John Archer

John Archer (Twitter https://twitter.com/BigJohnnyArcher) has been writing about home entertainment technology for more a quarter of a century now. And yes, he is as old as that makes him sound. In that time he’s tested more soundbars, speakers, disc players, discs and, especially, projectors and televisions than quite possibly anybody else on the planet. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t get out much. In the early days of his career he was employed as a writer for such classic titles as Amiga Action, What Satellite TV, What Video and Home Cinema Choice, before going freelance in 1997. As a freelancer John has written for just about every tech title out there - as well as (purely coincidentally!) quite a few that are no longer out there. John shares his endless mountains of AV gear with a wife who married him before realising how big a TV she’d have to put up with, and a daughter who actually thinks the big TV is pretty cool.
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  • Home AV

    117

    Samsung HW-Q990D Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q990D Soundbar Review
    Samsung’s flagship soundbars have for generations now delivered the most immersive audio performances in the soundbar world with their huge amounts of power, four components (including real rear speakers) and massive channel counts. So, can Samsung’s new HW-Q990D - which sticks again at 16 channels - keep the improvements coming?  
    10
  • Home AV

    2

    Hisense AX3120G 3.1.2 Channel Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Hisense AX3120G 3.1.2 Channel Soundbar Review
    The AX3120G soundbar/subwoofer combo doesn't sport any impressive nicknames like Hisense's HS2100 'The Beast' soundbar yet it comes across well on paper and price wise. So, does the 3.1.2 channel AX3120G prove to have its own set of audio teeth... we shall see.  
    7
  • Home AV

    10

    Hisense HS2100 2.1 Channel Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Hisense HS2100 2.1 Channel Soundbar Review
    If you’re going to call one of your products ‘The Beast’ and emblazon its name across the box, that product surely has to be spectacular in some way, right? Maybe it’s going to be huge, perhaps it’s going to be ultra powerful, or maybe it features some sort of ultra-aggressive design that deliberately wants to draw attention to itself. We find out if Hisense's 2.1 channel HS2100 soundbar is a 'behemoth' or a 'wee timorous beastie'.  
    8
  • Home AV

    5

    Loewe klang bar3 mr Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Loewe klang bar3 mr Soundbar Review
    Loewe has been in the game long enough for consumers to instantly associate the name with a luxury end product. So, 100 years after the company's inception how does the klang bar3 mr soundbar fare as one of the firm's most mainstream products of recent times? We find out.  
    8
  • Home AV

    5

    LG USE6S Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    LG USE6S Soundbar Review
    After winning hearts and minds in 2021 with its ultra-small Eclair QP5 soundbar plus subwoofer combi, LG has set out to try and repeat that success with a second-generation Eclair model in a single soundbar format. Does the follow up get things right a second time too?  
    7
  • Home AV

    44

    JBL BAR 1300 Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    JBL BAR 1300 Soundbar Review
    The JBL Bar 1300 soundbar has a clever approach to the quality vs. convenience balance, though there's a significant outlay involved. Does this financial commitment get you the best of both worlds? We take a look.  
    9
  • Home AV

    9

    LG USC9S Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    LG USC9S Soundbar Review
    LG's 2023 USC9S soundbar targets the company's own LG OLED TVs as the perfect partner for a TV/home audio combi match made in heaven. So, is there any point in buying a USC9S if you don’t have an LG C3 or C2 TV?  
    8
  • Home AV

    76

    Samsung HW-Q930C Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q930C Soundbar Review
    Samsung's second from top soundbar for 2023 looks like it will give the flagship a run for its money in terms of value and sound quality, is that the case?  
    9
  • Home AV

    140

    Samsung HW-Q990C Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q990C Soundbar Review
    Samsung's flagship soundbar for 2023 features 11.1.4 channels, 22 drivers and a wireless subwoofer along with up-firing rear speakers. With wireless Dolby Atmos and Q-Symphony still in place from 2022, has Samsung really managed to eke out even more sound quality than last year’s class-leading Q990B?  
    10
  • Home AV

    36

    Samsung HW-Q800C Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q800C Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review
    As the most expensive soundbar in Samsung’s 2023 range to not ship with included rear speakers, the HW-Q800C has a potentially tricky job on its hands winning over hearts, minds and ears as successfully as the brand’s full surround sound options. Can it pull a rabbit out of the audio hat?  
    9
  • Home AV

