Surround sound/speaker advice *novice


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hi one and all

I'm looking for a surround-sound system for my TV but I've spent days now looking at stuff boggling. I'm in a low-end price bracket here but still want something that sounds fab. I have a Panasonic Viera TH-42PX70 but I don't know if that's considered any good. I also have a Panasonic DVD Recorder DMR-EZ25 but that isn't HD. Can anyone quickly point me towards a good speaker system with amp if necessary? Do I need to change any of my existing stuff to make life better? I saw some Jamo speaker that got a good score but do these work well with my Panasonics and which amp would I need if any? I also saw some Tannoy speakers that seemed alright.

Anyway, that's me!


New member
Nov 15, 2008
Hi, You don't really need to worry about matching your TV or sources with an audio system, other than to ensure that the audio system (amp) has the correct inputs for your current and future equipment.

As you already have a DVD player in the form of your DVD Recorder, an all-in-one (home cinema in a box) type setup isn't really suitable. These systems usually lack inputs. Sony do make some packages consisting of amps and speakers such as the HT-SF1300 and new HT-SF360. These retail at around £300. Other systems to look at would be the HT-IS models which come with dinky compact speakers that don't take up much space. See the reviews section for more details.

Other packages to look out for would be the likes of the Onkyo HT-S5205. Another would be the Onkyo 507/Kef 1005 package. I presume the Tannoy speakers you were looking at were the SFX? The Tannoy SFX, Kef 1005, Jamo HCS5 A102, Mordaunt Short (various) and Q-Acoustics are very popular at the budget level. Amps such as the new Yamaha 465, Onkyo 507 and Sony STR-DH800 would be a good budget choice and offer a degree of future-proof-ability in that they accept audio over HDMI. These models sit above the bottom of the range kit, which in my opinion are best avoided. The Sony STR-DH800 isn't available yet but replaces a very popular model (820) and appears to be the best spec'd out of the three, although as it isn't out yet, no-one knows how it will perform sonically. I anticipate it will fly off the shelves and is available for pre-order at for £275.

One glaring omission from your setup that would improve it would be an HD source such as a bluray player. The prices have dropped now to just over £100 (Samsung BD-P1600) and the Sony BDP-S350 is also a worthy contender for your cash. I bought one for my parents and it is a great little machine. Couple that with a subscription (free for the first month or so) with Lovefilm and away you go.

Do you have a Richer Sounds, Sevenoaks, Superfi or independent Hifi dealer nearby? This would allow you to get hands on and hear the systems for yourself. Obviously if you have any questions on what the dealer tells you, post back and I'm sure the good folks here will be able to help.



I've just ordered the Sony bluray player. That's a start!

I'm still confused a bit by the speaker system v home cinema system thing. If I get a home cinema setup, it basically has everything I need in a box. If, however, I just get the Jamo speakers (for example), do I then need to buy the amp as well or can the speakers run without the amp? And if they can, does the amp make such a difference that I'd be daft not to have one?



Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
To expand a little on that, with a speaker system like the Jamos, you still need amplification for this i.e. you can't just plug a speaker system into a DVD player or a TV, it needs the amp / receiver to amplify the signal it receives from the DVD player / Blu-Ray player.

With an all-in-one system, the amplifier is usually built into one of the other components i.e. the DVD player if it has one has the amp built in, or sometimes, it's all built into the subwoofer. An all-in-one unit is really only designed to work with the components which come with that system, whereas with a separate DVD / Blu-Ray player, separate amplifier / receiver and separate speaker system, you have more choice on what goes with what and free to upgrade individual components as you see fit.



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