As the seasons change and the leaves start falling, our minds turn to getting prepared for the shortening days and the inevitably poorer weather to come. In other words, settling in at home with our loved ones for movie night.
In our October issue, we round up the best home cinema kit for all sizes of room and all budgets. We start with projectors – to get the biggest picture at home, there is still nothing to better a projector; and for those of us with less space to play with a short-throw projector is now an option that is within reasonable reach. It’s amazing tech that deserves to be seen.
A decent home cinema really isn’t all about the picture though. We also offer our pick of AV amplifiers and speaker packages, to do justice to those massive images. And, if space is truly at a premium, a decent soundbar is a terrific option, with even Dolby Atmos sound catered for in our pick of the best for your money.
And, as usual, we also have reviews of the very latest hi-fi and AV products in our First Tests section.
Nothing says 'home cinema' like a projector. Traditionally, these have been the preserve of those lucky enough to have a dedicated cinema room - mainly due to the fact they need to be either in the middle of your room opposite a screen or suspended from the ceiling.
That was before the advent of the ultra-short-throw projector. By using a combination of wide-angle lenses and mirrors, these extraordinary devices can project an image more than 100 inches in size from only a few centimetres away. That means you can place them on a shelf or sideboard directly below the screen.
What’s more, the relative affordability of the newest models makes them excellent value in comparison with the largest TV screens – and, like smart TVs, today’s UST projectors are generously featured and connected too. Find the best home cinema kit that's right for you in October's What Hi-Fi?
And if you want the full lowdown on how ultra short throw projectors work, we have an in-depth article that will tell you all you need to know about USTs!
Sound choices for home cinema
To get the full benefit of a projector’s mega-screen potential, we recommend you use it in conjunction with a surround sound speaker package or, at least, a quality soundbar – and we've got you covered for both this issue with our choice of the best for all budgets.
Don't bin your CDs just yet
Everyone is buying vinyl – but spare a thought for your CDs too. There's plenty of life left in the old shiny compact disc, and this issue we argue that the high quality digital format could be due for a vinyl-style revival.
First with reviews
While we've focussed on AV kit this issue, as always our First Tests section is where you'll find our famously in-depth, impartial and expert reviews of all the latest kit in the worlds of both AV and hi-fi.
We lead with a fantastically featured AV receiver, the Yamaha RX-A6A. With sparkling sound that will bring your movie sessions to life, it's also pretty well future-proofed so it should give you years of great service. Check out our in-depth review in this month's What Hi-Fi?
A brace of classy over-ear headphones arrived at our testing facilities this month too. Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are serious wireless noise-cancellers, and they're stylish to boot. The pricey Mark Levinson No. 5909 aim to bring wired-standard sound to a wireless pair of over-ears – have they succeeded? Find out in this month's mag!
Then we have something a little different with the Sony SRS-NS7. A wearable 'neckband' speaker that promises to bring surround sound within your own personal space, and so could be ideal for movie watching. But does this horseshoe-shaped wearable do its job?
We return to the AV world with a pair of projectors, the cube-like BenQ X1300i that's aimed at gamers, and the JVC DLA-NP5. Last but not least, we run the rule over Rega's Elicit MK5 integrated amp. See how all these products fared under the laser-guided gaze of our expert review team in October's What Hi-Fi?!
Mouth-watering kit at eye-watering prices
Our Temptations section of What Hi-Fi? is where you'll find high-end hi-fi and AV products with a price-tag to match.
This month we have, for your delectation, the McIntosh MA8950 – which we found "delivers a large scale, effortless sound that is inviting and ever so easy on the ears". Find out more in October's mag!
We follow this up with a pair of beautiful standmount speakers from Italian hi-fi specialists Sonus Faber, the Minima Amator II. These speakers are compact, but do not lack in charm and sonic ability. Sound good? Dig deep into those pockets!
Finally, don't forget to check out our Buyer’s Guide, featuring a definitive list of all the best home entertainment kit you can buy. If you’re looking to purchase anything from a pair of wireless headphones to a home theatre speaker system, this section will tell you where to spend your money wisely.
Whatever you do, don't miss the October 2022 issue of What Hi-Fi? Grab a copy today, or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!