Audio Era: Because Sound Matters

Feb 9, 2018
193
I'm still using my now 20-year-old Yamaha HTR-5230 receiver with a pair of Infinity Entra One 8" bookshelf speakers I bought circa 2002. For a plain Jane stereo setup, it still sounds pretty damn good. I've thought about upgrading for a very long time, but audio equipment has been bottom priority for me when it comes to big purchases since my current setup is more than adequate. My living room is also very small, so a large audio system isn't exactly ideal.
 

haveheart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,137
Hey there,
I'm looking for a cheap aio soundbar with no extra subwoofer. My place is pretty small, I'm sitting pretty close to my 40" TV and as walls and floors are pretty thin, I wouldn't do anyone any favours by buying a 7.1 system. If I want to go loud, I'll put on my Sony headset. But as my TV gets older (Sony W705), the speakers tend to sound thinner and thinner and volume adjustments don't seem to do the trick anymore.

So, that's why I'm looking for a cheap soundbar that comes in at around €200. At the moment I'm eyeing the new DENON dht-s216, the BOSE Solo 5, or the Sony HT-X8500. I assume that all soundbars in this price range are probably shitty and the only thing that sets them apart is the input/output options and the label slapped on them.

Can anyone here recommend one of these or point me towards the right direction?
 

Inki

Member
Oct 30, 2017
436
South Carolina
Hey there,
I'm looking for a cheap aio soundbar with no extra subwoofer. My place is pretty small, I'm sitting pretty close to my 40" TV and as walls and floors are pretty thin, I wouldn't do anyone any favours by buying a 7.1 system. If I want to go loud, I'll put on my Sony headset. But as my TV gets older (Sony W705), the speakers tend to sound thinner and thinner and volume adjustments don't seem to do the trick anymore.

So, that's why I'm looking for a cheap soundbar that comes in at around €200. At the moment I'm eyeing the new DENON dht-s216, the BOSE Solo 5, or the Sony HT-X8500. I assume that all soundbars in this price range are probably shitty and the only thing that sets them apart is the input/output options and the label slapped on them.

Can anyone here recommend one of these or point me towards the right direction?
I would honestly check out this Article. I think very highly of Rtings reviews and I bought a cheap soundbar for my bedroom TV (because lets, face it, flat panel tv's typically have HORRIBLE tiny speakers). I have their best under $100 soundbar from 2018 and it's been wonderful. The article has multiple price points, I noticed your not in the US so YMMV on availability.
FWIW I personally feel Bose (while good) is overpriced. I've read good things about Yamaha's sound bars as well, may want to check out the YAS-108.
 

haveheart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,137
I would honestly check out this Article. I think very highly of Rtings reviews and I bought a cheap soundbar for my bedroom TV (because lets, face it, flat panel tv's typically have HORRIBLE tiny speakers). I have their best under $100 soundbar from 2018 and it's been wonderful. The article has multiple price points, I noticed your not in the US so YMMV on availability.
FWIW I personally feel Bose (while good) is overpriced. I've read good things about Yamaha's sound bars as well, may want to check out the YAS-108.
Hey, thanks for the article.

The Yamaha appears to be ok, in Europe there's the 109 version. But Alexa is a no-go for me. I don't want a smart assistant in my living room, I don't trust these fuckers.

I think I'm slowly starting to realise that I'd should probably put in another €100 to get something worthwhile...
 

SapientWolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
3,735
I haven't tried any games yet, but I put a pair of Brainwavz XL sheepskin memory foam earpads on some ATH-AD2000X headphones I just acquired, and they went from pretty good to transcendental. It completely mellowed out the treble, made them more neutral, and improved the precision of the soundstage. And the clarity is already near perfect on these things. I put on Minuano Six Eight and I had frisson the whole time.

The weird thing is that the same set of pads made my DT770 Pros way worse.
 

X-Frame

Member
Oct 25, 2017
276
Hey all!

I finally upgraded from my soundbar to a 3.0 system for apartment living. Denon X3500H, Sony Core Front and Center. They sound amazing after doing the Audyssey XT32 calibration, however I am noticing that it greatly lacks low ends. I know they're speakers and ideally I'd have a sub to handle the low ends, but I am not sure if I want to brush up against the risk of noise complaints here.

I haven't touched the speakers since the Audyssey calibration. It set my Front and Left speakers to Large, and Center to Small. Reference setting. Is this normal that it won't have much low end? I assume there isn't much I can do without a sub, but just wanted to make sure.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Hey all!

I finally upgraded from my soundbar to a 3.0 system for apartment living. Denon X3500H, Sony Core Front and Center. They sound amazing after doing the Audyssey XT32 calibration, however I am noticing that it greatly lacks low ends. I know they're speakers and ideally I'd have a sub to handle the low ends, but I am not sure if I want to brush up against the risk of noise complaints here.

I haven't touched the speakers since the Audyssey calibration. It set my Front and Left speakers to Large, and Center to Small. Reference setting. Is this normal that it won't have much low end? I assume there isn't much I can do without a sub, but just wanted to make sure.
You can try turning on the Audyssey Dynamic EQ setting.
 

Darkatomz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
CA
Hey all!

I finally upgraded from my soundbar to a 3.0 system for apartment living. Denon X3500H, Sony Core Front and Center. They sound amazing after doing the Audyssey XT32 calibration, however I am noticing that it greatly lacks low ends. I know they're speakers and ideally I'd have a sub to handle the low ends, but I am not sure if I want to brush up against the risk of noise complaints here.

