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(C|Net)   Audiophiles can't understand why simple, cheap sound bars are so popular when you can buy a 5.1 AV receiver and properly calibrate your object-channel surround sound, rRS232, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, HDR, 21:9 video and BT.2020 pass-through   ( cnet.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Consumer electronics, AV receiver, Home cinema, DTS-HD Master Audio, Surround sound, Loudspeaker, new AV receiver, Dolby Digital  
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3389 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Feb 2017 at 8:15 PM (26 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-02-18 05:36:10 PM  
Sansui amp
Bose speakers
Wolverines with EV horns
Audio Vox add on

What is this HDMI shiat?
 
2017-02-18 05:40:07 PM  
I'm not an audio snob, but the headline makes fun of the BT.2020 pass-through, and unless you get that dialed in to as close as Sigma 3 as your receiver and titanium-shielded acoustically isolated speakers allow, you might as well rip out your $2000-per-linear foot Monster Cables and replace them with farking string.

I mean I like having a laugh at "tech jargon" too, but if you can't be bothered to dial in the BT.2020 pass through, why don't you just smash your stereo gear with a hammer, throw it in a dumpster, set the dumpster on fire? Go buy a plastic AM radio at the dollar store and listen to it in the shower, most of you wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. Assuming you could even figure out how to turn it on, if you can't figure out a simple 2020 wave analysis function. Big 'if' right there. Don't turn on the shower and accidentally drown yourself. But like I say, not a snob.
 
2017-02-18 05:49:28 PM  
I got a Vizio 5.1 system with a soundbar, wireless subwoofer, and wireless satellites for less than $500. I didn't have to run any wires, and since I'm an old I can't tell if the sound is shiatty or not. All I care about is that I can hear the dialog without having to fark with the volume when the explosions come in. Seriously, I had a Bose system and when you got done watching a movie you felt like you just got off work. Up, down, up, down, up, down.
 
2017-02-18 05:55:14 PM  
I don't argue with the fact that a large amount of AV equipment has more features than most consumers will ever use, but I think it goes even deeper than that.  A lot of people don't even know how to use the basic functions of the equipment that they already own.  I don't know how many times I've gone over to someone's house and saw a big-ass 50" tv on the wall with a shiatty stretched out picture, and the only reason that it was so farked up is that they had no idea what an HDMI cable was and hooked the cable box to the TV with regular coax.

What's my point? I dunno, people don't like reading instructions?
 
2017-02-18 05:58:22 PM  
For both subby and the audiophiles

global3.memecdn.com
 
2017-02-18 05:58:39 PM  
Setup makes a big difference. If you have any Pixar DVD or Blu Ray it will have a THX setup tool in the extra features, for both audio and picture. It runs through a bunch of settings where you adjust your settings following instructions on screen, like adjusting brightness until two bars look the same and so on. Can make a big difference to all levels of setup, from a soundbar to a high end AV setup.
 
2017-02-18 06:00:09 PM  

PainInTheASP: I don't argue with the fact that a large amount of AV equipment has more features than most consumers will ever use, but I think it goes even deeper than that.  A lot of people don't even know how to use the basic functions of the equipment that they already own.  I don't know how many times I've gone over to someone's house and saw a big-ass 50" tv on the wall with a shiatty stretched out picture, and the only reason that it was so farked up is that they had no idea what an HDMI cable was and hooked the cable box to the TV with regular coax.

What's my point? I dunno, people don't like reading instructions?


I worked in the trade for years, and yes, many many people are just that lazy and/or stupid.
 
2017-02-18 06:04:51 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-02-18 06:07:31 PM  
Either way is good, as long as you have Monster Cables.  The Monsterer the better.
 
2017-02-18 06:11:58 PM  
CSB alert:
I used to work in a fairly high end audio/video store around 2000/2001, and they had a proper home cinema demo room. Pioneer sixty inch plasma (and that was £12k then), Yamaha, Denon, Sony and Marantz av amps, huge range of speakers, and all in one units from Bose and so on.
The Yamaha sounded fantastic. The Bose sounded great, and if you didn't have the Yamaha to compare it to you'd think it was brilliant.
Then a JVC all in one arrived, a TH-A10 DVD and surround sound system that cost £1000. We set it up and it sounded fine. The speakers were tiny, each little bigger than a cigarette pack. It was okay for an all in one from someone like JVC.

