If you watch movies often, or listen to music on your home, you should definitely invest in a home theater system. In this article we will help you find the best home theater systems for your needs. We tested more than 20 different models from 6 different brands, and wrote short reviews about them to help you with your buying decision. Let’s take a look
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Which Is The Best Home Theater System?
5. Yamaha YHT-4930UBL
Best Budget Home Theater System
When it comes to sound there is definitely no other company as Yamaha. It produces everything from musical instruments to home theater systems, because of its depth and reach it can produce very quality products with tons of features for cheaper than its competitors. The Yamaha YHT-4930UBL Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) is an entry-level system for people on a budget who want basic features and a decent surround sound, which this system offers instantly.
Because of its discreet and utilitarian design, this HTIB will blend in with most of the furniture, and with the general design of your room, it is a very nice convenience to have a cheaper system with a design that wouldn’t hurt the eye.
The whole system consists of four speakers that are very compact and have a black glossy finish, the surround speakers are upright standing and can even be wall-mounted easily, on top of that you have the horizontal standing center channel which comes in the same design as the speakers. The subwoofer is a 100 Watt unit and it is not the largest of subunits, but it is pretty understated and adds to the general design language of the system.
The receiver unit is also pretty good and supports many modes and has tons of connectivity ports, one of the best in this aspect. Every speaker is individually fine-tunable to your liking, as well as the sub, and you can easily switch between sources without confusion. The receiver also supports 4K UHD content via its HDCP 2.2 copy protection. However, there is not a lot of support for legacy hardware if you still hang on to that stuff.
It is not an audiophile class audio performance but it still pretty good, I really enjoyed the experience without pretuning, however, I fine-tuned the audio to my liking and the results was remarkable, it has a significant effect. I was very pleased with music performance, and while watching movies the surround system does the job perfectly, very superb job from Yamaha.
To conclude, I would like to add that this is definitely a must-have product for beginners, enthusiasts, and budget buyers. Definitely deserves its spot in this best home theater systems list.
4. Klipsch Black Reference
Best Entry-Level Sound System
Home cinema packages have been very strong lately, and manufacturers are competing with each other to dominate the market. The American manufacturer Klipsch has always put quality products in the market that provide value and performance, the Black Reference sound system is their entry-level model, that provides a huge package for the money, good option for those who want to give home theater systems a try.
For its price point the Klipsch Black Reference provides lots of speakers, the front channels consists the Klipsch’s R-620F floorstanders that are packed with tons of new technology in their MDF cabinets. For example, the 25mm Linear Travel Suspension aluminum tweeter is made of extremely light and rigid material in its suspension called Kapton, that provides the resolution and detail to the sound while being efficient.
There are also the satellites which are little and do not make much bass and are pretty directional, so it is important to overload the center with the quartet of smaller drivers to create an immersive soundstage. The R100SW subwoofer with an all-digital amplifier outputs a peak power of 300W, it follows the general look of black and copper design but it is one of the most understated subwoofers that I have ever seen.
Interestingly, in sound testing we have seen that the sound system sounds as bold and distinctive as it looks, all this with tons of power, even in lower volumes it gives the sense of boldness and confidence. The R-51M speakers complemented the R-620F towers warm and solid audio performance without tears, and with powerful detail in vocals through dialogue or songs, with amazing texture through soundtracks.
The R-100SW sub and R-34C center were a little off rhythm not something to be concerned of actually, but it gets annoying while listening to classical music. Throughout the audio frequency range, the system performed very well and was solid in its output with great detail and warm mid-range with no bleeding throughout.
The compatible Klipsch Black Reference package is a nice option for those starting in the home theater hobby, it is a nice stepping stone and is good for every genre of music and film.
3. Logitech Z906
Best Budget Gaming CPU
Logitech a brand known for its PC speakers and gaming peripherals has produced a 5.1-channel home cinema package that is primarily intended for PC use, but that can be powerful enough for an AV environment, because of its impressive connectivity ports, features and the THX certification. It is a fascinating mid-range option that provides great value with its fidelity, sound quality, and with tons of sharpness and detail.
The package contains a set of five compact satellite speakers and a subwoofer, that together translates into an exceptional 500 watts of power, that is extremely powerful for a PC setup and just perfect for a mid-to-large sized room. The front and rear satellites have the same chunky look that gives some gamer aesthetic vibes, with its dark grey finish and meshed grille on the front of it, this is certainly a PC look, but if you can look past this issue, they can be awesome for your room.
