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Google Chromecast Audio

Alongside the Chromecast, the Chromecast Audio is one of the best value gifts in home theater. It offers easy operation and setup, and it sounds good for the money too. Add a Google Home Mini and you're ready for the future.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew

Google Chromecast

One of the original mobile streamers and still one of the best. Plug this gadget into your HDMI port and enjoy everything you'd normally watch on your phone via your flatscreen instead.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Not a Google fan? This Fire TV Stick lets you pick the show you want to watch with the help of the Alexa voice assistant. 


Sonos One

Why would anyone buy the terrible-sounding Google Home or Amazon Echo when they can get a Sonos One? Voice control, excellent sound quality and the best multi-room app out there. Get one for yourself while you're at it.  

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Roku Streaming Stick Plus

With the ability to stream 4K and HDR, a remote that can control you TV and Roku's best-in-class app selection, this is the stick to beat. That extender you ask? It's designed to boost the Wi-Fi signal.

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Amazon Fire TV (2017)

With 4K resolution and high dynamic range in a relatively cheap dongle that hangs off the back of your TV, the new Fire TV is the Roku alternative for Amazon fans.

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Roku Streaming Stick (2017)

This little guy improves on our favorite streamer from 2016 with a remote that can control your TV's volume and power. It's a great stick if you don't have a 4K TV. 

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Yamaha YAS-207

The Yamaha YAS-207 offers excellent surround sound and easy setup in a relatively affordable package. Why spend more when you can get this?

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Sony STR-DN1080

The Sony STR-DN1080 is a fully-featured 7.1-channel receiver which offers excellent sound quality as well as Chromecast built-in capability. Our favorite receiver of 2017.

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Vizio SB3621n-E8

The Vizio SB3621n-E8 sound bar system is pretty much the cheapest subwoofer and soundbar system you can get. It offers stupendous value and performance. Just buy one for everyone you know.

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JBL Playlist

If you're looking to buy into the Chromecast built-in universe the JBL Playlist is the speaker we'd recommend. It offers sound quality that's elevated above most other speakers of this kind.

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ELAC Debut B6

The godfather of budget hi-fi, Andrew Jones, started the US division of ELAC with bang. The B6 is a staggering achievement, and offers better sound than speakers available at twice the price.

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Apple TV 4K

With competitively-priced 4K HDR downloads and the most polished streaming experience available today the relatively high price isn't all that unreasonable. 

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Sony UBP-X800

Why pay for an expensive 4K player when the Sony can do most of the same things for a fraction of the price of an enthusiast model? The Sony UBP-X800 offers quick loading times and even has apps, something Oppo no longer does. 

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Denon AVR-S730H

The Denon AVR-S730H offers Dolby Atmos capability and multi-room music. If you can find a better deal we want to hear about it.

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Sonos Playbase

Looking for a good sound bar? The first name that should come to mind is the Sonos Playbase. It costs more than most competitors, but it offers sound quality and elegance that few are capable of.


Nvidia Shield

The new Shield Android TV uses the Google Assistant to control your home and television. The Shield deserves a place in the upper echelon of streamers alongside the Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV though it costs more than each of these.

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Yamaha RX-V483

Good old dependable Yamaha. The RX-V483 is everything you like about the company and even throws in multi-room and Alexa control while it's at it. If you don't want to pay for Dolby Atmos, this is the one to get.

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Emotiva Airmotiv T1

If your budget allows it, the Emotiva Airmotiv T1 is the most "affordable" audiophile speaker on the market. It's tall, it looks like a fighter jet and it sounds amazing.

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Roku Ultra (2017)

The only proper "box" in Roku's 2017 lineup, this one comes with all of the company's fixin's: 4K and HDR (but no Dolby Vision) and a tricked-out remote with a headphone jack and remote finder.

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Roku Express

Roku's cheapest streamer is basically a stocking stuffer at this price, but it still delivers snappy performance and loads of apps. What's not to like?

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Roku Express Plus

Just like the Express but it comes with an analog cable so it's easy to attach to older TVs. It's the perfect gift to usher a relative with a not-so-current television into the Netflix era.

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