You desire to bring the movie theater experience into your home? Don’t skip this top 10 best surround sound system in 2021 below, or you will regret it!
You came up with the idea of creating the best surround sound system in your living room, but you don’t know where to start? The overwhelming number of options on the market may make your head spin, from old-school multi-speakers systems to the all-in-one soundbars.
Let us help you solve this shopping headache with our a-z reviews and buying guide, so you can enjoy your blockbusters wholly or be immersed in tranquil music without interference.
Top 10 Best Surround Sound System
In this list, we’ve spent hours searching and gathered the 10 best surround sound systems so you can hand-pick the best option for your situation.
Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 – Best Overall
Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4
Our top pick of the top 10 best surround sound systems in 2021 is Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 product with outstanding features in providing top audio quality.
The exclusive Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) technology will bring you an exceptional theater experience of immersing in the surround sound. You can hear every element of the soundstage without skipping a beat.
Featured by the 7.1.4 channels, including a soundbar with seven built-in individual speakers, this item delivers a 30% wider soundstage to its audience.
It supports ARC and eARC for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The various features enable you to fine-tune the audio to a specific desired setting.
Another highlight of this product is the wireless subwoofer. It comes with an 8-inch, 180-watt, down-firing driver encased in a wooden enclosure. The subwoofer is capable of delivering deep notes and minimizing resonance.
The only advantage is that the system doesn’t support HDMI 2.1 pass-through, rather inconvenient for some users. Instead of using the speaker systems, you will have to depend on TV speakers to boost the audio.
- Transform your living room into a state-of-the-art movie theater with True 360° Dolby Atmos surround flowing around, above and beyond you. Like cinemas with speakers located around you, SHOCKWAFE Pro 7.1.4 SSE duplicates the same experience to your home, courtesy of Two rear surround speakers & Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) processing technology. Created with same DNA as our flagship Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 SSE, Winner of the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Battle (hosted by Brian Tong, Ex-Cnet host)
- Experience a whole new level of surround performance with our exclusive SSE Technology. Featuring 3 advanced audio processing engines working in harmony to enhance directionality, enlarge spaciousness & unlock extra details of any audio soundtrack. Envelop your home theater with up to 7.1.4 channels of uncompromising moving audio that flows all around you. Unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience with 105dB of room-filling sound.
- Cost worthy
- Excellent quality and lively surround sound
- Clear and concise dialog
- Versatile 4K-HDMI ports
- An all-in-one kit for minimal adjustment
- Without HDMI 2.1 support
Logitech Z906 – Best For Sound Quality
Whether you’re using the Logitech Z906 to watch movies or play games, it provides a promising surround sound experience.
It’s worth mentioning the bass performance of this product. The subwoofer keeps low frequency sounding tight and accurate, making explosion or action scenes lifelike. It can cluster a sustained, deep rumble without having to drown out other speakers.
These speakers also have a wireless remote and a compact control console, which help you with easy and quick sound adjustment. At the comfort of your couch, you can control the power and volume with the handy remote.
With Dolby Digital and DTS encoding, you can hear every detail in your soundtracks the way the studio intended. The clarity of dialogue rushed through the chaotic scenes without any muddiness.
It’s very solidly built and can be a chore to lug around, but it sports an attractive and simplistic enclosure that’s both pleasing to look at and unobtrusive.
Regretfully, during the using time, we discover two minus points of this product. At bottom low frequencies, the sound bar only provides mediocre performance; and having no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is quite inconvenient sometimes.
- 5.1 digital surround sound: Hear every detail in your Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks the way the studio intended. Sub woofer: 165 Watts
- THX certified home theater speakers: Your assurance of true cinema quality sound. Satellites : 4 x 67 W, wall mountable
- Great value
- Easy surround sound setups
- Attractive design
- Easy-to-read console control
- Good overall sound quality
- Mediocre performance at very low frequencies
- Lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Acoustic Audio AA5170 – Best For Budget
Acoustic Audio AA5170
The best budget surround sound system on our list is Acoustic Audio AA5170. It will be a wise choice for beginners who prefer basic sound quality at a reasonable price.
Despite the low price, this sound system is featured with a power rating of up to 700 watts, an FM tuner, five independent channel inputs/outputs, an integrated audio amplifier, and other components to produce true surround sound.
The subwoofer is the main part of the sound system. At the back, there are a plethora of RCA ports that allow connection to speakers and electronic devices.
You can see the treble, bass, and main volume knobs on the front panel to set the exact configurations you want without breaking a sweat.
Thanks to the built-in magnetic shield on the speakers, you can put them near your television without interference, even when they are next to each other.
