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Old 03-10-2012, 09:12
Inkblot
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Bought a new Panasonic 32" and asked the salesman what would be a good soundbar to improve the sound. He strongly recommended the Orbitsound T12 but as it was physically too big for the bookcase my TV sits on he said the Orbitsound T9 would be the best alternative. Checked online reviews and they were all very positive, almost all 5 star reviews.

I had a few days with the TV before the T9 arrived and the sound was poor. Connected the T9 yesterday and am not sure I like it. The sound is a huge step up from the set's speakers but sounds like it's coming from the sound bar, not "in the room". There's less of a stereo image than there was from my previous Panasonic's built-in speakers. I've ended up putting it behind the TV so that it at least sounds like it's coming from the same place as the image on the screen but that means the remote barely works. I am using the supplied optical cable, which is only 1 metre long so it's difficult to move the unit around.

So... does anyone have any advice on how to improve the sound or should I try to exchange the T9 for another device? I paid 199 for the T9, which is about what I'm willing to pay. Is there a better sound bar for the price? My room isn't huge but has two doorways and french windows so there's no way I can have a full set of home cinema speakers - a soundbar is the only practical solution. Is the Panasonic SC-HTB20EB any good as it would probably fit in front of the TV instead of behind?
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Old 03-10-2012, 13:10
gavo360
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Soundbars work best if they are in front of the tv with the sub about 2 meters or so away on the floor and you are sitting central to the tv. You say your tv is on a book case and if you have the soundbar behind the tv the soundbar isn't going to do a great job if it is surrounded by shelves
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:09
Inkblot
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Soundbars work best if they are in front of the tv with the sub about 2 meters or so away on the floor and you are sitting central to the tv. You say your tv is on a book case and if you have the soundbar behind the tv the soundbar isn't going to do a great job if it is surrounded by shelves
The manufacturer claims of the T9:

you hear true spatial sound wherever you're sitting, standing, working out, or playing in the room. We call this the "infitine sweetspot", and it's infintely better than conventional systems.

What I'm finding is that there is no viable location for the sound bar where I get that spatial effect. At the moment I have the T9 on top of the sub (one review I read recommended placing it there) so not boxed in by any shelves or furniture. It still sounds like a point source rather than realistic stereo, but with a lot of bass.
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Old 03-10-2012, 19:35
chrisjr
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As an alternative to a soundbar how about something like this?

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...y-htx22hdx-blk.

It is essentially a full AV amp stuffed into the back of a subwoofer with a pair of satellite speakers. If and when circumstances permit it can be upgraded to full 5.1 surround.
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Old 04-10-2012, 00:25
evil c
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Manufacturers always say their products are fantastic. Personally I ignore what they claim because they aren't going to say that their products are crap, are they? They tell the truth as much as politicians do!

Which? tested the Orbitsound T12 and thought the sound was 'crude'. The best one of the 8 they tested was the Panasonic SC-HTB520 but this is for TVs 40 inches and over and it's expensive.

Either buy a proper surround sound system or try something like the Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II powered speakers or buy a budget amplifier and 2 stereo speakers. I don't think soundbars are very good and they are overpriced for what you get.

If you fancy the Onkyo that chrisjr recommended then get Richer Sound to give you a demo instore, and don't let them con you into buying one of their expensive HDMI cables. You can buy one just as good from Poundland or Amazon for a couple of quid. And one more thing, never ask salesmen what they recommend.
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Old 04-10-2012, 00:30
bobcar
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If you want a sound bar that gives a better surround sound then I can recommend the Yamaha sound projectors such as the YSP-600 (along with a sub). They are not as good as a full set of speakers but do give a good effect - for example on a demo you can hear a helicopter buzzing around your head.
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:01
phillees
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If you want a sound bar that gives a better surround sound then I can recommend the Yamaha sound projectors such as the YSP-600 (along with a sub). They are not as good as a full set of speakers but do give a good effect - for example on a demo you can hear a helicopter buzzing around your head.
I'm using the YSP-2200 Can highly recommend it.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:42
Nefrati
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The manufacturer claims of the T9:

you hear true spatial sound wherever you're sitting, standing, working out, or playing in the room. We call this the "infitine sweetspot", and it's infintely better than conventional systems.

