Are you looking for the best surround sound systems for your home theater? We know it is not an easy task to find a perfect surround sound system. So many factors like space, price, type of speakers, and more come into play when buying the best home theater systems.
You’ll have to first decide between assembling different speakers, choosing an all-in-one system, or the latest soundbar. And, don’t forget the soundbase either. Which one will be apt for you and your family?
Whether it is to play games, watch movies, enjoy sports, or simply relax with music in the background, surround sound is a vital part of your home theater. Surround sound can have an immense impact on your music listening and multimedia experience.
In this post, we’ll look at different types of surround sound systems and review the 13 best surround sound home theatre systems on the market right now. We’ll also list some pros and cons, and answer some frequently asked questions about surround sound systems. Read further for more information.
Roundup of the Best Surround Sound Home Theatre Systems
What Does a Surround Sound System Comprise?
A surround sound speaker system comprises:
- A subwoofer to produce low bass tones
- A center speaker to produce the most important sounds (vocals, etc.)
- A satellite speaker is placed on the left and right side of the room (in front and rear)
- An Equalizer (usually built-in) to mix the sounds and deliver high-quality audio
The center speaker is a crucial part of the surround sound system. The satellite speakers vary in number based on the type of system you choose.
The 3.1, 5.1, 7.1, 8.1, and 9.1 are some models available in the market. For example, the 5.1 channel has one subwoofer, one central speaker, two front, and two rear/back speakers.
Is 5.1 or 7.1 better?
The basic difference between a 5.1 and 7.1 channel is the addition of two speakers in the latter model. There is no such answer to this question, as the 7.1 surround speakers add more depth to the audio and have a better sound field in an appropriate room.
However, in the wrong room, the result is the opposite. You’ll end up losing sound clarity and feel like the audio is heavy and unclear. The wrong arrangement of the speakers can also produce distorted sound.
If the room is of regular size, a 5.1 surround sound is the best choice, while the 7.1 works well in larger rooms where you can arrange the surround sound speakers without crowding the place. It depends on the number of speakers you want in the room.
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Surround Sound System
You must keep the following things in mind when searching for the surround sound system for your home:
The AV (Audio/ Video) Receiver is the central component of your home theater system. It receives, converts, and amplifies the sound to stream through the speakers. An AV receiver with higher wattage can deliver a better sound quality even when you listen to the audio at a low volume.
Home theater systems come with different types of speakers. They can be of various shapes, sizes, and designs. For example,
Bookshelf speakers are compact and can be placed on a shelf. These produce mid-to-high range frequencies. The best floor standing speakers come in different sizes, lengths, and frequencies. These are also known as tower speakers.
The in-wall or in-ceiling surround speakers are sleek and trendy. These can be hidden from plain sight and fitted into the walls or ceiling to produce bounce sound.
If you’re interested in karaoke, you can also check the best karaoke speakers. A karaoke speaker can be a good addition to your sound system.
The sound and audio quality determine the surround sound experience. This speaker system aims to produce sound from 360 degrees and deliver a rich audio experience. The 5.1 system offers more sound clarity compared to the 2.1 and so on. Also, the home theater with separate speakers has higher sound quality than a soundbar.
Subwoofers are exclusively used to produce bass and low-frequency sounds. These sounds can elevate your listening experience when watching a movie or playing a game. You must place the subwoofer on the floor to enhance and amplify the bass notes.
Size of Your Room
Home theater systems have big speakers. This means they occupy more space. Trying to fit them in a small and crowded room will ruin the sound quality of the system.
You should also consider where and how you can place the speakers in the room to deliver the best audio and add to the décor. A soundbar would be a better choice for small rooms.
How do you want to connect the surround speakers to the TV, PC, or games console? Choose a model that has more than two HDMI ports to connect to the DVD/Blu-ray player, TV, gaming console, and so on.
The 4K upscaling, HDMI pass-through and 3D signals, Ethernet connectivity, Apple Airplay, and USB cable are a few more ways to connect the home theater system. Don’t forget to check out the remote control, though.
