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Happy New Year to everyone!
I'm a newbie when it comes to home theater, so please steer me in the right direction.
I'm looking at TV's and leaning towards the LG B7.
Not sure whether to buy a high-end sound bar that mimics surround sound or maybe a mid-range surround sound system. Also need to add a subwoofer.
My dilemma is an entertainment room that is connected to the living room by an archway with open spacing at the top. I don't know if i add surround speakers that the sound will not be contained in the room. Maybe a sound bar would be better by virtue of its placement.
Viewing distance is about 12'
Soundbars versus "real" speakers, are kind of fish versus fowl, I guess. I have recently set up my daughter, wife, and her best friend with older, used soundbars. (Energy Soundbar Elite, JBL Cinema SB-400, Yamaha YSP-1000- all with nice subwoofers) largely because I got these older units on "Craigslist," under $50 each certainly and they have good loud clear sound. The Yamaha even sounds decent on music, the JBL is 1/2 decent (fills a very large room), and the Energy... well she doesn't listen to music much. It is possible to make these work, but I wouldn't throw down the Mastercard for a $300 new unit.
I have tried may surround setups in my home and stick with 2.1 Unless you have a big room and lots of big speakers, more than 2.1 is unconvincing- a waste of money in this Bear's opinion. But I am prejudiced toward musical performance.
For years I used a 2.1 setup living aboard my boat, with a sweet Proceed AVP preamp, AudioEngine powered monitors flanking the TeeVeee, and a decent sounding small sub. The results were excellent and music sounded quite good. The salon was pretty small and it was a "nearfield" situation. In a bigger room those tiny speakers tend to sound somehow, too tiny.
In any case, buy this stuff used until you get a feel for what you want. Last year's AV gear (let's say the Best Buy family persuasion) sells for pennies in the dollar because it doesn't have the right plug on the back... Looking over my local Craigslist for a 2.1 system, I see a very nice Onkyo A-V receiver and a pair of B&W DM-330 speakers (nice- need new grill cloth maybe) for $300, all in, with a sorta cheezy Sonance powered sub thrown in for free! That would sound nice, but remember: you roll the dice with used stuff- it's not for everybody. Good luck.
A decent AVR will have a virtual surround mode just like a soundbar so I would expect you will be able to get better sound with an AVR and a 2.1 or 3.1 setup.
If speaker size is an issue (or not) look into RSL speakers. Their bookshelf and center channels with 3" or 4" drivers. Reasonably priced and good reviews FWIW.
Why not just stereo speakers on each side of TV?
Surround sound always sounds fake to me.
Run Digital out from TV, to D/A converter, into a stereo audio system.
The B7 is amazing, good choice, so don't cheat yourself. A good surround system really does make the system and subs are required to shake you awake when the dinosaurs walk close by in Jurassic Park.
Don't worry about the surrounds adding more to sound escaping the space. The majority of the time, you won't hear anything from them unless a bomb explodes behind you.
Thanks for the replies. Looks like surround sound is the way to go.
I was looking for comparisions between the LG B7 and C7. The only differences i can see are the bezel and stand. Otherwise, the picture is the same.
I thought the C7 is a curved screen which personal feel is distracting unless it's a theater with a 240" screen. I noticed the priced at about the same, though rtings does list the c7 as a tab better, but says the b7 is the best 4k to buy....unless you want a bigger screen. ;)
I just looked a bit more and it seems like the difference at Amazon is $100 for better sound for the TV speakers which not good videophile would use.
I would go with a real surround system every time. Sound bars are OK for watching TV, but for movies.....
I meant to attach a photo to my post
Photo of entertainment room
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