Though, there are still two possible improvements in these speakers. The old school design with a plethora of speaker wires does not seem attractive to some buyers. And you will want to be careful with its plastic enclosures to avoid breakage.
- Power Rating: 700 Watts System Power Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Bluetooth Connectivity, SD Card, Flash Drive MP3 Player and FM Tuner
- Cost-saving sound system
- Power rating and frequency
- High mobility for installation
- Front panel for easy settings
- Comes with an SD card reader
- Not very appealing design
- Flimsy plastic casting
Harman Kardon Soundsticks Wireless – Best For Stunning Design
Harman Kardon Soundsticks Wireless
First impression about the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless is undoubtedly its outstanding industrial design. The sound system looks like an object from space with its incredible transparent speaker covers, elegant accents, and a luminescent white LED.
Besides the fascinating enclosure, the sound quality is another highlight. Offering a down-firing subwoofer with volume control and two satellite speakers with 1.4-inch drivers each, the speakers bring a solid balance of high-frequency clarity and deep sub-bass.
The product can smoothly handle treble thanks to full-range transducers that manage to protect the drivers without thinning out the lows too much.
These speakers enable you to process all the audio from your devices without a hassle due to an integrated Bluetooth connection.
On the contrary, this sound system may create a strong vibration. The base can keep speakers still, but other housewares may not, so you may want to install them with care.
- Integrated Bluetooth technology for high performance wireless connectivity
- 6 Inch (150 millimeter) down firing sub woofer for deep bass
- Iconic fascinating design
- Excellent audio performance
- Improved cable quality
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Strong vibration
- All physical controls located on the subwoofer
Rockville HTS56 – Best For Powerful Sound
The surround sound system provides immensely powerful sound with 1,000 watts peak power, 500 watts program, and 250 watts continuous RMS. With such power, it can even hurt your ears at high volumes.
Each speaker works independently due to its individual volume control. The package system consists of long wires with RCA connectors, which enable you to quickly and easily set up the speakers.
While other common 5.1 channel systems only produce music through the front speakers via Bluetooth connection, the system operates differently.
All the speakers and the subwoofer will produce sound simultaneously, no matter what sources they are connected to. You will get surround sound whether you listen to music, watch a movie, or use the radio.
Another highlight of Rockville HTS56 is the stunning covers and LED light system with multiple modes. It is possible to set the subwoofer’s LEDs to blink and change colors constantly according to the beat.
Despite its advantages, the remote control is easy to operate, although it is on the small side and has a rather hard-to-read font for those who have difficulty seeing small prints.
- 5.1 Channel 1000-Watts Peak Power. 500-Watts Program Power. 250-Watts Continuous RMS Power. 8” Subwoofer with Built-In Receiver. 1x 3” Center Channel Speaker. 2x 3” Full Range Front Channel Speakers. 2x 3” Full Range Rear Channel Speakers.
- 8" Subwoofer with Built-In Receiver. 1x 3" Center Channel Speaker. 2x 3" Full Range Front Channel Speakers. 2x 3" Full Range Rear Channel Speakers. Top Quality MDF Wood Cabinets with Plastic Front Panels.
- Value for money
- Powerful sound
- Multiple RCA connectors
- Creative design with impressive LEDs system
- Good build quality
- Inconvenient remote control
Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar – Best For Cinema Experience
Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar
Next, the Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar is a prominent candidate for versatile usage. The balanced sound profile makes this sound system suitable for listening to a wide range of audio content.
The wireless subwoofer is made from solid wood materials in such a manner that the compact little woofer shares a similarity to the brand’s heftier home theater subs.
Due to the horn-loaded speakers, this system can lessen the distortion and achieve better pattern control. This characteristic amplifies a tuned set of frequencies and power requirements of the driver to produce loudness with pure sound.
Another highlight of this item is its fierce cryptic design. The metallic Tractrix horns and small integral tweeters are mounted at two ends of the soundbar. These horns coupled with three inches cone woofers are covered under the black tweed grill.
There is a control knob on the subwoofer so you may change sound level easily. But that will reduce the bass and surround would be limited too. Another disadvantage is that the system doesn’t support Dolby Atmos content.
- 40” 2.1 Soundbar with 8” wireless subwoofer
- 400W peak power
- Well worth the money
- Subwoofer level adjustment available
- Conventional surround sound
- Not support Dolby Atmos
Samsung HW-Q70T – Best For Versatility
The Samsung HW-Q70T is a versatile system that can handle multi-tasks. It provides sufficient bass in most audio content for varying your entertainment.
This system is outstanding with movie audio effects thanks to a 3.1.2-channel speaker configuration, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, and Acoustic Beam technology.
The upward-firing Atmos speakers are highly effective, dialogue holds onto crystal clarity, and the wireless subwoofer delivers some nice low bass.
