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Old 11-20-2008, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Cottonwood CA
339 posts, read 960,653 times
Reputation: 309

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We're in the market for a surround sound or home theater system. We currently have a Samsung flat screen TV. The video is great, but the sound isn't. Worse yet, as we age (particularly me), we (actually me again) don't hear as well. Movies seem worse than TV shows. Accents are really troubling. So, we've decided to get a surround sound or something similar. I'm not sure where to begin. And I'm not especially "techno proficient". That's where you folks come in...

I don't really want wires across the living room-so wireless rear speakers would be preferred. We typically watch TV from about 10 feet away. I did look at a Bose system that has only a woofer and two small speakers. I liked that "minimalist" concept. I figure to spend up to $500.00. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,433,968 times
Reputation: 3975
Bose is junk, any competent audiophile will tell you that. Bose uses clever marketing to emphasize that their systems are the best of the best and much of the uninformed general public buys into this concept. Bose is overpriced and overrated, don't get Bose.

Personally I love my Boston Acoustics surround sound system, it was pretty spendy but I know I knew I was getting a quality system when I purchased it. BA does have a good, entry-level surround sound system called the MCS 100 for $600 if you can bump up your price a bit. Their stuff is of a high quality and I believe the price is reasonable compared to other audio companies in their league. If you REALLY want a top shelf system, buy a Bang and Olufsen but it'll run you upwards of $5000.
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:18 AM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,207,975 times
Reputation: 807
From what you said in your original post, it does not seem that you are looking for state of the art surround sound, but for some system that is easy to install and will improve the overall quality of the sound. A one piece system is likely a good choice given your desires.

There are many out there, one of which I liked was from Cambridge Soundworks, but it was too much money. In doing a google search on one piece units, I found this:

ZVOX 325 Single Cabinet Surround Sound System

In searching for a concrete suggestion for you, I think I found a good possibility for my second system. I followed some links and found it was about $300. Still doing more research, but here is a solution, not for the audiophile, for those of us with somewhat diminished hearing, likely to do the job. Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, CA
505 posts, read 1,505,499 times
Reputation: 522
I agree. Bose just has good marketing. You should check out the Home Theater Forum.

It requires registration, but well worth it. There are some really, really good articles on there with in-depth details, picture comparisons, set-ups and all of the users on there are really helpful. Some of their articles go by pricing, features and even has DVD comparisons on various TVs and equipment.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:19 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 19,001,917 times
Reputation: 10178
Bose sounds decent, at least as good as Boston Acoustics or Cambridge IMO, and is handy and easy to use. And easy to use is very important to the non-audiophile, to the person who wants better sound but doesn't want to take on a new hobby to get it.

No, Bose sure isn't the best but it's better than Bose detractors say.

THIS is the best.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh92/Irishtom29/nineteens020.jpg (broken link)
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:49 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,594,693 times
Reputation: 874
You should demo the product you want to get so you can tell if the sound is clear enough for you. I prefer Klipsch myself, due to the treble being more clear (at least to me) due to the design. For surround sound, you will want to use a center channel speaker, a left, a right, and a subwoofer at a minimum. Most dialogue goes through the center channel for surround sound, so you can get a good center and point it at you. That gives the best clarity. The speakers in TV's are like $1 and sound terrible. You can find some all-in-ones, that are a center channel with "surround speakers" that project for the surround, with a separate sub.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:19 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 19,001,917 times
Reputation: 10178
Quote:
Originally Posted by f_m View Post
For surround sound, you will want to use a center channel speaker, a left, a right, and a subwoofer at a minimum.

IMO&E center channel speakers and subwoofers are NOT needed if the main left and right speakers are of proper quality--- that is are capable of good stereo imaging and deep and clean bass response.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:11 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,594,693 times
Reputation: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
IMO&E center channel speakers and subwoofers are NOT needed if the main left and right speakers are of proper quality--- that is are capable of good stereo imaging and deep and clean bass response.
True, except, the Dolby Digital and other surround formats are mixed for separate channels, and I have a preference to hear the mix how they set it up. If you're not sitting right in the middle then only two speakers can be off center. Subwoofers can definitely go lower than full range speakers (lower than 50Hz). I've used Tannoy Gold dual concentrics for music, but they're huge. Space is generally an issue for most people.

Of course, two good full range speakers is still way better than anything that comes with the TV.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 10,577,309 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybee View Post
We're in the market for a surround sound or home theater system. We currently have a Samsung flat screen TV. The video is great, but the sound isn't. Worse yet, as we age (particularly me), we (actually me again) don't hear as well. Movies seem worse than TV shows. Accents are really troubling. So, we've decided to get a surround sound or something similar. I'm not sure where to begin. And I'm not especially "techno proficient". That's where you folks come in...

I don't really want wires across the living room-so wireless rear speakers would be preferred. We typically watch TV from about 10 feet away. I did look at a Bose system that has only a woofer and two small speakers. I liked that "minimalist" concept. I figure to spend up to $500.00. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
You're better off asking this question in the following board:

Audio Area - AVS Forum

There are audiophiles who also know entry level equipment. I am in the same situation as you and I like the Bose.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Cottonwood CA
339 posts, read 960,653 times
Reputation: 309
Default Thank You to responders

Thank you to all responders. As it turns out, my wife surprised me by buying a Sony soundbar system yesterday-got it on sale at Best Buy for $199. The model, was the Sony Bravia HTCT100. My son in law is due to hook it up tomorrow. Thanks again for the input!
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