Start building your home cinema: 7 products THX recommends for every home theater

Start your home cinema
Start your home cinema

You could spend days parsing product specs, reading reviews from industry insiders and taking trip after trip to the local stereo store to find the perfect A/V equipment. (I know I have.) But, let's be honest, that's a time-consuming process that sometimes bears no fruit.

And while we'd certainly like to show you what we've got sitting on our entertainment center, we thought it'd be better if we reached out to someone who has a bit more experience designing the perfect audiovisual setup – THX's Director of A/V Technology, Jon Cielo.

Cielo has spent more than 10 years at THX, and as Director of AV Technology, he oversees the audio certification testing program and dedicated team, and manages the global technical accounts of THX's audio partners. Cielo works closely with licensees to ensure audio and visual equipment, including AV receivers, loudspeakers, flat panel displays, video projectors, etc., meet THX Certification requirements.

That said, we figured he'd be the perfect guy to ask about building the perfect home cinema.

We reached out to Cielo to see what products he thought would make for the best in-home cinematic experience. From a projector he thinks offers big screen-quality images to the best speakers that he thinks will blow you away, here are his recommendations.

Home Theater Projector: JVC DLA-X750R

THX Certified

Cielo says: "The center of every home cinema is the projector – make sure it's a great one! JVC's THX 3D Certified DLA-X750R home theater projector produces exquisite quality images with unbeatable contrast and clarity. It features a high power lamp that provides 1800 lumens brightness, and JVC's exclusive D-ILA technology that delivers a class-leading 120,000:1 native contrast ratio for images that pop off the screen."

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Need another option? Check out the JVC DLA-X950R.

THX Certified

Cielo says: "Should budget allow, check out JVC's top-of- the-line THX 3D Certified DLA-X950R model. This feature-rich home theater projector produces stunning picture quality, delivering 150,000:1 native contrast ratio and 1900 lumens brightness."

Projection Screen: Stewart Filmscreen GrayHawk

THX Certified

Cielo says: "Stewart Filmscreen's THX Certified GrayHawk front projection screen surface was the industry's first gray-based reference standard screen. It delivers superb black levels, shadow detailing, and overall color saturation across the entire screen. You can custom order the size, system and frame that is right for your space on Stewart's website."

AV Controller: Onkyo PR-RZ5100

THX Certified

Cielo says: "Onkyo has been a long-time partner of THX and we've always known them to deliver high-value products, packed with features and the latest technologies. The THX Certified PR-RZ5100 11.2 channel AV controller is no exception. It is engineered for universal hi-res audio compatibility, features Dual 32-bit DSP engines to decode and scale DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, has multi-zone audio and video options, and the list of features that make this a must have go on and on."

Audio Amplifier: Acurus A2007

THX Certified

Cielo says: "For high-quality and high value multichannel amplification, check out the fully-discrete analog amplifier design of the Acurus A2007. This THX Certified seven-channel home theater amplifier is the ideal companion for a high-performance, HD-capable, pre-amp Processor."

Speaker System: M&K Sound 300 Series

THX Certified

Cielo says: "The THX Certified M&K Sound 300 Series and X12 Subwoofer is the system of choice for the THX San Francisco office's home theater demo room. We know high-quality sound, and this is it. This is the reference system to have."

Blu-ray Disc Player: Panasonic DMP-UB900

THX Certified

Cielo says: "Quite simply, there is no better Ultra HD Blu-ray player on the market than Panasonic's THX 4K Certified DMP-UB900. Initially released in select markets last year, the UB900 has won countless awards and has received incredible reviews from the industry and consumers alike. It is just now available in the US. It's the best, highest-quality way to source pristine 4K content to your 4K display."

Cables: Kordz R.3

THX Certified

Cielo says: "The Kordz R.3 rack install HDMI cable series will ensure connectivity between the latest 4K devices. THX certification includes tests for high bandwidth stability to 18Gbps (aggregate data rate), dependable interoperability, benchmark connector fit and overall premium build quality."

Have some recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.