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Help picking out surround sound system

Discussion in 'Technology' started by puckstopper55, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Dec 27, 2011 at 11:34 AM
    #1
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So as the title says, I need help picking out a surround system. Below are all things to consider. I am trying to stay about $300, but could stretch it if I had to. Your help is greatly appreciated!!

    1) 5.1 system. Do not want a 7.1 system.
    2) Would like the option to use just the tv speakers for watching TV (but still have the option to use the new system). Would always use the system for movies and games.
    3) Do not need a dvd or blue ray player, I have a PS3 for this
    4) Both the PS3 and FiOS box have optical audio out, but also have HDMI out.
    5) I already have wires run behind crown molding for the rear speakers, so I would like a wired system.
    6) Would love to be able to control the volume from the existing FiOS remote, so I dont need to use 2 remotes.
     
  2. Dec 28, 2011 at 5:27 AM
    #2
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  3. Dec 29, 2011 at 5:50 AM
    #3
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    nobody knows home audio?
     
  4. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:03 AM
    #4
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    Mine is a frankenstein of components and way over your budget

    Good luck bump
     
  5. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:10 AM
    #5
    jester156

    jester156 Well-Known Member

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    are you just looking for a receiver or speakers also?
    for $300 its going to be tight to get a receiver and speakers in something quality. I must say, with your decision to use TV speakers and surround, that might quickly change with the increased sound quality of using the full 5.1 over the TV speakers.
    Is your TV HD? I am assuming yes since you are running FIOS.
    You will want your receiver to be able to run HDMI 1.3 at a minimun, its an old standard by todays standard but stable and works well. Running surround separate from TV is easy, its a simple button switch on the receiver and might require a separate TV input for the FIOS signal separate from the one going into the receiver, unless you just run movies off surround and FIOS off TV. your call.
    check out crutchfield and onecall for deals and open box sales.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:11 AM
    #6
    Ohbrian

    Ohbrian Taco Roja

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    For 300 bucks, keep saving your money and use the TV speakers. Seriously.
     
  7. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM
    #7
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i only said $300 because we got a gift card for xmas .. im willing to save more, but would like an idea of what do get. All suggestions are welcome.

    My TV is HD, but not 3D (dont see any use for that). I would like to get the receiver and speakers, but they dont need to be a package, so separate suggestions are welcome too.

    The only reason I want the option to use TV speakers and not the surround sound is for my wife. The simpler the better.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM
    #8
    t4daddy

    t4daddy Well-Known Member

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    And "no one" can tell you what sounds best to you. $300.00 will barely buy you some quality headphones.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:29 AM
    #9
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Hell, my subwoofer retails for $300, all that money will get you is a crap little system with an underpowered 'woofer and crappy little satellites, save your $ till you can get something better, Onkyo, Yamaha, Kenwood, Denon are pretty good, Yamaha seems to be pretty good $, stay away from the kit systems, their speakers generally suck. My Onkyo has a mic that will tune the speakers to the room, it's badass, makes it impossible to tell one speaker from another because the sound arrives at your ears all at once.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM
    #10
    bendbolden

    bendbolden Come and take them.

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    For $300 you could get a decent "Home theater in a box". If you have never had high end components then it will sound wayyyy better than any tv speakers you have ever heard. I have one of the newer LG models and it fits your bill. It does have a built in Bluray player and netflix and all that jazz though. The main thing I like about it is that it has an HDMI input so you could connect your PS3 to that. If you will be connecting multiple HDMI cables to it you would either have to get an HDMI switcher or buy a more expensive reciever. Or you could just plug whicever one you need in at the time. You would run an optical cable from the tv to the reciever and still be able to use the tv speakers or the reciever.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:31 AM
    #11
    PB65stang

    PB65stang Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, you are not going to get anything of quality for $300. If you want volume, look into a soundbar system. I just picked up a Sony HT-CT150 system yesterday (open item at BB) for $225. It's purely a secondary music/social living room system. I have it set up so that my female roommate can use the TV and the other 2 of us can use the surround sound. More in your budget, I did have an Onkyo 6.1 HTIB (home-theater-in-box) system that I got for roughly $400-$500 about 7 years ago. It was servicable - it got loud and had better clarity than TV speakers, but it was nothing fancy. If that's something you're looking for, I think Onkyo makes among the best HTIB sets. You get a REAL receiver (or at least used to - not sure with the new ones) and decent enough speakers. My parents still use this system at their house. I've also seen Sony, JVC, and Panasonic sets.

    To give you an idea of cost for a home theater that people like OZ-T and acdronin are talking about, in my theater room I have about $3,000 in speakers, before receiver, Blu-Ray, etc. I'm not bragging, just trying to inform. It's a very good, but mid-level system, but you're looking at LEAST $1,500 to get anything quality. If you're looking to really make it worth your money, there are many very good brands that I'm sure a few of us would love to help you with.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:32 AM
    #12
    bendbolden

    bendbolden Come and take them.

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    Also while others will call HTIAB crap don't let that discourage you from them. Granted you get what you pay for but they are not by any means crap (if you get a decent one). I have owned Sony and LG and was impressed with both.
     
  13. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:34 AM
    #13
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    I agree on a kit sounding better than TV speakers, they will, but, like many things in life, one finds that the cheaper decision (Like spacers VS proper struts and coils), one may end up spending more in the long run upgrading to proper components.
     
  14. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:34 AM
    #14
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i believe the HDMI is better then the optical out .. is that correct? I would like a receiver with multiple HDMI inputs (PS3, Cable, Wii).

    I researched this last year and came up with an Onkyo system that had a microphone tuner, but I had to use that $ to fix a leak in the roof.

    Any specific tuners you would suggest? I would rather have a $ goal to reach then just saving. Thanks
     
  15. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:36 AM
    #15
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    To each his own, i'm not happy unless i can shake the house distortion free, but that's just me.:D
     
  16. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM
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    PB65stang

    PB65stang Well-Known Member

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    I wish more people realized this.
     
  17. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:41 AM
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    Aw9d

    Aw9d That one guy

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  18. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:41 AM
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    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    I've had Kenwoods (VSX series), and Denons (mid level), I bought an Onkyo TX-SR705 off of CL for $300 and was impressed mainly by how much easier it was to set up. It seemed more intuitive.
     
  19. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:42 AM
    #19
    PB65stang

    PB65stang Well-Known Member

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    Technically HDMI is the only thing that can carry DTS-HD and the other HD audio (blanking on the name - used much less frequently). In all honesty, with any HTIB set, you're not going to notice a difference vs regular 5.1 DTS or Dolby Digital, which you can get with optical.

    If by tuner you mean a receiver and not sets which include speakers, I've had nothing but good experiences with Onkyo (currently have a TX-NR708), but Denon, Yamaha, and Harmon/Kardon are also top brands, IMO. Anything in the $500-$700 range will get you a solid receiver that you can build a decent system off of.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2011 at 8:43 AM
    #20
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    My receiver is a Sony ES series , I'm very happy with it , but they are pricey .
     
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