Audio Era: Because Sound Matters

Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
Check your UK Ebay, lesser known authorized Denon dealers often sell new ones on there for very good prices. I've bought all my Denons through authorized dealer's ebay storefronts. Non chain independent dealers will also usually offer lower pricing if you simply call and ask what's the best they can do. The reason I recommend the X3500 is because its room calibration (XT32) is a very significant improvement over the 2600's standard XT. With your mini cube speakers being carried by the subwoofer, XT32's vastly superior bass management/filter count would likely make a profound difference to your overall sound. I should point out though that the X2600 does add Atmos Virtualization, which is a processing feature that attempts to fake Atmos height channels with your standard speakers. I have no experience if (or how well) it actually works in practice however.
Looking on eBay, the only 3500's are from international sellers from the US. It's on the Denon UK website, so wonder how it's just that sold out right now. Just have been a limited release and discontinued early.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Looking on eBay, the only 3500's are from international sellers from the US. It's on the Denon UK website, so wonder how it's just that sold out right now. Just have been a limited release and discontinued early.
The X3500 is a 2018 model, the X2600 is a 2019. Unfortunately the 2019 X3600 is not a direct successor, it actually $1000+ rebadged X4500 (which is a 9 channel amp), there is no 2019 X4600. The X3500 may well be the last affordable Audyssey XT32 model ever produced as they did not make a 7 channel XT32 model in 2019 and perhaps won't in 2020 either. I assume their logic is that anyone wanting an upper range AVR wants 9+ channels for Atmos.
 
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Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
The X3500 is a 2018 model, the X2600 is a 2019. Unfortunately the 2019 X3600 is not a direct successor, it actually $1000+ rebadged X4500 (which is a 9 channel amp), there is no 2019 X4600. The X3500 may well be the last affordable Audyssey XT32 model ever produced as they did not make a 7 channel XT32 model in 2019 and perhaps won't in 2020 either. I assume their logic is that anyone wanting an upper range AVR wants 9+ channels for Atmos.
Ah gotcha. I'm so used to the generation number being in the front that I didn't think the second number would be the gen. Ah well, 2600 still looks ace so I should have it by the end of the week.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,497
Catalunya
Hi, I'm close to buying a new receiver and i wonder which one is the better deal Sony STR-DN1080 or ONKYO TX-NR696.
My main concern is if those are fine for next gen consoles (hdr 4k no added input lag earc)
Both seem very similar in specs and price
Thanks!
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Hi, I'm close to buying a new receiver and i wonder which one is the better deal Sony STR-DN1080 or ONKYO TX-NR696.
My main concern is if those are fine for next gen consoles (hdr 4k no added input lag earc)
Both seem very similar in specs and price
Thanks!
As I was saying above, I don't know what country you're in what kind of prices you're seeing on them, but if they're around $500 (which they appear to be in the US), there's no way I would consider either of those over a Denon X3500. To your questions, it allows you to turn off the image processing (you can turn off the GUI overlay entirely) and also supports eARC. Primarily though, it's room calibration/equalization suite (Audyssey XT32) is a quantum leap ahead of Sony's and Onkyo's, which is honestly the only feature that matters in mainstream consumer AVR's IMO.
 
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Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
Glad I got this setup, it sounds amazing. eARC through the C9 only being compressed is a bummer still since I need GSync from my PC and I don't have a second HDMI out. Roll on that Q2 2020 update.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,497
Catalunya
As I was saying above, I don't know what country you're in what kind of prices you're seeing on them, but if they're around $500 (which they appear to be in the US), there's no way I would consider either of those over a Denon X3500. It allows you to turn off the image processing (you can turn off the GUI overlay entirely) and also supports eARC. It's room calibration suite (Audyssey XT32) is a quantum leap ahead of Sony's and Onkyo's, which is honestly the only feature that matters in mainstream consumer AVR's IMO.
Spain here, those two are 450€: more or less... Denon seems to around 800€.
Isn't passthrough available for Sony and ONKYO? That should be without processing, shouldn't it? Checking specs seems ONKYO doesn't support eARC :/
 

Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
Spain here, those two are 450€: more or less... Denon seems to around 800€.
Isn't passthrough available for Sony and ONKYO? That should be without processing, shouldn't it? Checking specs seems ONKYO doesn't support eARC :/
If you can't get the x3500 mentioned, take a look at the x2600. I read so many issues with the Sony that I was going to buy myself that I ended up with that and having set it up today, it's fantastic.

