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Looking for any current recommendation on an audio receiver/equipment for the living area. All the stereo/Electronic store offering seem both physically large with a proportionally high power (>200w/ch) output. Not an audiophile, but appreciate a good surround system, without being blown away!

Have a 55" UHD TV - Samsung MU8000. Supports various streaming option and audio system integration. Will be wall mounted.

Looking for recommendation on:-

  • 5.1 Surround Sound - Soundbar, sub-woofer (compact and not overly bassy), front/rear speaker. Have a Vizio 5.1 but the sub-woofer is has a very heavy bass for a small space.
  • Receiver (AM/FM, audio streaming, Bluetooth, HDMI support in/out (multiple), ...
  • UHD Video Player (UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, CD)
  • Still in the debate on the video entertainment sources (OTA, satellite, streaming, but probably 2 of 3). Will be FT and mobile - N. America.
  • Anything else to consider?
  • Then there is the bedroom (smaller)!
  • Or any radically different approaches - Sonos, HEOS, ...

The RV is not ready yet and the general layout will look something like the layout below, but probably not as wide. (Not the same manufacturer also!).

majestic44.png

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For basic sound requirements in an RV and ease of installation, I have been happy with Samsung all in one Blu-ray surround sound systems.  I had a couple of them in my last 5er and they worked quite well.  If you are looking for more options and “tune ability” then a good Sony receiver with your choice of speakers and audio/video components is a good option.  It is what I have at home and in my current 5er.  Sony makes some good receivers and at various price points depending on capabilities.

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I suggest an AV receiver like the Marantz NR1508. It has 5 HDMI 4K inputs, 50W per channel, built in WiFi and AirPlay, plus it's one of the shortest AV receivers. I have an Marantz in my AV system.

I also suggest some "bookshelf" speakers like this Polk system.

Finally, adequate ventilation courtesy of Cooler Guys.

BTW, it's almost impossible now to find and integrated system that Chad mentioned with any HDMI inputs which is very, very limiting.

 

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I agree the all in one systems have limited or no HDMI inputs, but there are ways around that.  If the TV has digital audio (DA) out, then additional components can be connected directly to the TV through HDMI inputs and then run the sound out through a DA cable (basically a fiber optic cable) to the all in one unit (assuming it has a DA input) to allow surround sound for anything being played to the TV.  If the TV doesn’t have DA out, you can pull the DA signal from the HDMI signal with the proper adapter.

It all comes down to how much money is in the budget and what quality you require to meet your needs.  There are lots of ways to accomplish the goal.  Separate components properly matched to your needs will usually give you the best quality, but if cost is an issue an all in one will do the job too

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We've been pleased with the sound quality of the Marantz NRxxxx series that Zulu identified. Some of Bluetooth built in, other's require a separate moduel for input. (We're using Auris BluMe True Hi-Fi adapter.). I was mostly interested in HiFi vs Surround Sound, so other then suggest looking over the Gallo Acoustics line for a compromise between size and sound quality, I won't bother you with my HiFi speaker setup. 

I'm a fan of Oppo BluRay's. Their UDP-203 is a smaller form, and high quality product. 

Suggest Roku be added into the mix, or your choice if you don't like Roku, for ease of future steaming. Amazon's Fire series and Apples Apple TV series are also popular. 

When installing the equipment, suggest a run of CAT5/6 cable to the area to allows one less WiFi hop from a Tech Cabinet data source area. (One cable is enough, as it can be split if needed in the Audio Cabinet.)

We all have different priorities, and HiFi and good sounds are important to me. I've been known to mumble 'Got Tubes' at times... 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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49 minutes ago, Smitty77_7 said:

We've been pleased with the sound quality of the Marantz NRxxxx series that Zulu identified. Some of Bluetooth built in, other's require a separate modue for input. (We're using Auris BluMe True Hi-Fi adapter.). I was mostly interested in HiFi vs Surround Sound, so other then suggest looking over the Gallo Acoustics line for a compromise between size and sound quality, I won't bother you with my HiFi speaker setup. 

I'm a fan of Oppo BluRay's. Their UDP-203 is a smaller form, and high quality product.

 

10 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

It all comes down to how much money is in the budget and what quality you require to meet your needs.  There are lots of ways to accomplish the goal.  Separate components properly matched to your needs will usually give you the best quality, but if cost is an issue an all in one will do the job too

 

11 hours ago, Zulu said:

I suggest an AV receiver like the Marantz NR1508. It has 5 HDMI 4K inputs, 50W per channel, built in WiFi and AirPlay, plus it's one of the shortest AV receivers. I have an Marantz in my AV system.

Guys,

Thanks for the great suggestions. Clearly it's been a while since I got a new A/V system or receiver!! Plus no recent experience with satellite. It will probably be wise to architect it for all the current media sources. I had planned to put CAT6 cabling (at least one) to the media center.  Ever evolving technology.

