The sound at the movies is hypnotic. You are guaranteed to have a special experience, even if the movie itself is not so great. For this reason, many people look to recreate this intensity in their own home. Thanks to home theatre systems, or home cinema, it is possible to do just that. These systems project surround sound so that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience every time.

Depending on your budget and the space you have available, you could choose from a number of home theatre systems. This can be a complex decision because each model can have a range of features. However, this detailed guide should tell everything you need to know to make the best purchase.

Key Facts

  • Some of the best home theatre systems come with a built-in Bluray player. This can be handy if you need one (perhaps you want to upgrade your current player or need a new one). It is important to consider which formats are supported.
  • 500W is generally sufficient for most situations. If you want to a system for a large room or for somewhere with a large number of people, ideally you will get a system with 1000W or more.
  • WIfi and Blutooth connectivity options allow you to play movies and videos directly from your mobile device. If you are looking for a home theatre with superior music streaming abilities, you’ll need this type of connectivity.

Ranking: The best home theatre systems on the Australian market

You deserve to get the most out of your movie collection or your streaming subscription. This means a good-quality home theatre system. You have plenty of options to choose from. If you are looking for the best home cinema at the right price, this list should be extremely handy.

No. 1: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System

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This home theatre system comes from Logitech, a well-recognised brand and one which is synonymous with quality. It offers 5.1 surround sound using Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Certified technology. The system also has a 165 watt powered subwoofer.

With THX certification, you can be assured that these speakers will deliver real cinema-quality sound. The 4 satellite speakers are each 67-watt power and can be mounted on the wall. Together, the system delivers powerful sound and deep, intense bass. You can connect the system to six different devices: TV, computer, music player, gaming console and more.

No. 2: Yamaha YHT 5.1 Channel Home Theatre System

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Yamaha has been a well-known brand in electronics for decades, and it continues to deliver great equipment, including this 5.1 channel home theatre system. The compact system means that you can easily fit the speakers even in limited space, while still offer 5.1 channels of surround sound. You can easily connect the system to your devices with Blutooth, meaning no need for untidy cables all over the living room!

The system comes packed with features, including 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP 2.2 support. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) : 100 W (8 ohms, 0.9 percentage THD). It also has YPAO sound optimisation for an automatic speaker setup. Its 100-watt powered subwoofer delivers great, strong bass.

No. 3: Sony HT-S100F AU1 Slim Soundbar

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If you have limited space and are looking for something truly compact, try this Slim Soundbar from Sony. The slim, space saving design can easily fit in even the smallest space. It is also easy to set up, with a simple HDMU ARC link to your TV.

Sony has for a long time been one of the top names in sound, consistantly deliver great sound and AV equipment. This model features high sound quality from S-Force Front Surround. It also has music playback capabilities with USB and Blutooth.

No. 4: Monoprice 5.1 Channel Home Theatre System

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This home theatre system from Monoprice is a good one for those on a budget. It is a 5.1 channel system, with four satellite, one center channel, and one subwoofer speakers. The subwoofer is not the most powerful available with 60 watts of power, but still delivers decent bass.

The system in general is rated for 125 watts of power at 8 ohms. The satellite speakers can be wall mounted for better sound and to take up less space. This set even comes with mounting brackets.

No. 5: Sonos Playbar

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Another compact option is this Sonos Playbar wireless soundbar. It gives crisp and powerful sound from nine amplified speaker drivers. Not only great for hooking up to the TV for movies and TV shows, you can also wirelessly stream music from your online subscriptions.

You can use the sound bar on its own or in combination with other Sonos speakers: pair with two PLAY: 1s and a SUB for a 5.1 surround system. It also has the ability to sync wirelessly with other SONOS speakers, making connectivity easy and tidy. It connects with a simple two cables: one connects to the power and the other to the TV.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about home theatre systems

If you want to enjoy a movie, a TV show or the latest video game with the best sound quality, you need a proper home theatre system! This will mean the bass and the sound effects will create a unique atmosphere for which your ears will thank you. In order to know how to choose the best home theatre system, there are a few points you should take into consideration.

Home theatre systems let us watched our favourite TV shows and movies as they should be enjoyed.
(Source: Teodor: 54501969/ 123rf.com)

What is a home theatre system and what does it do?

Basically, a home theatre system, or home cinema, is a set of equipment designed to produce superior sound quality. It improves your experience when watching movies or TV series, or when playing video games. You can install it in order to meet our own requirements, as you can adapt it to almost any space or situation.

The best home theatre systems have a panel which shows the high-frequency speakers and subwoofers that the model has.

Usually, it will be a setup of 5.1 surround sound (four treble speakers and a subwoofer). However, there are also 7.1 and 11.4 versions. These are connected to an AV receptor or an inbuilt amplifier which allows the system to produce a large range of frequencies.

