18 Best Home Theater Systems for 2022

Nero Peña Image
Nero Peña

Updated: September 30,2022

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Are you planning to build your very own home theater?

Let me help you with that.

We took the liberty of scanning the market for the best home theater systems!

We came back with:

  • 18 home audio systems that will elevate your mini theater.
  • Detailed reviews based on their top features, performance, and price.
  • A comparison table with all the key specs.
  • A buyer’s cheat sheet for you to pick up the best option.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. 

We’ve got great stuff ahead!

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Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4
Brand:Nakamichi

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4

Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System
Brand:Polk Audio

Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Creative Stage 360
Brand:Creative

Creative Stage 360

VIZIO - SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System
Brand:VIZIO

VIZIO - SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System

Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema System
Brand:Focal

Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema System

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2
Brand:Onkyo

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2

SVS Prime Satellite 5.1
Brand:SVS

SVS Prime Satellite 5.1

Yamaha YHT-5950UBL
Brand:Yamaha

Yamaha YHT-5950UBL

VIZIO SB46514-F6
Brand:VIZIO

VIZIO SB46514-F6

Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System
Brand:Enclave Audio

Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System

Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2
Brand:Aperion Audio

Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2

Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System
Brand:Elac

Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System

Sony CS-Series Speakers Bundle
Brand:Sony

Sony CS-Series Speakers Bundle

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
Brand:Logitech

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

Onkyo HT-S3910 Home Audio Theater
Brand:Onkyo

Onkyo HT-S3910 Home Audio Theater

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System
Brand:Rockville

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System
Brand:Klipsch

Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System

Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System
Brand:Bose

Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4

Brand: Nakamichi
Sound
Excellent
Supported formats
All surround formats
Connectivity
Advanced
Room configurations
Adaptable

At Amazon

Price

1499.99

View on Amazon

If you’re looking for the best home theater system, you found it! The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 offers a superior 360-degree surround sound experience that goes with your stunning television display. 

The scene-stealer here is the 45.5-inch soundbar. It’s the winner of the Dolby Atmos soundbar battle! With six full-range drivers and two Surround Effects tweeters, it perfectly bounces off the sound through your walls. Yes to clearer and crisper audio! 

Aside from Dolby Atmos, its advanced support for top-notch formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD, and DTS-HD Master Audio also make it a top pick. 

Of course, the sound should match your killer visuals. For video pass-through, it supports Dolby Vision, 4K-Bluray, HDR, and UHD formats. 

It’s equipped with the world’s first 10-inch dual subwoofers as well. A single subwoofer can already elevate your sound. Adding another unit will bring out your rich bass tones even more. 

You get wireless speakers for TV, so you won’t get tangled in annoying wires and cables.

The wired pieces, though, are the four additional surround speakers. There’s 2 on each side and another 2 at the back. They effectively disperse various tunes around your space for a more immersive experience. 

To make this work, Nakamichi uses its Spatial-Surround-Elevation (SSE) Technology. That’s a mouthful. So what it basically does is highlight all the sound directions, bring out tiny details and enlarge the space for a lifelike audio quality. 

All these elements, put together in a simple plug-n-play setup. And you’re free to reconfigure everything in your room with the remote control.

The Shockwafe Ultra costs $1399. If you don’t mind paying the huge price, then this would be a great investment. It is the best home theater system for under 2000 bucks.

Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Brand: Polk Audio
Surround sound
5.1
Bass
Powerful
Value for money
4.5/5
Upgradeable
Yes

At Amazon

Price

675.00

View on Amazon

Who says building your own movie theater has to be expensive?

Surround sound systems like the Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System can deliver the complete audio range for a fraction of the cost.

The unit is composed of three different speakers from the T-Series collection.

The first one is the T30 Centre Channel Speaker, which gives an immersive sound output. With its powerful tweeter and dynamic balance drivers, you can get deeper bass and clearer vocals that can fill up small to medium spaces. For an effective home theater kit, this one’s a must! 

You also get 2 massive T50 Floor Standing Speakers. Watching a hot pursuit from an action film would sound glorious with the bass radiators. They perfectly amplify what you already hear from the channel speaker. But on top of that, these towers also balance and distribute the sound to the farthest corners of your mini theater

They’re simply the best home speakers, even on their own. 

To complete the set, there are 2 additional T15 bookshelf speakers for that full surround sound setup. You can put them beside the centre channel, at the far sides, or at the back. Whichever way, they can still do what they do best. That is, to capture small audio details and make sound effects as realistic as possible. 

It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS surround formats too, so no issues in the soundtrack department. 

The only setback is that the sound quality on dialogs can be a little lackluster. But if you’re willing to add an extra, Polk’s PSW10 Subwoofer should be enough to enhance that. 

