The sound on most TVs is just not up to scratch. That's where home theater components can make a real difference. Throw a few speakers into the mix - a subwoofer, a couple of floorstanding speakers, some surround sound gizmos and perhaps a soundbar - and you'll be amazed at how good your sound suddenly becomes. Our buying guides and in-depth reviews can help.

Best Home Theater Systems of 2018

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.

Best 7.1 Home Theater Systems of 2018

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.

Best 5.1 Home Theater Systems of 2018

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...

Best Floorstanding Speakers of 2018

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...

Best A/V Receivers of 2018

An audio/video (A/V) receiver 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...

Best Subwoofers of 2018

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.

Best Soundbars of 2018

If you live in an apartment, especially one with a small living room, then a full surround sound system is most likely a no-go. A soundbar is a much better option, and will pack everything you could possibly need into one convenient, slim box.

Best Soundbases of 2018

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.

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.

5.1 vs. 7.1 Home Theater Explained

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

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.

A/V Receiver Setup 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

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.

Integrated Amps vs. Pre and Power Amps

Picking the best amp can be a pretty hairy procedure. What inputs and outputs do I need? Is it right for my speakers? Is it going to give me the best sound? Here at TMS, those are the kind of questions we get a real kick out of answering.

Wired vs. Wireless Speakers

Wireless speakers have become the quiet juggernaut of the audio industry. Ever since features like Bluetooth and WiFi became commonplace, manufacturers have been tinkering, slowly freeing us from the chaos of wires and ceiling speakers.

Review: Focal Sib Evo 5.1.2

When they’re not producing the world’s best headphones, French audio wizards Focal spend their time producing some rather good speaker systems. We recently spent a month with one of these, the Focal Sib Evo 5.1.2.

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...

Review: MarkAudio-SOTA Cesti T

MarkAudio-SOTA is a name that not a ton of people outside of the hardcore audiophile world know. It’s a collaboration between Mark Audio and SOTA Acoustics (obviously) and over the past few years, they’ve been putting out some seriously good stuff.

Review: SVS Ultra Towers

If you’re going to call a floorstanding speaker the Ultra, then you’d better have a set of brass balls backing up that particular claim. Then again, the Ultra Towers are easily among the best floorstanding speakers out there.

Review: SVS Prime Towers

When speaker maker SVS asked if they could ship us a pair of their Ultra Tower speakers to review, the response was an enthusiastic yes. But what actually arrived, courtesy of a distributor mixup, was a pair of their older Prime Towers...

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...

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...

Review: Sony STR-DN1060

Sony’s A/V receivers have always been good, but they haven’t always managed to stand out against competition from the likes of Marantz, Onkyo, and Denon. With the STR-DN1060, and its subsequent iterations, they intended to change that.

Review: Polk Audio MagniFi

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.

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.

Review: SONOS PLAYBASE

We’ve never understood why more people don’t use soundbases. They are an absolutely perfect bridge between a basic TV speaker system, and a full surround home theater setup. They solve every problem. SONOS want to change that.

Review: VIZIO SB3851

Although perhaps better known as creators of superlative televisions, VIZIO also have a nice line in audio gear. While they’ve yet to plunge headlong into full, surround home theater, the Californian company certainly knows what it’s doing.

Review: VIZIO SB4051

VIZIO, who set their store by making excellent TVs, also dabble in producing speakers for said TVs. Their biggest area of expertise is in surround soundbars - I.e soundbars with multiple included speakers. The SB4051 is an excellent example.