Ease of Set Up
Not all surround sound speaker systems are easy to set up. Some take several hours and can frustrate you to no end. Some models come with crystal clear instructions while a few more are available as a home-theater-in-a-box model (all in one system) and are super easy to set up.
Most brands offer a series of surround sound systems to suit varying budgets. So, you can decide the one that would conveniently fit within your range. If you are planning to upgrade your TV, you must opt for a better speaker system to support the latest features of the TV.
Top 13 Surround Sound Systems for Great Entertainment and Immersive Audio
Let’s now look at the 13 best surround sound home theatre systems on the market.
1. Bose Lifestyle 600 Home Entertainment System
Best Surround Sound System Overall
- Voice control using Alexa
- Powerful small speakers
- Punchy bass
- Great audio clarity
- Stylish and trendy
Bose Lifestyle 600 is one of the best home theater systems with wireless smart speakers and universal remote control. It supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, multichannel PCM, Dolby Vision, and 4K/60 video sources connected through HDMI 2.0 or HDCP 2.2.
Firstly, the speaker set includes one console, 4 OmniJewel side speakers, one OmniJewel center speaker, two wireless receivers, and one Acoustimass bass module.
Secondly, the system can be controlled through apps on mobile devices, though the options on the remote are a bit limited. The acoustics and sound quality are great and provide a wonderful listening experience.
To conclude, the Bose Lifestyle 600 Home Entertainment System is truly the overall best surround speaker system with a good Bluetooth range to play your favorite tracks even from the other room. It is a bit expensive but worth the price. The overall sound quality is fantastic. Voices sound like real people. The bass is deep and punchy. The set up process is also pretty easy.
View on Amazon: Bose Lifestyle 600 Home Entertainment System
2. Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
Best Wireless Surround Sound System
- Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) woofers
- Lightweight speaker package
- LTS tweeters for minimal distortion
- Tractrix Horn Technology for natural, clean sound
- Compact system and wireless subwoofer
- We did not experience any issues with this surround sound system
The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack 5.1 is the best wireless small-sized surround speakers that pack a punch and can be termed the best wireless system. Of course, the rear speakers need to be connected using a cable but the subwoofer is wireless and awesome.
Firstly, the set is perfect for confined spaces. And when the company uses Tractrix Horn Technology with aluminum LTS tweeters, the 5.1 channel produces clean sounds, whether it’s a movie dialogue, videogame, or a musical event.
Secondly, speakers are lightweight and leave a little carbon footprint. If you are eco-conscious, this system is for you. The unit sounds great and delivers the promised theater effect at home.
To conclude, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System is a compact surround sound system with wireless subwoofers and satellite wired speakers. All music genres sound great. You can hear sounds from instruments you may have never heard before. We strongly recommend this surround sound setup to anyone who is looking for a 5.1 surround sound system. The speakers are extremely clear at different volumes. The subwoofer looks small; nevertheless, it delivers deep and rich bass.
View on Amazon: Klipsch Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
3. Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Bluetooth 5.1 Surround Sound System
Best Projector Surround Sound System
- Reliable Bluetooth connectivity
- Budget-friendly price
- Suitable for compact rooms
- Can easily work with multiple devices
- Not suitable for bass lovers
The Acoustic Audio 5.1 is the best projector surround sound system within budget. The set is ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. Just make sure not to leave the cables scattered around.
Firstly, the 5.1 channel comes with a fully functional remote, cables, and a user manual to help set up the unit without any stress. The volume for the rear surround speakers and front speakers can be adjusted to your taste.
Secondly, the Bluetooth connection is just great. We love how the connection stays strong and doesn’t cause any trouble. Do keep in mind that Bluetooth connection here doesn’t mean the speakers are wireless.