Only issue as I mentioned above is getting eARC to use uncompressed audio from my PC, but that seems to be a limitation in the TV (and a lot of TVs).
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Spain here, those two are 450€: more or less... Denon seems to around 800€.
Isn't passthrough available for Sony and ONKYO? That should be without processing, shouldn't it? Checking specs seems ONKYO doesn't support eARC :/
They most likely do, but I would look into pricing on a Denon x1500, x1600, x2500, or x2600 before buying a Sony or Onkyo. They all 4 have the step down calibration suite (Audyssey XT) which is not as good as XT32, but should still be better than Sony's or Onkyo's. The 2000's add a more powerful amp over the 1000's, while the 600's add Atmos virtualization (simulates Atmos with standard speakers, no idea if it works) over the 500's. Aside from that they're all 4 feature equivalent AFAIK, so it comes down to price and whether you want a more powerful amp and/or Atmos virtualization.
 

shark97

Banned
Nov 7, 2017
4,369
So I got that Vizio 5.1.2 Atmos soundbar (not gonna look up the model number). Paid 299 at Best Buy. Replaced a Vizio 2.1 (?) soundbar. For the ceiling speaker part of the Atmos spec, it's meant to bounce the sound off your ceiling via upward angled speakers in the bar. Supposedly works well compared to the real thing according to reviews I've read, and of course the big plus is not having to mount speakers in your damn ceiling. It's plug n play.

Havent gamed with it but it's great. I'm a longtime vizio soundbar user and love them. Relatively wireless (I just put the wireless sub by the couch, and the rear satellites string off it).

I'm using it through Xbox, which generally seems to have some of the better Atmos support out there, with apps and such.

To enable Atmos on Xbox you need to download an app called Dolby Access. It's free for the soundbar (14.99 for headphones). It has a few cool demos that show off the Atmos. One in particular called "Amaze" I think is really neat, nothing much but flexes the atmos capabilities, it's a rainy jungle scene and the rain seems to come from all around you, coupled with some very deep bass and some reverb on that trademark dolby logo at the end, well for a second I thought I was in a movie theatre, except it's 299 in my house. Highly recommended.

Edit: Product Link (was 299 at Best Buy)
 
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Oct 28, 2017
171
Glad I got this setup, it sounds amazing. eARC through the C9 only being compressed is a bummer still since I need GSync from my PC and I don't have a second HDMI out. Roll on that Q2 2020 update.
The eARC limitation is the only thing holding me back from buying a b9 or c9.

Also if your GPU doesn't have a a second HDMI and you want to do the workaround of having it plugged into your TV and AVR, I've read.of some people having success with a displayport to HDMI adaptor.
 

Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
The eARC limitation is the only thing holding me back from buying a b9 or c9.

Also if your GPU doesn't have a a second HDMI and you want to do the workaround of having it plugged into your TV and AVR, I've read.of some people having success with a displayport to HDMI adaptor.
They've confirmed an update to fix it in q2 2020 and it's annoyingly not even the only TV with the issue. Seen some Samsung's have the issue too. I blame HDMI.

Yeah, tried an adaptor I had lying around and it only does stereo. Half tempted to just get a cheap second hand GPU and use that for sound
 

md1032

Member
Nov 21, 2017
18
Greetings, i was thinking upgrading my current setup for my desktop (Asrock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming-ITX/ac with Realtek ALC1220, LOGITECH Z-2300).

My current needs:
  • 80% game and 20% music when i use my desktop
  • need to connect my xbox one x with optical for audio
  • 2.1 or soundbar (at the current state of my life i prefer having few cables around me)

I am thinking buying a Sound blasterX Katana (USB from desktop, optical from Xbox), is the upgrade worth that cost? Is there any other option i might be missing?

