~$500 USD first setup: Opinions on my current plan?


Working with a ~$500 budget for a first HT setup.

What I have:

  • Vizio M658-G1 4k Television
  • PS5
  • Seating position (couch) is roughly 8 ft from the front of the entertainment center/TV Stand
  • Roughly 12 ft wall-to-wall from behind the tv to behind the couch.
  • Ceiling is 10 ft high.

Current plan:

  • 2 x RB42 as R/L sitting directly beside the television on the stand which is 29 inches high.
  • RB42-C as center channel sitting directly below the television on the upper most shelf of the entertainment center/TV stand.
  • Find a good deal on a ~$250/$275 AV Receiver with ARC and 4k/HDR passthrough (Refurbished is fine, recommendations welcome, already looking at Denon, Yamaha, and Sony options).

Key points:

  • I don’t have space for a sub or surrounds (5.1, etc) so strictly looking for the best movie/tv/game audio quality with 3 channels (L/R/C).
  • I can’t mount anything to the walls.
  • Don’t have space for floor stands for the RB42’s or for tower speakers.
  • Have exactly 6.68 inches on either side of the tv to set L/R or a bit more on the bookshelves that flank the entertainment center (both sides). Bookshelves have backing on them and will have other things on the shelf so I was concerned with stifling the sound.

Anyone have any receiver recommendations, alternative speaker recommendations, personal experience with this in a similar size space?

I would consider a nice soundbar. In the 500$ and up range you can get some impressive audio that’s going to vastly out perform speakers that can’t be optimally placed. They can angle sound to give you better separation and pair with a wireless sub you can position near an outlet in the back of the room to get a better range of audio.

I haven’t heard this particular model but now is the season of out with the old and in with the new so some great sales currently on “hot items” that update every year (tvs, sound bars, receivers, ect).


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Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I was trying to avoid a sound bar. I’ve had a budget one in the past (many years ago) and I also don’t have a good place to put a sub. I’m definitely not opposed to a sub when/if we move and have the space.

Would the current idea work better if I nixed the center channel for now and went with a good pair of bookshelf speakers and a better receiver to start? Or is it just futile to try to shove something in the space available?

Neumi CS5.

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I was gonna say that. Maybe skip the center channel for now. Good speakers and headphones create a great center channel. I will say I had micca rb42 and they were definitely super solid! But I know that the Adam t5v are super hot right now within your budget! Could be worth looking into!

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I haven’t ran a center channel on my 4.1 surround sound in years. What I have my TV sitting on doesn’t allow for a center speaker and TV can’t be wall mounted (window behind) so it can’t sit in front of the screen w/o blocking it lol.

Going with just bookshelf speakers would allow you to get a stereo receiver with optical input and use the TV’s optical output for now, no need for HDMI or ARC in that case and allow more in the budget for better speakers over the receiver. You don’t need to worry about 4k in the receiver then either. Older models that sold for 500-1000$ are selling for closer to 100$ now since they are only 1080p but you could and take advantage of better audio since you would only be running stereo.

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The horror. The horror.

Thanks for the suggestion. Can’t find much in the way of reviews of this. Are you suggesting it instead of the rb42-c to go along with the rb42’s?

Thanks for the suggestion. Those do look great but I worry about the lack of bass on them given I don’t have the room for a sub. That’s what is attractive about the rb42’s for me. I know they won’t get low low, but they seem to get low enough.

You could go all neumi. Or rb42 with a neumi center ch. I got all of them. You could go with neumi center ch for LCR . Right now its on amazon $79x3=237.
I sound like a neumi shill lol

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Thanks for everyone who commented and answered questions. I took the consensus to be I needed to settle or up my budget. Because I hate settling I upped my budget and pulled the trigger on a pair of JBL Studio 530’s and the JBL Studio 520c (both on sale) along with a refurbished Yamaha RX-V385 from A4L. Grabbed some 12AWG banana plug cables and an additional HDMI 2.1 cable for the receiver. Took a chunk of the stimmy. Will review once I have them set up. Going to be shifting things around to make the 530’s fit properly spaced but, from what I understand, they’re fairly forgiving about positioning which was a big + for me.