Then the JVC rep arrived, listened to it and told us we hadn't set it up right. He played with the settings and I swear it sounded as good as the top of the range Yamaha av amp through about £6k worth of speakers and sub. It was amazing. Blew the (£7000) Bose out of the water. We'd let customers listen to something like the Matrix lobby shootout/helicopter scene and then point out the tiny speakers they were listening to.

A few years later I bought the exact same JVC system on ebay, second hand but perfect condition. I paid £37. I have DVDs that cost more. And it sounded as fantastic as I remembered.

But the setup made all the difference.

/End CSB.
 
2017-02-18 06:13:10 PM  
I have two friends who have their TVs hooked into their audio receivers and I can't even figure out how the hell to turn the goddamn things on and off. There are like FOUR remotes involved. Why does this shiat need to be so complicated?
 
2017-02-18 06:14:02 PM  
I also still have a Technica Su8080 amp I bought from a college friends father. That's a great amp.
 
2017-02-18 06:41:31 PM  

fusillade762: I have two friends who have their TVs hooked into their audio receivers and I can't even figure out how the hell to turn the goddamn things on and off. There are like FOUR remotes involved. Why does this shiat need to be so complicated?


I share your pain, but I've got two words for you: Harmony Remotes.

Their mid-range and high end remotes are activity-based (watch TV, listen to CD, etc), and you program your activities with the components you use for those activities.  I've got a Marantz AV receiver, XBox One, cable box, Bluray player, and PS3--and I only use the Harmony for all of them.  Watch TV?  Press the TV button.  Watch a DVD?  Press the DVD button.  The volume is tied to the component you select during setup so if you watch TV using the standard TV speakers but watch movies using your AV receiver, the remote knows this and will automatically switch the needed components on and off.

There are other remotes out there that can do the same thing but personally, my Harmony is all I need.
 
2017-02-18 06:42:25 PM  
Don't worry, the sales guy will help you out

fauxsuperblogs.com
 
2017-02-18 06:50:09 PM  

Ron Vibbentrop: The Bose sounded great, and if you didn't have the Yamaha to compare it to you'd think it was brilliant.


Surprised you got away with it then, but at least now, Bose has contracts with all of their retailers that they have to have separate Bose-only showrooms where you can't directly compare their systems to others.
 
2017-02-18 07:20:49 PM  

Theaetetus: Ron Vibbentrop: The Bose sounded great, and if you didn't have the Yamaha to compare it to you'd think it was brilliant.

Surprised you got away with it then, but at least now, Bose has contracts with all of their retailers that they have to have separate Bose-only showrooms where you can't directly compare their systems to others.


Never heard of them complaining at the time, and this was 2001 ish, and they were very much Bose main dealers. They did have a separate Bose stand in the other corner of the showroom and stocked the full range of Bose systems and stand alone speakers.
 
2017-02-18 07:46:59 PM  
Because most people just want something that works without much effort? Nah, that can't be it.
 
2017-02-18 08:07:44 PM  

fusillade762: I have two friends who have their TVs hooked into their audio receivers and I can't even figure out how the hell to turn the goddamn things on and off. There are like FOUR remotes involved. Why does this shiat need to be so complicated?


When I want my TV to play thru my stereo, I plug in a cord to the stereo. I rarely do this anymore, my room is too small and I just don't care.
 
2017-02-18 08:23:07 PM  

vudukungfu: Sansui amp
Bose speakers
Wolverines with EV horns
Audio Vox add on


I bet the ladies in the old folks home drop their panties when you start cranking Foghat
 
2017-02-18 08:23:14 PM  
Pretty much the week I sorted my decent 5.1 setup, I went deaf in one ear. The LFE is nice, but my hearing is now 1.1.
 
2017-02-18 08:25:19 PM  

whither_apophis: Don't worry, the sales guy will help you out

[fauxsuperblogs.com image 610x348]


And when you die, they can bury you in it.
 
2017-02-18 08:27:47 PM  
The only sound system you'll ever need.
img.fark.net
 
2017-02-18 08:29:25 PM  
Actual audiophiles would prefer a single ended class A stereo tube amp with a simple, uncluttered circuit path. And you don't even need to be a monster cable buying person or spend a million dollars to get there. Ta-da!
 
