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Best Of 2018

Best Home Theatre of December, 2018 – These 4 Setups Will Bring The Cinema Into Your Home

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Lights, camera, popcorn!

We bring you the top four Home Theater Systems

Many modern homes own TVs with decent sound quality, but when you long for a truly immersive experience, it’s worth investing in a home theater system. If you think of it like a Broadway play, then the TV is the stage, but the sound system is everything else – story, actors and music. So, the real magic behind the kit is audio, and that’s what you need to get right to create a real home theater system at your house.

So, what exactly do you need to consider when looking for a home theater system?

  • If your TV isn’t a 4K HDR, it’s worth thinking about getting a one because they are awesome. Plus, given all the connectivity options built-in, you’ll be set for the future. A smart TV is way easier to connect to components, streaming audio, or video, thanks to the built in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and so on.
  • The room you plan to use needs to be carefully thought about. The size, design, and style should be considered, including what size and style of speakers you choose. Technically, bigger is better when it comes to audio quality, but certain brands offer small and medium-sized speakers that seriously kick out, in spite of their size. If the amount of cabling is an issue, look for a system with optional wireless speakers.
  • If you have a large room, and you crave a visceral, bone thrumming aural experience with movies and music you should seriously consider buying full-size, full-range speakers, and audio separates with a powerful amplifier instead of a receiver.
  • On the other hand, if your room is small, a small satellite/subwoofer system and a decent mid-priced receiver should be adequate for home theater and music. Room size and volume capability go hand in hand and should be linked to your system’s performance/price ratio.
  • Today’s films boast nearly unlimited soft-to-loud dynamic range. Dialog is mixed to the center channel, surround effects may be ambient or point-sourced, and deep-bass demands can be extreme. Just about every feature film released in the last 20 years has a multichannel soundtrack.
  • What about streaming devices? The right home theater receiver can double as a multi-talented hub for streaming almost anything – audio from your computer, phone, tablet, and from online apps. What’s more, if you have wireless speakers in the house, your receiver can tap into those, too, so you can play your music all around the house.
  • Your system should be easy to set up. A home theater can be a no-brainer, with everything included and easy to put together, or it can be a complete nightmare, so think carefully about what you require. A clear instruction manual is a must, and auto set-up takes the hard work out of setting speaker levels and delay times to suit your room.

1) Yamaha YHT-4930UBL 5.1-Channel Home Theater in a Box System with Bluetooth

Overview

This really is a system-in-a-box – it comes complete with everything including a whole host of speakers, a microphone, and receiver. In fact, we were expecting to find a TV in the oversized box, in fact it was just extremely well padded.

The instructions are great, and it’s straightforward to set up. Looking good so far!

Features

  • Bluetooth for wireless music streaming with compressed music Enhancer
  • 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP 2.2 support. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven), 100 W (8 ohms, 0.9 percentage THD)
  • YPAO sound optimization for automatic speaker set up
  • 5.1-Channel compact black gloss speaker package
  • 6-1/2” 100 Watt powered subwoofer

Pros

There’s a lot to like about this system, and Yamaha have appeared to put a lot of effort into getting it right.

In addition to the included manuals, Yamaha has produced an iOS and Android app called AV Setup Guide that will take you through setting up your system and making the right connections with detailed illustrations.

We like the considerate addition of a microphone to assist in setting up the optimum sound properties – it really does make life easier.

Cons

Our only issue with this system is purely aesthetic – the speaker style is pretty boring, and they actually look cheap, which is a shame because the sound quality is great.

8.8Expert Score
The Final Verdict

This Yamaha’s true strength is its price point and feature set. If you’re on a tight budget, love music streaming, movies and want surround sound that’s better than your TV’s built-in speakers, then this will do you well. Happy to recommend this kit.

Yamaha YHT-4930UBL 5.1-Channel Home Theater in a Box System with Bluetooth

4 used from $305.75
Free shipping
Last update was in: December 7, 2018 9:22 am
$407.67 $459.95

 

2) Samsung HT-J5500W 5.1 Channel 1000-Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System (2015 Model)

Overview

This Samsung is an impressive looking system. It’s well designed, well put together, small enough to be unobtrusive but big enough to have serious impact. Clean lines, contemporary styling and a mix of matte and gloss black, it fits neatly into any interior.

Following the manual is a doddle with Samsung’s helpful color coding, online setup, too, is simple and uses helpful graphics for Wi-Fi and speaker configuration. We were ready to rock before our coffee had a chance to go cold.