What I'm finding is that there is no viable location for the sound bar where I get that spatial effect. At the moment I have the T9 on top of the sub (one review I read recommended placing it there) so not boxed in by any shelves or furniture. It still sounds like a point source rather than realistic stereo, but with a lot of bass.
bad idea, the sound bar has to be right beside the tv, no amount of fancy sound processing is going to happen to make it sound right, and not at that price in any case. home theatres require a center speaker right at the tv to keep the sound attached to the display, else you do feel the sound is disconnected from the display, your brain just doesn't like the incongruity of people speaking and the sound coming from the wrong area....our brains are very good at things like that, so any "spacial" 3d sound features claiming to do more with less tend to be less than impressive. the speakers have no idea of the actual acoustics of the room and cannot compensate for it...well not at that price anyways.

we need to know how much space is around thetv, is there space around the tv for bookshelf speakers, can you bolt a sound bar just below or above the tv in the shelf, why do you have a tv in a shelf anyways? tv should be situated at eye height while seated, not high up on a shelf., if the shelf were removed and the tv directly mounted to the wall you could easily wall mount some speakers or sound bar, and perhaps add a new cabinet or some narrow shelves to flank it for storage.

and yes, size matters for speakers. a sound bar as narrow and small as that is an ipod dock, not a sound bar. if you really want good sound book shelf speakers+sub are a better path.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:06
Inkblot
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we need to know how much space is around thetv, is there space around the tv for bookshelf speakers, can you bolt a sound bar just below or above the tv in the shelf, why do you have a tv in a shelf anyways? tv should be situated at eye height while seated, not high up on a shelf., if the shelf were removed and the tv directly mounted to the wall you could easily wall mount some speakers or sound bar, and perhaps add a new cabinet or some narrow shelves to flank it for storage.
The TV is on a bookcase, not a shelf, in a corner alcove. The bookcase is 80cm high by 80cm wide, so the bottom of the TV is just over 80cm off the ground and as it's a 32" the TV is almost the same width as the unit it sits on. The bookcase is actually used to store DVDs, plus the DVD player and Sky+ HD box, and realistically there is no space for anything other than a slim sound bar in front of the TV (as long as it doesn't block the screen) with a sub on the floor bit further away. There's no space in the room for a multi-speaker system. The previous TV, which iI've moved to the bedroom because the old bedroom TV wasn't digital, had much better sound so I'm not happy with the replacement as it stands.

The TV (TX-L32ET5B) picture is very good but the sound is poor with very little detail unless it's turned up loud. I'm not looking for surround sound, just good enough sound to be able to hear the TV properly without cranking up the volume.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:27
Nefrati
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well then that is difficult, a corner placement was good for crt, but with flat panel it uses way more space than it should. are you sure you can't reconfigure the room so you aren't viewing the corner?

one could possibly float either the sound bar right above the tv with a floating corner shelf or just wall mount it directly, or float the tv a few inches with a corner mount so you can place a larger sound bar unobstructed if that is an issue. no idea how much clearance you have in front of the tv.

the corner placement just makes everything a lot harder, you can't even wall mount speakers to the side without them looking funny.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:13
Inkblot
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well then that is difficult, a corner placement was good for crt, but with flat panel it uses way more space than it should. are you sure you can't reconfigure the room so you aren't viewing the corner?

one could possibly float either the sound bar right above the tv with a floating corner shelf or just wall mount it directly, or float the tv a few inches with a corner mount so you can place a larger sound bar unobstructed if that is an issue. no idea how much clearance you have in front of the tv.