This Samsung sound bar will bring a modern and minimalist style to your living room with its elegant design, including low form-factor and an appealing metal finish to the edges and sides.
Another highlight of this sound system is connection availability. It offers a wide array of connectivities such as Bluetooth, wireless, and especially Alexa – virtual assistant AI technology. Thus you can be hands-free and control your speakers using only your voice.
The only minus point is that the Samsung HW-Q70T seems to miss the night mode feature. However, it is still a good investment because of the impressive sound quality and versatile functions.
- DOLBY ATMOS AND DTS: X: Capture every sound above and around you with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
- Q-SYMPHONY: Syncs your Q-Series Soundbar speakers with your Samsung QLED TV speakers for the most immersive sound
- 7-band graphic EQ with presets
- Very well-built design
- Good stereo sound profile
- Stylish design
- Great with movies and video games
- Compatible with many connections
- No night mode/auto volume feature
- Only one HDMI input
Onkyo HT-S39000 – Best For Small Space
For limited space, Onkyo HT-S39000 provides 6 high-quality surround sound speakers of 9 x 17.2 x 7 inches, fitting in home theater impeccably. The left/right speakers weigh nearly 1.5 lbs that make this system compact and lightweight.
The sound quality of this system beyonds your expectation from a reasonably-priced system. It provides a clear voice and common treble sound quality.
One highlight of this home theater system is that it has built-in decoders comprising Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats, outweighing other conventional systems in the same price range.
The audio system supports a Bluetooth connection that enables you to stream video and music wirelessly from your mobile phone or PC. This feature is ranked as one of the best connectivity that outweighs other speaker systems on the market.
In contrast, this system only provides great performance in a small space. When it comes to bigger rooms, the sound quality may not suffice.
- 120 W/Ch. (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1 Channel Driven) with discrete output stage circuitry and six-channel analog amplifiers
- HDMI 4 in/ 1 out pass-through of the latest Ultra HD 4K/60 Hz, video formats with HDR (high dynamic range) and HDCP 2.2 content protection. Tone Control ±10 dB, 100 Hz (Bass).±10 dB, 10 kHz (Treble). Signal-to-Noise Ratio- 106 dB (Line, IHF-A Network, 1 k-Ohm Shorted). 106 dB (Line, IHF-A Network, 1 k-Ohm Shorted)- 6 Ohms–16 Ohms
- Lightweight and compact surround speaker
- Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoders
- Various connection cables
- Supports 4K TVs
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- Minimal impedance
- No Wi-Fi connectivity
- Produce average quality sound in a large space
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Polk Audio MagniFi Mini – Best For Compact Design
Polk Audio MagniFi Mini
Packed in its compact design is a group of powerful drivers and tweeters, providing a spacious sound, stretching the soundtrack out to small to medium-sized rooms.
For the wireless connection, it features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a special extra built-in Google Chromecast; hence you’re capable of streaming audio from your smartphone or tablet via multiple apps.
Polk Audio MagniFi Mini is easy to use. The small remote control has direct knobs for all functions. Particularly, prominent Voice Adjust Technology allows you to customize the voice levels in the soundbar to reproduce clear dialogue whenever in the middle of a movie or song.
For those interested in small-sized speakers in the TV room, this sound system is the most satisfying solution less than 15 inches long. It is almost invisible and can fit anywhere.
Otherwise, there are two improvements: the Voice Adjust doesn’t suit music playback, and the bass could be tighter.
- SMALL SIZE, BIG SOUND - Packed in its compact design is a collection of powerful drivers and tweeters, which produce exceptionally clear sound. At only a little over a foot long, these sound bars are a must-have if you have space limitations for your home theater system
- EXPERIENCE IMMERSIVE SURROUND SOUND WITH POLK's PATENTED SDA AUDIO TECHNOLOGY and 5.1 Dolby Digital coding. The INCLUDED WIRELESS SUBWOOFER fills your living room, bedroom, or media room with multi-dimensional surround sound
- Good agility
- Spacious sound and stretching soundtrack
- Simple and flexible design
- Easy to user
- Limited Voice Adjust
- Improvable bass
Yamaha YAS-109 – Best For Easy-to-use
The Yamaha YAS-109 is a compact system owing to the dimension of 2.08 x 5.15 x 35 inches and a weight of 7.5 pounds. It makes the installation quicker and easy than ever.
For an affordable soundbar, the speaker can do more with sound quality than expected. With dual built-in subwoofers and DTS Virtual:X, it can deliver a rich bass experience and lifelike effects that envelop you into your preferred game or movie.