I haven't touched the speakers since the Audyssey calibration. It set my Front and Left speakers to Large, and Center to Small. Reference setting. Is this normal that it won't have much low end? I assume there isn't much I can do without a sub, but just wanted to make sure.
Change your tweeters to match the mids with the Small option, this forces the main speakers to divert low frequency content to the woofer. Also recommend changing the crossover to 80Hz
 

Darkatomz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
CA
He has no subwoofer.
Derp, read that one too fast. If there are concerns about noise complaints with a subwoofer (if you had one), you can turn on Audyssey LFC which prevents low freq content from going thru walls. I use an isolator on my woofer so that I don't turn this on, but I live in an apartment FYI
 

X-Frame

Member
Oct 25, 2017
276
You can try turning on the Audyssey Dynamic EQ setting.
I'll give it a shot!

Derp, read that one too fast. If there are concerns about noise complaints with a subwoofer (if you had one), you can turn on Audyssey LFC which prevents low freq content from going thru walls. I use an isolator on my woofer so that I don't turn this on, but I live in an apartment FYI
That is very interesting. I do really want a subwoofer too. Also, when you say isolator what are you referring to? I googled and found this: SVS SoundPath Isolation System
 

Darkatomz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
CA
I'll give it a shot!



That is very interesting. I do really want a subwoofer too. Also, when you say isolator what are you referring to? I googled and found this: SVS SoundPath Isolation System
That is a good option, I am personally a fan of IsoAcoustics products and use them under my desktop bookshelf speakers (where I first tried using them), HT speakers (most recent with Gaia feet), woofer (I went with a custom fit one, but easily would recommend a Gaia product exceeding the weight limit you need), and even Echo speakers with their pucks. You can find their stuff on Amazon as well.

You can find reviews on Google and YT detailing the sound and the science around it, most should say that floating the audio source and the cost they charge is 'low' and fair for a legitimate improvement in audio quality.

And FYI, I highly recommend you get a subwoofer of some kind if you have access to XT32. The main point of it is primarily to benefit low frequencies, and is why I tripped up earlier.
 
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DarknessTear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,894

Wondering about this set. Anyone know if these speakers are any good? I've been using 7 Yamaha NS-AP2600S and a matching sub for years.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485

Wondering about this set. Anyone know if these speakers are any good? I've been using 7 Yamaha NS-AP2600S and a matching sub for years.
They're not particularly good. You could build an objectively superior system and save $200-$300 going with a pair of Pioneer FS52's, BS22's, and a C22 paired with an RSL Speedwoofer 10S.
 

DarknessTear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,894
They're not particularly good. You could build an objectively superior system and save $200-$300 going with a pair of Pioneer FS52's, BS22's, and a C22 paired with an RSL Speedwoofer 10S.
Part of the reason I want them is because of the Atmos speakers. I'm guessing there isn't a better option out there that has ceiling firing tower speakers like these?
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Part of the reason I want them is because of the Atmos speakers. I'm guessing there isn't a better option out there that has ceiling firing tower speakers like these?
Built in Atmos modules usually compromise the design of the main speaker, you're better off with a module that sits on top. The Pioneer T22 is the matching Atmos module to the system I suggested.
 

DarknessTear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,894
Built in Atmos modules usually compromise the design of the main speaker, you're better off with a module that sits on top. The Pioneer T22 is the matching Atmos module to the system I suggested.
Hmmm. The RSL Speedwoofer 10S seems to be the only thing that is a bit hard to find. At least in black, which would be my preferred color. I'm guessing a Denon receiver would be good to match all of this. My Onkyo TX NR545 is outdated.
 

Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
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.
Hi can you perhaps elaborate a bit more on this? There are several things that i don't understand or are a bit lost on what you mean.

No studio monitor is ruler flat, in general they are within a dB/half a dB in the critical(most sensitive) frequency band.

What exactly do you mean with "FR in open air loudspeakers"? Do you mean free space measurement? Everything after your previous statement i also don't understand.

Thanks in advance :)
 

X-Frame

Member
Oct 25, 2017
276
That is a good option, I am personally a fan of IsoAcoustics products and use them under my desktop bookshelf speakers (where I first tried using them), HT speakers (most recent with Gaia feet), woofer (I went with a custom fit one, but easily would recommend a Gaia product exceeding the weight limit you need), and even Echo speakers with their pucks. You can find their stuff on Amazon as well.

You can find reviews on Google and YT detailing the sound and the science around it, most should say that floating the audio source and the cost they charge is 'low' and fair for a legitimate improvement in audio quality.

And FYI, I highly recommend you get a subwoofer of some kind if you have access to XT32. The main point of it is primarily to benefit low frequencies, and is why I tripped up earlier.
Thank you for this! I would like a sub-woofer, and if I do have to spend a bit more to feel more comfortable that I am not disturbing the neighbors then I'd be totally fine with that.

The Gaia feet look interesting too. I know a popular sub are the SVS 1000 series, which are under 50 lbs it looks like. And they're front firing, which I assume are better than downward for downstairs neighbors.

And yes, I do have XT32 and the Denon options to limit low frequency travels is also great news, I didn't realize it had that.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Hi can you perhaps elaborate a bit more on this? There are several things that i don't understand or are a bit lost on what you mean.

No studio monitor is ruler flat, in general they are within a dB/half a dB in the critical(most sensitive) frequency band.

What exactly do you mean with "FR in open air loudspeakers"? Do you mean free space measurement? Everything after your previous statement i also don't understand.

Thanks in advance :)
+/- 0.5 - 1dB is effectively perfect in the imperfect world of loudspeakers, that is pretty much as ruler flat as is physically possible with traditional designs. For comparison, here is a current Sonus model I was referencing which sees -6dB dips and +8dB peaks off neutral and is pretty all over the place even outside those specific trouble areas. And this isn't even a particularly terrible sample, a lot of speakers would make this one look reference quality by comparison. By open air loudspeakers I simply mean speakers placed at distance, not headphones. FR means frequency response. Room curve is the target slope of how the speaker would measure in an actual room, not an anechoic chamber. Boundaries (walls, floors, ceiling) will naturally boost bass while treble will attenuate (decrease) as it travels through 8 - 12+ feet of air to your listening position. This means an anechnically flat/neutral speaker might have say a +3db boost in the bass region and gradually slant down to say -5dB at 20kHz in your particular room (and it will change with positioning and from room to room). Preference in the amount of bass boost and treble roll off varies, but it's always smooth and gently sloping, no dips or peaks at any particular frequencies.

