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Home Theater System Reviews

Updated: Oct 16, 2017 22:19
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...

32 expert reviews | 99 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.

7 expert reviews | 12 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

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...

15 expert reviews | 22 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Katana

Creative’s Sound BlasterX Katana is an all-around attractive package. It looks good, sounds good, and manages to do so without taking up your entire desk. Oh, and it bears repeating: It gets .

6 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

LG SJ9

Although not the most refined-sounding 'bar at its price, the LG SJ9 delivers Dolby Atmos and Chromecast audio in an affordable, attractive package.

13 expert reviews | 23 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Samsung HW-K950

The Samsung HW-K950 combines the discreet looks and simple setup of a sound bar with truly impressive sound for both movies and music.

19 expert reviews | 86 user reviews

#7
alaScore 97

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 | 266 user reviews

#8
alaScore 96

Bluesound Pulse 2

The Pulse 2 ushers in a new era of high-fidelity wireless speakers. It’s the multiroom sound system your High-Res Audio collection has been waiting for. The Pulse 2 represents the high-end for wireless multroom audio systems. An exciting upgrade on...

3 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 95

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...

7 expert reviews | 216 user reviews

#10
alaScore 95

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.

14 expert reviews | 213 user reviews

#11
alaScore 95

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...

4 expert reviews | 94 user reviews

#12
alaScore 94

Canton DM 100

Easy to use and sounding as good as it looks, the excellent DM100 proves that Canton is still setting the soundbase agenda.

9 expert reviews | 18 user reviews

#13
alaScore 94

Sony HT-CT390

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

4 expert reviews | 208 user reviews

#14
alaScore 94

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter V2

This little adapter works well with Windows, but its pricey for what it does.

2 expert reviews | 36 user reviews

#15
alaScore 94

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.

3 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#16
alaScore 93

Canton DM 75

Canton's DM 50, reviewed last year, is perhaps best used with TVs around the 48in mark; the step-up DM 75 on test here supports screens up to 60in (or up to 40kg in weight). Bigger screens need a bigger sound and the DM 75's roomier cabinet should...

10 expert reviews | 135 user reviews

#17
alaScore 93

Samsung HW-J8500

Neither of those models are curved, however, and the HW-J8500 is definitely the best-sounding 'bar Samsung has produced. Worth a punt if you need a sonic tonic for your new curved TV.

8 expert reviews | 65 user reviews

#18
alaScore 93

Canton DM 900

If you are a fan of Canton and are looking for a bedroom system, the DM 900 should be on your list. Given that it doesn't require a receiver and you can connect up to two digital sources, it makes it a perfect solution for a small room. Add a real...

7 expert reviews | 22 user reviews

#19
alaScore 93

AURALiC Aries

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.

9 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 93

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.

7 expert reviews | 51 user reviews

#21
alaScore 92

BLUESOUND NODE 2

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

3 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

#22
alaScore 92

Samsung HT-J7500

The Samsung HT-J7500 provides a compelling mixture of excellent picture quality, enveloping surround sound and a comprehensive set of well-honed smart features; all at a price that’s incredibly reasonable. You would certainly be hard pushed to assemble...

1 expert reviews | 69 user reviews

#23
alaScore 92

Samsung HW-K550

The Samsung HW-K550 is a wireless soundbar with a centre speaker, stereo speakers, and a dedicated subwoofer. It's a good general purpose speaker system, with the centre speaker ensuring crisp dialogue, and the subwoofer delivering the kind of...

3 expert reviews | 214 user reviews

#24
alaScore 92

Canton DM 90.3

EUROPEAN SOUNDBAR 2015-2016 - Canton DM 90.3: In the increasingly diverse soundbar market, Canton's DM 90.3 stands out due to its premium 2.1-channel performance – this is a benchmark product in its class. A pair of 110mm coaxial drivers offer a smooth...

6 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

#25
alaScore 92

Denon DHT-S514

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

18 expert reviews | 320 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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