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[Audio/Electronics Advice] Surround Sound for the Living Room

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by LCAhmed, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Member

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    Hey guys, I've been looking to get a surround sound system for my living room that holds all my media needs (tv/games/movies). I have a larger living room (at least compared to my last apartment) and I think running cables would be difficult since I have tiled floors. Any recommendations on surround sound systems that have possibly wireless speakers, bluetooth speakers, etc?

    What about surround sound vs sound bar?

    If I am connecting to my xbox one, will I have issues?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, and Go Rockets!
     
  2. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Member

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    What are your prejudiced conceptions about surround sound and what's your budget?

    What have you looked at, so far, and what do you have now? :confused:

    There are many ways, brands, etc., you can go with your setup. I would start with what your budget can purchase, then go from top to bottom on those prices, then figure out what or how many speakers you need.

    Try the Bose Cinemate GS series... they're relatively cheaper than their counterparts... Amazon has it for $399 right now.
     
  3. HR Dept

    HR Dept Member

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    If I had the extra cash to revamp my system I'd go for a 7.2 setup. Seven meaning: one center speaker and six satellites. And two meaning: two subwoofers.

    Assuming the TV is mounted on the wall: I'd put the center speaker directly below the TV, obviously. Two satellites on both sides of the TV mounted at the closest available wall stud aligned above the mid point of the TV. Two more satellites mounted on the next wall stud and aligned slightly above the top of the TV. And lastly I'd mount the last two satellites in the rear of the room.

    Wireless satellite speakers would make the whole install easier, but I would only use them on the rear speaker, if that, to save money. As far as equipment, I know that I'd likely get a Pioneer AVR just because I'm a fan of their equipment. And as far as the satellites and subs, I'd just look for the best bargains and deals on quality equipment. Plus components can always be upgraded later. I would like to have at least $2k to work with budget wise before I'd do anything.
     
  4. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Member

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    I'd like to spend less than $500 for everything, but that would be my absolute most. I know I have seen some wireless receivers go for like 600 plus by themselves (yamaha?) But anyway I'd like a home theater in a box kind of set up if at all possible. I had a sony 5.1 surround sound system that was great for my apartment but got damaged somehow in the move and the wires arent long enough for my set up. I've seen the bose ones, but am not sure that will be enough for my set up. i'll be uploading a pic of my living room set up soon in hopes that it will help
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Member

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    If you don't want a lot of wires showing, and you're not in the market to have wireless speakers given your budget, I'd probably just go with a sound board.

    But for your next house/system, I'd plan ahead get it pre-wired before you move in... and then splurge on the AV receiver as it truly is the "brain" of any decent home setup.
     
  6. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Member

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    <a href="http://s293.photobucket.com/user/lcahmed/media/Mobile%20Uploads/1416323514418436683730_zps416403cd.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm61/lcahmed/Mobile%20Uploads/1416323514418436683730_zps416403cd.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 1416323514418436683730_zps416403cd.jpg"/></a>
     
    #6 LCAhmed, Nov 18, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  7. HR Dept

    HR Dept Member

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    You should be able to find a decent theater in a box setup for $500. But when you go that route the system is bound to be pretty generic. I know that some receivers come with a mic that you can place in the center of the room to help optimize your setup. I don't know ho accurate it is, but it may help.

    Also, it may be tough to get a quality wireless setup for $500. But with that amount of money, you should be able to get something that sounds pretty good.
     
  8. Yung-T

    Yung-T Member

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    That's a sick drawing, even got a love seat. Romantic breh.
     
  9. studogg

    studogg Member

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    sonos all the way. set one up for my brother and it was pretty damn cool. expandable without breaking the budget. comes with a great lineup of channels too.
     
  10. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Member

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    Gee, $500 total makes things challenging. The cheapest "in a box" setups are a real compromise in sound. And you essentially have to replace everything in the event you do want to make any improvement in any part of the system.

    Here's an alternative... getting an inexpensive 5.1 sound receiver (Sony, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo) and purchasing two decent speakers, set to phantom center channel to start, and then add surround, sub, and center channel speakers as your budget allows. IMO will sound at least as good as a cheap "in a box" setup and allows you flexibility to add or replace things in the future.

    You can buy two Pioneer floor standing speakers for $250. Or Polk floor standers for $320. Or bookshelves for that range or even less. Then buy a receiver with the balance. That would be the route I'd go at least.
     
