Slim Receiver VS Soundbar VS Theater in a Box VS Powered Monitors


Feb 7, 2012
Yes, another one but need some help. First. I'm not an audiophile but do enjoy balanced sound. I still don't have anything great. Yeah.. I'm all over the place on equipment.

Current setup:
TV: Samsung PN51D450
Receiver: Sony STR-DH740
L/R Channel: JBL Monitor 4206
Subwoofer: RCA SW60P (from Radio Shack 15+ years ago!)

The JBL's have sounded the best to me so far but are a little large. Compared to DCM Cinema 1's and Bose 161's. The wife (NO) wasn't a fan of them sitting on the floor angled up with a couple of game boxes.

Long story short. My dad got us a TV stand with elec fireplace to replace a beat up tv stand. Wife (NO) hinted at a soundbar and I said "You will get the wrong one", she replied "Thanks for the confidence". I did consider using my Creative 2.1 pc speakers (T2900) but doesn't have optical in or remote controls.

FIRM <250 but she was already looking at bars ~150 range.

Now that you know the high-quality equipment I'm working with... lol. Some things I'm looking for
-A good 2.1 would be fine. I'm fine with using the SW60P if needed. It's not top notch but does add some low's the bookshelves/soundbars don't.
-If it has a receiver/amp, must be able to fit the shelf. Think the size of cable box/DVD player
-Would like radio but if not, BT for easy music playing.
-Maybe some powered monitors? Klipsch R-14PM Powered Monitor?

Slim receivers aren't cheap. And the cheap ones are lacking in/outputs

Soundbars, Wife (NO) was looking at a VIZIO 2/3.1 something for 148. I had been looking at the Samsung/JBLs in the 150-250 range but haven't been listening to anything in person yet. These seem to be all over the place for in/outputs but usually have a min of optical and BT.

Theater in a Box. Only reason I was really considering was if I found one with a smart wifi bluray player. Otherwise overkill to use as 2/3.1 plus the cheap ones usually only have option for passive subwoofer and limited connections.