You have a shiny new 4K HDR TV and a growing collection of 4K Blu-ray discs decorating your living room. What next?
With the best picture performance sorted, you now need some dedicated audio kit to take your movie and TV watching to the next level.
With even the best TVs notoriously lacking in the sound department, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of ways to improve your TV's sound, from wireless speakers and slim soundbars to headphones or a full-on AV system.
To that end, we’ve put together four solutions - complete with 4K TV and 4K Blu-ray player suggestions - to show the different ways you can get better sound quality out of your TV. Each system is designed to suit different styles and budgets, and will get you even closer to enjoying an immersive, cinematic experience in your home.
Philips 55POS9002 - £1800
Sony UBP-X800 - £330
Q Acoustics M2 - £300
Total build = £2430
The excellent 4K TVs we've tested in recent months may vary somewhat in their audio performance, but pretty much every one of them – regardless of price and screen size – would be improved by the addition of the very affordable Q Acoustics M2 soundbase.
You can plonk a TV weighing up to 25kg on the sturdy M2, connect the two via HDMI, and be instantly rewarded with a full-bodied, dynamic sound from the 2.1 driver array. Upgrades don't get much more affordable or instant than this.
Our TV choice here is the Philips 55POS9002, the HDR performance of which is the best we’ve seen at this price and screen size. Ambilight is as lovely as ever, but we’re most impressed by how well this Philips OLED presents 4K and non-4K images.
This isn’t the last time you’ll see us mention the superb Sony UBP-X800 4K Blu-ray player. You’ll have to pay around double the amount if you want a significant step up from the way this Sony displays your 4K HDR discs. Its clarity, subtle detail and vibrant colours are terrific for the money. The Sony delivers a crisp and agile sound for the M2 to work with, too.
More after the break
LG OLED55B7V - £1800
Sony UBP-X800 - £330
Sony HT-ST5000 - £1500
Total build = £3630
If you want next-level audio in the neatest package possible, the HT-ST5000 is the device for you. This unassuming combination of a smart, sharp-edged soundbar and chunky wireless subwoofer is not only a punchy, musical performer, it also supports Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
It's expensive for a soundbar, but this Sony is really special - and it's the best movie sound solution that doesn't involve a surround amp and loads of speakers dotted around your room.
Pair it with this gorgeous 55in LG OLED – whose original £3000 price has been slashed almost in half, making it one of the best bargains we’ve ever come across – and the trusty Sony 4K Blu-ray player for a sleek but potent system.
MORE: Best 4K TV deals
Affordable 5.1 system
Samsung UE65MU7000 - £1500
Sony UBP-X800 - £330
Sony STR-DN1080 - £460
Dali Zensor 1 5.1 - £980
Total build = £3270
If you're serious about movie and TV-show enjoyment, only a full surround system will do. The all-bells-included Sony STR-DN1080 is the obvious amp choice, offering a sound that's subtle and controlled as well as punchy and bold.
Combine it with the fantastic, multi What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Dali Zensor 1 speaker package and you've got a surround sound system of extraordinary ability that no soundbar or soundbase can match.
Since this is our affordable 5.1 set up, we’ve stuck with the uber-capable Sony 4K spinner - it’s the perfect partner for the Sony receiver.
For the TV, we’ve gone up a screen size to really make the most of this 5.1 system. This Award-winning and affordable (especially for a 65in screen) Samsung is sure to dazzle you with its stunningly clear, brightly and richly coloured 4K picture.
Premium 5.1 system
Sony KD-65A1 - £3800
Cambridge CXUHD - £700
Denon AVR-X6400H - £1700
Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12 - £2865
Total build = £9065
If you want the whole hog (i.e. you've set your sights on the premium Sony KD-65A1 screen), this top-of-the-range Denon home cinema amp and superb, sexy Monitor Audio speakers are the way to go.
The Denon will drive up to 11 speakers and two subwoofers and, should you be inclined, Monitor Audio will sell you extra speakers to get you to that level. But even in standard 5.1 form, this is a system of stunning sonic ability.
Cambridge’s premium CXUHD 4K player is out top choice for its audio and picture talents, delivering stunning 4K HDR pictures to one of the best TVs we’ve laid our eyes on.
And while Sony’s captivating 65in OLED TV does sound decent on its own thanks to its unique panel-vibrating sound system, it really doesn’t compare to a full-fledged AV set up.Endlessly detailed, dynamic and rhythmic, this surround experience is more than a match for most cinema trips.