Best short throw projector

Projectors

A short throw projector can transform even a small room into an immersive home theater.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which short throw projector is best?

Previously, projectors were an option only for those with large enough rooms to allow for a significant distance between the device and their wall or screen. But as the market for home theater equipment has grown, so too has the availability of technology that can easily bring a cinematic experience to almost any room, regardless of size. 

Short throw projectors are able to effectively project large images within a limited space. The Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector provides excellent picture resolution and a wealth of features, making it the best choice for those interested in a quality short throw projector at a reasonable price.

What to know before you buy a short throw projector

Short throw projectors are markedly easier to install than traditional models.

Your space

For optimum performance, most short throw projectors require placement at least 4 feet away from your wall or screen. Consider your available space and whether a projector would be a hazard or eyesore in your room.

Audio options

Many short throw projectors have built-in speakers. These speakers, however, are generally of low quality. Some projectors do not accommodate audio at all. This means that the device you are streaming your video from will also be providing sound. Users who want a more robust home theater experience should invest in a dedicated audio system or soundbar. Headphones are also an option.

Your wall or screen

In order to use a short throw projector, you will need a clean, blank wall in your home, office or apartment. This wall should ideally be white with a matte surface to prevent any distracting glare or reflection. Alternatively, some users install a screen that can be rolled down for use with their projector. For outdoor use, portable screens are available for instances where there isn’t a suitable projection surface.

What to look for in a quality short throw projector

Screen size

One of the most compelling reasons to purchase a projector is to allow for large screen sizes that can’t be achieved using flat-screen TVs. Carefully read the manufacturer’s specs and recommendations with regard to the maximum and minimum screen sizes achievable with each model. Keep in mind that a smaller projected image will be brighter and clearer, while larger projections may result in blurriness. 

Resolution

For most users, an image resolution of 1080p will provide excellent picture quality and a full HD experience. While some short throw projectors allow for 4K resolution, the difference between a high-quality 1080p projector and a budget model capable of producing a 4K image is negligible and does not warrant the extra expense. 

Connectivity

While all projectors will have the video inputs required to connect to your Blu-ray player, game console or streaming box, some also include a built-in OS that allows you to download streaming apps directly to the projector using Wi-Fi. Others allow for the use of Bluetooth speakers.

Brightness

One of the downsides to using a projector is that they can be challenging to use during the day or in otherwise bright conditions. For use in the dark, a projector that has a brightness rating of at least 1,500 ANSI lumens will suffice. If you wish to use your projector during the day, a rating of 2,000 ANSI lumens or more is recommended.

Portability

A projector is generally much easier to transport than a TV. If you’re using your device for traveling presentations or watching movies with friends outdoors, consider a small, lightweight model.

How much you can expect to spend on a short throw projector

Expect to pay $200-$2,000 for a quality short throw projector, with those on the higher end offering features such as ultra-short throw capability, advanced audio options and smart technology.

Short throw projector FAQ

Are short throw projectors loud?

A. Short throw projectors have built-in fans that prevent them from overheating. As a result, the sound they produce can be distracting, depending on your distance from them. Using a high-quality audio system and viewing as far from the projector as possible will help to alleviate this issue.

Do you have to mount a short throw projector to your ceiling?

A. While some users opt to permanently mount their short throw projectors to their ceiling, this is not required. Your device can be placed on any flat surface as long as it is far enough away from your wall to allow proper projection.

Can you use a short throw projector for video games?

A. Yes. Any device that allows for video output, from game consoles to gaming PCs and laptops, can be connected to your projector.

What’s the best short throw projector to buy?

Top short throw projector

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

What you need to know: This short throw projector provides excellent picture quality at a competitive price.

What you’ll love: Thanks to its fast response time, this short throw projector is great for gaming. It includes a built-in speaker and a wealth of connectivity options including two HDMI ports. With its brightness rating of 3,800 lumens, this device can be used during the day.

What you should consider: Users report that this device can be loud, especially when using its HDR features.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top short throw projector for the money

XNoogo Native 1080p Projector

XNoogo Native 1080p Projector

What you need to know: This device provides the benefits of using a 1080p short throw projector at an unbeatable value. 

What you’ll love: This projector features Bluetooth speaker connectivity for simple, wireless audio setup. It can connect to your iOS or Android device either via Wi-Fi or wired connection for screen mirroring. 

What you should consider: Some have reported issues with this projector’s brightness as well as its ability to communicate reliably over Wi-Fi.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300 3-chip 3LCD Smart Laser Projector

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300 3-chip 3LCD Smart Laser Projector

What you need to know: This premium, professional projector from Epson features the latest in ultra-short throw technology for a superior home theater experience. 

What you’ll love: Ultra-short throw technology allows this projector to achieve a 120-inch screen size from about 15 inches away. Yamaha speakers provide audio quality on par with dedicated soundbars. No need for a separate smart device, as this unit comes with Android TV built in.

What you should consider: Some buyers aren’t thrilled with the lack of proper 4K resolution at this projector’s high price point.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dell

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.