Even in 2020, almost all native TV speakers are terrible, which is why an investment in a Home Theatre system is kind of mandatory for a consumer yearning for a theatre-like immersive audio experience. However, buying that perfect home theatre system requires a consumer to have extensive knowledge of the market and, more importantly, of his/her personal preferences.

This buying guide is primarily for average consumers who are not very well acquainted with the specifics and are looking for a decent sound system that works. Before we proceed to the list, let’s talk about a few basics.

Things to know before you buy a home theatre or a soundbar:

  1. A home theatre is more about sound than TV. We are not discounting the importance of picture quality to the media-watching experience – merely highlighting that in the context of buying a home theatre system, your TV’s role will be limited to the audio connectivity options available.

2. If you bought your TV in the last couple of years, and if you are buying a wired sound system today, you will most probably be pairing it via HDMI port. Almost all popular TVs and soundbars these days have HDMI CES and ARC. HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) is the covetable new connectivity standard in the premium segment, but eARC speakers and TVs are still rare.

3. A Home theater consists of a central hub that receives and disperses audio signals, and a set of speakers.

  • Central speaker is the most important speaker that delivers most of the soundtrack, including dialogues.
  • Front left and front right speakers create wide soundstage. They handle background music and most of the special effect audio.
  • The rest of the speakers make the sound lifelike. These could include 4 surround sound speakers (in 7.1 systems) or 2 surround sound speakers (in 5.1 systems) on the rear. These speakers, and also upward-firing/ ceiling speakers in Dolby Atmos systems, create directional audio.

4. The loudness of these speakers will be determined by Watts per channel

5. Apart from these speakers, there are woofers and sub-woofers to add punch to the audio. These are responsible for the boom that makes windows rattle.  The larger the woofer driver, the more powerful is its impact.

6. Soundbars, which are a very popular and relatively affordable alternative to home theatres, have central, left and right channels. You will have to add surround sound and woofers to complete the system.

7. These days we have wireless home theatre systems that look good and are convenient to install and set up, but these can’t match the reliability of the wired systems.

Also Read: Best Health and Fitness Apps in India

Best sound theatre systems to buy in India in 2010

Home theatre systems range from pre-packaged options to custom-designed installations by professionals tailor-made for the acoustics of the TV room. In this article, we will be listing pre-packaged single brand options that you can buy and set up yourselves.

1. Sony BDV-N9200W 3D Blu-Ray Home Cinema System

Sony BDV-N9200W is a premium home theatre system that supports the latest connectivity options, high-resolution audio and Dolby True HD. The  Blueray player has 4K upscaling and even though the format is 5.1, the system can simulate 9.1 channel audio.

Sony has is a renowned name in the Audio system space, and the BDV N9200W offers the best of Sony in India. Consumers may also consider Sony BDV-N7200W Blu Ray Player in the same series that costs 15k lesser.

Speakers and channel 5.1 channel
Power Output 1200 watts
Dimensions 42.4 x 50.3 x 38 cm
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi (2.5GHz/5GHz), NFC, Miracast, smartphone screen mirroring
Port  PIN Jack, Auto Calibration Mic Input, Ethernet Connection, HDMI in/out, Optical Audio Input, USB Input, USB Keyboard
Price Rs. 62,990

2. Yamaha YHT-3072IN 5.1 4K Ultra HD Home Theatre system

Yamaha YHT-3072IN 5.1 4K Ultra HD Home Theatre offers powerful audio and latest connectivity options including HDMI eARC (via future firmware update) for a very reasonable price. The system includes Yamaha’s  HTR-3072 AVR 9 (also available separately) with NSP-41 speakers and an Active Woofer.

So if you are looking for a good home audio system but not something at the absolute high-end, Yamaha YHT-3072IN is worth considering.

Speakers and channel 5.1 channel 
Power Output (Maximum effective) 135 watts/ channel 
Connectivity Bluetooth
Port Headphone out, Mic Input, Ethernet Connection, 4 HDMI Input, 1 HDMI output, HDMI CES, HDMI eARC, USB, Optical, Coaxial input, Composite video, Analog
Price Rs. 42,990

3. Bose Lifestyle 600

The Bose Lifestyle 600 offers brilliant audio output but, of course, you wouldn’t expect any lesser given the exorbitant price. The premier consumers will be paying is also for the Bose brand assurance and after-sales support. The audio system includes a Compact, 6-inch center channel speaker and other Direct/reflecting satellite speakers with angled transducers.

The more expensive Bose Lifestyle 650 has more powerful central speakers and offers 360-degrees sound.

Speakers and channel 5.1 channel 
Power Output 1000 Watt
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Port 5 HDMI input, 1 HDMI output with ARC, 3.5 mm jack for ADAPTiQ system and headphones, 2 optical digital audio connections, 2 coaxial digital audio connections, 2 analog L/R audio inputs, 3.5 mm connection for the Acoustimass module, data port, IR repeater port, Ethernet port for SoundTouch and software updates via a network
Price Rs. 2, 64,000

4. Samsung HT-J5550K/XL Blue-Ray home entertainment system

Samsung HT-J5550k/xl is one of the relatively affordable options that can fire Dolby Audio and has support for wireless connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The system includes a passive subwoofer and 4 Tallboy speakers (2 way 2). It has only one output HDMI port with ARC.

It’s not very ‘bleeding-edge’ but a workable system that outputs fine bass-heavy audio for its price.

Speakers and channel 5.1 channel 
Power Output 1000 Watt
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, screen mirroring
Port 1 HDMI output with ARC & CEC, 2 MIC jack, USB Host,
Price Rs. 27,990

Sony BDV-E4100 Blu-ray Home Theatre System with Bluetooth

Sony BDV-E4100 Blu-ray Home Theatre doesn’t output Hi-res audio, but it’s significantly more affordable than the other Sony options that we mentioned above.

The speakers offer powerful and immersive audio, and if you aren’t particular about the specifics, chances are that you will completely satisfied with the output. If you are looking for something more affordable, you may also consider Sony BDV-E3200 that has compact satellite speakers instead of tallboys.

Speakers and channel 5.1 channel 
Power Output 1000 Watt
Connectivity Bluetooth, NFC
Port Pin jack, Ethernet connection, HDMI out with ARC, Optical audio input, USB INPUT (1 Front), USB Keyboard
Price Rs. 34,990

Best Home Theater Systems to Buy in India in 2020

These are some of the most relevant home theater systems available in India as of today. Manufactures are mostly refreshing Soundbars these days and if you are looking for a mid-range solution, you may consider investing in a decent soundbar and pairing it with surround speakers.

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