 

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I'll be a little different here.... (well, probably as usual...)

I've had surround systems in all my custom rigs. Some very high-end speakers, and some higher end Denon equipment. Unless you are a REAL audiophile I'm now of the opinion that it is a waste of money, adds complexity, and the equipment is subject to failure. The sound from a high-quality soundbar, properly placed, with a wireless subwoofer is WAY more than enough for the RV living area. Now, a true audiophile will want something else, but for those of us that just enjoy GOOD sound, and also sound that can be cranked up without distortion, the soundbars are more than good enough. They really are quite impressive now.   Buy the BluRay player of choice to integrate, and you will be good to go. You really do not need more unless you have special needs. I second the Roku, for convenience mainly. I usually cast to my TV (using built-in Miracast technology), but I use PCs. Apple I'm sure is different - since everything seems to be different on Apple. And ALL of my rigs have wired networks in them with hookups in many places....including the entertainment center (and the basement for electrical device monitoring, and the front to support an interface to the truck - even in motion - yes I have a wired connection to the truck).  But that is a different topic.

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But still want OTA AM/FM stations, so therefore the receiver. Not interested in a massive amount off watts. But I'm told that I'm deaf sometimes!! But there is a difference between hearing and heeding 😁 

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Got to read the OP post! Soundbars don't have AM/FM receivers (that I'm aware of).

On 2/23/2018 at 9:54 PM, TheLongWayHome said:

Looking for recommendation on:-

  • Receiver (AM/FM, audio streaming, Bluetooth, HDMI support in/out (multiple), ...

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2 hours ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

I'm with Chad and Jack on this.  Pick a soundbar and bass speaker and enjoy.  Knowing that the interior acoustics of these moving boxes are not that great to begin with, I wouldn't go overboard.  

So . . . I'm watching the movie Pearl Harbor in my Class A "box" with a 5.1 speaker system.

There's a part in the movie when Japanese planes first appear over Pearl Harbor. As they come into frame you can only hear them on the rear speakers -- so the planes sound as if they're coming from behind you and moving right over you. Nothing like it. Similar experience with other movies.

Sure, an RV probably won't get THX certified, but a standard 5.1 speaker system is the sh&* if you can go that route.

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sonos playbar and sonos sub, some sonos play:1's for rears if wanted. But playbar and sub are plenty. bluetooth to the playbar, can get am/fm app on your phone, or get a sonos connect and hook in traditional receiver. 

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You can get almost every am and fm station in the country with software. I routinely listen to "local" Co Springs stations with my phone connected with bluetooth to my speakers. It uses very little data. So that is a "reasonable" option if you have data. Traveling the county I have had only 3 hours the last three years I've been without an Internet connection. BUT there are still plenty of places where no cellular data is available...but I'd bet radio is not, either, in many of them.

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I❤Radio? Free but with ads. Amazon Music is you have Amazon Prime? Pandora or one of the pay subscriptions?

What is the down rate per hour for cellular ( approx)?

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I'm an audiophile, so consider that in my response.  DO NOT get a sound bar!  Go to an audio shop.  Not a big box store and  tell them what you want to do and audition some bookshelf speakers.  Those along with a matching center speaker (it does about 90% of the work in dialog) will have you thrilled with listening at lower volume levels.  You will hear things in familiar music you've never heard before.  You don't need a lot of power if the speakers are efficient (>90 Spl).  Rear surrounds add very little to even movies.  you can skip these or add them later.  I promise you even the most tin ear can tell the difference and make a sound bar sound like a transistor radio.  Another option are studio monitors.  They are usually powered so you'd only need a tuner/pre-amp.  You can listen to them at stores like Guitar Center.  The subwoofer is for low frequency.  You'll find some that just thump for movies, and quite musical ones for music like a stand up jazz bass.  Go listen!

Edited by NoDirectionHome

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1 hour ago, TheLongWayHome said:

I❤Radio? Free but with ads. Amazon Music is you have Amazon Prime? Pandora or one of the pay subscriptions?

What is the down rate per hour for cellular ( approx)?

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-how-to-keep-streaming-audio-from-chewing-through-your-data-plan/

I like tune in radio, bluetooth it from my phone to my soundbar, or my coach radio.

Edited by jcussen

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My Cuz picked up one of these Pyle - Premium Rack Mount Bluetooth Receiver, Home Theater Amp, Speaker Amplifier, Bluetooth Wireless Streaming, MP3/USB/SD/AUX/FM Radio, 200 Watt, w/ Digital ID3 LCD Display from - PDA7BU and says its really nice.  I haven't seen it though.  I prefer to use my in Dash Stereo, it already has everything I need once I upgraded the speakers.  -Bill

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