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So you pay thousand bucks for a Sony soundbar just to get.. side firing tweeters?

pavuol

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Sony HT-A7000 - 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos®/ DTS:X® Soundbar
[selling for $999.99]

Features "two up-firing speakers for overhead sound, two beam tweeters and five front speakers for wider surround and a built-in dual subwoofer for deep bass."

The single pair of tweeters is pointing to side walls.. I guess, most of the HF energy is just wasted?? o_O

2024-04-28 16_58_10-HT-A7000 Soundbar _ 7.1.2ch _ Dolby Atmos _ Sony Tanzania — Mozilla Firefox.jpg
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Soundbars get the Bose treatment here but I bought the TOTL Samsung and have no regrets. It replaced a discrete 5.1 Kef/Denon system and is actually a step up from it imho. And no clutter, to boot!
 
Sony HT-A7000 - 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos®/ DTS:X® Soundbar
[selling for $999.99]

Features "two up-firing speakers for overhead sound, two beam tweeters and five front speakers for wider surround and a built-in dual subwoofer for deep bass."

The single pair of tweeters is pointing to side walls.. I guess, most of the HF energy is just wasted?? o_O

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Looks like they're assuming an untreated room reflective enough for the tweeters to deliver sufficient volume via first reflection points. Perhaps the idea is that it helps impart a perception of spaciousness and ambience...?
 
Soundbars get the Bose treatment here but I bought the TOTL Samsung and have no regrets.

That's a brave thing to admit and I'd like to hear more about soundbars. The time has come to stop demonising them I think. I was guilty of that at first (because they were terrible back in the day).

Tell us about the Samsung.
 
That's a brave thing to admit and I'd like to hear more about soundbars. The time has come to stop demonising them I think. I was guilty of that at first (because they were terrible back in the day).

Tell us about the Samsung.
Hi John,
Yeah, I’ve also had a couple of pretty terrible soundbars, so I totally understand some people’s skepticism. :)
I know even the newer, better performing bars not going to compete with a properly done full-on home theatre setup, but I do think they are an acceptable compromise where aesthetics or technical competence are a limitation. We redid our TV room and my wife wanted a cleaner look around the TV, so I gave the Samsung Q990C a shot as they are pretty heavily discounted now that a new version is out. It’s surprisingly good for movies etc. in our smaller TV room (5m x 4m). I honestly prefer it too what I had previously. (Denon AVR, Kef center and fronts, Paradigm surrounds, SVS Micro sub)

As much as Youtube comparisons are not particularly great methods to demonstrate competence, in this video Samsung compares the Q990c soundbar to their five-figure reference Genelec multichannel system…the bar doesn’t embarrass itself. And I’m a Genelec fanboy :)
The comparison starts at about 21:00

 
Sony HT-A7000 - 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos®/ DTS:X® Soundbar
[selling for $999.99]

Features "two up-firing speakers for overhead sound, two beam tweeters and five front speakers for wider surround and a built-in dual subwoofer for deep bass."

The single pair of tweeters is pointing to side walls.. I guess, most of the HF energy is just wasted?? o_O

View attachment 366403
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a3b8d5599af8c76ed75264b74ea49f59
a3b8d5599af8c76ed75264b74ea49f59

1714412730878.png

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Note the innovative improvements in the number of angled lines from 1969 to 1980. :cool:

In all seriousness, soundbars are pretty cool. I mean, heck, I am pretty sure that even McIntosh has at least one soundbar product. I don't think it has a big blue meter on it, though.

OK, not quite a soundbar, but close -- and there's even a Grateful Dead Limited Edition version. Samsung and Sony can't match that! ;):facepalm:
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That's a brave thing to admit and I'd like to hear more about soundbars. The time has come to stop demonising them I think.
 
@RobL what do you feel you lost going from 5.1 to the soundbar? There are a lot of assumptions given around here that of course something is better than something with no real explanation of what that something is, or what the user's experience may be.

