Do You Like Soundbars?

Soundbars can't quite match the enveloping feel of home theatre systems yet they're so much better than pumping audio through your wimpy TV speakers. Or are they? Are soundbars the best compromise — affordable, easy to setup — for audio or are they the worst of both worlds — not quite good enough for the price — that's not really worth the savings?

More: Gizmodo's Sound Bars Guide: Virtual Surround Sound 101

For soundbar owning folks, do you enjoy the sound or do you regret buying it? For home theatre geeks, would you actually recommend them for someone looking to improve his setup? Basically, I want to know what you guys think of soundbars and if they're worth buying or if it's a step worth skipping on your way to setting up your quasi-home theatre.

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Comments

    From what I've seen (heard) they aren't too bad but I would personally just rock a good 2.0/2.1 setup (one that isn't a package) instead

    I'm interested in getting a sound bar with sub for our TV - we don't have a big or regular shape lounge room and the wife is not interested in a real surround sound system. Yet I can't stand the tiny (TINY) little speakers in our LCD TV so a sound bar would be a great compromise if they worked ok...
    Happy to hear others thoughts before we go to the expense of buying anything!
    Good question thanks Giz

    i love my polk audio surroundbar :)

    When I was renting I had a Philips soundbar, with a built in DVD player, for what I wanted it was perfect and I would definitely suggest it to someone who thinks a Samsung LED TV sound is good!

    You can't beat a proper surround system though, at least not yet....

    I got a Yamaha soundbar with subwoofer. The thing's got 3 HDMI in and one HDMI out on top of the usual suspects and I love it.

    If later on I decide to turn it into something closer to true surround sound, I can simply plug in 2 rear speakers in the soundbar as it is designed so that it can be upgraded that way.

    The Bose sound bar is pretty fantastic. But it doesnt come cheap. It broadcasts the sounded so that it appears in 3D and has a setup so that it adjust itself to the size and what is in your room. So im told. Even if it doesnt...it sounds fantastic.

    good if you're really short on space I guess. if you have any space at all though a good 2.1 system would be my recommendation .

    If you're just running TV through it a soundbar is ok. If it's your main home stereo and you listen to music though - go 2.1.

    Your Comment

      Woops!! If my "Virtual" surround sound headphones, im sure that this would be perfect for most people these (especially those in brand new homes where its hard to fit a couch in the lounge room)

    Picked up a Yamaha YHT-S401 from Len Wallis Audio, and couldn't be happier! Our family didn't want towers dotted around the room, and didn't have the room for a pair of big bookshelf speakers thanks to the awkward nature of the TV unit, so a soundbar seemed to be the natural choice. Streets ahead of a pair of Bose Companion speakers we already have, and we managed it for around $650 if I recall. Using optical audio into our Samsung 46". The USB input for iPhones/iPods works flawlessly, and the preset surround EQ options for "TV", "Game", "Movie", etc. are excellent. Having the woofer built into the body of the receiver and the ability to add speakers to the system at a later date are just nice perks.

    i haven't heard a single sound bar style set up that actually sounds any better than those built into the TV's they're being used with.
    A lot of TV's have semi-semi decent speakers these days, so things like soundbars really have no purpose any more as they no better and sometimes worse.
    However I have yet to hear anything that sounds better than a normal split speaker set up.
    the kind with dedicated tweeters, mids, woofers and a sub, but I guess it all comes down to "beauty is in the ears of the beholder" so each to their own.
    Me, I'll never waste money, space or time on tacky soundbars.

    if anything, get a Bose soundbar...

    I've never heard the Bose soundbar, but I can safely say I'll never buy anything from the company that brought the Acoustimass to market. What an abortion.

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