What is the best home theater in a box?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by scott lewis, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. scott lewis

    scott lewis Auditioning

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    What is the best home theater in a box? I was going to buy a Bose 28 series II but I am reading it is not that good. What is the best I can get for $2000 or under. I am looking for a whole package with sound,power, easy hookup ect.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Take a look at Cambridge Soundworks (CSW). You may know them as makers of great computer speakers, but they also make a full line of very competent stereo and home theater speakers, as well as HTiB sets. Their Mega Theater series of HTiB systems should provide the simplicity you're looking for while still blowing the Bose away in performance. And the speakers are not very much larger than the dual cubes, depending on which MegaTheater you pick. There's some single-driver cubes (if small size or high spousal acceptance factor is your main priority), and the sizes range all the way up to big dual-woofer "MTM" type satellites where there is a midbass driver above and below a silk tweeter. I recommend choosing a system with two-way satellites, but the single-driver cubes are like what Bose would build if they wouldn't make so many sacrifices in fidelity and sound quality just to achieve smaller size. The CSW satellites use a driver that is 1" bigger than the Bose, so they can get by with just one per speaker. Also, the CSW single-driver uses a powerful Neodymium magnet, for better driver control and better high-frequency extension and detail than the Bose set.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    On a much more inexpensive side...

    Most are exceedingly pleased with the Onkyo 770 system.
    Other than that, I just have not had any good experiences with any others. But I'm sure they are out there.
     
  4. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Well, shut my mouth. Circuit City has the Onkyo for $500. That sure takes the wind out of my $700 sails. The onlyo's speakers are not as nice in my own experience, though. They sound harsh through the upper midrange and lower treble, and they use a balanced-diaphragm tweeter instead of a dome tweeter. There will be much more distortion with the balanced-diaphragm tweeter, which is like a cone whose edges are rigidly attached to the perimeter.
     
  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    If you're willing to spend $2000 why go with a HTiB? That said, I have a couple friends who have gone with the Onkyos and another who bought the Infinity 770 speaker package, all for under $1000.
     
  6. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    I have to agree with Cameron, assuming you have 2 grand to spend, why buy crapola. My whole system was a little more than 2 thousand, but not much and thats only because I bought a pricey receiver. Get a receiver, decide on a brand of speakers, get 2 floor standers, at least 2 surrounds to start, and a centre channel speaker. You can also buy a subwoofer if you want the bass. Why buy over priced crap, just because its convienient. At least with a real system(floor standers) you can listen to music and rock your house.[​IMG]
     
  7. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Hey, my system doesn't use floorstanders. Is it any less real than yours? For the same price of floorstanders, you could get a nicer sub to go with your smaller mains, or you could really go all out and get really nice mains and pair them with an OK subwoofer and then have really great sound becasue the midrange will be awesome.
     
  8. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    Sorry Rory Buszka, im not cutting down "your" system. You're quite right, not everybody has floor standers, needs them, or even has space for them. A good bookshelf system, with a good subwoofer will work also, Its just "my" opinion that the home theatre in a box are crap and people get sucked into buying it. The reason I recommended floor standers is because you can get good floor standers for about $500,a couple of book shelf speakers $200,under $200 for a centre speaker and about $300-400 for a decent sub, and he can spend the rest on a reciever and cables. Im working in Canadian dollars too btw, so keep that in mind, TADA 2000 dollars well spent. Oh yeah, and floor standers are just more impressive(size does matter)[​IMG]
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Welcome to HTF, Scott. Please ask for specific advice on which model HTiB to purchase here in A/V Sources. The Basics area is strictly for general discussion at the beginner level. Thanks. JB
     
  10. scott lewis

    scott lewis Auditioning

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    So do you all feel the Cambridge system is they way to go? Is there any other system to look at? I right now have a Sony Dream system and think it sucks. It is to hard to hear the voices of some movies. Will the Cambridge be a much noticable difference? I would be interested in buying their top of the line model.
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    With that budget, there are so many ways to go....

    I'd fore go the HTIB idea, and just start piecing it together.

    You can get into a fairly high end setup for that much money.

    Even the Onkyo I mentioned at the low cost side of things, blows that Sony away by a country mile.
     

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