Thanx!
 

Mr_Kuschels

Member
Oct 25, 2017
571
About 3 months ago we bought our first house. It came with those outlets and speakers.

Pics

What do I need to use those speakers/hook up my Tv and consoles? Also,are the speakers something to write home about?
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344
About 3 months ago we bought our first house. It came with those outlets and speakers.

Pics

What do I need to use those speakers/hook up my Tv and consoles? Also,are the speakers something to write home about?
As the poster above said, you'll need a 5.1 home theater receiver to power them. Typically, your consoles / disc player / cable box will plug into the receiver, the receiver plays the sound through the speakers, while passing the video on to your TV. You'd connect speaker wire from the back of the receiver to those wall plugs - very convenient!

Paradigm is a well-regarded brand - their in-ceiling speakers start at about $300/ea, but I've found that speakers marketed to the custom install / contractor market tend to be overpriced. My feeling was always that they charged a lot because the homeowner was rarely seeing the individual pricing, just the contractor saying "for an extra $10k, we'll install a home theater." It's hard to tell from the pictures - do you have a rough diameter measurement for them?

I'd say get a receiver and try them out! Any receiver you get will be usable with other speakers you might end up with, so the worst-case scenario is that you don't like the existing one much and you replace them down the road. Best-case: they're great and you've got a system you like with everything already installed.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Looks like the start of a killer Atmos setup to me, since they're overhead.
It may be 7.2 rather than 5.1, based on those connections. Difficult to say from those pictures really. The other two speakers might be in another room.

I'm guessing the subwoofer connections lead to two other wall plates, rather than subs in the room.
A pair of subwoofers is ideal though. A single subwoofer can sound great, but it's a lot easier to get well-distributed sound in a room with an even number of them (I highly recommend SVS if you can afford it). Many people would recommend two weaker subs over one powerful sub.
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
939
I have the HD 660s, but since they are open, I cannot use them at home whenever I want (GF in the same room working). What would be the closed headphone equivalent?

Edit: And which headpone amp would you suggest for the 660s? Preferable one with 6.35 mm.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,189
I have the HD 660s, but since they are open, I cannot use them at home whenever I want (GF in the same room working). What would be the closed headphone equivalent?

Edit: And which headpone amp would you suggest for the 660s? Preferable one with 6.35 mm.
JDS Labs Atom is probably the best starter pick for its price nowadays. If you want a DAC to go with it, Topping D10 is a good pick. If you want a DAC+AMP, JDS Labs Element II is probably one of the best reasonably priced ones around, but it's a bit more expensive than Atom + D10.

As for closed equivalents, can't help you there, unfortunately. I've been asking around for a closed equivalent of the HD58X with no luck. The 600 series is typically known for it's rich, beautiful, forward mids, so I guess try to look around for a closed headphone with emphasis on the mids too.

e: also we actually have a thread specifically for headphones, might get more/better answers there: https://www.resetera.com/threads/headphones-era-lotl-even-through-the-distortion-we-remain-lossless.2975/
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
939
JDS Labs Atom is probably the best starter pick for its price nowadays. If you want a DAC to go with it, Topping D10 is a good pick. If you want a DAC+AMP, JDS Labs Element II is probably one of the best reasonably priced ones around, but it's a bit more expensive than Atom + D10.

As for closed equivalents, can't help you there, unfortunately. I've been asking around for a closed equivalent of the HD58X with no luck. The 600 series is typically known for it's rich, beautiful, forward mids, so I guess try to look around for a closed headphone with emphasis on the mids too.

e: also we actually have a thread specifically for headphones, might get more/better answers there: https://www.resetera.com/threads/headphones-era-lotl-even-through-the-distortion-we-remain-lossless.2975/
Thank you!
 

