Home Theaters Direct strives to provide the best surround sound system guidance to our consumers. That’s why we’ve put together this complete list of surround sound reviews to help you find home theater speakers for your setup. Whether you want wireless surround sound or Bluetooth surround sound, we have options for you to consider.
If you want to keep your costs down, we’ve even spotted the best budget surround sound. Let’s dive right into our top choices for the best surround sound speakers.
The Best Wireless Surround Sound: Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1
To start the surround sound reviews, we will look at our favorite option to reduce wires. This Enclave audio setup provides the wireless capability you want at a reasonable price. With this set, you don’t need any cables. These six speakers work to provide 360 degrees of HD audio in the largest room.
On each rear speaker, there are two full-range drivers on each side. This is what creates the enveloping, broad surround sound experience.
Aside from the surround sound features, there are some other perks to this package. With three available HDMI inputs, you can quickly connect your streaming devices, Blu-ray player or gaming console. It’s also possible to utilize the Enclave Audio app and stream music with your chosen service.
Without the need for cables, the cost of setup for this option as the best wireless surround sound system remains lower than ever before. You also won’t have to look at unsightly wires run through the entire house.
- 360 degrees of HD audio
- Enveloping sound
- Many connectivity options
- On the more expensive side
The Best Budget Surround Sound: VIZIO SB3651-E6B 5.1
Sometimes you want the best surround sound system, but you don’t have a lot of cash to spend. We understand your predicament and worked hard to find the best budget surround sound that doesn’t break the bank.
The Vizio SB361-E6B is by far the best budget home theater speakers we’ve seen. At first glance, you might think it’s just an average soundbar, but that’s not the case. This pick as the best affordable home theater system also contains satellite speakers and a wireless subwoofer.
As far as the sound quality is concerned, the 5.1-channel system provides crystal-clear quality, even up to 100 dB. In total, it’s rated to contain less than one percent harmonic distortion.
There are even some features included that you wouldn’t expect to see at this price. It has Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to stream from any enabled device. You can even play your music when the TV is off.
Even more importantly, you don’t have to worry about wires with the satellite speakers and subwoofer. Vizio also provides wall mounts, but not the fasteners. Put this 5.1 home theater system in your typical-sized room. The subwoofer works up to 60 feet from the soundbar.
- Fits any budget
- Works in most small to mid-sized rooms
- Doesn’t come with all the mounting fasteners
The Best Surround Sound for Gaming: Logitech Z906 5.1
When nothing short of the best surround sound speakers will do, you can’t find much better than the Logitech Z906 5.1 digital surround sound system. Any gamer knows that the right home theater speakers change everything. If you want to become fully immersed in the action, this fits the bill.
This model has THX 5.1 certification, which most configurations can’t boast about. The all-in-one set connects to up to six other devices. Five satellite speakers come in the box, along with a 500-watt subwoofer. Don’t let the bland design fool you; this set will blow you away.
Connect your gaming consoles, cable box and DVD player. There’s also a direct connection for a PC or use the 3.5mm input if you want to connect an MP3 player. While there’s no HDMI for your Blu-ray, most gamers won’t care.
The distortion-free clarity, superb sound quality and heart-pounding bass turns any gaming adventure into a thrill. With all of these additional features, we were shocked to see the lower price tag. It’s the perfect 5.1 surround sound system for gaming on a budget.
- THX 5.1 certification
- Connects up to six devices
- Special inputs
- Distortion-free sound
- Requires some configuration to get the sound right
Best Small Home Theater Speakers: Monoprice 10565 Premium 5.1 Channel
Whether you don’t have a lot of room or you want to fill a small space with sound, this Monoprice 10565 Premium system is one of the top-rated surround sound setups. The small speakers fit anywhere but still provide exceptional sound.
This compact speaker system comes with four 5.1-channel satellite speakers, a 200-watt subwoofer and single center channel speaker. Monoprice includes a bass-pumping subwoofer that fills any small room with high-quality sound.
Considering the small size, it’s also nice to see a lower price tag included. The only downside we found in this home theater review is that the configuration does require some tinkering. With the help of a professional, it won’t take much effort to find that sweet spot.
