Surround Sound Recommendations for PS3

mss99

Active Member
New to the whole Surround sound area so seeking some guidance as I have no idea what to look for. I'm using a 42" Samsung with my PS3 and Virgin V+ box. PS3 and V+ just connected to the TV and the TV audio isn't the best to be honest.

Use the PS3 for gaming, DVD's and Blu-Ray, and all TV watching is from the V+. Looking for a good Surround system to support these sources, preferably with wireless speakers. Budget is not an issue but I'm guessing £500-600 should suffice for a decent system, although better value systems or more expensive ones are welcome.

Looked round local Comet and nearly all the systems had DVD or Blu-ray built in which I guess I don't need. Really don't know what I am looking for, can anyone help please?
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
If you have the stomach for a seperates solution then I can make some recommendations. I am not a fan of those all in one setups you get from the likes Comet et all.
You have your PS3 for Bluray so it would make sense to unleash those HD audio tracks. This can only be enjoyed with an appropriate 5.1 Amp and and HDMI cable form your PS3 to the Amp to deliver the soundtrack data.

I have a Denon 1910 and I love it. There is a newer model due which I think its only upgrade is it supports 3D but to be honest I think the 1910 will anyway. The 1910 has 4 HDMI ins and 1 HDMI out meaning you can use the amp to switch inputs to your TV, useful if you are running low on HDMI ins. Its supports HD Audio from Blurays and sounds awesome. I would recommend Jamo A102 satelite speakers which come in either gloss black or gloss white. That lot plus cable should come in at around 600quid and will do you for years.
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member

Uridium

Distinguished Member
With a £500-£600 budget buying a one box surround system would be a shame....

£600 will get you a decent midrange AV Receiver and a good base 5.1 speaker package. If you want a system that sounds equally good for Music as well as Games/TV/Movies then maybe take a look at Yamaha AV Receivers and buy the speakers seperately rather than in a set with satellite fronts as these always struggle musically.

And don't entertain that new Sony Soundbar thing. If you want 'proper' 5.1/7.1 you need more than one speaker laying on the floor in front of the TV........
 
Last edited:

mss99

Active Member
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

Not interested in the Sony sound bar only because I can't see how it will achieve proper surround and as it is not out yet there are no reviews to change my mind.

The Samsung sounds great value and is a simple purchase to get a full solution. Connectivity sounds good. Bit put off though that Samsung don't list it on their site, haven't heard much regarding sound quality (considering price) and I don't know if the speakers are wireless. Still sounds tempting for a budget entry.

Looked into the Denon and speaker setup and again look good. Lack of support for 3D is the only concern not that it is an issue now but thinking to the future. Richer Sounds stock both items so I'm thinking of paying my local store a visit for some further advice.

Separates sound the way to go to get the best sound but I'm not well informed enough to know what I am looking for, and a fool and his money are easily parted :)

Kind of reached the point where I am comitted to getting something but don't want to impulse buy and regret it. £600 is not my budget just what I thought sounded reasonable to achieve a good result. Living room is not that big so I'm guessing high end systems are not worth investment.

First hand experience from anyone is highly regarded. Please keep the good advice coming.
 
Last edited:

cols

Well-known Member
With a £500-£600 budget buying a one box surround system would be a shame....

£600 will get you a decent midrange AV Receiver and a good base 5.1 speaker package. If you want a system that sounds equally good for Music as well as Games/TV/Movies then maybe take a look at Yamaha AV Receivers and buy the speakers seperately rather than in a set with satellite fronts as these always struggle musically.

And don't entertain that new Sony Soundbar thing. If you want 'proper' 5.1/7.1 you need more than one speaker laying on the floor in front of the TV........


+ 1

With your budget you could get a good separates system with hdmi audio.

Look at AV receivers with HD audio decoding and then get a 5.1ch speaker set, some decent speaker cable, and you're sorted.
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

Not interested in the Sony sound bar only because I can't see how it will achieve proper surround and as it is not out yet there are no reviews to change my mind.

The Samsung sounds great value and is a simple purchase to get a full solution. Connectivity sounds good. Bit put off though that Samsung don't list it on their site, haven't heard much regarding sound quality (considering price) and I don't know if the speakers are wireless. Still sounds tempting for a budget entry.

Looked into the Denon and speaker setup and again look good. Lack of support for 3D is the only concern not that it is an issue now but thinking to the future. Richer Sounds stock both items so I'm thinking of paying my local store a visit for some further advice.

Separates sound the way to go to get the best sound but I'm not well informed enough to know what I am looking for, and a fool and his money are easily parted :)

Kind of reached the point where I am comitted to getting something but don't want to impulse buy and regret it. £600 is not my budget just what I thought sounded reasonable to achieve a good result. First hand experience from anyone is highly regarded. Please keep the good advice coming.



Its not on their site as its only just come out...give it a few weeks and it will have more info...but I can tell you (as I own it) its definitley not wireless...but no system is truly wireless so where you see wireless what do you mean?

If a speaker isnt getting power via the speaker wire it needs to be plugged in somewhere?


