Subwoofer: To scrap or not to scrap?
December 11, 2007 3:14 AM Subscribe
Love my 5.1 sound system. Hate the subwoofer. Should I by a standalone subwoofer, or replace the whole system?
posted by Gordion Knott to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Actually, I should amend "love" to "like," because the 5.1 audio system connected to my TV does the job with few hiccups, but is hardly top of the line. It's an entry-level Sharp system that I bought four years ago for about $250 US. (Disclaimer: I'm deep in newbie territory on all things audio, as you'll confirm from the following remarks.) The main speakers produce acceptable audio; I'm familiar with its quirks; and I'm not ready to invest the time and research into buying a higher-end system (not to mention ironing out acoustic problems in my TV room).
It may sound like I'm dissing my current system, but the fact of the matter is, the higher-end speakers I've listened to in showrooms don't seem to produce dramatically better sound, at least when the playback source is from a DVD. (Question: is this truly the case, or are my ears deceiving me?)
The problem with my system is the subwoofer. It appears to be a cheap model thrown in as an afterthought, and produces a continuous hum. (In fact, the user manual advises that a new subwoofer be purchased as an addon!) Yes, I've performed all the hum-alleviating workarounds recommended on MeFi and google, with no success.
My first choice would be to replace the subwoofer with a decent standalone model for under $150. Is this possible, and what should I buy?
If it's not a good idea to buy a standalone subwoofer, I'll scrap the system and buy a new one. My budget is $300 -- $400, and all I need is a 5.1 Dolby system with speakers to connect to my Pioneer plasma for watching DVDs. What systems give you the best bang-for-the-buck in this price range?