What are the advantages of buying one of the best home theatre systems?

At this point you may be wondering if it’s worth buying a good-quality home theatre system. If you are a movie buff, if you using streaming services, or if you play video games, then the answer is yes. A system like this can take your viewing experience to the next level.

Advantages: A home theatre system delivers realistic surround sound. Thanks to the wide range of models available, you will be able to find one which suits your space and your budget. The combination of multiple speakers and a subwoofer allows you to play bass, mid and treble frequencies with more accuracy than other options such as soundbars or regular speakers.

Some models come with built-in high-resolution video players which are compatible with a range of formats. Those which have Blutooth connectivity open you up to a world of possibilities via your mobile devices.

Disadvantages: Because these are usually complex systems which take up a lot of space, installation is often expensive. The best models can also be quite expensive, although this cost is mitigated by their longevity and innumerable benefits.

What types of home theatre are there?

The first variation within home theatre systems is the number of speakers and subwoofers that the model has. This is indicated by the number given to that model. The most basic is the 2.1, however, this can’t really be considered a home theatre system, since its features are very limited. For home theatre systems, these really start at 5.1.

When buying a home theatre system, you’ll find that some come with an inbuilt DVD and Blurayplayer.
(Source: De Santis: 63247355/ 123rf.com)

We can also distinguish between two different types of home theatre systems depending on their connectivity: wireless home theater and HDMI home theater. The former largely or completely eliminates cables andworks through wifi or Bluetooth systems, among others. The second type uses cables to transmits the audiovisual information.

In recent years, other options have been added to the list (which may or may not fit the classification by connectivity). This includes home theater projectors,  which uses this device to the transmit the images rather than a TV. The other option is 3D, which looks for an even more realistic and enveloping sound.

Andréi TarkovskiRussian film director, actor and writer

“Sometimes the image follows sound and plays a secondary role and not vice versa, sound is more than just a simple illustration of what is happening on the screen.”

How do I install a home theatre system?

The first important factor to consider when installing one of the best home theatre system on the market is space. Think about the size of the speakers or the subwoofer. Check that they will comfortably fit in the room where you’re planning to put them. Once you have your system, distribute the speakers as evenly-spaced as possible throughout the space.

Once the speakers and the subwoofer are in place, it’s time to connect them. If you bought a wireless home theatre system, you will not need to worry too much about cables. Otherwise, check the instruction manual for how to connect and turn on your new speakers and subwoofer.

There’s no point having the latest home theatre system if it is not compatible with your TV.
(Source: De Santis: 14098158/ 123rf.com)

Finally, you must connect the receiver to the television, projector, computer or any other device you are planning to use (as long as they are compatible of course). Now you can turn on your home theatre system, TV or other playback device and check that sound is coming from each of the speakers.

What kind of speakers do the best home theatre systems have?

The best wireless or wired home theatre systems can have up to four different types of speakers. Equally, each type can offer one or more individual speakers. It will depend on whether the system is, for example, 5.1, 7.1 or 11.4. The different types of speakers include front speakers, centre speakers, back surround speakers and side surround speakers. Let’s break them down:

  • Front speakers: are the basis of the speaker system. They are placed either side of the screen. To get the best results, they should be directed towards the viewer or viewers. That is, they should be placed in front of them at an optimal distance.
  • Centre speakers: in general, they are placed behind the television, computer or projection screen. They are responsible for providing the intensity and power of the main sound of a movie, TV program or video game.
  • Back surround speakers: they are ideally placed on both sides of the viewers. They play the rear audio channel, adding to the surround sound effect. Not all systems have them (for example, Dolby Digital surrounds).
  • Side surround speakers: they are placed on either side of the viewers. They do not have to give exceptional sound quality since they are intended only for the reproduction of certain sound effects.

What is a subwoofer in home theatre systems?

The subwoofer in a home theatre system is nothing more than a speaker. Of course, it has certain features which make it special. In fact, the subwoofer is what can make a difference between a mediocre or quality product. Its main purpose is to produce sounds of the lowest frequencies. This gives the sound more depth, guaranteeing a hyper-realistic experience.

Passive Active
Advantages A quality amplifier can promote a range of low frequencies. Active filters moderate the sound once it leaves the amplifier of the player.
Sound quality Vibrant sound similar to being in a movie theatre. They allow a much sharper and brighter sound. Powerful in terms of decibels and level of noise produced.
Internal amplifier ? Lacking an internal amplifier, it is limited to receiving and reproducing auditory information The internal amplifier is a key component, so it is important this is high quality.
Price They are usually the cheaper option. They tend to be somewhat more expensive, although their level is generally higher.

Why do some home theatre systems come with a player?

When looking at the best home theatre systems on the market, you will see that some come with a built-in Bluray or DVD player. Your decision here will depend on the equipment you already own. Perhaps the speakers are all you need or maybe it would be a good opportunity to upgrade the player you have. It’s up to you.

