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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Jun 20, 2018 22:44
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...

40 expert reviews | 313 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 Dolby Atmos sound bar may be expensive, but it offers excellent sound quality and decent flexibility.

14 expert reviews | 76 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

LG SJ9

LG's SJ9 soundbar fills the room with sound and can decode Dolby Atmos, but it doesn't sound as good as other soundbars in this price range.

19 expert reviews | 70 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

JBL Bar 2.1

For $300, the JBL Bar 2.1 is an excellent value. You get extremely powerful sub-bass, crisp highs, the ability to adjust the bass balance—essentially the complete package. It may not be as powerful as the more expensive Bar 3.1, and yes, it can distort...

1 expert reviews | 47 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Samsung HW-MS650

Samsung’s new Sound+ soundbar is a dream machine for those looking to supplement their TV sound simply and easily, with no extra parts or futzing with the remote. While we did miss the extra rumble afforded by a dedicated subwoofer, those looking to...

19 expert reviews | 74 user reviews

#6
alaScore 97

Q Acoustics M2

This soundbase offers tremendous value for money – and produces excellent sound.

2 expert reviews

#7
alaScore 97

Samsung HW-K950

You’ll pay handsomely for it, but Samsung’s HW-K950 soundbar offers a thrilling Atmos experience that really must be heard to appreciate.

20 expert reviews | 138 user reviews

#8
alaScore 96

Denon HEOS HomeCinema

Once you can get past Denon’s convoluted setup, its HEOS HomeCinema soundbar shines. This speaker is completely comfortable with both movies and music, bringing songs and soundtracks to life with energy that no TV speaker will ever be able to match.

23 expert reviews | 466 user reviews

#9
alaScore 95

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.

3 expert reviews

#10
alaScore 94

Denon Heos

Simple to use and sonically capable - but the HEOS system is lacking just a little bit of star quality

5 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

Philips Fidelio B5

The Philips Fidelio B5 delivers an immersive surround experience, and better yet, does so without cumbersome cables connecting the sub and rear channels to the main soundbar. When the side speakers are connected to the bar, the audio is still...

16 expert reviews | 275 user reviews

#12
alaScore 93

Samsung HW-MS6501

The Samsung HW-MS6501 is a sleek curved sound bar with wireless mutli-room capabilities. It could be the one-stop solution for all your home audio needs, but only if it manages to make films, TV and music sound great. We sent this sound bar to our test...

3 expert reviews | 14 user reviews

#13
alaScore 93

Canton DM 100

The DM100 is the most recent addition to Canton's lauded soundbase range, joining the DM55 (which replaces the Canton DM50) and a new glass-topped version of the Canton DM75. As the largest of the trio, the DM100 is designed for bigger rooms and TVs,...

9 expert reviews | 27 user reviews

#14
alaScore 93

Samsung HW-MS750

Audio enthusiasts will find a lot to love with the Samsung HW-MS750 Sound+ Soundbar. With cutting edge technology like Ultra High Quality 32-bit upscaling and Distortion-Cancelling Bass, this soundbar has no problem putting out wall-shaking audio at an...

1 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

#15
alaScore 93

Samsung HW-M450

Samsung’s HW-M450 soundbar sports a wonderfully thin profile, on-board HDMI, a clear display, and a stylish and intuitive remote control. Its wireless subwoofer is a plus and pairing was flawless. The ability to add wireless surround speakers for a...

1 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

#16
alaScore 93

Bluesound Pulse 2

No other compact wireless active speaker I’ve heard sounds quite as exciting as the big Pulse 2. Although it doesn’t live up to rivals in the usability stakes, as an upgrade on the original Pulse 2 it warrants two unqualified thumbs up.

3 expert reviews

#17
alaScore 93

Sony HT-CT390

The Sony CT390 is best for people who watch news or other programs where dialogue is most important.

4 expert reviews | 251 user reviews

#18
alaScore 93

BLUESOUND NODE 2

The Node 2 is an excellent standalone hi-res audio music streamer – and works just as well in a multiroom setup.

5 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#19
alaScore 93

HT-MT300 / HT-MT301

The Sony HT-MT300 is the perfect soundbar for those looking to upgrade their music and movie experience in a substantial way. The soundbar system comes with a wireless sub that punches hard and the soundbar itself is extremely compact. Audiophiles and...

7 expert reviews | 207 user reviews

#20
alaScore 92

Canton DM 75

Canton consolidates the success of the dazzling DM50 with a larger soundbase that delivers similarly polished and powerful sound quality – but you’ll need deep pockets to own one and there are no HDMIs.

10 expert reviews | 172 user reviews

#21
alaScore 92

Samsung HW-J8500

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8 expert reviews | 70 user reviews

#22
alaScore 92

Denon AVR-X1300W

The AVR-X1300W improves on its predecessor with a souped-up spec, more features and stunning performance for the money.

3 expert reviews | 68 user reviews

#23
alaScore 92

Panasonic SC-ALL70T

Sound quality is a mixed bag, but Panasonic’s top-end soundbar offers slick multiroom music streaming and a lovely low-key design.

9 expert reviews | 55 user reviews

#24
alaScore 92

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.

4 expert reviews | 25 user reviews

#25
alaScore 92

Pioneer SP-SB23

The Pioneer SP-SB23 sound bar is powerful, making action movies fun to watch, but you may want to add extra speakers for surround sound.

2 expert reviews

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    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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