So I went to Best Buy today to see and hear some of the speakers up close. All I can say is that, after nearly three hours, I don't think I'll be watching The Incredible Hulk
again anytime soon.
Actually, it was a great learning experience, and best of all, I finally found a sound system that I think is perfect for me.
Best Buy had an Insignia setup near the back of the store, and even though I don't think they were the exact speakers you mentioned, I decided to give them a shot anyway. I thought the center speaker sounded great, especially with the dialogue, but I was a little disappointed by the backs, mainly with the sound effects. It was unusually quiet, and the soundtrack seemed really overpowering because of this. I don't know if the setup was unbalanced because of faulty wiring, or if it was just the quality of the speakers themselves. Either way, I wasn't sold, but that price was definitely enticing.
I also took a look at some sets from Mirage, JBL, and Yamaha. Yamaha impressed me more than anything else I looked at. The bass from the sub was fantastic, and once the other speakers were positioned right, everything in the store seemed to disappear. It was very absorbing, creating the home theater experience I was looking for.
However, I just couldn't get past the $499 price tag.
I talked to a few of the employees at the store for more ideas, as well as a customer who seemed to know more than any of the workers did. This customer directed me to a Panasonic display with Polk Audio
It was very quiet at first, but once I tinkered with the dials and buttons (someone had the balance all wrong on the receiver), I was extremely impressed. It was perfect, too, because the movie had just reached the scene where Hulk and the other dude start battling it out on the street. The bass, while not earth shattering, was beyond acceptable, and there was this indescribable depth to the entire presentation. It was like being in the middle of the action without being assaulted.
I knew this was the right one.
The suggested retail price at Best Buy was $399, but apparently there was a big sale for Black Friday, and the entire stock of speakers was gone. After talking with the other customer, he informed me that I could get the entire package on Amazon for less than $250, even with shipping. He was right.
My total for new speakers was $247.49, and they're being shipped directly to my house.