Like we said, this 5.1 surround sound model doesn’t cost a lot of bucks. For a price of $526, you can get a decent speaker system that’s easily comparable with big brands like Bose, Sony, or Philips. It may be an entry-level unit, but not bad for budget home theater systems!

Creative Stage 360

Brand: Creative
Connectivity
Multiple options
Sound
Excellent
Frequency response
50 - 20,000 Hz
Peak power output
240W

At Creative

Price

199.99

Visit Website

What if I tell you that you can have the perfect audio to get lost in a movie or a video game without spending a fortune? Let me introduce you to the Creative Stage 360 Home Theater Soundbar System.

Let’s start with the sound system specifications.

The Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 integration simulates a three-dimensional sound surrounding you from every side.

Creative Stage 360 also has custom-tuned racetrack drivers, which deliver up to 60W RMS power. They ensure the audio is crisp and clear and produce a spatial media performance without additional clutter.

The soundbar system comes with a long-throw subwoofer with a high excursion driver. It achieves deeper bass effects by generating an output power of up to 120W RMS. Furthermore, the total peak power of the system is 240W.

Another thing worth mentioning is the audible placement features. There’s an option to switch between far-field and near-field listening distances.

Regarding connectivity, Creative Stage 360 provides several options. It comes with one HDMI ARC and two HDMI 2.0 ports that enable you to connect your PS5 or a Blu-ray player without manually switching between them each time.

You also have an optical-in port at your disposal for instant digital audio streaming. If you prefer wireless streaming, you can make use of Bluetooth 5.0.

The IR remote control is very convenient, as it allows you to:

  • Switch sources
  • Adjust the volume
  • Select the audio mode
  • Choose far or near-field listening distances

So far, so good. But what about the price? 

The Creative Stage 360 Home Theater System costs $192.45 on the official website, but you can often find it on a sale for less. Overall, it offers excellent value for money.

VIZIO - SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System

Brand: VIZIO
Connectivity
Wireless Subwoofer
Chromecast
Supported
Price
Affordable
Slick
And solid soundbar

At Amazon

Price

189.00

View on Amazon

If you think you need to splurge for the best quality home theater system - think again! The VIZIO SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System proves that you don’t have to break the bank to complete your mini theater.

The keyword here is SmartCast – what is it? 

Unlike some typical good speakers, this one offers an extra connectivity option for Google Cast. With this tool, it isn’t just movies or TV shows you get to play. You can also stream entertainment from apps like Spotify, YouTube, and so much more. 

That also means you can integrate your Google Home speaker for voice control. It’s a nice addition to your smart home!

Okay, now let’s talk about the sound. 

The set includes three speaker variations – a soundbar, subwoofer, and two satellite surround speakers. The soundbar does a great job at showcasing clear vocals on dialogs. Careful not to amp up the volume too high, because it does get a little hissy.

But that’s what the subwoofer is for. It balances everything, and it enriches low and deep frequencies to give you a solid, bombastic bass. It’s a wireless surround sound source as well, and it syncs flawlessly with the soundbar.

The satellite speakers are good enough for proper sound distribution. Keep the soundbar and subwoofer close, with the satellites positioned at the rear. This way, you get a complete audio range that blends perfectly. 

The unit costs – wait for it – the gleaming $249.99! It’s one of the cheapest options in the market, and one that has enough potential. Plus with the SmartCast feature alone, this would be a great match for your Internet or Smart TV. And if you prefer a wireless home theater system, go for it!

Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema System

Brand: Focal
Design
Stylish
3D Dynamic Audio
Yes
Sound clarity
Impressive
Dolby Atmos
Supported

At Amazon

Price

1699.00

View on Amazon

The Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema System plays up a sleek and classy speaker system to fire up an average living room. Audio-wise, it doesn’t fail to deliver quality stereo surround sound

The system is developed to bring out the sheer audio excellence we all know and love. Yes, I’m talking about Dolby Digital’s object-based surround sound. In other words, the gold standard in the movie theatre.

But don’t let the name trick you. It’s a system built for Dolby Atmos, but not exclusively so. These home theater speakers can still support various formats in the DTS:X lineup. More soundtrack options! 

As for the audio system itself, the set is composed of six different speakers. That includes the iconic Cub Evo subwoofer, 3 Sib Evo satellite speakers, and 2 Dolby Atmos loudspeakers

The subwoofer and mini satellites sync well with each other, and both offer a solid and well-balanced audio output. But, the star of the show has to be the loudspeakers.

With Dolby-fueled drivers, these speakers were made to produce sound waves with an upward movement. They reflect the sound to your home ceiling and right back at you. This way, you get mega-realistic and 3D dynamic sound effects!

