Philips HTS8100 SoundBar
- Innovative ambisound technology simulates 5.1 surround sound without the need for rear speakers, DVD upscaling to 1080p, Great design
- Some distortion, Relatively weak bass, DVD playback was marred by image noise, Limited input options
The Philips HTS8100 is a great option for those without the space for a full 5.1 surround sound setup, but its relatively average performance in other areas prevents it from being an outstanding product.
Price$ 1,299.95 (AUD)
Philips' new HTS8100 home theatre is a somewhat new take on the way we currently experience surround sound with home theatre systems. Comprised of a single 'bar', encompassing a DVD player, directional speakers, and a subwoofer, the HTS8100 uses Ambisound technology to simulate a 5.1 surround sound setup. While this doesn't manage to create a perfect environment, like you'd get with separate speakers, it's nevertheless a good option for those with limited space. To its credit, Philips has also beefed up the DVD player, with upscaling to full, 1080p high definition, making the HTS8100 a solid choice for users looking to 'future proof' their purchase a little.
While the system does deliver a very balanced audio range, without a large bias towards a specific sound, there was some noticeable distortion at all but the lowest of volume levels. Lacking in fine detail, the system nevertheless performs respectably for general movie and music use, but those looking for high levels of clarity and definition may be disappointed. Additionally, despite a large and slick looking subwoofer, we found bass to be rather weak in our tests. While suitable for most tastes, it might not live up to the expectations of bass-hungry users.
One of the HTS8100's biggest attractions is its ability to simulate a 5.1 surround sound without the need for separate rear speakers. It does this by using multiple audio channels and its customisable "ambisound" technology, which can be customised according to the speaker's position in the room, distance from the listening position, and whether the room has 'hard' or 'soft' walls. While we found that the HTS8100 definitely produced a listening environment superior to that of a stereo system, it ultimately failed to compete with a well-designed, 'true' 5.1 system. Nevertheless, the ambisound technology that it employs is an innovative and impressive development.
More than just a speaker system, however, the HTS8100 also delivers DVD upscaling up to 1080p, helping to bring your old DVD collection to the world of high definition. Unfortunately, we noticed a distinct amount of background noise in our tests, detracting from image quality. Although this was lessened when the image was upscaled, it is nevertheless a noticeable problem.
Philips has designed a very attractive product in the HTS8100. The bar-shaped speaker has a vertical DVD drive in the centre, with a stylish glass front panel. The matching black subwoofer suits the bar well, although the thick bunch of cables that connects it to the main unit may put off some users. Connection options, in terms of outputs, are quite good, including HDMI, Component and composite. However, input is limited to a single, RCA analogue input and a coaxial digital on the subwoofer, meaning that AV enthusiasts won't be able to connect more than a pair of separate products to the system. This is quite a big drawback for a system like this one.
Overall, the HTS8100 is somewhat of a niche product. If you've got the space for a full 5.1 surround sound home theatre, then it's hard to justify paying for this. On the other hand, it provides an elegant solution for those with limited space, delivering impressive performance compared to other, comparably sized devices.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTField Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTJunior Network EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistVIC
- FTCCTV Sales & SupportNSW
- FTSAP HR Functional ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior System/Network EngineerACT
- TPUnix- Technical Support OfficerVIC
- CCData Migration ManagerQLD
- TPTechnical ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- CCDeployment GraduatesSA
- FTICT ManagerNSW
- FTSolutions Architects - 10 roles availableACT
- CCInfosphere ConsultantACT
- FTField Services EngineerWA
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieQLD
- FTSenior Applications Support AnalystSA
- TPSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTData and Insights AnalystNSW