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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Speakers


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Old 08-22-2018, 12:35 AM   #1
lionsden985 lionsden985 is offline
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Default Dolby Atmos Sound Bars

Hey guys, currently i do not have the room or budget to get a dolby digital atmos sound system. I have been doing some research here and there and believe the atmos sound bar could work best for me. From your experience, which dolby atmos sound bar would you reccommend?
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:35 AM   #2
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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I've looked into these and found all fall short in significant ways.

However, Samsung might have brought out the game-changer going by this first review I've seen of their new bar.... https://www.techradar.com/reviews/sa...-n950-soundbar
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:43 PM   #3
ack_bak ack_bak is offline
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I am always skeptical of any upward firing Atmos enabled speakers that require you to try to "bounce" the sound off the ceiling to the seating positions.

I am even more skeptical of a soundbar doing this with small drivers that may or may not have wide dispersion characteristics.

I would advocate that if you must have a soundbar focus on one that is the best at center channel (dialogue) and has the ability to pair external surrounds or subwoofer with them.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:56 PM   #4
Pondosinatra Pondosinatra is offline
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Er....'Atmos' and 'Sound Bar' really don't belong in the same sentence...
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:45 AM   #5
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
I am always skeptical of any upward firing Atmos enabled speakers that require you to try to "bounce" the sound off the ceiling to the seating positions.

I am even more skeptical of a soundbar doing this with small drivers that may or may not have wide dispersion characteristics.

I would advocate that if you must have a soundbar focus on one that is the best at center channel (dialogue) and has the ability to pair external surrounds or subwoofer with them.
Which is of course the N950. Wide tweeters, rears and sub for true 7.1.4 discrete channels. Obviously the limit is the bouncing effect, but it's going to have some height benefit over no Atmos speakers.

Others I agree, calling themselves Atmos bars when they have 2 channels is totally ridiculous.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
ack_bak ack_bak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
Which is of course the N950. Wide tweeters, rears and sub for true 7.1.4 discrete channels. Obviously the limit is the bouncing effect, but it's going to have some height benefit over no Atmos speakers.

Others I agree, calling themselves Atmos bars when they have 2 channels is totally ridiculous.
I am not convinced any soundbar can do it properly. Proper Atmos setup requires you to seperate the height channels from the other channels. You are also still trying to bounce sound off walls/ceiling and all of the drivers are too close together IMHO. You also want drivers that have wide dispersion characteristics (coaxial does this really well such as Kef).

I am sure some soundbars do it better than others, but I would advocate 4 in-ceiling speakers and some nice bookshelf speakers and a good dedicated sub if possible.

If a soundbar is a must then this Samsung model does have some good points like wireless surrounds and a seperate sub. But it's pretty expensive.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:40 PM   #7
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Well, there are those that can have a full separate system installed, and those that for various reason's can't. The bars aimed at the latter have all failed in pretty major ways IMO until the N950. Still not perfect though, I wonder why no one has merged the AVR and soundbar systems? A soundbar like the N950 with a modular nature to allow users to run the core system or add wireless Atmos speakers in various configurations etc. and a AVR hub to connect everything to, because every soundbar fails in the number of available inputs.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:54 AM   #8
Network23 Network23 is offline
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That seems like th soundbar to beat. But i wish i could afford it, im still saving a bit for a TV, and depending of Black friday this year ill jump to sony x900f, 930e, or a 65 inch sony . Id live to get a good sound bar like the N950, but that price is way too high for me.
Hopefully others will come out to compete and make ones like the N950. ill be keeping my eyes open
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:55 PM   #9
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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It's still at full whack early adopter price. Give it a few months, it'll likely start being discounted then. Probably not by much but every little helps.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:54 PM   #10
Indelible Indelible is offline
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im waiting for a sub $500 5.1.4 soundbar system, i have a feeling it'll be a while
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:57 PM   #11
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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If you want the least trade-off in quality, quite some time, if ever.

Meanwhile, I got these. Wanted a compact Atmos system, didn't want the soundbar compromises on inputs. Paid less even including new Denon 2500 receiver than what the N950 would have cost. OK, so I don't have quite as many channels but have more inputs than I need and a wide front stage which super quality speaker build that doesn't overpower the room.

Last edited by oddbox83; 10-18-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:10 AM   #12
Network23 Network23 is offline
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im looking at Sound bar Sony HTZ-9F priced at $899, but seen as low as $700. It does Dolby Atmos and it half the price of of the samsung bar And you can buy separately 2 wireless rears speakers to make it 5.1. Ill wait and see what Black Friday prices brings.
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:04 PM   #13
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Network23 View Post
im looking at Sound bar Sony HTZ-9F priced at $899, but seen as low as $700. It does Dolby Atmos and it half the price of of the samsung bar And you can buy separately 2 wireless rears speakers to make it 5.1. Ill wait and see what Black Friday prices brings.
The Atmos output however is 100% fake. Don't get me wrong, it's a good bar but it's only giving you a 3.1 channel system, or 5.1 with added surrounds. There are no dedicated Atmos channels at all. The Atmos effects come from those same speakers, just with some processing applied to try and fool you into thinking they are coming from somewhere they aren't.

