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home theater system under $400?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I can't seem to find a thread suggesting a home theater system under $400. I am looking at the Onkyo Ht-S3500. Any other suggestions? I live in an apartment and my living room is approximately 160 sq ft. Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 8
Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1 is $280 at Amazon, with good reviews as a starter system (http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500...7134819&sr=1-2)

Good:
+ feature-packed receiver: HDMI 3D, HDMI ARC, USB input, on-screen display
+ standard spring-clip speaker connections on receiver allow for upgrading speakers later on, if desired
+ get started w/surround sound without spending $3,000
+ don't have to research for weeks to put together a separates package (speakers, subwoofer, receiver)
+ cheap system to learn on; can be re-purposed to bedroom or handed down to friends/family should you eventually get a $3,000 system

Bad:
- small satellite speakers won't generate the full frequency range, smoothness, detail, vocal clarity, soundstage, and volume that full-size speakers can - you may outgrow the HTiB speakers
- no multi-room, no network file playback, no Internet radio

Alternate: Yamaha YHT-397 5.1 is $400 at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-397.../ref=pd_cp_e_2)

I've used last year's YHT-395BL (http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-395.../ref=pd_cp_e_0) - same speakers/subwoofer, and basically the same receiver - easily enough to fill a 160 sq ft room with surround sound. The speakers are in the same class of serviceable but ultimately limited small satellites + 8" subwoofer set that the Onkyo has - sound quality is probably not dramatically different.

The Yamaha receiver is nicer: it has binding post speaker terminals for L/C/R, and it has automated speaker set-up w/included microphone. Also, there have been reports of overheating with Onkyo receivers recently. Otherwise, power and features are roughly equivalent.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
So the Yamaha RX-V373 from the Yamaha YHT-397 HTIB is on sale for $210. I can also find the JBL Cinema 300 5.1 system for $200. Would this $410 setup be better than the $400 Yamaha YHT-397? Please let me know ASAP since I do not want to miss out on these prices if it is a much better set up. As always, thanks for the help!

EDIT: I am asking if it would be better in terms of sound quality and quantity, just to be clear. Thanks. Also, is there an alternative/better receiver I should be looking at for a similar price?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
anybody?
post #5 of 8
Onkyo HT-S5400
It's what I have, an absolutely fantastic system and I'm still surprised at the price (although I paid $520 at the time ).

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S5400...8091316&sr=8-1
post #6 of 8
If you can find it, Best Buy is clearing out some of their stock of last years HTIB models (HT-D6500/HT-D6730). The HT-D6500's are pretty much sold out as they were going for $129, but there are still some stores where you can find the HT-D6730 for $367. You'll have to go through a process for it, but considering the D6730 retails for 799 it's a pretty good deal. I got lucky, as the people at Best Buy messed up and gave me this years model (the HT-E6730W) by mistake !
post #7 of 8
I'm curious what you ended up getting and how you feel about it (I'm looking for something similar)
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brocken_5110 View Post



I've used last year's YHT-395BL (http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-395.../ref=pd_cp_e_0
) - same speakers/subwoofer, and basically the same receiver - easily enough to fill a 160 sq ft room with surround sound. The speakers are in the same class of serviceable but ultimately limited small satellites + 8" subwoofer set that the Onkyo has - sound quality is probably not dramatically different.


The Yamaha receiver is nicer: it has binding post speaker terminals for L/C/R, and it has automated speaker set-up w/included microphone. Also, there have been reports of overheating with Onkyo receivers recently. Otherwise, power and features are roughly equivalent.

FWIW, I've had the Yamaha YHT-395 for a year now and it has been a solid performer. The room is about 350 sq. ft. but fills the room quite nicely. The speakers could certainly be better, and an upgrade is in the future, but with the binding posts, you can add any speaker you want. The receiver is the RX-V371 but the YHT-397 seems to have a slightly better receiver (mic calibration).
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