Now let’s talk about pricing. The surround sound system retails for $1299. It’s a mid-range set that’s borderline expensive. It’s just a few bucks behind Nakamichi, which is already considered a high-end set.

Setting up might just take a while because of the clunky wirings at the back. So if you’re aiming for wireless surround speakers, then you should probably keep scrolling. 

Otherwise, the set simply looks and sounds spectacular, on and around your TV set. Still a great choice for a mini theater investment!

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2

Brand: Onkyo
Chromecast
Built-in
Audio
Dynamic range
DTS and Dolby Atmos
Yes
4K Video
Supported

At Amazon

Price

999.00

View on Amazon

You could be watching a full-length film, short home video, or a whole season of Money Heist on Netflix - this home sound system is your best companion. 

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 has a total of 6 speakers combined. That includes a two-way center speaker, bass reflex subwoofer, Dolby Atmos-enabled front speakers, and full-range acoustic-suspension surround speakers

Altogether, this set reflects vertical sound waves. That’s one of the best ways to achieve a realistic, 3D audio quality. It’s as if you have your own in-ceiling speakers. As a result, the sound is a lot like what you would hear in a movie theatre

The system also includes a channel network A/V receiver. This serves as your power amplifier for all audio and visual elements. 4K, HDR, and UHD is supported here, which is a plus if you’re playing games with great visuals.

The surround sound speakers are also infused with Onkyo’s AccuEQ and AccuReflex technology. Aside from the excellent sound it gives, this also ensures that the speakers have no delays. All sound elements are delivered at the same time!

Just like the VIZIO SmartCast, Onkyo has also added a Google Cast connectivity option. It’s a great addition for music streamers and binge-watchers (we included). With this feature, you get to connect your gadget with Chromecast. You can flash literally anything from your mobile device to your HDTV screen and speakers. 

Assembling the set can be a challenge though, especially with the lack of a manual. It isn’t the best-looking sound system for TV either. 

But for its price, it certainly outperforms other home stereo systems along the high-end section. The set costs $999, which is a fair price with the A/V receiver included. It’s simple, clean, and offers outstanding sound.

SVS Prime Satellite 5.1

Brand: SVS
Design
Compact
Bass
Deep
Installation
Easy
Frequency response
69 - 25Hz ± 3dB

At Amazon

Price

1399.00

View on Amazon

At SVS

Price

1199.99

Visit SVS

The SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 is an incredibly compact surround sound setup, fit for smaller spaces. They’re the miniatures of the SVS family. But don’t let their looks deceive you.

Made with 6 speakers in total, this tiny bass booster packs a punch. 5 identical Prime Satellite speakers dominate the set, serving as the main surround sound system. Each speaker is built with a keyhole mount so you can prop them up on your walls, which is where they truly belong.

Mounted or not, these home audio speakers can still envelop your movie theatre with immersive, realistic sound. And that’s coming from front to back, side to side. They also feature a SoundMatch two-way crossover technology that smoothens out transitions between the drivers. 

Altogether, these little devices blend well with the main bass producer – the subwoofer.

Also a compact device, the SB-1000 subwoofer is where the action happens. If you show a 13-inch woofer to a home theater connoisseur, they’ll probably burst out laughing. But this one’s a charmer! For its small size, it can produce thumping bass lines for an action-packed listening experience. 

As for the soundtracks, the set supports the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS-ES formats, which is a plus. 

Priced at $999, you’re getting an easy-to-install home speaker system with enough potential to bring any kind of entertainment to life. We wouldn’t recommend it for a big room, because clearly these speakers are meant for a smaller space. 

If your basic living room simply needs an upgrade - chose this option! 

Yamaha YHT-5950UBL

Brand: Yamaha
Music Cast
Supported
Frequency Response
28Hz–25kHz
A/V receiver
Invluded
4K UHD
Supported

At Amazon

Price

999.00

View on Amazon

A good audiophile system under 1000 bucks can be hard to come by. That’s why Yamaha YHT-5950UBL is one of those rare gems in the audio electronics market!

The package includes a total of seven devices. That includes 5 channel surround sound speakers, a subwoofer, and an A/V receiver that serves as a power amplifier

The speakers give off a larger-than-life sound with ultimate realism. They are all equipped with the Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO). It analyzes how audio moves in your room and then it configures the sound delivery for more optimized feedback. 

On top of that, its Cinema DSP 3D feature also arranges the audio dynamic for an extra realistic and immersive touch. Easily the best sound system for music and movies!

Speaking of music, the A/V receiver has a MusicCast feature that lets you play music from a host of streaming services. That includes Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and a lot more. The acoustic treatment you deserve! 

