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Soundbar Recommendation

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:19:18 | Show all posts |Read mode
Hi,
I have a Vizio M50-C1 and find the lack of voice clarity disappointing. I don't like constantly fidgeting with the volume and do not want to have the TV constantly set to loud, so I have turned on closed captioning to make sure I catch everything. I think this takes away from the experience and I feel like I'm training my brain to require CC to pick up on dialogue. I generally watch TV shows and am not big into movies. Therefore I don't require a huge booming subwoofer and would prefer not to have much boom considering I live in a duplex and do not want to disturb my neighbor. I am also not an audiophile.
Easy to use is also a must have. I'm looking for a unit that can be turned on and controlled with my Vizio remote. I think this can be accomplished with HDMI arc(?), which the M50-C1 has.
The room my TV is in is about 11.5' wide by 12' long (closer to 20 when you include the combined kitchen). I haven't measured the height of the ceilings but they are approximately 12' tall. I would post a picture showing the layout but I do not have enough posts. Since the room where the TV is located is more of a dining room, I have to compete with noise from the refrigerator.
Right now I am looking at the following (in no particular order):
Yamaha YAS-106 / ATS-1060
ZVOX 570
ZVOX SB400
ZVOX 450
Although I would prefer to stay in the $200 range I am willing to go up. I realize some of the ones I'm looking at are way more than $200. I also realize the ones I am looking at have a subwoofer built in--that is not a requirement.
Can anyone give me any recommendations or perhaps vouch for any in my list?
Thanks.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:20:01 | Show all posts
YAS-203 has excellent reviews, and if you're looking at the 106, might as well dip into the pocket book a little more for the upgraded model.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:20:40 | Show all posts
I'dgo with the YAS-106 over the 203 for its better sound quality. The203s big feature is the sub. If you add an inexpensive Dayton sub tp the 106 for less than $100 you will beat any of these. No need to go with some big monster sub. We understand you are not looking for thunderous bass, but having a sub allows you to fill in the frequencies the small speakers in sound bars are not capable. It also allows you to place the sub optimally for better bass performance as the best location for bass is rarely the best location for mid and high frequencies. For no sub at all the Zvox 450/570 will do best for bass with its built in 5.25 woofer.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:21:13 | Show all posts
The YAS-106 is currently on sale ($200-$20=$180) so I went ahead and ordered one. It's still a bit more expensive than the ATS-1060 version sold at Costco, but I don't have a membership. Anyway, my M50-C1 only sits about 2.5" above the TV stand and the YAS-106 is low enough profile that it will fit without any modifications or blocking the screen. Hopefully it works out. If it doesn't I will return and order a ZVOX. Should be here Wednesday.
Thanks.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:22:00 | Show all posts

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:22:40 | Show all posts

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:23:10 | Show all posts
I bought the YAS-106 a couple months ago.  I was thoroughly unimpressed with it.  I am no audiophile at all.  I have never owned speakers or a soundbar before, so this was my first time ever experiencing anything besides built-in TV speakers.  I ended up returning the YAS-106 because I just did not notice much improvement over the TV speakers.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:24:07 | Show all posts
I 100% agree that 106 is utterly unimpressive, Yamaha might have some impressive soundbars and I bought on that promise but 106 sounds tinny, hollow and bass is just plain wrong with bass extension or without. $80 Vizio knocks this one of the park... This a failure for Yamaha. Samsung K450 on the hand at $130 is quite surprising in sound quality.

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:24:55 | Show all posts
So the YAS-106 came in yesterday and it fits perfectly in front of my TV and between the stands. I also thought I would need to program my remote, but I plugged it into the ARC port on my TV and was instantly able to control on/off and volume with my remote. Amazing.
The bass is not ear shattering but considering my TV does not have a subwoofer, it is more than adequate. I do not want much rumble anyway and generally have it turned down to it's minimum level (-4 according to the app).
Now for it's Achilles's heel (imho). Dialogue does not seem any clearer than what I can get out of the TV's speakers. In fact, it may be worse. It seems like the soundbar can produce sounds that my TV simply cannot so there seems to be more background noise/music that is playing through the speakers and competing with the dialogue, whether clear sound is on or off.
Bluetooth works very well.
The iphone app has a slight delay when changing volume and settings, but I don't see that as much of an issue since I will rarely use this feature.
I'll give it another week or two before I decide whether or not to keep it.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:25:36 | Show all posts
I forgot to mention it also takes about 10 seconds for the sound to start after the picture is up on the TV.
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