2017-02-18 08:35:51 PM  
That's great and all but if you're not getting correct power to your components you might as stick to your "Sory" Discman and $3 headphones.


"The Essence" is the power cord that changed everything when it was introduced to audiophile Hi-Fi enthusiasts in 1995. The Essence established benchmarks for lifelike dynamics, natural harmonics, precise imaging and resolution.

Makes Digital Sound Analog!
$1,599.99
Normally:$1,999.99

Our patented multi-conductor geometry has been further optimized. The Reference-II is hand-terminated with new Furutech plugs and connectors and termination process improvements. Plug and connector are hermetically sealed for long-term trouble-free performance. The Reference-II is cryogenically treated to -300oF
img.fark.net
 
2017-02-18 08:39:57 PM  
https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/

I've used his recommendations and never been let down. I always get asked about 2.0 systems for computers and steer people to https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/comments/4yd60f/guide_stereo_20_deskroom​_setups_for_musicgaming/ and tell them to buy the speakers and amp they can afford and you'll have better sound for less money then any of the package deals from say logitech. Personally I bought the Micca speakers and SMSL SA-50 amp, fantastic sound and won't break the bank.
 
2017-02-18 08:40:23 PM  

whither_apophis: Don't worry, the sales guy will help you out

[fauxsuperblogs.com image 610x348]


I bought my stereo from this guy:

 
2017-02-18 08:44:58 PM  
First off, people buy soundbars because the built-in speakers on these ultra-thin LCD TVs are useless.  They're not looking for a cinema experience, they just want to hear their TV clearly and loud enough to actually know what's going on.

Also, and I don't think this is something people consciously consider, but many rooms/homes have such poor acoustics that a complicated and expensive surround system would be a complete waste of time and money.  I have a sound bar in my living room.  Used to have a surround-sound system, but it never really sounded all that great.  I initially pieced it together from scratch but later "upgraded" to an Energy Take 5 system.  Ditched all the wires and picked up a nice mid-range Sony soundbar and it sounds better than anything else I tried.  I've got enough bass (not room shaking), clear dialog (my biggest concern) and a decently wide soundstage.

And another consideration for many these days is neighbors.  If you live in a condo, townhouse, or apartment, you'll never be able to use a full system to it's potential.
 
2017-02-18 08:45:18 PM  
2 reasons I went with a Samsung soundbar with a wireless sub instead of a more complex home theater setup.

1. I live in an apartment, and even though I want better sound than the TV alone can provide, I can't go crazy with deep rumbling bass and the sound cranked up to 11, otherwise I'll be having neighbor complain. I just can't get the theater experience due to shared walls.

2. My wife doesn't want a big receiver and speakers mounted on the back walls. We had that briefly when I got a cheap home theater in a box setup at Fry's, and all of the pieces were just too much for her. She much prefers the small soundbar mounted above the TV, and the wireless sub tucked away in the corner. It's not THX quality, but it is good enough to give the dialogue extra clarity and beef up the sound and music so the sound is reasonably rich.

I'd love to have nice home theater system with Atmos, but it is just too way too much right now for our living situation. Maybe if we buy a house down the line and can put in a nice home theater room.
 
2017-02-18 08:46:55 PM  
Because I can mount one under the TV in my bedroom?

Now,  the living room is a different story. I want 5 channel surround when I have a huge empty room where multiple people are watching the movie...
 
2017-02-18 08:47:14 PM  

neongoats: Actual audiophiles would prefer a single ended class A stereo tube amp with a simple, uncluttered circuit path. And you don't even need to be a monster cable buying person or spend a million dollars to get there. Ta-da!


I'd really wonder how you get a single speaker to give a remotely flat response from 20Hz-20kHz.  If you wanted to go all "audiophile", I'd recommend doing unspeakable digital tricks with DSP (probably a GPU) and generating one signal per "speaker" (note "speaker" means that if a box contains a tweeter and midrange, each are "speakers".  Do all the crossover digitally and just connect the speakers).  If you insist on class A (the inefficiency!, the heat!), I'd still recommend MOS transistors, but again one amplifier per "speaker".

