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Soundbar or bookshelf speakers?


Cody_Mack
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Our family room is the open concept to the breakfast area, kitchen and front entrance, therefore sound from the TV bounces all over the place. It can be difficult to understand the dialog, no matter how much you turn it up. Therefore I need to expand the sound system. Of course I want a full blown surround system. However the WAF for installing a sound system has very low tolerance; my options are few. I think she would go with some nice in-ceiling speakers but I have no way to easily get them wired up due to the second floor. I could easily settle for a 2.1 system, just to get some quality audio out into the space. I have discussed with her a couple of solutions and I think she might go for it.

A couple of pics are attached. They are not recent pics but they are pics of the home while we were in the buying process. Today there is a 65" Samsung installed above the fireplace with (I think) 10" from the bottom of the TV to the top of the mantel. I think any sound bar would work there. So that is my first solution.

My second solution is to put a pair of bookshelf speakers on the shelves either side of the fireplace. Some nice Reference RBs would do the job, right? Of course I would add a subwoofer to either solution, if I can find a wireless one. I know that many soundbars come with a wireless sub, but if I go with the bookshelf speakers, how would I get the signal to the sub?

So, much experience here with the Klipsch or other brand soundbars? How would a soundbar compare to using bookshelf speakers?

Rick

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First of all, beautiful home.

Second, I think the answer to your inquiry depends on your priorities. If you want the best sound, a stereo setup is going to sound better than any soundbar. If you want simplicity and something that will belt out respectable volumes, a soundbar is the choice.

I currently deploy both setups mentioned, I have a pair of RB-81iis in my family room, and a SB-120 soundbar in my bedroom. The soundbar can't hold a candle to my RBs, but it does all I need it to in the bedroom. And that's to give me respectable audio reproduction of dialogue at a moderate volume level that is a 1000% improvement over my TV speakers.

If you have another room in the house that is your main viewing/listening area, I would probably go with a nice soundbar. It sets up in less than 5 minutes, it sounds good, its clean, and most importantly it has high WAF.

If this is going to be the area where you do the majority of your sitting I would go a nice bookshelf setup.

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Very nice responses; thank you! I have my eye on the RB-81s, but may keep it simple and easy and just go with the soundbar. Yes, I do have a dedicated space for audio; a pretty large room upstairs. See one post I made about that room here: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/150722-soundproofing/

As far as the wireless transmitters; have you or anyone used them? Any problem with latency? I guess some delay could be adjusted with the receiver?

Rick

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I vote since you have another room for a killer sound setup that you just keep it simple and go for a sound bar. At least if I had your house I probably would. Since I don't have anything pretty to look at you can see I have a quite large theater in my living room still.

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Brace yourselves - We have BOSE cubes on stands with the base unit behind the tv stand. They are inconspicuous, and sound great...much better than any sound bar. In the HT we have LaScalas, Cornwalls and Cornscalas. Obviously no comparison, but for a tv room, the Cubes are great.

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Something simple that would not change the look of the room is my vote. Cool design and nicely decorated home, love inside bricks, and the large windows angled at the back of the room. Very nice

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Brace yourselves - We have BOSE cubes on stands with the base unit behind the tv stand. They are inconspicuous, and sound great...much better than any sound bar. In the HT we have LaScalas, Cornwalls and Cornscalas. Obviously no comparison, but for a tv room, the Cubes are great.

You should wash your mouth out with soap for even saying the B-word! Soundbar is a decent speaker and can cover a lot of the essentials that a smaller theatre demands. As I have said, for my secondary theatre/formal living room, i use the rsx speakers. They are small and inconspicuous. They also allow for entry into the reference series for a lower price and a compact package. The bookshelfs are a very solid speaker I am sure, i just love the curves and modern look of the rsx. You really can't go wrong with either setup as they will be better than a tv built in sound will offer.

PS: i now have a 7.1 setup of rsx-4 and rcx-4 for the living room and a 5.0 rsx-3 rcx-3 for the bedroom with my rf-7 setup in the basement. 3 rooms down, 3 to go hehe.

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Just heard the new Reference soundbar today at Klipsch HQ, and the higher end model was excellent. make sure you can demo it somewhere...

I'm so jealous you got to go. A reference soundbar sounds interesting! Did they display the new reference speaker line as well? Or any other goodies worth mentioning?

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Awesome, any major changes that you saw to the design worth mentioning? Or did they discuss internal changes?

And yea I've been looking hard for a pair of P-17 bookshelves. A couple pairs sold on the forum a month or 2 ago for around $1500/ pair. I long for a pair of Palladiums, even if it's only the bookshelves.

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I vote since you have another room for a killer sound setup that you just keep it simple and go for a sound bar. At least if I had your house I probably would. Since I don't have anything pretty to look at you can see I have a quite large theater in my living room still.

Last night, I was sitting next to JimJimbo at Klipsch Headquarters, I heard Klipsch's latest Reference series sound bar with companion wireless Subwoofer, which you could put on the bottom right shelf. It will easily fill the room without any floor or wall intrusion.

Your shelves are uneven, so the sound bar would be a much better solution with very little compromise in sound quality since the sub is killer!

Edited by ClaudeJ1
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I vote since you have another room for a killer sound setup that you just keep it simple and go for a sound bar. At least if I had your house I probably would. Since I don't have anything pretty to look at you can see I have a quite large theater in my living room still.

Last night, I was sitting next to JimJimbo at Klipsch Headquarters, I heard Klipsch's latest Reference series sound bar with companion wireless Subwoofer, which you could put on the bottom right shelf. It will easily fill the room without any floor or wall intrusion.

Your shelves are uneven, so the sound bar would be a much better solution with very little compromise in sound quality since the sub is killer!

Did they mention what the price would be on the reference soundbar? My guess would be somewhere at or around $1k.... maybe more

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Thanks again everyone. Any idea when the Reference soundbar will come out? I guess next to that one would be the HD SB3, apparently discontinued but still shown as current on Klipsch web site. Amazon has a good deal on it right now, listing it as discontinued by manufacturer.

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Something simple that would not change the look of the room is my vote. Cool design and nicely decorated home, love inside bricks, and the large windows angled at the back of the room. Very nice

Thanks dtel. There are two common achitectural themes; there are angles all over the house, and also arches. We just love it! There are only two minuses that I can find, and (gasp) they both relate to audio. One, as I mentioned above, is the wide open concept that causes sound to bounce all around. The other is my man cave; great potential with the size, but it is upstairs so I may have to do some serious floor and wall modifications to get it to my standards. That is, I listen loud most of the time so I will constantly be bothering those directly beneath to say the least.

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Well since you asked about the home, here are a couple more pics: :D

The view in the first pic may have sold the home to us. You can't really see from the pic but as soon as you walk throug the front door you can see the water in the back....

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Very nice, love the bricks on the inside looking out the back, that wall color is cool, good choice. Love the lake/pond great view, we have a 1.5 ace pond in the back yard and love just watching the different waves when the wind blows and the way it looks in different lighting during the day. I can see why people love being close to water, it's just relaxing and always changing. Now our back yard is not neat and manicured as yours, although with the time it takes keeping it up it should be.

That yard is a great looking place to relax and take a break, great choice for a home, you have good taste.

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Did they mention what the price would be on the reference soundbar? My guess would be somewhere at or around $1k.... maybe more

600 for the cheaerp one. $800 for the good one, the Reference. Amazing little sub too. Blue Tooth and all the high tech wireless stuff.

Edited by ClaudeJ1
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