Shared publicly  - 
 
Suddenly a Soundbar

After our remodel and a hurried move back in, I hadn't got to rebuilding the home theater. Been too long and I decided to re-theater the room when we got back from holiday. Thinking about out it more, I also decided I didn't want speakers and wires all over the room anymore. So instead I setup a minimalist Yamaha soundbar with the Boston Acoustics subwoofer from the old system. Works well and sounds like an impressive bookshelf stereo, but obviously not 5.1 or 7.1.

There's no enveloping sound stage. There is good sound and better than the crap speakers they put in TVs now. I can also "whomp" the floor when the teenagers play their pop music in the basement. I've got House of Pain and more old school rap to show them what a REAL booty whop was like, back in the day before Taylor Swift.

You can spend hours reading reviews about soundbars and home theaters -- the HiFi reviewers hate them and whatever. I've got the same problem when I test ride low-end bikes for +Bike Hugger after riding bikes that retail at 15K. Fritos and a beer don't taste as good as champagne and caviar either. At the right kind of party though, that combo works really well and is a crowd pleaser.

I did do some reading, mostly about the tech developed by Yamaha, and made the final decision by walking by the audio aisle at Costco and seeing a YAS-101 there. That was the one I was considering and didn't expect to see it in a warehouse. I bought it for $189.00 and then set the system up in about an hour.

The YAS-101 runs off the TOSLINK (optical audio) out from your TV and with all devices plugged into the TV. Your TV acts as the receiver and the soundbar as the amplifier.

http://goo.gl/gXb3C

You'll want a subwoofer for YAS-101. The cost is 10% of the previous theater I've since boxed up and I'm 100% happier to not have the all the complications. I do have 6 remotes now, but not as many as +Matthew Haughey

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huggerindustries/6030601247/

So the home theater is now just a TV room.
1
Ian Hoffman's profile photoJay Dillon's profile photoDL Byron (Byron)'s profile photoChris Gomez's profile photo
11 comments
 
i looked at soundbars also, but I'm thinking it might just be easier to hook up a nice set of computer speakers with a subwoofer. at least they will match a bit better right?
 
I went minimalist on my gear and entertainment wall some 4 months back. Don't plan to go back to overpriced and overmuscled gadgets/electronics that I don't use to the max or er... as embarrassing as this sounds (yeah, I know many are guilty of this too), don't have a clue how to make it work at their optimum.
 
Too many remotes... have you tried a Logitech Harmony? Got one for our setup, love it. One touch on/off and one touch for selecting music or tv or dvd.
 
You could do that yes, but you'll still need a receiver and I don't know if computer speakers will accept a TOSLINK. If the goal, is "better than the crap TV speakers," than not much budget is required at all. I've got a decade old set of Harmon Karmon bookshelf speakers that are as remarkable then as now. The YAS-101 is the entry-level from Yahama and I'm impressed. It's not Yamaha's digital projection system that uses drivers and algorithms to bounce sound off the walls to create a sound stage. To get into that, it's another $500 in budget.
 
+Chris Gomez I don't review electronics much, so I don't have stats or numbers to prove what I think is a trend away from home theaters and meh to Bluray/3D. I just want a nice-sounding TV experience. I did learn that Yamaha created this market as TVs got thinner and there are many choices now. Even the HiFi reviewers had to admit the Yamaha has some impressive numbers in it's class, as do others. I wasn't joking about "whomping" the bass if I want to.
 
That's a good point you bring up +Byron DL, i.e. "nice-sounding TV experience". It's a very personal thing, so I can understand your adventure in putting together this new setup you have. I would assume the earlier point "I didn't want speakers and wires all over the room" was a personal thing too. Because for me too it really was about having most of my wires hidden or better yet, no wires (but that's not a solution in my books because I'm just not completely comfortable with wireless/BT yet).

As for the sound experience, I find myself more and more desensitized, to the point everything sounds the same. I am not saying audiophiles are lying about the differences in sound quality, I am just saying that any good sound is good sound to me. BTW, I have the Boston Acoustics myself. And that's good sound to me already. My harman/kardons and b&ws are in storage for now, till I move to a much bigger place or till I become deaf - whichever comes first.
 
I really like this idea too. I've got a bunch of home theater equipment that I don't really feel like setting up ever since we made the jump to a flat screen TV. Really like the minimalist design/setup and as you, just want good sound from the TV.
 
+Jay Dillon yep and it's a market segment being driven by the small speakers in thin tvs and 5.1 fatigue. Note that Yamaha and others have high-end versions of soundbars too.
 
+Jay Dillon ...but an "entry-level" soundbar, from Yamaha in particular, in my opinion will keep many movie/TV buffs happy for sometime.
Add a comment...