The receiver also offers a bunch of connectivity options that make it the best wireless surround sound system. Aside from MusicCast, you can also connect your system with Bluetooth, WiFi, or Airplay for Apple users. 

Although there is still a lot of wirings involved in setting up the whole unit, the wireless connection options make it an easy go for watching and streaming from a mobile device.

For the whole set, the price is $999. It’s edging a bit close to the high-end tier, but a cost worth paying for a decent stereo system for homes. And as far as bundled products and services go, it’s a fair price point!

VIZIO SB46514-F6

Brand: VIZIO
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Connectivity
Wireless Subwoofer
Google Cast
Supported
Value for Money
4/5

At Amazon

Price

1200.00

View on Amazon

The VIZIO SB46514-F6 is a revamped edition of the brand’s first Dolby Atmos baby – the VIZIO SB36512. This is a much larger sibling, and it comes loaded with better performance, build, and superior sound quality.

First thing you’ll notice is the massive 46-inch soundbar. It promises to deliver the “future of cinema.” If you have a large-screen television, this would be the perfect match. Its sleek profile allows it to sit just below your TV set. 

With eight drivers and two passive radiators, you can expect crystal clear vocals and a room-shaking bass from this piece. It tends to overpower the other speakers though, but it’s nothing that a bit of volume configuration can’t fix. 

It comes with a wireless subwoofer as well, which quickly claimed a spot at the top 10 best wireless speakers this year. Together with the rear surround sound channels, they bring the Atmos experience in full circle by dispersing the sound throughout the room. 

Now you might be wondering, how is it a 5.1.4 channel when there are only 5 speakers? The secret lies beneath the rear speakers. Each of them has 2 extra embedded up-firing speakers for an added immersion. 

And just like its flagship brother - the VIZIO 5.1 Channel Sound Bar - this home audio system is also powered by SmartCast. With this technology, you can connect your mobile device via Google Cast and stream content from Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, and more. No need to borrow DVD flicks from a video rental store

The soundbar and wireless home speakers cost $999, combined. It’s borderline expensive, but nonetheless a great option.

Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System

Brand: Enclave Audio
WiSA
Yes
Chromecast
Built-in
Installation
Easy
Requires a Receiver
No

At mazon

Price

799.00

View on Amazon

The Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System offers a simple yet powerful cinematic experience within the comforts of your home. It’s a home theater in a box!

The package includes 6 custom-designed speakers. That includes 4 identical surround speakers, a center channel speaker, and a subwoofer. All units are powered by multiple drivers and built-in amplifiers.

On top of being a speaker, the center channel also acts as the Smart Center. It’s where you’ll find the transmitters that send audio signals to the rest of the system. And no, you don’t need WiFi or any connectivity to interlock your surround sound set up!

Speaking of connectivity, the set also provides a streaming option for various entertainment apps. Similar to VIZIO and Onkyo, you can use Google Cast to watch movies, listen to music, or play games on your mobile device. Or, you can just download the Enclave Audio app if you don't have a Chromecast. 

All speakers in this wireless home theater system are free from funky cables. Instead, it uses WiSA technology. With this, the speakers sync seamlessly with each other in order to provide a cinema-like sound for your mini theater. The only cables you’ll find here are the ones you connect to your TV and the power source.

On that note, going wire-free also means that you’ll need to top up the speakers’ power supply when needed. For that, you’re gonna have to keep them close to a power outlet for charging.

At $799, you’re getting a high-quality wireless sound system that raises the bar. It’s what a home theater should sound and look like. And not to forget, it’s Dolby Atmos and DTS-enabled, so overall a solid choice!

Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2

Brand: Aperion Audio
Design
5/5
Frequency Response
36-30,000 Hz +/- 3dB
Output
Up to 150 Watts
Colors
Black or White

At Amazon

Price

3045.00

View on Amazon

In the sea of popular speaker brands, Aperion can very easily get lost in the mix. But looking at the Audio Novus 5.0.2, the seven-speaker system is here to change that. 

The set features a high-end pack of mighty speakers. This is the newest addition to the brand’s home theater family. It has the priciest tag of the bunch – a whopping $2995. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s the cheapest option you can get in the Aperion Audio lineup today.

It simply offers what the best home theater equipment should. There are 5 surround speakers dominating the room – a center channel speaker, 2 floor-standing towers, and 2 bookshelf speakers. To complete the 5.0.2 setup, you also get 2 upward-firing speakers that make way for the amazing Dolby Atmos experience. 

Clearly, the Novus stands true to its promise of giving the same sonic quality you’ll get in cinemas and movie theatres

Audio feedback is exquisite, especially in dialogs. Sharp details in sound effects is also a huge plus. But of course, with the way Aperion boasts its new Fiber Dome Tweeters for full dynamic range, this isn’t much of a surprise. 

