Our Top Picks
“I would give this 6 stars if I could.”
“This thing looks amazing and feels like a premium product.”
“It was a huge bonus that all I had to do was plug this in.”
“The image quality is breathtaking. You can really see the 4K details pop on a large screen.”
“Does everything it says and does it superbly.”
“Think movie theater in your house in 4k! I’ll never go back to regular TV again.”
A home theater projector lets you go beyond a TV, and experience video (and gaming) content with theater-like quality in your own home.
The options listed here come with a range of features, prices, pros, and cons, but rest assured that the best home theater projector for you is somewhere here.
It ought to be no surprise that Optoma’s HZ39HDR home theater projector has made it to the top of this list as the best home theater projector overall:
It does just about everything you want a home theater projector to do, it’s quality has been widely lauded, and it doesn’t cost that much relative to competitors or what it offers.
There are several variations of this product available. In this case we are talking about the Lamp-free laser model with 4K HDR input and 4,000 lumens.
- Lower-priced than many other projectors
- 1080p display will be fine for most users, but 4K HDR input available as well
- Laser lights have 30,000 hour lifespan
- 4,000 lumens is plenty
- Easy image set-up that allows for some zoom
- Machine operates quietly so as not to disturb the sounds of what is being projected
- Can display 3D content from just about any 3D source
- Compatible with many devices, like most consoles and media players, plus smart devices like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K or Google’s Chromecast Ultra
- Very well received, with hundreds of reviews backing up a 4.5/5 star rating
- Although 4K input is an option, some would prefer a default of 4K instead of 1080p
- Some complaints of image uniformity issues, but there are very few of these
VAVA has been around for just five years, but in that time has developed a reputation for making well-designed consumer tech.
The reason VAVA’s 4K UHD Laser model is in competition for the best home theater projector is that it does everything right for a normal price.
The main way in which this is the best home theater projector over Optoma’s HZ239 model is that it’s default is 4K.
- Within the normal price range of a high-end home theater projector
- Adjust projection between 80” to 150”
- 2,500 ANSI lumens is reliable enough for most homes
- 4K HDR means great visual quality
- 1-year warranty, which can be extended to 2 years after product has been received
- Consistent praise for ease of use and good design
- Very highly rated, at 4.5/5 with hundreds of reviews to back it up
- Some may want a higher count of lumens
- Some may prefer a native output of 1080p with the option for 4K, if they’re connecting to other devices that use 1080p
- Consistent complaints that the machine has a high-pitched whirring noise when it operates
The BenQ HT3550 4K projector is in the running for best home theater projector because it provides tons of features, good performance, and a great warranty for a lower-than-usual price.
If you’re looking for something lower-cost overall, but not a full budget buy that compromises on quality, BenQ’s HT3550 model is the best home theater projector for you.
- Lower-cost than many competitors
- Two color options, plus choice of a model compatible with Android TV or not
- Native 4K HDR means great quality
- Comes with easy to use remote
- 3 year warranty
- Highly rated (4.4/5) with hundreds of reviews to back it up, plus an Amazon’s Choice product
- Some may prefer a native resolution of 1080p that supports 4K, as with VAVA
- 2,000 lumens will be fine for many homes but is the lower side of average and may leave some wanting
- Some complaints of color receiving green or yellow tints over time, but there are not many of these
What keeps Xgimi’s Smart Projector in the contest for best home theater projector is its bottom line: this model is relatively cheap.
If your first priority is cost, then this is the best home theater projector for you. But despite the low price tag, it’s still been very well received.
- Very low cost (well under $1k)
- Uses LED lights with 30,000 hour lifespan (that’s almost 3 and a half years of use)
- Compatible with streaming services
- 1-year warranty
- Consistent praise for image quality
- Highly rated, especially for price, with 4.3/5 stars and nearly 200 ratings to back it up. Plus, it’s an Amazon’s Choice product
- Native resolution of 1080p may be fine for most but not those prioritizing resolution first
- 1,350 ANSI lumens is a riskier buy for many homes, and will require more carefully controlled light settings in rooms
- Consistent complaints that the built-in Android OS is not great, but this is not a serious issue to most, as you can just connect to an external device
LG’s HU80KA projector looks pretty different from most home theater projectors, but that’s not a bad thing at all.
It’s an overall good projector with a normal price range and nice output specs, but it also has some nice points towards ease of use.
So if your top choice is ease of use, or if you have an LG Smart TV, this is the best home theater projector for you—even though it’s ceiling-mounted.