In conclusion, the Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Bluetooth 5.1 Surround Sound System has 5 wired speakers (and one subwoofer) and 6 independent RCA inputs, along with stereo RCA inputs, for a complete surround sound experience with 30Hz-20 kHz frequency response. The Bluetooth range is excellent. The bass is great. You can individually change the volume for different speakers. This surround sound system is perfect for gaming. The overall sound is clear and crisp.
View on Amazon: Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Bluetooth 5.1 Surround Sound System
4. Denon DHT-S316 Home Theater Soundbar System with Wireless Subwoofer
Best Wall-Mountable Surround Sound System
- Wireless soundbar and subwoofer
- Reliable Bluetooth connectivity
- HDMI connectivity (cable included)
- Wireless music streaming from multiple devices
- Lightweight and durable
- We experienced minor time lag when using it with TV
The Denon DHT-S316 is the best wall-mountable surround sound system with a wireless soundbar and subwoofer. The soundbar is about 2 inches in height and can be placed near the TV or mounted on the wall.
Firstly, the sound is delivered through Dolby Digital, DTS Decoding, and Denon Virtual Surround technology, along with Denon-proprietary Dialogue Enhancer, to make the movie dialogues clear.
Secondly, you can stream music from multiple streaming apps to make listening to music a truly worthy experience. The soundbar is a great choice when you can’t have several speakers at home and the TV speakers are not enough.
In conclusion, the Denon DHT-S316 Home Theater Soundbar System with Wireless Subwoofer has been built using 100-year-old Japanese technology to deliver multi-dimensional audio in your home. Setting up this unit is super easy and fun. This surround sound home theater system delivers sharp and stunning sound. The Bluetooth connectivity is also convenient to set up and reliable. Other connectivity options include optical and RCA. They’re great for both home and office use. However, if you have a massive living room, we suggest checking the Bose Lifestyle 600 Home Entertainment System.
5. Acoustic Audio AA5102 Bluetooth Powered 5.1 Speaker System Home Theater Surround
Best Surround Sound Home Theater System for Basement
- Works with multiple devices
- Easy to set up and use
- Comprises a sleep mode
- Looks stylish
- Suitable for basements and small rooms
- Can get overheated during summer
The Acoustic Audio AA5102 is the best surround sound system for basements and smaller rooms. It is Bluetooth-enabled to stream music from mobile devices and apps.
Firstly, the speaker package comes with the necessary cables and remote control. Setting up this unit is quite easy. You might need to buy extra cable if the room is large.
Secondly, you can connect it with MP3 & DVD players, TV, games console, PC/computer, smartphone, tab, etc. Each speaker has 6 volume settings. Though you’ll have to set them again when you turn off the unit, you can use the sleep mode to retain the settings.
To conclude, the Acoustic Audio AA5102 Bluetooth Powered 5.1 Speaker System Home Theater sounds good and delivers decent audio. It is perfect for a small basement gaming or entertainment room. It has great sound quality and volume levels. It’s a nice little surround sound system for basement use.
6. Sony Z9F 3.1 ch Soundbar With Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer (HT-Z9F)
Best Dolby Atmos Home Theater System with Surround Sound
- Comprises seven sound modes
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Alexa voice control
- Bluetooth streaming
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Works best with additional rear speakers
The Sony Z9F 3.1 ch Soundbar With Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer (HT-Z9F) is the best Dolby Atmos home theater system with surround sound and a wireless subwoofer. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi and HDMI slots. You can buy additional smaller speakers and connect them to the soundbar through Bluetooth.
Firstly, the unit has been designed for reasonably sized rooms and apartments. The movie audio is clear and neat in most apartment living rooms. Though some users complained that the sound cut off at times, we didn’t face any such issues.
Secondly, the soundbar can be controlled using Alexa or Google Assistant. You can connect it to Chromecast, smart 4k TV, and other devices. The manual is detailed enough to help you with the setup.
