Sony BDV-E800W home theatre system

This Blu-ray home theatre system supports all recent high-definition audio codecs

Sony BDV-E800W
  • Sony BDV-E800W
  • Sony BDV-E800W
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • HD audio codec support, reasonable sound quality, good interface

Cons

  • Slightly expensive, somewhat flimsy construction

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: sony, blu-ray, home entertainment
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?