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Soundbars: Feature Options and Installation Issues
August 21, 2013 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Soundbars can be the answer to a homeowner’s home audio prayers, but there’s no one-size fits all solution.
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Posted by PhilM  on  08/26  at  06:56 PM

I know it fly’s in the face of the “soundbar” theory but do you know if you can use a soundbar as a centre channel with a wider surround sound system?

We are finishing off a luxury home with an 80” screen and the room has 15’ ceilings.  There is literally NO room for an in wall centre or even ceiling mounted centre speaker.  The rest of the channels are ceiling mounted but when the client flipped the room on us we suddenly don’t have a Centre…

I thought it might be a good way to bring the audio/visual link down to screen level.

Any thoughts?

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  08/29  at  10:47 AM

@PhilM,
Using a soundbar as a center only—I don’t think so, not without some compromises at least. You’d need a passive soundbar (like the Golden Ear) and then would wire only the center channel of it. Wiring all the channels to represent the center wouldn’t work because those drivers are oriented to project toward a different space. You’d have dialog coming from directions where dialog shouldn’t be.

Of course you could just use a large custom soundbar from Leon for the whole LFR array and skip the in-ceiling LR completely.

If this 80-inch screen is a projection screen, is it too late to swap in an acoustically transparent material and then place the center behind it? Another option would be to use one of the many low-profile on-wall speakers. B&W, Paradigm and others make LP on-walls that sound very good and aren’t obtrusive.

Posted by PhilM  on  08/29  at  06:35 PM

Thanks for that Grant, I figured that would be the response but had hoped a workaround had been found.

The Screen is a Flat Screen so acoustically transparent is out of the question.

We have gone with VAF flush mounts in the ceiling however due to mouldings and wall treatments, we are stuck…. for now.

Posted by SReid  on  09/05  at  06:40 PM

We live in an old church that has been converted into a single family home.  The main church “hall” has 28 foot ceilings and is a very large open space.  Our 55 inch plasma needs audio help as we really can’t hear much from it.  Would a sound bar do anything for us - and if so, any recommendations?

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  09/06  at  11:01 AM

@SReid, yes a soundbar would be a big improvement over your TV’s speakers. The speakers in your TV probably only have 10 - 20 watt amps. You need a soundbar with a lot of power to fill up that large space. I’ll ask some pros for their opinion on this.

Posted by SReid  on  09/07  at  10:36 AM

Thanks Grant!  it would help to have an idea of what to buy so I will look forward to your response!  FYI we live in Ontario Canada.

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