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

How To Get Started With Home Theater

In the world of A/V gear, nothing has caused more heartache, more teeth gnashing and more handwringing than having to set up a home theater system.
How To Choose A Stereo Amp

How To Choose A Stereo Amp

Here at TMS, we’ve covered the subject of what separates a good amp from a bad one on numerous occasions, and we’ve also compared many of the very best amplifiers currently available. But which one is right for you?
How To Set Up Multiroom Audio

How To Set Up Multiroom Audio

Multiroom systems have become the quiet juggernaut of the audio industry. Ever since things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi became commonplace, manufacturers have been tinkering, slowly freeing us from the chaos of wires and ceiling speakers...
5.1 vs 7.1 Home Theater

5.1 vs 7.1 Home Theater

We get it. Home theater can be crazy confusing, especially if you’re just starting out. In one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go for a basic five-speaker system or a more powerful seven-speaker system.
Soundbars Vs Soundbases

Soundbars Vs Soundbases

If you’re curious about the differences between soundbars and soundbases but still unacquainted, let’s delve into their features, similarities and differences - and give you everything you need to choose between them.
Surround Sound

Surround Sound Explained

When it comes to the home theater experience, bigger is always better: more pixels, more dimensions, more realism. But visuals are only part of the package. Your audio needs to be just as immersive. And that means surround sound.
A/V Receiver

A/V Receiver Connections Explained

Setting up a home theater system can be daunting as hell. Not only do you have to contend with miles and miles of speaker wire, as well as figuring out where exactly you’re going to put the damn things and whether or not you need to drill holes in your...
10 Common Home Theater Problems

10 Common Home Theater Problems

There’s no denying that home theater systems can be complicated. Actually, forget can be; they are complicated. When you’ve got a system with this many wires and settings, it’s surprisingly easy for things to go wrong.
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?
Marantz SR7011

Review: Marantz SR7011

Sometimes, you just need to go big. Sometimes, you need to cash in the retirement savings, throw your neighbours’ concerns to the wind, and invest in a sound system that is going to blow your windows off. Step forward, then, the Marantz SR7011...
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...
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.
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...
SVS PB16 Ultra

Review: SVS PB16-Ultra

There are some things in life you can’t say no to. Threesomes. That’s a good one. A ride on a private jet. A chance to meet Samuel L. Jackson, courtside seats to a play-off game. The SVS PB16 Ultra is one of those things.
SVS Prime Elevations

Review: SVS Prime Elevation

The problem with most modern living spaces is that they’re just not geared up for home theater.  When most people live in an apartment, or a moderately sized house, there’s no such thing as a dedicated media room...