The Logitech Z906 sound system has an excellent build quality all around, they look very sturdy and designed with high-quality material all around, and with no unnecessary edges around the body. There are four satellites, two for the rear and two for the front, all of them facing slightly upwards and you can even wall mount them, in addition to the satellites you also get the dedicated center speaker that is horizontally rotated. The subwoofer is pretty standard shaped like a cube and it has a smaller footprint than the average home cinema subwoofer, it follows the general style of the satellites and can be easily placed anywhere.
Audio experience while watching films with Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio was amazing with a great amount of detail and a sense of direction and immersion, the center speaker provided clear dialogues while the surround effect was near-perfect. While listening to music I recognized some heavier bass accents, which is pretty good and deep, although not the most impressive of performances from a subwoofer.
A pretty decent sound system with its user-friendly features like the compact control console that houses the connectivity ports and the control center, combined with its amazing performance and price, this is one of the best you can buy.
2. Onkyo HT-S7800
Best For The Money
Home theater in a box concept is quickly gaining popularity as most aspiring cinephiles and those who want to set up their room with a complete yet affordable surround sound system, find this option extremely attractive. They generally are considered very far from more advanced systems, except the Onkyo HT-S7800, which provides fantastic sound and very user-friendly controls. It provides an impressive and well-balanced soundscape of what you are listening or watching, and is 4K ready.
In this sound system there are a pair of Dolby front speaker units, that in fact are two separate speakers in one body, on top of that they have different inputs for the height channel and for the front channel. Besides those, there is two satellite surround speakers and the center oriented channel, when you look at the design of the speakers, in general, it is very utilitarian and simplistic, except the subwoofer which has some kind of vibe going on. The receiver is a basic Onkyo unit with a fluorescent blue display, that also includes a front input and 8 assignable HDMI inputs that are more than enough for an entry-level home cinema system.
While testing the sound quality of the Onkyo HT-S7800, I have recognized that the Dolby Atmos-enabled up-firing speakers were very pleasant and enjoyable, they are built on the front speakers, and create the feeling of having two in-ceiling speakers. And they do sound as well as in-ceiling speakers, and most of the listeners will not notice any difference between them.
Through all the testing the results are the same, the Onkyo HT-S7800 provides the original Dolby Atmos experience even without in-ceiling speakers, besides this the sound system is very versatile and can be used in various setups, it has worked pretty well with gaming and with older and newer movies as well. It is worth mentioning the clarity that this sound system offers is exceptional, every sound was pretty well recreated and it was pretty close to perfect.
When I first got the product, I didn’t expect to yield such results, however, the Onkyo HT-S7800 has surprised with amazing sound quality, clever and intuitive ease of use and installation, and the Dolby Atmos surround system with 4K support, it is simply a bargain.
1. Sonos 5.1 Surround Set
As expected from Sonos, the pinnacle of sound system manufacturing, the Sonos 5.1 Surround Set bundle is an amazing package with the best sound you can find on the market and the smart features that are not apparent in other systems. The Sonos Beam breaks from the pack and provides interesting features like the HDMI and Alexa voice control. It is really the ultimate sound system for your home theater, however, it also has a price to correspond to those features.
The package consists of the Beam soundbar which is one of the best and the most tech packed soundbar that I have ever see, it is rather small but it has four woofers and one tweeter, producing a very wide and full sound. The top is touch-sensitive for the controls. I feel like the Sonos Beam is a piece of art, but it does not stand out, it just blends in and enhances the aesthetics of a room.
The subwoofer named SUB is very minimalistically designed like the rest of the lineup, but it is very heavy at 16kg, so it can be a little hard to move, but it can be laid flat or stand upright depending on your needs. Additionally, there are also a pair of Play:1, the prettiest and the most compact of speakers, they are covered with a metal grille that encircles it around smoothly.
All these connect to the Sonos Beam master unit wirelessly, Sonos as a company promotes this way of thinking and it is very convenient actually, users started to fall in love with it, and with the implementation of Alexa voice assistant, this is simply the best for your smart home. Alexa is pretty responsive to commands, in a large room it captured the voice commands very good. It is very convenient having a voice assistant in a sound beam, as of May 2019 Google Assistant has been added as well.
The sound quality is top-notch, and simply the best, the sub-bass resonates pretty good and sounds extremely clean, the soundstage is definitely the widest you have ever heard, with battle scenes in movies becoming very immersive. Overall, the best home theater system if you can afford its premium price.