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A living theatre

The best home theatre system in India: A shoot-out.

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: April 20, 2008

The trouble with buying a home theatre system is that there are so many different systems available. But when you want to buy the ultimate ones, there are very few to choose from. We take a look at two of the best. Note, none of the two systems comes with a video, that is a TV, component.

Bose Lifestyle 48 Series III

This is a brilliant system, not because it sounds brilliant, but because it is so easy to live with it. Frankly, the Jamo D7 with its large speakers delivers better sound, but the small jewel-cases of the Bose system deliver mind-boggling sound when you consider just how small they are. And the entire system itself (you don’t need five, six components) comes in one fairly convenient box, which also manages to store 340 hours of music. Even better, unlike other multi-speaker systems, the Bose actually reprocesses stereo sound (if you want) to play it through all five speakers and the woofer. We heard Bryan Adams that way, and it felt strangely ‘deep’.

Yes, it does seem expensive, because you don’t ‘physically’ get that much compared to a component system, and audiophiles might still prefer building their system from the ground up. But as a system which delivers great sound in an easy-to-live with package, you can’t beat the Bose. You can hook up the system to work in 14 rooms (though only two streams at a time will work).

Price: Rs 2,59,000 (including taxes and most installations)

Contact: Bose India, Toll-Free 1-800 11-2673 or 98997 02673

Jamo D7PTX THX Ultra-2

All you get when you purchase this system are five speakers and a sub-woofer, everything else is extra. For the record, we saw a movie on this system using a High-Definition Projector and using a Denon DVD player and a Denon Pre-Amp and Denon Amplifier. The system is not small, nor is it cheap. But it really sounds good. We watched a scene of Kill Bill where The Bride fights Gogo, and the rear speakers were doing their magic adding to the magic of the scene. You suddenly realise that there are sounds you missed in the theatre.

It is just that the system is very, very pricey. Because the system uses THX, which is a theatre-optimised sound system that delivers incredible depth, to get the most out of it you need THX-certified components. That means you might spend over Rs 50,000 on a DVD player, let alone the amplifier.

And THX-certified cable costs upwards of Rs 1,000 a foot. No really, it does, though you don’t need to use such cables in a home environment. The entire set-up might cost upwards of Rs 6,00,000.

Price: Rs 3,44,000 (including taxes and local installation; cables extra)

Contact: Cinebels 011-41631853/54; 011-41734724

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