Sound bars for TV

BostonBanker

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#1
Does anyone have one? Do you feel that it made a difference?

I'm looking for something for my parents for Christmas, and my father in particular has a terrible time hearing the TV. We've bought him headphones in the past, but he refuses to wear them. I've had people at stores tell me that sound is an issue with flat screen TVs usually, as the speakers are on the bottom. I'm wondering if there was some other sort of speaker, if it would help with the volume issues. I think what happens is that he cranks it up to hear dialogue, and then never adjusts it when it gets loud again. Maybe better sound would let the dialogue be more clear, so it wouldn't have to be so loud?

Obviously there's a hearing issue, but that's a whole 'nother battle. Someone at one of the stores suggested one of the sound bars, but I'm very open to any other ideas. I feel like there used to be something you could get for TVs that would balance out the volume in general, but I have no idea what that was or if I made it up.
 

Sekah

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#2
Better speakers certainly make a difference in sound clarity. I've absorbed the bare minimum about sound from my husband who used to work in audio engineering, so I don't know much but my husband seems to. But basically a decent speaker set placed correctly is best (5.1, whatever). If you don't have the room, money or layout to afford good speakers, a sound bar is a decent alternative. Higher cost normally relates to better sound quality, to a point. My husband's advice is "Don't cheap out and don't buy Sony"... and he's normally a huge Sony fan, so... that's probably telling. I think we bought a Samsung bar for about $300 a year ago (on sale for $200) and it's been a decent purchase.
 

SoCrafty

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#3
I had one on my tv. The speakers for the tv were in the back and I could never hear people talking, I only ever really heard background noise or music.

I got a Phillips soundbar with blue tooth, and it made a world of a difference. Used in conjunction with the tv, I had a very full sound.

Hubby says that LG makes some good ones, too.
 

BostonBanker

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#4
Perfect, thank you guys! I don't know anyone who has actually used one, so I'm glad to hear the first hand experience. Since I'm getting it for both of them (my father so he can hear better, my mother so she doesn't go to jail for throwing the TV at him when it is too loud), I can spend a couple hundred on it.

What's the advantage of Bluetooth? Just to be able to listen to music and such?
 

Sekah

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#5
Bluetooth = no cords. It can be helpful if you're storing the subwoofer on the other side of the room, or if you can't easily hide the cords when/if you wall mount.

The one I have is not bluetooth. I'm sure Bluetooth works well enough, but to me it's just another potential point of failure that I'd avoid if not necessary.

I'm not sure whether you can hook your MP3 players up to a soundbar via bluetooth or not. I wouldn't be surprised if some support that feature, but... yeah, I dunno!
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#6
We have them on our LG smart TV that the store rep gave us for free. They're blue tooth and 5 pieces but we keep having trouble with the bluetooth connection for whatever reason. We've had so much trouble that we end up not using it much. If I had to choose again, I would've picked a plugged in one I think. It does make the sound significantly clearer and better quality, but the logistics of getting it to work all the time is the most annoying thing for us.
 

Brattina88

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#7
My husband's advice is "Don't cheap out and don't buy Sony"... and he's normally a huge Sony fan, so... that's probably telling.
Can you elaborate on why? My friend is looking for a sound bar pretty much for the same reasons as the OP, and she really wanted the Sony, but it was sold out. Mainly because her TV is a Sony... I tried to tell her, but I didn't have any info to back it up :rofl1:
 

Sekah

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#8
Can you elaborate on why? My friend is looking for a sound bar pretty much for the same reasons as the OP, and she really wanted the Sony, but it was sold out. Mainly because her TV is a Sony... I tried to tell her, but I didn't have any info to back it up :rofl1:
Honestly I don't know! I feel like a moron, but it's something my husband said and I didn't ask him to elaborate.

I think the first sound bar we bought was a middle priced Sony and it did some very weird things like not registering background music properly. I can't quite remember what brand it was, but it was a weird and serious problem.
 

ACooper

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#9
Kevin bought me a Phillips soundbar about 2 years ago for my birthday. I used the tv/dvd player to play music cd's while I clean the house and now I don't have to since the soundbar has a usb plug. I just stick my flash drive full of music in and clean away! LOL He uses it when we watch movies.

I really like it, and I'm pretty sure he paid less than $200 (again, 2 years ago)

I'm not one to ask about brands and which is better, but I do know if my soundbar broke, I would want a new one! Don't want to go without now that I've had one, LOL
 

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