Trying to set up a home theater in a small room poses challenges. With limited space, you need a projector that can produce a sizable image from short-throw distances.
The good news is several projector models are designed specifically with compact, tight setups in mind. This guide will cover the top projectors for optimizing your small-room home cinema.
We’ll overview key considerations for small room projectors, then provide detailed profiles of the 10 best overall options across various budgets and use cases. Let’s create the big screen experience, even in the smallest spaces!
What To Look For In a Projector For Small Rooms
Projector shopping for tight quarters requires paying attention to:
Short Throw Distance
- Models that can create large images from 4-6 feet away
- Adjustable lenses that simplify positioning
Vertical Lens Shift
- Models that can shift image up and down
Inputs and Connectivity
- HDMI, wireless, etc. to easily connect media devices
- Convenience, but external audio ideal for small rooms
Compact Size and Portability
- Small units that are easy to place and move
1080p Native Resolution
- Optimal clarity, but 720p/WXGA workable
- At least 2,000 lumens for well-lit rooms
- At least 1 year, 2-3 years preferable
While tiny “pico” projectors under 50 ANSI lumens can work in very dark rooms, models ~500-3,000+ lumens provide better versatility.
10 Best Projectors For Small Rooms
After extensive research, these 10 projectors consistently rise above the competition for their combination of optimized small-space performance, features, value, and overall image quality.
1. BenQ TK700STi
Brightness: 3,000 lumens
Throw Distance: 100” image from 5 feet
Weight: 6.5 pounds
Short throw lens, vertical keystone adjustment, and bright vivid images make the TK700STi ideal for small room home theaters on a budget.
2. Optoma GT1080HDR
Brightness: 3,400 lumens
Throw Distance: 100” image from 4 feet
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Vertically aligned unit outputs remarkably bright, true-to-life images in tight spaces. Great color accuracy.
3. LG HF85JA
Brightness: 2,700 lumens
Throw Distance: 90” image from 2 feet
Weight: 5.7 pounds
Ultra short throw projector builtins like LED lighting and integrated speakers provide premium small room versatility.
4. Anker Nebula Cosmos Max
Image: 4K UHD
Brightness: 1,500 lumens
Throw Distance: 150” image from 13 feet
Weight: 26 pounds
4K resolution, high-end sound system, Android smart interface, and striking design highlight this capable unit.
Epson’s fast 240Hz 4K-PRO projector handles motion like a champ. It renders over 1 billion colors and has dedicated gaming modes with its popular 3LCD engine. Features high-powered 18 Gbps HDMI inputs and processing.
6. LG CineBeam PH550
Brightness: 550 lumens
Throw Distance: 90” image from 2.5 feet
Weight: 2 pounds
A lightweight LED miniprojector with wireless connectivity and minimal space requirements. Solid image given dimmer lumens.
7. ViewSonic M2e
Image: 854×480 (480p)
Brightness: 300 lumens
Throw Distance: 100” image from 9 feet
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Highly portable smart LED projector good for streaming. Capable unit for casual viewing rather than home theater use.
8. AAXA P7 Mini Projector
Image: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Brightness: 600 lumens
Throw Distance: 80” image from 5 feet
Weight: 2 pounds
Palm-sized LED projector with surprising brightness. Great built-in media player and speaker.
9. Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Brightness: 500 lumens
Throw Distance: 100” image from 13 feet
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Solid brightness and Android OS highlight this lightweight, portable model suited for small room streaming.
10. Kodak Luma 450
Image: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Brightness: 450 lumens
Throw Distance: 90” image from 8 feet
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Budget-friendly portable LED projector with good lumens and connectivity. Great entry-level option.
And there you have it – 10 projectors optimized for delivering the big screen experience even in the most compact rooms and tight spaces.
Key Features To Compare
When evaluating small room projectors, keep an eye on:
- Look for at least 500+ lumens for well-lit rooms
- 1080p is optimal, 720p/854×480 workable
- The short throw of 5-8 feet ideal
- HDMI, USB, and wireless ideal
- Compact and lightweight units simplify placement
- 1-3 years of coverage for defects
|BenQ TK700STi||1080p||3,000 lumens||100” image from 5 feet||6.5 pounds|
|Optoma GT1080HDR||1080p||3,400 lumens||100” image from 4 feet||5.3 pounds|
|LG HF85JA||1080p||2,700 lumens||90” image from 2 feet||5.7 pounds|
|Anker Nebula Cosmos Max||4K UHD||1,500 lumens||150” image from 13 feet||26 pounds|
|Vankyo Leisure 510||1080p||5,500 lumens||200” image from 16 feet||7.4 pounds|
|LG CineBeam PH550||720p||550 lumens||90” image from 2.5 feet||2 pounds|
|ViewSonic M2e||480p||300 lumens||100” image from 9 feet||1.5 pounds|
|AAXA P7 Mini||1080p||600 lumens||80” image from 5 feet||2 pounds|
|Anker Nebula Mars II Pro||720p||500 lumens||100” image from 13 feet||2.2 pounds|
|Kodak Luma 450||1080p||450 lumens||90” image from 8 feet||2.2 pounds|
FAQs About Small Room Projectors
What image size can you expect?
With short throw distances, projections between 80” to 150” diagonally are common.
Do built-in speakers provide good sound?
Built-ins are OK, but connecting dedicated speakers is recommended.
What about gaming with these models?
Input lag will vary by model. Verify gaming viability if it’s a planned usage.
Can you control them with smartphones?
Many support control apps or have wireless connectivity for media streaming.
Do you need to install a screen?
Projecting right onto a blank wall works, but a screen optimizes image quality.
What about ceiling-mounted setups?
Models with vertical lens shifts work best for aiming images downward from ceilings.
Do short-throw projectors need much maintenance?
Just the typical steps – clean vents/filters, and replace lamps after prolonged use.
Tips For Setting Up a Projector In a Small Room
When installing a projector in a compact space, keep these tips in mind:
- Maximize Throw Distance – Place projector as far back as comfortably fits image size for room.
- Dim Ambient Lighting – Less light bouncing off walls enhances image brightness.
- Adjust Vertical Lens Shift – Utilize image shift to optimize placement location.
- Elevate Unit if Needed – Place on shelf or table to properly angle image to wall/screen.
- External Speakers – Even basic speakers provide better sound than tiny built-ins.
- Run Cables Neatly – Tuck/hide wires so they don’t clutter the space.
While a small room introduces projection challenges, the right projector makes it possible to enjoy a sizable cinema-like experience at home regardless.
Models with short throw lenses, compact form factors, and brightness settings optimized for ambient light allow you to place an image almost anywhere.
Evaluate the lighting and layout needs of your space. Then consider the profiled options to choose a projector that fits your budget while delivering superb performance from tight quarters.
Follow the setup tips and you’ll soon forget you’re in a small room as your new projector transports you into immersive cinematic worlds. Screenings for one or two now rival the local multiplex!