SV Poll: Do You Own a Soundbar?

Soundbars are one of the top selling categories in consumer electronics today. People love them for a variety of reasons but simplicity and reasonable cost are cited most often. We want to know what you think about soundbars so take our poll and expound on your vote in the Comments section.
SV Poll: Do You Own a Soundbar?
Yes. It’s a perfect low-clutter solution for my bedroom (or other secondary space).
18% (122 votes)
Yes. I use one in my primary home entertainment space because I don’t have room for multiple speakers.
12% (83 votes)
Yes. I use one in my primary home entertainment space because my spouse won’t let me set up a system with multiple speakers.
5% (33 votes)
No, but I bought one as a gift for my parents/grandparents (or other friend or relative) because it’s easy to set up and use.
6% (40 votes)
No. I love my 5/7.1 home theater setup and would never even consider a soundbar for my main setup.
50% (337 votes)
No. I would never buy a soundbar for myself or anyone else; I don't think they should have a place in the A/V world.
9% (59 votes)
Total votes: 674

notabadname's picture

Fine for a small room as an alternative to the TV's built-in speakers. But IMO, simply not a replacement for a true 5.1 or better system. I have never heard a demo that even came close to an equally priced surround system, dollar-for-dollar - to keep things fair.

TimmyS's picture

Sound bars are needed because of the dinky built in TV speakers that do not allow folks to barely HEAR the TV.

But from a design standpoint horizontally arrayed drivers is a poor design choice due to the varying frequency response across the listening field. The spread of sound is also very narrow with horizontal LCR arrays as well. Certainly equivalently priced separate speakers (with vertical orientation) would probably make a better tradeoff. But these days function and performance seems secondary considerations to many compared to form, or what it looks like.

Now of course everyone should buy 4 subwoofers and giant tower speakers at all points of the soundscape, not dinky soundbars....

audioful's picture

A replacement for TV speakers for everyday listening. Nowhere close to a quality multi-channel system.

jnemesh's picture

I just got a soundbar a few months ago. It was the perfect solution for my living room, as I didn't want the expense or installation hassles of a full 5.1 (or 7.2, or 11.2) theater in that room. But, it's also a secondary viewing area, and i just wanted better sound than TV speakers. I have a full theater I am completing with Martin Logan Motion 12 towers up front, the matching Motion 8 center, Motion 4s in the rear, Era Design Sub 10, and Marantz SR7007. I also have a very nice Parasound 2 channel setup in my bedroom with Atlantic AT-1 tower speakers. While the sound quality out of the soundbar is far below the level of quality I get in the other rooms, it's fine for watching the news, the occasional football game, and general TV.

speidi1's picture

so a good sound bar suits my needs very well.