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    Thread: 2.1 Home Audio System - Budget <30K

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      2.1 Home Audio System - Budget <30K

      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      After considering all available 5.1 options, many rounds of listening and discussions including one today I have decided to suspend my search for sometime till some new integrated options with wall mountable speakers and wireless woofer are available. I already have a decent enough 2.1 set up with my desktop, I can always play music on it as needed, not looking for any stereo set up for now.
      You have done a good amount of research. So I would like to continue for my requirements in your thread. I am looking out for something for listening to songs. My requirements are not well defined. What I am looking for is:

      A 2.1 channel sound bar with a woofer. I also need to play MP3 songs from the USB Pen drive, and FM.

      or

      A standalone simple music system, which can play MP3 from USB pen drive + FM.

      Whatever i buy, would be used mostly at low to medium volume. Slightly louder volume might be needed occasionally when my kids/wife want to dance on the songs.

      I have 2 TVs, a 32" Sony R series (half smart TV) and 42" Sony W series smart TV. The 42 inch TV is out main TV, while 32 inch TV is used only for Youtube for kids. The speakers of TV seem adequate enough. And a very basic Rs. 1000-1200 FM radio which i bought last year just to gauge if we would really listen to FM radio. My wife listens to songs on FM while working alone in kitchen, and kids use it when they want to dance. So for portability a small but good music system seems to make sense, but it won't help with upping the sound experience while watching TV. And my main TV is on first floor, while kitchen is on ground floor, so a sound bar on the main TV won't help with listening to songs in kitchen. Just thinking loud. It seems like i need to buy both: a portable music system (something like philips boombox) and a sound bar. A 5.1 channel HT system is highly undesirable as I do like things simpler, without the mesh of speaker wires running all over.

      Ideally I would like to spend 10-15k, but wouldn't mind to spend 25-30k for better sounding system.
      rksingh1 Lvramanan

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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      A standalone simple music system, which can play MP3 from USB pen drive + FM.
      You better buy a pair of decent bookshelf speakers and an amp capable of few input like USB, AUX etc. You can use bookshelf speakers in any kind of application, for example if you have itch to upgrade to HT in future, you can use your speakers as mains or surround. Simple AMP also can be used in future expansions.

      Speakers based on conventional designs and built in wooden boxes will sound any day better compared to drivers fitted in plastic boxes/

      Cambridge audio, Norge, NAD etc are amp brands and Boston Acoustics, Q Acoustics, Wharfedale, Polk, Cambridge Audio, Tannoy are few of the speaker brands you should consider.

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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      I would like to continue for my requirements in your thread.
      I have made a specific thread for you. Other people may have similar requirements, separate thread will help them, You may continue the discussion here instead of it getting buried inside other threads.

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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      I have 2 TVs, a 32" Sony R series (half smart TV) and 42" Sony W series smart TV. The 42 inch TV is out main TV, while 32 inch TV is used only for Youtube for kids. The speakers of TV seem adequate enough. And a very basic Rs. 1000-1200 FM radio which i bought last year just to gauge if we would really listen to FM radio. My wife listens to songs on FM while working alone in kitchen, and kids use it when they want to dance. So for portability a small but good music system seems to make sense, but it won't help with upping the sound experience while watching TV. And my main TV is on first floor, while kitchen is on ground floor, so a sound bar on the main TV won't help with listening to songs in kitchen. Just thinking loud. It seems like i need to buy both: a portable music system (something like philips boombox) and a sound bar. A 5.1 channel HT system is highly undesirable as I do like things simpler, without the mesh of speaker wires running all over.
      You've been fairly descriptive of your requirement.

      1. It appears the system is expected to provide better music listening experience to your wife & kids.
      2. This is expected to be used in ground floor.
      3. You have your main TV at first floor, and you're trying to maximize the value of your purchase by making it useful with TV unit as well?

      Am I right so far?

      If yes, have your kids / wife asked for better sounding FM or are they fed-up of listening to FM & need MP3?

