The sound on most TVs is just not up to scratch. Sure, it'll do the job, and you'll be able to hear what's going on, but it's nowhere near as good as it could be. That's where home theater components can make a real difference. Throw a few speakers into the mix - a subwoofer here, a couple of floorstanding speakers there, some surround sound gizmos and perhaps a soundbar, add a receiver to tie them all together - and you'll be amazed at how good your sound suddenly becomes.

Picking a good home theater system, whether full kit or components, can be difficult. We can help, with our comprehensive guides to one of the most confusing topics in the A/V world (including projectors). We'll not just show you what to buy, but we'll also talk about how to put it all together.

Floorstanding speakers

Best Floorstanding Speakers of 2017

Floorstanding speakers have one of the most recognizable profiles of all speaker types. They're designed to slot in next to bookcases and TV cabinets, and their shape has two major advantages...
A/V Receiver

Best A/V Receivers of 2017

An Audio/Video Receiver (AVR) is, if you’ll forgive a slightly clunky analogy, the quarterback of your home theater. It’s not just because it tells everything where to go, routing signals to different speakers and screens.
Soundbar

Best Soundbars of 2017

Most home theater systems aren't designed for the surroundings that most of us live in. If you stay in an apartment, especially one with a small lounge, then a surround sound system is going to give you iffy results and annoy your neighbours.
Soundbases

Best Soundbases of 2017

Soundbases don’t often get a lot of respect and audio world. This is a landscape dominated by huge tower speakers, feature-heavy home theater systems and sleek soundbars.
Home Theater

Best Home Theater Systems of 2017

It doesn’t matter how large your television screen is, or how impressive the resolution. If you don’t have great sound, then you’re only getting half the experience.
Subwoofer

Best Subwoofers of 2017

You can survive with just a regular set of speakers. You don’t, strictly speaking, need a subwoofer. But you cannot believe the difference having one will make. This big box of wonder will do incredible things to your sound.
Blu-ray player

Best Blu-ray Players of 2017

Today’s Blu-ray players cover a wide range of the price spectrum, from under $100 up to whopping $1,000 or more. You wouldn't think a simple player could cost that much, but they do - although the entry-level options are perfectly workable.
7.1 Home Theater System

Best 7.1 Home Theater Systems of 2017

The phrase 'surround sound' immediately makes people think of a number: 5.1. The 5.1-channel surround audio system has been around for two decades now, and has become the absolute standard for home theaters.
5.1 Home Theater

Best 5.1 Home Theater Systems of 2017

5.1-channel surround audio has been around for two decades now, and it’s become the benchmark for home theater sound, offering a far more immersive audio perception than regular two-channel stereo...
Projector Screens for Home

Best Home Projector Screens of 2017

Even if your wall is a crisp, spotless white, any imperfection will be obvious when the Death Star looks more like a football than a moon. So. yeah, you need a screen, and there are a number of choices you'll need to make...
Home Theater Projector

Best Home Theater Projectors of 2017

TVs are great and all, but if you want a real cinema-like experience in your home, a projector is the way to go. With a projector, the size of your viewing experience is only limited to the size of your wall.
Match Speakers And Amps

How To Match Speakers And Amps

Here at The Master Switch, we don’t like complexity. It’s totally fine in a good whiskey, a doorstop novel, a piece of modern art. It is absolutely not okay when it comes to audio gear. Let's demystify something right now.
Home Theater

From Scratch: Setting Up A Home Theater

Welcome to From Scratch, where we break down the absolute basics of a particular A/V topic. In this one, it's all about how to get started with home theater.
 Home Projection

How To: Home Projection

Do you like going to movies? Well, you should stop doing that, and set up a home projection system in your living room. We’re not kidding. It’s an excellent idea. Going to the movies has become a giant, migraine-causing effort.
Speaker wires

New Tech: Wireless Home Theater

Anybody who’s spent a bit of time messing around with home theater will be able to come back with one solid conclusion: wires suck. The problem is, wireless systems kind of suck too...
Vizio

New Tech: Vizio Is Killing It Right Now. Here's Why.

The problem with TVs is that they suck. Not to watch things on, you understand. That part is pretty simple. Something comes on screen, it travels across the room, goes into your eyeballs, and you’re happy.
ECOXBT

Rant: Your speaker has a terrible name.

A/V companies make fantastic gear that's been machine-tooled and precision-engineered and bathed in the tears of virgins, and then they’ll give them a name that sounds like a Street Fighter videogame sequel circa 2000.
Auro-3D

Rant: Whatever Happened To Auro-3D?

When something comes with a component called the Voice Of God, you know it means business. That was what Auro-3D was trying to do. Mean business. In 2011, when it first came out, it had a very noble goal of knocking all existing...
EQ

Rant: Frequency Ranges Need To Die

Let’s take a look at the HIFIMAN HE400S headphones. Really solid pair of cans, these. They also contain a little piece of marketing information that is complete and utter nonsense.
3D TV

Rant: 3D TVs Are Dead

3D TVs were supposed to be massive. Remember when Avatar was released, and everyone was talking about the future of 3D content at home? That was 2009, and seven years on, it seems that the demand for 3D TVs never quite met the supply.
Marantz MCR611

Review: Marantz M-CR611

Introducing the Marantz M-CR611, a ‘network CD receiver’ that wants to be the centre of your home music system – but in a world of wireless speakers and Spotify, can it compete?
Pioneer SP-PK22BS Andrew Jones 5.1

Review: Pioneer SP-PK22BS Andrew Jones 5.1

Look, we get it. We’ve been there. Upgrading to a full surround system is a big step. We’re not saying this to be condescending, or patronising. Far from it. Everyone has to start somewhere, including us...
Sony STR-DN1070

Review: Sony STR-DN1060

There is one slightly strange thing that sets the Sony STR-DN1070 receiver apart from its competitors. It’s not the sound, which is meaty and satisfying, or the interface, which is easy to use...
Polk Audio MagniFi Soundbar

Review: Polk Audio MagniFi Soundbar

Despite its lack of subtlety, there’s no question that the MagniFi soundbar system is a cut above. It offers extraordinary value for money, delivering both an excellent bar and a very capable subwoofer in one package.
Raumfeld Sounddeck

Review: Raumfeld Sounddeck

There’s something very aggressive about the Raumfeld Sounddeck. We’re not talking about the sound. We’re talking about the sheer aura that surrounds it, like a surly football player propping up a bar.