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Hisense C1 Lifestyle Projector Review

Posted on February 25, 2024 by Philip Boyle
Hisense C1 - Highly Recommended Award - Projector Reviews - Image
The Hisense C1 is the company's first Lifestyle 4K projector with excellent picture quality.

The Hisense C1 is a lifestyle video projector introduced in the second half of 2023. It's a 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) projector with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160p and has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $2099.99. The projector is powered by an RGB triple laser light source that can produce a manufacturer-rated brightness of up to 1,600 ANSI lumens and a dynamic contrast of 2,000,000:1. The C1 is cube-shaped and has an integrated JBL 20-watt (10-watt x2) speaker that is certified by Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio to create an immersive sound experience to match the projector's video capabilities.

Although Hisense has produced home video projectors for a decade, the C1 is its first lifestyle cube-shaped home entertainment projector. It's a smart projector that uses Hisense's VIDAA OS smart platform, which provides users access to a wide range of video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+, as well as hundreds of other applications, including games.

  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
buy now on amazon button grey - Projector Reviews - Image
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Hisense C1 Specs
Price (MSRP)$2299
Displayed Resolution4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim1600 ANSI Lumens
Light SourceRGB Laser
Contrast2,000,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.2X
Sound System10 Watt x2 Stereo
Dimensions(WxHxD) 9.7’’ × 7.1’’ × 8.5’’
Weight10.1 lbs.



Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
Immerse yourself in the true cinematic experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.

The Hisense C1 employs Texas Instruments' highly popular single-chip 0.47-inch DLP DMD image sensors. Compared to three-chip devices, the single-chip DLP is a better projector that does not face panel alignment issues. The C1 utilizes XPR technology that shifts the DMD's pixels four times in four directions to display a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160p) image of 8.3 million individual pixels on the screen.

The DLP DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) is sealed to prevent dirt and dust from damaging the sensor's delicate microscopic components. A sealed light engine ensures that your projector's DLP imager remains clean and produces a sharp image at any point during its lifespan.

Hisense C1 - RGB Laser - Projector Reviews - Image
Trichroma Laser Technology delivers over 1.07 billion shades of color, reaching 110% of the BT.2020

The Hisense C1 projector is equipped with an RGB Trichroma laser light source, which is also used by the company's award-winning ultra-short throw projectors, such as the PX1 and PX1-PRO laser cinema projectors and the L9 series of Laser TV projectors. You can check out my detailed reviews of these models by clicking the links provided.

The Trichroma laser light source in the Hisense C1 projector utilizes separate red, green, and blue lasers to produce over 1.07 billion shades of color, covering 110% of the BT.2020 color space. According to Hisense, this is the broadest range of colors a projector can display. Upon testing, I noticed no laser specular artifacts and the projector's color accuracy was remarkable.

The Trichroma laser Hisense uses in the C1 is not as bright as the versions the company uses in their ultra-short throw projector line, but 1,600 ANSI lumens of brightness is more than enough for light-controlled spaces and even for some rooms with a small amount of uncontrolled ambient light sources. That said, Hisense lists the recommended projection sizes as being between 65 and 300 inches diagonally, which looks great as a marketing claim but less so in the living room or backyard.

Let me be clear about this. You can take this projector down to your local movie theater and fill an IMAX screen from corner to corner, but just because you can does not mean you should. Unless you only watch high-contrast content like cartoons or use a high-gain Fresnel screen, 150 inches pushes the limits of a 1,600 ANSI lumens light source, even one as good as the Trichroma light source in the C1.

Hisense C1 - Dolby Vision HDR - Projector Reviews - Image
The Hisense is one of the first standard throw projectors to support Dolby Vision 

The Hisense C1 supports various HDR formats, such as HDR10, HLG, and, most noticeably, Dolby Vision, often described as the most advanced HDR technology. What sets Dolby Vision apart from formats like HDR10 is its dynamic metadata, which means that it can adjust the HDR settings on a frame-by-frame basis. This results in more precise, vibrant colors, better contrast, and enhanced brightness levels.

