Soundbars vs Conventional Home Theater Sys


Hi All,

I’m new to this forum, so please allow me to preface this brief discussion by saying that I’m not an audiophile by any stretch; however I like to think I have a pretty good ear for what good audio sounds like, or at least should sound like. Having said that, I’m trying to establish a smaller audio footprint, and I’m looking for some guidance from subject matter experts on soundbars vs the conventional home theater system.

I currently own the following equipment:

1. Receiver - Denon AVR-791 125W x 7 Channels

2. Front Speakers - Klipsch Ref RB-41 II Bookshelf

3. Center Speaker - Klipsch Ref R-25C

4. Sub - Polk Audio PSW111

I recently purchased the Samsung N650 w/subwoofer and was very disappointed with the sound! Although my equipment is fairly dated, it sounds way better than the Samsung soundbar. Perhaps that was a bad choice to begin with, but what I’m looking to hear is can any of the current soundbars produce sound as good as or better than the typical home theater system? Of course whenever you mention anything audio-related names like Bose and Sonos enter the conversation, and I think those brands are great but they’re pricey and I've seen a number of reviews questioning the sound quality for the $$$. For example, the Bose Soundbar 700 alone is $800.00 without the sub, and I’ve seen mixed reviews about the app required to configure it. I’ve also heard names like MartinLogan and Paradigm, does anyone have any thoughts on those brands? I don’t mind paying top dollar for high quality equipment, but I want to make sure the equipment is worth it.

Any comments/help is greatly appreciated!


cg501
Soundbars = a step above your TV speakers
Most go that route as not to clutter their space with audio gear
If you must have a compact system, can you use something like the ZVOX Soundbase 770? It is a very low profile base that sits under your TV. However, it is 18" deep, so it has to sit on a relatively large shelf under your TV. They also make smaller units.

ZVOX has always gotten great reviews, so it might be a keeper for you, if it fits your physical space.

I do not own a ZVOX unit, but have keep my eye on them for several years.
@mental - yeah this is true. For me, it's that and the fact that my current equipment doesn't have some of the new functionality i.e., BT and WiFi.

@ reubent - I wasn't aware of that model but I just looked at the specs and it sounds awesome thanks for the tip!
I've heard the Sonos and it is pretty decent. The biggest issues had to do with connectivity, but that was a couple of years ago.
+1 mental
The ZVOX Soundbase 770 does look mighty impressive ;-)

I own a 670 which is 36" wide and sits perfectly on top of a low wide rack that holds the video gear.  The TV sits on top of the ZVOX.  The sound is more than satisfactory.  It reminds me of the typical sound in a cinema.  Not audiophile, but cinematic.
I appreciate the input from everyone!

I just returned the Samsung N650, and brought home a Definitive Technology W Studio Micro system. The in-store demo was awesome! Will give an update after Thu Night Football ;)
I see the soundbar as just that, a soundbar. Recently, I replaced a Yamaha soundbar with a Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar and couldn't be happier. It's much more fuller sounding, more intelligible, has better sound staging, has better extension and everything else betters the Yamaha in comparison.

Granted, it pales in comparison to my stereo when playing Blu-Ray movies but that's what my stereo is for. The soundbar is for regular TV viewing and the Samsung does a great job of it.  To each, their own, I guess. 🤔

All the best,
Nonoise