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843 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 189292 22-Dec-2015 19:46
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We have a 60" Plasma TV [a good one i.e. Panasonic ST60]

I'm assuming a sound bar will make a difference rather than the in built speakers. I thought it would be nice to have better sound and get a soundbar for listening to movies etc

I don't want to spend a lot i.e. >$600?

I saw the Samsung H450 is RRP $450 which seems to be a good buy but a cursory look showed that a Yamaha YAS201 seems to be popular and is on sale @ $599 but appears to be a couple of years old so I assume since then the competition offers as good for less ?

Any recommendations and does room size configuration matter I ask as our dining area is off to one side 

Or maybe I wait for boxing day sales ?

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3580 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1455654 22-Dec-2015 20:42
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Did you compare TV or movie sound between the two?
That's how you decide on the best unit for your needs... then work on price.

843 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1455797 23-Dec-2015 08:21
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Dunnersfella: Did you compare TV or movie sound between the two?
That's how you decide on the best unit for your needs... then work on price.

I haven't compared units yet, I assume you mean in store ?
price - well I do have a budget and I"m not an audiophile lol


73 posts

Master Geek

  # 1455813 23-Dec-2015 09:11
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Having gone through the process of reducing from a full speaker 5.1 setup, to a soundbar, back to a mini 5.1 still using an AV receiver, I can offer


  • If going from TV to soundbar you will be impressed with upgrade in sound quality
  • If going from 5.1 to soundbar you will not
  • If going soundbar get one with a sub option
  • Do you want the soundbar to HDMI input switch?
  • They're not particularly attractive and you will have 2 cables running for power and optical across your media cabinet or wall

If it was my money I would pick up one of these

And a couple of nice bookshelf speakers (or KEF eggs) and a sub off Trademe

670 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1455854 23-Dec-2015 10:26
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I have a Sony HT-CT660 and would highly recommend it, unfortunately its been discontinued but I assume Sony still offers a similar new model.

I think I paid around $300 a couple of years back and at the time it had very positive reviews on the internet. I really like the Bluetooth functionality, prior to having the sound bar we didn't have a stereo in the lounge so being able to pair my iPhone to the sound bar and listen to Spotify has been great.

It's definitely no substitute for a full 5.1 setup though, I've turned off Sony's virtual surround sound function and have it permanently set in Stereo mode. My reason for buying was similar to yours in that I found the speakers in my Samsung TV to be woeful particularly for dialogue.

782 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1455867 23-Dec-2015 10:54
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I have the Samsung HW-H450 hooked up to my Samsung 40" TV.  Got it on special for $280 a little over a year ago.  Does a much better job than the built-in speakers, but I'm certainly no audiophile.  Controlled by HDMI-ARC, so TV remote can turn on/off the soundbar, and adjust volume.

In saying that, we use it more in BT mode to play back music via Spotify from our phones, as we don't have a traditional 'stereo' in this room.  Don't even need to turn the soundbar on first, as connecting to it via BT will automatically wake it up.  Powers off automatically after a time when the BT is disconnected.

843 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1455928 23-Dec-2015 11:55
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Hi all

Thank you for your replies smile

Does the bar require to be off the floor ?

The Yamaha only has 2 optical, so how important is it for any unit to have hdmi or multiple hdmi or hdmi ARC ?
My current shortlist is Sony CT380, Samsung H450 and the Yamaha YAS201 [all have sub woofer]

Does any soundbar unit that have BT mean I can pair with a BT device such as a PC or phone to play music ?

782 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1455930 23-Dec-2015 12:02
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My TV sits on a cabinet, so the soundbar sits on this in front of the TV.  The subwoofer (wireless) sits on the floor in behind the cabinet (ours is in the corner of our lounge, so there is space)
I've only got the TV connected via HDMI, but my Samsung also has USB, 3.5mm and optical as well (from memory).  The HDMI-CEC ARC lets you control the soundbar from the connected device's remote (TV in my case)
Not sure about the others, but my Sammy definitely lets you pair your BT phone directly to play back audio.  Ours gets more use for playing music than playing back TV


843 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1459224 30-Dec-2015 19:09
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An update

I got a Samsung J450 today on sale at $268. The J450 seems to be the replacement for the H450

Out the box without testing or tweaking placement etc it definitely makes a difference over the TV speakers but haven't yet tried with a movie or music. So far I used the supplied optical cable rather than hdmi but will try hdmi arc later

Nice to see that this unit has an android app that allows remote control and a usb port. I haven't tried pairing to device so playback music. My wife is keen on that as she moved her mini stereo downstairs.

I do wonder how well units that don't have a dedicated separate box for sub woofer work. That would be nice due to less cables and boxes.

3424 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1459300 30-Dec-2015 21:42
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On boxing day I brought a Sony HT-CT780 to go with my 48" Sammy for $624. I'd already looked at a Samsung one (can't remember model number) and wasn't terribly impressed. With the Sony, I listened to a bit of movie soundtrack then listened to some heavy rock (Led Zeppelin reunion concert). I was quite impressed with the quality and the fact it had 3 HDMI in, one HDMI out and an optical in.

The sub is wireless which is convenient and I can connect my phone by touching it to the NFC emblem on the soundbar - this activates bluetooth on my phone and away I go. At the moment I only have a blue-ray DVD player connected to one of the HDMI inputs. HDMI out carries this signal to the TV. An optical cable (supplied) carries the sound from the TV to the soundbar and volume is controlled through the TV remote. The soundbar also switches on/off automatically with the TV. I'm liking it a lot!

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