If you've just spent £1,000 or more on a new TV, we doubt you're going to thank us for telling you to spend even more. Sound always accounts for half the experience, though, whether you're watching sport, movies or just Neighbours. And the speakers built in to your TV are not likely to do justice to very much at all and for that reason, you should get something better.
As a rule of thumb, we think you should consider spending the same amount of money on your sound system as you did on the TV. So if you spent £1,000, we really think you should spend at least that -- and quite possibly more -- on your surround-sound system. Klipsch agreed with us, and to show its support lent us some speakers to connect to our Onkyo TX-NR906.
The system was made up of two Klipsch RF-10s (£400 a pair) for the front stereo channels; a pair of RS-10 surrounds (£250 per pair), for rear effects; a delightful, but fairly large RPW-10 subwoofer (£300); and one of its RC-10 centre-channel speakers (£150 each). So that's a total of £1,100 on speakers, and with the amp costing £1,400, that's a grand total of £2,500. If you own a Pioneer Kuro LX-5090, this is possibly the setup for you.
Our amp is possibly more expensive than you really need. We've said only good things about the Onkyo TX-SR576, which costs around £300 and did a fantastic job with movies and, unusually, music too.
So what of the Klipsch system? Well, since we spent a happy afternoon setting it up yesterday, we haven't actually done much else but listen to it. Our Blu-ray copy of Live from Abbey Road was an instant hit. Mary J Blige belted out Growing Pains and Family Affair and we were nothing short of transfixed.
The clarity from the speakers was almost unbelievable. The subwoofer managed to hit us in the chest when the drummer asked it to, but it never over-powered the rest of the sound, and we never got the sense it was struggling. The centre and stereo speakers literally sang and we never wanted them to stop.
Movies were also wonderful. We stuck Casino Royale on and enjoyed a truly cinema-like experience. No, ignore that -- it was better than the cinema because the seats were comfortable, there were no idiots talking through the whole thing and the sound was more involving, without deafening us or shaking the building to its foundations.
We can understand why people think the TV is the be-all and end-all of their home-cinema system, but when you hear a surround sound system like this, you'll know you've made a mistake. And you'll want to correct it. Quickly.