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Sounbars for improving TV sound.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,371
Thanks: 33
Registered: 07-03-2008

Sounbars for improving TV sound.

I am at an age that many broadcast dialogues seem to be muffled. My TV (quite new Panasonic) has,a 32" screen which allows me to keep the set in a custom-made posh cabinet that was bought for its predecessors. The sound quality is not outstanding and I have looked at many of the soundbars advertised to see what could be tried. Bose do make a small system that might fit (maximum width 28"). Their reputation for technical excellence is good but their price is about twice what I can afford. Does anyone know what could help me out? I note that, following the development of enormous FP displays to satisfy public demand, most will just not go in.
Huh
12 REPLIES
sjptd
Grafter
Posts: 467
Registered: 01-09-2014

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

You'll probably do much better connecting it to a decent quality audio system>  You can almost certainly get a second hand one fairly cheap; much cheaper than a sound bar.  However, it may be more difficult to make it all look neat.  My nearly 40 year old KEF 104s make the TV sound good; but they are NOT neat.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,371
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

Thanks for your "sound" advice, The problem that I have is that, although I have a 30 year old sound system with a pair of Kef Reference 105/3 driven by a set of separates of respectable specs, they are at the other end of the lounge from the TV end (about 20ft.away). You will understand the "neat" is not really applicable with speakers of that size and weight as well as the posh cabinet with the electronics, turntable etc., It all would not appeal at all to SWBO !!
I am sure that there could be a sensible Bar at a reasonable cost/spec about somewhere, it is just finding a maker to look at their publicity documents that bugs me. We are singularly short of the sort of dealer to chat to hereabouts.
Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

Can I suggest getting some cordless headphones ?
Both my parents now use them on the television and they can individually control their own volume. Cutting out the background noise and echoes also massively improves the ability to hear what is going on and you can therefore reduce the volume level accordingly anyway.
My father in law has also now adopted this approach and loves his new cordless headphones (he was recommended to try them by my parents). His wife also loves the fact she doesn't have to have the television blaring constantly Wink
nanotm
Pro
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

personally i got a Samsung tv and a Samsung blue ray surround sound unit hooked to each other via an optical cable, the speakers are much crisper than older units and a lot neater than the older generation things (being there only a few square inchs in size instead of a few square feet, much better to be modern and neat than old and garish Smiley
besides your swmbo will probably like the extra space
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,371
Thanks: 33
Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

Those look like avenues to explore, all in the lateral thinking mode!
Ta!.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,366
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

I recently picked up some Logitech Soundstick II speakers for £60, very work well, as would anything which plugs into the headphone socket of a TV. On my TV the headphone socket is on the side/rear, so can not be seen from the front, and it can be set to line level output.
These work well, as would any cheap speakers which are advertised as being for connecting to a PC, this may give you many further size and style options instead of just looking at soundbars, which may or may not fit the TV cabinet you already have.
I do not consider the Bose products are worth the price.
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cajef
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

Quote from: colintivy
I am at an age that many broadcast dialogues seem to be muffled.

I had that problem early last year, I found a pair of NHS hearing aids worked wonders. Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,371
Thanks: 33
Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

@ Dom S.
Cordless Headphones sound like to be the easiest option. I assume that all they need is the headphone output from the TV and a mains supply which can be switched as required. I fancy one of the plug/sockets controlled by a mini remote control, I have a variety of these for controlling lights and even my computer accessories to save grovelling down to reach the wall sockets. What varity of phones did your elders prefer?
@ sjptd.
I do have a pair of reasonable Tannoy speakers on steel mounting columns spare which were for my HFIish system before I inherited my Kefs. They are about half the size of the massive KEFs and might just be tolerable to SMBNO. Do you know of any modest modern amplifiers which could accept the phone input and could be housed in the back of the TV cabinet, which is very deep being originally designed to accommodate a large CRT set?
@ godsell4.
You see where I might be going from the above. Your advice re Bose is well taken, I have always been suspicious of their attitude and thier very active publicity machine!
sjptd
Grafter
Posts: 467
Registered: 01-09-2014

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

You could try something like the Lepai or Lepy
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TA2020-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier-Supply-Black/dp/B007VMA6OU/ref=cm_cr_pr_pro...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TA2024A-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier-High-Fidelity-Black/dp/B00LHB3KYE/ref=sr_1...
There are slight variations between the 2020/2020+/2020A and 2020A+.  Not sure what they are or how much they matter.
My son has these for TV output (and also sometimes computer output) with decent B&W bookshelf speakers and is quite pleased with them; and he is fairly demanding.
(If you have old KEFs and Tannoys you may also remember hearing about the Sinclair PWM amplifiers.  These work on the same principal; with the difference that these do work and work well, whereas by all accounts the Sinclair's usually didn't work, and when they did work sounded terrible.)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

My Parents and inlaws have both gone for the Senheiser cordless headphones - not cheap but pretty good quality and great sound.
You pop them on their stand / base station and they will recharge when not in use. They also have an auto on / off depending on whether the telly is on and the headphones off the stand.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

These are the ones my parents have - you may want to look at alternatives too as they are quite expensive
www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-Wireless-On-Ear-Headphone-Ireland-Black/dp/B005SO0OFE/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8...
There are some Thomson ones which have had good reviews for half the price but I've not had any experience of those.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-10-2010

Re: Sounbars for improving TV sound.

You have a Panasonic tv, have you looked at Panasonic soundbars?
We have this one
http://www.tesco.com/direct/panasonic-sc-htb8-80w-soundbar-with-bluetooth/687-9932.prd?pageLevel=&sk...
The sound is fantastic, it's low profile, and you can have it flat on your tv stand or wall mounted (to change the direction of the soundwaves, it's switchable electronically. Makes a great difference).
There's only two controls (on a remote) to worry about. Clear voice (which brings voice to the front. Very handy when watching something with background music. Saves constant rewinding and turning up the volume. We don't keep saying "what did he say?" now. Smiley )
There's also surround sound -self explanatory-works well.
Bluetooth too, great for listening to music from your phone, tablet or laptop.
We wish we'd bought one years ago.  Smiley