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08 Feb 2011
By elwombat

elwombat

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surround sound bargains help

15 Replies 519 Views Created 08-02-2011

Hi all,

 

I'd like your help, if at all possible, with making a decision on what surround sound kit to buy for my flat. I'm just renting at the minute and don't plan to be here for any longer than a year, so I'm looking for a temporary, cheap solution and I'll fork out for a decent system once I've got my own place and I know what dimensions and space I'm dealing with.

 

So with that said, I've set a tentative roof of £100 to fill a room of about 7x5 meters.

 

I've not got a vast amount of experience with surround sound, I just recently heard it at a friends and realized that I wasn't doing my PS3 justice with TV speakers. That said my inexperience permits me a blissful ignorance and I'm currently listening to my Creative MMS110 2.1 PC speakers (which cost about £30) and think they're the bees knees, so I'm aware that low cost will be low quality, but am happy with something that will do the job for the time being and not offend my ears too much with obvious tinny-ness etc.

 

I've shopped around and have found a couple of bargains and also seen some setups for under £100.

 

Panasonic SC-PT170 reduced from £250 to £150 due to a missing remote - not overly keen on this as I've seen these on the net for £100 anyways, so this may not be the bargain it appears to be

 

Panasonic SC-BT100 reduced from £700 to £150 due to a HDMI port not working - seems like a good deal but only a 3.1 system and reviews say that the major selling point is the picture quality; the sound aint so good. So is a 3.1 system that's poor for £700 better than a cheap 5.1 system for £100?

 

And then there's the assortment of cheap setups such as the at clearence at Richer Sounds.

 

Your thoughts, ladies and gents?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

 

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02
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berties123

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If it's in a flat with plasterboard walls I wouldn't bother. I coughed round my mates place and the neighbours complained I was making too much noise.

 

Buy a set of headphones. When you get a semi/detached get a sound system.

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RogerJones947

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As above, get a set of headphones and wait till your more settled

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elwombat

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Hmmm, definitely worth considering. Am I more likely to get a pair of half decent headphones for £100 then, that will mimic surround sound?

Of course headphones bring with them their own issues (watching a movie with the missus, for example), so I might still prefer a budget surround sound kit. If I did decide to plump for a kit, which of the above options is the least un-sensible?

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02
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berties123

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Don't waste your money with surround sound headphones.  Sennheiser are very comfy but a bit laid back sound. And you'll need a headphone amplifier too. HD595 is an all rounder,  not too hard to drive and about £100 (guess)

 

As for HDMI not working, pretty darn important if you want to use the built in player.

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02
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elwombat

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Probably won't be using the built in player, what with the PS3 handling all of my upscaling and blu-raying needs. But a headset wouldn't allow me to enjoy a movie with the missus - are you saying that for this price range the TV speakers will be preferable to a cheap surround kit?
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berties123

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Those HTIB will have better sound quality than a flat panel TV. And HD-595 aren't headsets, they're full size headphones. If you want a mic you'll have to look at another model.

But yeah headphones obviously for one person. Got some Grados myself good for rock and modern music, bit unformftable though wouldn't want to wear for a couple of hours. Just checked HD-595's are bang on £100.

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The truth is your not going to get a decent surround system for £100, but if you want some xtra sound in your room you could try the logic 3 soundstation 3 speaker system that amazon have on offer for £57.79.

It won't give you the surround sound your after, but you will get a fair bit more volume and theyr'e only £58.

Not ideal, but they should do you while your in a flat

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Decided to get the panasonic bt100 set for £150 as it was the best quality set selling at &pound600 off te shelf. I'm very pleased with the quality though I'm going to shell out an extra &pound100 for the wireless rear speakers I think. Not the budget system I was hoping for in the end but the quality is such that I'd be happy with the system for the forseeable and it was a steal at the price I got it. I am having problems with sound delay on the optical which is apparently a common problem on ps3, but it just means I don't get clicks on the xmb.

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berties123

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Don't waste your money with wireless speakers.

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stabes

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You have to buy a Sony surround sound system, check the new TOS you have signed, Sony can ban you from PSN if you are using non Sony hardware.

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lol

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ytevo79

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RogerJones947 wrote:

The truth is your not going to get a decent surround system for £100, but if you want some xtra sound in your room you could try the logic 3 soundstation 3 speaker system that amazon have on offer for £57.79.

It won't give you the surround sound your after, but you will get a fair bit more volume and theyr'e only £58.

Not ideal, but they should do you while your in a flat


 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003DNSBJI/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_...

 

It gets on my nerves when people 'think' you have to spend a lot on a sound system for it to sound good. We don't live in the theatre.. anything like this in the average home will be adequate enough, we have family's, kids, or parents etc. We're not trying to upset the neighbours, get thrown out or blow the house roof off.

 

I have a AV amp and Sony speakers/floorstanders for my usual setup, but I haven't the room now I'm back at my parents so I'm looking at something similar that is more compact and ''spare room friendly'' to keep the parents happy ;) I bet it sounds just as good if not better then my AV setup as It is quite old now. As someone who has been into home cinema and gaming setups quite seriously for over 10 years I bet I'm happy with this new rig for the time being. Heck anything is better then standard HDTV speakers :)

 

I remember my friend buying a logic 3 I think it was 5.1 setup for £99 which I though was going to be pants, but it sounded pretty good for bloody £100

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Spot on ytevo!

Whilst I'm sure berties et al.'s speaker systems are far superior to mine, the Samsung 5.1 system I picked up for about £150 18 months ago is much better than the speakers within my TV. It's not often I actually get to use it so that's it's loud enough for the neighbours to hear, but when I've used it for parties it's packed quite a bit of a punch.
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks. It's all decided now as I took the bt100 system - turns out it's fully working so I've got a £600 for £150 courtesy of a relative working in panasonic. I'm curious as to why wireless speakers are a no no though, as I think the system pretty much forces you to use the wireless amp expansion or just buy a £200 amp and do optical out (thereby defeating the object of keeping it simple and low cost). I do have a curious problem I posted on AV forums about where I've got speaker whine unless my iPhone is in the iPod dock - weird :-s
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