      If you are okay with TV sound output, then the product like Boom box works for you. Its portable, provides good sound output, easy to use and inexpensive. If you're looking for 2.1 setup, it needs to be a dedicated plugged in setup at ground floor for use, and certainly not be portable. It will provide great listening experience but I doubt your wife & kids are looking for audiophile setup anyway.

      I bought a Portronics Pure Sound Portable Speaker System for 1400 bucks some 2 years ago exactly for the same purpose as that of yours. There were no hindi FM channels in Chennai back then. We have two now, so now it gets used for FM more than anything else. I can plug in my phone, laptop, TV, virtually anything with 3.5mm jack. Sound quality is decent and has served me for occasional needs.

      An upgrade for me has to be a HT system plugged into to TV, but that I am sure will not be a replacement for portable system I got. Portability and great sound quality don't go well together and we may need separate solution for them.

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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      Ideally I would like to spend 10-15k, but wouldn't mind to spend 25-30k for better sounding system.
      You can buy this, they sound great and comes with satellite speakers & sub woofer, and multiple connectivity options.

      5.1ch Home Theatre System with Bluetooth | HT-RT3 | Sony IN
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      At around 30k budget, the Philips Fidelio series is possibly the best soundbar around. If you want a full 4.1 experience, you can detach its wireless surround speakers and put them in the rear.

      The wireless surround speakers can be attached back to the main soundbar for recharging and used as it is for a virtual surround experience.

      You can also disable virtual surround for a normal 2-channel stereo and offers a reasonably good music experience.

      For wireless playback it has bluetooth. Other connectivity include coaxial, toslink, analogue and 2 HDMI inputs with one auto return channel.
      ICE, 4-way active - Eclipse CD7200mkii Head Unit, Kenwood KOS-300, Two Pioneer GM-X944 amps, Dayton midbass and wideband, Dayton AMT tweeters, Infinity Kappa sub, Ref. MX cables, entec speaker cables,
      Home: 3-way active: Dune Media Player, Parasound ZDAc v2, DBX 3-way analogue crossover, DIY 3-way tower speakers, 6-channel DNM amplifier: 2-way passive: Laptop source, TEAC UD301 DAC, 6J1 active tube buffer, Adcom amplifier, Infinity bookshelf and Wharfedale subwoofer

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      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      1. It appears the system is expected to provide better music listening experience to your wife & kids.
      Yes. The current Philips radio is just a mono and crappy sound. Need better sound and some bass.

      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      2. This is expected to be used in ground floor.
      Yes, the music player is to be used at ground floor. Will be sitting in a corner in the kitchen most of the time.

      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      3. You have your main TV at first floor, and you're trying to maximize the value of your purchase by making it useful with TV unit as well?
      No. I think I need to take this as additional requirement, as one system can not serve both purposes, so need to buy 2. In fact I don't feel need of any additional speakers for TV, as the default speakers on both Sony TVs are quite good.

      The 32" TV is just adjacent to kitchen. And youtube has audio Jukebox for hindi songs. Also, I can attach a USB to my TV and play MP3 songs from there. Also, yesterday I saw that TV's menu has FM radio. I tried tuning in, but was unable to tune into any FM. And there is no port to put a FM antenna on the TV. Wonder how FM would work on TV.

      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      If yes, have your kids / wife asked for better sounding FM or are they fed-up of listening to FM & need MP3?
      Yes, I have been asked for a better sounding music system.

      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      Portability and great sound quality don't go well together and we may need separate solution for them.
      Yes, probably need two different systems.

      I do have a pair of decent sounding JBL speakers with 3.5mm jack dumped somewhere. Not sure how I might be able to make use of it. I did not like it because it had too many wires. One wire for power and other for audio input, and one speaker driving from the other one. that makes a mesh.

      Quote Originally Posted by gkannan View Post
      If you want a full 4.1 experience, you can detach its wireless surround speakers and put them in the rear.