ReyVGM

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,508
In case anyone is interested:

There's this great 5.1 Atmos Home Theater Receiver and Speaker package by Onkyo that's cheap and it has everything included. It's $299 right now. It's not the best when compared to standalone receivers (which can be $400 just for the receiver), but it's definitely a huuuuge step up from a Soundbar. I have a 40 square meter room, and the sound from that package is explosive. I never have to crank it to full volume to get the sound I want. I have the sound at 50% and I sometimes need to lower the volume because it's so high. You can also independently raise or lower the voices/treble/bass. Ever watched a movie or game where the voices are lower than the sound effects? With this you can raise just the voices, it's amazing really.


Normally, you would have to buy a standalone receiver, and then buy the speakers and subwoofer separately. That wouldn't be a problem if they were all compatible with each other, but the amperage between the Receiver and speakers have to match or else you'll get bad sound.
So, unless you know how to read those specs, then it's better to buy a pre-packaged product like the one linked above.

Just make sure you don't put the Receiver inside a shelf or any place where it can't get a nice flow of air. Receivers can get insanely hot, and if that hot air is not dissipated, then it will eventually die on you. So, either keep it someplace where the top is not covered by anything, or install some heatsinks or fans to help with the heat.
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
939
So I just connected my new Arctis Pro Wireless and there is a constant white noise which can be heard when music etc. is off. Why and how is this possible for a 300+ headset? Reading through the web, it seems that it is because the drivers are of higher quality or whatever and thus produce white noise -.- I have another wireless headset from them and they are quiet. Gonna try with drivers and stuff but for that price I am gonna send them back if I am not able to resolve the issue.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
So I just connected my new Arctis Pro Wireless and there is a constant white noise which can be heard when music etc. is off. Why and how is this possible for a 300+ headset? Reading through the web, it seems that it is because the drivers are of higher quality or whatever and thus produce white noise -.- I have another wireless headset from them and they are quiet. Gonna try with drivers and stuff but for that price I am gonna send them back if I am not able to resolve the issue.
High noise floor is a common issue with active speakers and wireless headphones, it's likely blamed on whatever amp or dac they're using.
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
Just picked up a new stereo amplifier and stereo preamplifier. Big upgrade from my old stuff, which was just solid state, 50wpc.
 

Sunbro83

Member
Oct 27, 2017
520
Currently have an LG C8 and a Samsung MS650 soundbar with wireless rear speakers and a wireless sub. Planning to upgrade to my first AVR setup later this year and just starting to look into options.

Had convinced myself it was sensible to wait for HDMI 2.1 receivers but the more I think about it, the less I think it's necessary and I'd be fine with an eARC capable receiver:

- Right now my TV doesn't support 2.1 features so it's redundant for the time being
- If I upgraded to a C9/CX I could run HDMI 2.1 capable devices into the TV and send audio back out over eARC

The only use case for a 2.1 compatible receiver I can think of is owning more than 3 HDMI 2.1 devices and I don't see this being an issue for me any time soon. I'm a PS4/Switch owner and probably just PS5/Switch going forwards. Are there any use cases or features I'm not thinking about that I might miss out on?

Internal apps on the C8 should still be able to pass ATMOS back out over standard ARC since Netflix / Prime / Apple TV+ all use a DD+ wrapper for their ATMOS tracks anyway - is that correct?
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
I want to get a new television/display. My current one, an LG B6 OLED has severe burn in. Years from using it as a display monitor. I see Jenny burned into my tv, from using her as a display picture on Discord. Had discord window open all the time :)

Sunbro83 yep, if you run hdmi arc to your avr it will work. just make sure you have the audio settings on your tv setup right, youre using the actual arc return hdmi output on your tv, and its going into the hdmi arc channel on your avr. you also need to enable arc on your tv, and make sure the input on your avr is set to arc return. once thats all done, you should be able to adjust volume with your tv remote, plus hear sound from your tvs built in apps. i only see the point of doing this really if you are using your tv built in apps. in some cases, its preferable, for example, disney plus only had 4k hdr on your tv app. if you dont have an apple 4k tv, that is.

as for your question re: dd+ wrapper over arc, yeah. arc doesnt support anything greater than 5.1 dolby digital. just to clarify: we're talking about lossy dolby digital. it cant do atmos, and it cant even do lossy dts-hd master sound from your bluray discs. youd think it would, but it doesnt.

speaking of arc, my new preamp has that input on it, just learned. very surprising.
 

pooptest

Member
Oct 27, 2017
271
AudioEra,


So, my roommate is moving out and he offered to leave the speakers he has; 2x Polk TSi300's (tower) and 1x Polk CS10 (center). My current setup is the Yamaha NS-FP9500 6.1 setup from ages ago.

