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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Jun 25, 2017 22:08
Brand
alaScore
Price
#1
alaScore 100

Sonos Playbase

As I noted earlier, the Playbase is an extremely compelling one-speaker option for the living room, particularly if you're a music fan. It's easy to set up and adds very little complexity to most TV rigs; not having to run lots of cords is a huge win...

27 expert reviews | 25 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Philips Fidelio B5

The Fidelio B5's ability to instantly transform from a traditional soundbar into a wireless surround system makes it a seriously smart bit of kit. It may not be super-loud, but it offers quality, usability and versatility in spades.

14 expert reviews | 158 user reviews

#3
alaScore 98

Bluesound Pulse 2

The Pulse 2 ushers in a new era of high-fidelity wireless speakers. It’s the multiroom sound system your High-Res Audio collection has been waiting for. The Pulse 2 represents the high-end for wireless multroom audio systems. An exciting upgrade on...

2 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 96

Canton DM 55

The DM55 is the successor to Canton's superb DM50 soundbase, which scooped our award for Best Soundbar back in 2014. This new version throws in some fresh features and improved sound quality, all of which is likely to consolidate the German brand's...

5 expert reviews | 30 user reviews

#5
alaScore 96

YA! SB-500

The SB500 sound bar is easily the best-looking and -sounding Zvox we've ever tested, and among the best for the money, period.

2 expert reviews

#6
alaScore 96

AURALiC Aries

Why would anyone want to invest in a network streaming node just for audio? We take a quick look at the ins and outs of Auralic's new Aries Mini to find out.

8 expert reviews

#7
alaScore 96

Philips Fidelio B8

It doesn’t sound as good; it doesn’t produce as convincing a height effect; and it doesn’t offer as comprehensive a list of features. It would have to be £200 cheaper to even start to offer a tempting alternative.

3 expert reviews

#8
alaScore 95

Samsung wireless TV Soundbar H450

The Samsung HW-H450 can enhance your TV's audio and has Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream music from your mobile devices.

2 expert reviews | 121 user reviews

#9
alaScore 95

LG 320W 4.1ch Slim Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Bluetooth- NB4543

LG 320W sound bar is for those who want to add some extra oomph to their television audio

1 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#10
alaScore 95

Bose SoundTouch

Bose’s beautifully made soundbar delivers a loud, bass-heavy sound – but it lacks the bite and sparkle of its illustrious rivals.

6 expert reviews | 46 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

Canton CANTON DM 55 - BLACK GLASS (03659)

Beautifully built, sounds gorgeous, and it’s more affordable than before – what’s not to love?

1 expert reviews | 162 user reviews

#12
alaScore 94

BLUESOUND NODE 2

A wonderfully expressive and detailed sound served up with an all improved design and more extensive feature list

3 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

#13
alaScore 94

SoundCast Melody

What the Melody lacks in style, it makes up for in audio performance, portability, and durability. Still, if you want a speaker that looks a bit more glamorous and still delivers powerful audio with strong bass response, the Bowers & Wilkins Z2 and...

4 expert reviews

#14
alaScore 94

LG BH9540TW

LG’s phenomenal flagship system offers a mind-blowing feature list, chic design and rigorous movie sonics, although the brash tone takes the shine off an otherwise superb performance.

5 expert reviews | 236 user reviews

#15
alaScore 94

Pioneer SC-LX89

You won’t fail to be entertained by the SC-LX89’s energy and muscle. It’s just a tad short of the delicacy needed to be an all-rounder

2 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#16
alaScore 94

Pioneer N-P01

After reading the various reviews on this small unit I was kinda steered towards this purely for size purposes so was naturally cautious when deciding to buy one. I am so glad I took notice of the reviews. The unit is quite simply superb. It is well...

3 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

#17
alaScore 94

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter V2

This little adapter works great, if you don't mind occasional lag.

2 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#18
alaScore 93

Samsung HT-J7500

The Samsung HT-J7500 provides a compelling mixture of excellent picture quality, enveloping surround sound and a comprehensive set of well-honed smart features; all at a price that’s incredibly reasonable. You would certainly be hard pushed to assemble...

1 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#19
alaScore 93

BOSE Solo 15 Series II

A big bold soundbase from Bose, but it lacks the refinement of some competition

2 expert reviews | 608 user reviews

#20
alaScore 93

Sony HT-RT5

But those extensive features don’t make up for that disappointing performance. Despite Sony’s intentions, the HT-RT5’s thin, hard sound isn’t exciting or engaging, and those rear speakers fail to deliver on the promise of true surround sound. They also...

3 expert reviews | 128 user reviews

#21
alaScore 93

LG LAB540

A few years ago the idea of a speakerbase was just a twinkle in the eye of a Bose engineer. But since the American audio brand, with its Bose Solo TV, popularised the notion of a soundbar that sits under your TV, rather than in front of it, and...

11 expert reviews | 133 user reviews

#22
alaScore 93

Philips HTL 7140

Really disappointed with this after upgrading from the much cheaper 5140 model. I actually went back to the cheaper model as it has a fuller sound and is louder too. Disappointed with the dedicated centre channel. Expected so much more from this

5 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#23
alaScore 92

Sony STR-DN860

Sony has once again produced a stellar budget amp that offers a huge performance at an excellent price

1 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#24
alaScore 92

Onkyo HT-S7700

This high-value, high-performance system takes movie night to a whole new level of awesome.

1 expert reviews | 14 user reviews

#25
alaScore 92

Panasonic SC-BTT590

All-in-one systems are usually designed for maximum convenience and minimum cost, often with scant regard for sound quality. But Panasonic's new-for-2012 SC-BTT590 is a different kettle of fish – a one-box Blu-ray system that puts the emphasis on...

17 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

Compare

    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.



    Contents

    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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