In conclusion, the Sony Z9F 3.1 ch Soundbar With Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer (HT-Z9F) produces 7.1.2 virtual surround sound and is suitable for movies, games, live streaming services, sports, and concerts. It’s highly suitable for people who are looking for a Dolby Atmos surround sound system with decent audio quality and not looking to create a home studio or theater. The entire system is easy to set up and the overall sound is fantastic. It worked perfectly with Alexa and Spotify.
7. Pyle 7.1-Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier
Best Blu Ray Surround Sound System
- Can control each speaker volume separately
- Easy to set up and use
- Works with several devices, including radios
- Satisfying sound performance for the price
- The blue light on the AV receiver is too bright
The Pyle 7.1-Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier is the best Blu Ray player with an AV receiver unit. Rather, you can connect it with just about any device, be it an AM/FM radio or a 4k smart TV.
Firstly, the amplifier supports 7.1 channel speakers, though it delivers good results even with the 5 speakers. You may have to use two remotes to operate the surround speaker system but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Secondly, the unit works with active speakers and passive speakers, and subwoofers. If you have an old speaker set at home, don’t throw it away. Set it up with this instead. You might want to use a cloth to dim the blue light on the receiver. It’s too bright.
To conclude, the Pyle 7.1-Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier is a perfect choice if you already have all the speakers and a dedicated center channel at home. This is one of the best AV receivers you can get for the price. The set up is simple. The individual channel control is excellent.
View on Amazon: Pyle 7.1-Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier
8. Fluance Elite High Definition Surround Sound Home Theater 5.0 Channel Speaker System
Best White Surround Sound Speaker System
- Good looking sound system; stylish and luxurious look
- Great sound clarity
- Double foam speaker package
- Powerful speakers
- Deep and rich bass
- We did not experience any issues with this surround sound system
The Fluance Elite High Definition Surround Sound Home Theater 5.0 Channel Speaker System is the best white surround sound system if you love bright, cheerful speakers that produce some great audio with lovely sound clarity. The floor-standing speaker towers pack a punch, though you’ll find that adding an extra subwoofer will turn this into a high-end unit.
Firstly, the unit uses Dolby surround and DTS systems to provide clear and neat audio for the highs, mids, and lows. Our team was impressed with the precession of this unit.
Secondly, the 2 way – 3 driver center channel is made of audio-grade MDF wood that reduces distortion and resonance. It has a power range of 30-100 watts and a frequency response of 80-20 kHz.
To conclude, the Fluance Elite High Definition Surround Sound Home Theater 5.0 Channel Speaker System is worth the price. Just be a little patient in setting up the unit and tweaking the settings to suit your requirements. The overall built quality is excellent for the price. The white color looks luxurious and stylish, and the overall sound quality is fantastic. It is one of the most powerful surround sound systems on the market right now. You don’t need to add a separate subwoofer.
9. Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 HD Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound System for TV
Best Dolby and DTS Surround Sound System
- Comes with 14 custom-designed drivers
- THX certified and WiSA HD surround sound
- Bluetooth connectivity and wireless system
- Supports Dolby (multiple versions) and DTS
- We experienced some minor sound drop issues initially
The Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 is the best Dolby and DTS surround sound system that works seamlessly with several devices. You can connect to streaming services, smart TV, gaming console, and more.
Firstly, the speaker system works better with an HDMI cable than an optical one. The sound clarity is much better. The speakers are long, narrow, and pretty big. You won’t be able to flush mount the speakers to the wall, so make sure you have enough place for them in the room.
Secondly, the enclave app is used to set up the speaker system. Once done, you don’t need to use the app anymore, which is a good thing. The app has 10 feet maximum connectivity, which is rather restrictive in larger rooms.
In conclusion, the Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 HD Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound System for TV delivers sound quality similar to that of a theater even though the subwoofer has only +3 as the highest volume. The bass performance is great. The overall sound quality is impeccable. This Dolby and DTS surround sound system sounds like an actual movie theater. Nevertheless, don’t forget to download the Enclave app for optimum sound performance. We did not experience any sync issues.
10. Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System
Best Surround Sound System for PC
- Extremely easy to set up and use
- Cost-effective speaker system
- Great for gaming on PC
- Adjustable and rich bass
- Clear and crisp sound
- The speakers cannot be wall mounted
The Logitech Z506 is the best surround sound system for personal computers. Of course, you can connect it with various other devices like the MP3/ DVD player, Blu-ray player, PlayStation, Xbox, tablet, smartphone, TV, etc.
Firstly, it delivers a balanced sound and has good bass. Rather, you can adjust the bass to suit your taste. That’s cool, right? The subwoofer is more than decent. Make sure not to touch its bottom where the filament is exposed.
Secondly, the unit delivers rich 3D surround sound even when connected to a 2 channel stereo input. The power controls are on the right front speaker, so keep it close.
To conclude, the Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System is a compact package with satellite wired speakers, a dedicated center channel, and a subwoofer. However, you cannot mount these speakers on the wall. The overall sound quality is pretty decent. The speakers look good too. We recommend investing some time in setting up the volume level and EQ on your soundcard to enjoy fantastic-quality sound. You can also use these speakers with your TV; however, ensure your TV has audio out ports.
View on Amazon: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System
11. Sony HT-S350 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Best TV Surround Sound System
Sony HT-S350 Soundbar is the best TV surround sound system with a wireless subwoofer and optimized audio output. The remote control lets you choose between seven audio modes to enhance sound clarity.
Firstly, the unit has Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect the soundbar to different devices and stream your favorite shows and movies.
Secondly, the system uses virtual surround sound technology with S-Front PRO surround that delivers a theater-like effect at home without additional rear surround speakers.
In conclusion, the Sony HT-S350 Soundbar With Wireless Subwoofer is easy to set up and use. We found no issues with the sound quality. The overall sound is great and clear. If you’re considering downsizing from a 7.1 surround sound setup, this can be a good buy. The automatic on and off feature is simply amazing. When you connect this soundbar to Alexa, it’ll get paired automatically. Similarly, if you’re using it with your TV and you switch off your TV, the soundbar will get switched off too.
View on Amazon: Sony HT-S350 Soundbar With Wireless Subwoofer
12. Monoprice 5.1 Channel Home Theater Satellite Speakers and Subwoofer
Surround Sound System with Best Satellite Speakers
- Frequency response of the subwoofer is 50 Hz to 250 Hz
- Adjustable crossover frequency
- Clean sound output
- Easy to set up and use
- Looks stylish; the black laminate looks beautiful
- We experienced minor crackling in the sound of the speakers initially; however, the same resolved in no time
Monoprice 5.1 channel has the best satellite speakers for the price. The sound quality is nice, and the bass is good too. The details are audible and enhance your listening experience.
Firstly, the speakers are easy to connect and set up. If you’ve used a 5.1 channel before, you don’t even need to look at the user manual to set up the system.
Secondly, the unit can be upgraded to a 7.1 channel by adding more speakers. You can either use the same brand or any other.
To conclude, the Monoprice 5.1 Channel Home Theater Satellite Speakers And Subwoofer System is a cost-effective surround sound speaker system that you can place at your desired place in the room or mount on the wall. The unit is worth the price. The overall sound quality is great. The sound is crystal clear and the bass is deep and rich. The durable and sturdy speaker mounts are a fantastic addition. They are pretty easy to install.
13. Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker System 700W with Powered Sub
Most Affordable Surround Sound System
- Reliable Bluetooth system
- True surround enveloping sound
- Magnetically shielded passive speakers
- Integrated audio amplifier
- Connects with multiple devices
- We experienced minor humming issues initially; however, the issue was resolved without any intervention
The AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker System 700W with Powered Sub is one of the most affordable surround sound systems that deliver good sound quality, especially in small rooms. You can connect them to TV, PC, media player, or stream from your smartphone/tablet.
Firstly, you can set the volume for each speaker, as well as the subwoofer. Though the speakers are wired, you can still hook up the unit through a Bluetooth audio transmitter.