- Compact size
- Low cost
- Ideal for small spaces
- Exceptional sound
- Requires proper configuration
Best Home Surround Sound for Large Rooms: Definitive Technology ProCinema 800
When it comes to finding a home theater system for a large area, the price tag can quickly head into thousands of dollars. We wanted to find you a speaker system that was worthy of your big room while keeping an eye on the budget. That’s what led us to the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800.
The first thing you likely noticed is the eye-catching design. It’s sleek, stylish and fits in with any décor. We can’t help but take notice of the sound quality as well. It’s enjoyable and completely immersive, whether you plan to watch the game, a new release or play on your video console.
The set comes with six pieces. You receive the 5.1 channel home theater system that comes complete with four satellite speakers, an eight-inch 300W ProSub 800 subwoofer and one center channel speaker. That center channel features one one-inch tweeter, two 4.5-inch mid-woofers and two 4.5-inch bass radiators that work together to produce optimal sound quality.
The Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 also provides many wireless and wired connection options. You can also set up the satellite speakers with the removable tripod table stands if you prefer. You’ll swear you stepped into a movie theater when you sit down for the next movie.
- Immersive sound
- Wired and wireless options
- Multiple configuration options
- Ideal for any sized room
- Higher price
Overall Best Home Theater Speakers: Onkyo HT-S7800
When forced to choose our top choice for the best surround system, we had no option but to call out the Onkyo HT-S7800. This 5.1-channel stereo system comes with seven speakers and a subwoofer. It even includes the receiver, for a complete package deal.
This unit features compatibility for Wi-Fi, Chromecast, AirPlay, Bluetooth and most any streaming service. You’ll never run out of ways to enjoy your favorite music. What’s most exceptional is the Dolby Atmos feature that bounces the sound effects around the room.
Furthermore, these speakers include 4k video playback support and a customizable dynamic range. It doesn’t matter what size room you put this in; it will work superbly. All that’s left to do is enjoy the sound coming from your new audio system.
- Superior overall design
- Complete package
- Lots of compatibilities
- 4k video playback support
- Not for the DIYer
Best Surround Sound Speakers Buying Guide
Now that we’ve discussed our favorite options for surround speakers, it’s time to explain what to look for when you do your shopping. We plan to break down some terms you might not understand, such as Bluetooth surround sound.
The first step to finding the home theater sound you want is to understand the different speakers available. Here are some of your options.
The soundbar is a fundamental way to amplify sound from your TV. People that don’t have a lot of room or don’t want to set up an entire system often choose this option.
The soundbar sits along the TV, typically underneath it. While it does create better sound than what you get from the TV, it’s not enough to create a complete home entertainment experience.
If you do choose this option, look for a soundbar that also features a subwoofer.
Center Channel Speakers
The center speaker plays the center channel in the 5.1 surround sound design. It’s typically placed below the TV screen. You might think it looks like a soundbar, but there are some differences.
This speaker only reproduces that center channel sound. This includes the music, effects and dialogue. It works in conjunction with the right and left speakers for optimal sound quality.
It’s also more substantial and heavier than your typical soundbar. This design also contains speaker terminals to connect an AV receiver. Consider this speaker the jack-of-all-trades.
The heavy-hitter of the group is the subwoofer. It produces that low-end bass rumble. Because the majority of subwoofers have an active design, each one usually contains its own amplifier.
Passive subwoofers require that you supply an amplifier for power. You could also connect a speaker cable from the receiver to set the crossover for the sub. For most people, it makes sense to invest in a powered subwoofer instead.
Subwoofer cones range from about six inches to more than 15-inches. The larger the size, the better the low-end frequencies sound. With that said, you don’t want to automatically assume that a smaller cone equals less bass.
In a surround sound system, the satellite speakers are the smaller ones. You find them with most 5.1 or 7.1 packages. You can also purchase them separately to add on to your existing equipment.
The smaller size makes them perfect as the rear speakers. They remain discrete but provide the sound you require. This type excels at the mid and high frequencies but struggles to produce lower-end sounds. That’s why most people pair them with a subwoofer.
Very little compares to the sound quality with satellite speakers and a subwoofer combination.
