As you get ready for the upcoming big game, it’s a good idea to start checking things off your list: chips, Buffalo wings, drinks, paper plates, big HDTV…
A major event like the Super Bowl is a great excuse to buy that new TV or soundbar you’ve had your eye on. Since tickets to the actual game are going for tens of thousands of dollars, you might as well splurge a little on yourself in order to host the best party for your friends and family at home.
Here are some great audio/video gear suggestions that will help make your Super Bowl party a hit:
Sonos Wireless Speakers
If you have a Sonos PLAYBAR, you’re already ahead of the game because it produces excellent sound for your TV system and also offers a ton of streaming music options for both pre- and post-game festivities. But there’s another feature that makes the Sonos PLAYBAR especially cool to have around at football parties. If you’ve got additional Sonos speakers throughout the house, such as a PLAY:3 or PLAY:1 (which you can see reviewed here and here) you can set those speakers to play the TV audio that’s also coming from your main PLAYBAR. That means when guests leave the living room to fill their plates in the kitchen, they can still hear all the game action on the kitchen speaker. We talk about whole-house audio—this is whole-house football. $199 - $699
Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 2030
If you’ve got the space, then nothing beats watching a great football battle on a big projection screen. The Epson 2030 projector is portable enough that you can take it out for game night (or even set it up in the backyard) and watch the game on a screen as big as your wall. It includes a built-in speaker, so you don’t even need to hook up a separate sound system. When you’re not using it for the big game, you can plug a Ruku Stick into the MHL port and watch streaming movies over Wi-Fi. At only $999 it’s probably the best score of the game.
Yard Master Screen by Elite
A perfect companion to that Epson projector, or any portable projector, is an Elite Yard Master series screen. These projection screens are easy to assemble and work a whole lot better than a sheet stretched across laundry posts. You can get your screen in sizes from 100- to 200 inches (16:9). The kit includes stakes, ropes, all the installation hardware needed and a carrying bag and case. Its durable Dynawhite projection material is made for the rigors of outdoor use while maintaining color clarity with a wide viewing angle.
Sunbrite Outdoor TV
If you live in a part of the country that isn’t yet frozen over, a Super Bowl backyard or patio party is an awesome way to entertain guests. Make it even better with an LCD TV that’s built to withstand all that mother nature can throw at it, including rain, snow, heat and even crawling insects. Sunbrite TV’s outdoor televisions are built to stand up to the worst weather, yet produce an excellent picture for outdoor parties. The Signature Series models are available in 32-, 46-, 55- and 65-inch sizes. Every SunBriteTV includes a 2-year warranty, a weatherproof remote, and a built-in 20-watt sound system.
TiVo Roamio Pro
Even with a game as important as this one, it’s easy to miss a key moment. A TiVo Roamio Pro DVR not only allows you to record and pause the game you’re watching, but you can also simultaneously record 6 programs (such as the Puppy Bowl, Walking Dead Bowl,…) up to 450 hours. No cable company DVR can do that. And with the new Roamio series, you can see what your recordings on your tablet or smart phone or via on other TVs in your house when you add TiVo Minis. $599.
IOGEAR Wireless 5X2 HDMI Matrix
Do you have one cable box but two TVs in the house? Then you need a wireless HDMI transmitter like the IOGEAR Wireless 5x2 Matrix. Just plug your cable box (5 video sources can be connected to the transmitter) into the transmitter and pass the HDMI out to your main TV, then hook the wireless receiver to the second TV (up to 100 feet distance) and now you can feed two TVs with one DVR wirelessly. It even works through walls and floors. If your second TV is outside, this is an easy product to get the signal out back without running clumsy wires. Check out a review of the product here. $399.
iRobot Roomba 880
The worst part about an epic party is cleaning up after everyone leaves. Why not let your robot do that for you. The Roomba 880 can be set to clean your floor on a schedule or it can clean on demand. An automatic dirt sensor can detect how filthy your guests left the place and spend extra cleaning time where needed. Improved brushes and a larger dirt cavity make the Roomba perfect for your after-game chores. It will even find its own way back to it’s dock for recharging. $699.
More cool football-themed home theater features:
Home Theater Dos and Don’ts for Your Super Bowl Party
NFL’s Super Fan Man Cave Has 7 Screens
Sports Frenzy Feeds Media Room’s 10 Video Displays
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.