Hmmm. The RSL Speedwoofer 10S seems to be the only thing that is a bit hard to find. At least in black, which would be my preferred color. I'm guessing a Denon receiver would be good to match all of this. My Onkyo TX NR545 is outdated.
Yea unfortunately China's lockdown and new year have created a supply gap in some stuff. If you have the extra $100 the SVS PB1000 or Monolith 10 are perhaps slightly better options. Denon is the best choice in AVR IMO, depending on your budget either the x1600 or x3500. The X3500's room correction is quite a bit more advanced and a fairly significant performance advantage.
 
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Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
+/- 0.5 - 1dB is effectively perfect in the imperfect world of loudspeakers, that is pretty much as ruler flat as is physically possible with traditional designs. For comparison, here is a current Sonus model I was referencing which sees -6dB dips and +8dB peaks off neutral and is pretty all over the place even outside those specific trouble areas. And this isn't even a particularly terrible sample, a lot of speakers would make this one look reference quality by comparison. By open air loudspeakers I simply mean speakers placed at distance, not headphones. FR means frequency response. Room curve is the target slope of how the speaker would measure in an actual room, not an anechoic chamber. Boundaries (walls, floors, ceiling) will naturally boost bass while treble will attenuate (decrease) as it travels through 8 - 12+ feet of air to your listening position. This means an anechnically flat/neutral speaker might have say a +3db boost in the bass region and gradually slant down to say -5dB at 20kHz in your particular room (and it will change with positioning and from room to room). Preference in the amount of bass boost and treble roll off varies, but it's always smooth and gently sloping, no dips or peaks at any particular frequencies.
Haha i know what FR means but not what you meant with open air... It's something i have never heard in my life when talking about distance between speakers. The rest i also understand :) Just that i thought your wording was a bit difficult to understand.. But i now know what you meant.:D thank you for explaining :).

But i don't agree with your room curve and target slope unless i am misunderstanding....sorry for that. Because it doesn't matter how you measure a speaker meant for a room since every room is different.. That's why studio monitors don't use anerchoic chamber "so called free space" method and use the half space measurement and provide roll offs for different rooms. Also the anerchoic chamber is, when not using a really big room, always going to be bass heavy when put in a room. Especially a small room.

Side note: I once went to a studio that actually build their recording studio based on science to create the most perfect room to get the most out of their speakers.... and boy did they had the most expensive speakers that i have ever heard! They sounded fan fucking tastic!!!!
 

DarknessTear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,894
+/- 0.5 - 1dB is effectively perfect in the imperfect world of loudspeakers, that is pretty much as ruler flat as is physically possible with traditional designs. For comparison, here is a current Sonus model I was referencing which sees -6dB dips and +8dB peaks off neutral and is pretty all over the place even outside those specific trouble areas. And this isn't even a particularly terrible sample, a lot of speakers would make this one look reference quality by comparison. By open air loudspeakers I simply mean speakers placed at distance, not headphones. FR means frequency response. Room curve is the target slope of how the speaker would measure in an actual room, not an anechoic chamber. Boundaries (walls, floors, ceiling) will naturally boost bass while treble will attenuate (decrease) as it travels through 8 - 12+ feet of air to your listening position. This means an anechnically flat/neutral speaker might have say a +3db boost in the bass region and gradually slant down to say -5dB at 20kHz in your particular room (and it will change with positioning and from room to room). Preference in the amount of bass boost and treble roll off varies, but it's always smooth and gently sloping, no dips or peaks at any particular frequencies.



Yea unfortunately China's lockdown and new year have created a supply gap in some stuff. If you have the extra $100 the SVS PB1000 or Monolith 10 are perhaps slightly better options. Denon is the best choice in AVR IMO, depending on your budget either the x1600 or x3500. The X3500's room correction is quite a bit more advanced and a fairly significant performance advantage.
Can you do 7.1.2 on the X3500? I guess it's probably locked to 5.1.2 maybe?
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344

Wondering about this set. Anyone know if these speakers are any good? I've been using 7 Yamaha NS-AP2600S and a matching sub for years.
Normally I'd say "go listen to them in a shop," but that's out of the cards at the moment. Klipsches usually use horn-loaded drivers, which tend to be fairly "love it or hate it." Given that, I probably wouldn't advise buying them without being able to hear them in person.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Haha i know what FR means but not what you meant with open air... It's something i have never heard in my life when talking about distance between speakers. The rest i also understand :) Just that i thought your wording was a bit difficult to understand.. But i now know what you meant.:D thank you for explaining :).

But i don't agree with your room curve and target slope unless i am misunderstanding....sorry for that. Because it doesn't matter how you measure a speaker meant for a room since every room is different.. That's why studio monitors don't use anerchoic chamber "so called free space" method and use the half space measurement and provide roll offs for different rooms. Also the anerchoic chamber is, when not using a really big room, always going to be bass heavy when put in a room. Especially a small room.

Side note: I once went to a studio that actually build their recording studio based on science to create the most perfect room to get the most out of their speakers.... and boy did they had the most expensive speakers that i have ever heard! They sounded fan fucking tastic!!!!
I think you're misunderstanding. All domestic spaces and all speakers require specifically tailored EQ in the bass and/or transition regions (say 300Hz and under or 600Hz and under, the range varies by dimensions). You aren't hearing the speakers at those frequencies, you're hearing the room. The roll off settings on studio monitors you're referring to are usually just tone controls or a rudimentary form of EQ intended to correct for the same issues or some related setup anomaly (i.e. proximity to a corner/wall, near field vs. far field , on vs. off axis). Published FR graphs or spinorama charts you may be familiar with from product pages or professional reviews represent anechnoic (or quasi-anechoic) measurements, not in room measurements. Any room will murder the FR in the bass and transition regions of any speaker, it has to be corrected with EQ and positioning of both the speaker and listener.

