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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Oct 25, 2016 00:11
alaScore 100

Oppo HA-2 + PM-3 paket

OPPO continues to introduct products that have very high quality parts and performance, but are very affordable. The HA-2 is a very useful addition to your smart phone, and is an inexpensive, tempting accessory. I recommend that you yield to your...

5 expert reviews

alaScore 99


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

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

alaScore 98

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 | 2 user reviews

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.

11 expert reviews | 131 user reviews

alaScore 98

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

alaScore 97

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

alaScore 97

Teac TN-300

This is really a 4.5 star review but there is no option for that. I would give it 5 stars if it weren't quite so expensive. It comes with an Audio-Technica AT95E MM phono cartridge which costs about 50 dollars by itself. It is belt drive, which is...

2 expert reviews | 92 user reviews

alaScore 96


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

3 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

alaScore 96

Sony HT-XT3

The Sony HT-XT3 is a great soundbase with integrated subwoofer and plenty of connections

2 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

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

alaScore 95


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.

6 expert reviews | 200 user reviews

alaScore 95

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 | 75 user reviews

alaScore 95

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

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 | 34 user reviews

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

alaScore 94

BOSE Solo 15 Series II

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

2 expert reviews | 541 user reviews

alaScore 94

Edifier Cinesound B7 (CineSound B7)

An improvement over a typical TV sound, but it needs to be more engaging

2 expert reviews

alaScore 93

Sony STR-DN860

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

1 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

alaScore 93


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

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

alaScore 92


If you're a Blu-ray player and sound system, but want to keep clutter to an absolute minimum, then the LAB550W could be your dream ticket. The Blu-ray player built into this 200W soundbase (or SoundPlate, as LG calls it) spins your discs while the...

1 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

alaScore 92

Orbitsound A70

Exciting to listen to with films and easy to live with, but rivals offer greater refinement and a better 'surround' experience

1 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 92

Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200

Six hundred stones buys you quite a lot of digital gratification these days. So if you're going to pay $600 for a wireless speaker, it...

19 expert reviews | 120 user reviews

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


    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.


    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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