Get that bar if you want a good quality soundbar on a budget where the pseudo-Atmos effect is a bonus, don't get one just because you want Atmos.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
The Atmos output however is 100% fake. Don't get me wrong, it's a good bar but it's only giving you a 3.1 channel system, or 5.1 with added surrounds. There are no dedicated Atmos channels at all. The Atmos effects come from those same speakers, just with some processing applied to try and fool you into thinking they are coming from somewhere they aren't.

Get that bar if you want a good quality soundbar on a budget where the pseudo-Atmos effect is a bonus, don't get one just because you want Atmos.
Hi oddbox hows you going?

After a few months with the Sony HT-XF9 (with rear speakers) very much enjoying it, watching movies now is a joy with extra sound and the effects off coming from the side and behind and in front sometimes even slightly overhead depending on a good film that produces excellent Atmos, I know itís foolling you but hell it sounds good lol
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:18 AM   #15
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Glad you're enjoying it!
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:04 PM   #16
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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I've just picked up a ZF9 for myself (and the rears) for my loft bedroom to replace a disappointing Samsung N400.

For such an awkward shaped room where many of the up-firing bars would fail royally, this is perfect for my needs. True 5.1 with a bit of Atmos and DTS-X processing as a bonus. I've no 4K up there but I'm fully future proofed for all I might want up there in the forseeable with even eARC.

What a massive difference. Haven't tried any true 3D audio formats yet, but 5.1 works a treat. Sub is powerful even tucked away discretely under the eaves. Where the N400 gave a limited stereo, this is wide and spacious even tucked off to one side of the room.

Basic but useful calibration tools missing in the majority of competitors bars.

With the rears I like that although you have to have 2 spare power sockets with possible extension cable needs, you don't need to find room for the power/wifi box the LG and Samsung wireless rears use.

I took great pains in finding the right bar, Samsung and LG were all close contenders but all failed in a major area for me. Usually it was a sloppy lack of lossless audio and other high-spec features in the bars that didn't have up-firers. Sony have bottled magic here. I feel I can continue watching a box set in bed I'd been watching downstairs on the main setup without suffering a marked decline in audio quality. The ZF9 isn't just a good choice, it feels like it was my only choice as a discerning buyer due to my room shape. Sony have understood not having the space or acoustics for a top-end Atmos/surround bar doesn't have to mean cutting corners elsewhere.

Last edited by oddbox83; 06-03-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:40 AM   #17
CompleteCount CompleteCount is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
[Show spoiler]I've just picked up a ZF9 for myself (and the rears) for my loft bedroom to replace a disappointing Samsung N400.

For such an awkward shaped room where many of the up-firing bars would fail royally, this is perfect for my needs. True 5.1 with a bit of Atmos and DTS-X processing as a bonus. I've no 4K up there but I'm fully future proofed for all I might want up there in the forseeable with even eARC.

What a massive difference. Haven't tried any true 3D audio formats yet, but 5.1 works a treat. Sub is powerful even tucked away discretely under the eaves. Where the N400 gave a limited stereo, this is wide and spacious even tucked off to one side of the room.

Basic but useful calibration tools missing in the majority of competitors bars.

With the rears I like that although you have to have 2 spare power sockets with possible extension cable needs, you don't need to find room for the power/wifi box the LG and Samsung wireless rears use.

I took great pains in finding the right bar, Samsung and LG were all close contenders but all failed in a major area for me. Usually it was a sloppy lack of lossless audio and other high-spec features in the bars that didn't have up-firers. Sony have bottled magic here. I feel I can continue watching a box set in bed I'd been watching downstairs on the main setup without suffering a marked decline in audio quality. The ZF9 isn't just a good choice, it feels like it was my only choice as a discerning buyer due to my room shape. Sony have understood not having the space or acoustics for a top-end Atmos/surround bar doesn't have to mean cutting corners elsewhere.
Good to read some nice things being written about Sony in the audio department on here, as there is a tendency to look down their nose at their stuff, be it the quality in general or that their receivers are "increasingly bright" in their sound, something which has been leveled at them for a good 15 years.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:45 AM   #18
scarletlion scarletlion is offline
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So is the Sony HTZF9 the best soundbar for it's price range?
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:03 PM   #19
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Originally Posted by scarletlion View Post
So is the Sony HTZF9 the best soundbar for it's price range?
I wouldn't like to say that.

I'd go as far to say it's currently the best fully featured soundbar for awkward rooms based on my own needs. The Samsung Q70 is in a similar sort of price range and feature list, but those dedicated Atmos speakers would have been wasted under a low vaulted ceiling and for my needs that money was better spent on the Z9F with true rears. The Q70 was also too big, the ZF9 is smaller than it's similarly featured models from Samsung and LG.

Last edited by oddbox83; 06-05-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:45 AM   #20
scarletlion scarletlion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
I wouldn't like to say that.

I'd go as far to say it's currently the best fully featured soundbar for awkward rooms based on my own needs. The Samsung Q70 is in a similar sort of price range and feature list, but those dedicated Atmos speakers would have been wasted under a low vaulted ceiling and for my needs that money was better spent on the Z9F with true rears. The Q70 was also too big, the ZF9 is smaller than it's similarly featured models from Samsung and LG.
So is there a reason the LG SK10Y isn't spoken about as highly as the Sony?

Doesn't the LG have dedicated uplifting speakers for the pseudo atmos? Isn't that better?
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