Can you do 7.1.2 on the X3500? I guess it's probably locked to 5.1.2 maybe?
AFAIK it is limited to 7 regardless of the configuration, you'd have to step up to the x3600 or x4400/x4500 to get 7.1.2
 
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Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
I think you're misunderstanding. All domestic spaces and all speakers require specifically tailored EQ in the bass and/or transition regions (say 300Hz and under or 600Hz and under, the range varies by dimensions). You aren't hearing the speakers at those frequencies, you're hearing the room. The roll off settings on studio monitors you're referring to are usually just tone controls or a rudimentary form of EQ intended to correct for the same issues or some related setup anomaly (i.e. proximity to a corner/wall, near field vs. far field , on vs. off axis). Published FR graphs or spinorama charts you may be familiar with from product pages or professional reviews represent anechnoic (or quasi-anechoic) measurements, not in room measurements. Any room will murder the FR in the bass and transition regions of any speaker, it has to be corrected with EQ and positioning of both the speaker and listener.
First off thank you for taking the time discussing this with me. :)

Here is the thing that i am stumbling over, as far as i know, you don't tailor speakers to rooms unless you are talking or using room correction software/hardware. This is what i am confused about... I have never heard that speakers require specifically tailored EQ in the bass and transition region because of the room.... I also have never heard that people adjust the roll off on studio speakers to correct for near/far field and or on/off axis. That is a setup issue and not something you can correct with a HPF. To fix proximity problems, sure...

Some of the thing you say i a have never heard before. In a typical situation room correction software and hardware is a cheaper band-aid, some are very good, to fix room problems... You don't tailor speakers to rooms but you control the room to fit speakers... First fix the room modes and than you check where the speakers and listening position comes and than you control reflections... No EQ is being used...Especially not in control rooms. Because when you use EQ you are creating fase problems... unless of course you use time delay to fix it.

I feel like we are talking about different things and are far away from what i wanted to know :)....

PS. i was thinking about your use of EQ. Are you perhaps talking about the crossover? Hahaha I am still confused ;)



We are also very far from what i wanted to know...Sorry.
 

Wabba

Member
Apr 12, 2018
27
I have just ordered the Samsung HWQ-96R (HWQ90R outside scandinavia) and are wondering if anybody has any experience with it?

A shame that Sony didn't license Dolby Atmos for the PS5, but i am curious if I am going to hear a big change with the Tempest 3D Audio.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
First off thank you for taking the time discussing this with me. :)

Here is the thing that i am stumbling over, as far as i know, you don't tailor speakers to rooms unless you are talking or using room correction software/hardware. This is what i am confused about... I have never heard that speakers require specifically tailored EQ in the bass and transition region because of the room.... I also have never heard that people adjust the roll off on studio speakers to correct for near/far field and or on/off axis. That is a setup issue and not something you can correct with a HPF. To fix proximity problems, sure...

Some of the thing you say i a have never heard before. In a typical situation room correction software and hardware is a cheaper band-aid, some are very good, to fix room problems... You don't tailor speakers to rooms but you control the room to fit speakers... First fix the room modes and than you check where the speakers and listening position comes and than you control reflections... No EQ is being used...Especially not in control rooms. Because when you use EQ you are creating fase problems... unless of course you use time delay to fix it.

I feel like we are talking about different things and are far away from what i wanted to know :)....

PS. i was thinking about your use of EQ. Are you perhaps talking about the crossover? Hahaha I am still confused ;)

We are also very far from what i wanted to know...Sorry.
I'm using EQ in the broadest sense. Room correction is obviously EQ, the bass, treble, and (sometimes) mid adjustment knobs, or -3 to +3 switches on active monitors (which is what I thought you were referring to) are a rudimentary form of EQ. The high trim switch specifically is intended to correct for distance and/or axis. Placement and consumer absorption panels are not going to control 10+ foot sound waves. Pro studios have the luxury of unlimited budgets that allows them to build rooms with very specific angles and dimensions, false walls and ceilings, an unlimited number of tuned bass traps placed by PHD acousticians, etc... Even then they're not going to get ruler flat bass response and a lot of studios do indeed EQ their low end. You really have to use placement, treatments, and EQ for best results. I don't think any science based expert advocates against EQing below the Schroeder frequency, it's simply the reality of placing a speaker in a room.
 

Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
I'm using EQ in the broadest sense. Room correction is obviously EQ, the bass, treble, and (sometimes) mid adjustment knobs, or -3 to +3 switches on active monitors (which is what I thought you were referring to) are a rudimentary form of EQ. The high trim switch specifically is intended to correct for distance and/or axis. Placement and consumer absorption panels are not going to control 10+ foot sound waves. Pro studios have the luxury of unlimited budgets that allows them to build rooms with very specific angles and dimensions, false walls and ceilings, an unlimited number of tuned bass traps placed by PHD acousticians, etc... Even then they're not going to get ruler flat bass response and a lot of studios do indeed EQ their low end. You really have to use placement, treatments, and EQ for best results. I don't think any science based expert advocates against EQing below the Schroeder frequency, it's simply the reality of placing a speaker in a room.
Ahhh ok i understand your point a lot better.....I have been designing my own ( my own requirements that i have for my own speaker) speaker and i was confused why you would correct the speaker to the room instead of the other way. No one also talked about that.

Speaking about rooms, If you ever have the change to visit Galaxy studios in Belgium.... You should!!!! They went with a extreme solution to correcting their rooms :)... when i mean extreme i mean extreme extreme!!! Also make sure to listen to the speakers in the mastering room... That thing, Egglestonworks The Savoy Signature SE, is such a good and natural speaker.....You will hear something special!
 