  11. Ismail

    Ismail Member

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    I don't know if this is sound advice in the eyes of everyone else, but the last two surround set ups I bought were off of Cragislist. Bought a Polk 7.1 set and now have a pioneer 5.1 set. I tested them before buying, then just looked for receivers that would meet my needs. The wiring I purchased online, and if you have enough you can run them across the wall and get some covers so they're not as noticeable.

    I just run most of my inputs through my TV, but some people prefer using their receiver as the main hub (I think it goes through one less step, so the quality might be better). So for me, the PS4 is connected to TV which is connected to receiver. Same with Apple TV.

    I'm not an audiophile, so to me, I'm happy if it sounds good and everything works when I need it to. I have no complaints about the speakers, but will probably get a new receiver at some point.
     
  12. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Member

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    Thanks guys, I guess I should brush up on the DIY route and try to make a beast Surround sound without blowing my wad on a preboxed product.
     
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    Lulz at the hand drawn diagram.
     
  14. Zboy

    Zboy Member

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    Seriously bro? Hand drawing on a cardboard?

    You should just compliment it with a STEREO alarm clock from Walmart for your HT system.

    $10 tops.
     
  15. benchmoochie

    benchmoochie Member

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    i sent you an email
     
  16. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Member

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    Lol its notepad paper
     
  17. Nero

    Nero Member

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    If you want to do it right, it's going to cost you more than $500.

    But the good news is, you don't have to do it all at once.

    First you need a good receiver: get one which has discrete components, not integrated circuit amplifiers.

    This means. Yes to: Onkyo, Harman Kardon, Yamaha (in the 'affordable' range)

    and No to: Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic, Technics, Sherwood, Samsung, or any other Chinese knock off brand you never heard of.

    Once you have your receiver picked out, with the appropriate level of options to suit your needs and desires, then pick out a pair of good quality speakers for your front left and right stereo sound. You don't need big huge speakers, 'bookshelf' type speakers will be fine to start out, especially since you will end up getting a powered subwoofer (or two) eventually.

    As for speaker brands, there are so many to choose from, but you have to LISTEN to them in the store, and bring your OWN music, or your OWN DVDs, an reputable place will let you use your own source material, just bring something you know you like, especially for music.

    Some brands to look for: Infinity, and JBL (hint: if you look at the speakers on the walls of almost every movie theater, you will see 'JBL') Skip Bose, Bose is the biggest ripoff in the history of the world.

    Stereo imaging will give you a wonderful sound experience for your home theater to begin with. Once you have it all settled in and all your devices hooked up the way you want, and have saved up a bit more, then you'll be ready to go find a matching center channel speaker, and so on, find your subwoofer(s), and other matching surround speakers.

    If you get good components and take care of them, they will last you 20+ years. That means, don't turn it up so high it distorts, and try to keep the amplifier relatively cool and dust-free. You'll be enjoying this for years and years, so it's one of the few things which is ok to actually spend a little more on than you originally thought.

    If you go with a $300 'in a box' thing, you'll probably be replacing that every couple years.. meaning, you will eventually spend MORE, and you will NEVER have the quality of sound you would have if you just did it right, from the beginning.

    And No to wireless. Run the wires. I know it's a hassle, but do it once, do it right, and you never have to worry about it again.
     
  18. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Member

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    ^^^ Agreeing with Nero above (since he pretty much agrees with my earlier post). I would also suggest that if you do go with bookshelf speakers (you typically get a bit better sounding speaker for the money that route, and you will eventually add a sub to fill in the lower end), you should either have a place to place them (a bookshelf, or stands). If you go the stands route (preferable), you should allocate for that expense. That is one reason I also suggested floorstanders... and btw, with most floorstanders you will still benefit from adding subwoofer(s).

    But Nero's suggestions on brands are all good.
     
  19. benchmoochie

    benchmoochie Member

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    I got a harmon kardon receiver that runs 7.2 for sale with the wifi for the apple network and all the bells and whistles.

    im also selling two psb tower speakers, psb center channel, and a velodyne sub.
    I had all these for set up in my other condo which included 4 in ceiling sonos surround speakers. I was running 7.1. my new place is all concrete and I cant drill stuff so I decided to sell it all.
     
  20. Nero

    Nero Member

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    Velodyne is definitely the best brand for a sub.. not familiar with PSB though, I assume they are pretty high end?
     

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