Sony BDV-E800W home theatre system
This Blu-ray home theatre system supports all recent high-definition audio codecs
- HD audio codec support, reasonable sound quality, good interface
- Slightly expensive, somewhat flimsy construction
Sony's BDV-E800W is a solid pre-built home theatre. It's not going to blow you away with its sound quality or construction, but what you get for your money is a competent system that handles the high-definition audio tracks of Blu-ray movies well.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Sony's BDV-E800W is a decent home theatre system, with reasonable sound quality and an extensive feature set. Its audio isn't as good as more expensive systems and ones with proper speaker cabinets, but as a simple-to-use accompaniment to a modern flat panel television it's a good choice.
The Sony BDV-E800W is a pre-built home theatre system incorporating four floor-standing speakers, a thin centre speaker and a squat subwoofer. The receiver has a built-in Blu-ray disc player along with a range of ports for connecting your high-definition LCD or plasma television. It's a stylish system overall, with the receiver standing out from the crowd with the same mirror-finish front we saw on the Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray player. The plastic construction of the speakers makes them feel a little flimsier and lighter than we would like, however.
Setting up the system is relatively easy: clip the floor-standing speakers together and attach their bases, make all the necessary speaker wire connections, and finally connect your television. (We tested using the receiver's HDMI output and a Panasonic TH-P54Z1A plasma.) Placing the various components of the system around even a large room is easy thanks to long cables and the S-AIR wireless rear speaker option. Once the Sony BDV-E800W is up and running, you're presented with an on-screen interface not unlike that of the PlayStation 3 or any recent Sony television. The 'XrossMediaBar' interface is good looking and supremely easy to navigate. Starting the playback of a Blu-ray disc only took a matter of seconds once it had loaded.
Picture quality was as good as any other player on the market, with great picture quality from the Full HD 1080p output of Blu-ray discs. The Sony BDV-E800W also handles 480p and 576p DVDs well, upscaling video to 1080p with reasonable clarity and no significant artefacting that we could see.
The system's sound quality is well suited to blockbuster movies and limited music listening — the combination of powerful subwoofer and thin speakers means there's a heavy focus on mid-bass and treble, with mid-range frequencies feeling recessed and often lacking.
Treble is generally clean and clear, providing a crisp edge to dialogue and cinematic audio. The floor-standing speakers can be pushed to uncomfortably loud volumes before treble distortion creeps in. Bass is acceptably handled by the subwoofer driver — it doesn't extend particularly low into the frequency range but it does provide a useful addition to movie audio.
Mid-range is not nearly as pronounced; the small speaker size of the floor-standers means they can't push a lot of air to create lower notes. The subwoofer holds up lower mid-range notes acceptably, but the system occasionally feels lacking especially when listening to acoustic music. This problem isn't unique to the Sony BDV-E800W; most pre-built "home theatre in a box" systems have the same flaw.
The Sony BDV-E800W provides support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD high-definition audio codecs — these are the ones most commonly used on Blu-ray movie discs. While the merit of decoding these high quality streams and outputting them to mediocre speakers is questionable, the support is nonetheless appreciated.
Sony's BDV-E800W is a competent home theatre system. It provides solid competition for similarly priced systems from competitors such as Panasonic and LG.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia Lumia 830 review: Punching above its weight
- 2 BlackBerry Passport review: A smartphone going nowhere
- 3 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A flagship at 4.6-inches
- 4 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- What Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said in Mandarin that so impressed the Chinese
- Motorola Moto 360: On sale 31 October for $329
- Microsoft to discontinue free Xbox Music streaming
- Vietnam police hunt hackers behind mass outage
- Toshiba expands mobility offerings
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTBusiness ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness development manager - retargettingNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager | Sales ManagerNSW
- FTDigital Account ExecutiveNSW
- CCConsumer Product Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTMarketing Communications Operations Manager - Global Tech Market leaderNSW
- FTSales Account ExecutiveNSW
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW
- FTPartner Marketing Communications Manager - Leading Global Tech BrandNSW