I'm not saying you're guilty of this, so please don't take it that way. I'm genuinely curious and strive for details. Could you elucidate more on what you feel the differences are or have been with the soundbar? This might help others in the future who stumble upon threads like these, as they may find information that makes them say, "this matches my scenario so this may be good for me, too." Or, "The benefits of a full system for the music I listen to or the movies I watch don't warrant the effort I need to put in, so I'll settle for convenience."
 
@RobL what do you feel you lost going from 5.1 to the soundbar? There are a lot of assumptions given around here that of course something is better than something with no real explanation of what that something is, or what the user's experience may be.

I'm not saying you're guilty of this, so please don't take it that way. I'm genuinely curious and strive for details. Could you elucidate more on what you feel the differences are or have been with the soundbar? This might help others in the future who stumble upon threads like these, as they may find information that makes them say, "this matches my scenario so this may be good for me, too." Or, "The benefits of a full system for the music I listen to or the movies I watch don't warrant the effort I need to put in, so I'll settle for convenience."
Well, it’s tough to quantify the differences, my short acoustic memory and all that, haha.
I’ll give it a shot through I bullet points :)

Pluses of soundbar:
- better vocal clarity (previous centre channel was a Kef Q600c that cost half the price of the soundbar). The soundbar is clearer, full stop.
- the soundbar is supposedly 11.1 vs. my previous 5.1 rig. Well, whatever. :) The “height” channels do work but certainly not as effective as ceiling mounted speakers would. It also adds “side surrounds” by bouncing sound from the side walls…this is surprisingly effective is some instances but hit and miss with others. A symmetric room and placement helps I think. The supplied rear surrounds have drivers on the front, outside and top.
- the supplied sub won’t play as low as my SVS did, I’m sure, but has no trouble pressurizing my room and effects, rumble, etc. are quite satisfying. I don’t really miss the SVS.
- aesthetically, the soundbar wins. I have my TV wall mounted with the soundbar on mounts I made just below it. That’s it. No console, centre channel, fronts, rats nest of wires etc. I ran all the wiring into the wall behind the TV and even put my Apple TV, and blue ray player in the room behind the wall. The wife was right, it looks way better. The sub and rear surround speakers are also wireless so, again no wires and placement is very flexible.
- I don’t listen to music on it, I have my Genelecs in the next room. I could see that most non audiophiles would be quite content with music on this thing though, it’s actually not bad and will play loud enough to put me out of the room.

Minuses of the soundbar:
- it’s a soundbar. No snob appeal or ability to tinker/upgrade etc. You set it up, it does its thing and you like it or you don’t, I guess. It does have some form of continuous room correction…not sure how it works but it has a microphone(s) and continuously monitors/adjusts/corrects the sound if you turn it on.

Like I said before, in this application (sound for TV/movies in my family room) it’s great. I am putting an actual home theatre in my Genelec room next year…but that won’t have a soundbar ;).
 
Thank you! That's precisely the kind of comparison I think is helpful.

I actually am more curious about how music sounds on it. Pity you don't listen more on there. I'd like to know how stereo separation sounds on normal stereo tracks compared to a discrete system. How does the upmixer fair, etc. etc.
 
Thank you! That's precisely the kind of comparison I think is helpful.

I actually am more curious about how music sounds on it. Pity you don't listen more on there. I'd like to know how stereo separation sounds on normal stereo tracks compared to a discrete system. How does the upmixer fair, etc. etc.
I can answer this from personal experience and work experience dealing with clients. Soundbars have a place in this world but for most people that enjoy music, I would not recommend a sound bar. We just did this exercise several months ago where a customer was hoping a sound bar would come close to his music system for when listening in other areas of his home. For reference, his music system is a Lyngdorf TDA-1120 with Focal Aria 906 speakers and a Martin Logan sub. I knew from second one he would not be happy with any sound bar. We brought some over for him to try and he bought some at other places. He is very well researched and tried top models from Samsung, JBL, Neumann, Sonos, Bose, etc. He did not like the sound of any of those. He eventually went with Kef LSX II and bought 3 pairs of them for various areas of his home and the one on the TV he also uses a Martin Logan sub with it.