Admittedly, the small remote control is likely to be something you rarely use. All the functions you need—sound mode changing, sound bar control, asking questions, and controlling smart home devices – can be served by Amazon Alexa voice control.
If you are a big fan of audio passion, you may fall for EQ, and the emotional impact of sound is as balanced and nuanced as your 4K/HDR TV seems to be.
Though this system lacks Dolby Atmos; and the remote only offers basic functions.
- Easy setup with HDMI or Optical connections
- Built in subwoofers for deep bass in 1 slim sound bar
- Good latency performance
- Easy to set up and to use
- Good performance at the front
- Nice bass for such a small unit
- Affordable price
- No Dolby Atmos support
- Very basic remote
Best Surround Sound System Buying Guide
And without further ado, the following is the basic info for your consideration.
Types Of Surround Sound System
There are 4 types of surround-sound speaker systems include:
Pre-packaged Surround Sound Systems
As the name implies, this sound system consists of built-in hardware, color-coded cables, and a simple installation guide, all in a box. It’s surely an easy-to-set-up and cost-saving alternative, but not one with the best sound quality.
Surround Sound Systems Consist Of Separates
You can freely customize your surround-sound speaker system to your space and your style with the separate speakers. It defines who you are, the one with “I’m gonna watch movies all night long” or “What’s the top 10 hits today?”
This type demands lots of work to do, yet it is worth it, considering the sound quality.
The soundbar takes on the work of a system because it includes the left, right, and center speakers built-in. This type is the best surround sound system for the money.
And if you want to improve the sound quality, consider a subwoofer and rear speakers addition.
Wireless surround sound is a popular choice due to its obvious benefits, ensuring the aesthetics of the room, ease of setup, and mobility. It is convenient for you to stream from everywhere, your TV, phone, or tablet with a wireless connection.
There is a common notion that a higher price equals good quality. With a limited budget, the soundbar is a wise choice because of its versatile and fast installation. It works effectively to produce deep bass and enhance dialogue clarity in a small-sized room.
On the other hand, higher-priced systems generally come with more functions, high-quality audio, and better build quality. You will need to select the price range of the surround-sound speaker system that fits your home.
In general, there are 3 main sizes of sound speakers including:
These speakers usually have a compact design so that you can easily put them on your shelf or your cabinet.
They often demand a stand to set them up neatly. Speakers with bookshelf size produce a better sound quality than the soundbar without interference.
Floor Standing Speaker:
The oversize is no problem if you have a large living room. It can smoothly handle high frequencies.
Thanks to advanced technology, there is no major difference between wired and wireless speakers. Popular surround speakers offer a wide array of connections to your mobile phone or Blu-ray player.
Q1. Do I Need To Buy An Amplifier Or Speakers?
These are essential components in a complete surround sound speaker system. One highlight of the pre-packaged system is that both amplifiers and speakers are synchronized. Hence you won’t have to worry about technical things which confuse many users.
We suggest purchasing a package for the beginner that includes all the accessories required for the system set up and running. It may help you save a ton of time.
Q2. Which Has Better Sound, Wired Or Wireless Systems?
In terms of audio quality, the best wireless surround sound system can catch up with wired systems. Due to modern technologies, latency in digital audio transmission is not a big deal anymore.
Though, now it comes to convenience and compact surround speaker design. A wireless system solves the old-fashion problems caused by long and messy wires. It not only provides aesthetics but also creates a free space for families with children.
The major disadvantage of wireless ones is the expense because they are more expensive than the wired system with the same functions.
Q3. What Surround Sound Speaker Layout Do I Want?
The most popular layouts in a surround speakers system are 5.1 and 7.1. These numbers relate to subwoofers and surround speakers in the package.
To be specific, the best 5.1 surround sound system comprises a center speaker, two front left and right speakers, and two rear speakers. The following number 1 refers to a subwoofer, which offers extra bass.
The more simple layout such as 2.1 and 3.1 may not produce surround sound audio.
Q4. Do I Have To Have A Specific Type Of TV Or Separate AV Receiver To Take Advantage Of Surround Sound?
Some surround sound speakers may not require the A/V receivers since the source can be plugged directly into it. In this case, the sound source requires the proper connection ports to utilize the surround sound’s quality.
So, what do you think? Have you made up your mind about which is the best surround sound system for your living room? We suppose the answer is yes since this article already provides you useful information and suggestions.
Suppose you are still hesitant to purchase one. In that case, you can go for our top pick – the cost-worthy Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 with Spatial Surround Elevation technology and two exciting surround sound formats (Atmos and DTS:X) that brings you exceptional theater experience.
Or else, get a Logitech Z906 for its excellent performance, sturdy structure, and easy sound adjustment at a reasonable price.