PSB Alpha VS21 VisionSound
The PSB Alpha VS21's skimpy feature lineup and so-so movie sound quality don't live up to expectations considering its hefty $600 list price.
The Sharp HT-SB602 offers plenty of features, a wide soundstage and high-energy movie playback, but its overall sound quality can't stand up to similarly priced rivals.
The Sony ST5 offers fine performance plus a decent mix of features, but it isn't the first sound bar we'd recommend for the price.
Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR
The Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR is, hands down, the very best-sounding bookshelf/surround speaker we've heard in its price class.
PSB Imagine X2T
The PSB Imagine X2T delivers big speaker sound, ideal for full-throttle home-theater thrills, without sacrificing refinement when reproducing music.
JBL Cinema SB 350 wireless sound bar
The JBL Cinema SB350 produces a wide soundstage and packs a mighty wallop for maximum home theater fun, but can sound harsh with music.
SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 System ( piano gloss)
The sleek, compact SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 System sounds tremendous with movies, thanks in large part to its potent subwoofer, but lacks warmth with music.
Beats Pill XL ( pink)
The combination of the Pill XL's strong sound, excellent design and feature set make it a reasonable value despite its elevated price tag.
The slim, compact Marantz NR1605 provides excellent sound quality and thoroughly up-to-date features, making it one of our favorites for the price.
Dayton Audio B452
While Dayton Audio's entry-level B452 bookshelf speaker's sound won't seduce too many audiophiles, it's remarkably satisfying for a speaker in its ultrabargain price class.
Fluance XLHTB ( cherry wood)
The Fluance XLHTB is a head-turning set of speakers at a reasonable price, and while it sounds perfectly fine in a home theater context, it lacks the performance subtleties peers can offer.
While the AVR-S500BT is one of Denon's least expensive receivers, its features lineup is surprisingly generous, and movie and music sound quality is up to snuff for the price.
Sol Republic Punk ( black)
The Sol Republic Punk manages to distinguish itself from the micro Bluetooth speaker competition with better battery life, slightly louder sound with minimal distortion, a water-resistant design and longer wireless range.
The Yamaha YAS-203 breaks free of most of the performance constraints of budget sound bars, sounding bigger, more spacious, more dynamic and clearer than anything near its price.
JBL Charge 2
The JBL Charge 2 is an attractive, sturdy portable Bluetooth speaker with strong battery life and the power to juice up your gadgets, but its decent sound is held back by uneven performance.
PSB Imagine X1T
The PSB Imagine X1T is a sweet-sounding speaker and very easy to listen to, but it lacks the gravitas of other similarly sized and priced towers.
X-mini's first non-capsule speaker is a pretty good effort, but it's a little too pricey when compared to the Creative Sound Blaster Roar, which also has an active subwoofer.
Klipsch Reference RF-62 II ( black)
The Klipsch RF-62 II floor-standers are the speaker equivalent of a 1970s American muscle car -- big, fun and brash.
The Amazon Echo shows promise and is a bargain at its introductory price point of $99 for select Prime members -- but it's too much of a work in progress to enthusiastically recommend at its full list price.
The Sony STR-DN850 has it all: bountiful Wi-Fi networking features, the brawn to provide maximum home theater fun, and the refinement to bring a string quartet recording to life.