Addicted to Fun and Learning
- Nov 27, 2019
This is a weak argument and not really a good indicator of how good the center channel is. You could probably find reviews on TV's with consumers who rate the sound 4-5 stars…..using the TV speakers. You can find reviews all day long of Bose lifestyle soundbars and minicube speakers with 5 star reviews. Miniature bluetooth speakers with 5 star reviews. This in no way proves that they are exceptionally well designed products. Some people are very easily satisfied and have never experienced higher fidelity solutions. That's why cheap sound bars have extremely high subjective ratings on Amazon or Crutchfield…..its a pretty low bar when coming from TV speakers….so it is a drastic improvement and may be the best they've heard….they literally can't imagine better sound.Fit in a very low space, not cost a fortune, and to provide decent sound. (low priced to mid priced center speaker)
The reviews I posted from Crutchfeld make it obvious that most people do think they deliver.
Provide some reviews from actual owners that show they think most center speakers are not delivering please.
Then people upgrade to a cheap 2 way MTM center channel, a cheap pair of bookshelf speakers and a Polk 10" "subwoofer"…again, the upgrade is enormous so it's the best sound anyone can imagine….having come from a cheap sound bar or TV speakers.
But compared to a well designed 3 way center channel, its an inferior product with inferior acoustic properties. That't the cool thing about facts and the laws of physics….they're not swayed by opinion. Fact….pretty much all 2 way MTM center channel speakers have compromised off axis response. A big section of frequencies will play much lower than the rest of the frequencies when you are off axis. Measurements tell you this….buying the speaker and listening to it in person is not necessary to know this. Five star reviews on Amazon or Crutchfield also don't change this fact.
I have a friend who put together a very very low cost, starter home audio system. It started with a pair of Pioneer BS-22 bookshelf speakers for $99. He bought the cheapest entry level Denon AVR that he could get. He wanted a center channel and subwoofer but again, wasn't into it enough to spend thousands of dollars. I strongly encouraged him to get the Emotiva C1+ center channel for $249. He is thrilled with it and probably has one of the best center channel speakers available under $500. Availability is really really tough right now. If I needed a center channel and had a really low budget, I would probably just tough it out and wait for the C1+ to become available, or the RC263 to go on sale, or get the SVS Prime 3 way center for $399. There just isn't much point in making a huge sacrifice in sound quality with what is arguably the most important speaker to TV/movie viewing. And a 2 way center is a BIG sacrifice IMO….lousy dialogue intelligibility is a deal breaker IMO for a center channel, which is pretty common with 2 way MTM's due to the inherent design flaw of the product. Heck, you could get a pair of KEF Q150's for $349, use one as a center, use the other in the garage or put it up for sale in the classifieds for someone else who needs a center.
As far as subjective consumer reviews on Crutchfield or Amazon, here are two user reviews on Crutchfield for the same TV:
Customer A: "Pros: If you have a small space where this is going, before buying a sound bar listen to it first the sound is outstanding for a TV."
This person thought the sound quality was so good that you don't need a sound bar….so sound bar is their *reference level*.
Customer B: Cons: "For a company that makes some great audio products, the sound on this TV is embarrassingly poor."
TV reviews at Crutchfield
This is an example of why good objective data is helpful for making an informed decision…..facts are indisputable, opinions vary wildly based on personal experience.
You can find the most glorious reviews of the amazing sound quality of products that, when tested, turn out to be some of the worst performing products in existence. You are free to use whatever information you would like for your purchase decisions. But I wouldn't expect many here to feel obligated to adhere to your opinions that subjective user reviews are the best indicator for sound quality, or that they disprove that a product has poor test results.