BenQ TH685 Review: A Solid Home Theater Projector In 2021-2022

The TH685 is one of the popular projectors of BenQ. BenQ claims the projector to be the best for viewing video/movies and gaming. Moreover, it is a native Full HD projector. What else? Let’s find out. 

author
James K. Brownlee
BenQ TH685 Review

The BenQ TH685 is another popular projector after the previous model TH585. The company has included many great features and technologies in this model. Some of the best features include a six-segment color wheel, HDR10 & HLG support, and 3D compatibility.

Before we move to the full review of the BenQ TH685, let’s take a look at the key features of the projector first. 

Key features: The BenQ TH685

  1. Native 1080p
  2. Low input lag
  3. Customized modes for sound & gaming
  4. 1.3x Zoom & Digital lens shift
  5. 8.3ms response time
  6. Vertical keystone correction
  7. 15,000 hours lamp life

Pros & Cons: The BenQ TH685

What I like:

  1. Its HDR10 & HLG support
  2. It can handle 4K content, though downconverts
  3. Low input lag and fast response time 
  4. Excellent color production with accuracy
  5. 3D capability

What I don’t:

  1. Image adjustment 
  2. No carrying bag

Verdict: What I think about the BenQ TH685

There is no doubt saying the BenQ TH685 is an unbeatable projector for home entertainment for the price. Besides, it’s good at gaming; you have fast 8.3ms of response time and low input lag. Moreover, since the projector offers 3,500 lumens of brightness, it makes it an ideal outdoor projector. So if you install it in a well-lit room or a room with ambient light, you won’t be disappointed with the picture quality you get.  

The BenQ TH685 also supports HDR10 and HLG (the standard for broadcast TV). In addition, it handles 4K content with ease, though it downscale it to the native resolution 1080p. 

So for the price tag it carries, it’s an excellent (1080p) Full HD projector for a home theater setup. Hence I give the BenQ THT685 4 stars out of 5.

Amazon: The Latest price of BenQ TH685

Top competitors: ViewSonic PX701HD And BenQ TH585   

It’s all about the price of the projector. Therefore, from 500 to $1000, the price range makes the whole lot difference between projectors. Like BenQ TH685, The Viewsonic PX701HD and BenQ TH585 are among the projectors sharing the same price. Moreover, share the same features and are designed for watching movies and gaming. 

However, the common drawback with these models is their support for HDR and 4K input. 

Two more contenders give direct competition to the TH685 – the Optoma GT1080HDR and Optoma HD39HDR. Why? Their ability to accept 4K HDR input is just like TH685. All three are native Full HD projectors and downconvert 4K HDR input to their native resolutions. However, there is one plus with TH685 is its HLG support, where the other two lack. 

Overview: All you need to know about the projector 

Starting with the fact that the BenQ is a native FullHD projector and supports an actual 1920×1080 pixels resolution. In addition to the resolution, you can feed it 4K (3820x2160p) content; however, it downconverts the image to meet the native resolution. 

The projector utilizes HDR10 technology to deliver a bright and high-quality picture. Besides, whatever content you play: HDR10 or SDR, it delivers fantastic color accuracy and contrast.  

Review: What does the BenQ TH685 carry?

Brightness: How many lumens does the BenQ TH685 offer?

With a six-segment (RGBWYC) color wheel, the TH685 is equipped with a single (1920x1200P) DLP chip. The extra white color segment produces a more bright picture and improves the overall color accuracy. Unfortunately, that’s why most projectors using a six-segment color wheel are expensive. 

Come to the question; the projector boasts 3,500 ANSI lumens, it delivers enough bright picture in a well-lit room. Compared to other identical projectors with the same lumen ratings, I found the picture quality on the TH685 more satisfying. 

As (SMPTE) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers recommends, a projector with 3000 rated lumens can light up a 250-inch diagonal screen in a dark room. However, if it is a room with ambient light, your projector can handle a 150-inch screen. 

Physical appearance: What about the projector’s design? 