HDR10 is the baseline standard for HDR. It uses static metadata, meaning the HDR settings are the same for the entire video. While it does improve the overall picture quality compared to standard dynamic range content, it lacks the scene-by-scene optimization found in Dolby Vision and HDR10+. As a result, some scenes may look less impressive, especially in brightness and color accuracy.

HDR10+ offers similar capabilities to Dolby Vision without the licensing costs associated with Dolby Vision. However, HDR10+ is less widely supported across devices and streaming services than Dolby Vision. The only reason I'm even mentioning HDR10+ is that I've seen conflicting reports that this projector supports HDR10+. Still, I can assure you that the C1 on my test bench did not support HDR10+, nor do any materials for this projector list it as a feature.

Hisense C1 - Smart OS - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1 uses VIDAA Smart OS. VIDAA is not a literal acronym; the name conveys a sense of visual and interactive innovation. Compared to typical projector smart operating systems such as Android TV, VIDAA focuses on simplicity and user-friendly interfaces.

VIDAA Smart OS is designed to be intuitive, offering a straightforward interface that allows users to access their favorite apps and content with minimal hassle. VIDAA organizes content cleanly and efficiently. Its strength lies in its simplicity ― a quick and responsive interface that's easy to navigate without bloat.

I like that VIDAA focuses primarily on entertainment-based applications geared primarily around movies and TV because that's 99% of what the average projector owner watches. Hisense has added some casual games optimized for the VIDAA OS.

Hisense C1 - Auto Magic - Projector Reviews - Image

The C1 also has several built-in smart hardware features to simplify initial setup.

  • Auto Keystone Correction
  • Auto Focus
  • Auto Obstacle Avoidance
  • Auto Screen Alignment
  • Auto Eye Protection

While we strongly recommend turning most of these features off to achieve maximum picture quality, there is no doubt that these features make setting up a projector faster and easier. If you take the time to properly position your projector to minimize the amount of digital image correction, you will usually be rewarded with a better image. 

Hisense C1 - Sound - Projector Reviews - Image

Another area that lifestyle projectors have improved in is sound quality, and the Hisense C1 is no exception. This projector has more in common with the sound produced by Laser TV-style projectors than standard or short-throw projectors. Hisense has partnered with JBL and incorporated an excellent 20-watt (10-watt x 2) sound system with an above-average bass performance and sound stage.

For instance, if you were in an environment without access to an external sound system like a soundbar, the onboard audio performance of the Hisense C1 can provide above-average sound and imaging that significantly would contribute to creating an immersive movie and gameplay experience.


  • $1,899.99 MSRP
  • Single Chip 0.47" DLP Texas Instruments DMD with XPR
  • 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160p) displayed resolution
  • 1,600 ANSI lumens of brightness (manufacturer rated)
  • TriChroma Laser Light source can reproduce up to 110% of the BT.2020 color space
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG signal support
  • 2,000,000:1 (dynamic) contrast ratio
  • 20W (10W x 2) onboard JBL sound system supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital sound
  • Bluetooth audio connectivity
  • Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney+ and Apple TV+
  • Casting via Apple Airplay2 and Miracast technologies
  • Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant and VIDAA Voice
  • Auto modes for Keystone Correction, Focus, Obstacle Avoidance, Screen Alignment as well as Eye Protection
  • 2 x HDMI (HDMI#1 2.0, HDMI#1 2.1 and ALLM and eARC)
  • Dimensions: (WxHxD) 9.7’’ × 7.1’’ × 8.5’’
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty


The Hisense C1 is one of a growing list of projectors that embrace the cube-style design, which is becoming increasingly popular with many mainstream projection manufacturers. Although they may vary slightly in size and weight, they share a similar design language. These types of projectors are referred to as lifestyle projectors because they include smart features and a high-quality sound system. A cube-shaped projector offers significant benefits in transportability and usage, including raising the projector lens when sitting on a bed.

