Audiophiles help me pick my home cinema setup

My old vintage speakers (muffled crappy things) have finally kicked the bucket and I'm now in the market for a half decent system. I think I've limited it to a few, but AM OPEN TO YOUR SUGGESTIONS!!!

  1. Edifier 350DB 2.1 setup - I have actually bought these but am not sure if I am happy with them and may return them. Their sound is gorgeous for music, but with movies I just would love to enjoy a 5.1 surround set up and they are active speakers so I don't have any future upgrade-ablity.

  2. Samsung Q60r - bought this just the other week for $500 and ended up returning them - it was impressive on how much louder the sound was, but they just were a bit lacking still compared to the edifier 2.1 setup. I am tempted to buy it again though and invest a bit more for some DWA8500s rear speakers. Again not sure with the quality here and if I'm going to end up regretting spending a tad more.

  3. Samsung K950 or N950 (second hand on ebay - around $600-700 max) - I am most set on these I think, however I am afraid that the drivers may be just the same as the Q60r, albeit with more speakers to give an atmos setup. Does anyone know?

  4. Pioneer 5.1 HTP-076 speaker receiver setup ($600 with current ebay discounts). I dont know whether this will give much better sound to the N950 without me having to spend $$$ more to upgrade the speakers supplied?

  5. ??? Your suggestions welcome!

Few caveats:

  1. As much as I'd like to buy any second hand surround set on gumtree or ebay, the issue is SIZE - they are simply too big to sit in my living room - they would need to be relatively compact if possible.

  2. I dont want to spend more than $700 MAX - I know this isnt much in audiophile terms, but I'm a cheapskate and have set this arbitrary budget and dont want to change this haha (lest I face the wrath of my wife).

  3. I would appreciate ease of setup with the modern features of a soundbar if I am buying a receiver/speaker setup (bluetooth,arc etc). I run all of my media through my MiBox Android TV Box.

Thank you for reading my short novel. I appreciate your input!



    What's wrong with your TV speakers?

    • +3 votes

      Literally anything else sounds better than TV speakers haha. I think farting into a tinc an would have more dynamic range than those!


      $6mill setup? Okay..

    • -1 vote

      Makes the Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier look completely sane.

      (That's a $4,000 soundbar for those that don't know).

      Kipnis’ Ciné Beta requires so much electrical power that he had to consult with Connecticut Light & Power to install two separate, external power transformers. The transformers sit on his own property, adjacent to the building housing the system.

      According to Kipnis, the power issue “took more than a year and a lot of bureaucratic red tape and money” to sort out. The electrical bill racked up by the two transformers is more than $1,200/month – as much as some people pay for an entire year (and you thought audiophiles who spend $1,000 on a power line-conditioner were crazy).

  • +2 votes

    You're not going to get audiophile quality gear with that budget and size constraints.

    $332 with ebay 20% off code.

    I don't think you'll get a significant increase in quality going to your budget amount.

    Once you have a bigger budget and more room, I'd be looking at gumtree and ebay for some second hand bargain floorstanders. I am personally a huge fan of Krix and you can get some of their excellent speakers second hand for $400-600

    • +1 vote

      That's a good option for those that want to buy right away. But it's not that much better/cheaper than a good Sound bar.

      It's probably better idea to get a decent Yamaha Theatre Unit, then combine that with a decent (Yamaha) Subwoofer. The speakers can be cheap to offset the cost. And even cheap speakers will sound awesome with a good amp box. That's what I did, and I'm very happy with it.


        I disagree. This is a far better system than a sound bar, plus it's upgradable. The receiver is just a bare bones version of their retail ones. It supports 4K, HDR and 70w per channel. You really do not need more watts as you'll only really be getting increased high end volume.

        Use this Yamaha system for a while, keep the receiver and upgrade the front and centre speakers later, upgrade the subwoofer later, upgrade the rear speakers last (if at all - I wouldn't bother)


          Yeah, I would put the importance of components in this order:
          Receiver, Subwoofer, Left+Right Speakers, Front Speaker, Left+Right rear boxes, Left+Right ceiling units.

          For the $332 price I can't find a better deal. However, the receiver and subwoofer Yamaha use in these packages are really the low-end stuff, the speakers doesn't matter. The current soundbars (2015-onwards) are surprisingly good. They don't give the full-sound of a true 5.1 system, or the full-volume of a proper amp-speakers. But compared to cheap surround sound systems, they actually deliver a better experience. I was trying to state that without sounding biased.

          PS: I have a high-end Yamaha Receiver and high-end Yamaha Subwoofer, my 5.0 speakers are cheap german ones. Can't ceiling mount speakers in rental.


    Asking audiophiles specifically to help choose cheap gears is the wrong call to make. Many of our headphones cost more than your budget.

    Given the $700 budget I'll say forget about a home cinema setup and go for stereo instead. Find a pair of bookshelf that you like and team it with a cheapish Chinese amp.

    For best bang for the buck, try a headphones-only system. $700 will buy a lot of good headphone audio.

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