Question Worth spending more for an eARC soundbar?

Braxios

Standard Member
I've never done soundbars or surround sound speakers with a TV before but I'm getting an Xbox Series X for Christmas and planning to get a TV like the 55" Sony XH95 soon (pending what deals I can get) and in my research for the TV been caught up in thinking perhaps I'll want a soundbar or something for audio.

The XH95 has eARC so I was thinking I should aim for a soundbar that does as well, but they seem to be rarer at the lower price ranges and not as good sound quality for that price. I don't really know if I need eARC though. Obviously I'll be using the Xbox but otherwise the TV will be used for some freeview but mostly Netflix/Amazon Prime/iPlayer type streaming. We don't have blurays and unplugged DVD player a while ago. For context we currently mainly use a Roku connected to a 13yr old 'hd ready' Panasonic plasma for streaming.
In a couple other rooms I've got raspberry pi's setup with Max2Play for multiroom audio, mainly streaming spotify, so if I'm getting speakers for the lounge, it would be nice to be able to use another RPi to link up with them but not critical.

Some cheaper eARC soundbars don't seem to get great reviews, like the Sony HT-G700 or Samsung HW-Q60T, while something like the JBL 2.1 bar deep bass sounds like better audio quality for the money but with ARC only. Is eARC with better sound quality worth trying to extend my budget for?

I'm not interested in the Sonos ecosystem (that's why I have RPi's) and not going to try and fit/connect rear speakers so I think a reasonable soundbar and maybe a sub is all I am after. I doubt I'm going to consider £700+ setups but if it's really worth it I can look at spending more than the sort of the price the 3 I've mentioned are going for.

Thanks!
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
I've never done soundbars or surround sound speakers with a TV before but I'm getting an Xbox Series X for Christmas and planning to get a TV like the 55" Sony XH95 soon (pending what deals I can get) and in my research for the TV been caught up in thinking perhaps I'll want a soundbar or something for audio.

The XH95 has eARC so I was thinking I should aim for a soundbar that does as well, but they seem to be rarer at the lower price ranges and not as good sound quality for that price. I don't really know if I need eARC though. Obviously I'll be using the Xbox but otherwise the TV will be used for some freeview but mostly Netflix/Amazon Prime/iPlayer type streaming. We don't have blurays and unplugged DVD player a while ago. For context we currently mainly use a Roku connected to a 13yr old 'hd ready' Panasonic plasma for streaming.
In a couple other rooms I've got raspberry pi's setup with Max2Play for multiroom audio, mainly streaming spotify, so if I'm getting speakers for the lounge, it would be nice to be able to use another RPi to link up with them but not critical.

Some cheaper eARC soundbars don't seem to get great reviews, like the Sony HT-G700 or Samsung HW-Q60T, while something like the JBL 2.1 bar deep bass sounds like better audio quality for the money but with ARC only. Is eARC with better sound quality worth trying to extend my budget for?

I'm not interested in the Sonos ecosystem (that's why I have RPi's) and not going to try and fit/connect rear speakers so I think a reasonable soundbar and maybe a sub is all I am after. I doubt I'm going to consider £700+ setups but if it's really worth it I can look at spending more than the sort of the price the 3 I've mentioned are going for.

Thanks!
you would be very hard pressed to notice any audio difference between arc and earc in that price range. both formats can handle dolby which is the defacto formats used by the tvs in built apps, earc is more expandable ultimately but not a show stopper.
 

Braxios

Standard Member
Thanks, wondered if I was missing something but sounds like it's kind of pointless having eARC on cheaper devices then. Think I'll go for a cheaper ARC device soon then and can always save up for something better later if I want.
 
I suppose it depends on your priorities. For me, audio is half the experience, and it's one of the reasons I still use physical discs (mainly 4k these days).

I think eARC can make quite a difference if you're willing to spend a little extra, especially with new gen gaming, but I'd definitely agree you won't get much out of it at lower price points. It also seems like you mainly use broadcast and streaming services - which again, won't offer much normal ARC can't.

As with the response above, if I were you I'd aim to pick up a decent low-to-mid-range soundbar and ignore all the shiny "Atmos" bolt-ons. Just get the best sound you can for the money, and something like a solid 2.1 bar will probably do fine. Ignore the ARC / eARC issue.
 

Braxios

Standard Member
Thanks for the thoughts. I think I'll look at something like the Yamaha YAS207 or 209 for now then. With current Yamaha cashback offer the 209 is about £300 and they seem to be well thought of for what they are trying to deliver at that price point.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Thanks for the thoughts. I think I'll look at something like the Yamaha YAS207 or 209 for now then. With current Yamaha cashback offer the 209 is about £300 and they seem to be well thought of for what they are trying to deliver at that price point.
yammies are well made reliable bars cant go far wrong.
 

Braxios

Standard Member
Got the yas209. Pretty happy with it, sound is a marked improvement over the TV sound. Had a couple lip sync issues in the first couple days but seems to have been fine since.
Not got anything to compare it to in terms of home cinema type setups but pleased with how it sounds for TV and Spotify uses.
 

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