- About average price
- 2,500 lumens will be great for most homes
- Native 4K resolution produces great visual quality
- Supports wireless screen-sharing from other devices, including even phones and tablets, using WiFi
- Portability and ease of use is lauded by customers
- Particularly compatible with LG Smart TV
- Highly rated at 4.3/5 with nearly a hundred ratings to back it up
- Some may prefer native 1080p resolution, for reasons mentioned earlier
- Though overall picture quality is good, some reviewers note that colors lose vibrancy, especially after some use
- Required batteries not included
- Despite being overall easy to use, being ceiling mounted can be more of a hassle for many people
Once again, we have a projector by Optoma in the running for best home theater projector. What holds this back, compared to its first-place cousin, is basically its combination of price and reviews.
Despite that, it’s still highly rated overall, and even offers some features that the other model does not. Part of why the price is higher for this one, is that it’s basically a computer itself: it can stream directly without needing to connect to other devices.
In particular, this wins out for connectivity to smart home devices: if you want a projector for your smart home, this is the best home theater projector.
- Native 4K and HDR 10 quality
- Lasers have 30,000 hour lifespan
- 3,000 lumens will be plenty for just about everyone
- Compatible with voice command smart home systems like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home
- Also compatible with thousands of other smart home devices: for example, it can be set up to automatically mute when a smart doorbell rings
- Users can download app by company to set up the image projection from their phones
- Soundbar produces high-quality audio and is consistently praised by reviewers
- Overall, highly rated at 4.3/5 stars (with nearly 150 reviews to back it up)
- On the pricier side of the home theater projector range
- As you can guess, some may prefer the native resolution to be 1080p
- Some consistent complaints that user-interface and app/compatibility setup is flawed
The main thing that holds back Samsung’s 120” Premiere Projector compared to the other best home theater projector options here is the lack of reviews.
However, Samsung is a very reputable brand, and one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world for a reason. Lack of reviews doesn’t make it a bad buy, just one that’s harder to predict.
Looking at the features, specs, and knowing the manufacturer, however, this certainly could be the best home theater projector for many of you.
- Native 4K resolution
- 2,200 lumens will be enough for most
- Powerful sound system
- Built-in voice assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby) let you control the projector with your voice
- Short throw distance lets you place it very close to a wall
- Comes with handy remote
- Overall, positively received by the few reviews
- Reviews are more mixed, compared to other options here, though overall positive
- As you expect, some may prefer native 1080p resolution
- Some may need a higher lumen count
Our Winner: The Best Home Theater Projector is…
Ultimately, we have to give the best home theater projector award to Optoma HZ39HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with HDR.
But remember, that’s the best home theater projector OVERALL. The best home theater projector for you might have a native 4K resolution, unlike Optoma’s—in that case, the best home theater projector is VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector.
And you can continue to reorganize this list to your own needs in that way…it all depends on your priorities. Budget? Having a great sound system built-in? Compatibility with smart devices or having the projector be a great smart device itself?
The best home theater projector for most readers can be found on this list. But if you’re not sure, check out the buyer’s guide below.
Buyer’s Guide: How Do I Buy the Best Home Theater Projector?
Lumens measure the brightness of the picture produced by your home theater projector, also known as “luminous flux.”
As to how many you need, it’s a bit more complicated. However:
Overall, most home theater projectors will be fine with 2,000 to 3,500 lumens. That assumes, however, that moderate ambient light is present.
If the room you’re using a projector in has a lot of ambient light, 4,000 or more would be better.
What do those numbers mean? Well, let’s compare to other common sources of light so you have an understanding:
- A candle has about 14 lumens
- A typical 100-watt light bulb has about 1,600 lumens
- A sunset has about 400 lumens
- The lighting on a movie set is about 1,000 lumens
- A sunny day can be as high as 100,000 lumens
This is not exact, of course, but should give you a general picture of what the lumens of a theater projector will mean.
Now before you rush off to buy the best home theater projector, there are some other things to note:
First, look out for ANSI lumens:
The measurement of regular lumens is more variable. ANSI lumens are more standardized: the name comes from the American National Standards Institute’s outline of standardized lumens in the 1990s.
A lot of more modern projectors use ANSI lumens as the measurement, and some use it but do not identify it as such. So if you’re being very thorough with your buy, it would be a good idea to check the details thoroughly or even contact the manufacturer.
Second, it may be better if you’re able to adjust your lumen level.