Secondly, the subwoofer is quite powerful and can create a thumping rhythm when placed on the floor. It’s a little tricky to mount the speakers and you’ll have to buy a few additional things. But it is not impossible.
In conclusion, AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker System 700W with Powered Sub offers nice sound clarity and works with different devices. It is a budget-friendly speaker system and the performance is also along those lines. Don’t compare it with the mid-range or high-end models. We tested this system with our TV, iPad and PS4, and it worked perfectly in all the scenarios. Also, the color and look of the system look very cool. This surround sound system can be a great buy for audiophiles.
How to Set Up Surround Sound?
Setting up the surround sound speakers determines whether the system can deliver the promised sound quality or not. The best way to set up surround sound is to follow the instruction manual provided by the brand.
That said, it’s not always simple to understand the instructions and the complicated setup can be confusing. Many people find it challenging to get the right home theater effect without some help.
Follow these steps to set up surround sound at home:
- First things first, fine-tune the surround sound speakers
- Evaluate the acoustics of your room
- Create a clear path for audio to flow
- Angle the speakers per your convenience
Read the full article on how to set up surround sound at home for detailed information on setting up a surround sound system the right way.
It becomes easier when you know more about the types of surround systems and how each one is different from the other.
Frequently Asked Questions About Surround Sound Home Theater Systems
The following are the best brands to buy a home theater system:
– Acoustic Audio
The Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 with Bluetooth Speakers System is one of the most affordable surround sound systems in the market. Philips SPA8000B/94 5.1 Channel and Sony SA-D40 C E12 4.1 Channel are two other options you can evaluate if you are on a shoestring budget.
The bit rates and compression levels are the two major differences between Dolby and DTS. Dolby compresses 5.1 digital audio to 640 kilobits per second. DTS doesn’t compress as much and has a bit rate of 1.5 megabits per second.
In HD formats, Dolby supports up to 1.7 Mbps while DTS-HD supports up to 7 Mbps. A system that compresses less is said to produce audio that’s more close to the original.
Atmos is a surround sound technology that was developed by Dolby in 2012. It has quickly become famous and an integral part of home theater systems. In simple words, Atmos is the expansion of surround sound to include overhead effects. The speakers are placed in the ceiling to create complete surround sound. Not all TVs and DVDs are compatible with Atmos.
Virtual surround sound is a concept where perception is created that there are more sound sources than the actual number. A person is tricked into thinking that a sound is being produced by a source that doesn’t even exist. Virtual surround sound is used to enhance the gaming experience.
Using an HDMI cable is the best way to connect a soundbar to a TV. The HDMI cable retains sound quality and is compatible with most of the high-end soundbar models. Don’t forget to turn on the sync/control for HDMI on the TV and the soundbar. The HDMI cable requires to be plugged into the ARC and HDMI output in the respective devices.
The bookshelf speakers have a wider range of frequencies and contain low and high-frequency drivers. Satellite speakers work with high-frequency sounds while the rest of the surround speakers produce low and mid-frequency sounds.
The primary difference between an active vs passive speakers is that the active speaker has a built-in amplifier.
The passive speaker is connected to an external amplifier using a wire. Subwoofers and Bluetooth speakers (wireless) are considered active speakers. Also, the crossover circuit filters the signals before it is amplified in the active speakers. This results in more power going to each speaker and thus, producing high-quality sound.
We hope you have the information and knowledge that you need to buy the best surround sound system for your home or office.
We recommend looking at the Bose Lifestyle 600 for its power-packed performance; to be honest, it’s our favorite out of the lot. You can also consider the Denon DHT-S316 Soundbar for the Dolby Digital system, and the Pyle 7.1-Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier if you want a versatile AV receiver to connect to almost any speaker.
That said, it’s up to you to decide which surround sound system is suitable for your requirements and budget. Take your time to check out the models and make the right decision.
Convert your home into a home theater and enjoy the surround sound!
P.S: Let us know your favorite models in the comments.