Tonypark

Member
Oct 28, 2017
460
Montreal
Does anyone have a recommendation for wireless headphones when you have lots of wireless bluetooth decives around?
I used the Platinum sony headset but the sounds keeps cutting off all the time. I can't relocate my router and other devices.
Anyone heard of the steelseries pro wireless?
 

Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
Aight, so I've been looking around at buying audio equipment to go with my TV (Samsung QLED 2018 model). Now, I'm living in a terraced house so going for a full out 7.1 set is extremely overkill, as I not only don't have the space for it nor do I wish to piss off my neighbors. I've recently started to use Google Home and I've been considering getting myself a Sonos Beam. It looks nice, according to the reviews the sound is good and it has Google Assistant. One of the major advantages is that the Sonos stuff uses wifi primarily so I won't have to deal with covering up cables. This would be nice if I were to upgrade at some point.

Is there a reason not to go for this, or are there better options? I'd be willing to spend anywhere between 300 - 400 euros max. I do like to point out that I basically have 0 understanding of sound, so what matters most to me is that it's got good audio. As I'm dealing with the audio through my TV at the moment, I honestly wouldn't notice the difference with comments such as "Don't buy x because it's got very low bass". Hell, I don't even if I'd recognise it to begin with ^^'

If appreciated I could add a pic to show the place where the audio stuff would be placed :)
 

Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
Pro studios have the luxury of unlimited budgets that allows them to build rooms with very specific angles and dimensions, false walls and ceilings, an unlimited number of tuned bass traps placed by PHD acousticians, etc... Even then they're not going to get ruler flat bass response and a lot of studios do indeed EQ their low end.
I wanted to come back to this part.... This is not correct. Modern control rooms are created/fixed with a purpose, meaning measurement is taken and specific problem areas are being fixed. They aren't just trowing money at the problem and hoping things are getting fixed.

When controlling the room the first thing we measure is what the frequency response of the room is... What the modes of the room are and how we can fix it. In general modern studios and their control rooms are created with the so called "room in room" method but that doesn't mean that we just put isolation in it for the fun off it.... When the room is controlled in the best way possible we look at where we put the desk for were the best frequency response is (preferable you already know that). When knowing that we will fix the first reflections and calculate what size and where to put the diffuser and how much we try to control the rt60. In my expierence you shouldn't use EQ to control situations because of phase. Better to fix the problem at the source than to try to put a band-aid on it. Second you shouldn't put lots of based traps in your room... You should target the problem frequencies in a room. Never just put lots of things in a room and hoping to fix stuff. Btw why are you so fixed on ruler flat bass response? What you looking for when correcting a room is to have a room that does not interfere with the speakers. Essentially creating a harmony between speakers and room. Why is that important? So that your mixing decisions will translate to different systems and rooms. If you ever mixed in a uncorrected room than you know that your mix is not going to translate well to other systems....

Btw i have never heard that recording studios correct their room with EQ and i really can't think of any studio i have been that did it that way. The way studios threat their rooms is more like a living thing and understanding what happens in that room with that speaker... listening to music that you are very very very intimate with so that you understand what happens to the music. That's why there is not a one fit all speaker. That's why rooms in general and depending how big the studio is have multiple speakers with different characteristics and you listen at different loudness.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
I wanted to come back to this part.... This is not correct. Modern control rooms are created/fixed with a purpose, meaning measurement is taken and specific problem areas are being fixed. They aren't just trowing money at the problem and hoping things are getting fixed.

When controlling the room the first thing we measure is what the frequency response of the room is... What the modes of the room are and how we can fix it. In general modern studios and their control rooms are created with the so called "room in room" method but that doesn't mean that we just put isolation in it for the fun off it.... When the room is controlled in the best way possible we look at where we put the desk for were the best frequency response is (preferable you already know that). When knowing that we will fix the first reflections and calculate what size and where to put the diffuser and how much we try to control the rt60. In my expierence you shouldn't use EQ to control situations because of phase. Better to fix the problem at the source than to try to put a band-aid on it. Second you shouldn't put lots of based traps in your room... You should target the problem frequencies in a room. Never just put lots of things in a room and hoping to fix stuff. Btw why are you so fixed on ruler flat bass response? What you looking for when correcting a room is to have a room that does not interfere with the speakers. Essentially creating a harmony between speakers and room. Why is that important? So that your mixing decisions will translate to different systems and rooms. If you ever mixed in a uncorrected room than you know that your mix is not going to translate well to other systems....

Btw i have never heard that recording studios correct their room with EQ and i really can't think of any studio i have been that did it that way. The way studios threat their rooms is more like a living thing and understanding what happens in that room with that speaker... listening to music that you are very very very intimate with so that you understand what happens to the music. That's why there is not a one fit all speaker. That's why rooms in general and depending how big the studio is have multiple speakers with different characteristics and you listen at different loudness.
Sorry if it wasn't clear, I think some nuance is being lost in translation (I'm assuming German is your first language), but the bit you quoted was hyperbole. I was trying to illustrate the same things you're describing without getting too deep in the weeds or going off on too much of a tangent. Full range EQ is a hotly debated topic, but the biggest issue is how dissimilar a microphone is to the human auditory system. Chiefly, a mic can't distinguish between direct and reflected sound for example (while our brains can), so there's a decent chance you'll wind up filtering issues that either don't exist, or can't be fixed. The room has such a profound impact in the bass region though, there is little debate about correction there, everything is a reflection. As i'm sure you're aware, it's not uncommon to see +20dB peaks and -20dB dips (for a 40dB spread) back to back. This is massively audible and very very very difficult (if not impossible) to fix with placement and treatment alone. I would strongly encourage you to experiment and try things out yourself. There's no shortage of old guard mythology and snake oil in audio, where even highly acclaimed, accomplished, and educated individuals subscribe to abject nonsense.

