capsule review

Philips LX3750W

At a Glance
  • Philips LX3750W Home Theater

Philips LX3750W
Photograph: Rick Rizner

At first glance, Philips's $499 LX3750W might appear to be everything you want from a home theater in a box, but a closer look exposes a few weaknesses.

The system has coolness to spare, with a sleek, silvery exterior; cylinder-shaped speakers; a slim receiver; and an integrated DVD player. You also get wireless surround speakers, so you won't trip over wires running from the receiver to the back of the room.

Philips made the system amazingly simple to assemble: I set it up in only 20 minutes. The color-coded speaker wires end in unusual trapezoidal plastic plugs that connect to the receiver, freeing you from having to mess with threading wires into jacks. But, adjusting the volume balance for the speakers was harder than necessary. The LX3750W lacked an on-screen visualization of the speaker setup to help you determine the correct distance from each speaker to the listener (though it does allow you to adjust the center, subwoofer, and surround speaker volume on the remote).

If you're a casual music listener, you'll like the unit's sounds. It produced rich bass tones and pleasant trebles on CD audio. Vocals came across well, too. But midrange tones (essential to fill out many kinds of music) were muddy and indistinct. And despite 300 watts of power, the system seemed to lack strength at higher volumes.

The LX3750W produced crisp, detailed images on DVDs. The unit even includes component video cables for progressive scan playback--a rarity even though most players have the ports necessary (I tested with S-Video because the TV I was using didn't support component video). But colors looked undersaturated, whites were too harsh, and colors lacked warmth. The soundtrack for my test DVD movie, The Matrix Reloaded, fell short as well: There was no teeth-rattling bass. And the center channel didn't have the full vocal range that a larger speaker would produce.

The LX3750W looks cool and is extremely easy to set up, but it produces only average audio and video.

Michael Gowan

This story, "Philips LX3750W" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Philips LX3750W Home Theater

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