Invest in a great home cinema system and it can bring many years of pleasure - but a dedicated set-up can also cost quite a lot of money and place big demands on your room if you want a dedicated movie night.
For many of us, though, we need to be able to live with our kit, and we can’t always accommodate multiple speakers (plus cables), a projector bolted to the ceiling, an AV receiver, and all the rest such a system entails. Happily, there are some terrific options for home cinema systems that need not cost the earth, or take up all that precious living space. In April's What Hi-Fi? we suggest seven home cinema set-ups that cover all the bases, from solo enjoyment and gaming all the way to a full-on Dolby Atmos extravaganza.
Elsewhere, as always you'll find plenty more hi-fi and AV action including reviews of the latest products in our First Tests section, and more premium kit in our regular Temptations slot.
Home entertainment at its finest
Getting an exceptional cinematic experience from your audio-visual kit
has always been one of our goals here at What Hi-Fi?. But we also know that, no matter how many five-star reviews or Awards a combination of kit might have accrued, there is no one-size-fits-all home cinema solution.
That’s why in the latest issue of What Hi-Fi?, on sale now, we have hand-picked seven home cinema systems that should cover all bases and budgets. From committed cinephiles to gaming enthusiasts and insatiable TV bingers, and no matter your room size or pocket depth, you’re sure to find something here that will scratch your home cinema itch.
Like the fantastic portable cinema set-up we kick off with, or a system that’s ideal for those who want to immerse themselves fully in their gaming. A modestly priced but hugely entertaining TV and soundbar system also features, alongside a compact and convenient cinema-in-a-box package. Then there's a system that takes full advantage of immersive Dolby Atmos sound, and we go all the way up to a premium projector, AV receiver, Blu-ray and speaker package combo that will serve up a truly authentic cinematic experience at home.
Each bit of kit to be found within these cracking combinations comes highly recommended by What Hi-Fi?’s expert reviews team, so you can be sure they are all wonderful performers that will provide years of delightful home entertainment. So pick up a copy of April's What Hi-Fi? today, and let us help you entertain yourself!
Dolby Atmos soundbar head-to-head
Installing a soundbar is the most convenient – and space-efficient – way to elevate your TV’s sound. In April's issue of What Hi-Fi? we present our pick of four Dolby Atmos soundbars that will add a sense of height to your home cinema experience.
At the price point, we're looking at (a sweet spot between £800 and £1200), you'll find the majority of manufacturers’ flagship single soundbars. At this level, users should expect thoughtful design, streaming smarts and support for at least one immersive format. And with these four soundbars, that's Dolby Atmos.
So, which bar has the best Dolby Atmos presentation, and will value, innovation or reputation come out on top? Get this month's magazine, on sale now, to find out!
The '80s movies time forgot
There are plenty of well-known blockbuster movies from the 1980s which would provide hours of top-notch home AV entertainment. But spare a thought for these largely forgotten '80s gems. There's no Top Gun or Ghostbusters here – instead we round up 34 of our favourite lesser-known and cult movies that will still play great in your home cinema set-up more than 30 years on...
First with reviews
As ever in our First Tests section you’ll find reviews of all the latest hi-fi and AV kit. In April's essential issue of What Hi-Fi? we feature the latest DAC from Chord – a sequel to the company's superb Mojo, unsurprisingly called the Mojo 2. Is it a worthwhile update? Find out this issue!
We test a couple of TVs ideal for those on a budget – the impressively low-priced 55-inch 55A7GQ from Hisense and the neat, 40-inch Panasonic TX-40KX950B. We have wireless in-ears from Devialet, iFi's hip-flask sized and shaped sequel, the hip-dac 2, and a pair of pro studio headphones from Beyerdynamic, the DT 700 Pro X. A new integrated amplifier from Cyrus, the i7-XR, completes the fine work by our expert reviews team this month.
How do these latest products measure up against the best kit around? Find out in the April issue of What Hi-Fi?.
Worth every penny if you've got them
Our regular Temptations pages are where you'll find the best premium hi-fi and AV products.
This month, the oh-so-tasty and ever-so expensive treats we're serving up include the McIntosh MHA200 analogue headphone amplifier. This "charming and highly capable performer", as we call it, looks great and costs a pretty penny too.
We also test JVC's 8K laser projector, the DLA-NZ9 and find "projection at its very finest", with an "effortlessly beautiful picture". You'll definitely want one, but you'll need £25K to take one home.
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 speaker package, this section will tell you where to spend your money wisely.
Whatever you do, don't miss the April 2022 issue of What Hi-Fi? Grab a copy today, or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!