I'm focusing on flat for 2 reasons. First, there has to be a universal standard across both content creation and consumption, otherwise there's no hope of recreating intent. Secondly, extensive double blind testing has demonstrated it is overwhelmingly the most preferred characteristic of a loudspeaker, we are very adept at recognizing the lack of resonances. And it has to be controlled, the off axis also must be wide and uniform or gently rolling off. Studios have multiple speakers because they have to test what their mix sounds like on the wild west of consumer product it's likely to be listened on. I would be shocked if any engineer worth his salt didn't wish both he and all his listeners had ruler flat speakers, that way he could color it as he saw fit and everyone would hear it the same way. A flat FR is like a calibrated display, a ragged FR is like Vivid/Dynamic mode.
 
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Seshumaru

Member
Oct 27, 2017
888
The Netherlands
Sorry if it wasn't clear, I think some nuance is being lost in translation (I'm assuming German is your first language), but the bit you quoted was hyperbole. I was trying to illustrate the same things you're describing without getting too deep in the weeds or going off on too much of a tangent. Full range EQ is a hotly debated topic, but the biggest issue is how dissimilar a microphone is to the human auditory system. Chiefly, a mic can't distinguish between direct and reflected sound for example (while our brains can), so there's a decent chance you'll wind up filtering issues that either don't exist, or can't be fixed. The room has such a profound impact in the bass region though, there is little debate about correction there, everything is a reflection. As i'm sure you're aware, it's not uncommon to see +20dB peaks and -20dB dips (for a 40dB spread) back to back. This is massively audible and very very very difficult (if not impossible) to fix with placement and treatment alone. I would strongly encourage you to experiment and try things out yourself. There's no shortage of old guard mythology and snake oil in audio, where even highly acclaimed, accomplished, and educated individuals subscribe to abject nonsense.
My dear friend i am Dutch not German.....:( Just because we disagree doesn't mean you should insult me!!
LMAO joking :P.

Honestly i think you are right that things are getting lost because what you are saying in your first paragraph goes against the standard of room acoustics.......Controlling rooms is science and not guess work. When measuring a room you account for the first reflections and several other stuff. Also it doesn't matter that the mic is dissimilar to the human auditory system because what we are trying to measure has nothing to do with that. We want a flat room, unachievable, but not based on our hearing because our hearing is not flat and changes with volume.... Fletcher and Munson curve. What we want in a room is not a doubling of volume at a given frequency because that will cause several difficulties. Of course rooms have a profound impact on the bass region... that's why not every room is suited if it is uncontrolled and why when we try to control the room, control the dimensions, the material is changed based on room and controlling the problems.

The reason a room in room concept is widely used is because of what we are trying to achieve. Controlling frequencies. What happens in such a room is that frequencies passing the first walls, goes trough a bit of air, than hits isolation (depending on material and density certain frequencies are getting controlled and absorbed and certain frequencies gets let through), than hits the second wall and that wall gets bounced back and most volume has been absorbed. So with that method you have controlled several things in the room. Frequency inconsistency and reflections..... We all know that doesn't fix all of the modes of the room... So now we go to the next step... Also just so you know we calculate those kind of things based on several calculations....This is becoming quite in depth so the best i can do is perhaps link you to a white paper that explains a bit what i mean that it is science and everything is getting measured.. just so you know it's a pdf file. but great stuff to know more about the process about room acoustics and why and what we do to measure things to control the room....

Also very important we aren't trying to fix the whole room but only create a "perfect" listening spot.

m focusing on flat for 2 reasons. First, there has to be a universal standard across both content creation and consumption, otherwise there's no hope of recreating intent. Secondly, extensive double blind testing has demonstrated it is overwhelmingly the most preferred characteristic of a loudspeaker, we are very adept at recognizing the lack of resonances. And it has to be controlled, the off axis also must be wide and uniform or gently rolling off. Studios have multiple speakers because they have to test what their mix sounds like on the wild west of consumer product it's likely to be listened on. I would be shocked if any engineer worth his salt didn't wish both he and all his listeners had ruler flat speakers, that way he could color it as he saw fit and everyone would hear it the same way. A flat FR is like a calibrated display, a ragged FR is like Vivid/Dynamic mode.
Again i disagree with your second sentence... There is no universal standard between content creation and consuming......Yes there is hope in recreating content.... What a "ruler flat" room is meant for....lets call it something else. What a acoustic controlled room is meant to do is not interfere with the mixing/mastering decisions. Meaning if i for example hear rumble in the lower frequencies i can remove it..Will every speaker translate that decision if you hear it , no. But we are not trying to create perfections, don't get me wrong it would be fantastic if we could but that's not reality, What we want from a room is a representation of the actual sound and make the changes that we deem fit without having biases in the room and speakers. What that does is actually recreating what we want in different situations, meaning small or big rooms/headphones/cars/speaker setups etc etc, because what we provide by having a acoustic controlled room is a sound source not based on biases. So that gets recreated by those systems like there is a band in the room.... Difficult for me to explain exactly what i mean...

Think of it like this.... Lets say i have song and i have done the basic stuff already, gain staging and balancing the song, and we are ready to remove some troublesome frequencies. The kick and bass are fighting with each other in the following center frequencies... 40hz and 100hz. So to give those 2 instruments space i am going to remove one frequency in the kick and the other frequency in the bass.. Making space so they both won't fight with each other and mask the other frequencies. If i did that in room with a peak at 40hz now my decision is not being made correctly and will translate very wrong in other systems/rooms but if it is actually there my decission to cut at those frequencies is being made based on actual information...and that will translate to every system and will sound good on every system relative to what problems those systems have.. Also when talking about systems i mean a combine situation of room, speakers, equipment and stuff.