BTW Samsung is also 3D ready, I've only just received mine so cant say too much at the mo but so far it looks and sounds ok...I did the "1hr 56" thing with Transformers and it sounded amazing and I wasnt at full volume

but I was equally impressed with the sound from my other Samsung all in 1 system via Optical, it was the amount of inputs etc that sold this unit
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
AV Amps that are 3D ready are obviously guranteed to be compatible but there is nothing to suggest that recent mid to high amps that don't have the 3D "thumbsup" won't work either. But, if I was in the market now you may aswell get what ticks every box.
When I was demo'd Master & Commander on bluray you could hear every wood splinter landing on deck during battle scenes. The clarity of HD audio is such an excellent improvement on regular compressed 5.1.
 

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
thats true about 3D ready
 

Touching Cloth

Active Member
I may be wrong, but can the PS3 only output DD5.1 via the optical output. Thought the HDMI was not 5.1, if thats the case HDMI connection to the amp is pointless apart from picture passthrough.
 

cols

Well-known Member
Optical gives DD and DTS 5.1

HDMI (with the right amp) will give DD / DTS / TrueHD / DTS HD MA 5.1 / 7.1
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
The original models do LPCM over hdmi, the slims do TruHD, and DTSMA, as well as LPCM.
 

Baldster

Active Member
+ 1

With your budget you could get a good separates system with hdmi audio.

Look at AV receivers with HD audio decoding and then get a 5.1ch speaker set, some decent speaker cable, and you're sorted.


Couple of suggestions for you, imho if you're going to spend some decent cash then separates gives you great options in the future to upgrade/refresh some elements without re-investing in the lot.
Good AV receiver for you would be Sony STR-DH 510, you mentioned Richer Sounds it's £200 there.
KEF KHT1005.2 speaker set at £400 would bring you in on budget, or personally I'd be thinking about the great-looking KEF KHT5005.2, look great with the matching bases to make them proper floorstanders (£750 without, £800 with). I've got a similar setup for PS3/Sky HD, Plasma and looks and sounds fantastic.
 
Last edited:

Dave H

Well-known Member
one more vote for separates :smashin:

Dave.
 

eb12346381

Standard Member
I've just bought a surround sound system for 400 should of been 700 samsung ht-bd1255 can be done wirelessly with speakeres built in networking as well tall boy speaker system so no brackets and drilling on to walls with the small ones you get had a sony before this not as good as this one this one as won awards for sound and looks its really great
 

cols

Well-known Member
Even with the Phat PS3s?? I thought that was only with the slims...

Yeah, the phat gives DD and DTS bitstreamed or DD / DTS / TrueHD / DTS HD MA decoded (linear pcm) over HDMI.

The slim gives DD / DTS / TrueHD / DTS HD MA either bitsream or linear pcm.

Basically the phat couldn't bitstream HD audio (but could decode onboard and output uncompressed) and the slim can do both.
 

StuR6

Active Member
Looked into the Denon and speaker setup and again look good. Lack of support for 3D is the only concern not that it is an issue now but thinking to the future.
Separates sound the way to go to get the best sound but I'm not well informed enough to know what I am looking for, and a fool and his money are easily parted :)

If you have the stomach for a seperates solution ...

I have a Denon 1910 and I love it.

I am sorry I can't advise on the 3D, but off the top of my head I would ask the question of how likely you will buy a 3D tv; personally I cannot ever see me getting one. (famous last word, but makes sense). Therefore, setting that aside (and assuming 3D compat amps are pricey - being new), I'll continue:

Hillskill is right in that your best quality will come from Seperates. This has been discussed to death in the AV Home cinema forum section and we've given it a quick thrash in the COD section too. We all know it comes down to personal preference, and that All in One systems can suffice, but there is no getting away from the fact Seperates can really impress.

5.1 is all you need; I dont know of any films recorded in 7.1 and do you really have the space in your room?

This leads me on to the question: what are your requirements? Good TV/Game sounds, good looks and beautiful aesthetics for the room, or even Hi-Fi quality? Does it need to Upscale?

I'll skim over the Hi-Fi stuff; basically there is only one amp that fits in the under £1,000 mark that gives decent HiFi sound and its in limited stock; everything else is over £1k when you get into Arcams and the like, and it debateable they're better until you're up at 2k mark.

Sticking with good Film/Game sounds, then often the Onkyo comes out well, but the Denon 1910 as mentioned by Hillskill is said to be a nice compromise; while providing lovely quality for the money - can be had very cheap these days.

As much as you can't go too wrong with the Denon, you msut appreciate they are often said to have a warm sound. Pair them with warm speakers and you might find it gets too muddy, you tend to loose clarity.

Best bet is to go test different setups in somewhere like Richersounds - if you're spending over £500, then its the least they can do for you.

So assuming you've bought a £300 AV amp (say the nice Upscaling Denon), you now need speakers...