My experience is the same. I don't like soundbars for music. They create an artificial soundstage and trade off sound quality to do it. Knowing the physics of sound explains this. Soundbars create their soundstage by using delays. If you play the same sound through two speakers and delay one of them you will shift the sound stage from the middle to the right or left. Soundbars expand on this greatly by using multiple drivers and DSP. Some of their drivers might be angled to the side walls so with these delays and angled drivers they can create a very good soundstage and with upfiring speakers can do it in the height dimension as well. Soundbars do have an advantage with dialogue for TV. They often boost the dialogue frequencies and they are placed in the center. so often they do better than a dedicated center channels for dialogue because they boost those frequencies. I have an Epson LS-300 short throw projector in my home. It has a Yamaha sound bar built into it. It does a good job with dialogue but not great for music. Actually, if it had a subwoofer output I think it would make it very nice compact movie system.

This sounds great and is impressive but there are tradeoffs. Whenever you delay the sound from one driver or speaker you also make that sound out of phase and it changes the frequency response. You can compensate for this with EQ somewhat, but the sound is no longer as natural. DSP in these soundbars are really doing a lot! The other aspect of physics that sound bars can't overcome is driver size and placement of speakers. You can use all these audio tricks to create a soudstage but still not as good as speakers properly placed. Bass and lower midrange are just difficult for small drivers to produce naturally at any decent volume. You can help bass with a sub but I am referring to bass above subwoofer frequencies when using a sub and if not using a sub you are really asking a lot from small drivers. Soundbars boost bass above what these drivers can do naturally but that increases distortion. Something a larger driver does effortlessly and can produce the dynamics in music much cleaner and better.

If you enjoy listeing to music I would suggest a nice 2.0 or 2.1 system. You do trade off some dialogue capability if using for TV but many 2.0/2.1 system do pretty well with diaogue they just don't have those frequencies boosted. Depending on the system you could do that with some presets and EQ.
 
Thank you, @Ellebob, that was exactly the kind of experience I was looking for! It seems he had been precisely in the same situation I would see myself to be; I can well imagine being disappointed in any of those after coming from my system and being so used to the experience and quality of the sound. I too was curious for other areas of the home and hoped a soundbar might make things easy. At any rate, technology still has some gaps to fill, so maybe in time it will be a solution. Not now, unfortunately.

There are certain tradeoffs one has to expect when using any of these kinds of systems, be it soundbar or wireless speakers. Knowing that is half the battle. But yes, it can be hard to compromise once expectations are set.
 
I have owned and used a Samsung Q990 soundbar for 14 days.
It works and works well but having a UST video projector I was forced to keep it too low so I returned it but with a television I think it is perfect.
 
"So you pay thousand bucks for a Sony soundbar just to get.. side firing tweeters?"
We need to define what is a sound bar needed for:
1°) It is just a palliative audio speaker that is there to replace the failed audio speakers from the flat Tv units.
A simple $200 sound bar with a wireless sub will do the job.
Tv dialogs will become understandable.
2°) It is a speaker system designed to bring a movie theater room experience.
2.1°) If the room is very small with no place for discrete speakers, a decent sound bar may be a not bad solution.
A cheap sound bar with decent amplification is preferred: distortion is the enemy.
Who cares about the number of drivers: think about the plastic enclosure and its parasitic resonances.
Build quality needs to be the main concern.
2.2°) If the room is large enough for discrete speakers, forget the sound bar.
A 5.1 system will do the job better.
 
Palliative Audio would be a great name for a hifi company.
Of course, so would Placebo Audio.
 
I use a soundbar for the TV and music. It sounds great to me. I send the music from my iphone to the soundbar with bluetooth or wifi, I can't remember which. So easy to set up and enjoy. Does a great job for movies too.
 
I use a soundbar for the TV and music. It sounds great to me. I send the music from my iphone to the soundbar with bluetooth or wifi, I can't remember which. So easy to set up and enjoy. Does a great job for movies too.
Yes, I don’t use mine for music as I have another system nearby but I have tried it with music and it’s quite enjoyable. It also does a few tricks my 2 channel system won’t, like atmos and spacial music mixes. :)
 
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