Additionally, the best home stereo system added a Tweeter Adjustment feature as well. It scales the sound waves according to your viewing environment.

On the bad side, its bass quality certainly won’t blow you away. The usual suspect is the lack of a subwoofer, which is the case for Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2. But if you already have a sub or don’t mind buying a separate unit, this is the perfect set to start your mini theater with.

It’s a hefty purchase, but definitely worth it!

Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System

Brand: Elac
Tower fronts
Powerful
Configurations
Auto
Audio
Full-range
Tweeters and Drivers
Revamped

At Amazon

Price

2489.90

View on Amazon

Elac became one of the most sought-after home theater system brands upon the arrival of the first Debut. And with this re-made and improved 5.1 system, it still deserves that kind of elite status.

Inside this massive box, you get 6 speakers in total. That includes the classic SUB3010 subwoofer, a center speaker, 2 floor-standing speakers and another 2 surround speakers. Unit-wise, it’s the same inclusions as before.

But what’s new about this audio system?

The major upgrade here is the tweeter, which is equipped with Elac’s premier Wide-Dispersion technology. As far as surround systems go, this waveguide helps distribute sound that fills all the spaces in your room. Everybody gets to enjoy the same audio satisfaction!

Additionally, the speakers have been remade with woven Aramid Fiber. On top of giving the best surround sound, this material gives an extra layer of strength to the woofers. The result? Louder, deeper, and fuller bass with a better low-frequency response.

Unfortunately, a built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS support are nowhere in sight. 

If that’s a make-or-break aspect for you, there are still considerable options. You can go for its closest competitor, or you can just upgrade it with the compatible Elac Debut Dolby Atmos modules. These are sold separately, which is a cost on top of its base price – $1829.

It’s quite an expensive option for home theater starters. But with those new upgrades, it’s still the best home theater system with great performance.

Sony CS-Series Speakers Bundle

Brand: Sony
Set
8 Speakers
Value for Money
4.5/5
Frequency Response
45-50,000 Hz
Receiver required
Yes

At Amazon

Price

1290.00

View on Amazon

Would you believe us if we told you that you can get a professional home theater system on a budget?

The proof is right here – the Sony CS-Series Speakers Bundle, which costs only $868 for the entire set.

The package includes: 

  • SSCS3 Floor-Standing Speakers 
  • SSCSE Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers 
  • SACS9 Subwoofer 
  • SSCS8 Center Channel Speaker, and 
  • SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker System

Plain and simple, it’s a complete home theater in a box! But how does it perform?

The Sony home theater system makes up a standard 5.1 surround setup. The three-way floor towers and bookshelf speakers, in particular, have super tweeters for an immersive and realistic sound staging. 

They also level up the high-frequency response, which goes way above the sonic limits of human hearing. Whether you’re watching a movie or listening to some music, this technology cranks up the sound resolution up to the highest level.

The center channel and active subwoofer in this Sony sound system also cover a clear audio path and a powerful bass reflex. 

And of course, the Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers do their job of capturing those overhead sounds and dispersing them around you. The angled rears are also a great design touch, allowing them to lean against your walls for perfect mounting. 

With this many speakers though, the home audio speakers can get a little neutral for subtle or ambient sounds. Although a rare occurrence, that still leaves you no choice but to amp up the volume. 

And no need to worry about high volumes giving off cabinet vibrations. You know, that little ringing in your ear when the audio gets too loud? With the CS-Series’ technology, those vibrations remain at bay. 

For its price, you’re getting an impressive surround sound system for your TV. Eight speakers for under a thousand bucks? That’s a steal right there.

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

Brand: Logitech
Value for Money
4.5/5
Output
Up to 1000 Watts
Sound quality
4.5/5
THX-Certified
Yes

Logitech is a top-tier brand in the PC world, but not so much in the home cinema realm. 

But looking at Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System, the company seems to be catching up pretty well in the game. That’s why we went on a home theater review to unpack the good and bad stuff.

The set consists of a single subwoofer and 5 identical satellite speakers. This completes a 5.1 surround sound setup. It’s future-proof, too, since it has a built-in decoder that reads Dolby Atmos and DTS soundtracks for that life-like audio feedback.

The product has obtained a THX certification as well, so you know it passes the industry standards for sound quality. 

Bass is its strongest asset, which mainly comes from the active subwoofer. The audio system reaches up to 1000 watts of sound power! That’s why it’s no surprise that it has a roaring bass and sharp sound detail. However, the subtends to overshadow the satellites, so you might need to adjust the volume for better harmony.

If you have HDMI cables, I’m afraid they won’t be of any use to these home theater speakers. The system lacks HDMI input support, which can be a red flag. But even so, there’s still a wide array of input options like an RCA or headphone jack. 