Now, I recently picked up 2x Polk TS100's (bookshelf) from a Craigslist post for $40. Then, there was another on this weekend where I picked up 2x Polk RTi4's (bookshelf) and 1x Polk DSW Pro 400 (subwoofer) for $100.

How should I configure this? Do note, I have my TV on TOP of an Ikea Lappland entertainment center ( https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/lappland-tv-storage-unit-black-brown-30285153/) as there's no way it would fit inside of it. So, 2 of the bookshelf speakers COULD fit on top of the entertainment on opposite sides of the TV, while the other 2 bookshelf speakers I could use as surround. Not really sure I can easily fit the "towers" to be 'properly' used as front-left/front-right, however, thus my motivation to use bookshelf speakers for that role.

Would it be recommended to do something like this...? (crappy Paint drawing):


(link: https://i.imgur.com/17dR97G.png)


Thanks in advance for any recommendations/assistance.
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
pooptest

Put the towers to the sides of your entertainment stand. Use the bookshelves for surrounds. Find a way to make it work if you can and whatever you do, do not put the speakers INSIDE the cabinet. Don't be one of those guys.
 

pooptest

Member
Oct 27, 2017
271
pooptest

Put the towers to the sides of your entertainment stand. Use the bookshelves for surrounds. Find a way to make it work if you can and whatever you do, do not put the speakers INSIDE the cabinet. Don't be one of those guys.
haha, I would never (the latter part). But based on room size and coordination, I don’t think I can follow any other pattern than the image. I know towers are supposed to be used as fronts... I can try, but if not, would the image work okay? If so, I’ve read the RTi4’s are just a tick better than the TS100’s.
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
haha, I would never (the latter part). But based on room size and coordination, I don’t think I can follow any other pattern than the image. I know towers are supposed to be used as fronts... I can try, but if not, would the image work okay? If so, I’ve read the RTi4’s are just a tick better than the TS100’s.
You can use the bookshelves instead, but and use the towers as surrounds, its just a waste is all. I highly suggest trying to organize your entertainment system around the speakers, and not the other way around! Do what it takes to make it work, audio is more important to video, in my opinion. We are in the AudioEra thread, after all. :]
 

qa_engineer

Member
Dec 27, 2017
374
I have a pair of HD800S coupled with a Topping DX7s balanced DAC and Aune S7 Pro balanced amp. Yes, it's overkill for PC gaming but the massive sound stage, clarity, and directional accuracy is totally worth it.
 

Burger Time

Member
Oct 26, 2017
77
That deal does look great as someone planning to upgrade to a simple surround set up (5 channel) within the next 6 months. I was actually looking at the Klipsch RP600-M to upgrade my AudioEngine A5 set that I've had for around 10 years now. I would like to reuse the A5s as surround speakers if it's possible but from the looks of it, a lot of newer AV receivers seem to add a Zone B/2 pre-out instead of multichannel pre-outs. So I'm wondering if it's even worth trying to integrate the A5s into a set up or just buy a cheaper set of rear passive speakers to hold me out. Something like the Onkyo TX-RZ730 seems to have what I need but also seems a bit too much for a simple set up though I wouldn't mind trying out Dolby Atmos in the future.
 

