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  1. #1
    PFC is offline
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Surround Sound or Sound Bar

    I've been upgrading my home theater a bit recently and I put of the sound system until last, because it's usually the most cumbersome. I definitely want surround sound, but every home surround sound system I've ever seen installed in a house is lousy because the sound is projected to the center of the room and everyone is usually sitting around the edges.

    I've been looking researching sound bars really like the the VIZIO Universal HD Sound Bar, which claims to have a "virtual" surround sound system called SRS TruSurround HD. Has anyone used this before? Or something similar, I'd prefer an easy set-up that won't alter the "feng shui" my wife assures me our lounge has... Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Don't buy any speaker(s) unless you have heard them first!!!!

    Feng Shui and good sound are usually not compatible.
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  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    You are right about that. A few years ago my neighbor hired a "feng shui" decorator and she redone their living room and replaced the Paradigm Studio 100s/Studio Center/rears/sub and associated gear with the Bose Lifestyle System. I will never forget that day when they invited my wife and I to take a look at their new feng shui living room. I must admit it did look very nice.
    Last edited by Mingus; 01-21-2010 at 04:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    Interior designers are the devil when it comes to sound quality, or practicality for that matter. (I mean, on those home porn shows on HDTV, how often do the designers wind up taking out the TV altogether?)

    You want real surround sound? Get a real surround system, with discrete speakers for each channel.

    Sound bars are nothing more than upgraded TV speakers. You get them only if you're willing to accept huge tradeoffs in sound quality in exchange for a one-speaker setup. It doesn't matter how fancy the processing is, or how many drivers get pointed out towards the side walls. You'll never get a truly convincing surround effect without discrete surround speakers.

    If simplicity's your number one priority, then the sound bar would obviously fit the bill. But, don't kid yourself about the trade off you're making with the sound quality and the surround effect.

    With regard your comments on surround installations, first off, a properly aligned surround system has to direct the sound towards the seated position. You're in the wrong position if you're listening at the periphery.

    Just so you know EVERY home theater receiver on the market has a virtual surround function of some sort. They're all designed to create a phantom surround effect from two or three speakers.

    If you use a home theater receiver, and buy a couple of good standmounted speakers, you'll get much better sound quality than a sound bar with proper alignment for two-channel music (the spacing on sound bars are inadequate for decent stereo listening).

    It will also give you the flexibility for adding additional speakers later on. A sound bar locks you in. Upgrading that thing means replacing it. Upgrading a component system means adding on or replacing individual parts.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
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  5. #5
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    I emphatically agree with the guy upstairs ^
    Sir Terrence

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