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December 29, 2009 7:32 AM   Subscribe

What are some good-sounding, relatively cheap TV speakers?

So my girlfriend and I firmly dove into the 21st century and bought ourselves a 37" Vizio HDTV, hurray!

Except that compared to our old behemoth of a CRT the sound is terrible. While our old TV certainly wasn't subwoofer-quality, it had nice low-range sound. The Vizio...well, its speakers are crap. I just can't play MW2 like this! What are some decent quality, relatively cheap speakers that can plug into my shiny HDTV?

Surround is a no-go at our price range, I'm sure. We'd like to keep it under $200, but if there are really no good sets at that price, we'll go above it. Bonus points if you have experience with the Vizio soundbar because, you know, I love matched sets.

posted by InsanePenguin to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I got a 500W Logitech 5.1 system that I really like for about $250 from Newegg -- it was an Open Box deal. Maybe check these out?
posted by olinerd at 7:45 AM on December 29, 2009

Used Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble II or III, but you'd need an amp. Probably available for $130 to $150
posted by Gungho at 7:50 AM on December 29, 2009

Ages ago I bought something similar to this set of Creative speakers and have been pleased ever since. I think it was around $120.
posted by ikahime at 8:00 AM on December 29, 2009

Best answer: This Onkyo set is a bit above your price, but the sound and quality is amazing at this price point.
posted by nitsuj at 8:07 AM on December 29, 2009

Response by poster: Ahh, okay. After a little more searching, it looks like the Vizio soundbar VSB200 is $150 sans-subwoofer. Anyone able to give me an idea of how they sound?

Thanks for all the suggestions! nitsuj, that Onkyo set is tempting, but our house set-up isn't really right for surround. Plus, 4 cats make any more cables than absolutely necessary a nightmare.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:34 AM on December 29, 2009

Best answer: Tiger Direct has the Vizio VSB200 HD Sound Bar - SRS TruSurround HD, SRS TruVolume, (Refurbished) for $90. They had the VSB210WS Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer last week, but are all sold out now. You can easily add a subwoofer later if you need more bottom end oomph. All the reviews I've seen of the Visio sound bars have been positive (I started looking at them after Ellen D. gave them away to the audience at one of her pre-xmas shows last week). I would not shy away from refurb'ed electronics products. I prefer them as they're generally as good or better quality as first run products - been buying them for well over 20 years with nary a problem. Good luck!
posted by torquemaniac at 9:05 AM on December 29, 2009

Response by poster: Hey, thanks torque! Re: the subwoofer, that's exactly what I figured. Soundbars are a good solution for us, I think, and if we want we can pretty much plug in a sub later on.
posted by InsanePenguin at 9:07 AM on December 29, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for everyone's help. I was going to order the Vizio Soundbar that torque suggested from Tiger Direct, but I wanted it tonight to play Dragon Age, so I grabbed it at Walmart for $130!
posted by InsanePenguin at 12:06 PM on December 29, 2009

Do you mind if I piggyback here, InsanePenguin? I've been looking at the Vizio SoundBar, and have a Panasonic BD35 Blu-ray player and a Samsung LN40A630 HDTV. The BD player and TV are currently connected via HDMI, so what's the best way to connect the soundbar? Can I just use the optical out on the BD player and still connect to the TV with HDMI?
posted by DakotaPaul at 5:08 PM on December 29, 2009

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