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Hi all sisters asked me to help her find her husband a surround sound system for Christmas :confused:

I know he's been looking at the Sony HT-RT4 wondered if that's any good.

She's got a budget of £250 atm

Any advice?
 
Soldato
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Well you can't get separates new for that money. I.e an AV receiver and passive speakers to connect it to.

So you're in all in one box territory from the various big name manufacturers.

They'll sound good compared to a TV, you'd hope, but you won't have quality bass or lots of it. Or a detailed refined sound.

But if youre not into audio as a hobby just go off what he's been looking at already. Probably a reason he's arrived there.
 
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Thanks he's not that into his audio just wanted something better than the TV audio.

Is the Sony HT-RT4 good? Anything cheaper that you'd recommend? I've seen a few soundbar mentioned but they lack the rear speakers so I think he wants a package
 
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At this price range you have to realise, things are being built to a price. Sometimes by companies with audio history pedigree (which Sony has) and some who don't.

What I'm trying to say is the compromise factor is as big as it will get with this kind of solution, at this kind of money.

I have no need or interest in soundbars, I'd think some might even be decent these days, but nothing will replace a physical speaker in the right location.

This guy clearly wants a surround system, please don't get him something that isn't that.

Buying for hobbies is really difficult unless you know exactly what to get. I know you said he's not terribly into it though.

I started my AV journey with an Onkyo 5.1 package from richersounds, ex demo for £199. They were polite and could see I was excited to buy an entry entry system. Was it good? No not really in absolute terms. Was it better and more immersive than the TV, yes definitely. Was it good for where I was in my journey? Yes. I sold it to a friend that was also happy to have it Vs TV speakers alone.

Slippery slope as my centre channel speaker alone is more than twice that amount. The rabbit hole is there, and there is no guard rail around it...
 
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My sister has the choice between the
Sony BDV-E4100 or the Sony HT-RT4?

Any advice ones 1000w vs 600w not that I have any idea if that makes a difference lol
 
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The power figures are a complete work of fiction. It's the same with any of these one-box audio systems. If you're getting a couple of hundred Watts out of either when running properly at full volume then you'll be doing well.

Of the two systems, I would favour the HT-RT4. Here's why...

1) History shows us time and time again that in audio systems with a built-in disc player that it's that disc player that's the first thing to go wrong. When it does, you then find out that either it can't be repaired, or they want to charge you through the nose

2) We stream and watch more stuff from Sky/Virgin/BT than we buy discs

3) Where we do want to play physical media, there's a fair chance that a console will do just fine. Failing that, standalone Blu-ray players are cheap and far more reliable than built-in units

Beyond this, neither system offers a lot of physical sockets to plug stuff in directly, and even if you could, both sets fall short on the sort of HD audio processing required to make the most of a the great quality of sound from a typical Blu-ray. I'm not talking about Dolby ATMOS here, just the high quality sound from a normal Blu-ray disc.

What your BiL will end up doing then is routing everything via the TV, and then pick up a basic audio feed out via either HDMI ARC (if his TV has it) or via optical. That's convenient but a bit of a quality bottleneck too. Having said that, at this level, its par for the course.

Two other reasons for choosing the HT-RT4:

First, there's no money wasted on the disc player, so in theory there's more money Sony's manufacturing budget for better quality speakers.

Second, the sub is going to be contributing a lot to the sound of voices and music. Its better then to have the sub near to the TV and centre speaker position so that the blend between the centre and sub works better. With the RT4 having its connections on the sub then it naturally lends itself to a position closer to the TV.
 
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The power figures are a complete work of fiction. It's the same with any of these one-box audio systems. If you're getting a couple of hundred Watts out of either when running properly at full volume then you'll be doing well.

Of the two systems, I would favour the HT-RT4. Here's why...

1) History shows us time and time again that in audio systems with a built-in disc player that it's that disc player that's the first thing to go wrong. When it does, you then find out that either it can't be repaired, or they want to charge you through the nose

2) We stream and watch more stuff from Sky/Virgin/BT than we buy discs

3) Where we do want to play physical media, there's a fair chance that a console will do just fine. Failing that, standalone Blu-ray players are cheap and far more reliable than built-in units

Beyond this, neither system offers a lot of physical sockets to plug stuff in directly, and even if you could, both sets fall short on the sort of HD audio processing required to make the most of a the great quality of sound from a typical Blu-ray. I'm not talking about Dolby ATMOS here, just the high quality sound from a normal Blu-ray disc.

What your BiL will end up doing then is routing everything via the TV, and then pick up a basic audio feed out via either HDMI ARC (if his TV has it) or via optical. That's convenient but a bit of a quality bottleneck too. Having said that, at this level, its par for the course.

Two other reasons for choosing the HT-RT4:

First, there's no money wasted on the disc player, so in theory there's more money Sony's manufacturing budget for better quality speakers.

Second, the sub is going to be contributing a lot to the sound of voices and music. Its better then to have the sub near to the TV and centre speaker position so that the blend between the centre and sub works better. With the RT4 having its connections on the sub then it naturally lends itself to a position closer to the TV.
Thank you for replying.

She's limited to argos really as she gets 15% staff discount from Friday plus has a £50 Voucher to use there.
 
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If that's where she has to buy from then that's where she has to buy from. The good news is that both systems are listed at far less than Sony's RRP of £350 each. By the time the voucher and the discount are taken off then either should squeeze in under £190.
 
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