#1 Posted by AthleticShark (1220 posts) -

Hi all,

I am looking to get my Dad a surround sound system for Christmas. I have no idea what to look for or where to begin. I know they can get pricey, but I also saw some affordable ones going for around 200 dollars.

So any recommendations? It does not have to be a top brand, I just want it to be worth whatever money I spend (around 200-250) and actually make a difference.

Thanks!

#2 Edited by SlapHappyJesus (120 posts) -

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/sony-ht-ddw700-home/4505-6740_7-31805301.html

Had this thing for over five years now. Wasn't even all that expensive when I bought it (around $300 or so), but the thing really performs. Very much a good system for those not looking to drop too much cash on one.

Seems to be hard to come across one at this point, but a bit of googling always works wonders. Only recently retired this one, at least for gaming purposes, with my recent purchase of a good gaming headset.

Anyway, this is a personal recommendation.

Should be able to find it rather reasonably priced at this point.

#3 Posted by Kyelb22 (294 posts) -
@SlapHappyJesus

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/sony-ht-ddw700-home/4505-6740_7-31805301.html

Had this thing for over five years now. Wasn't even all that expensive when I bought it (around $300 or so), but the thing really performs. Very much a good system for those not looking to drop too much cash on one.

Seems to be hard to come across one at this point, but a bit of googling always works wonders. Only recently retired this one, at least for gaming purposes, with my recent purchase of a good gaming headset.

Anyway, this is a personal recommendation.

Should be able to find it rather reasonably priced at this point.

I actually have a newer model of this Sony, and I love it. Cheap and great sound quality for the price.

If you can find a Sony system for cheap, I'd recommend one of those.
#4 Posted by leafhouse (133 posts) -

i'm sorry, I know nothing about surround systems, I just wanted to let you know every time I see your avatar i cry a little.

goddamnit I miss Ryane Clowe.

#5 Posted by AthleticShark (1220 posts) -

@leafhouse said:

i'm sorry, I know nothing about surround systems, I just wanted to let you know every time I see your avatar i cry a little.

goddamnit I miss Ryane Clowe.

He is not gone? I mean if the lockout lasts all year then yes, probably seen the last of him, but he is not "gone" yet.

Just go watch some pathetic SF Bulls games.

#6 Posted by leafhouse (133 posts) -

nooo i just meant because theres no season. and its sharks or nothing for me.

#7 Posted by AthleticShark (1220 posts) -

@Kyelb22 said:

@SlapHappyJesus

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/sony-ht-ddw700-home/4505-6740_7-31805301.html

Had this thing for over five years now. Wasn't even all that expensive when I bought it (around $300 or so), but the thing really performs. Very much a good system for those not looking to drop too much cash on one.

Seems to be hard to come across one at this point, but a bit of googling always works wonders. Only recently retired this one, at least for gaming purposes, with my recent purchase of a good gaming headset.

Anyway, this is a personal recommendation.

Should be able to find it rather reasonably priced at this point.

I actually have a newer model of this Sony, and I love it. Cheap and great sound quality for the price. If you can find a Sony system for cheap, I'd recommend one of those.

What model is it? And thanks!

#8 Posted by AthleticShark (1220 posts) -

@leafhouse: Yea same here. I have watched maybe 3 mins of hockey this season. Those 3 mins of various puck daddy highlights.

#9 Posted by living4theday258 (679 posts) -
#10 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Oh man, you should have been looking on Black Friday. There were some really great deals one the net around then.
 
Having owned a few all-in-one HTS systems myself, I can say you'll want to look for something that has speakers that don't have the wires permanently attached, and subwoofers that can function on their own without needing the receiver to function (ie will take audio from any source). The reason you want to do this is because amp/receivers tend to die after a while and being able to use the speakers/sub on your next receiver will save you money on buying more speakers next time.
 
edit: For example, the last one I had that I'm currently replacing was a Philips that seems to be from the same family as the one @living4theday258 linked. The subwoofer is the best sub I've ever owned, however due to the way they manufactured the system (it sends all 6 of the audio channels to the sub through a VGA monitor extension cable, then the speakers plug into the back of the sub to get their power), I can't use the sub on my new Onkyo standalone receiver. I don't know if the new Philips HTS systems still do this.

#11 Posted by Kyelb22 (294 posts) -

@HellBound said:

@Kyelb22 said:

@SlapHappyJesus

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/sony-ht-ddw700-home/4505-6740_7-31805301.html

Had this thing for over five years now. Wasn't even all that expensive when I bought it (around $300 or so), but the thing really performs. Very much a good system for those not looking to drop too much cash on one.

Seems to be hard to come across one at this point, but a bit of googling always works wonders. Only recently retired this one, at least for gaming purposes, with my recent purchase of a good gaming headset.

Anyway, this is a personal recommendation.

Should be able to find it rather reasonably priced at this point.

I actually have a newer model of this Sony, and I love it. Cheap and great sound quality for the price. If you can find a Sony system for cheap, I'd recommend one of those.

What model is it? And thanks!

I have the BDV-E580. I got mine for ridiculously cheap, but they go on Amazon for around $360.

#12 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I got the all in one Onkyo budget system and it is great.

#13 Posted by hoossy (939 posts) -

@HellBound:

another option is a soundbar. No, they don't provide actual surround sound, but their technology can imitate it sometimes amazingly well. If you put that money into one sound bar, the quality of the audio would likely be overall better, and the instillation would be far easier.

Vizio not only makes the best soundbars on the market, but they are also very reasonably priced. I say this as a subscriber to Consumer Reports, who ranked them highest.

As a person who's entertainment system is in a relatively small room, the soundbar option has worked wonders for me.

#14 Posted by AthleticShark (1220 posts) -

Thanks for your responses!

#15 Posted by tarvis (75 posts) -

I'm of the opinion that it's better to spend the money and add to an existing set up rather than purchasing a less expensive complete set. Say, buying two Bowers & Wilkins 685's now and add the center, floorstanders and subwoofer later.

Regardless, I think the most important thing is to go to a speaker store that will allow you to demo products. Rather than listening to a crazy person like me on the internet, listen to the speakers.