we at Which Hi-Fi? not only love reviewing products, but also putting together compatible products to create exceptional systems. As evidenced by the mind-boggling price of this particular system here, we’ve taken the principle of the ‘standard’ AV setup here and ramped it up to 11.
This is clearly not an AV system for the faint hearted; but if you have the money to spend on it, and the space to house it, this is very close to home theater heaven.
Projector: Sony VPL-XW7000ES (£14,999 / $27,999 / AU$25,499)
AV receiver: Arcam AVR31 (£4999 / $5250 / AU$11,495)
Blu ray player: Panasonic DP-UB9000 (£999 / $1399 / AU$1479)
Speaker Package: Fyne Audio F8SP AV (£10,999, $14,999 / AU$24,000)
Total: £31,996 / $49,647 / AU$62,473
Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector
Spending the price of a decent car and half of this considerable budget on a projector alone gives you the right to go in with extremely high expectations. And of course the Sony VPL-XW7000ES delivers in spades. It’s almost relentlessly good; enchanting. We’d even go so far as to say in our full review that it’s even capable of surpassing the typical ‘real’ movie theater experience. In fact, we love it so much we’ve created a whole new category for it in our Awards for 2022 – we’ve never had such an expensive category for a projector. Suffice to say then, it really is pretty good.
Arcam AVR31 AV receiver
And in this setup, we feel obligated to marry that stunning image provider with equipment to do the image justice.
The heavy lifting for the sound is done by Arcam’s impressive AVR31, the brother of the award-winning JBL Synthesis SDR-35. We’ve chosen the Arcam here because it’s now around £1000 cheaper than the JBL, and also because it has HDMI 2.1 connections. While this system isn’t of immediate use (the projector isn’t 2.1 compatible), it does future-proof things nicely; and it would be perfectly acceptable in our view to complement this setup with a big screen TV – think the LG OLED65C2 – then those sockets certainly come into their own.
This amp delivers brilliant performance with clean, controlled clarity and a delicacy rarely encountered. Don’t let that observation fool you into thinking there’s no power here; far from that. The AVR31 can pack quite a punch.
Fyne Audio F8SP AV speaker package
And it works beautifully with a speaker package that is a newcomer to these pages. The Fyne Audio F8SP AV is incredibly entertaining for both movies and music – of course, as here. However, what really stands out to us, and goes a long way toward winning a place in this setup, is the center speaker. These can often seem like an afterthought to some manufacturers; here it is a remarkable system strength. Fyne has clearly put a lot of effort into integrating sound across the three front speakers. It’s seamless, with a wide soundstage, huge dynamic range and scale that’s enveloping and captivating.
Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Blu-ray Player
Speaking of enveloping and engaging, again, in our full surround sound system, we can justify going with a disc player, rather than relying solely on streaming for our 4K video and multi-channel audio.
The obvious Blu-ray player in this luxury setup is the Panasonic DP-UB9000. This bombproof box is remarkable, with a photo that leaves us in awe. It’s a focused, powerful machine that can hold its own just about anywhere.
However, it would be remiss of us not to consider streaming options for this setup in a 2023 home theater system. And, while we haven’t yet, on
at the time of writing we had the latest Apple TV 4K for review, we’re confident, as much as we love its predecessor, that this little box of 4K, Dolby Atmos and HDR tricks will do excellent service in a home theater that everyone can be proud of.
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