- Note that the video bits the subby alludes to are equally silly.  4:4:4 might have certain advantages, but you are unlikely to find a source of such images (and *no* digital camera takes 4:4:4 pictures/videos, nor does anything but DMD really display them (anything that pretends to [i.e all computer monitors I'm aware of] simply has 66% of the pixel in the "wrong" spot).
 
2017-02-18 08:49:58 PM  
We live in an apartment, so our Vizio 50" screen and their $80 sound bar do fine for us, and suited our budget. Nice to be able to run tunes thru the bar via Bluetooth as well. We get all the boom and nuance we need for films at home without low-ending the neighbors too heavily. we have a ton of movie theaters near us, and for films that really need the big screen and sound we spend the dough...
 
2017-02-18 08:53:10 PM  

Ron Vibbentrop: I used to work in a fairly high end audio/video store around 2000/2001, and they had a proper home cinema demo room. Pioneer sixty inch plasma (and that was £12k then), Yamaha, Denon, Sony and Marantz av amps, huge range of speakers, and all in one units from Bose and so on.


Does not compute.
 
2017-02-18 08:53:26 PM  

Ron Vibbentrop: CSB alert:
I used to work in a fairly high end audio/video store around 2000/2001, and they had a proper home cinema demo room. Pioneer sixty inch plasma (and that was £12k then), Yamaha, Denon, Sony and Marantz av amps, huge range of speakers, and all in one units from Bose and so on.
The Yamaha sounded fantastic. The Bose sounded great, and if you didn't have the Yamaha to compare it to you'd think it was brilliant.


Bose is the most overrated sound equipment you can find.
 
2017-02-18 08:54:59 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-02-18 08:55:30 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: I'd really wonder how you get a single speaker to give a remotely flat response from 20Hz-20kHz.


Soundbars have multiple drivers.

Example from image search:
www.soundandvision.com
 
2017-02-18 08:57:07 PM  

PainInTheASP: I share your pain, but I've got two words for you: Harmony Remotes.


Sadly, they've been crippling the more recent low and mid range versions to the point of barely serving a purpose.

The ones from 10 years ago we better than the current crop.
 
2017-02-18 08:59:25 PM  

MooseBayou: vudukungfu: Sansui

'Nuff said.


SONY GUTS!!!!

i1.ytimg.com
 
2017-02-18 08:59:58 PM  
TV speakers are fine.
 
2017-02-18 09:02:50 PM  
I have better speakers on my desktop than I do on my TV, and I'm fine with that because I just don't watch that much TV any more. In the late 90's, I was all "matched Cerwin-Vega speakers" this and "shielded decoder" that, until I realized that I just didn't appreciate the difference enough for it to matter.

I donated my dust-collecting Cerwin-Vegas to Goodwill last year, along with all of the other hardware, because I took it all down around 12 or 13 years ago and realized I really didn't need to put it back up.

I'd put up a sound bar before I'd do all that for one simple reason - convenience. But, the speakers on my screen work just fine, so I've not bothered even with that. I don't entertain very much, so it's only rarely that I listen to music without headphones, and I've no illusions about setting up a "man cave." It's just not a priority to amass a pile of electronic shiat any more.
 
2017-02-18 09:05:28 PM  
Meh, I just use coat hangers connected to computer speakers. Nobody can tell the difference.
https://www.engadget.com/2008/03/03/audiophiles-cant-tell-the-differe​n​ce-between-monster-cable-and/
 
2017-02-18 09:06:04 PM  

Ron Vibbentrop: PainInTheASP: I don't argue with the fact that a large amount of AV equipment has more features than most consumers will ever use, but I think it goes even deeper than that.  A lot of people don't even know how to use the basic functions of the equipment that they already own.  I don't know how many times I've gone over to someone's house and saw a big-ass 50" tv on the wall with a shiatty stretched out picture, and the only reason that it was so farked up is that they had no idea what an HDMI cable was and hooked the cable box to the TV with regular coax.

What's my point? I dunno, people don't like reading instructions?

I worked in the trade for years, and yes, many many people are just that lazy and/or stupid.


It's a cable box.. aren't you supposed to use the cable to hook it up?
; )
 
2017-02-18 09:06:26 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: neongoats: Actual audiophiles would prefer a single ended class A stereo tube amp with a simple, uncluttered circuit path. And you don't even need to be a monster cable buying person or spend a million dollars to get there. Ta-da!

