There may be no substitute for seeing movies in a theater, but today’s home theater surround sound systems are doing their best to bring theater-quality sound and entertainment into the home. Whether it’s through the use of wireless Internet connectivity, network awareness, or simple high-quality sound for Blu-Ray discs and 3D entertainment, surround sound systems of the 21st century are more advanced, with richer sound, than at any point in the product’s history. Before heading out for a new system, however, consider the five best options available today from leading manufacturers.
5. Samsung HT-F5500W Home Theater System
One of the biggest hurdles that most consumers face when they decide to either buy their first surround sound system or upgrade an existing one, is that the system requires extensive cabling throughout the home. Many homes aren’t designed to make such cabling easy to install, and many people avoid it altogether. This is a thing of the past with the Samsung HT-F5500W home theater system. Instead of using cabling for the rear speakers, Samsung leverages the power of wireless connectivity to ease installation and make the system accessible to more homeowners.
This lack of rear cabling is just the beginning, however. The 5.1 surround sound system comes with an impressive subwoofer and sound that is consistently rated by consumers as the best they’ve ever heard. Built-in wireless Internet connectivity and access to streaming content further enhances the practical uses of this innovative speaker system.
4. LG BH6730S 3D Home Theater System
LG’s home theater systems have been on the rise in recent years, thanks to increasing consumer awareness of the company’s budget-friendly options and its high-tech offerings. The BH6730S offers some real innovations to buyers. The first of these is the ability to connect wirelessly to the Internet and then stream content from Netflix, Hulu, and other sources.
Internet connectivity also allows the system to wirelessly transmit audio signals to smartphones and tablet devices, bypassing the speakers themselves. That means buyers can actually connect earbuds to a smartphone and then stream their audio directly to their device. Everyone else in the home can remain un-disturbed by the movie or show being watched. Phones and tablets can also stream music back to the speakers, creating an innovative, two-way connection for 2D and 3D surround sound in the home.
3. Sony BDV-E3100 5.1 Channel Home Theater System with Built-In Wi-Fi
Sony’s comprehensive home theater system comes with the ability to play DVDs, 2D Blu-Ray discs, and 3D Blu-Ray options, but that’s not where things stop. Like its competitors, Sony has bundled the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly and stream content from major providers like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and scores of other sources. Playback of these various sources is put through the 1,000 watts of total surround sound power offered by Sony, which is impressive in its own way.
As with previous systems, Sony’s subwoofer maintains 250 watts of power. That makes this system easily able to rattle the floorboards during particularly action-packed parts of movies and television shows, and it’s sure to bring a bit of the nearby movie theater into each buyer’s living room with ease.
2. Yamaha YHT-797 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater System
Yamaha is prepared for the current high-tech environment and any developments in the future with its innovative YHT-797 receiver. Like many of its competitors, the receiver connects to the Internet and brings network content into the living room with stunning sound quality and clarity. Unique to the Yamaha option, however, is tis integration with smartphones and tablets. Yamaha is one of the few companies to provide smartphone applications that act as remotes fro controlling the system over a home network. It also bundles Apple’s AirPlay technology, making it a one-tap process to stream audio from any MacBook, iMac, iPhone, or iPad, to the receiver without a single cable.
Of course, the Yamaha system also offers booming bass and great clarity no matter the audio source. Like all modern systems, Yamaha pairs its 5.1 speaker setup with support for Blu-Ray audio in 2D and 3D. The system can be used with virtually any optical audio, RCA, or 3.5mm headphone jack source in the home, making it extra flexible.
1. ZVOX 4003201 Audio Z-Base 320 Single Cabinet Sound System
The great thing about the ZVOX system is that it only needs to be as large as the buyer prefers. In fact, the standard configuration of this cutting-edge audio system is pretty simple: It initially comes as a simple sound bar that sits beneath the television and provides extraordinary sound throughout the living room. Unlike other sound bars, however, this one is extensible: Additional speakers can expand the ZVOX Z-Base system to 3.1 or 5.1 surround sound, making it a fully-featured system for those with limited space or those who intend to upgrade their home theater sound over time.
Connectivity with home computer displays is another added bonus, and most buyers will love the front-facing USB port on the front speaker that allows for playing smartphone and tablet audio over the full system at any time. With compact size, expandable options, and great sound, this should be a top option for any homeowner.
It’s Time to Turn the Living Room into a Real Home Theater
With 5.1 surround sound and excellent Internet connectivity options, today’s home theater systems will convert any living area into a multimedia powerhouse. While the excitement of a theater will never be replicated, the perks of theater sound and quality can be easily brought home for all to enjoy, every day of the year.