pooptest

Member
Oct 27, 2017
271
You can use the bookshelves instead, but and use the towers as surrounds, its just a waste is all. I highly suggest trying to organize your entertainment system around the speakers, and not the other way around! Do what it takes to make it work, audio is more important to video, in my opinion. We are in the AudioEra thread, after all. :]
I actually did some measurements and the towers CAN fit directly next to the TV. However, they’d be like 5ft off the ground...
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
I actually did some measurements and the towers CAN fit directly next to the TV. However, they’d be like 5ft off the ground...
Oh. don't do that! Floor standers should be well, on the floor, not on top of anything. Unless they're designed to be put on stands. You want them ear level. I'd say just use them as surrounds then, it wont be that big of a deal. Good luck~
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344
The bundle on that Adorama/Klipsch deal is pretty awesome: $1049 for a complete system that will play very loud and very clean, big big dynamics for movies.
 

Fuchsia

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,557

Fuchsia

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,557
In this price range the Pioneer BS22 is objectively quite a bit better than the Klipsch R-41M. Can't comment on the towers or center with any level of certainty, but there's probably a good chance the trend follows.
Thanks! I appreciate the response. I’ll look into those Pioneers.

We’re also considering the Vizio 5.1.2 soundbar that was posted earlier on the page just because it saves space and gives a cheap surround setup. I’m sure it’s nowhere near as good as having a higher priced atmos setup though.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,189
I'm thinking that I should probably start looking for new speakers for my TV too. I currently have a pair of yeeaaaars old Jamo floorstanding speakers (I THINK they're these https://www.jamo.com/products/s406) and while they're good (and look great), I'd like to try a surround setup at some point. So two tower speakers for L/R, a center, a subwoofer (already have this one) and two tiny speakers on those tall skinny stands for SL/SR.

I'm in Europe, so most American stuff is a no-go for now. Obviously can (and likely will) start with the tower speakers and slowly add more elements. If I want good speakers (they don't have to be incredible, but they need to be good overall), what sort of price am I looking at here, approximately? Maybe a thousand euros for the whole set? Can I do it with less, would I have to pay more? What brands should I be looking into?

At this point I think I'm pretty well versed when it comes to headphones, but speakers are a completely different thing. If it matters at all, my recent favorite headphones have been the Sennheiser HD58X, so I'm thinking that punchy bass and lush, forward mids are my thing when it comes to audio.
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344
I'm thinking that I should probably start looking for new speakers for my TV too. I currently have a pair of yeeaaaars old Jamo floorstanding speakers (I THINK they're these https://www.jamo.com/products/s406) and while they're good (and look great), I'd like to try a surround setup at some point. So two tower speakers for L/R, a center, a subwoofer (already have this one) and two tiny speakers on those tall skinny stands for SL/SR.

I'm in Europe, so most American stuff is a no-go for now. Obviously can (and likely will) start with the tower speakers and slowly add more elements. If I want good speakers (they don't have to be incredible, but they need to be good overall), what sort of price am I looking at here, approximately? Maybe a thousand euros for the whole set? Can I do it with less, would I have to pay more? What brands should I be looking into?

At this point I think I'm pretty well versed when it comes to headphones, but speakers are a completely different thing. If it matters at all, my recent favorite headphones have been the Sennheiser HD58X, so I'm thinking that punchy bass and lush, forward mids are my thing when it comes to audio.
I always hate replying like this, because it seems like a bit of a cop-out, but there really isn't any substitute for listening to speakers in person. Go listen to a bunch of different brands in a store (if possible), and see what jumps out at you. It's entirely possible that your preference in headphones will carry over to speakers, but you never know.

Regarding price, audio is at a place where you can get "good" at almost any budget. Using my personal experience, and apologies for only being able to speak in terms of AmeriBux:
  • I've had fairly high-end (~$5k) speakers that were stolen. Very nice.
  • Got a pair of the perennial choice for cheap-but-good Andrew Jones Pioneer floorstanders for $90/each. (Unsurprisingly) not as good, but better than I expected for the price.
  • Went up to a pair of Elac Uni-Fi floorstanders at $350/each, so roughly 4x what the Pioneers were. They're much better. For me, personally, the difference in price is worth it.
  • The next step up that I'd look at is something from Sonus Faber that are another 4x what the Elacs were. I bet they're great, but not worth the price difference for me. For others, it might be totally worth it.
In short, having a clear idea of your budget will help. There will always be "better" speakers, but the law of diminishing returns applies pretty heavily in audio.
 

