The newly announced Samsung HW-F750 is dubbed the "world's first sound bar with a vacuum tube amp," which is technically true: like last year's models, it has a tube preamplifier paired with a digital amplifier. In any event, the difference is largely academic, as I didn't find that the DA-E750's tubes added a distinctively analog sound, although it was a good-sounding tabletop system.… Read more
CES 2013 is still weeks away, but LG is getting a jump on the show by announcing its full line of home theater products on Christmas Day.
Its home audio offerings are anchored by four new sound bar models, with all but the entry-level NB2030A featuring built-in Bluetooth and a wireless subwoofer. The top two models come in a new, larger size, designed to match 47-inch TVs, which reflects the rising popularity of larger screen HDTVs.
The strangest model may be the NB3730A, which includes built-in Wi-Fi and a basic streaming-media suite including including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Vudu, … Read more
Pedestal-style sound bars are the latest evolution in the simplification of home audio. Instead of placing a long sound bar in front of your TV, pedestal sound bars are designed to sit under your TV, for a cleaner look with considerably less clutter. It's by far the easiest way to improve on the sound of your TV with the least intrusion on your living room decor.
The trade-off is that these systems generally don't sound quite as good as traditional sound bars, largely because they lack a separate subwoofer to handle the low end. It's yet another … Read more
Confused about what TV to buy? Please allow me to de-confusify you. From technology (LED, LCD, plasma?) to size, to features, there are a lot of choices to make when deciding on the right TV.
Narrowing down the options isn't as hard as it seems, though, and that's what this article is all about. … Read more
Many sound bars offer only a small number of inputs, with often just a single digital and analog audio input on the back to handle your gear. That's hardly enough for a modern home theater packed with a DVR, game console, Blu-ray player, and streaming-media box.
Luckily, you can get around your sound bar's limited selection of inputs by using your TV as a switcher. You'll be able to connect as many devices as your TV supports, and it will even simplify the input selection process.
Here's how to do it:… Read more
Sound bars are an excellent compromise between shelling out for an expensive surround-sound system and settling for the tinny sound from your TV's built-in speakers, but that doesn't mean they're perfect. In fact, sound bars have quite a few real-world problems and limitations that are often glossed over, only to rear their heads after you've got one set up at home.
Here's what you should know before you make the jump to buying a sound bar.… Read more
CNET Reader Kato asks:
I have speakers directly hooked up to my TV via the "speaker audio out." It works fine. I then hooked up additional speakers I had from a computer. Upon doing so the volume on the original speakers went way down and I get even less from the new speakers. What am I doing wrong?
Oh, so many things...… Read more
Samsung showed most of its home theater line at CES 2012, but the company finally got official with pricing at a media event in New York this morning.
While the products weren't new, they're now officially available, with pricing (estimated selling price) breaking down as follows:… Read more
Audio is no less immune to the sort of mild lies and partial truths found in the HDTV world. As I discussed in the HDTV edition of MMM, cutting through these fabrications is the key to understanding what really matters.
Before you spend any money on audio, check out this list for what's important, what's not, and what's just total misdirection.… Read more
When Boston Acoustics first came out with its TVee line of sound bars , its modest pricing and focus on simplicity were a welcome addition to a market filled with overpriced models.
A few generations later, the TVee Model 25 faces a much different set of competitors: tons of cheap sound bars that are good enough if you just want something that sounds better than your TV. That's essentially the rub with the TVee Model 25, which is an all-around decent sound bar with better-than-average sound quality (and some design flaws), but its $350 street price seems out of sync with the market.… Read more