Do you want floor standers at the front, or are they too big? I'd only advise Floor standers and shelf speakers if you wanted to paly Hi Fi (at any level of decency) (I'd increase your budget too if considering hifi). If the answer is no, then satelite speakers like the Kef Egg do the job just fine. If you're using tiny satelite speakers on the 4 corners, and assuming you get a bass box (.1 part of it), then you will definately need a good Centre Speaker - it can be the difference between a good setup and a perfect setup.

Kef and Morduant both offer good small/neat centre speakers that give not only the tweater speach clarity but a bit of mid too (other manufactueres offer them, but far bigger - where do you put them?). Your AV amp will have adjustable volume to each speaker in the setup menu, and you can ramp up the centre speaker on films where the speach is lost in the music/battle-scenes etc.

Baldster advises a good setup - solid sound and speakers that will last. The Kef 3005 offers a lovely centre speaker - you could get the cheaper 1005 set and source a Morduant Genie seperately. The Sony amps offer quality in the ES range, but the Denon would do the job - if you can squeeze a bit more from your budget.

If you're considering better amps, then you'd better buy decent speakers; then you better ditch the ps3 for Blurays and get a proper player - it all adds up; too muc IMO. The original suggestions above seem far more sensible.
 
Last edited:

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
I agree with Stu for the most of it but 2 points.

7.1 is on a lot of Blu Rays, especially Disney stuff etc and also 3D ready stuff mostly dear but the Sammy I bought from Play is 3D ready and is only £239.99. Knowhere near the quality of a more expensive system but good entry/basic level
 

StuR6

Active Member
I agree with Stu for the most of it but 2 points.

7.1 is on a lot of Blu Rays, especially Disney stuff etc and also 3D ready stuff mostly dear but the Sammy I bought from Play is 3D ready and is only £239.99. Knowhere near the quality of a more expensive system but good entry/basic level


Softly softly, as I can't be 100 percent sure, but as much as Disney and cartoon stuff maybe created in 7.1; if you consider all the past movies made to date, (human stuff), they're typically not 7.1; modern movies maybe yes, but... And I have to question what those two side speakers really add; a tiny bit of extra surround feel in your perfect room? Typically we have rooms that are cluttered with furniture that throws the sound out anyway. For true depth sound I'd sooner buy some floor standers that offer some good mid range. But this is just IMO, and other oppinons offered above; the true ideal setup comes from your own mind - go test !! Just bear in mind the test room is nice a bear; and often small; for all we know your room is 40x40ft.

I admit knowing nothing on the 3D, but would err towards the Denon; what does the amp do when it carries the 3D information? Will the hdmi ports not just pass the info straight on? Can't you bypass the Amp (if it does loose the 3d) and take picture straight from your 3D-DVD to the TV, and source sound via an optical lead into the Denon? Surely the Denon is reasonably future proof in terms of this budget. I'd say a Denon is the benchmark and you work upwards. Remember that an AV Amp offer much more flexibility too; so many more connections etc than an All in One.
 
Last edited:

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
Softly softly, as I can't be 100 percent sure, but as much as Disney and cartoon stuff maybe created in 7.1; if you consider all the past movies made to date, (human stuff), they're typically not 7.1. And I have to question what those two side speakers really add; a tiny bit of extra surround feel in your perfect room? Typically we have rooms that are cluttered with furniture that throws the sound out anyway. For true depth sound I'd sooner buy some floor standers that offer some good mid range. But this is just IMO, and other oppinons offered above; the true ideal setup comes from your own mind - go test !! Just bear in mind the test room is nice a bear; and often small; for all we know your room is 40x40ft.

I admit knowing nothing on the 3D, but would err towards the Denon; what does the amp do when it carries the 3D information? Will the hdmi ports not just pass the info straight on? Can't you bypass the Amp (if it does loose the 3d) and take picture straight from your 3D-DVD to the TV, and source sound via an optical lead into the Denon? Surely the Denon is reasonably future proof in terms of this budget. I'd say a Denon is the benchmark and you work upwards. Remember that an AV Amp offer much more flexibility too; so many more connections etc than an All in One.


yeah probably but the Sammy I've got is an AV amp + speakers not an all in one just to clarify and yeah not many live action available in 7.1 currenlty though cant see many getting the extra 2 speakers like you say




EDIT - Why on earth is my PSN ID not showing?
 
Last edited:

FoxHound

Active Member
Yeah, the phat gives DD and DTS bitstreamed or DD / DTS / TrueHD / DTS HD MA decoded (linear pcm) over HDMI.

The slim gives DD / DTS / TrueHD / DTS HD MA either bitsream or linear pcm.

Basically the phat couldn't bitstream HD audio (but could decode onboard and output uncompressed) and the slim can do both.

Sorry if this is an obvious question, but what is the disadvantage of HD audio being output uncompressed versus being bitstreamed?

Thanks!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Sky set to launch its plug-and-play Sky Stream solution
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Movies Podcast: 26th September 2022
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
AV Podcast: 26th September 2022
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
REL Acoustics announces new Serie HT subwoofer trio
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Marantz set to launch new Cinema Series of AV receivers
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom