The traditional home entertainment system with AV receivers, multiple speakers and far too many cables is now a thing of the past. Many are now looking for smart, wireless and minimalist solutions. From televisions that can do it all, to sound bars that offer home theater-like sound, to smart speakers that get the music you want on command, 2020 home entertainment devices are indeed a taste of the future. Our top tips for the year are exactly what you need to have a truly sustainable home entertainment system in place.
We reviewed a number of gadgets this year. These are our top tips in home entertainment consisting of TVs, sound bars, smart speakers and streaming devices. We took into account the overall appeal of the product, including the value for money it offers and how well it fits into the price segment. Read on for our top offers for home entertainment devices in 2020.
Best television – OnePlus TV 55U1
OnePlus entered the television segment in 2019 with the OnePlus TV Q series, but the high price of these QLED TVs made them out of reach for many buyers. In 2020, OnePlus tried a different approach with cheaper U and Y series LED TVs. Priced at Rs. 49,999, the OnePlus TV 55U1 is a 55 inch 4K HDR TV that has a lot to offer including good smart features, Support for HDR up to Dolby Vision format, Dolby Atmos sound and reliable performance.
The OnePlus TV 55U1 looks great and is well built. It feels a lot better than most other budget 55-inch TVs. The image quality is good at all resolutions, and the motion interpolation is impressive. As with the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro, the software is a big reason to consider this TV thanks to the fast and reliable performance of the user interface, numerous updates, and the ability to control many things through the OnePlus Connect app.
This TV isn’t without its issues including awkward black levels, inconsistent noise, and the fact that you’ll have to use the company’s proprietary wall-mount kit as other aftermarket options don’t go too well. However, this TV strikes a great balance between reasonable price and performance and performs better than most entry-level 55-inch 4K TVs without driving the price too high.
Best soundbar – Sony HT-G700
A multi-speaker setup might sound great, but it’s often difficult and expensive to set up. The alternative is a soundbar, and one of the best launched this year is the Sony HT-G700. Priced at Rs. 47,990, the Sony HT-G700 is a 3.1 channel soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer, support for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X sound formats, and numerous connectivity options. It’s easy to set up, looks discreet and non-distracting, and works well.
The various connectivity options include HDMI, digital optical audio, and Bluetooth 5 that allow you to connect the soundbar to various source devices. Ultra HD pass-through with support for Dolby Vision HDR is also provided. This is a useful thing to do when you don’t have any connectors on your TV. Although the vertical surround sound mode is a bit tricky, the Sony HT-G700 does its core job well, giving you big, wide, and clean sound that is far superior to that of the TV.
Good sound tuning, an excellent subwoofer, and excellent overall performance far outweigh the small flaws of this soundbar. The Sony HT-G700 is usually available for around Rs. 40,000, and it’s a good choice for the price, especially if you have a decent TV.
Best Smart Speaker – Google Nest Audio
Google Assistant is arguably the best AI-based voice assistant for smart gadgets today, but Google’s range of smart speakers has not been quite as powerful until now. The Google Nest Audio is a huge advancement in the company’s product line. It offers good looks, top-notch smart features, and great microphones at a reasonable price. While options like the Mi Smart Speaker may be a better value, Google Nest Audio is an objectively better sounding and more powerful smart speaker for under Rs. 10,000.
The successor to Google Home, Google Nest Audio, was a long time coming and checked all the boxes without any major drawbacks. Aside from good sound, the speaker works well as a voice control for any smart device and device you may have at home, such as B. Robotic vacuums, smart light bulbs and air purifiers. You can also control other linked devices such as televisions or answer your questions using Google’s extensive information store.
From music playback to reliable smart home control, Google Nest Audio offers the entire package. It’s the ideal smart speaker and a fairly simple choice for the top 2020 device in its category.
Best streaming device – Xiaomi Mi Box 4K
Up until this year there weren’t too many options in the streaming devices segment, but the entry of different brands has opened the space wide. One of the major players in the market is Xiaomi, and its first launch of streaming devices has massively changed the segment. The Mi Box 4K is an Ultra HD and HDR capable streaming box with numerous connectivity options and a very reasonable price. At Rs. 3,499, it’s significantly cheaper than the competition with similar features like the Fire TV Stick 4K (Rs. 5,999) and Apple TV 4K (Rs. 17,430).
While many buyers may not need a 4K enabled streaming device, the Mi Box 4K’s attractive price makes it possible to purchase such a device and is future proof for your streaming. Using Android TV 9 Pie with support for all major apps and streaming services, the Mi Box 4K plugs into the HDMI port of any TV for simple functions and takes over the interface and functionality from the smart surface of your TV, if any.
There are a few shortcomings here, including a less-than-ideal remote, dodgy HDMI-CEC functionality, and no Dolby Vision support, but the price and overall experience largely outweigh those issues. The Mi Box 4K is the game changer the streaming device segment needed in 2020 and for this reason our first choice.
Mi TV Stick Vs Fire TV Stick Lite Vs Mi Box 4K Vs Fire TV Stick 4K: Which is the Best Budget TV Streaming Device in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, Download the episodeor just hit the play button below.