Question: I was at a Bose store last weekend and the systems look awesome, but my gut tells me they’re way overpriced at $2K-plus. My in-laws got one from Sam’s Club for about $550 with front and rear speakers (although not true surround sound), a DVD/CD player and a separate receiver that lets you hear what’s being played in another room or outside. I forget what brand it is.
I’m not a Sam’s Club member but I’m looking for something more along the lines of what my in-laws have. Don’t need top of the line, but something that is good for the money and has a receiver for at least one other room in the house.
Any recommendations welcomed – thanks.
Answer 1: AVS Forum.com is the place for all such questions. The forum topic Home Theater in a Box is a great source for information on inexpensive Home Theater sets, such as the Bose system (and yes, they are generally considered overpriced).
In particular, check out the thread on HTIB Alternatives. If you can spend up to $1000 you can put together a simple system (receiver, 5 speakers) from separate components that will far surpass what you will get from a HTIB.
Answer 2: I am very happy with my system that is closer to your in-laws. Bose is way over-priced in general. I have an Onkyo home theater in a box system that I spend about $500 on several years ago. It is great for my needs. You can spend a helluva lot more on higher quality components and speakers, but I’m not exactly an audiophile. I think that the sound and experience from my system is pretty amazing.
Answer 3: I would suggest picking up an Onkyo system. You won’t be disappointed. I got a 7.1 system made by Onkyo that I’m really happy with. It has a lot of bang for the buck. HDMI switching and everything. It has a channel for another room as well. Well under a thousand shipped from amazon.
Answer 4: You can do much better than the Home Theater in a Box or HTIB with a little research on the web and a visit to an Audio Store. The Good Lord gave us all two precision intruments to help us recognize good audio….they’re called Ears.
Get an idea of what you want and what price range you are comfortable with. Then visit an Audio Shop with a Listening Room (not Best Buy/Circuit City). They should be able to punch up any receiver in stock with a variety of speakers. You might want to bring in a CD of your favorite type of music. There’s no law that says you have to buy it there, just listen and say thank you very much.
I have a Denon receiver. It has a feature called 5-channel stereo that can matrix a stereo signal (like FM radio) into a nice 5 channel surround.
Find something that suits your listening tastes and search the web for the best price. Your friendly Audio Store may match the price.
And then don’t look back, because new improved gear is being released every month.
Answer 5: A quick shopping spree to Onecall.com came up with: Onkyo SR606B reciever $379.89 free shipping @ http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=91169
Infinity Primus front/rear/center speakers $398.99 +$34.95 shipping @ http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=34007
Infinity PS10 Subwoofer $169.95 +$44.70 shipping @ http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=20820
If you have a higher budget, I suggest some Definitive Technology speakers instead of the Infinity speakers.
Answer 6: Bose Sucks! I have an Onkyo 5.1 reciever for about 6 years now, love it. I have Klipch speakers, with a Velodyne 120 (450 watt) sub. This system still rocks, that sub can shake my entire house! Add the Klipch speakers, which are a very bright speaker, and its a really nice combo. Shop for the Klipch speakers online, or you will pay a high price at the local Best Buy or Circuit City stores. If you want all tyhe information you could ever possibly need or want, go to the Home Theatre Spot.com – This is a true fanatics dream.
Answer 7: I have an Onkyo 705 and 7 Polk speakers. It sounds great in the media room. Bose is terrible. You can do a lot better. Pick a receiver that sounds good to you (they all sound a little different). Some names are Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, and Pioneer Elite. Then the same with speakers (again all speakers sound different). THere are many, many brands. For example some people love the Klipsch, but to me they sounded to bright and grated on me. A reciever will give you all the latest features (HDMI, etc), but if you value sound over features then go for separates (a separate amp and preprocessor). A receiver will say its 120W, but in reality it will be a lot less per channel in normal use. A separate amp will be 120W. The sound from separates will be better, but I really needed the additional features so I went with the received, and to me it sounds good enough.