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Other Budget TV + audio (soundbar?)

Discussion in 'General' started by GeorgeStorm, 3 Dec 2020.

  1. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Hi all,
    As above, looking to upgrade TV (as I'd planned to earlier in the year) and so we're looking at something in the 50-55" range ideally sub £400, which I know puts it squarely in the budget category but we're ok with that since a good chunk will be streamed and so therefore variable quality.

    Been looking at a couple of the Hisense models and there's a Samsung 50" that's well thought of I believe.

    Since christmas is coming up and I never know what I want I thought I might try and get some bits of pocket money and put them towards some kind of improved audio, based on Vault's comment in another thread, a soundbar seems to be a good starting point, however they range from sub £100 to far too much and I've no real idea what I should be looking for, ideally I'd want to keep it sub £200.

    Any thoughts/suggestions etc would be appreciated

    Edit:
    For example this caught my eye:
    https://www.richersounds.com/denon-dhts316-black.html

    Partially because it had a big red sign on it but then I saw it could be used just to play music via bluetooth, which I think might be the kind of feature that would help sway the OH that it wasn't a wacky idea.

    Edit edit:
    Ideally total would be closer to £500 than £600
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2020
  2. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Can't really go wrong with Denon tbh. I know virtually nothing about sound bars, but they're a very reputable brand. Try and find first hand reviews.
     
  3. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Samsung and LG have widest range of streaming apps & things like airplay if that's important to you.
    You may find the Hisense offers better picture quality at the same price point though.

    Which of the following are you after for the soundbar:

    1 - Just generally better quality audio at normal volume levels
    2 - Cranking it up for big action film soundtracks
    3 - Playing music (at reasonable volumes)

    For (1), just about any soundbar at any price will trounce the audio from most TVs.
    For (2) you'll definitely want a sub, though <£200 you may find yourself nonplussed with the results.
    For (3), things get tricky. Conventional wisdom would suggest go bigger on the soundbar and forget about the sub (maybe with an option to add later), but it really does come down to the individual products under consideration - i.e. that's not to say the Denon one linked will do a bad job with music, but worth cruising some reviews as most of them will call out "good for films, bad for music" or some such.

    In any case I'd stick to 2/3 channel options for the budget - don't worry about Atmos/DTS:X, surround speakers, virtual surround and so on. I'd use optical to connect as well, so don't let the lack of an HDMI put you off. Bluetooth, airplay, wifi - all good things for quality of life since you expect to use it for music as well. You can do these things through most TVs as well, but if you don't have to turn on the TV even better.

    Think about remotes too - some soundbars let you program them to use your TV remote to volume up/down, some rely on CEC (and as such HDMI ARC), some just make you use an entirely separate remote. IMO option 1 is the slickest.
     
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  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Fair enough, yeah the name was part of the reason I thought it was a maybe.

    The TV will be connected to a media pc so don't need any 'smart' features in terms of streaming services etc really but I think most come with at least some now. I don't know what airplay is :D

    I mean I guess 1 mostly, we've never had speakers with a TV, and my experience of speakers in general is limited to some microlab bookshelves I have connected to my PC. The ability to play music via them as well would be a potential positive I feel as in the past I know my partner would sometimes put youtube or spotify or something on via the TV using the media pc.

    I definitely like the idea of being able to use the TV remote, since most of the time it'll basically just be a better TV speaker, so don't want to have to faff around with another remote when we want to turn the TV up and down.

    In general it's not something I've ever really thought of before, despite thinking how meh the sound has been from the previous TV, and so something that generally improves that whether we're playing a game, watching some big film or just a random episode of bob's burgers would be good. Things like the ability to use them as a bluetooth speaker just increases the potential viability, since I know I've considered getting some kind of sonos or other small speaker at times to be able to just chill and listen to music without using my PC.
     
  5. spolsh

    spolsh Well-Known Member

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    What makes me laugh - watch something on Talking Pictures TV - even from the crappy telly speakers the dialogue is crystal clear, any other sounds fine too ... then watch something "new" - muffled voices, masses of sound from guns/explosions/cars etc. - and you need bloody subtitles to know what anyone is talking about in the movie - sometimes progress is crap and just designed to make you buy more stuff (well thats how it seems anyway) LOL
     
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