Which soundbar do I pick? And will it work the way I want it to?
November 14, 2010 10:03 PM   Subscribe

Questions & Recommendations about 'Soundbar' Style Speakers that Simulate 5.1 Surround Sound without 5 speakers

I am about to move, and in the interest of getting rid of all my extraneous stuff, I want to get rid of my 5.1 surround sound system and replace it.

There are a few things that I'm unsure about and also want some recommendations.

1. It seems that a lot of these soundbars act as a receiver as well as a speaker. Will that be a problem if I already have a receiver that I love? I really only need it to be a speaker. (I have numerous components)

2. I don't want a cheap soundbar. I have no problem spending up to $1,200 for a good soundbar that I can mount to the wall underneath the TV that has awesome sound.

3. Any recommendations? I was leaning towards the Yamaha YSP-4000 which has an MSRP of $1,999 but can be picked up on eBay for around $700.

4. Is there anything else I should know? I will do equal amounts of music listening and movie watching.

5. Does anyone have one of these and have anything to say about them? I know I won't get perfect 5.1 sound, but I'm okay with that as long as I can just have one speaker instead of running tons of wires!
posted by darkgroove to Technology (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I actually own a YSP-4000.

1) It has HDMI inputs as well as audio-in inputs. I've not tried to use an external receiver, but I don't know why it would be a problem.

2-3) It's built pretty solid, about 30lb, mostly metal. The connectors seem solid. Definitely gives a better impression than some of the slim-line bars you see in the big box stores.

4) The YSP has various modes to "steer" the sound for musical listening. In general though, I just leave it on the surround setting.
You can set it to simulate a set of stereo speakers if you like.

5) The surround effect is actually pretty impressive. You wouldn't really know you that it wasn't discrete rear speakers unless you paid very close attention.
One caveat is that the effect works better if the room is in the same configuration as when you calibrate it.
Open windows or doors, and to lesser extent draperies, can mess with the reflections.
The bass can be lacking on heavy action movies, but it has a sub-woofer connection if you need want to supplement.
posted by madajb at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well man was this an active post! I went ahead and bought the YSP-4000. Hope it works :)
posted by darkgroove at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2010

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