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Old 22-12-2019, 09:13   #1
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TV Sound System

Hi all,

I am looking to improve my sound system in my main saloon.

Currently have a standard pair of speakers connected to a stereo which I route audio through but they are pretty rubbish.

I was thinking of getting a sound bar or better speakers. Does anyone have any recommendations or can share their setup?

Thanks!
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:20   #2
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Re: TV Sound System

The speakers in my TV were terrible so here's my simple (aka: cheap) solution. I bought a Sony Blue Tooth speaker and run a cord from the TV headphone output to the AUX input on the speaker. Huge improvement.
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:24   #3
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Re: TV Sound System

Are you trying to improve music,movies, or both?
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:26   #4
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Re: TV Sound System

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Originally Posted by Gtstricky View Post
Are you trying to improve music,movies, or both?
Both.

I thought about a portable speaker but I would quite like it to be integrated.
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:27   #5
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Re: TV Sound System

Is it just for the TV, or for music too? What are your music sources? To make more specific recommendations, we'd need to see your saloon layout, goals, musical tastes, budget.

Soundbars are a simple but pretty effective solution for TV, and not too shabby as speakers for general music too.

Ashore I'm pretty picky, but I'm quite happy with more modest systems aboard. If I wanted to hear a symphony or a rock epic at performance levels, I would have stayed home.
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:28   #6
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Re: TV Sound System

Bluetooth speakers or a sound bar would be the best option. But it also assumes you have a good audio sources.
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:33   #7
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Re: TV Sound System

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Originally Posted by Waterford View Post
The speakers in my TV were terrible so here's my simple (aka: cheap) solution. I bought a Sony Blue Tooth speaker and run a cord from the TV headphone output to the AUX input on the speaker. Huge improvement.
It's not just simple and cheap...it's also very practical! I did the same thing.

In fact, earlier this year I removed my old stereo and all 'wired' speakers throughout the boat and went with bluetooth speakers. (See blog post)
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:37   #8
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Re: TV Sound System

Install a decent stereo, then run your TV through it. Then you have decent sound quality for everything.
Sound bars are limited to the size of the speakers they can contain, and it takes a large cone and a long throw of that cone to get bass, the larger the speaker the smaller the throw can be, smaller the longer, it’s simple physics and of course many manufacturers try to sell you that they have some kind of magic that gets around physics.
Then Bluetooth is a low fi sound source, so therefore you simply cannot get hi fi from it, but then so is most digital sources.
If you must have wireless and there is no reason to, go WiFi if you go Bluetooth don’t spend much money.

It seems and I blame music videos for it, that the day of high quality music is long gone, there are almost no audiophiles anymore and people listen to their phones over Bluetooth speakers etc now.
But the little blond girl dancing on stage sure is pretty isn’t she?
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:41   #9
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Re: TV Sound System

We hooked a Bose soundbar to our TV audio output. It does a great job and sounds nearly surround sound. (Bose does some sort of voodoo magic to make it sound so good) The soundbar also has a bluetooth setting that we use to pump Pandora or other music through and it also sounds amazing for the small package. It also fits inside our TV cabinet so it stays hidden until needed. Worth considering.
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:43   #10
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Re: TV Sound System

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Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
We hooked a Bose soundbar to our TV audio output. It does a great job and sounds nearly surround sound. (Bose does some sort of voodoo magic to make it sound so good) The soundbar also has a bluetooth setting that we use to pump Pandora or other music through and it also sounds amazing for the small package. It also fits inside our TV cabinet so it stays hidden until needed. Worth considering.
Looks interesting.

How did you power it?
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Old 22-12-2019, 09:49   #11
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Re: TV Sound System

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Originally Posted by lawrence_craig View Post
Looks interesting.

How did you power it?
Well, we had a power strip right there so that part was no problem. Itís possible you could bypass the power converter block and wire into the 12 volt system with some sort of inverter. I donít know about that part. We didnít do that and Iím not near it right now to be able to look at the transformer voltage ratings.
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Old 22-12-2019, 10:26   #12
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Re: TV Sound System

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Install a decent stereo, then run your TV through it. Then you have decent sound quality for everything.
Sound bars are limited to the size of the speakers they can contain, and it takes a large cone and a long throw of that cone to get bass, the larger the speaker the smaller the throw can be, smaller the longer, it’s simple physics and of course many manufacturers try to sell you that they have some kind of magic that gets around physics.
If you watch a lot of TV, one of the pluses of a soundbar is that, if the soundbar is installed above or below the TV, you will have a good sound image centered on the TV. Conventional stereo installations, marine included, usually have the speakers on the side or in corners, which isn't optimum for TV sonic image.

Bass response is a combination of driver, cabinet, speaker position and room. Most yacht saloons aren't optimal spaces for deep bass. Although the driver diameter is usually small, the better soundbars have shaped response (EQ), and bass drivers with long excursion which can move a little air. Mounting a soundbar flush with, or on a flat wall also launches a bit more bass. Finally, one can always add a subwoofer for even lower response if desired.

Quote:
Then Bluetooth is a low fi sound source, so therefore you simply cannot get hi fi from it, but then so is most digital sources.
...it depends. The world has indeed chosen convenience and cost over sonic quality; I blame the cassette walkman and its digital descendents (eg iPod), and the flurry of digital players and streaming services that most people use now. Music is now an accessory, and less an end in itself.

Nonetheless, these are pretty good for 90% of most users these days. MP3 at a higher rate (256 or 320 kb/s) is better than commercial FM, and subjectively pretty close to CD. When working, I often listen to streaming music over $300 studio cans (AKG K270) and seldom get bothered by artifacts (of course I'm not A/B'ing the MP3s with CD or vinyl, eiher ). I just finished ripping a bunch of Christmas CDs to MP3 on a USB stick for use in the car. I test-played them through the home surround receiver with great speakers, and they were pretty good. I wouldn't hesitate to use MP3s as "wallpaper", or party music.

Speakers are always the most critical component of a sound system, so I would recommend to anyone to try their desired speakers out in the saloon, and in different positions, before committing to them.
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Old 22-12-2019, 12:09   #13
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Re: TV Sound System

I recently installed a Sonos BEAM sound bar at home and am thinking of one for the boat. The sound is amazing. If your TV supports ARC it connects with a single HDMI cable and the TV remote then controls the volume. It can be mounted on a wall or cabinet. Sound is vastly superior to the TV.

It's also replaced my '80's Marantz stereo system at home as the sound is amazing (although a bit less of the lowest bass). More importantly, it perfectly supports Apple AirPlay. Any music playing on my wife or my Iphones or iPads - from iTunes to Pandora - can be instantly switched to the Sonos with no wires or techie gymnastics.

They have a neat system where they balance the volume of the different speakers by having you hold your phone in the air and move it around the listening space. Their app plays sounds and they listen through the iPhone microphone as they adjust.

I found the bass much better than expected and feel no need for the optional subwoofer. At home I added two wireless satellite speakers which gave me real surround sound but also even richer music. I doubt I'd spend that extra money on the boat but it may be hard to give up. One caution is that I think it needs a wifi network on the boat and I expect it needs the Internet for setup and updates - and you'd need the internet to use the Alexa capability (which I don't use even at home). I assume it will work but haven't tried.

This is not a cheapest solution nor up to the top audiophile standards you'd get by spending thousands -- but the rich sound, compact size, no need to run a lot of wires and ease of setup sure are compelling. I got mine for well under $300 in a Black Friday sale.

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/bea...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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