Primal Sage

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,108
Got my LG C9 last week. Upgraded from an E6 which was faulty. The E6 had integrated soundbar and the move to C9 which uses regular speakers was VERY apparent. The sound quality drove me nuts.

Yesterday I got the Samsung HW-Q76R (HW-Q70R outside Scandinavia) soundbar with wireless subwoofer.

Wow, what an upgrade. It of course does not rival a proper 11.1 setup (I have my theater room for that) but I am really impressed with how good they sound together. Much clearer dialogue, fuller music and earth rattling bass when needed. Couldn’t be happier with my purchase.
 

tommyv2

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,163
. If it matters at all, my recent favorite headphones have been the Sennheiser HD58X, so I'm thinking that punchy bass and lush, forward mids are my thing when it comes to audio.
You don’t mind the weird treble? There’s a dip at 4Khz that makes them sound very veiled/dull. Going to an HD600/650 which doesn’t have this is incredibly obvious. I was crushed with my HD58X purchase until I realized what was wrong and changed to the HD6XX. HD58X always made me feel like my ears were clogged or something.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,189
I always hate replying like this, because it seems like a bit of a cop-out, but there really isn't any substitute for listening to speakers in person. Go listen to a bunch of different brands in a store (if possible), and see what jumps out at you. It's entirely possible that your preference in headphones will carry over to speakers, but you never know.

Regarding price, audio is at a place where you can get "good" at almost any budget. Using my personal experience, and apologies for only being able to speak in terms of AmeriBux:
  • I've had fairly high-end (~$5k) speakers that were stolen. Very nice.
  • Got a pair of the perennial choice for cheap-but-good Andrew Jones Pioneer floorstanders for $90/each. (Unsurprisingly) not as good, but better than I expected for the price.
  • Went up to a pair of Elac Uni-Fi floorstanders at $350/each, so roughly 4x what the Pioneers were. They're much better. For me, personally, the difference in price is worth it.
  • The next step up that I'd look at is something from Sonus Faber that are another 4x what the Elacs were. I bet they're great, but not worth the price difference for me. For others, it might be totally worth it.
In short, having a clear idea of your budget will help. There will always be "better" speakers, but the law of diminishing returns applies pretty heavily in audio.
Well said ^_~

For 1K Euro, two tower speaker, would hear some Dali, Monitor Audio, Dynavoice.
Thanks for the replies! I know it was a bit of a vague question anyway lol, with no clear right answer. I'll just have to start looking around and think about my budget.

I do have one more question that's probably easy to answer, though: for the first step, is getting the left/right towers enough or should I grab a center speaker right away too? I've noticed that dialogue has been painfully muddy or ineligible in some movies and shows with my current center-less setup, and I've been wondering if that might be the reason.

You don’t mind the weird treble? There’s a dip at 4Khz that makes them sound very veiled/dull. Going to an HD600/650 which doesn’t have this is incredibly obvious. I was crushed with my HD58X purchase until I realized what was wrong and changed to the HD6XX. HD58X always made me feel like my ears were clogged or something.
Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'm hearing it. Maybe somewhere down the line, when I upgrade to something even better I'll go "man, how did I ever think the 58X sounded great?!" but right now, it's easily the most fun I've had with a headphone. I feel like I'm much more sensitive to treble than your average listener too (due to tinnitus, maybe), which might play a role.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
I always hate replying like this, because it seems like a bit of a cop-out, but there really isn't any substitute for listening to speakers in person. Go listen to a bunch of different brands in a store (if possible), and see what jumps out at you. It's entirely possible that your preference in headphones will carry over to speakers, but you never know.

