Originally Posted by a64pilot
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.
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.
. 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.