Best of CES 2013: Home Theater

Another CES has come and gone, and while we’re suitably exhausted, battling the challenges of the show floor paid back in spades this year. This time last year, we actually struggled to come up with enough ideas for a compelling top-five list – we just weren’t that blown away. But this year, we have the opposite problem, thanks to a glut of jaw-dropping new tech. Check out our list of the best audio and video products we saw at this year’s show. We hope you enjoy checking them out as much as we did.

Check out more top picks in our best of CES 2013 rundown.


Picking this year’s best TV was a no-brainer. While the arrival of Sony’s 4K OLED TV came as a surprise, that it put out the most amazing picture we’ve ever seen was not. The images we saw were so vibrant, realistic and just flat-out delicious, we wanted to eat them. We’ve always believed that the day 4K resolution (Ultra HD if you ask anyone else) got married to OLED display technology would mark the arrival of the holy grail in television; we just didn’t expect to see it so soon. Well played, Sony.

For more check out Sony’s banks on NFC and 4K, teases 4K OLED TV.

sony 4k oled tv

DTS Headphone X

One of the best things we heard at CES this year is something we can’t show you. That’s because DTS’ Headphone X virtual surround processing is a type of technology, not a physical product. DTS changed our minds about virtual surround sound, successfully converting us from vocal dissenters to flamboyant evangelists. The experience we had at DTS’ demo booth was incredibly convincing; we just hope the technology makes its way from mobile devices to home audio and video components really quickly.

For more check out DTS bulldozes through the usual virtual surround gimmickry with Headphone X.

headphone x

Klipsch Stadium

At $2,000, the Klipsch Stadium wireless speaker system is just too damn expensive for our liking. But that doesn’t change the fact that it sounds amazing and looks extremely cool. Though Monster’s Katana is a very close second in sound quality (and, at $700, much more reasonably priced) the Stadium earns our pick thanks to sound that is so powerful and evocative, we had a hard time peeling ourselves away from Klipsch’s booth.

For more check out Klipsch’s Stadium sounds as big as it costs.

klipsch stadium speakers 

GoldenEar Technology Triton Seven loudspeaker

At CES, sometimes you have to forage to find the really good stuff. That was the case with the Triton Seven loudspeaker, but it was worth braving the long lines and crowded elevators at the Venetian hotel to find GoldenEar Technology. The company’s aim is to deliver truly high-end audio at prices the average Joe can live with, and it has totally nailed it with the Triton Seven speaker, which served up sound on par with speakers costing – no exaggeration here – 10 times as much. If value were a crown, we’d have to put it atop GoldenEar Technology’s head.

For more check out Forget $60,000 speakers, we’ll take the GoldenEar Technology Triton Seven.

best of ces 2013 home theater goldenear

Sennheiser ie800 audiophile earbuds

If you want to argue that nobody has any business selling a $1,000 pair of earbuds, then we won’t stand in your way. But if any company has a chance in hell of justifying such a move, then it would be Sennheiser with its ie800 in-ear headphones. That an earbud could possibly sound this good is a marvel of engineering, and Sennheiser deserves copious props for making it happen. The ‘buds rocked our ears with sound so sweet, we’d be willing to swear off full-sized headphones for good if we weren’t so worried about losing them.

For more check out $1,000 earbuds top Sennheiser’s impressive new line-up of headphones.

best of ces 2013 home theater sennheiser ie800
Home Theater

Get ready to ditch your amplifier: New LG TVs add a powerful way to go wireless

WiSA, a wireless technology designed for high-end home theaters, might finally start seeing more love. LG's top-tier 2019 TVs will be WiSA certified, and that could mean a new wireless future for premium surround sound.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

OLED or LED? We pick the winner in the battle of competing TV tech

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as hard as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Smart Home

The Apple HomePod gets a whole lot cheaper today at Target

Apple's HomePod hasn't been the most popular smart speaker on the market but for users who are all in on Apple's heavily policed ecosystem of devices, this smart speaker is on serious sale at Target this week.