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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Apr 28, 2016 22:20
Brand
alaScore
Price
#1
alaScore 100

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

#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.

8 expert reviews | 119 user reviews

#3
alaScore 98

Cambridge Audio CX N

Almost all the wired and wireless connections you'd need, plus a gorgeous design – the CXN is a brilliant hi-fi media streamer

3 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Denon DHT-S514

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

16 expert reviews | 296 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Yamaha Restio ISX-80

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3 expert reviews

#6
alaScore 97

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

#7
alaScore 96

Denon RCD-N9

There's life in the micro system yet. Just about the most versatile hi-fi you'll find – once you've added suitable speakers, of course.

1 expert reviews | 27 user reviews

#8
alaScore 95

SoundCast Melody

A cursory glance at the Soundcast Melody Bluetooth speaker probably doesn't elicit shivers and gasps over how cool it looks. The $449.99 (direct) Melody looks like it belongs somewhere in between the food processor and the toaster on your kitchen...

4 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 95

Optoma HD28DSE

Is this the most detailed Full HD image from a budget projector? Absolutely. And that's all down to Darbee Visual Presence video processing tech, though this single-chip DLP beamer lacks the tools for an easy set-up.

3 expert reviews

#10
alaScore 94

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 | 453 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

LG HS8

The HS8 (or LAS855M to give it its full title) hails from LG's range of Music Flow soundbars, which can be used in a multiroom system with other LG wireless speakers. It's the middleman in the Music Flow range, sitting below the top-end HS9 (£650) but...

3 expert reviews

#12
alaScore 93

Orbitsound A70

The A70 is a decent step above Orbitsound’s previous efforts. There are rivals such as Yamaha that offer a bigger and better surround sound, but the A70’s punchy dynamics, solid presentation and crisp way with voices is exciting. Its performance with...

1 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#13
alaScore 93

Klipsch KMC 3

Klipsch's KMC 3 produces bone-crunching, window-rattling, carpet-curling, scare-the-neighborhood-children sound.

10 expert reviews | 493 user reviews

#14
alaScore 93

Philips Fidelio HTL9100

It's hard to say a truly bad word about the Philips Fidelio Soundbar. It looks good, it sounds good, is super simple to set up and the modular satellite speaker experience is fun.

25 expert reviews | 164 user reviews

#15
alaScore 93

Philips Fidelio BTS7000

As a technical doofus I really struggled to connect these. I don't think "wireless" gives you the correct impression as I've had to introduce a multi plug extension cable to the TV area because these speakers have to be plugged in. I also had to buy a...

3 expert reviews | 74 user reviews

#16
alaScore 93

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL

This budget-priced home theater in a box delivers incredibly rich streaming features, but only mediocre sound.

2 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#17
alaScore 92

Samsung HW-H550

Samsung’s chic soundbar marries a busy feature list with impressive performance, but bear in mind that you can get even better sound quality for similar money.

4 expert reviews | 1742 user reviews

#18
alaScore 92

Pioneer N-P01

The sound quality of this device is excellent. It connects easily enough to the network and keeps a stable connection. The devices software, however, is clunkly and the remote control does not offer alphabetic character input (there is no search...

2 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

#19
alaScore 92

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 | 267 user reviews

#20
alaScore 91

Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD

The ultimate Blu-ray player and home cinema hub

5 expert reviews

#21
alaScore 91

sonos zoneplayer 90

The Sonos Connect brings effortless wireless media streaming to existing hi-fi owners, but it's not the first Sonos system we'd recommend.

6 expert reviews | 967 user reviews

#22
alaScore 91

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 | 193 user reviews

#23
alaScore 91

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 | 80 user reviews

#24
alaScore 91

Bose CineMate 15

Amazing... Fantastic. There are not enough words to praise this product. We had a very intense surround sound system. We wanted something simple. This is perfect and what great sound. Between the bar and woofer, you think you are sitting in the middle...

3 expert reviews | 730 user reviews

#25
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

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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