I'd really wonder how you get a single speaker to give a remotely flat response from 20Hz-20kHz.  If you wanted to go all "audiophile", I'd recommend doing unspeakable digital tricks with DSP (probably a GPU) and generating one signal per "speaker" (note "speaker" means that if a box contains a tweeter and midrange, each are "speakers".  Do all the crossover digitally and just connect the speakers).  If you insist on class A (the inefficiency!, the heat!), I'd still recommend MOS transistors, but again one amplifier per "speaker".

- Note that the video bits the subby alludes to are equally silly.  4:4:4 might have certain advantages, but you are unlikely to find a source of such images (and *no* digital camera takes 4:4:4 pictures/videos, nor does anything but DMD really display them (anything that pretends to [i.e all computer monitors I'm aware of] simply has 66% of the pixel in the "wrong" spot).


I'm listening to Harry Potter book on my ipod, playing thru a Mark Levinson ML-10A preamp, a Mark Levinson No. 23 Amplifier (dual monoblock class A, 200 watts per side) into a pair of B+W 800's. The speaker cord are triple 12 GA zip cord, braided to minimize adjacent capacitance. Let me tell you, you have NEVER heard Jim Dale like this!
 
2017-02-18 09:06:54 PM  

studebaker hoch: [img.fark.net image 850x506]


alistair.cockburn.us
 
2017-02-18 09:07:24 PM  
Picked up some 20$ speakers from walmart the other day, they sound better than my old 500$ speaker system (which finally crapped out after 15 years). Oh well.

/They even came with a sub woofer thinger!
//Probably not an audiophile.
///turn it down to 3 gf is sleeping and she really needs to be up early and why are you playing games instead of coming to bed dear.
 
2017-02-18 09:15:53 PM  

neongoats: Actual audiophiles would prefer a single ended class A stereo tube amp with a simple, uncluttered circuit path. And you don't even need to be a monster cable buying person or spend a million dollars to get there. Ta-da!


I'm old enough that a good push-pull tube amp would do.
 
2017-02-18 09:21:21 PM  

stan unusual: neongoats: Actual audiophiles would prefer a single ended class A stereo tube amp with a simple, uncluttered circuit path. And you don't even need to be a monster cable buying person or spend a million dollars to get there. Ta-da!

I'm old enough that a good push-pull tube amp would do.


Yeah. I've a Yamaha Natural Sound solid state a/b and it sounds lovely, and a little 5w tube amp for the home office though and it also sounds lovely.
 
hej [TotalFark]
2017-02-18 09:21:22 PM  
I got myself a nice(r) 5.1 setup with some good sized front LR speakers.  I'll freely admit that there's not that much gained over the soundbar + sub for TV watching (in fact in some ways I might have liked the sounder better), but musically the new setup is waaaaaay better.
 
2017-02-18 09:26:35 PM  
Bose makes pieces of shiat.  They are the 'beats by dre' equivalent of home systems.

Don't like what I don't like!
 
2017-02-18 09:33:05 PM  

BMFPitt: PainInTheASP: I share your pain, but I've got two words for you: Harmony Remotes.

Sadly, they've been crippling the more recent low and mid range versions to the point of barely serving a purpose.

The ones from 10 years ago we better than the current crop.


Yeah, I did get stung with a cheap version about two years ago.  Totally useless.
 
2017-02-18 09:33:44 PM  

PainInTheASP: I don't argue with the fact that a large amount of AV equipment has more features than most consumers will ever use, but I think it goes even deeper than that.  A lot of people don't even know how to use the basic functions of the equipment that they already own.  I don't know how many times I've gone over to someone's house and saw a big-ass 50" tv on the wall with a shiatty stretched out picture, and the only reason that it was so farked up is that they had no idea what an HDMI cable was and hooked the cable box to the TV with regular coax.

What's my point? I dunno, people don't like reading instructions?


My father is one of those idiots.  Years ago, The first high-def TV he hooked up to his dish he had set a 4:3 to stretched and didn't seem to notice any difference.  when he tried to tell me how it looks 'so much better' I said no 'it looks bigger'.
 
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