Sound Bars

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Parilla
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Sound Bars

Postby Parilla » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:11 pm

We've got a Samsung flat screen Smart TV, which performs very well, except that on some of the films on the Video Club of our IPTV system, the sound can be quite poor - not all of them by any means, so I don't think it's any fault on the TV, just that dialogue on some can be quite difficult to follow. I think the problem is rather at the source of the content rather than our end.

I wondered if maybe a sound bar might help. I don't have a clue about theses things but have read they can improve sound quality on flat screens. Any comments would be appreciated before I splash any cash.

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casita-bonita
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby casita-bonita » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:33 pm

Any sound bar, even a cheap one will vastly improve the sound quality from your flatscreen TV, the 'speakers' in them are absolute rubbish. I reckon that they pretty are much designed to be used with external audio and the internal speakers are an afterthought.
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby olive » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:53 pm

We have smart Samsung TV's and wonder the same.

one concern is that already the balance between dialogue and sound effects is huge. i.e. you can just hear the dialogue and the sound effects/music is deafening. Would a sound bar allow adjustments to those? Is it best to buy same manufacturer sound bar?

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby casita-bonita » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:06 pm

Don't expect that you would be able to differentiate effects from of voice per se. However if your soundbar is 5.1 then conversation mainly comes out of the front centre speaker. You can set the speaker balance such that the surround speakers are lower vulome than centre front. I can do this with my cinemaamp, not sure if a soundbar will let you do the same since I have never had one.

An alternative, and again I don't know if soundbars will do this but you can reduce the dynamic range of the audio, which effectively reduces the difference between loud and quiet.

If the sound bar is the same manufacturer as the TV then there may be advantages in tighter integration for control, eg possibly the sonndbar remote will work the same make tv, or vice versa. Wouldn't make any difference to the sound quality
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Bob

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firsttango
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby firsttango » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:19 pm

On Samsung F series onwards they have a sound Mode Called "Clear Voice" - This mode emphasises voice over other sounds, this may help until such time as you get a sound bar.....

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby El Cid » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:47 pm

Almost anything can improve the sound from a flat screen TV.

Sound bars vary in price enormously. Even a cheap one will be better than nothing. In fact, some people just connect a couple of decent PC speakers which can improve the sound. Whatever the ads say what you will not get is proper surround sound, but that really is only needed if you play BluRay disks. For TV all you need is a better sound. If possible, buy a soundbar with a separate "Woofer" which will give very good deep notes, but for normal TV probably not needed.

This might be worth a look.

http://www.techradar.com/news/home-cine ... 55-1317409

Sid

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby olive » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:05 pm

Clear voice now in use thanks. It was on music!

Sound bar on my Xmas list, thanks Sid.

markwilding
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby markwilding » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:24 pm

Amazon echo works well and connects via Bluetooth as well as doing loads of neat little tricks. It's voice activated so you just tell it to connect to the tele.

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby wembason420 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:33 pm

Did exactly that as an experiment and to be honest was completely underwhelmed. The Echo isn't all that great as a speaker in the first place. It's probably only marginally better than most TV speakers, but not by much. For the TV a sound bar even the most economical ones will give a far better audio experience.

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby El Cid » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:46 pm

If your TV doesn’t have Bluetooth how does it connect to the TV?

Echo has it’s place but not to replace the tv speakers. Also, it is not directly available in Spain and costs more than the Samsung sound bar I suggested.

I have a Samsung soundbar on my bedroom TV and it works very well. The main TV is connected to a 1000w full surround system but that would probably be overkill for just TV sound!

Sid

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby Wicksey » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:09 am

Our old flat screen TV had poor sound quality so I bought a pair of decent computer speakers which were a lot cheaper than a sound bar and they did the job. Also many sound bars were bluetooth which my TV didn't have.

I had gone through the TV sound settings in the menu to try to get a better sound but it hadn't worked. TVs do have an option to set the individual levels yourself rather than one of the set sounds such as 'music' or 'clear speech' and I did that to get a better mix.

Have to say my new LG Smart TV has very good sound and I ended up giving the newish speakers to the charity shop as I no longer needed them. It has the best sound I've found on a TV so that was a bonus. I do have problems hearing speech though and find the general production of films and programmes now tend to have too-loud music that drowns out the speech content, or the actors mumble and we just cannot catch what they are saying.

