Best Home Theater System

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Best Home Theater System Overall:

The purchase of a home theater-in-a-box system is usually done in the pursuit of convenience. This means being able to simply remove the components from their box and hook them up following simple directions usually requiring no substantial prior knowledge of how to install audio and video equipment.

When it comes to creating a home theater, this is about as close to plug-and-play as you can get. These systems typically combine naturally compatible components which remove the risk of "audio clashes" or other issues that can arise when trying to build your own home theater system.

We've chosen some of the best overall home theater systems currently available although the "best" is very subjective, depending on your individual wants and needs. For this reason, the following picks vary from expensive high-end systems right down to a basic, affordable unit.

However, these picks all share the common traits of offering top-notch sound and video quality for the money, with the convenience of almost everything you need being bundled together. Ease of installation and use is also very important, as these systems should be simple enough to install for someone with minimal technical knowledge. Features such as built-in WiFi are great to have, but we have included picks that forgo these in favor of high quality components and performance.

Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package

The Onkyo HT-S9400THX might not include features such as built-in WiFi or Bluetooth, but it’s the only home theater system on this list with THX certification. For those who value sound quality and convenience over everything else, this is a top pick. Read Full Review

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    Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package

    Samsung HT-F9730W 7.1-Channel 1330Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System

    The Samsung HT-F9730W offers excellent overall value for a home theater system. Simple installation and excellent features and performance make this home theater-in-a-box an excellent all-around option. Read Full Review

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      Samsung HT-F9730W 7.1-Channel 1330Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System

      Sony BDVN7200W 1200W 5.1 Channel 4K Hi-Res Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System

      The BDV-N7200W is currently Sony's most expensive new home theater system available, and earns its spot as a best overall pick thanks to its all-around solid performance. A wireless subwoofer and rear speakers make installation even simpler, while features are plentiful and sound quality is excellent. Read Full Review

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        Sony BDVN7200W 1200W 5.1 Channel 4K Hi-Res Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System

        Onkyo HT-S3700 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package

        It might seem strange to see such a budget-friendly home theater system on this list. However, the Onkyo HT-S3700 earns its spot by offering some of the best value when it comes to quality basic performance, without paying extra for lots of features. Read Full Review

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          Onkyo HT-S3700 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package

          Denon DHT-E251BA 5.1 Home Theater System with Boston Acoustics Speakers Bundle

          Offering some of the best bang for your buck in terms of basic performance on this list, the DHT-E251BA consists of a Denon AV receiver and Boston Acoustics speakers. This home theater system does not offer wireless connectivity, but it’s a good choice for those who want ease-of-use and excellent sound quality on a budget. Read Full Review

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            Denon DHT-E251BA 5.1 Home Theater System with Boston Acoustics Speakers Bundle

            Best High End Home Theater System:

            Although losing popularity in favor of soundbars, home theater system bundles still offer appeal thanks to the removal of guesswork from building your own surround sound home theater setup from the ground up.

            All of the following selections offer tremendous value, with performance and features that will satisfy most users. The high-end brands such as Onkyo tend to focus primarily on the highest quality components and processing technology possible, and less so on including features such as built-in WiFi. However, all of our picks offer good connectivity overall, whether through wireless means or a generous amount of HDMI connections.

            Sound performance must be excellent for the money, creating an immersive surround sound experience with minimal effort. Video quality is also extremely important, with the majority of our picks including HD video upconversion to ensure that your content can keep up with the capabilities of modern televisions.

            Overall, each of these home theater systems offers the convenience of a home theater-in-a-box, with easy installation that allows for near plug-and-play performance.

            Bose Lifestyle 525 Series II Home Entertainment System

            The Bose Lifestyle 525 Series II is expensive, but offers top-notch convenience. This home theater system uses a guided setup and an automatic audio calibration system, allowing for hassle-free installation and customized performance. Read Full Review

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              Bose Lifestyle 525 Series II Home Entertainment System

              Samsung HT-F9730W 7.1-Channel 1330Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System

              This home theater system from Samsung offers powerful surround sound and full access to streaming content while being available for under $1,000. The HT-F9730W is very simple to set up and use while including everything you need for easy connectivity to multiple devices and content sources. Read Full Review

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                Samsung HT-F9730W 7.1-Channel 1330Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System

                Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package

                The Onkyo HT-S9400THX offers high-end components and excellent performance for a fraction of what it would usually cost. This makes this home theater system an excellent choice for those who value sound quality over features such as built-in WiFi. Read Full Review

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                  Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package

                  LG BH9431PW 1460W 3D Blu-Ray Theater System

                  The LG BH9431PW offers excellent value for money, with top-notch sound quality and numerous features for the price. This home theater system is simple to set up and use, including built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as associated streaming capabilities. Read Full Review

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                    LG BH9431PW 1460W 3D Blu-Ray Theater System

                    Sony BDVN7200W 1200W 5.1 Channel 4K Hi-Res Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System

                    The Sony BDV-N7200W is a solid overall choice, with a compelling blend of performance at features at a very reasonable price. This home theater system is simple to set up and use, eliminating the guesswork and hassle of compiling a system on your own. Read Full Review

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                      Sony BDVN7200W 1200W 5.1 Channel 4K Hi-Res Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System

                      Best Budget Home Theater System:

                      Right now it’s easier than ever to find high-quality and affordable options for a home theater system bundle. All of the following picks are from well-established and trusted brands known for their higher-end offerings. Although none of the following home theater systems are neither suitable for large spaces nor likely to impress audiophiles, they’re perfectly adequate for casual use in a small home theater setup.

                      Important features we looked for are quality components to ensure good audio and video quality, as well as any features such as video upconversion. Connectivity is generally less important on these budget-friendly systems, with manufacturers striving to make setting the devices up as simple as possible over allowing for too much customization. However, modern home theater systems ideally have WiFi, a USB port, and sometimes also Bluetooth and DLNA capabilities.

                      Overall, each of the following selections is an affordable way to bring powerful surround sound and good video quality to your home without the complicated process of having to build your own system.

                      Samsung HT-H5500W Home Theater System

                      The Samsung HT-H5500W offers built-in WiFi for easy access to streaming content. This home theater system does not offer a lot of options for expanding the setup, focusing instead on being extremely easy to install and use, especially if you already have a Samsung television. Read Full Review

                      Samsung HT-H5500W Home Theater System

                      Onkyo HT-S3700 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package

                      The inclusion of high-resolution audio processing allows the Onkyo HT-S3700 to be a top choice for audio quality in this price range. Although the rest of the system is quite basic, lacking the inclusion of built-in WiFi or apps, this affordable home theater system is an excellent choice for those who want the best quality (and probably the most HDMI connections) they can have under $500. Read Full Review

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                        Onkyo HT-S3700 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package

                        Sony BDV-E3100 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System with Built-In Wi-Fi

                        This simple home theater system from Sony takes the guesswork out of building your own setup. Easy installation and good overall performance make the Sony BDV-E3100 a good budget-friendly choice for adding surround sound to your home. Read Full Review

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                          Sony BDV-E3100 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System with Built-In Wi-Fi

                          Panasonic SC-BTT465 Home Theater System

                          The addition of an optional adapter allows the Panasonic SC-BTT465 to have WiFi, eliminating the need for running a wire from the unit to your router. This affordable home theater system is an excellent basic choice, with easy set up and good overall performance. Read Full Review

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                            Panasonic SC-BTT465 Home Theater System

                            Samsung HT-H4500 5.1 Channel 500 Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System

                            This home theater system from Samsung is the least expensive on this list and arguably about as budget-friendly as you can get for a 5.1 channel system before sacrificing too much in terms of performance and features. Although the HT-H4500 doesn’t include built-in WiFi, once hardwired to your router it performs much the same and offers most of the features of higher priced systems. Read Full Review

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                              Samsung HT-H4500 5.1 Channel 500 Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System
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                              1 comments
                              • bondo bondo

                              What about Yamaha? The YHT series look pretty good and a reasonable price compared to some of these models that you have stated are the best. I'm also wondering if you have actually used any of the Yamaha models? I went into Best Buy and fooled around with a few of their systems and thought that Yamaha was actually one of the best along with the Samsung. I also checked http://www.htibreviews.com and they have both Yamaha and Samsung as preferred models. I'm sure Onkyo is good too from the reviews I've read but I haven't seen anything many of their stuff in Best Buy.

                              Posted on 7/20/2011 1:20 pm | Reply