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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Dec 1, 2015 01:38
alaScore 100

Cambridge Audio CX N

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2 expert reviews

alaScore 96

Philips Fidelio B5

The Philips Fidelio B5 could be one of the most innovative products in home audio we've seen in the past few years. But that's all dependent on how it sounds in our own home.

6 expert reviews | 85 user reviews

alaScore 96

Yamaha YSP-1400

Yamaha's YSP-1400 brings the company's Digital Sound Projector technology to a budget price point, but a couple of caveats keep it from being a standout sound bar.

18 expert reviews | 360 user reviews

alaScore 95

Denon DHT-S514

Denon is one of the best names in audio, but this sound bar is not one of its better speakers.

13 expert reviews | 199 user reviews

alaScore 94

Sharp SD-AT1000H

I was sad when I had to take the Sharp SD-WH1000U WHRAP gear out of my system and return all of it to the case for transport across the country for other ears to enjoy. I loved its flexibility and ease of transition from format to format, not to...

3 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 94

Samsung HW-H550

A powerful sound bar with good balance and an extremely slim profile.

5 expert reviews | 1695 user reviews

alaScore 94

Philips Fidelio HTL9100

The Fidelio is a beautiful, feature packed system with an innovative design, but it lacks some of the refinements we expect from a system at this price.

26 expert reviews | 136 user reviews

alaScore 94

Slingbox M1

With the addition of built-in WiFi and a $30 price cut, the M1 is a solid replacement for the Slingbox 350. While it does still have a higher upfront cost than competing products, it can also stream content that no other device can -- namely, live...

7 expert reviews | 256 user reviews

alaScore 93

BOSE Solo 15 Series II

The Solo 15 offers a straightforward way of improving your telly’s sound, plus a level of refinement you won’t find in cheaper units costing less than, say, £250. We wouldn’t expect the subtleties found even further up the ladder but, even at this...

1 expert reviews | 54 user reviews

alaScore 92

Sony BDVN7100W

Sony's feature-packed 5.1 system eschews the tallboy speakers favoured by so many of its rivals for a less imposing design. The neat, gloss-back satellites stand 455mm tall and can be perched on shelves or furniture.

5 expert reviews | 191 user reviews

alaScore 92

Sony BDV-N5200W

There’s little this Sony BDV-N5200W can’t do. As a home cinema system, it’s as tidy and convenient as it can get. And you don’t have to cash in your life savings either – £500 is a fantastic deal for what you’re getting. You could spend just as much on...

2 expert reviews | 35 user reviews

alaScore 92

Bose CineMate 15

I bought my cinemate 4 years ago and have no complaints. The remote is as fantastic as the sound quality. I used to upgrade every few years but don't need to anymore.

3 expert reviews | 501 user reviews

alaScore 92

Samsung HT-H5500

Samsung's entry-level 5.1 system throws in a set of super-compact speakers, a Blu-ray receiver and a subwoofer. It'll set you back around £250, which is barely more than a standalone soundbar.

3 expert reviews | 694 user reviews

alaScore 91

Monitor Audio ASB2

A lavish high-end soundbar that melds classy design with top-drawer sonics

2 expert reviews

alaScore 91

Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD

The ultimate Blu-ray player and home cinema hub

5 expert reviews

alaScore 91

Vizio S4251W-B4

Vizio’s S4251W-B4 delivers the sort of features and control that users have been longed after for years now, and does it with style, finesse and surprisingly good audio quality.

4 expert reviews | 169 user reviews

alaScore 91

Samsung HT-E6750 / HT-E6750W

In terms of sound quality, all-in-one home cinema systems rarely live up to the standard of separates. But for its latest flagship system, Samsung has turned to the technology of yesteryear in a bid to redress the balance.

14 expert reviews | 56 user reviews

alaScore 91

Soundcast Melody

…detail, power, warmth, and dynamic expression… one of the best listening experiences we’ve encountered in an outdoor device.

