Soundbars are fine, but if you want truly immersive home theater sound, a component system like the Onkyo OHTS3900 is best. This 5.1 surround sound system decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and has four HDMI ports that support 4K/60 Hz and HDR content. Save $100 off the MSRP in The Awesomer Shop.
THE BEST Home Theater
This 2-in-1 device combines Roku’s excellent streaming apps with a 14″ wide, 4-driver speaker that can upgrade the sound on your TV set without taking up a bunch of space. It offers Bluetooth and AirPlay2 wireless connectivity, along with Alexa, Google voice assistant, Spotify Connect, and Dolby Audio support.
Make the ceiling of your home theater, car, or other space look like a dark night sky with one of these twinkly fiber optic light kits from AMKI. They come in sizes from 400 to 835 points of light, each along with a bright 32-watt LED RGB/W light engine. You’ll need a drop ceiling or a false headliner to poke the fibers through.
Vizio’s top-of-the-line 5.1.4 audio system for 2020 packs 18 drivers. The P514a features rotating speakers which automatically angle upwards when watching Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. It’s also got built-in Chromecast and DTS Virtual:X support. It comes with two surround speakers and a wireless 8-inch subwoofer.
While flat screen TVs are all the rage these days, sometimes a projector is still a better solution – especially if you want a huge image. Builder Laura Kampf shows off a neat design for a coffee table that has a cubby for concealing a projector neatly beneath its lid.
The perfect side table for any home theater is made using vintage Goldberg Brothers 35mm film reels. Its center pedestal is made from poly plastic, painted to match the reels in silver, gold, or bronze, and the 20″ glass top provides a smooth surface. Stands 24″ tall, and requires some basic assembly.
LG’s premium sound system cranks out audio that will have you convinced you’re in the movie theater. Its front sound bar has upward-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:x height effects, and its subwoofer delivers an earth-shattering rumble. It supports 24bit/192kHz Hi-Res audio and has Chromecast built in.
Samsung’s Sero is a 43″ QLED HDTV that comes with a stand. The TV is mounted on the stand such that you can rotate it to a vertical position. Pair this with its NFC support and it becomes a great way to mirror your smartphone’s content. It’s headed to Korea first for about $1600.
Sony’s Master Grade Series Z9G is an Android Smart TV with 8K resolution. It features detail upscaling and full-array local dimming for optimal contrast. It also has four speakers and can be used as a center speaker in a surround sound setup. Comes in 85″ and 98″ models.
Sennheiser aims for the top with its first-ever speaker. The Ambeo soundbar has 13 drivers, including six 4″ woofers. It mimics a 5.1.4 surround sound system with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support. We went ears-on with the soundbar at the IFA Global Press Conference, and it sounded spectacular.
Logitech’s Harmony Express bucks the trend of large and complicated universal remote controls, thanks to Amazon’s Alexa voice control technology. It works with over 250,000 devices, including other smart home appliances. It sets up easily using a companion mobile app.
Q Acoustics’ Concept 300 speakers marry form with function. Its beautiful cabinet and tripod stand are designed to eliminate vibration, with technologies such as a gel separating each speaker cabinet’s layers and springs on the stand mount. Drops 3/2019 for $4,499.
The Cinera is a video headset with dual 2.5K displays and a 66º field of view to replicate the movie theater experience in the comfort of your home. It works with Android apps such as VLC and Netflix and can play 3D movies. It comes with a swing-arm mount for added comfort.
JBL’s Link Bar is a soundbar that has Android TV and Google Assistant built-in, which means it pairs well with all HDTVs, even ones without built-in smart features. It lets you use your voice to search for shows, switch inputs, ask questions, control your smart devices and more.
The second generation of LG’s CineBeam short-throw 4K laser projector has a horizontal orientation, making it easy to mount on any flat surface. It can create a 90″ image at 2″ away, and a 120″ at 7″ away. It can be operated via voice commands. Drops 2019.
The second version of Anker’s Nebula Prizm II is twice the price of its predecessor, but it’s resolution has been significantly increased, from just 480p to 1080p. It can create up to a 120″ display has up to 40º keystone correction, and has USB and HDMI inputs.
Wisejet’s two-part gadget lets you wirelessly mirror the screen of a USB-C device to an HDMI display up to 10 yards away. It doesn’t need an internet connection or even local Wi-Fi to work. Just plug in the transmitter to your USB-C device and the receiver to your HDMI display.
Devialet’s one-of-a-kind Phantom speakers are as huge as they are pricey. But the entry-level Phantom Reactor is at least within a mortal’s reach. The speaker packs the same room-filling, distortion-free sound as its bigger brothers, but in a smaller and less costly package.
Caavo’s Control Center is perfect for folks who have lots of streaming hardware, streaming subscriptions, or both. Plug them all in to the Control Center and you’ll be able to search through them as if they were one device. It also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Fujifilm has developed an ultra short throw projector that has a lens that rotates on two axes. This allows for more options when mounting the device, as well as the option to aim at various surfaces – floor, wall, ceiling – without moving the device itself.
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