My wife and I constantly had trouble with our TV speakers: (1) They would become too loud in one scene and then too quite to understand what was being said in another; and (2) The vocals were horrible. We had to often turn on subtitles if we couldn't not crank the volume way up. This sound bar fixed both problems with the added bonus that we now get an awesome 5.1 surround sound. The vocals are crystal clear with a nice balance with the music and action scene volume. In addition, the TruVolume feature takes care of sudden spikes in loudness. All in all really improved our TV viewing experience.
Another thing this sound bar made us realize was how many details and subtle nuances in audio were we missing previously with our TV speakers. We watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol the other day and it was a completely different experience - very movie theater like and immersive. In one scene, in the background you could hear the mosque chants, indicating that the scene is taking place in Dubai. It was mind blowing as we had never paid attention to that when we watched it with our TV speakers. The first thought we had was that how much detail and nuances we had missed all this time watching movies or programs on our TV because of crappy audio.
The bass is plentiful, in fact a bit too much some times. The control for subwoofer volume could have been done better (possibly with a knob of the woofer itself).
Overall the sound bar is amazing. I would summarize it as follows:
- Amazing sound quality. The 5.1 is quite immersive and decodes Dolby Digital audio well (I use PS3 + Netflix + Optical cable).
- Dead simple setup
- I had no intermittent audio issues
- All components feel like quality built. Good finishing on the aluminum remote as well.
- All wires included! Even the optical cable was packaged in.
- Includes wall mounts
- Display on the remote is a huge convenience
- Bluetooth audio streaming
- Plenty of inputs on the back. I am personally using optical from PS3 (my media hub) and a RCA analog from TV (for Chromecast).
- Little LEDs are unobtrusive yet functionally apt.
- Clear vocals and great surround sound.
- Biggest one: Blocks my TV's IR receiver and it lacks a IR repeater.
- The soundbar is a bit wide for my 40" TV so it detracts from the aesthetics, however the sound bar is sleek and sophisticated looking.
- Switching between menu items on the remote is a bit slow. I have to slow myself down to make it go from one item to another. Its not "snappy".
- Some features need to be explained better in the quick start guide, especially the TV remote programming one.
Bottom line is: For $300 (or $200 when it was discounted), you cannot beat the ease of a 5.1 setup this brings and the excellent audio quality. Yes an independent receiver with hand picked speakers and some gold plated diamond studded whatever cable will outperform this, but hey I did not have to spend >$1000 and hours of my precious time. This just works and it sounds great. Very happy with the price-to-performance and I would heartedly recommend this.