Your home entertainment center has a 75 inch 8K television. You have custom leather recliners and a mini fridge stocked with your beverage of choice. All of this is great, but if you don’t have great sound, you are not going to enjoy the viewing experience.
There are a number of televisions that have decent sound. But if you are going to spend all of that money on a large screen TV or a 4K projector and if you are going to build a room specifically for your viewing pleasure, you have to invest in sound. Whether you are looking at a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speaker system, you can find a good one that fits your price range. In this guide we are going to review some of the home theater sound systems we feel are top of their class. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to include them in the comments section at the end of this guide.
Price is always the number one consideration when purchasing a surround sound system. If you have a budget, your goal is to get the biggest bang for each dollar that you spend.
In order to do this, you need to narrow down the options that are available for you. For example, do you need a subwoofer to give your listening experience more base? Do you need a center channel so you can have that face-to-face feel?
The next consideration that you should make is the speaker power and sound quality. These two things do not necessarily go together nor are they always mutually exclusive. You may find a nice surround sound system, but it may not be suitable for your home. That’s why in this guide we are going to include things like design, sound quality, price, and features. Let’s get started with our first system.
Price: $249.65 on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 out of five stars with 1,202 customer reviews
Logitech has built a reputation for creating PC speakers as opposed to creating home cinemas. However, in recent years they have ventured into the world of home theater speakers. The Logitech 906 is a 5.1 surround sound system that offers 500 W RMS power on tap.
You are going to immediately notice that both the satellite speakers and the subwoofer have a sturdy build and a sturdy feel to them. The orange LEDs tell you what input speakers are active and whether you are listening in stereo or if you are listening in surround sound. The remote for the system is relatively simple, but it gives you the control and the input that you need while watching the scene on your sofa.
The Logitech Z906 has many of the audio inputs you would expect from a home cinema system. However, here is where one of their major flaws stand out. The system lacks HDMI inputs or outputs. If your Blu-ray player is like most and does not have a Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio as well as 5.1 analog outputs, you are not going to get the truest sound.
The system does come with dual SP – DIF inputs that allow you to connect Blu-ray players, DVD players, and gaming consoles to 5.1 surround sound.
This is a decent product, but it does not offer the same punch or flexibility as its predecessor the EZ 5500. We were disappointed about the lack of HDMI support. When you play music, it does sound decent. But without the HDMI support, movies were lacking volume. That being said, it’s relatively cheap, especially when compared to other products in the same quality range.
Price: $68.50 on Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars with 2,996 customer reviews
We are a fan of a number of Logitech’s speakers because of their relatively inexpensive price and surprising sound quality. The Logitech Z506 is slightly more expensive than some of the other models that we have reviewed. We were interested in seeing how the price increase compared with the overall audio quality.
We first noticed that the majority of the controls are located on the right satellite speaker. This means that power and other adjustments are easy to reach. The 3.5 mm jack is perfect for attaching headphones. One downside we noticed with the controls is that the base control is located on the back of the subwoofer. This can be a little bit of a challenge if you want to adjust tonal settings.
We were surprised with how well this unit handled music. The speakers are able to comfortably fill a test run with sound whether we were listening to jazz or rock music. The subwoofer has substantial bass, but you can still hear the satellites crisply over the subwoofer.
When you hear them with a movie that has a lot of action, you will be surprised at how convincing each speaker is at translating the details for the major action scenes.
We were not overly pleased with the base design of the unit. We had hoped that the Logitech Z506 was going to be a major leap forward when compared to its predecessor, but we were slightly disappointed. That being said, the surround sound speakers do a nice job with the games and Blu-ray movies. It is unfortunate that there is not an HD audio support.
Price: $459.95 on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 out of five stars with 98 customer reviews
The Yamaha YHT-4930UBL is a mid-grade home theater system. It is a small system that is designed to pack a powerful punch. It has five satellite speakers as well as a small yet impactful subwoofer. Its mid-range classification is understood when you look at the AV receiver. It lacks a lot of what you would expect from a surround sound receiver.
The subwoofer has the ability to create frequencies ranging from 30 Hz to 200 Hz. Yamaha has seen to it that their product has a number of adjustable settings, allowing you to customize your home theater to meet your needs. One feature you will likely enjoy is the Virtual Cinema Front. This feature is designed for individuals who live in a tight space and are not able to configure their surround sound system as they would if they were in a larger space. By using this alternate configuration, you are able to simulate surround sound.
The AV receiver is not as impressive as some of the other home theater systems we have reviewed, but it does have a number of of the ports you are going to need. One thing that we do love is the fact that it has four HDMI inputs and supports HDC the 2.2. If you are going to watch movies, you will need to use a streaming box, a DVD player, or a Blu-ray.
