READ ALSO: Which PC speakers and 2.1 speakers to buy for better sound
Home theater: which one to choose
Do the systems all look the same in stores? Is one worth the other? As we will see in the following chapters, we must pay particular attention to the functionalities and features included in modern living room audio systems, so that they can accompany all modern televisions, Blu-ray players, or the latest generation console.
A good Home Theater must have the following characteristics, otherwise, we risk finding you with a system that is not very usable or disappointing:
- Diffusers: the number of satellites available to the system; let’s make sure that there are at least 5, even better if 7. The speakers can be connected with wires or without wires according to the model chosen, let’s just remember to place them in a circle around the listening point, so as to obtain the maximum result.
- Subwoofer: the channel dedicated to the basses must be managed by a subwoofer, which can be connected either with wire or wirelessly to the amplification unit or to the player.
- Connectivity: many systems can be connected both via jack cables and via optical or coaxial outputs; if in doubt we use the digital signal if possible, so as to obtain the maximum from the point of view of sound quality. On some modern TVs, we can also take advantage of the HDMI ARC, i.e. the return of audio from a single HDMI cable.
- Power: a Home Theater system can have a very variable sound power (measured in Watts RMS): economical systems boast powers around 100-200 W, while high-end systems can even reach 300W.
- Reader: some high-end Home Theaters also have a Blu-Ray player, able to read movies and TV series on the latest generation optical media, and also provide Smart features (Internet browsing, multimedia apps, streaming, etc.).
- Extra: Bluetooth, WiFi, and NFC connectivity are welcome extras on systems because they allow you to connect smartphones, tablets, and PCs to the system in order to amplify the audio coming from these devices.
Best Home Theater Equipment
After seeing some of the features to consider before buying a Home Theater, let’s take a look along with the best models we can place in the living room. Prices range from less than € 100 up to over € 400, so you can satisfy all needs.
If we are looking for something simple and cheap suitable for any TV, we can focus on the system Creative Stage 2.1, available on Amazon for less than € 100.
With these speakers, we will get a central soundbar with a peak power of 160 W, a high-quality subwoofer, AUX connections, optical cable and HDMI ARC, options for the dedicated equalizer, USB port for listening to music from external storage units, and Bluetooth connectivity (for wireless audio on TV and to connect to phone).
If, on the other hand, we want a larger system with 5.1 audio, the cheapest model we can focus on is theAUNA Concept 620, available on Amazon for less than € 100.
With this system, we have 5 separate satellites for each channel, a high-efficiency active subwoofer, maximum power of 250W, FM radio system, AUX input, Bluetooth interface, USB and SD inputs, and dedicated remote control (useful for controlling the various inputs and for adjusting the volume levels).
Are we looking for a system with long speakers that can be placed at various points in the living room? In this case, it is sufficient to focus on the implant AUNA Areal 653, available on Amazon for less than € 200.
On this system, we find 5 separate tower satellites for each channel, an active subwoofer with Bassreflex Sidefiring technology, power of 15 W (for each satellite), and 70 W RMS, FM radio system, AUX input, Bluetooth interface, USB and SD inputs and dedicated remote control.
The first mid-range Home Theater model that we can see is the Sony HT-RT3, available on Amazon for less than € 200.
On this system, we find a 5.1 system consisting of a soundbar, a subwoofer, and 2 rear speakers, rated power of 600W, USB connectivity, NFC quick coupling system, Bluetooth connection, ClearAudio + technology, and S-Master digital amplifier.
Another medium-high-end model on which we can focus is the Logitech Z906 5.1, available on Amazon for less than € 200.
On this system we find a 5.1 system consisting of 5 satellites and an active subwoofer, rated power of 1000W, USB connectivity, digital amplifier, integrated Dolby Surround system, THX certified, Dolby, DTS, and dedicated remote control.
Are we looking for an elegant high-end model with a retro design? We recommend that you take a look at the SWANS Home Theater Speaker System, available on Amazon for less than 350 €.
On this system, we can find an M20 5.1 Dolby Surround system, an eight-inch wooden subwoofer, 4 wooden satellites, a double central wooden satellite, a high-efficiency amplifier, AUX connectivity, control knobs, and dedicated remote control.
Even though optical players have almost completely disappeared, modern home theaters can still have their say in the living room when we listen to the audio of movies and TV series on Netflix or other streaming platforms that have a good performance. audio (Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video). We advise you to consider one of the models seen above even if we have a modern game console: the quality of the audio and the enjoyment of the game will benefit.
If we don’t know how to position the speakers, we invite you to read our guide place the 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 home theater surround sound speakers.
To look for good alternatives to home theater systems we can also read our insights on how to improve TV sound with a Soundbar.