    8

    Sony HT-A3000 3.1 Channel Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Sony HT-A3000 3.1 Channel Soundbar Review
    Sony's A-series of soundbars starts with the HT-A3000 and we put it through its paces both with and without optional wireless rears and subwoofer to see whether the additional uplift in performance offered is worth the hefty additional cost.  
    8
  • Home AV

    9

    Sony HT-A5000 Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Sony HT-A5000 Soundbar Review
    Having been impressed with the flagship HT-A7000's performance and credentials, we take a look at the HT-A5000 which sheds a few channels down to 5.1.2 but still champions the expandable single soundbar solution. Can it carry the A7000's impressive banner into midrange territory?  
    8
  • Home AV

    18

    Samsung HW-Q800B Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q800B Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review
    We take a look at the lower-cost HW-Q800B, which drops the wireless rear speakers but retains many of the same features as its more expensive stablemates. Can the resulting front-heavy system make its mark in what’s arguably become the most fiercely competitive segment of the soundbar market?  
    8
  • Home AV

    9

    LG CineBeam HU715Q UST Projector Review

    by John Archer
    LG CineBeam HU715Q UST Projector Review
    There are showier, more spectacular and also cheaper UST projectors rivals around as the market continues to expand but the HU715Q win hearts and minds with a natural image that edges ever closer to the TV. Add in a decent smart OS for flexible content sourcing and a mid-range asking price and you start to wander if there actually any down sides...  
    9
  • Home AV

    7

    Hisense 100L9GTUK 4K UST Laser Projector Review

    by John Archer
    Hisense 100L9GTUK 4K UST Laser Projector Review
    Many manufacturers have tried to crack the large-screen-entertainment-in-a-well-lit-family-room conundrum with an ultra short throw projector - all to varying degrees of success. We think Hisense might have managed to take it one step further now with its latest UST laser TV, the 100L9GTUK which comes with its own 100-inch ALR screen.  
    8
  • Home AV

    26

    Optoma CinemaX P2 UST 4K Laser Projector Review

    by John Archer
    Optoma CinemaX P2 UST 4K Laser Projector Review
    With its recent price drop, the Optoma CinemaX P2 now comes in as the cheapest 4K UST laser projector available, just before Christmas. With the overall performance more than good enough for living room viewing is this new price point enough to make any shortcomings suddenly a lot more palatable?  
    8
  • Home AV

    24

    Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 1100 Review

    by John Archer
    Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 1100 Review
    Even with all the audio expertise at its beck and call, Harman Kardon takes it time releasing soundbars; so when one drops, it's definitely worth a look. How does the Citation MultiBeam 1100 stack up in a hotly contested sector of the home audio market?  
    9
  • Home AV

    5

    LG S80QR Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    LG S80QR Soundbar Review
    The LG S80QR second-rung-from-the-top soundbar breaks from LG's usual tradition and bundles in physical rear speakers with the main bar and wireless subwoofer. While it loses a few channels against the flagship S95QR, it keeps plenty of other features - so does it deliver better all round value?  
    8
  • Home AV

    52

    LG S95QR Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    LG S95QR Soundbar Review
    This flagship soundbar, subwoofer and rear speaker combo from LG boasts a world's first channel count of 9.1.5 along with a beefy 810W and Dolby Atmos support. It's a beast to be sure, let's uncage it...  
    9
  • Home AV

    4

    LG Eclair QP5 Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    LG Eclair QP5 Soundbar Review
    The LG Eclair takes the 'size matters' argument and flips it - size does indeed matter here but it's the smaller footprint that may prove to be the selling point for gaming, music and TV fans that are short on space. Does a smaller size mean a reduced audio stature though?  
    7
  • Home AV

    549

    Samsung HW-Q930B Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q930B Soundbar Review
    This one-step-down soundbar for 2022 features 9.1.4 channels, 17 drivers and a wireless subwoofer with, for the first time at this level, rear speakers included. Largely matching its flagship sibling in features, does the Q930B represent Samsung’s soundbar sweet spot?  
    9
  • Home AV

    940

    Samsung HW-Q990B Soundbar Review

    by John Archer
    Samsung HW-Q990B Soundbar Review
    Samsung's premium soundbar for 2022 features 11.1.4 channels, 22 drivers and a wireless subwoofer with rear speakers. While the specs remain largely the same as last year's flagship, there's a host of enhancements and refinements to consider before dismissing this as just another high end soundbar.  
    10

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