The TH685 is a compact and portable projector, as it weighs only 6.2 pounds and measures (4x12x9) inches (HWD). Moreover, the projector features 1.3x zoom and the digital image shift when it comes to image correction. 

Also, you have the option to square off the image using its +/- 30-degree vertical keystone control.

While testing the projector, I chose a 90-inch image size and put the projector about 7 feet and 4 inches away from the projected screen. However, I had some issues while focusing on the image caused by its focus ring. In other words, With just a little movement of the focus ring, the projector changes the focus a lot.  

Connectivity: Does the projector include all the necessary ports? 

For connectivity, the TH685 includes two HDMI ports (2.0b) with several other ports. Both HDMI ports are compatible with HDCP 2.2. Next to the HDMIs, you have a USB port. Most people use the USB port for powering up their streaming dongles, such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and many others.

Picture quality: What about the different color modes of the projector? 

The picture quality on the projector is fantastic, even with defaults settings. It does most of the things on its own and doesn’t require manual actions that much. However, you must pay attention to the basics, such as image focus, the appropriate resolution, suitable colors or modes for the content being played, ETC. 

Like other same category projectors, The TH685 offers four predefined color modes: cinema, sport, bright, and game mode. As usual, the bright mode is used for controlling the light level; moreover, it comes in handy when your room has a lot of ambient light. 

You also have the sports mode; the projector tries to match the realistic color range but gives up. Yes, you heard it right. I wouldn’t say I liked this sports mode that much because of the inaccurate color range.  

If the content is below 1080p or SDR, you have the Cinema mode, which delivers the best color accuracy. I played a lot around this mode, as it was indeed impressive, especially for low-quality content. 

After a couple of hours of testing these color modes, I found them producing better color accuracy in dark scenes. However, modes with high brightness, such as its gaming mode, steal shadow detail in dark scenes or dark areas of the game with ease. Overall, I can say these modes work perfectly and make close-ups of deep objects.

HDR support:  How does it work? 

When it comes to HDR content, the projector TH685 does a great job. It downconverts the 4K image to the projector’s native 1080p resolution. Like HDR, it also supports HLG content; both HDR and HLG work the same way, though with different purposes. 

When you play any 4K HDR movie, you’ll find its colors to be a bit saturated with good contrast for bright scenes. However, you won’t find any difference in dark scenes; they look as same as SDR content. 

When it comes to dark gray levels, the difference was comparable; I could see a more dramatic image with better shadow details. In addition to the color levels, you have settings to fine-tune the image range. Generally, these settings let you adjust brightness and contrast. Though most modern projectors also have settings to adjust gamma. 

Yes, The TH685 also has gamma adjustments. Besides, Further adjustments, such as Hue, saturation, and gain, can be adjusted separately using the color management system.  

The Rainbow: The TH685’s with rainbow artifacts

Equipped with a single-DLP-chip, The TH685 also has red-green-blue flashes. Again, though, it is slightly noticeable. Therefore, saying that projector has rainbow artifacts won’t be wrong. 

However, when the projection is in action, you’ll find them fleeting right away. Moreover, it is noticeable only for those who are sensitive to those artifacts. For me, they didn’t bother me at all.  

Sound Quality: Is it worth it? 

When it comes to the sound quality of the projector, it produces a decent sound from its built-in 5-watt speaker, though it’s a mono speaker. To be honest, I didn’t find its sound that loud. However, it’s okay for a small room. If you want stereo high-quality sound, go for an external sound system. 

Gaming: Is BenQ TH685 a gaming projector? 

As smooth gaming requires fast response time and low input lag, the BenQ TH685 does the same job. It offers 8.3ms fast response time with a dedicated gaming picture mode. So if you’re a gamer, you can’t help appreciating the TH685. 

Conclusion: What do I think about BenQ TH685? 

If you’re looking for the best Full HD home theater projector under 1000 bucks, you have BenQ TH685. From its picture to sound quality, everything was up to the bar. Moreover, its two impressive features, HDR and HLG, add more flexibility to the projector. 

So it’s been the full review of BenQ’s popular model TH685. I want you guys to leave a comment below about the review – ask me if there is any doubt. 

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