Naim Atom vs Soundbar for new Sony TV

Hi folks. I have a Naim Atom with Sonus Faber Lumina II speakers. Love it for music and streaming. I’ve also had it connected via HDMI eARC to my TV and it provides excellent stereo sound with clear dialogue for movies, TV etc.

I’ve just upgraded my TV to a Sony A95L OLED which has “acoustic surface” sound via the screen and, while not as powerful as the Atom, is pretty good in its own right. Sony also have an option called “acoustics centre sync” to twin the TV with a Sony soundbar and use the TV as a central speaker in a surround set up. I’m intrigued by this and wondered if anyone has this set up, or has ever compared it to using the Naim Atom for TV sound? Or if anyone cares to just offer an opinion on what may be better I’d appreciate that too. Obviously the soundbar option (with additional rear speakers) would add Atmos, surround sound to the mix, which might be a positive for TV / movie watching. In which case I’d retain the Atom purely for music listening as its superb. I suppose I’m just trying to get some opinions before I splash more cash and then regret it :grinning:

Decided to do the best research ie my own ears and that of the family. We all concluded that the set up we are used to ie. TV sound through the Naim Atom and speakers, has considerably more depth and impact than the on board TV speakers. No surprise really, it’s very good kit and the good thing is, unlike some soundbars we’ve had before, is that it manages to deliver that impact whilst maintaining super clear dialogue / vocals. Don’t really have a need or desire for multi speaker surround, Atmos etc, happy with PCM stereo . So we’re sticking with the Atom approach. Phew, saves me a few pennies [image]


I think Soundbars have become far more complex and I have to say that I did not understand much of what you were saying

I have been tying in my TV and VCR since the 1980s and the sound of an Atom with good speakers , sounds good to me

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I tend to find that soundbars often struggle with dialogue / vocals as they favour more of the music and background noise to create impact. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t have very good soundbars though! Anyway, I concluded that I don’t want full surround sound and Dolby Atmos for upfiring sound is not necessary either. We are more than happy with the sound quality (vocals and movie impact) of the Naim Atom with Sonus Faber speakers in stereo. And it means I have one system (Naim) for both TV audio and music, which is nice and streamlined / simple, with less wires.

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And that is so important to me

I got a Sennheiser soundbar for the Tv and must whilst not had any Dolby Atmos content to play it sounds great with programmes such as Planet Earth and sports programmes streaming at hi quality .
The room is filled with sound and you are in the football ground,forest etc .
Don’t feel I need rear speakers though wish it could connect to my Mj acoustics sub though

**Simple sits just in front of Tv and the only wires are the HDMI and mains.

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I use an Atom with Focal 300 Series in wall speakers, 99% of the time for TV audio and occasionally for radio or music only purposes.
Compared to the TV alone or some sort of sound bar strapped to the wall it does all I need it to and sounds decent whilst being discreet and entirely hidden away.

I find stereo only speakers for a TV only do a job for an audience of one sitted smack in the middle. For a family, it just causes dialogue to come from the nearest speaker which is even more distracting than just using a TVs crap internal speaker. Even of there are just two of you sitting side by side on the sofa, the dialogue pulls over to the left or right. After a few weeks your brain sort of adjusts and pushes the sound where the image is… But it shouldn’t need to.

To that end, my Bose soundbar beats even my 8 box Naim system and floorstanding speakers for a room with 4 people in it.


Genuinely not my experience. The soundstage of the Atom with stereo speakers is very well balanced wherever in the room I’m sitting. It doesn’t seem biased one way or the other. Overall it’s excellent. No Dolby Atmos or Surround but as the other half would never want so many speakers dotted around the room I’ve learned to live without that. More interested in clear vocals, a bit of bass oomph (technical term) for movies and outstanding music quality. This set up works for me in this respect so decided to stick with it.


Likewise, if your listening space was very wide relative to the screen/tv then perhaps a centre channel is justified, most people probably don’t have that problem and it is also the simplicity aspect that appeals.
I redesigned my lounge to accomodate additional surround and effects channels but haven’t found the need or desire to enable them thus far. The Atom provides enough refinement and punch and adds streaming to the mix as needed.

We have a LG Soundbar on a `Toshiba TV and connect the other Hisense TV to the Linn Selekt DSM.

Of the two, the sound from the Linn is much better.

One of the problems with films, etc. is how they play the sound. Action scenes and adverts are very loud, whereas the vocals tend to be quieter. Which means you need to turn the volume up to hear the dialogue, but that makes the action scenes too loud.

This then seems to be exaggerated by a soundbar.


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