While TVs are getting bigger, it’s hard to beat the home theater experience offered by projectors. It’s the closest to having a cinema at home. And with 4K models on the rise, you’re getting some truly impressive visual performance even in broad daylight. But not everyone needs a 4K projector. Some enjoy the experience and aesthetic of a projector inside the bedroom. Others are simply on a budget. Fret not. Below, we’ve narrowed down the best home projectors to our top five picks.
Best Home Projector Comparison Chart
|Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12|
|Crosstour Mini Projector P770|
|Epson Home Cinema 3800|
Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12
Best projector for bedroom
Cozying under the sheets and projecting your favorite movie to your bedroom wall — is there a better way to relax? This is what you get from the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12. With its compact form, you can set it anywhere in your room. It also uses laser light technology that can project at full power for 20,000 hours.
Looks, however, can be deceiving. Epson’s matte-black cube is built for consuming content. It’s a smart TV in its own right, with a built-in Android TV. Users can also download apps like Hulu, HBO, and YouTube when setting up the unit. The viewing experience is immersive. With the Mini EF12, you can project up to 150″ in picture size. Plus, you can stream 4K content.
The EF12 comes with six picture modes and offers moderate brightness. While it supports HDR content, darker scenes have lower contrast and lack detail. As for audio performance, Epson’s portable projector boasts a custom-designed speaker system by Yamaha. If you need more volume, you can connect the unit to other speakers via Bluetooth.
Technology: MicroLaser Array | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI
Best projector under 500
If you’re not keen on spending close to $1,000 for a projector, you can opt for a budget-friendly model. Under $500, we recommend the ViewSonic PA503S. The DLP projector retails anywhere from $200 to a little over $300, depending on the variant. Despite its ‘affordable’ price tag, the ViewSonic has enough going in terms of visual performance.
The unit shines bright at 3600 lumens and delivers 15,000 hours of projection life from the bulbs. ViewSonic’s SuperColor technology also brings vibrant color to the projector’s 1080p full HD resolution. The only downside is the fan noise and 260-watt power consumption. As for throw distance, ViewSonic’s projector has a range of 3.9 to 43 feet. Picture size is also a positive, maxing out at 300″.
In terms of adjustability, the ViewSonic PA5036 only features a vertical keystone. For input, the projector comes with an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio-in. The ViewSonic has a built-in speaker, too, although audio performance is average.
Technology: Digital Light Processing | Connectivity: HDMI, 3.5mm Audio-In
Crosstour Mini Projector P770
Best projector under 200
The best projector on a budget is the Crosstour Mini Projector P770. Selling for under $100, the unit mirrors the content from your smartphone or tablet. Connection is either over WiFi or via USB cable. The P770 also has dual speakers that offer 360° surround stereo. While it has a super bass effect, audio performance is better when connected to a standalone speaker.
Crosstour’s mini projector supports 1080p HD content and delivers a maximum picture size of 176″. Meanwhile, the throw range is between 3.3 to 7.2 feet. You can also adjust image clarity with the 15 ° keystone correction and focus wheel. As for quality, Crosstour shares that the P770 offers 16.7K display colors even at maximum projection size.
But given its price, the projector does cut some corners. For instance, you can’t play content from streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu. You’ll need a TV stick to do that. There’s also no Bluetooth connection for the speakers, so you’ll have to rely on an audio jack. All things said, the P770 is still a solid entry-level purchase for home theater projectors.
Technology: LCD | Connectivity: HDMI, WiFi, 3.5mm Audio-In
Epson Home Cinema 3800
Best outdoor projector for daylight
One of the challenges for home projectors is bright light conditions. This is especially true if you’re planning to watch content outdoors. Fortunately, the Epson Home Cinema 3800 makes a strong case for itself. The projector delivers 4K HDR content and boasts a brightness level of 3000 lumens. Combined with a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, few details are lost when projecting outdoors.
The 3800’s secret is an advanced 3LCD technology that displays 100% of the RGB color signal without any rainbow effect. These HD LCD chips are also precisely controlled by pixel-shifting technology, allowing them to process millions of pixels at the same time. Epson’s Home Cinema 3800 has a maximum projection size of 300″ and a native 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.
Aside from color accuracy and exceptional black depth, the projector comes with dual, rear-firing 10W speakers. For connectivity, you get aptX Bluetooth for high-resolution audio. The 3800 also comes with full 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0 support, perfect for 4K HDR gaming at full 60fps.
Technology: 3LCD | Connectivity: HDMI 2.0, aptX Bluetooth
Best projector 4K
If money is no object, consider the JVC DLA-NZ8. Arguably the best laser projector in the market, the N78 offers excellent HDR performance and is the world’s first to support high-res 8K signal input. The native 4K projector also upgrades its lamps to BLU-Escent laser. As a result, you’re getting 2500 lumens of optical brightness without compromising black depth.
JVC’s high-end projector features 8K/60p/4K120p. With the 4K120p, the NZ8 is a beast in gaming, especially when used in low-latency mode. It can also reproduce 8K-quality images from 4K signal sources via an 8K/e-shiftX proprietary technology. Other cutting-edge features include HDR tone mapping, auto-calibration, and an all-glass lens with motorized zoom and focus.
With all these features, the N78 is inevitably an expensive purchase. However, you get your money’s worth given its 20,000-hour lifespan. Upgrades to HDM1 2.1 has also future-proofed this projector, and the build quality is both solid and sleek. The NZ8 is perfect for medium to large home cinemas and can be ceiling or stand mounted.
Technology: Laser D-ILA | Connectivity: HDMI 2.1
In this review, the Epson Home Cinema 3800 and JVC DLA-NZ8 are clear standouts when it comes to features.
Having your own projector means enjoying a cinema-esque viewing experience in the comforts of your own home. Our top five picks deliver this experience with nifty features and cutting-edge technology. While the projectors in this list are highly recommended, two are clear standouts.
The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is our recommendation for those who want a home projector at a reasonable price. While it’s not a budget pick, the 3800 delivers where it counts — performance. Epson’s Home Cinema does well indoors and outdoors. The image quality delivered is impressive, and you get solid stereo speakers to boot.
For those who want something exceptional, the JVC DLA-NZ8 takes the cake. Peerless in its 8K resolution and HDR support, this projector is for those who don’t like cutting corners. The laser-powered unit is also future-proofed, thanks to HDMI 2.1 ports. And, with low-latency mode, it’s one of the few projectors that can live up to the needs of gamers.
No. The Crosstour Mini Projector P770 does not have Bluetooth connectivity. However, you can still connect the mobile device being screen mirrored to a Bluetooth speaker.
Epson gives the EpiqVision Mini EF12 a free three-year limited warranty.
The ViewSonic PA503S is rated to have a 15,000-hour life span in SuperEco mode.
The JVC DLA-NZ8 has the following dimensions: 19.68 x 9.22 x 19.9 inches.