While sound bars have become insanely popular in the last two years, particularly under $500, it's still possible to build your own system which will kick the pants off any sound bar for the price.
Starting with a budget receiver.
Hi, I'm Ty Pendlebury and today I'm looking at the Denon AVR S500BT.
While most receivers at the entry level usually mean weedy-sounding plasticky components with no features at all, the Denon definitely stands out.
This Denon not only includes Bluetooth streaming, but also has five HDMI ports, which support the latest HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 standards.
This should give the receiver some form of future proofing as 4k becomes more prominent in the home.
The Denon is well built and reassuringly heavy.
And features a discreet looking design with these handy quick select buttons.
So you can choose your input instantly.
Why did they replace these with the wheel in the first place?
The on screen display isn't much to look at, but traditionally they never have been, but at least it is easy to navigate.
The remote that comes with it is relatively full featured, if also resembling a scientific calculator.
But it's the sound quality that's the important thing, and unlike some of the cheap amps I've owned in the past, it doesn't suck.
It's able to drive speakers many times its price.
And get a decent amount of volume out of them.
Home cinema is best served, but music is also not shameful either.
You can spend more for a better sound, but for the money the Denon AVR-S500BT is a good place to start.
This has been Ty Pendlebury for CNET.com.
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