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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Aug 26, 2016 09:46
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

AURALiC Aries

Auralic Aries Mini wireless streaming node

6 expert reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Cabasse Stream Base

This upmarket TV soundbase brings classy design, polished sonics and slick music streaming to the table, but those with big living rooms need not apply.

2 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 98

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.

9 expert reviews | 129 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

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...

7 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#6
alaScore 97

Yamaha ISX-80

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4 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#7
alaScore 96

Yamaha RX-V679

We said that the RX-V679 is the best AV receiver we’ve heard from Yamaha for a few years – but unfortunately the others around it have also done better. At £600, we’re disappointed not to see Atmos, but at the very least, we’d expect a performance that...

4 expert reviews | 206 user reviews

#8
alaScore 96

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 | 68 user reviews

#9
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

#10
alaScore 95

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 | 192 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

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 | 32 user reviews

#12
alaScore 94

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

#13
alaScore 94

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...

2 expert reviews | 525 user reviews

#14
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...

10 expert reviews | 133 user reviews

#15
alaScore 93

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

#16
alaScore 92

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

#17
alaScore 92

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 | 75 user reviews

#18
alaScore 92

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL

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

2 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

#19
alaScore 91

Bose CineMate 15

Bose? Seriously? Hard to imagine any way to do worse for even half the price.

4 expert reviews | 831 user reviews

#20
alaScore 91

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 | 1752 user reviews

#21
alaScore 91

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 | 12 user reviews

#22
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 | 42 user reviews

#23
alaScore 91

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 | 282 user reviews

#24
alaScore 91

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...

2 expert reviews | 18 user reviews

#25
alaScore 91

POLK AUDIO OMNI SB1 3.1

If you're looking for a higher-end sound bar with excellent movie sound, advanced streaming features and full control of dialogue intelligibility, then the Polk Omni SB1 fits the bill well.

2 expert 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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