature that tries to boost the vocals over other effects, usually doing some sort of phase reduction from audio sent to the left and right channels or in most cases, just a tweak of the equalisation in the critical voice range. This can sometimes bring really good improvements in terms of intelligibility.

These: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Polk-Audio-Magnifi-Wireless-Woofer/dp/B01M8N91QG have a specific Voice boost function. Might be worth a look and it's quite a small speaker, so not too much real estate needed to site it :)
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
Not stupid at all. Overall gains compared to your tv too.

And with most you can stream music to them over Bluetooth.

If you have space in a rack then a soundbase may be better as it allows for bigger speakers and have subwoofers built in.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Look for a soundbar with 3.0/3.1 rather than stereo as it will have a centre channel specifically for dialogue.

I wouldn't be too intimidated by setting up a home theatre system though, plenty of advice on here and it's not that difficult. You have to start somewhere. Everyone starts with no experience.

I would say there's a huge difference between a mid-priced soundbar and a budget amp and speaker combination. The amp/speaker combination, ultimately, will be far superior.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
From my experience I like the LG SK6 with standard preset & ASC enabled (adaptive sound control), audio output being PCM 2.0 stereo for all sources.

Works well with no need for any other audio preset, voice dialogue is always clear though depending upon the source you may have to turn the volume up or down.

I was having issues with some media that had very quiet dialogue on Samsung and Sony soundbars, the ASC feature on the LG made quite a difference to my surprise as the smart audio mode on the Samsung was rubbish to my ears at least.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
I purchased a Yamaha YAS107 a few months back to go with my new Panny OLED.

It's got a Clear Voice button on, which I use quite a lot now/ Depending on the source material, it gives the vocals a boost so they can be easily heard when there's lots of other things going on sound wise.

Whilst i've got used to the soundbar and it's limitations (you don't really get helicopters zooming around the room), its all too apparent when it switches itself off and i'm back to the TV sound (very very average).

The soundbar has much better delivery of speech and some oomph when needed.

For the £180 I paid, i'm satisfied. For now.
 

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