Features

  • 1-channel home theater system with 1,000 watts of power.
  • 3D and Full-HD 2D Blu-ray video.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for complete connectivity.
  • Smart Blu-ray allows easy access to websites, games, apps, and media.
  • Opera TV apps turn any TV into a Smart TV.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for one-touch power on and audio streaming.
  • HD upconversion lets you enjoy DVDs with near-HD quality.
  • HDMI for optimal digital sound and video.
  • Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Surround Sound for immersive audio.
  • Dolby True HD for near-studio quality sound

Pros

The operating system is slick, while the attractively designed interface is intuitively laid out and responsive. The audio quality is awesome, just what you’d expect from a company at the top of their game – crisp, clean and with a great bass range. Action scenes sound lively and dynamic, while the subwoofer lends reasonable scale.

This has a huge range of features, which, considering the price band, is impressive.

Cons

The rear speakers could be louder. We played around with the settings, turning them up to the max, which helped.

8.9Expert Score
The Final Verdict

Ultimately the Samsung HT-H5500 is a solid performer that offers great value and as such it deserves a massive high five. We’re very happy to recommend it.

Samsung HT-J5500W 5.1 Channel 1000-Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System (2015 Model)

17 used from $0.00
Free shipping
Last update was in: December 7, 2018 9:22 am
$377.99 $399.99

 

3) JBL Bar 3.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

Overview

This has a state-of-the-art appeal, with neon lights, moving flashing sequences and a remote large enough not to lose inside the couch. It’s impressively sturdy, with a comforting weight and balance. The style is cool, slick and hi-tech.

Manual open, and off we went. Easy to follow, easy to put together, and easy to adjust balance, the popcorn was soon disappearing!

Features

  • Featuring 450W of total system power, a dedicated center channel and a 10” wireless subwoofer for thrilling bass, and voice clarity, the JBL Bar 3.1 soundbar with JBL Surround Sound and Dolby Digital lets you immerse yourself in best–in–class surround sound audio
  • With the dedicated amplifer and speakers for center channel, you can enjoy clear dialogue even during the most thrilling scenes
  • Further enhanced with JBL SoundShift, which allows you to instantly switch between sound from your TV, and sound from your mobile phone or tablet
  • Enjoy rich and thrilling bass from the 10″ (250mm) wireless subwoofer, as well as the convenience of flexible placement without the hassle of wires
  • Easily connect all your 4K devices and upgrade your home entertainment to Ultra HD and HDCP 2.2

Pros

With a dedicated center channel, you’ll never miss a note, and this allowed us to get totally engrossed in the experience – every sound, every sigh, could be heard and understood.

Boosting the bass beyond level 15 delivered an underground rumble that literally shook the walls, and nearly blew us out of the windows. Bass lovers will not be disappointed.

Cons

It all comes down to what you want from a system, and to be honest, there are those with a little more sophistication and adjustability , but none that comes close to this kind of power.

9.2Expert Score
The Final Verdict

The JBL Bar 3.1 sounds fantastic whether you're watching a movie or listening to music, and the subwoofer delivers some serious power that’s super impressive for the price. Bass fans will love it, but the fact that it’s adjustable means anyone will be able to find a sound that suits their taste. A really great system for the movie/music enthusiast!

JBL Bar 3.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

Last update was in: December 7, 2018 9:25 am
$400.99 $401.00

 

4) Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black)

Overview

This Energy 5.1 has been well designed with a sleek, contemporary style that would look great in any home. The speakers are reliably solid, housed in high quality MDF cabinets, and are small enough to hide in bookshelves, and dark corners.

Installing this is simple enough, and there are plenty of troubleshooting suggestions, just in case.

Features

  • 4 gloss black 2-way Energy satellite speakers
  • 1 gloss black Energy center channel
  • 200 watt Energy subwoofer with front firing port and 8″ driver and patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround(TM)
  • Perfect for a large or small space surround sound solution
  • Wall mountable

Pros

The manual recommends that users play the system for 50 hours to break it in, however we noticed that even past the break-in period, the sound quality got increasingly better.

The speakers produce very crisp and good audio quality, with clear highs and detailed midrange. The deep sound effects, great stereo imaging and clear dialogue felt very movie-theater like.

Cons

We found that the subwoofer is quite sensitive to its placement, although that is true of most home theater systems.

9.5Expert Score
The Final Verdict

The combination of awesome sound quality and super cool appearance at an implausibly reasonable price, makes it first choice for anyone who loves good sound at home or anywhere. We loved this system and are happy to recommend it.

Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black)

2 used from $249.12
Last update was in: December 7, 2018 9:26 am
$299.99 $450.00

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