The Hisense C1 combines brushed aluminum and plastic materials without the cloth accents found on some other brands. While cloth accents look nice, they can hold dirt and oil and be harder to clean than metal.


  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image

The lens is at the top right of the projector's front panel. Next to the lens on the left is a group of sensors for the projector's auto adjustment modes, including Auto Focus, Auto Keystone Alignment, Auto Obstacle Avoidance, and Auto Screen Alignment. To the right of the lens is another camera sensor for auto adjustments. The rest of the front panel is used for ventilation.

The Power On/Off button is located on the top left (when looking at the projector from the front) of the device. Next to the power button is a Play/Pause button, followed by Volume Up and Down buttons. Finally, there is an IR sensor. The sides of the projector are a combination of speaker grills and vents for cooling. The rear of the C1 is where all the projector's inputs and connections are located.

The C1 comes with four feet that unscrew about one-half inch depth. The four adjustable feet allow the C1 to be perfectly leveled on almost any surface. The projector also features a centered standard ¼-inch female connection, enabling the projector to be mounted to an ¼ inch tripod or hung upside down from the same type of fitting.

Hisense C1 - Inputs - Projector Reviews - Image

The rear of the C1 is where all the projector's inputs and connections are located. The C1 features one USB 2.0 and one USB 2.0 Type-A connection. The projector also includes two HDMI ports, with the second port supporting eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) technology for connecting the projector to compatible receivers or soundbars. There are two audio outputs on the Hisense C1: a 3.5 mm mini jack output and an S/PDIF connection. Last, the Hisense C1 features an RJ45 network connection.

Hisense C1 - Remote Control - Projector Reviews - Image

The included remote looks like a typical Hisense remote control. The remote connects via Bluetooth, ensuring the projector can be controlled even if it's not in the line of sight. The C1 remote offers buttons almost identical to other Hisense remotes like the ones used on the PX1-PRO and PX2. There are dedicated Service Buttons for many built-in streaming media services. They have a quick access button for the projector's built-in Media player. Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and Apple TV+.

Located at the top center of the remote is a dedicated button for the VIDAA Assistant and voice control of a wide range of smart features, including but not limited to Voice Search, Compatible Projector Switching, Hardware Controls, and many IoT (Internet of Things) compatible devices.


Hisense C1 - Lens - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1’s fixed focal length provides a 1.2:1 throw ratio, which can project a 100" image from 105 inches away. The C1 has many convenient setup features, including Auto Focus, Auto Screen Alignment, and Auto Eye Protection. Auto Keystone Correction allows the projector to detect and correct any distortion caused by an uneven surface or a non-perpendicular angle, ensuring a smooth, seamless viewing experience. These features are not exclusive to Hisense; their implementation is superb. Automatic adjustments are fast and accurate. 

The C1's autofocus uses a high-precision sensor to detect the distance between the projector and the screen and adjust the focus accordingly. The C1's autofocus is fast, with little to no searching visible.

Auto Obstacle Avoidance can detect objects on the wall, like curtains or blinds, and automatically adjust the image to compensate for any obstruction, eliminating manual adjustment. Object avoidance technology ensures the setup process is quick and hassle-free.

Auto Eye Protection uses sensors to detect when someone approaches the front of the projector and shuts the lamp off to avoid damaging the person's eyes, which is incredibly useful when you have children in the house.

Hisense lists the projector as projecting an image from 65 to 300 inches. As I've said about other projectors with lumen counts under 2,000, just because you can do something does not mean you should. I recommend limiting your maximum screen size to no larger than 150 inches and, optimally, 120 inches unless you use a high-gain screen.


  • Hisense C1 - Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - VIDAA App Store - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - VIDAA App Store - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1 is the first VIDAA OS projector I have reviewed, and overall, both the streaming interface and the core menu layout and organization are intuitive. You'll first notice how clean everything looks when you turn it on. There is no cluttered mess; the streaming interface is laid out in a simple, horizontal menu, so finding what you want to watch is easy.