Most home theater projectors use one of the following sources of light: LED, laser, and lamp.
Lamp projectors will usually provide at least 2,000 lumens, which will be fine for most homes.
LED projectors usually max out at 2,000 lumens, making them a bit riskier. On the other hand, LED projectors often provide higher-quality images because they can produce better color saturation.
That means that even when the lumens of an LED home theater projector isn’t that high, the images themselves may look great and clear, with brightness not being much of an issue.
Then there are laser projectors: these are the strongest of the bunch in terms of lumens, easily reaching 3,500 lumens most of the time. They often go higher.
1080p is good for most laptops, desktop computer monitors, and TVs. But if you’re using a home theater, 4K may be a better bet.
That’s for a fairly simple reason: 1080p and 4K refer to screen resolution, and 4K is a higher resolution.
1080p means 1920 x 1080 pixels. 4K means 3840 x 2160 pixels. So 4K means much richer images.
Now, 1080p isn’t bad for a home theater necessarily.
That’s because 1080p is still the more popular of the two, and a lot of devices are geared to work for 1080p.
For example: most gaming platforms are meant to work with 1080p, and that means if you’re using your projector for a top-notch gaming experience, the most synchronous experience would be 1080p.
Now there is an exception, of course: the newest generation of consoles is more friendly to 4K. Xbox Series X and the PS5 heavily emphasize their compatibility with higher-res media.
And the same may be true for your other favorite devices. So it depends on the other devices you’re using for your home theater set-up.
However, it ought to be noted that a native 4K resolution—that means, where 4K is the default—will often be higher quality than a projector that is native 1080p but “supports” up to 4K. Oftentimes you will have to just choose which is better.
If the best home theater projector to you is 4K all the way, the overall best option here would be the VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector…but there are many other options that may be better for you, so look at the specifics!
We’ve entered the 2020s. The best home theater projector HAS to support streaming. After all, who would want a home theater without being able to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime?
The good news?
Just about any home theater projector will be able to do that!
That’s because the way most home theater projectors work, is they physically connect with another machine that is actually running the thing you want to play.
This usually happens with an HDMI cable. You can plug in an HDMI cable to your laptop, if your laptop has an HDMI port, and connect it to the HDMI port on your projector. You could do that with your gaming console, or
Side note: even if your device of choice doesn’t have an HDMI port, it probably has USB ports, and you could buy USB to HDMI adapters/converters.
You could even buy an adapter for your phone or tablet, and play Netflix (or whatever else) from your phone and have it projected to your wall.
It really is that simple—just connect a cable.
But it can get even simpler than that:
It’s the 2020s, remember? Many projectors nowadays are compatible with smart devices, or are “smart” themselves.
So if you own a smart TV, that TV itself likely has streaming apps. So as long as the smart TV is connected to the projector, you’d be good from there.
These modern connections may be physical, by HDMI cable, but many nowadays can be connected by WiFi.
Lastly, some smart projectors come with their own computing power and can even play Netflix, and other streaming services, themselves. That means they do the projecting AND the processing, so you wouldn’t need to connect to another device.
That won’t necessarily be the best home theater projector for you, but it could be—the synopsis here is that you’ll be able to easily stream with just about any projector you buy, it’s just a variation of convenience.
The other considerations are tougher to generalize, as they vary projector to projector,
Consider throw length: how far or close a projector can produce a high quality image. The best home theater projector is the one that fits well into your home.
Many projectors can be simply placed on a coffee table or stand and project upwards onto the wall just fine. These are geared to project closely, though they can often be removed a few feet from the surface.
Others are ceiling-mounts that produce a more theater-like experience, but they can be more of a hassle to set-up, and are less portable.
Lastly, the sounds of a projector are important. That includes the sound system, but it also includes the sounds the projector makes as it operates in general—usually internal fans.
It can be annoying if, during the slow, dramatic parts of your movie, you hear your projector’s fan.
To sum up these other considerations, the best home theater projector does a great job of projecting, and is otherwise out of the way (visually and auditory).
So as said, the best home theater projector overall is Optoma’s HZ39HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with HDR. But that’s just overall, for most readers.
Your own requirements and preferences may very well mean the best home theater projector is another model. But the good news is that you’ve got plenty of options!
You might want to hear this:
“This unit works great! I repainted my wall with Screen paint I received from Home Depot and the picture quality is comparable to my LG OLED TV. Can’t be happier with this purchase!!”