Good Home Theatre System Recommendations [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-26-2007, 01:43 PM
My buddy is looking around at home theatre systems in the box stores to compliment the new HDTV he bought. He seems to be focusing on HT in box. He really likes the small Bose speakers and thinks it sounds great. I'd hate to see him blow a wad on the Bose stuff, but I must admit I haven't heard the system.

I think he would do better with a good DTS/DD AV Receiver, DVD player and speakers than going the "box route". Are there good small satellite speakers about the size of the Bose Jewels?

Hate to see him blow the bucks on a box system, unless they have greatly improved in the past couple years. Thanks in advance, Jack

01-26-2007, 02:53 PM
What is his budget? Typically people who want HT in the box, do so as a budget compromise.

01-26-2007, 03:34 PM
$? If he liked it and it wowed him he could easily blow $2-3K. I can hardly believe Bose impressed him in the store, he's a smart guy with good ears. I think the HTIB's and Bose inparticuliar are overpriced for what they are. But it is instant gratification, maybe. And no thinking is involved.

I'm thinking I have a Pioneer VSX-D3S boxed in the closet. It's from back in 1997 and a nice sleek unit, DD, but no DTS. I dunno? I am thinking that for his uses it would be just fine with a good DVD player and some HSU speakers. He doesn't play that many DVD's anyway, mainly watches cable TV.

Input appreciated.JK

01-27-2007, 05:34 AM
$2-3K is indeed a pretty decent budget. I will come right out and admit that I am not a Bose fan (although I have owned their Acoustimass speakers for some of my college days so I am very familiar with their sound).

If small cubes are your friend's thing, he may be willing to try small spheres. The Gallo Micros (sub/sat system) are tiny spheres that will compete with the Bose system in price (at least for the speakers portion), but will sound a heck of a lot better. These would still not be the optimal choice, but they *are* small an attractive.

If your friend will go a bit larger for the satellites, then the ProCinema sub/sat series by Definitive Technology is a good bet, and ups the anti on sound further.

If a web deal is a possibility, then SVS has a great sub/sat system that is more expensive, but offers superb sound and value for its price point. The downside as it is web only (available on the SVS web site), you can't compare it in a store (but SVS does have a generous home-trial offer that minimizes the risk to shipping costs).

As for DVD players and the like... I would not recommend a large investment in DVD nowadays, as in a couple years many people will want to upgrade to either Blu-ray or HD DVD (depending on who "wins," or if they can coexist). He could even buy a high def player now for $500 if he is a risk taker (like me), but while the new high def formats are superb... ironically, the 1st gen players are glitchy on regular DVD playback. My guess is a good $150 regular upconverting DVD player like the Oppo will do nicely to wait it out.

As for a receiver, one that has an HDMI input would be advisable (maybe a 1K investment here). I like brands such as Marantz, Denon and Yamaha here in that order. All sound about equally good, but Mrantz has killer remotes that are my cup of tea.


Luvin Da Blues
01-28-2007, 04:37 AM
One setup worth looking at in this price range is the Infinity TSS series. I bought the TSS750 as a starter system a couple of years ago and it is an impressive speaker system for the price. I understand that the TSS1000 is really quite good ...but I haven't heard them

01-28-2007, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the input. Yes, a HDMI receiver would be the way to go. I should have realized that originally. I'll check it out. Thanks, Jk

01-28-2007, 08:43 PM
If price is an issue, also check out the Athena Take series (available at Best Buy). If he's concerned about looks, have him walk over to the Magnolia section of the store and check out the Vienna Webern on-walls with a SubSon sub. They may not be as small as the Bose cubes, but they look like they came right out of Star Trek and they sound amazing for on-wall speakers.

01-28-2007, 09:35 PM
my parents have an hk system, the hk speakers are slightly larger than bose jule cubes, but sound 10x better than the bose...

how about some atoms? very small bookshielfs, and sound great

01-30-2007, 05:51 PM
The BOSE systems are way overpriced.. Personally I think people get seduced by style and then think that they sound good just because they can't believe how much sound is coming out of such a small speaker. From what I've heard Paradigm's Cinema Series are outstanding for their price. The entire Cinema 110 set is only $1000Can. They aren't as small as the BOSE, but still moderately sexy.