Like the menu systems on all the Hisense projectors I've reviewed, the VIDAA interface is snappy, contrasting with some Android TV implementations that can be sluggish with significant delays from pressing a button to action on the screen. Not this one. It's quick, which makes a huge difference when you're just trying to relax and find something good to watch.

Moving all your favorite apps around, like Android TV and Apple TV OS, is easy. So, if you're all about that Netflix binge or always diving into the latest on Disney+, you can set those up front and center. It's like having your own personalized TV experience.

The core feature menus, like picture, sound, and setup, on the Hisense C1 are as fast and intuitive as the VIDAA streaming interface. In picture settings, you get all the usual adjustments for brightness, contrast, color saturation, and so on. Hisense includes multiple picture presets that are handy, especially if you're not into customizing every little detail. Hisense allows users to keep it simple or get as detailed as they want with an advanced section for detailed color calibration.

For sound, Hisense includes everything from basic volume control to preset audio modes and even provides equalizer settings for fine-tuning the audio to your liking. Whether watching an action-packed blockbuster or listening to dialogue-heavy dramas, you can adjust the settings to ensure you get the best audio experience.

Core menu navigation is intuitive and painless, so you won't need to pull out the manual every two seconds to figure out how to do something. It's all about getting you to your favorite content faster and ensuring it looks and sounds right.

But, and there's always a but, it's not perfect. The app selection is decent, but don't expect to find the same number of applications that you will find on Android TV and Apple TV.



The Hisense C1's out-of-the-box color performance is excellent when using any of the movie-centric presets. I even found the slightly saturated STANDARD mode a superb option for viewing a wide range of content, including many movies. Despite all the claims of wide color gamut capabilities, Hisense has done an excellent job tuning most preset picture modes, at least to the eye.

Hisense claims their Trichroma laser light source can display 110% of the BT.2020 color space, which the company claims is the "widest color space in the Industry." I'm assuming Hisense is referring to 110% of the BT.2020 being the widest in the industry, not that the C1 is the only projector to display it since other manufacturers also make this claim, including JMGO with their N1 Ultra projector. While displaying the BT.2020 color pallet is important, accurately using this massive range of colors is more important. As a prominent flat-panel TV manufacturer, Hisense has expertise in critical color tuning that enables the C1 to display excellent out-of-the-box colors.

  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

The C1 comes with six preset picture modes for SDR, with CINEMA DAY, CINEMA NIGHT, and FILMMAKER modes being the most accurate, but all looked a little too warm. DYNAMIC, STANDARD, and SPORTS modes are brighter but tend to have a bluer tone and are designed for high ambient light conditions.

As with most Home Entertainment projectors, we measured the projector's color accuracy before and after adjustment using Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Since your room and screen material significantly impact the overall picture, we don't recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, your settings would probably be different. Also, the color characteristics of different individual projectors can vary. Therefore, copying someone else's results can be detrimental to the picture quality rather than improving it. The charts below show my measurements before and after calibration.

If you want to make quick BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, and SHARPNESS adjustments to improve the picture quality of your projector in your room, several free test patterns are available on the Murideo website and their YouTube channel. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website. Also, check out our YouTube video on utilizing several test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

Hisense C1 - Color Calibration Graph - Projector Reviews - Image

We chose to measure and adjust the CINEMA Night since it was the most accurate out of the box. In this mode, the color reproduction was very good, but it was a little warm. Our Grayscale measurements indicated that the image was a little deficient in Blue, resulting in an average color temperature of 6041K, which was lower than our target of 6500K. 

The Gamma measurement was 2.0, which was higher than our target of 2.2. While this is fine for viewing the content in rooms with more ambient light, black levels look slightly evaluated in a dark space. 