You can use this to connect your phone, tablet, Blu-ray player, PlayStation, and more. That makes it highly flexible for other hobbies like listening to music, playing games, singing karaoke, and lots of other fun mini theater activities!

For $396.99, it’s clearly one of those budget home theater systems. Its features are good enough for small mini theaters and television sets.

Onkyo HT-S3910 Home Audio Theater

Brand: Onkyo
4K Video
Supported
Input options
Multiple
Dolby Atmos and DTS
Supported
A/V receiver
Included

At Amazon

Price

1367.81

View on Amazon

The Onkyo HT-S3910 Home Audio Theater offers the best surround sound system you can get in a simple and compact 5.1 unit.

With multiple audio sources, the set includes: 

  • HT-R398 A/V receiver
  • Bass Reflex subwoofer
  • Center Speaker
  • 2 front speakers
  • 2 surround speakers

When assembled, these pieces deliver a complete and dynamic audio range. And to bring out the 3d sound field involved in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, it has a height virtualizer and sound elevation technology. It creates an immersive sound experience that complements the audio playback.

In terms of design, these speakers are great space savers. Without compromising sound quality, the mini-satellites are flexible enough to be mounted on your walls or just lay flat on a table.

The addition of an A/V receiver also sets it apart from other 5.1 surround sound systems. It supports the latest 4K and HDR formats too, so video pass-through from player to system works flawlessly! Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth also works like a charm, so you can stream music and movies from your phone without hassle.

The unit costs $540, which is a considerable option against the best speakers brands that are insanely expensive.

It just lacks the front up-firing speakers that most Atmos-enabled sets like VIZIO have. This would improve the surround sound quality by a mile. But considering the fact that it’s almost half the price, this set is good enough for an entry-level home audio system!

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Brand: Rockville
Price
Cheap
Receiver
Built-in
Peak power
1000 Watts
Connectivity
Bluetooth

At Amazon

Price

184.95

View on Amazon

If you’re a fan of action-fueled movies and games, what you need is the Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

The set includes a center channel speaker, 4 front and rear speakers, and а subwoofer. It has a built-in receiver too, so no need to search the market for a power amplifier. It’s an all-in-one surround sound setup!

With its peak sound power reaching up to 1000 watts, massive explosions and gunshots would be ear-shattering in your mini theater. The subwoofer also plays up a nice and deep thumping bass without giving off cabinet vibrations. That could be a dealbreaker for the best sound system for TV.

If you also like taking control of how everything sounds, then you’ll be happy to hear that each speaker has its own volume control. This way, you can calibrate the audio according to your sound preference as well as your room space. 

For wireless connectivity, you can use them as Bluetooth surround sound speakers. You can connect the subwoofer to any of your gadgets and the system picks up the input lightning-fast. Alternatively, you can use USB dongles or RCA cables if your device lacks this feature.

The whole set only costs $164.95, which makes it one of the cheapest sound systems in the market! 

With this low price, of course, comes with a few limitations. It lacks support for Dolby Atmos and DTS soundtracks, which puts it way behind the premiums units. 

Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System

Brand: Klipsch
Value for Money
3.5/5
Dolby Atmos and DTS
Supported
Connectivity options
Multiple
Sound dispersion
Excellent

At Amazon

Price

6999.00

View on Amazon

Going on a spending spree for the best home theater system? A good match would be the Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System

I’ll just get right down to it – the set costs a staggering $6,999. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, so let’s try to knock some sense into that price point. 

To complete the 11.2 surround sound experience, you’ll assemble all of these pieces: 

  • 1 center speaker
  • 2 tower speakers
  • 2 subwoofers
  • 4 surround speakers
  • 4 in-ceiling speakers
  • A/V receiver

Clearly, the speaker system has the most number of devices around here. 

The system supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats, so you’re getting a highly-immersive surround sound. With that many speakers, audio dispersion is as fluid as it can be. The A/V receiver also supports 4K, HDR, and Ultra HD video pass-through, so you get crisp visuals that match your glorious audio.

The beauty of this home speaker system is that you can play with the placement of the units. If you feel there’s more than enough speakers in your mini theater, you can add the rest of them in other rooms for extra synchronization. 

That’s where the wireless connectivity comes in handy! It provides a MusicCast option so you can play music around the house. You can use it as a Bluetooth wireless home speaker system as well.

Still, it’s an incredibly expensive option. Buyers on a budget would simply look away, no questions asked. But if you have a large space and you don’t mind paying the high price, these Klipsch home theater features make it well with the purchase!

Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System

Brand: Bose
Bass
Superior
Configuration
ADAPTiQ
Setup
Quick
Smart Functions
Available

At Amazon

Price

3499.95

View on Amazon

At Bose

Price

3999

Visit Bose

If Bose has the power to create some of the best-sounding speakers in the world, then surely it can deliver an excellent surround sound setup.

It’s right over here – the Bose home theater system. 

The set includes a console, center speaker, four OmniJewel speakers, and two wireless receivers. While the front and center need a wired connection, those at the rear don't require cables and wires at all. All thanks to its Acoustimass module!

The great thing about the OmniJewels is that compared to other speaker systems, it disperses audio waves differently. Following a 360-degree pattern, all listeners have a fair share of a highly-immersive experience.

With its exclusive ADAPTiQ technology, you can also save time and effort figuring out the right settings. Now you don’t have to manually configure your Bose surround sound. It automatically calibrates the system!

In terms of connectivity, the system has added a SoundTouch option on top of Bluetooth and AirPlay. You can use this to play media from your phone through the SoundTouch app.

The Bose home theater package costs $3,999. With the absence of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, this price is a little outrageous. If we compare it against wireless surround sound speakers like the Shockwafe Ultra or VIZIO SmartCast, this won’t stand a chance. 

But if we talk about sound clarity and bass power, this brand is still the frontrunner!

Home Theater Systems Compared

Let’s take a closer look at the best home theater systems

Here’s a quick roundup of each unit:

Device Surround Speakers Wireless Connectivity Dolby Atmos DTS  Price
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 7.1 Yes HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB, Bluetooth aptX, Yes Yes $1,399
Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System 5.1 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB, Bluetooth Yes Yes $526
VIZIO - SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System  5.1 Mixed WiFi, Chromecast HDMI, HDMI ARC, Bluetooth, USB Yes Yes $249.99
Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema System 5.1.2 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB, Bluetooth Yes  Yes $1,299
Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 5.1.2 Mixed Google Cast, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI Yes Yes $999
SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 5.1 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB, Yes Yes $999
Yamaha YHT-5950UBL 5.1.2 No HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, MusicCast, AirPlay Yes Yes $599
VIZIO SB46514-F6 5.1.4 Yes HDMI, Bluetooth, Chromecast, WiFi Yes Yes $999
Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System 5.1 Yes HDMI, HDMI ARC, Bluetooth, Chromecast Yes Yes $799
Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2 5.0.2 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB,  Yes Yes $2995
Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System 5.1 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB,  No No $1,829
Sony CS-Series Speakers Bundle 5.1 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB,  Yes No $868
Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System 5.1 No RCA cables, Headphone jack, channel direct Yes Yes $396.99
Onkyo HT-S3910 Home Audio Theater 5.1 No HDMI, HDMI ARC, USB, Bluetooth Yes Yes $540
Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System 5.1 No Bluetooth, USB, RCA, SD Input No No $164.95
Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System 7.1 No HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, MusicCast, AirPlay Yes Yes $6,999
Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System 5.1 Yes HDMI, USB,  No Yes $3,999

What Is a Home Theater System?

Have you noticed how more people are turning their houses into smart homes lately? Well, a home theater system is somewhere along that trend.

It’s all about getting the essential equipment to recreate a typical cinema in your house. That includes a high-resolution TV to mimic the big screen’s visuals. But more importantly, it’s accompanied by surround sound systems. These are composed of multiple speakers that produce sound in various directions.

According to this report, it’s expected that the home theater market will grow by $2.87 billion by 2024. All the more reason to get your hands on the best home theater system!

What Are the Different Surround Sound Formats?

Speakers don’t just magically give you that surround experience without the proper soundtrack formats, or what we call ‘codecs’.

So here are the most common and industry-standard soundtracks:

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is like a gift from the audio gods. It’s an object-based surround sound format that bounces off the sound in multiple directions. As a result, you experience the same auditory environment as what you’re seeing on your screen. 

Some home theater speakers are already Atmos-enabled, but those that are not will need an A/V receiver that supports it.

Dolby TrueHD

It’s the next best thing to Atmos. It’s a lossless format, which means the audio quality from the main source is retained upon playback. No element is stripped away from the original recording. So if you’re watching a movie or listening to a song, you get to hear what the creators expect you to hear. An A/V receiver can easily decode Dolby TrueHD signals, but alternatively, you can use a Blu-Ray disc player for decoding.

Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital Plus is present in most home audio systems and receivers. They can quickly decode this format with the help of HDMI cables. It has lesser compression, full dynamic range, and realistic audio quality. This soundtrack is typically supported by mobile connectivity such as phones, tablets, computers, etc.

