The Sony BDV-IZ1000W is a home theatre system that's got plenty of power, a full set of features and a design to match Sony's most stylish televisions. If you can afford to shell out £999, we think you'll be pleased with the sound quality and extra functions that are on offer.

Sony BDV-IZ1000W home theatre system: Design, setup and connectivity

The Sony BDV-IZ1000W is a home theatre in a box — it requires a small amount of assembly to connect the five speakers, subwoofer, amplifier and wireless receiver unit. It took us around half an hour to get everything assembled — and we’re old hands at this — so if it’s your first time putting a home theatre system together be prepared to spend some time on assembling the system. The task is made worse by the three-part design of the tallboy speakers, which require the base to be connected to the stand and then the speaker itself, all while you’re threading the speaker wire through a central conduit — it’s quite fiddly, but the end result is the channeling of the speaker wire to the floor for easy concealment.

Once we had the Sony BDV-IZ1000W set up, we took a few moments out to appreciate its design. With a gloss black finish and severe square edges, it’s very visually similar to Sony’s high-end BRAVIA LCD televisions for example the Sony BRAVIA KDL-52LX900 and Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX800. You can adjust the speakers to lean back six degrees, mimicking the optional super-stylish television stands on offer from Sony. Overall it’s design is very attractive, and we’d be hard pressed to think of another home theatre system that we’d choose over the Sony BDV-IZ1000W for setting up alongside a Sony TV.

The Sony BDV-IZ1000W has two HDMI inputs for connecting external audio/video devices such as digital set top boxes or media players, as well as an HDMI output for hooking up a digital TV. If you don’t have HDMI the BDV-IZ1000W can also connect via component and composite video. A raft of digital audio inputs are available for connecting high quality audio equipment, and the Sony BDV-IZ1000W’s huge range of codec options — everything from DTS to Dolby TrueHD is available — means any input should be successfully played back. BRAVIA Internet Video is included for access to online videos and movies, but you’ll need to connect an Ethernet cable or purchase a USB wireless dongle.

Sony BDV-IZ1000W home theatre system: Performance and sound quality

We had the Sony BDV-IZ1000W home theatre system hooked up to a Sharp Quattron LC-52LE820X LCD television. To test the BDV-IZ1000W’s sound quality we ran through a screening of Terminator: Salvation as well as a range of music from rock and hip-hop to jazz and funk. It played every Blu-ray disc we threw at it as well as the 3D Blu-ray movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, which displayed clearly with no errors.

At moderate volume levels in a small room, we were more than pleased with the amount of power the Sony BDV-IZ1000W was able to produce. At this volume level — an appropriate accompaniment to movie watching or music listening — we didn’t notice any audible distortion, and the tone of the Sony BDV-IZ1000W was musical without sounding overly harsh or booming. If you crank the system up to its maximum volume, making full use of the available 1000W, there’s audible distortion from the subwoofer and speakers — but unless you’re sitting ten metres back in a large room you won’t need this much power.

Set at its default settings, the Sony BDV-IZ1000W has a slight emphasis on treble, the dialogue was clear in the movies and it delivered good levels of clarity listening to music. There’s a bit of muddiness in the mid-range tones when the volume is high, but otherwise the subwoofer does a good job of taking care of lower frequency notes. It’s not going to challenge a £999 custom home theatre setup, but we think it offers good performance for the asking price.

Next: our expert verdict >>

See also:

Speaker reviews

DAB/Internet radio reviews

MP3 player reviews

Sony BDV-IZ1000W: Specs

  • Home theatre system
  • Audio type: Surround sound
  • Number of speakers: 5.1
  • Speaker power: 1000W
  • 5.3kg
  • Built-in Decoders: Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS 96/24, Dolby Digital, DTS decoder, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD LBRNumber of HDMI ports: 3
  • Wired Terminals/Ports: Component, Composite, HDMI, Optical Digital Audio
  • Wi-Fi (wireless networking)
  • Wireless 802.11g
  • Home theatre system
  • Audio type: Surround sound
  • Number of speakers: 5.1
  • Speaker power: 1000W
  • 5.3kg
  • Built-in Decoders: Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS 96/24, Dolby Digital, DTS decoder, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD LBRNumber of HDMI ports: 3
  • Wired Terminals/Ports: Component, Composite, HDMI, Optical Digital Audio
  • Wi-Fi (wireless networking)
  • Wireless 802.11g

OUR VERDICT

The Sony BDV-IZ1000W is a home theatre system that justifies its price tag with good sound quality, a strong feature-set and appropriate styling. If you're buying a home theatre to accompany a Sony TV, seriously consider the Sony BDV-IZ1000W. If you’re buying a system to accompany a different brand, don’t discount it — as it could still be your best choice

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