Bookshelf speakers feature a larger profile than satellite speakers. They fit on a bookshelf or in a cabinet, which is why the name is fitting.
They offer plenty of quality sound, all by themselves. The majority of people find this style is best suited for music listening.
While you can use bookshelf speakers as a surround, they become more difficult to position because of the size.
You can get excellent sound from the best bookshelf speakers. Sometimes it helps to purchase floor stands to place the speakers on. There’s also the option to use wall brackets for mounting.
These specialized speakers also go by the names floor or tower speakers. It’s often an ideal way to listen to music. They provide a low bass frequency when compared to the bookshelf speaker.
Because the design features a tall tower, there are often several speakers included. Each of them comes with its own frequency for perfect balance.
If you use this style in a home theater, it would only be the right and left speakers, not for surround.
If you want speakers that don’t get in the way, the in-ceiling option is ideal. This style lies flat on the surface of your ceiling. It’s also possible to incorporate motorized speakers that drop down from the ceiling with a remote control.
If you use in-ceiling speakers for the fronts and surrounds, you would only need to worry about hiding the subwoofer and center.
Height speakers are also mounted on the ceiling. They are located in the front and add a dimension of height to the surrounding field.
Obviously, the downside to this setup is the cost. Because there’s more installation required, your price goes up slightly. Plus, holes must be cut into the ceiling to hide the speakers.
With that said, the results are outstanding and well worth it. The system resembles a movie theater when everything is complete.
Think of the in-wall speaker just like the ceiling design, but vertically fitted into a wall. Choosing between the two options depends on what type of room you have, the shape of the area and your seating positions.
Again, they are more expensive and complicated to install, but the sound quality and appearance make up for that.
Best Surround Sound Speaker Considerations
Before you purchase a surround sound speaker design, it’s vital to consider these factors.
Speaker size – Smaller speakers produce better high-frequency sounds. The larger the cone, the lower the frequency it carries. The best Bluetooth surround sound system comes with a variety of speaker sizes that work together in harmony.
Quality – Not every set comes with the quality you want. Even if you have to operate on a budget, you want to pay close attention to customer reviews to determine what sound quality you can expect.
Connectivity – You must evaluate what you need to connect before you make a purchase. While most modern systems have capability to deal with today’s technology, not ever model handles it. If you plan to stream music wirelessly, you want speakers that manage that.
Budget – We all like to think that budget isn’t a key factor, but it is. We can’t all afford the top-of-the-line system. That doesn’t mean we have to purchase junk. Reference some of our above choices which come with low price tags.
Room size – The speakers you need with a small room differ from that of a large theater space. Measure the area and ensure your system will project sound appropriately. Nothing is worse than setting up equipment that doesn’t perform as you expected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a 5.1 vs. 7.1 sound system?
The 5.1 channel system contains five smaller speakers plus a subwoofer. On the other hand, the 7.1 channel comes with an extra two speakers. Those components add a more vibrant sound but cause the price of the system to rise dramatically. For more people, a 5.1 setup is more than what’s needed. If you have a larger space, or you don’t care about the cost, then splurge on a 7.1 system instead.
What is the difference between a wired and wireless surround sound system?
A wired system typically contains better sound quality, but it isn’t always the ideal design. You must hide the wires for a seamless look which requires extra work. If convenience is more important than the sound, go with wireless instead. Still, as technology continues to advance, wireless speakers do provide decent upgrades most recently. Over the next few years, they might fall in line as far as performance is concerned.
What is the difference between a ported and sealed subwoofer?
The sealed subwoofer is also called an acoustic suspension sub. It features a compact design with a controlled and dynamic lower-end sound. The ported subwoofer is known as a bass reflex sub. It features an open port that radiates low frequencies. It’s also larger and comes with an increased bass response.
Call Home Theaters Direct Today
When the time comes to pick out your surround sound speakers, reach out to the professionals at Home Theaters Direct. We have a full team of professionals that know the ins and outs of everything related to home audio.
We are happy to guide you to the best speaker option for your configuration. Then, allow us to professionally install it and bring out the full potential of your equipment. Call today for your free quote.