While many RGB Laser projectors struggle to properly track Rec709 colors used in SDR content, the Hisense C1 did an excellent job. The projector’s pre-calibration color sweep measurements were better than many projectors after they had been calibrated. 

  • Picture Mode: CINEMA NIGHT
  • Gamma: 2.0
  • Color Temperature: 6037K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 5.2
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.25

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

Hisense C1 - Color Calibration Graph - Projector Reviews - Image

Since the average color temperature was fairly close to my target of 6500K, I left the COLORTEMP setting at its default of Warm 1. I used the projector 2pt Grayscale adjustment to achieve better RGB balance to increase the amount of blue in the image. The projector also includes 20pt white balance adjustments, but I did not feel the need to use them.

To achieve deeper-looking blacks and a flat Gamma of 2.2, I just needed to switch the projector’s Black Setting from Auto to Normal.

The projector's pre-calibration color tracking was outstanding, so it wasn't necessary to adjust it further. However, I did use the Color Management adjustments to slightly improve the magenta and cyan color tracking.

  • Gamma: 2.2
  • Color Temperature: 6579K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.1
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.1

When evaluating color reproduction, a Delta E measurement of 3 or less is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. After SDR calibration, the grayscale average DeltaE was less than one, which was outstanding.

In the past, many tri-laser projectors that we have reviewed in the past struggled to reproduce the Rec709 color space used in SDR material accurately, but the C1 did a great job tracking colors in SDR material. The average pre-calibration Color Tracking dE was about 1.2, which is outstanding, so there is no need to adjust it, however you have CMS adjustments if you want to improve it even further.


  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image

Hisense lists the manufacturer's rated brightness as 1,600 ANSI lumens. At Projector Reviews, we only measure using the industry standard of ANSI lumens so that you can compare apples to apples. 1,600 is in the ballpark for most lifestyle projectors. To calculate this projector's brightness, I set its light source to its highest setting, then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

At wide zoom for maximum brightness and in DYNAMIC mode, the Hisense C1 measured 1,668 ANSI lumens, slightly higher than the manufacturer's brightness claim. I measured all seven picture modes. The results are below.

Hisense C1 Preset Mode's Brightness

Picture Modes Brightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)
SPORTS 1,593
USER 1,580


  • Hisense C1 - Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Blacks & Shadows - Projector Reviews - Image

The black levels produced by the Hisense C1 are better than average for this type of projector. That said, the C1 will not provide deep, inky black levels associated with LCOS projectors and even some DLP projectors that use a larger 0.65 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD).

Shadow detail on the C1 was quite good in the projector's movie-centric picture preset modes, such as CINEMA DAY, CINEMA NIGHT, FILMMAKER, and DOLBY VISION HDR modes.



  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1 is at its best in SDR modes, where the projector displays a brighter picture than HDR modes. SDR picture modes like the CINEMA DAY and the CINEMA NIGHT modes look the most accurate. The slide with Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a perfect example of what this projector can do. The colors are fantastic without being oversaturated. The SDR cinema modes even showed details like the herringbone pattern in the father's red tie. In Dolby Vision mode, the tie in this shot just looked solid red.

The television content looked great, as you can see from the two shots of Kelly Clarkson and SNL above.


  • Hisense C1 - HDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - SDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - HDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - HDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - HDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1 supports various HDR (High Dynamic Range) formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. The Hisense C1 is one on the first standard throw consumer projectors to support Dolby Vision which is a proprietary HDR format that includes dynamic metadata.

Due to their limited light output, no projectors can reproduce the full brightness range found in HDR content mastered above 1000nits. This means that projector have to utilize aggressive tone mapping. If not done properly, the result might be blown out bright highlights or an overlay dark picture. For the best result, the tone mapping curve needs to be adjusted when switching between bright to dark scenes. 

Dynamic metadata helps the projector automatically adjust its tone mapping frame-by-frame to maximize the picture quality of HDR based on the display’s brightness range. This ensures that the projector light output is best utilized whether you are viewing bright or dark scenes. 

