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Old 07-30-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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What to use for a 2.1 or 3.1 setup for living room?


I'm going to have a very open living room. The layout of the house and a bunch of other factors are not condusive to a 5.1 system.

I'm looking for advice on setting up a good 2.1 or 3.1 system.

I am not a sound snob by any means, I just want a good way to play audio in the living room.

I would be perfectly happy with something like this:
http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/...s_ii/index.jsp

The problem is - it looks like it only has 2 inputs. I need inputs for the following:

TV (cable box) - (optical or analog)
PS3 (Optical only)
Apple TV (optical only)
Dedicated Region 1 DVD player (Optical or analog)

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Old 08-01-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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What to use for a 2.1 or 3.1 setup for living room?


Bose is one of those brands that seems high-end in retail stores but if you talk to audiophiles they'll tell you it sucks... :-/ I like Bose. I don't particularly care for that little controller box it comes with... only 1 optical and 1 analog input so it won't meet your needs.

I'm happy w my Sony STRDH740 Receiver. 4 HDMI and 2 Optical, plus a slew of other inputs... It handles 5.1 plus 2 which is more than you need so you could step down to the 540 or less even.

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Old 08-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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What to use for a 2.1 or 3.1 setup for living room?


So you are recommending buying a receiver, a set of fronts, a center and a sub and just putting together my own?

This would work since I have my old 5.1 setup and could re-use the speakers and sub.

So ... Sony STRDH540 you say?
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:06 AM   #4
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What to use for a 2.1 or 3.1 setup for living room?


If your main goal is games & music, 2 fronts and sub. If movies are the goal I'd try to add a center and the surrounds.

I'm really happy w my 740... Sony is another one of those brands that would cause audiophiles to throw up if they overheard you call it good... but for a simple system for $200-$300 it's great. Honestly I got Sony cuz I wanted the remote to be able to control my TV out of the box, and for my TV remote to be able to control it out of the box. We have kids so we always lose remotes!

To test it we hooked it up where we had our Kenwood THX receiver from around 8 years ago (before HDMI, but after optical / coaxial audio)... and it sounds so much better. The digital processing of music to the surrounds is great - fills the whole room whereas the Kenwood seemed to handle that poorly... and the 5.1 is putting so much more balanced sound around the room too. I really like it. This is probably more of technology advancing so much in the last 8 years and using the HDMI input from UVerse rather than analog input from TIVO than the specific model so I think any modern receiver that has the inputs you need is going to sound great.

Since you have Apple TV, you might need / want Air Play. That model does not support over the air play. If that's important to hook up your iPod or Apple TV wirelessly then you can upgrade to the wifi enabled models which are a lot more - but they'll suck up your whole $500 budget just for the receiver.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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What to use for a 2.1 or 3.1 setup for living room?


yeah, get a receiver and use your speakers. what speakers do you have ?

bose is good if you need small size and don't need hi-fi.
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