Don't forget that all the big shops will take back your goods within 15 days, so maybe it's worth just buying something and trying it out for a week or so. If it doesn't improve your sound quality you can simply return it for a full refund. I've tried out a number of items (Smartphone, camera, DVD player, electric heater, even a memory stick!) like that without any problems (just make sure you keep all the box, bags, ties etc to pack it up, and of course your receipt).

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby wembason420 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:19 am

Wicksey, if you go to the Cinema and don't enjoy the film do you demand your money back? :lol:

markwilding
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby markwilding » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:45 am

El Cid wrote:If your TV doesn’t have Bluetooth how does it connect to the TV?

Echo has it’s place but not to replace the tv speakers. Also, it is not directly available in Spain and costs more than the Samsung sound bar I suggested.

I have a Samsung soundbar on my bedroom TV and it works very well. The main TV is connected to a 1000w full surround system but that would probably be overkill for just TV sound!

Sid

Since when does a smart Samsung TV not have Bluetooth? On the other hand, I would suspect these days most sound bars do as well.

As someone who has an Echo I can promise you it works well as a front speaker. You can also adjust the volume and mute it via voice commands apart from the fact, I just walk into the room and tell it to play the radio station or any music I want so it's a internet radio player and music centre as well.

http://lovemyecho.com/2016/04/08/using- ... v-speaker/

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby wembason420 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:56 am

Reflects accurately my experience of the Echo, so much so I donated it to my son

"Do not — I repeat, do not – buy the Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. It sounds good enough to make a robot-person’s voice audible, but music comes through shallow, tinny, and compressed. You can get a much better speaker for the price"

https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/19/7548 ... ew-speaker

El Cid
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby El Cid » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:57 am

I was generalising Mark - some TV's do not have BT so the Echo would not work if it didn't. Yes, it's a useful device on its own. If you get a Harmony remote control hub I understand it will also control all your devices including the TV etc.

Sid

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby firsttango » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:16 am

TOP TIP

Do NOT buy the Echo if you have a daughter called Alexa.........if you ask her to pop to the shops to get some milk an Amazon Drone will have delivered it to your doorstep before your daughter has even got her coat on :lol:

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby markwilding » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:01 pm

Luckily enough you can change it's call name. :thumbup: I do notice that the TV activates it from time to time.
wembason420 wrote:Reflects accurately my experience of the Echo, so much so I donated it to my son

"Do not — I repeat, do not – buy the Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. It sounds good enough to make a robot-person’s voice audible, but music comes through shallow, tinny, and compressed. You can get a much better speaker for the price"

https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/19/7548 ... ew-speaker


I'm not saying it's for everyone and I wouldn't replace my HI FI system for one . However, my experience of the sound is different to yours. I have a Bose Bluetooth speaker and I prefer my Echo because convenience is important too. The sound is fine for normal TV, listening to the radio and music while having a bath or shower or doing stuff around the house.

wembason420
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby wembason420 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:15 pm

Yes I agree its down to personal opinion and user experience and ours differs...c'est la vie.......but as the Thread is titled Sound Bar and the original poster wants to enhance his TV audio sound my opinion is that he'd be massively disappointed with an Echo compared to a Sound Bar especially in convenience of use and compatibility and certainly with the quality of Audio output (using Sids suggested model which would be the obvious, easiest and most logical solution).

markwilding
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Re: Sound Bars

Postby markwilding » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:26 pm

Very good point.

I've never gone down the sound bar route to enhance my TV sound for various reasons and as I said the Echo is definitely not for everybody and wouldn't advise anybody to rush out and buy one just based on my enthusiasm for it.

I just thought I would throw it into the mix.

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Re: Sound Bars

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:42 pm

I've never personally used a Soundbar on the tv as even with the more expensive ones the SQ has never matched the performance of a decent hifi system.

Drawback to this has always been the clutter and bulk of a Hifi amp being connected.

However with technology moving forward in mini amplification there are some fabulous sounding ciggy packet sized amps about that fit the bill perfectly.

I bought 2 tiny class D amps from a firm called Allo with the intention of bi amping them. The amps I bought were called Volt +. Cheap as chips and bordering on high end hifi performance. Using one of these and a tiny DAC hooked up to some small quality speakers is a revelation.

The hifi manufacturers are running very scared of these types of amps at present and the raspberry pi related dacs I use with them (although you don't have too), incredible performance and no clutter. Just tiny little things that deliver a massive punch.
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