HDR Pre and Post Calibration Measurements

Hisense-C1-HDR-Calibration-RGB-Balance-results - Projector Reviews Images

 The picture quality of static HDR content was good but Dolby Vision was better. The C1 did an excellent job displaying highlight details while maintaining good full-screen brightness.

If you look at the shot from Aquaman above, you can see the bright area details are not visible in the same content shown with HDR10. Compared to other compact lifestyle projectors in its class, I would rate the C1 out-of-the-box HDR picture quality as very good.

Once the Grayscale (RGB balance) is adjusted for SDR, those settings are accurately applied to the corresponding HDR picture mode, but the good news is that there is no need to adjust it further.

Due to its RGB Laser Light source, the C1 can reproduce over 100% BT2020 color space, which we confirmed during our measurements.

Since a color filter is not required, the C1 can deliver a massive range of colors without sacrificing brightness. The C1 also did a good job tracking DCI-P3 colors used in HDR content, and you can use the CMS to finetune it further.


If low input lag is what you are after, the C1 is not the worst gaming projector I have reviewed. Gaming on C1 is more of a big-screen gaming experience than a competitive FPS experience. Hisense rates the 4K 60 Hz gaming lag at roughly 42 ms, w but will not keep you from getting fragged by an enemy when playing a 4K FPS game.

As I've said in many reviews, I am not a heavy gamer, so 42 ms provided a very good gaming experience with the games I play and my skills, such as they are. I like gaming on this projector because the out-of-the-box color is great. I can see enough detail in darker areas to see my enemies, and the projector's MEMC judder correction makes for an incredibly smooth, immersive in-world experience. While the Hisense C1 may not be a gaming projector, it is a projector that is capable of gaming.


Hisense C1 - JBL Sound System - Projector Reviews - Image

In the last few years, we've seen really good sound systems, mainly Laser TV-style ultra-short throw projectors meant to sit right where your TV does, turning your living room into something more cinematic. Typically, with a few exceptions, standard throw projectors (long, standard, and even short) offer very little onboard sound, but this is different with the Hisense C1.

It's become a trend for projector manufacturers to collaborate with quality audio companies to help maximize their projectors' onboard audio performance. With the C1, Hisense teamed up with JBL, a big name in the audio business, to ensure this projector provides you with an excellent onboard audio experience and picture quality.

I'm all for it. Sometimes, I don't want to turn on my home theater or soundbar for a casual movie night or gaming session. The projector's sound should be good enough to make watching a movie, TV show, or game feel just right. Fortunately, the Hisense C1's 20-watt sound system produces a decent amount of depth in the projector's mid-bass, which makes action scenes pop by producing a sound that fills the room nicely.

The C1 even supports Dolby Atmos sound. That means you're getting sound that feels more three-dimensional and immersive. Plus, Hisense didn't stop there; they added six EQ presets (STANDARD, THEATER, MUSIC, SPEECH, LATE NIGHT, and SPORTS) to match whatever you're into perfectly. And if you're picky about how things sound, the projector includes eleven custom modes that let you adjust the sound just how you like it.

We don't measure audible noise at Projector Reviews. However, the fan noise that the Hisense C1 creates is barely noticeable.


Hisense C1 - Highly Recommended Award - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense C1 is the company's first entry into the blossoming lifestyle projector market. It features a sleek, modern design that stands out from the competition, with high-quality brushed blue aluminum covering a large part of the projector body. Based on my testing, I think the C1 is a formidable contender in the compact projector market with its combination of picture and sound quality and impressive features.

One of the standout features of the Hisense C1 is its excellent color quality. The projector delivers vivid, true-to-life colors consistent across a wide range of content. The C1 achieves remarkable color accuracy and saturation thanks to advanced color processing technologies, bringing movies, TV shows, and games to life. Whether I watched a vibrant animated film or a nature documentary, the colors the C1 produced were deep, dynamic, and captivating.

Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image

This projector does not require the user to do a lot of visual setup because the C1's out-of-the-box picture preset modes are carefully tuned at the factory. Movie-centric modes like FILMMAKER, CINEMA DAY, and CINEMA NIGHT displayed pleasantly warm images that seemed to pop off my matte white projection screen. I must credit this projector's excellent out-of-the-box color quality to the Hisense Trichroma RGB laser light engine that powers it.

Brightness on the C1 measured in line with the manufacturer's rated 1,600 ANSI lumens. However, while that is on par with most other lifestyle projectors, I hoped Hisense would offer more. This projector looks great in a light-controlled space. And even in a room with modest amounts of uncontrolled ambient light, the picture remains watchable. However, once more than a few lights are introduced, color and contrast quality drop so that even the projector's brightest DYNAMIC mode can't keep up.

  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Hisense C1 - HDR Mode - Projector Reviews - Image

The C1's black levels are above average for this type of projector. Its respectable black levels create a more immersive viewing experience, especially in dark scenes. While it may not match the absolute blacks seen in some high-end models, the C1's performance in this area is commendable for its price range.

The Hisense C1 impressively supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG High Dynamic Range. While HDR is particularly hard to do on a projector, Hisense, more than most, seems to be able to feature HDR modes that show a visible difference to SDR in dark and bright area detail, which is particularly impressive. However, this comes at a cost in brightness, which I did not want to give up even in a light-controlled space.

Overall, I preferred the projector set in SDR, with my most used modes being the movie-centric modes and STANDARD mode for sports and animated content, with enhanced contrast and a wider color gamut that made for a more dynamic and immersive viewing experience. SDR content also benefits from the C1's excellent color rendering and brightness, ensuring that even non-HDR content looks great.

The Hisense C1's built-in speakers produce a clear, powerful sound that can easily fill a medium-sized room. The audio quality is balanced, with enough mid-bass to add depth to movies and game soundtracks. The projector features a nice range of audio adjustments from six preset modes to eleven different sound adjustments designed to enhance bass, compensate for projector position, and allow users to get big sounds that retain sufficient dialogue clarity. If you are like me and want a projector that can offer an onboard immersive sound experience, the C1 is more than capable. For those times when you want to connect to external sound systems, the C1's support for Dolby Atmos and eARC connectivity makes it an easy choice.

The Hisense C1 projector is a compelling option for anyone looking to upgrade their home entertainment setup. It excels in design, color quality, black levels, and SDR picture quality while delivering impressive sound in partnership with JBL. While the Hisense C1 has an MSRP of $2299, it often has a street price of around $1800, which makes it an even better value. Whether for movies, gaming, or casual viewing, the Hisense C1 offers a well-rounded performance that rivals other lifestyle projectors.


BENQ GP500 $1,699 MSRP

The GP500 produces an excellent picture in a completely dark room or with a small amount of uncontrolled ambient light. It is similar to the C1 in that it does well with ambient light sources in the room. However, the C1 holds up to a higher level of uncontrolled ambient light than the GP500. This difference may be because BenQ uses an LED light source while Hisense uses a Trichroma RGB laser light source.

One of the big advantages that the BenQ GP500 offers over the Hisense C1 is that it is a short-throw projector, so if you're in a situation where you have limited space between your seating and the screen, this projector offers the ability to project an incredibly large image in a small space.

Like the C1, the GP500 comes with excellent factory calibration. BenQ engineers are top-tier in color science, which shows in the GP500's color performance. Like many DLP projectors, this projector's colors are rich without being overly saturated. Both the Hisense and BenQ provide a robust color management system.

The BenQ GP500 is not your typical projector design. BenQ has managed to shrink the size of the projector and change its shape away from the usual rectangular slab we so often see. The GP500's built-in 5-watt Bongiovi DPS 3D surround sound is excellent and on par with the JBL sound system of the C1.

