LG BH9520TW review:


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Typical Price: $1,099.00
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent sound. Simple set-up. Impressive 3D sound. Great Blu-ray playback. Broad range of network features.

The Bad Interface could use a polish. Slight whine when loading discs. Remote can be "fussy".

The Bottom Line Feature packed and with performance in spades, LG's BH9520TW home-theatre set-up offers great sound and a huge range of playback options for a solid price.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.5 Overall

Arriving in its coffin-sized box, the BH9520TW was daunting to unpack; it was almost clown-car-esque, the way in which a seemingly endless array of plastic-wrapped parts were revealed. In truth, the system was actually fairly simple to set up, given its range of features.

Features and design

LG's BH9520TW is, at its core, a 5.1-channel home-theatre system with 3D-capable Blu-ray playback. However, LG has added four 3D speakers, which are designed to deliver multi-directional sound. These are integrated into the four standard tallboy speakers, rather than requiring additional placement around a room.

The rear speakers are wireless, plugging in to a relay station while a front speaker and a 180W subwoofer round out the set. The rear speakers have to be set up wirelessly — there aren't actually any plugs for them on the rear of the head unit — so you'll need a power point somewhere for those. Physical set-up is simple, with the speakers using colour-coded proprietary plugs to make things as easy as possible. The speakers and head unit are, sadly, the dreaded piano black that seems designed purely to attract fingerprints and dust. While they look a little glossy and plasticky, the fully assembled tallboy units have a solid, comforting weight, and won't be knocked over too easily.

The head unit has a nice range of connectors on the rear, including optical in, a LAN port for a wired net connection and even two HDMI-in ports, letting you use the system as a mini receiver of sorts — it's great adding a game console and still being able to enjoy the surround sound. Once everything is plugged in, the BH9520TW runs an automatic set-up wizard, guiding you quickly and cleanly through speaker placement and wireless networking: the works.

The remote control deserves a mention, too, for being well designed and very simple to use. The buttons are rubberised and large, and the only problem we encountered was that the enter button in the centre of the remote was a little fussy if you weren't pushing it directly from the middle.

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