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Question 2 channel vs Soundbar for TV

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
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Partially HiFi related but am after some opinions please.

I use a 2ch system for my TV at the moment (Bluesound Node 2i/Active Speakers) and it works well for TV and music. However, I'd really like a bigger TV and don't have the room to do that and retain the speakers in a 2ch setup - there's just not enough room.

I am toying with the idea of a soundbar and wireless subwoofer which could double as a music system of sorts. In truth, I rarely listen to music on that system for very long (it's a second system - my main one is upstairs) but I just wonder how much I'd lose in terms of audio quality - has anyone gone down this route and what are your thoughts please? I know it won't be the same - just would welcome opinions on how good or bad it would be for music if I were to do that?

Thanks!
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,941
269
20,070
Partially HiFi related but am after some opinions please.

I use a 2ch system for my TV at the moment (Bluesound Node 2i/Active Speakers) and it works well for TV and music. However, I'd really like a bigger TV and don't have the room to do that and retain the speakers in a 2ch setup - there's just not enough room.

I am toying with the idea of a soundbar and wireless subwoofer which could double as a music system of sorts. In truth, I rarely listen to music on that system for very long (it's a second system - my main one is upstairs) but I just wonder how much I'd lose in terms of audio quality - has anyone gone down this route and what are your thoughts please? I know it won't be the same - just would welcome opinions on how good or bad it would be for music if I were to do that?

Thanks!
I have the TV connected to the stereo via Sky Box and Blu-ray player. The results are fabulous, in terms of separation and overall soundstage. I cannot see even an expensive soundbar matching or bettering the current set-up.
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
316
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18,895
I have the TV connected to the stereo via Sky Box and Blu-ray player. The results are fabulous, in terms of separation and overall soundstage. I cannot see even an expensive soundbar matching or bettering the current set-up.
That's my big hesitation PP as I have the same setup and the sound is fabulous but the size of the TV is not ideal so it's either one or the other.

To be fair the system is only for occasional casual/background listening music-wise which is the only reason I am considering a compromise. It's a trade-off between sound quality and picture size. To be fair I haven't heard a soundbar yet to even be able to compare.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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Would you consider something like that Naim Mu-so, which I believe you can connect to a telly, yet is more music than movie oriented? We use a Canton soundbase - a bit chunkier than a bar - which is pretty good, though not ideal for music.
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
316
11
18,895
Would you consider something like that Naim Mu-so, which I believe you can connect to a telly, yet is more music than movie oriented? We use a Canton soundbase - a bit chunkier than a bar - which is pretty good, though not ideal for music.
Hi nopiano

I would yes, absolutely, and it's those types of alternative option that I am looking for really. Another one I have unearthed is the Ruark R5 which looks to be a much better compromise than a soundbar and subwoofer. I already own an R2 and use that in my study so know how good they are - I may try that with the TV just to test the concept.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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That's my big hesitation PP as I have the same setup and the sound is fabulous but the size of the TV is not ideal so it's either one or the other.

To be fair the system is only for occasional casual/background listening music-wise which is the only reason I am considering a compromise. It's a trade-off between sound quality and picture size. To be fair I haven't heard a soundbar yet to even be able to compare.
Do you have a photo of the room layout? That might give us all an idea on options.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
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@Paulq I think Sonos do a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked from their site. Give it ago and see how you go, win-win as I see it. You get first-hand experience and all your questions answered. And should give time to figure out if you can live with the product. I find all the sonos stuff enjoyable, they know exactly what they and dont pretend to be anything else.
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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4,970
Personally I prefer the two speakers than a soundbar when talking about same approx value,.However I have never used an expensive soundbar and from what few I've heard in demo shops I'd gather a soundbar can likely match your stereo but it may cost a little more
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
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Personally I prefer the two speakers than a soundbar when talking about same approx value,.However I have never used an expensive soundbar and from what few I've heard in demo shops I'd gather a soundbar can likely match your stereo but it may cost a little more
I think there's no substitute for testing it yourself. A stereo pair will give you the best reproduction of two channel sound, and will be excellent for music and stereo broadcasts.

However, a lot of broadcasts (and of course streams and dvd) are multichannel, and a stereo pair will downmix this. You will lose the centre channel, which is usually where a lot of speech is located, which can then become mixed in with the music and sound effects, making it harder to understand (especially if your hearing is going, or you're watching Tenet...)

A multichannel setup is obviously ideal for multichannel source material. A soundbar is an approximation to this, in that it performs tricks to replicate a true multi-speaker multichannel set up. How successful it is depends on the quality of the soundbar and the geometry of the setting.

I've got a Sonos beam in one of my rooms and I find it pretty good for giving a 3.0 set up, I haven't got a sub, not rear surrounds. Sonos now have an Atmos enabled soundbar, which would further improve things.

Sorry - long post. On a 30-day money back, I'd be very tempted to try Sonos. But it's not the cheapest of solutions...
 

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