      The wireless surround speakers can be attached back to the main soundbar for recharging and used as it is for a virtual surround experience.
      Could you please tell if these are wireless surround speakers, why do we need to attach them to main unit? Just for recharging some batteries? Is there any other option for recharging directly from the 220V power socket so that these can lie at the rear forever attached to the main powerline for recharging?

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      2-3 months back I bought the Sony MHC V6D (High Power Home Audio System | MHC-V6D | Sony IN) which has everything (almost) I was looking for. Since it has a tower based design, there is no need for separate space. Below are few pros and cons:

      Pros:
      1. It has a Bluetooth connectivity option to which you can connect upto I guess 5-8 devices.
      2. You can power on - off the whole system via app, play song through app.
      3. Bass is quite heavy and it requires an open hall to truly experience the sound.
      4. You can play CDs and USB drives
      5. Has FM/AM, 2 Mic inputs for Karaoke
      6. You can stream songs wirelessly from your Phones / Tablets or Computer
      7. Graphic Equalizer, Sound modes
      8. Some DJ effect gimmicks and LED pattern, Strobe light effect with different colour & flash combination in the woofer (which I dont use)
      9. NFC connectivity
      10. 2 USB ports
      11. Timer function to wake up or shut down at particular time.

      Cons:
      1. There is minor lag while streaming sound wirelessly which gets evident if you are watching a video on your phone/computer
      2. Powering off the device technically makes it sleep, than turn off. So the internal cooling fan is always running.
      3. AM reception didnt worked for me, though FM is good.

      Overall I am satisfied. Though if you are looking for a small device, I will advice you to go for a Bose Soundlink models.


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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      Could you please tell if these are wireless surround speakers, why do we need to attach them to main unit?
      It can be used as a single soundbar or as a full 4.1 with wireless surround speakers. When the surrounds are connected to the main unit, it works in virtual surround mode like any other soundbar (ofcourse the virtual surround can be disabled when listening to 2-channel music).
      The detachable surround speakers can only be charged by connecting it to the main unit.

      Here is a review
      http://www.whathifi.com/philips/htl9100/review

      I by the way own two of these and had done a number of auditions before finalising on these.......

      If budget is not an issue, Yamaha's Sound Projector will blow everything out of water...YSP 3500 and above models.

      Yamaha's sound projector is an unique concept. It is not a soundbar at all and very close to the full fledged home theater setup with individual speakers.
      Unlike other soundbar, it has a plethora of small drivers, around 44 in the top of the line model. Each of the 44 speakers is active and driven by a DSP and amp. A bunch of these speakers act as surround, main and central speakers.
      these speakers play from 500hz onwards and can be time delayed to change the height and width depending on the room size.
      Couple of 5 inch drivers placed on either side of the 44 drivers play from 120 to 500hz to produce the lows. A wireless subwoofer is optional.

      What makes it awesome is the amount of tweaking it allows an user to fit the listeners environment. The sound quality is extremely good with a meaty midrange and exemplary details....do experience it in a nearby yamaha showroom
      Last edited by gkannan; 13th Sep 2016 at 18:55.
      ICE, 4-way active - Eclipse CD7200mkii Head Unit, Kenwood KOS-300, Two Pioneer GM-X944 amps, Dayton midbass and wideband, Dayton AMT tweeters, Infinity Kappa sub, Ref. MX cables, entec speaker cables,
      Home: 3-way active: Dune Media Player, Parasound ZDAc v2, DBX 3-way analogue crossover, DIY 3-way tower speakers, 6-channel DNM amplifier: 2-way passive: Laptop source, TEAC UD301 DAC, 6J1 active tube buffer, Adcom amplifier, Infinity bookshelf and Wharfedale subwoofer

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      Quote Originally Posted by gkannan View Post
      Yamaha's sound projector is an unique concept.
      What were you doing in last 2 months ?, Looks like you were lost listening to this YSP. Very interesting products indeed.

      Digital Sound Projector - Yamaha - India

      Do you know where one can audition these YSPs ? in Bangalore?

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