Any engineer worth it's salt doesn't want ruler flat speakers for its listeners but wants as close as possible flat room... Consumers have their preferences in what they consider good sound... Some like more bass, some want a smiley face and some just want highs... What we want is removing the room from the equation and let our decisions be translated correctly :) and let the consumer adjust the sound to the preferences of the user. The thing is you can have a ruler flat speaker, so to speak, but it doesn't matter one bit if the room is uncontrolled and full of biases. And again in sound there is no correct way in how something should sound like... Other wise we would have standards how we should mix/master and what decisions to make... Would make it one boring occupation ;)

I already wrote so much...........................Sorry..... But just one last thing. It's more important that the speaker fits the room because you can have a wide spatial information but if the room is to small than it will get messed up... Everything needs to fit with each other to get a proper system. That's why its so important that if you buy speakers that you listen to them and that you listen to them in your own room. Because in your room it can sound like a different beast :)

PS...How far are we off the subject that we were discussing? lmao....
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Does anyone have recommendations for nearfield speakers/monitors?
Preferably active monitors with XLR inputs, and preferably white - or maybe a light wood finish at a push.

At my desk I had focused on headphones for the longest time, but am now wanting to get some speakers there too - the ones built into my monitor are terrible.
I almost just bought another set of JBL 305p MkII (white) without hesitating because I am extremely happy with the set I have in a mid-sized room - I've never heard speakers with imaging quite like them.
Fortunately I bothered to move them as a test, because I'm disappointed to find that while they sound fantastic from further away, the amplifier noise (hiss) is extremely noticeable when less than 1.5m away at a desk and nothing is playing.

It's so frustrating, because they tick every other box for me: they look and sound great for the price, except when used in nearfield - which I thought active monitors were targeting.
 

Darkatomz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
CA
It's so frustrating, because they tick every other box for me: they look and sound great for the price, except when used in nearfield - which I thought active monitors were targeting.
What are you using for the audio and power sources here? I have ideas for other options in the <$300/set price range, but those are among the best for what they are.
 

GammaGoblin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
327
the middle of the woods
Does anyone have recommendations for nearfield speakers/monitors?
Preferably active monitors with XLR inputs, and preferably white - or maybe a light wood finish at a push.

At my desk I had focused on headphones for the longest time, but am now wanting to get some speakers there too - the ones built into my monitor are terrible.
I almost just bought another set of JBL 305p MkII (white) without hesitating because I am extremely happy with the set I have in a mid-sized room - I've never heard speakers with imaging quite like them.
Fortunately I bothered to move them as a test, because I'm disappointed to find that while they sound fantastic from further away, the amplifier noise (hiss) is extremely noticeable when less than 1.5m away at a desk and nothing is playing.

It's so frustrating, because they tick every other box for me: they look and sound great for the price, except when used in nearfield - which I thought active monitors were targeting.
Adam Audio?

ADAM Audio speakers often feature both XLR and RCA connectors. Is it possible to use both at the same time, i.e. to have two different sources connected to the speaker using both connectors?
For the AX-Series, yes, that is possible. If you use both the XLR and the RCA connectors at the same time, please make sure that only one of them transmits a signal at a time. If the speaker receives signals via both connectors at the same time, the sound will be degraded (you will hear both sources simultaneously).

Please note that this does not apply to the F Series. Here the RCA jack disconnects the XLR input.

The T Series comes with a 2-way input switch which allows you to choose between XLR and RCA.

S Series and SX Series models are not equipped with RCA connectors.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
What are you using for the audio and power sources here? I have ideas for other options in the <$300/set price range, but those are among the best for what they are.
I have a nice DAC/headphone amplifier, but no speaker amplifier.
I'm interested to hear your suggestions, but after spending a long time searching yesterday, am now thinking that I may just buy another pair of JBLs and deal with the noise - especially since I just found a local retailer with a pair for $240.

Adam Audio?

ADAM Audio speakers often feature both XLR and RCA connectors. Is it possible to use both at the same time, i.e. to have two different sources connected to the speaker using both connectors?
For the AX-Series, yes, that is possible. If you use both the XLR and the RCA connectors at the same time, please make sure that only one of them transmits a signal at a time. If the speaker receives signals via both connectors at the same time, the sound will be degraded (you will hear both sources simultaneously).

Please note that this does not apply to the F Series. Here the RCA jack disconnects the XLR input.

The T Series comes with a 2-way input switch which allows you to choose between XLR and RCA.

S Series and SX Series models are not equipped with RCA connectors.
Thanks for the recommendation. Having looked into these, it doesn't seem like they are what I'm looking for.
They did a limited edition run of 20 white speakers for their 20th anniversary, and everything sold now seems to be black.
I've also read that the ribbon tweeter has a very narrow "sweet spot" which is the exact opposite of these JBLs and their constant directivity design.
 

GammaGoblin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
327
the middle of the woods
I have a nice DAC/headphone amplifier, but no speaker amplifier.
I'm interested to hear your suggestions, but after spending a long time searching yesterday, am now thinking that I may just buy another pair of JBLs and deal with the noise - especially since I just found a local retailer with a pair for $240.


Thanks for the recommendation. Having looked into these, it doesn't seem like they are what I'm looking for.
They did a limited edition run of 20 white speakers for their 20th anniversary, and everything sold now seems to be black.
I've also read that the ribbon tweeter has a very narrow "sweet spot" which is the exact opposite of these JBLs and their constant directivity design.
Pretty difficult in white... maybe KRK?
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Pretty difficult in white... maybe KRK?
After spending more time looking over lists of speakers and seeing the prices just go up and up for ones which both reviewed/measured well, and that I liked the look of, I ended up buying another pair of the JBL 305p MkII in white.
I know that I like how they sound, that they work well in the room, and I can get them delivered this week.
I don't think they can be beaten at $240 either. The Kali LP-6 seems to be the closest competitor (to the 306p) and reviews mostly say to buy whichever is cheaper at the time. Those are more expensive here, I don't like how they look at all.
 

