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 Post subject: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Location: UK
I have a Samsung UE46F5500 TV screwed to the living room wall. I'm looking to get better sound out of it for TV, music, a few films and possible living room PC use in future. The room is around 35m2

A few requirements I have:
- Should be stylish. This is actually really key. I don't want my living room looking like the shop I buy the speakers from.
- I'll only use the 3.5mm audio out from the TV. Yes, I know someone is going to say that digital would be better but the difference would be trivial and it would mean that the volume from the TV would not be linked and I'd have to separately mute the TV and have a whole load of remote controls in use which would be a faff.
- When the power goes on, sound should come out. When the power goes off, the sound should stop. No pushing buttons on remote controls.
- Sound quality should be realistic. More bass does not always equal realistic.
- Not bothered about surround sound.
- Looking to spend around £100-200.

There's two real options I see. One is a soundbar. This is sleek looking and I could screw the thing to the wall under the TV. The sub could sit in the corner. Where I'm worried having listened to some in shops is I'm not convinced the sound is realistic. This might of course be more to do with the film trailers they play through them in some of the shops which confuse over the top bass and 'effects' with sound quality - personally I hate soundtracks to most films for being overproduced, particularly a problem with films that have a lot of action in them. Soundbars also seem to be pretty bad value for money. Maybe they charge this much just because they can?

The other I see is to get a decent set of computer speakers, either 2.0 or 2.1. Aesthetics here maybe isn't the best point for all of them and sound quality is a bit hit and miss too - a 100mm subwoofer isn't going to sound that great regardless of how overpoweringly it's set up! What I was looking at is a set of these:
http://www.ebuyer.com/342252-microlab-s ... rs-solo-7c
The reviews look amazing and they should be pretty understated looking for a living room.

Any other suggested lines of investigation?

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:18 pm 
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you said some one would suggest it... go digital.
with hdmi + ARC enabled components , you will get the receiver/soundbar to turn on/off with TV, and the tv speakers will be disabled, letting the receiver/soundbar take over, without programming remotes or switching inputs.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:43 pm 
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You should buy what you can afford and enjoy. Years ago CTR TVs and monitors required shielded speakers, this is no longer an issue for most people.

Computer speakers are more sound compromised than most speakers, but if you like certain ones by all means. I chose a low priced 2 channel receiver and 2 made for audio satellites instead.

Paraphrasing a line from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I see what "good sound" means in the 21st Century. My heart weeps for the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Soundbar or PC style speakers, you'll still want a subwoofer. Not for window rattling subsonics, but just to handle the lower freq's that neither soundbar or small separates will handle. If you were in the US, I'd suggest Monoprice for the sub.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:48 pm 
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I know you said you want to use your TV's remote for volume, but really how much do you use your TV's remote? I use mine for one thing and one thing only, turning it on and off and that is only because my TV does not support CEC. Everything runs through my receiver so its remote/phone app/web page are what I use to control the volume.

Your budget is limited, but at least to me sound is not something to skimp on. My TV cost about $900, my sound system over $3K. A sound bar or (good) computer speakers would be a decent improvement over the built in speakers in a TV, but they don't compare to a dedicated receiver + speakers.

Look for the cheapest receiver that has the features you want from a reputable manufacturer. As long as it has the power and features you want then you don't need to go higher, don't pay attention to any audiophile crap. I wanted network control and muli-zone support. If I didn't want those two things I could have gotten a receiver for 1/3 or less the cost of mine.

Spend your money on speakers. Start with a good pair of fronts and add the rest when you can. I know you want your speakers to be "stylish" but try your best to ignore that. Find something that sounds good to you and fits your budget. My fronts are "huge" floor standing ones that are close to 3 feet high. Everyone asks where my sub is, I just say "what sub?" I would have fronts that are over 4 feet, but I have kids to feed and neighbors who I don't want calling the cops. :-) My house is the "movie house" among my friends even though my TV is only 42", the sound system more than makes up for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:27 pm 
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High end audio is not crap. But there many companies that claim to be high end and are liars. There are no high end receivers. All receivers, even the $2000 models are all built to a price point, with tons of features that may actually degrade sound quality, which is why Denon used to have a "pure direct" mode for actual music listening.

Any cone speaker with a decent size low end driver will provide decent low end bass. Unfortunately today's crowd considers realistic explosions "great sound." I suppose it is, but it certainly isn't great music. Reproducing music accurately takes a lot of design, understanding, and unfortunately cost. Good enough is a different story.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:55 am 
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xan_user wrote:
with hdmi + ARC enabled components

Unfortunately that requires a far more expensive TV and soundbar. It sounds silly as being able to adjust the sound level of an output surely can't require massive expensive changes to the rest of the TV design. It's just how they choose to arrange their products and only have it on high end 3D models.

washu wrote:
I know you said you want to use your TV's remote for volume, but really how much do you use your TV's remote?

For everything really. I have no satellite or cable TV and the DVD player I'm going to be able to control using an IR extender which the TV comes with. As mentioned, I don't want extra remotes.

washu wrote:
Your budget is limited, but at least to me sound is not something to skimp on. My TV cost about $900, my sound system over $3K. A sound bar or (good) computer speakers would be a decent improvement over the built in speakers in a TV, but they don't compare to a dedicated receiver + speakers.
...
I know you want your speakers to be "stylish" but try your best to ignore that.

I think we might be coming at this from different standpoints. :D I'm not really bothered enough to spend that much money and for me my living room is more about what it looks like than what it sounds like - the TV and speakers will spend most of their time switched off.

Well I ended up buying a Samsung soundbar that wasn't too expensive. It also came down to aesthetics and how I'm going to mount it all. There should be no visible cables once I'm finished so will upload a picture at some point when I'm done.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:09 am 
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edh wrote:
xan_user wrote:
with hdmi + ARC enabled components

Unfortunately that requires a far more expensive TV and soundbar. It sounds silly as being able to adjust the sound level of an output surely can't require massive expensive changes to the rest of the TV design. It's just how they choose to arrange their products and only have it on high end 3D models.

must be a UK thing. i cant find any tv's without it here. even my old set had it.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:39 am 
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xan_user wrote:
must be a UK thing. i cant find any tv's without it here. even my old set had it.

Not with Samsung I know definitely. Although there are differences between US and EU products (for example what the US has as the F5500 is known in the EU as the F5300 and the EU model F5500 that I have adds wireless) I don't think ARC comes into it. Basically they want you to buy a 3D TV for this. Would have to look into other makes to check. Also most manufacturers offer optical audio cables for this but they are only a line level output, with the exception of certain proprietary options on some models. Proprietary Bluetooth pairing is also an option for some manufacturers but again, this requires a much more expensive TV and soundbar.

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 Post subject: Re: Speakers with TV
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Stylish almost guarantees lower sound quality. Good sounds depends on putting engineering time and effort into the enclosures and the drivers and the crossovers. A high quality tweeter, and a low resonance enclosure and well designed woofer that doesn't give you a one-note boom. Clear effortless sound that actually adds to the viewing experience instead of leaving you wanting more, or worse yet distracts from it with thin or harsh sound or resonant distortions that make it hard to hear the dialog, etc.

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