3 expert reviews

alaScore 91

Sony HTST7

I think that sound bars fall into two main categories. The first is simply getting better sound than your TV. Flat panels have pretty awful sound, so adding on a $250 sound bar can make a sizable improvement. The second is trying to provide high...

4 expert reviews

alaScore 91

Samsung Home Cinema Blu-Ray HT-F9750W

Samsung’s top home theatre system is, for the asking price, a huge step up from the speakers inside your TV. It’s great for surround-sound Blu-rays, and the Smart Hub can liven up an otherwise dumb television. You’ll get better sound from a proper home...

9 expert reviews | 25 user reviews

alaScore 91

Bose Solo 15

We love this single speaker for our tv.

3 expert reviews | 821 user reviews

alaScore 91

VIZIO 54" 3.0 Sound Bar with High Performance Bass - Black (S5430w-C2)

The Vizio S5451w-C2 is an easy way to add turnkey 5.1-channel audio to your home theater for less than $500, but it's not the perfect solution it could be.

1 expert reviews | 57 user reviews

alaScore 91

Bose Soundtouch 30 Serie II

If you are into Internet Music streaming such as Itunes, Pandora, etc this system will be 5 stars to you in my opinion. I don't often use those services, so the bluetooth connection was a must have for me. That being said, this is a bit of overkill for...

2 expert reviews | 338 user reviews

alaScore 90

sonos zoneplayer 90

Can't go wrong with Sonos products.

4 expert reviews | 824 user reviews

alaScore 90

Samsung HT-H7750

Samsung’s wonderful all-in-one system is stuffed with more tricks than Paul Daniels’ garage and delivers exciting sound quality – all for a more reasonable price than its predecessor.

1 expert reviews | 7 user reviews


    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Home Theater Systems

    Trying to assemble a home theater system from a number of different brands and components can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. There is no longer any need to go through the hassle of doing it yourself, as a number of manufacturers do the hard work for you by offering pre-packaged home theater systems that include everything you will need to make a night at home like a night at the movies. All it takes is a little research to make sure that you end up with a system that will deliver the performance you are looking for.


    What to Look for in a Home Theater System

    Price will always determine the number of features offered in any home entertainment system, but here are some common considerations to keep in mind:

    Receiver – This is the centerpiece of a home theater system that links and controls all of the other components. Dolby Digital and DTS decoders are standard to play the surround sound channels on a DVD, and more advanced models will offer Dolby 6.1 or 7.1 compatibility for a more exciting audio environment.

    Speakers – Five speakers are the standard surround sound setup: two front speakers, one down the center, and two in the rear. More advanced systems will typically offer additional rear channel speakers. Speaker components are listed in shorthand, as in “5.1” or “7.1”: the first number is the number of speakers, and the second is the number of sub-woofers. Speakers sold as part of pre-packaged home theater systems are usually quite small and inconspicuous, but still deliver outstanding sound.

    CD and Radio Play – Almost all receivers will have a radio receiver, and may have a satellite radio input as well, along with preset buttons for up to twenty stations. The CD function should offer shuffle, track repeat, disc repeat, and similar conveniences.

    Advanced Connectivity – Newer systems feature USB ports, connection points for iPods or MP3 players, and a host of other options that can turn a home theater system into a multi-media engine.

    Added Features – Some systems have on-screen controls, which are often more convenient than trying to adjust settings on a small display screen. The receiver should have a number of custom equalizer settings, allowing you to reproduce at the touch of a button the sound profile you would get from a concert hall, movie theater, sporting event, etc.

    Popular Home Theater System Brands

    The list of outstanding manufacturers of home theater systems looks very similar to that of the electronics world at large, with a few names that might be new. Audio specialist Bose caters to the crowd looking for high-end products that deliver the best performance, regardless of price. Sony, Pioneer, and Samsung offer quality, well-reviewed products across the entire spectrum of the market. Panasonic, JVC, and LG are all known for mid-range models that offer the best compromise between performance and price. Samsung and Philips are known for their strong entry-level models, and Coby offers home theater systems that deliver solid performance at a bargain price.

    Popular Home Theater System products

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    before you make your purchase

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