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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Apr 17, 2014 02:22
Brand
alaScore
Price
#1
alaScore 100

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.

15 expert reviews | 55 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

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 | 115 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Pure Jongo

British audio company Pure makes wireless, multi-room speaker systems for the home you can control with a mobile app. The Pure Connect app does far more than simply play and pause music; once connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can stream your entire...

17 expert reviews | 64 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Samsung HW-F751

A classy sound bar with wireless sub, plus bonus Bluetooth audio streaming

7 expert reviews | 95 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

SoundCast Melody

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

3 expert reviews

#6
alaScore 97

Samsung HW-F750

The Samsung HW-F750 Sound bar charges a premium price($949), but is it really a premium product? We got one in for review and ran it though its paces to find the answer.

6 expert reviews | 181 user reviews

#7
alaScore 96

Samsung HW-F550

If a boost of bass and a smooth ride is all you really need, Samsung’s HW F550 will do the trick.

3 expert reviews | 804 user reviews

#8
alaScore 95

Samsung HT-F6500

On the back is a generous array of sockets, headlined by two HDMI inputs that allow you to play other HD sources through the system. You also get HDMI output that supports 3D and ARC, optical digital and analogue stereo inputs, an FM aerial port and...

2 expert reviews | 124 user reviews

#9
alaScore 95

Sony HMZ-T2

TECHNOLOGY The biggest advantage of personal media viewers is portability wherein the user gets the power to practically carry a screen as big as 100” to 150” in his/her pocket. The Sony HMZ is based on a completely different concept – strangely, it is...

15 expert reviews | 54 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

Samsung HW-F551

Samsung quotes the total power output from its Crystal Amplifier Pro as 310W – in other words 80W per channel and 150W from the subwoofer.

2 expert reviews | 245 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 94

Panasonic SC-BTT500

A fully featured 5.1 surround sound system with fantastic picture and sound quality

2 expert reviews | 17 user reviews

#13
alaScore 94

LG BH7420P

Fronted by a pair of tallboy speakers, this LG all-in-one 3D home cinema proposition is a distinctive mix of high-style and functionality.

7 expert reviews | 185 user reviews

#14
alaScore 94

Samsung Barra de Sonido HW-F850

There are seven sound presets (Music, News, Drama, Cinema, Sports, Game and Standard), each one EQ’d to complement their respective genres, while Standard mode leaves the sound alone.

1 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#15
alaScore 93

Naim NAC-N 172 XS

In fact, at this price, we can’t think of anything else that can match the versatility and the sonic performance of the NAC-N 172 XS – it’s a great streamer.

3 expert reviews

#16
alaScore 93

JBL Cinema 510

The active subwoofer is a compact box measuring 321mm high by 245mm wide, styled in a simple but tasteful black finish. Again, build quality is excellent and there’s a volume dial on the back to help you integrate it with the satellites. Low-frequency...

1 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

#17
alaScore 93

Harman-Kardon BDS 370 (BDS 270+SAT-T11+HKTS-210SUB)

Great care has clearly been lavished on the BDS-477's exterior. This is a swish-looking piece of kit, especially in the white version, and it comes with an amazing remote that manages to be busier than the M25 on a wet Monday morning and yet looks as...

7 expert reviews | 50 user reviews

#18
alaScore 92

Philips Fidelio E5 CSS7235Y

Speaker system meets Lego

3 expert reviews | 32 user reviews

#19
alaScore 92

Samsung HW-E551

As a sonic upgrade for a TV, the Samsung HW-E551 represents fine value, and the punchy sub is a crowd pleaser. Sonically it's not perfect, but for general TV viewing these caveats are unlikely to prove an issue.

8 expert reviews | 129 user reviews

#20
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.

10 expert reviews | 25 user reviews

#21
alaScore 91

Orbitsound M9

The Orbitsound M9 presents a strong case thanks to its size, flexibility and well-balanced sound

3 expert reviews

#22
alaScore 91

LG CM3430

There's a lot more audio technology packed into LG's compact, wireless audio system than first meets the eye. A full 2.1 channel loudspeaker system with two sub-bass drivers is incorporated into the body of the CM3430, purposefully driven via a 40W...

3 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#23
alaScore 91

Samsung HT-ES 8200

Samsung's superb Blu-ray soundbar ticks all the boxes

6 expert reviews | 53 user reviews

#24
alaScore 91

Onkyo HT-S3400

Rounding up the credentials on the connection highlights is a universal port that lets you connect peripherals such as an optional iPod/iPhone dock. The receiver also comes accompanied with the Audyssey equalisation filters, which work to optimise your...

1 expert reviews | 664 user reviews

#25
alaScore 91

Panasonic SC-HTB570

Towards the end of 2012, data analyst GfK released its figures for the consumer electronics soundbar market in the UK. The numbers were extraordinary. Sales had rocketed by 172 per cent in a year, with value up by 120 per cent. Eight out of ten of...

3 expert reviews | 20 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.



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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