This sound system is fine for use inside the home, but it does not come close to what you would expect from cinema quality sound. This is a good system for someone who is on a budget. This unit definitely does not have the number of ports you would expect from a more expensive unit, but most people should be able to make do with what it offers.
Price: $499.99 on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with 114 customer reviews
One of the first things that you are going to notice when you look at the tower speakers is that they are sizable. Each tower speaker is going to weigh over 33 pound, and the entire surround sound system ships in two large boxes. For our money, the basic black is the best color option. Black grain goes with anything, and it does not have the cheap feel that vinyl impersonations of woodgrain have.
The surround sound speakers are relatively small, coming in at around 10 inches. However, the tower speakers more than make up for the surround sound speakers, coming at a towering 38.8 inches tall and 13 inches deep. This full size allows them to produce a truer sound that adds life to what you are listening to.
We feel that the speakers are good for the price. They are a budget speaker, so they do not produce the same bass quality as top-of-the-line speakers. However, if you add a good subwoofer to the mix, you get a truer sound as the responsibility for creating bass no longer lies with the tower speakers but instead with the subwoofer.
The center speakers of the Fluance SXHTB-BK do a decent job for their size, and the surround speakers are effective. If you can throw on a decent subwoofer, then you will have a nice system.
Price: $349 on Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars with 188 customer reviews
The Pioneer HTP-074 is a system that has a lot of features to meet the needs of demanding home theater audio customers. It offers excellent sound and has the ability to connect to your Blu-ray, DVD, and CD player. It can stream music from different devices via Bluetooth technology.
This unit has a passive formatting that it relies on an external amplifier. This is a perfect system for a smaller room that doesn’t require overwhelming sound. The unit has a front USB port, making it possible for you to connect a memory USB easily. Another plus is the fact that the unit has an AM/FM tuner, which allows you to set 30 preset chattels. If you are not watching movies or listening to your music collection, you can listen to your favorite radio stations with amazing sound.
Price: $247.88 on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 with 170 customer reviews
The Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition is a smaller system designed to offer quality surround sound for a small room. The five satellite speakers are shielded, so you can use them near your television.
The unit is white, so it goes well with just about any type of furnishings. The speakers work well with almost any receiver. The satellite speakers have their own woofer and tweeter. The system is easy to set up, so this is a nice option for people who want a decent sound but do not want to go through the rigmarole of doing a complicated installation.
Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition produces a surprising sound for the size of the unit. We appreciate the fact that it is customizable, making it possible to use the unit in a larger room. We have doubts about its durability, especially if you are looking at watching movies that have deep bass sound. For light use or for use listening to music that does not have a lot of bass, this is a good option.
Price: $149.95 on Amazon
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars with 207 customer reviews
The Rockville HTS56 is a 5.1 channel home theater system that provides an impressive surround sound feel at a price that most people can afford. The system has 1000 W peak power, 250 W continuous RMS, and 500 W program. It is unbelievably loud. It has three front speakers as well as three rear speakers and a powerful 8 inch subwoofer.
The unit boasts sturdy construction as it is made of MDF as opposed to particle wood. Each speaker has an independent volume control, and the unit comes with long RCA cables. The Rockville HTS56 is built to allow you to listen to music, movies, and video games with surround sound.
The Rockville HTS56 is a quality system. It offers sound that is on par with some of the other systems we found in this price range. It also provides a 90 day money back guarantee and has enough sound to fill a medium-sized room, but it does not lose clarity. The surround sound effect it creates is impressive.
For film and music lovers, having crisp and clear sound is key to enhancing their audio experience. There have been so many advancements in audio technology that the sky is the limit when it comes to the home theater system you can purchase. Navigating through all of the options that are available can feel overwhelming.
In addition to finding the right system, you want to make sure that your speakers are properly placed to get the most out of your surround sound. Remember that your entire system is only as strong as its weakest link. If audio cables are not included, you want to spend money on getting decent cables so that your sound system can give you the biggest kick for your money.
We hope you enjoyed reviewing our top five picks for home theater surround sound systems. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Also, take a look at our list of the most commonly asked questions on the subject. Until next time, thank you for reading.
A: Square rooms are not good for acoustics. If possible, choose a room that has a non-square shape. Be careful about where you place your speakers. They should be at the height of the listener’s heads when they are sitting down. Make sure that your speakers are properly calibrated and upgrade your equipment to take advantage of the latest technology.
A: As a general rule, the more expensive something is, the higher quality materials are used and the better it is built. However, this is not a hard fact. Don’t focus so much on the price of the unit. Instead, look at how it is built. Nothing would be more disappointing than purchasing an expensive unit that is built poorly. There are some big rage audio systems that perform better than high-end products.
A: A 5.1 configuration will have a subwoofer, a center speaker, left and right speakers in the front, and left and right speakers in the rear. A 7.1 configuration will include two side speakers, giving a fuller surround sound feel.