DTS

DTS is the direct competitor of Dolby Digital. In contrast to the latter’s object-based surround sound, DTS goes for a multi-dimensional surround. It offers much less compressed audio quality as well as a higher bit rate. It’s the more attainable format, too, since it can run on a standard 5.1 system. Its advanced variation, the DTS:X, can run on regular 7.1 surround sound speaker systems without the need for extra speakers.

DTS-HD Master Audio

Among other DTS soundtracks, the DTS-HD Master Audio has a higher response for low and high frequencies and a much wider dynamic range. Again, a home theater receiver can decode this format with an HDMI or an HD Blu-ray player.

Keep in mind that the best home theater systems can be easily defined by the sound formats they support! 

How To Choose the Best Home Theater System

Need help picking the best option from the long list of home theater systems?

These are great deciding factors:

Number of Surround Speakers

How many speaker channels do you need for a complete surround sound setup

For the best 5.1 surround sound system, you can choose from Polk Audio, VIZIO SmartCast, Onkyo HT-S7800, or Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos.

On the other hand, 7.1 surround sound speaker systems like the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 or the Klipsch 11.2 Atmos Home Theater System are great choices.

Wired vs. Wireless

Traditional speaker systems are usually interconnected with one another, or connect to a single source to get things going. If you prefer it that way, then you can consider options like SVS Prime Satellite, Yamaha YHT-5950UBL, Elac Debut 2.0-5.1, or the Sony CS-Series.

Wireless surround speakers lose the need for cables, which use either their own synchronization channels or WiFi connectivity to work. Those units include the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4, Enclave Audio CineHome HD, VIZIO SB46514-F6, and Bose Lifestyle 650.

Home theater systems with a mix of both would be VIZIO SmartCast and Onkyo HT-S7800.

Connectivity

Most speaker systems now allow you to play content from different sources with different connectivity options.

If you’d like Bluetooth surround sound, both of the Onkyo 5.1 systems are excellent choices. Most of the units included in the list also offer Bluetooth connectivity, so anything goes!

Only a few of them have a Google Cast connectivity option though. This is a great tool if you plan to use a Chromecast to stream content from entertainment apps. That includes both VIZIO SmartCast and SB46514-F6, Onkyo HT-S7800, and Enclave Audio CineHome HD.

Soundtracks 

It’s an extra advantage to get the best home theater systems that can support various audio formats. For that immersive and realistic audio output, the speakers should be able to decode the encoded soundtracks in formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS, and the ones mentioned above. 

Most systems on this list have that ability, except for Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System. But if you still prefer that brand, you can purchase separate Dolby or DTS modules for that.

Pricing

How much do you plan to spend on home audio systems? 

If you’re on a tight budget, your best picks include Polk Audio, VIZIO SmartCast, Logitech Z906, and Rockville HTS56. These are all under $1000, with the latter units not even close to $500!

On the flip side, the luxury units include the Aperion Audio Novus, Klipsch 11.2 Atmos, and Bose Lifestyle 650. You’re paying the top dollar here as they go beyond the 2000-buck mark.

But if you’re somewhere in the middle, the Shockwafe Ultra and Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos are probably the best surround sound speakers you can invest in.

Wrap Up

Movie nights, marathons, watch parties, streaming sessions… 

All sorts of entertainment, you can get in the best home theater system.

Now it’s even more practical and enjoyable than endless trips to the cinema!

Just be sure you’ve considered all the essentials to make a wise purchase. Or to cut the process, you can just pick a set from the list above, and off you go.

Let the binge-watching begin!

FAQ.


What is the best 5.1 home theater system?

Polk Audio’s T-Series set is by far the best 5.1 surround sound system. VIZIO Smartcast and Enclave Audio CineHome HD are honorable mentions if you’re looking for wireless surround sound systems.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound better?

Well technically, a 7.1 or even 7.2 surround sound system performs better, simply because you have more channel speakers. But that’s if you have a bigger space for your home theater.

A small to medium-sized room will have enough sound equalization with a 5.1 surround sound. It all comes down to your room size!

How many speakers do you need for Dolby Atmos?

4 surround speakers are the standard setup for Dolby Atmos home theater systems. Having this much speakers will make the placement of sounds more accurate, and you'll get more precise, realistic sounds when an object passes overhead.

Which brand is the best home theater systems?

The best home theater systems include the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4, Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System, Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System, and the VIZIO - SmartCast 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System. The first is a great investment, while the other is the more budget-friendly options.

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Nero Peña

Nero Peña

Nero is an all-around wordsmith with a degree in Communication Arts— not the vicious emperor you might know in history books. He's an avid reader. A frisky writer. A tech enthusiast and occasional binge-watcher. He likes long walks on the beach. Enjoys deep thinking and shallow conversations. Hates ketchup. Panic! At The Disco.

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