Regarding price, audio is at a place where you can get "good" at almost any budget. Using my personal experience, and apologies for only being able to speak in terms of AmeriBux:
  • I've had fairly high-end (~$5k) speakers that were stolen. Very nice.
  • Got a pair of the perennial choice for cheap-but-good Andrew Jones Pioneer floorstanders for $90/each. (Unsurprisingly) not as good, but better than I expected for the price.
  • Went up to a pair of Elac Uni-Fi floorstanders at $350/each, so roughly 4x what the Pioneers were. They're much better. For me, personally, the difference in price is worth it.
  • The next step up that I'd look at is something from Sonus Faber that are another 4x what the Elacs were. I bet they're great, but not worth the price difference for me. For others, it might be totally worth it.
In short, having a clear idea of your budget will help. There will always be "better" speakers, but the law of diminishing returns applies pretty heavily in audio.
I would advise against such an "upgrade", Sonus is the epitome of style over substance. While I'm confident the price and aesthetics could convince you they're superior (maybe already has in a dealer showroom), objectively they'd likely be a sidegrade or downgrade from the UF5 and would probably fail a blind preference test against most decent loudspeakers (many at a fraction of the price). Sonus famously designs by ear, not FR measurements or targets. They consider their speakers to be art pieces and color the sound accordingly. This makes a great marketing story, but usually doesn't translate into great speakers. When you consider most modern media is being produced on ruler flat studio monitors and not a Sonus "artiste's" idea of reference, that should come as no surprise. The Canadian Research Council and Harman Group have decades of published scientific research that suggests an overwhelming preference for smooth and neutral FR in open air loudspeakers, which is why nearly every modern manufacturer targets it (within the limits of the budget and materials they have to work with). Preferences for room curves or tone do differ minorly, but only in broadbroad boosts or cuts to the bass/treble and only a few dB. Smooth and gently sloping is always preferred.
 

GammaGoblin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
327
the middle of the woods
Thanks for the replies! I know it was a bit of a vague question anyway lol, with no clear right answer. I'll just have to start looking around and think about my budget.

I do have one more question that's probably easy to answer, though: for the first step, is getting the left/right towers enough or should I grab a center speaker right away too? I've noticed that dialogue has been painfully muddy or ineligible in some movies and shows with my current center-less setup, and I've been wondering if that might be the reason.



Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'm hearing it. Maybe somewhere down the line, when I upgrade to something even better I'll go "man, how did I ever think the 58X sounded great?!" but right now, it's easily the most fun I've had with a headphone. I feel like I'm much more sensitive to treble than your average listener too (due to tinnitus, maybe), which might play a role.
It depends how far your speakers are apart, if you hear the dialogue centred. Have you thought about how you integrate the center? In my experience positioning of the center can be difficult. If the chosen speakers allow to purchase the center right away I would do it. If you have a favourite but too expensive with the center, I would go with the fronts and center later.

Btw. I have tinnitus too, both ears. Can relate to the treble/tweeter sensitivity. Really important you go and listen, had one speaker at the auditioning which blew my hearing (Dali Opticon 6).
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344
I would advise against such an "upgrade", Sonus is the epitome of style over substance. While I'm confident the price and aesthetics could convince you they're superior (maybe already has in a dealer showroom), objectively they'd likely be a sidegrade or downgrade from the UF5 and would probably fail a blind preference test against most decent loudspeakers (many at a fraction of the price). Sonus famously designs by ear, not FR measurements or targets. They consider their speakers to be art pieces and color the sound accordingly. This makes a great marketing story, but usually doesn't translate into great speakers. When you consider most modern media is being produced on ruler flat studio monitors and not a Sonus "artiste's" idea of reference, that should come as no surprise. The Canadian Research Council and Harman Group have decades of published scientific research that suggests an overwhelming preference for smooth and neutral FR in open air loudspeakers, which is why nearly every modern manufacturer targets it (within the limits of the budget and materials they have to work with). Preferences for room curves or tone do differ minorly, but only in broadbroad boosts or cuts to the bass/treble and only a few dB. Smooth and gently sloping is always preferred.
With respect, I’ve owned them. I’ll trust my ears over measurements.