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Home Theater Speakers: Ratings of Sources

Total of 19 Sources
April 8, 2013
Best Budget Home Theater Speakers
by Matthew Moskovciak
Our AssessmentCNET covers a wide range of home theater speakers, though the emphasis of late is on lower priced systems. Reviews are detailed enough for nontechies, though not as technical as those in audiophile publications. The top choices among "budget" home theater speaker systems make this list, which is frequently updated.
2. Home Theater Magazine
As of May 2013
Compact Speaker Reviews
by Editors of Home Theater magazine
Our AssessmentHome Theater magazine covers a wide range of speaker systems, from budget options to those that cost into the thousands. Speaker reviews are in-depth and thorough in testing, though they may be too technical for the less experienced. Even so, conclusions and recommendations are clear, and many speaker packages receive the magazine's Top Pick award.
3. Sound & Vision Magazine
As of May 2013
by Editors of Sound + Vision magazine
Our AssessmentSound + Vision magazine covers home theater speaker systems in detailed single-product reports and occasional head-to-head comparisons. The reviews are long and insightful; many include the results of lab testing but might be a little on the technical side. Top choices earn the Sound + Vision Certified and Recommended award.
4. DigitalTrends.com
As of May 2013
Speaker System Reviews
by Caleb Denison
Our AssessmentDigitalTrends.com reviews a number of speaker systems and rates them on a 5-point scale. Evaluations are comprehensive and hands-on testing is done. Site awards are given based on a system's rating, with top picks earning either Recommended or Editors' Choice status based on their score.
5. ConsumerReports.org
Not dated
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org rates a handful of surround-sound speaker systems as part of a larger review. An overall rating accompanies a breakdown of rating categories. Discussion is woefully thin compared to other reviewers, and the report is growing dated.
6. BigPictureBigSound.com
As of May 2013
by Editors of BigPictureBigSound.com
Our AssessmentBigPictureBigSound.com covers a variety of speakers with an emphasis on midpriced options. Reviews are complete and detailed, though easily readable for nontechnophiles. Speaker system reviews are mixed with other types of audio products, though ratings are provided and recommendations clear.
7. What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
As of May 2013
Speaker Packages
by Editors of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
Our AssessmentWhat Hi-Fi? is a well-regarded audio publication from Britain. Reviews posted online are relatively brief and often irreverent, yet they still manage to convey a good sense of how a home theater speaker system should be expected to perform. Most of the systems reviewed are U.K.-only, but a few are available in the U.S. as well.
8. About.com
As of May 2013
Loudspeaker and Subwoofer Reviews
by Robert Silva
Our AssessmentRobert Silva reports on speaker systems for About.com. Reviews vary in quality and are listed among other types of editorial content, making them a bit difficult to find. Review quality is a mixed bag: Some are brief and don't offer much more than product information, while others are fleshed out in full detail.
9. TechRadar.com
As of May 2013
Hi-fi and AV Speakers Rated
by Editors of TechRadar.com
Our AssessmentThis British site hosts home theater speaker reviews written by its own staff as well as reviews by sister sites and publications, such as Home Cinema Choice. Most systems are U.K. only, but some home theater speakers available in the U.S. also get coverage.
10. Audioholics.com
As of May 2013
Speaker Reviews
by Editors of Audioholics.com
Our AssessmentAudioholics.com reviews all manner of speakers, including some home theater packages. Reviews vary greatly in quality. Many are based on manufacturer specifications and the reviewer's opinion of what those mean for the listener. Others, however, are the equal of the best available elsewhere, including the results of extensive bench testing and listening tests.
11. HomeTechTell.com
As of May 2013
by Editors of HomeTechTell.com
Our AssessmentThis blog-style site offers a wealth of home audio content. Home theater speaker and speaker system reviews appear on occasion. Those are generally well done, with an emphasis on listening rather than bench testing, which makes them accessible even to those without a very strong tech background.
12. AVGuide.com
As of May 2013
The Perfect Vision Reviews
by Editors of AVGuide.com
Our AssessmentAVGuide.com is the online home of publications such as The Perfect Vision and The Absolute Sound. Speaker system reviews are interspersed with those of other audio/video gear, but they are fairly detailed. Editors rate and compare similarly priced home theater speakers; the best earn a Recommended tag. Coverage of moderately priced, newer home theater systems is a little sparse, however.
13. CNET (Australia)
As of May 2013
Speaker & Headphones Reviews
by Editors of CNET (Australia)
Our AssessmentThe Australian version of CNET takes a look at speakers available "Down Under." Reviews are reasonably detailed and not overly technical. However, home theater speaker reviews are mixed among reviews of other audio products, and only a few of the systems covered can be purchased in the U.S.
14. Amazon.com
As of May 2013
Home Theater Systems
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is a good source for user reviews of home theater speakers. Lots of current systems are sold here, and many get dozens of reviews from their owners. Like all user reviews, quality can vary, but we spotted many that are long and highly detailed -- sometimes rivaling professional reviewers.
15. Crutchfield.com
As of May 2013
Surround-Sound Speaker Systems
by Editors of and contributors to Crutchfield.com
Our AssessmentCrutchfield.com's owner reviews aren't particularly plentiful, but the site provides a great deal of product information and descriptions for many models; informational and buyer's guide-style articles are also helpful. The staff offers ratings and recommendations, but what those are based on is not made clear.
16. AVSForum.com
As of May 2013
by Contributors to AVSForum.com
Our AssessmentAVSForum.com is one of the busiest user-to-user technology discussion sites on the Internet. Lots of information about buying and setting up a surround-sound speaker system can be found here, though its usefulness varies. It's also a good place to ask specific questions and get answers, and to peruse many user reviews of home theater speaker systems.
17. BHPhotoVideo.com
As of May 2013
Home Theater Speaker Kits
by Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com
Our AssessmentB&H is another retailer site where owners can post reviews of home theater speakers. The amount of commentary is similar to that of Crutchfield.com, but you won't find that site's informational articles. Additionally, the amount of user feedback for specific home theater systems is limited in most cases.
18. TopTenReviews.com
As of May 2013
Home Theater Speakers Review
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentTopTenReviews.com provides ratings for 11 home theater speaker systems. Links in an informational chart lead to reviews that are features-based but show no evidence of hands-on testing. A table of basic specifications might be helpful to some.
Surround Sound Speaker Systems Reviews
by Editors of Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
Our AssessmentSecrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity offers a decent number of speaker system reviews, though most only cover the expensive models. Reviews break down products by specific categories and are highly detailed in many cases -- perhaps too much so for many readers. Recommendations are made, but they aren't always clear, and home theater speakers are not rated or ranked.
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