Keep in mind that a home theatre system without a player is usually cheaper. If you are going to buy one which comes with a player, you really want to make sure it can play Bluray. If you find one which can play other formats, all the better. You should also consider the maximum resolution it allows and its compatibility with your TV or projector.

HDMI connections are found in most home theatre systems.
(Source: Scyther5: 42356368/ 123rf.com)

What are decoders for home theatre systems?

The film industry has been developing decoding techniques for years which give sound a rich, three-dimensional texture. Each format was developed by a different lab and has its own patent. The best home theatre systems have decoders which can reproduce the most popular audio systems:

  • Dolby Digital: widely used in DVD, Blu-ray and digital TV. Specialises in the bass.
  • Dolby Digital EX: variant of Dolby Digital format. Includes an additional channel. It is compatible with the previous format.
  • DTS: the quintessential competitor of Dolby Digital. Similar features and present in a large number of players. Its main advantage is it plays sound effects on a separate channel. The DTS-ES is the homologous version of the Dolby Digital EX.
  • Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Pro Logic II: they need fewer resources to produce a clearer sound compared to Dolby Digital decoders (both are run by the same company).
  • DTS Neo 6: like the above format, its technology is based on matrices. It uses five or six channels with high-quality surround sound.
  • THX-Certified: more than a decoder, it is a certification that guarantees that the equipment offers the minimum quality standards required to offer cinematic quality sound. It uses an exclusive equalization and is present in movie theatres as well as in home theatres.
  • THX Surround EX: compatible with previous decoders, is able to create an atmosphere of surround sound through any source of home theatre audio.

Shopping criteria

When deciding on one of the best home theater system, is not enough to know the basic things about this kind of equipment. You also have to evaluate a set of factors, for example the space you have available and budget that you have. To make this easier, we have listed the main criteria that you should keep in mind when buying a home theatre system.

  • Budget
  • Your current TV
  • Connectivity
  • Power and speakers
  • With or without a built-in player?

Budget

In general, a home theatre system requires a certain investment. On average, they cost around $500, but there are cheaper options, as well as more expensive ones. Obviously, you should base your decision not only on the money you have but also on your needs. For example, if you already have a good Bluray player, why buy a home cinema with a built-in one?

On the other hand, if you are looking for a system with more than four speakers, you will be looking to pay more. Additionly, the best home theatre systems that are compatible with laser type projectors usually come with a hefty price tag. You must evaluate all these criteria, as well as the audio quality you are looking for. But don’t worry, there are many great-quality, affordable options.

George LucasAmerican film director

“In a movie action scene, the sound is fifty percent”.

Your current TV

It is useless to have the latest home theatre system if it is not compatible with your TV or projector. It is also a shame to buy a compatible one that does not allow you to get the most out of the resolution it offers. For example, if you have a 3D TV, the best option is to buy a home theatre system with 3D playback.

On the other hand, if you have a simple TV, you may not be able to afford a wireless home theatre system. You can also try using a projector instead of a regular TV. If you have enough space on the wall, and the room is large, the visual and auditory experience can be incredible.

Connectivity

HDMI connectivity is a feature of most home theatre systems. It should be your go-to if you are looking for superior video quality and noise-free audio. This type of connectivity is also ideal in the gaming universe. So it is essential if you want to enjoy the latest movies or games with a unique sound.

Additionally, you can look for options like USB ports. These can allow you to enjoy the digital content you have saved on your PC or external harddrive (from videos to photos or other types of scanned files). On the other hand, you may be interested in having Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. With it you can play the content of your mobile devices.

For more information about connectivity, you can take a look at this detailed video:

Power and speakers

Power is an important factor, but not a defining one. This greatly depends on the size of the space. Also the number of viewers who will be enjoying the system. The larger the space and the more people, the more power you need. But you also don’t need something superhuman. With 1000 W (common in many models) you will have more than enough power.

With or without an in-built player?

As we have already mentioned, some home theatre  systems incorporate a player. Rate if you need it or if you prefer to buy a separate one (like a specific projector). On the other hand, whether wireless or not, weigh its manageability. That is, you should allow yourself to control the volume, such as through a mobile device or remote control.

Summary

The best home theatre systems price offer an unprecedented listening experience. Everyone wants to enjoy movies, TV shows or video games as if they were really there themselves. With this type of device, it is possible to do just that. And even if you are on a tight budget, this doesn’t mean it is beyond your reach.

Of course, remember to assess factors such as compatibility with your TV or projector. In addition, you must decide if you want it wireless or with cables, as well as if you want a system with built-in player. Take your time and get ready to start enjoying rich, immersive sound.

We hope this guide on how to buy the best home theatre has been helpful to you. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to share it on social media!

(Source of featured image: Bigelow: 76948009/ 123rf.com)

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