Manac0r

Member
Oct 30, 2017
259
UK
Purchased Beyerdynamic Amiron and can say hand heart it is the comfiest headset I have ever owned,. Hours of play and no discomfort.

Curious what Era's opinion is of DTS headhones unbound via windows? Free triall is nearly up but as a keyworker i have barely used it,

Currently using a DQ cobalt as a DAC for the headphones if that helps....
 

Darkatomz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
CA
I have a nice DAC/headphone amplifier, but no speaker amplifier.
I'm interested to hear your suggestions, but after spending a long time searching yesterday, am now thinking that I may just buy another pair of JBLs and deal with the noise - especially since I just found a local retailer with a pair for $240.
I was going to suggest Yamaha, but you need to spend more if you wanted to consider the HS8's.

So you are going off of a PC mobo for the speakers? I know this more $$$ than you want to spend or consider, but if you are only using a DAC/amp, then I would recommend a DAC/amp/pre to give you the option of switching from speakers and HPamp to reduce Vnoise. I use a Burson Playmate with V6 op-amps, Schiit Jotunheim is a more popular option with less cutomiozation. You can also consider a Furman power conditioner for powering the speakers themselves which is cheaper to do, but probably less of a fix.
 

opticalmace

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,267
Hi y'all, looking for some speaker recommendations.

Thinking <$500 CAD, just a stereo pair for TV/music (electronica + hip hop). If each speaker is <8" wide that would be ideal, since we could slot them into our current setup (any height). But I could maybe find a way around that if it's too restrictive.

We don't have a subwoofer or anything. Right now we're just using a couple crappy old speakers some family gave to us (Athena I think, from some 5.1 system?), and they're not impressive.

Thanks!
 

nib95

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
12,967
Bought my wife the Sony WH-1000XM3's for her birthday a few weeks back, and I must say they are simply fantastic. The noise cancelling works a dream, to the point where flights are pure silence based musical bliss.

Me, my wife and friends did a back to back A/B comparison on our flight with the Bose QC35 II's and all of us agreed the Sony's came out on top. Just a meatier and richer sound, with better imaging and instrumental separation, better bass, and a wider soundstage. The Bose sounded a tad too (low-mid) treble titled, claustrophobic and thin in comparison.

That said, the XM3's aren't perfect, imo they're a touch too thick or dark sounding (too much upper mid bass), but a quick EQ fixes them up to the point where they sound 70% as good as my Sony MDR-Z1R's (maybe a bit closer if the Z1R's aren't plugged into my Amp/DAC), which is pretty damn surprising.

The MDR-Z1R's still sound more intricate, airy, wide and detailed, but the XM3's post EQ are surprisingly fairly close.

For anyone with these headphones and a Samsung device, here are my settings if you want to try them.

Headphone settings:

LDAC On
Noise Cancelling On
DSEE HX Off

Platform: Spotify (highest quality option)
EQ: Samsung Music via Spotify

Keep Dolby Atmos (Music mode) on if you want an ever so slightly punchier, more fun or vibrant sound (more forward, especially mids/vocals and bass), but off if you want a slightly airier, leaner sound, with a hair more fine separation.

Bear in mind the volume is a touch lower with Atmos off, so volume match to account for that when comparing.

Here's my EQ. Everything else on the EQ page turned off. Some may prefer to drop 63Hz half a tick with Dolby Atmos on.

 
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Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Curious what Era's opinion is of DTS headhones unbound via windows? Free triall is nearly up but as a keyworker i have barely used it,
From my testing so far, I like the generic DTS headphone profile less than Dolby Atmos for Headphones.
But prefer the DTS app if it has a profile specific to the headphone model being used (it doesn't have one for the Amiron).

I was going to suggest Yamaha, but you need to spend more if you wanted to consider the HS8's.
Those do pass for looks, but 8" is far too big for a desk setup, and I haven't heard quite as good things about the smaller HS5.

So you are going off of a PC mobo for the speakers? I know this more $$$ than you want to spend or consider, but if you are only using a DAC/amp, then I would recommend a DAC/amp/pre to give you the option of switching from speakers and HPamp to reduce Vnoise. I use a Burson Playmate with V6 op-amps, Schiit Jotunheim is a more popular option with less cutomiozation. You can also consider a Furman power conditioner for powering the speakers themselves which is cheaper to do, but probably less of a fix.
I use a very nice DAC that has a headphone amplifier and XLR outputs for speakers, rather than on-board audio, but was not really prepared to spend what it costs for the matching amplifier and some passive speakers for this desk setup.
The hiss is just from the cheap amplifiers inside these monitors, not a power conditioning issue.
Considering the praise the JBL 3-series has received, I'm surprised they don't offer a passive model, or that someone else hasn't designed an upgraded amplifier for it as a mod.

EDIT:

Hi y'all, looking for some speaker recommendations.
Thinking <$500 CAD, just a stereo pair for TV/music (electronica + hip hop). If each speaker is <8" wide that would be ideal, since we could slot them into our current setup (any height). But I could maybe find a way around that if it's too restrictive.
We don't have a subwoofer or anything. Right now we're just using a couple crappy old speakers some family gave to us (Athena I think, from some 5.1 system?), and they're not impressive.
Thanks!
Are you looking for floor-standers or bookshelf speakers?
Except for the noise up close, I can't recommend the JBL 3-series enough (305p, 306p, 308p) but whether they work really depends a lot on your setup.
They're active monitors and sold individually, not passive speakers you hook up to an amplifier - and that may be more or less convenient depending on your needs.

 
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Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
Anyone with a Denon X2600 ever see an ad pop up in the overlay? Just had some American pizza chain offer me a free slice of pizza (I'm in the UK) and it vanished after a minute before I could select OK or cancel. Hoping this isn't a new trend.