the corner placement just makes everything a lot harder, you can't even wall mount speakers to the side without them looking funny.
At this rate I'm going to have to post a floorplan of the room! The room is roughly square. As you go in from the hall the sofa is on the right, facing a wall which has three alcoves. The TV is facing the sofa on a bookcase in the right-hand alcove, the hi-fi is on a bookcase in the middle alcove, the left-hand alcove has a bookcase with CDs in it. There are doors to the kitchen, the cupboard under the stairs and the garden so the bottom line is there's nowhere to put speakers. I can't believe this is unusual - every house in my street must have a similar layout.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:37
bobcar
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It sounds like you need a complete relay if you want to get the best arrangement for your room. It all depends how important the TV and sound are to you and more importantly your better half compared to other considerations.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:41
Inkblot
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It all depends how important the TV and sound are to you and more importantly your better half compared to other considerations.
I just want to get back to the sound quality I had with my previous set: audible (not thumping) bass and discernible stereo separation.
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Old 07-10-2012, 21:07
late8
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Yamaha basically gave us the sound bar and the ones they do are the better ones to go for. I always think a sub is needed however to add that lower end rumble on movies.

But a Yamaha at your budget is best.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:41
smcbeath
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I bought the yamaha yas 101, 7.1 with sub wooooofer built in. I just wanted the one box + 1 plug. It is scary behind my tv. Anyway i was watching the f1 on sunday and everytime there was an onboard camera coverage and the driver was going over the kerbs, i could hear the vibrations. There was an onboard with the red bull, and you could see the whole chassis vibrate and yep i could also hear it. I have only had it a couple of weeks but it seems alright for the money spent, 180 @ amazon.

Good - xbox and music
Bad - normal tv, dont know what i was expecting, but i dont notice any difference when watching sky, f1 was the only exception so far.

My task tonight will be to re-watch a 3d blu ray, to see how it stacks up. Probably transformer, tin tin or hugo. I am not motivated to watch any of these to be honest.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:48
Nefrati
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well 3" cones in that bar are not subwoofers, no matter what it says on the box. the more you restrict size, the more of your money is spent trying to fight against the laws of physics instead of producing good sound to begin with. there is only so much that can be done with such small bars. it is a 2.5" cone midrange speaker with 2 3" "subwoofers lol", ok sound for what they cram together into a box, at that size, but if you had spent 180 on computer speakers with a separate subwoofer or simply bookshelves I do think it would sound better.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:20
smcbeath
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Aye bud, i know nothing about audio equipment. I must have spent 1-2 hours looking on the web, the yamaha came up quite alot as the best of the budgets, ie sub 200. The good thing is that i can always add on a sub woofer later on.

I just watched transformers dark side of the moon, in 3d. The sound bar is streets ahead of my sammy d8000 , but i wasnt exactly blown away. I was expecting alot more boom boom boom from the movie as they were destroying the city. I did have the soundbar connected to the tv rather than the blu ray player, suppose that will be my next test, to do soundbar to blu ray. Probably try underworld awakening for that test. I think it is safe to say that you get what you pay for. But i am happy with it.

Think i have to change my opinion on transformers though. First time i watched the movie i thought it was meh, but i really enjoyed it this morning. The 3d in the first chapter was some of the best i have seen.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:51
Inkblot
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Had a look online and I can't see a Yamaha that fits under a 32" TV. The only soundbar that looks the right size is the Panasonic HT20EB, which I tried to listen to in the shop but they only had Sky Sports as a source. It sounded fine but whether it would sound OK with a "normal" TV programme or film is another question.
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Old 09-10-2012, 14:40
2Bdecided
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If your TV sits diagonally across the corner, then you can hide "proper" speakers behind it, placed back-to-black if you wish, facing outwards so the sound bounces off the walls either side of the TV into the room. Not sure what kind of bass you'll get from this though.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 09-10-2012, 15:09
Nefrati
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it might work or it might sound like you have surround speakers doing the job of delivering voices and the rest which would be badly disconnected from the image.

anyways you can't expect real bass from a sound bar, no matter how they claim they shoved a sub into it, they did the best they could. in the end, if you really want some low notes you need a big sub box and woofer, you can almost judge those by their weight.
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Old 13-10-2012, 20:13
skinj
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Take a look at the SCHTE50 from Panasonic. Nice small speakers & a sub, all controlled via viera link & ARC http://goo.gl/BA3HA
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Old 13-10-2012, 21:25
topdealman
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Daft question maybe but does a sound bar below your telly get blocked if your sofa is in front of it?? When it calibrates does the beams go higher??
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