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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    SoundBars - Yamaha, Polk, Samsung, JBL? So many choices under $500

    I've been looking at soundbars over the past week or so and am trying to decipher which would be my best option at or under $500. Every time I start digging into the reviews I just get more confused on which to select.
    I'm looking to replace a Sony HT-CT260H soundbar with something newer and that has a better quality sound. Specifically the ability to play music with better quality, and while the Sony I have is ok for movies (I'm not overly picky on movies),it would be nice to have something that provides more clarity to voices but still rumble on the sound effects. The wife would like something a little smaller (Maybe thinner than the current Sony).

    I'm not an audiophile but for music I've always had decent equipment and did have a 5.1 setup for my home theater at one point(until it no longer "fit" the decor).

    The items I've been looking at are :
    Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400 - (this seems to be the same(?) as the YBL-207 with Wifi/MusicCast added?)
    Samsung HW-MS650 - (Could add a sub later on this if worth it)
    JBL Bar 3.1
    Polk Command Bar Soundbar

    Anyone have any of these units that can comment on if they're happy with their choice and perhaps why they chose it?

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Welcome to HomeTheaterEquipment forum, LeatherLips.

    The problem that I have with most soundbars is when it comes to music, particularly vocals, is the size of the drivers. Many consumers want something that's small and fits into their decor and I get that perspective. My problem is that vocals rarely sound right to me through small speaker drivers.

    Adding a sub helps add some of that fullness back but it's still a bit of a compromise.

    I will say that the only soundbar that I have personally heard that does sound good is the GoldenEar SuperCinema 3D Array. I own the smaller one of the two and when mated with a sub, is the best-sounding soundbar that I have heard.

    I will say that I haven't heard any of the soundbars that you have listed.

    As for reviews, have you looked at our sister site, HomeTheaterReview?

  3. #3
    Moderator jerrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Abq, NM, USA

    I stll love my ZVox 525 sound BASE. It is about the same as two decent size quality bookshelf speakers in one cabinet. Even their new small bars get good reviews. If wife can tolerate the base under your tv, get a big one. It is great for movie effects (built in sub) and music too. Give them a look.

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