Finally, the BenQ fully supports the Android ecosystem with full access to the Google Play store and the thousands of apps, games, and streaming content I want on a home entertainment projector, while the C1 does not.


The XGIMI Horizon Ultra is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $1699. The XGIMI Horizon Ultra, offers a brightness of 2300 ISO lumens which, based on our testing, comes out to 2335 ANSI lumens of brightness. Based on the Horizon Ultras hybrid laser and LED light source, this projector should perform better than the C1 higher amounts of ambient light. Other than the brightness advantage I think the Hisense C1 had better out-of-the-box color than the XGIMI but with some calibration the XGIMI can look as good.

XGIMI has always been focused on expanding the projection market to include those users who don't typically seek out projectors. Since XGIMI's goal is to broaden the user base of projectors beyond the traditional market, projectors like the Horizon Ultra include all the features found in conventional flat-panel TVs, including Android TV and built-in sound systems. In addition, they are ultra-compact units that can be quickly set up in any room and projected onto a screen or a wall (even one painted a color).

XGIMI’s non-traditional approach to designing home entertainment projectors is helping the company become a leading global projector manufacturer. The Horizon Ultra is XGIMI's new flagship home projector, so it included several technical firsts highlighting their engineering expertise. Although the shape of each projector is different, the overall volume of the two units is about the same, so I’m going to call this point a draw.

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with an automatic iris that improves the unit's black level when viewed in a darker environment while maximizing the projector’s brightness in rooms with ambient light when the black level is not as important. However, the Horizon Ultra cannot match the native contrast and deep black levels of more expensive 3LCD & LCOS-based projectors. I have to give the black-level edge to Hisense between the two projectors but only slightly. 

The Horizon Ultra offers outstanding picture quality for its price point and is the best projector we have reviewed from XGIMI. The Horizon Ultra is feature-packed (optical zoom, Iris, Hybrid Laser-LED light source), which makes it an amazing value at its 1,699 MSRP.


  • The build quality of the C1 is excellent, with a brushed aluminum exterior that is attractive and durable.
  • Trichroma RGB Laser light source produces excellent out-of-the-box color.
  • High-quality lens provides accurate corner-to-corner focus.
  • 4K UHD resolution provides great detail even in huge projected images.
  • 20,000 hours of rated performance and maintenance-free operation.
  • Support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision encoding for improved dark and highlight level details.
  • The VIDAA operating system is fast and supports major streaming services, including Netflix.
  • JBL 20-watt sound system provides sound quality approaching some of the better Laser TV sound systems.
  • The C1 features a robust CMS (Color Management System) for detailed calibration.


  • With just 1,600 ANSI lumens of brightness, the C1 is not a "lights-on" viewing projector.
  • 3D content is not supported on this projector.
  • $1,899 MSRP makes the C1 one of the more expensive lifestyle projectors.


Hisense C1 - Featured Image - Projector Reviews - Image
Hisense C1 Full Specifications
Projector ModelC1
Price (MSRP)$2299
Imager TypeDLP (0.47" DMD)
Displayed Resolution3,840 x 2,160 pixels (4K UHD)
Native Resolution1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p)
Brightness 1,600 ANSI Lumens
Light Source TypeTrichroma RGB Laser
Light Source Life20,000 hours (Normal)
Contrast Ratio2,000,000:1 (Dynamic Iris)
Zoom Lens RatioFixed
Power Zoom/FocusYes - Focus
Lens ShiftNo
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio16:9
Built-in Rechargeable BatteryNo
Blu-Ray 3DNo
Sound SystemJBL 10-watt x2 speaker 
Noise Level (-dB)30/28 dB
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityYes
Special FeaturesDolby Vision, HDR10, eARC
Dimensions (HxWxD)(WxHxD) 9.7’’ × 7.1’’ × 8.5’’ (246 x 180 x 215 mm)
Weight10.1 lbs. (4.58 kg)
WarrantyLimited One (1) Year


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