If you're shopping for the best home theater speakers, then you probably fall in either of these 3 categories of home theater shoppers. Some folks love to dig and read about all the options they have as they know how the different component combinations give different results.
Others couldn't care less about the nitty-gritty on the options and specs; they just want an awesome home theater speaker. And finally, there’s the biggest group, everyone else who's in the middle and can't seem to make up their mind.
Coupled with the expertise of the best home theater career professionals, we bring to the table a guide for all. We'll give you a rundown of the best home theater systems in a convenient, comprehensive way that gives everyone what they want. The top home theater systems come in different categories that cover the best in value, sleekest in design, best in watching movies, and so on.
- What is A Home Theater Speaker System?
- Quick Facts on Home Theater Speakers
- Which Brand has the Best Home Theater Speakers?
- 1. Sonos 5.1 Surround Set -Smartest Home Theater System
- 2. Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker -Best for Small Spaces
- 3. Q Acoustics 3000i 5.1 (3050i) Home Theater Speaker Package
- 4. Bose Surround Speakers 700, Black Bundle with Bose Bass Module 700
- 5. Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 Speaker System
- 6. SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Package -
- 7. ELAC Debut 2.0-5.1 Floorstanding Speakers System
- 8. KEF Q350 AV 5.1
- Factors to Consider for the Best Home Theater Speakers
- Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Home Theater Speakers
What is A Home Theater Speaker System?
A home theater speaker system comes with all the surround sound speakers you need for a completely immersive surround sound setup. For instance, in a 5.1 speaker system, you'll get a front left and right speaker, the center speaker, two surround speakers, and the subwoofer. A 7.1 home theater system comes with 2 extra surround speakers to install at the room's rear.
Quick Facts on Home Theater Speakers
1. It's Really Not About Your TV
So, what exactly makes up a great home theater system? Although a good TV or projector is principal to an ambient experience, a great home theater is all about the sound.
And even more, it sounds so real, so full of life, and very 3-dimensional that it puts you right in the center of the action. And generally, the bigger and better the sound system, the bigger and better the gaming or movie experience.
2. What You Need
A home theater system includes;
- The home theater receiver- what everything connects to and where the power comes from
- Speaker systems– these include but are not limited to the center speaker, left and right speakers(front), left and right speakers (rear), and special effect speakers (height speakers/Dolby Atmos speakers)
- A subwoofer or two
3. Three Distinct Home Theater Types:
Your choice of home theater system will depend on several factors, but the good news is there’s a solution to every situation. These 3 types include:
- Pre-packaged home theater system (home-theater-in-a-box)- Easy to set up, and everything matches up
- Separate components home theater system- Customized more to suit your sound and design preference
- Custom-designed, dedicated, and installed home theater- Where you gut out the whole room and get things afresh –new ceiling, new walls, in-built components, luxury theater seats, and lights. Well-thought-out cinematic touches
Owning a full home theatre speaker system might involve a lot of extra cables and boxes and a fair bit of furniture rearrangement. Still, the pay-off of a full, immersive cinematic experience is well worth the hassle that shouldn't cost you both your kidneys.
For the best home theater, always consider :
- The number of system channels - A 5.1 channel system, which is most common, comprises 5 speakers; 2 pairs of either stand-mount or floor standing speakers, and 1 center speaker plus 1 subwoofer. If you want to upgrade, other arrangements available, include 7.2, which adds surround-rear speakers and an extra subwoofer
- Dolby Atmos speaker systems- Tend to include the upward-firing speakers to help deliver a more immersive surround sound. Always check whether your speakers are compatible and paired with capable AV receivers. Alternatively, you can also achieve Atmos with the use of in-ceiling speakers
- More speakers mean more convincing 3-D surround sound, which can take up quite an amount of space, and that will need an amount of consideration on the cost and positioning of the speaker cable
- Tip: Keep your speaker selection to one brand to help keep a sonic balance. This especially applies to the center speaker, which should ideally be from the same brand and same range as the rest of the home theatre speaker system
- Price is key. Before spending your money, peruse a list of the best home theaters to find one that fits your budget. If you have a budget AV receiver, there'd be no point in mixing and matching with a high-end speaker package. As a general rule, plan to spend around double the cost of the surround sound amp for a standard 5.1 speaker setup
Here's a comprehensive guide on the best home theater speaker packages that are not just popular but also have a reputable top-performance, ranging from budget setups to top state-of-the-art cinematic experience setups; a great to watch Ryan Reynolds finally.
Which Brand has the Best Home Theater Speakers?
SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Package
Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 Speaker System
Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 Speaker System
1. Sonos 5.1 Surround Set -Smartest Home Theater System
- A soundbar, subwoofer, and two rear speakers for vivid surround sound
- Elevate your entertainment experience; Enjoy control with your remote, your voice, the...
- Enjoy immersive surround sound, bold bass, for your TV, music, movies, and more
- Set everything up in minutes over WiFi and easily control the sound with the Sonos app and...
It's pretty clear that Sonos is intent on sweeping the field clean with this one. Considered the pioneer in rising among industry giants, Sonos now does a pretty impressive home theater as they did their multi-room music.
The Sonos Arc 5.1 surround set is literally everything you’d expect from the world-class wireless audio company. The highs are as crystal clear, while the lows through the Sonos subwoofer punch with utmost authority. In addition, the Beam soundbar is both understandable and eminently consistent both from the front and center.
Furthermore, it comes with a whip-smart system and an impressive feature set. As the best wireless home theater system, it's all wireless apart from the power cord and HDMI cable output. The Sonos app also keeps its spot as the best and smartest app in the home theater industry with an Apple Airplay 2 that comes included.
With the more than 50 music services Sonos supports, you can stream just about anything. Additionally, it comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control for a convenient, stylish, and excellent smart choice. Sure, it’s a little pricey but worth every penny for the immersive experience and convenience.
2. Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker -Best for Small Spaces
- POWERED BLUETOOTH BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS WITH INTEGRATED DAC: The HD6 Bluetooth Speakers...
- FEATURES Perfect for TV sound, it’s wireless that works with all your devices and apps,...
- WORKS WITH Turntables with built-in or external preamps, all music players: phones,...
- WHAT’S INCLUDED: Pair of Audioengine HD6 Wireless Powered Speakers, Bluetooth antenna,...
- WARRANTY: Audioengine builds quality speakers that they stand behind. All Audioengine...
Audioengine HD6 wireless speaker is another wireless home theater system that makes it the best home theater list. Active bookshelf speakers are an ideal choice if you want a big crystal clear sound in a smaller speaker package. But, again, this works great for small spaces.
The speakers stand 11.9 inches tall, and each comes with 2 drivers: a 5.5-inch Kevlar woofer that handles midrange to low frequencies well, while the 1-inch tweeter takes care of the highs. The speaker drivers are housed in a hand-built cabinet that's covered by a sturdy magnetic speaker grill. This set typically is a stereo active speakers set, but you could also use them passively and repurpose them to a 5.1 channel later on.
Despite being one of the most compact home theater speaker set, Audioengine HD6 is outfitted with a good number of connectivity features that makes it one of the best wireless home theater package. These include speakers with a Bluetooth antenna, a 3.5mm audio input, 1 set of RCA inputs, 1 set of RCA outputs, and an optical audio input.
These ports allow you to connect to the TV ( via the optical audio input), computer (via the 3.5mm input), turntable (via the RCA inputs and outputs), and phone/tablet/computer (via Bluetooth) all at the same time. If that's not impressive, we don't know what is for a home theater speaker package that could easily fit on your home entertainment system or desk.
The Audioengine package also includes a set of banana clip speaker cables and remote control to help you adjust the volume and switch inputs without using the volume knob on the speaker.
3. Q Acoustics 3000i 5.1 (3050i) Home Theater Speaker Package
- (2) Q Acoustics 3010i Bookshelf Speakers
- (2) Q Acoustics 3050i Floorstanding Speakers
- (1) Q Acoustics 3090ci Centre Speaker
- (1) Q Acoustics 3060s Active Subwoofer
Q Acoustics 3050i is a floor-standing speaker package that makes it a great choice if you want to create an audiophile-worthy home theater stereo system. These speakers stand at 40-inches tall and 12 inches deep, so you’ll also need quite some space to set them up. The Q Acoustics give you an optimized sound, from the bottom literally all the way up.
Additionally, they don't just directly sit on the floor; these speakers come balanced on 4 metal pegs with rubber bumpers to reduce the vibration as you listen to loud or heavy-bass music. The speakers have 3 drivers: 2 of which are 6.5-inch woofers to handle the bass and midrange frequencies, while the 0.87-inch tweeter handles high frequencies.
Each driver comes in a multi-piece enclosure to reduce distortions from the vibrations and improve accuracy. Additionally, the 3050is case features a P2P (Point to Point) bracing technology, which helps keep the speakers rigid, so the sound is not dispersed in different directions, and the music is directed toward you.
And all that is wrapped up in a minimalistic speaker package design, available in 4 colors that you wouldn’t need to worry about the speakers clashing with your living room decor. You'll need to keep in mind that these passive speakers will need to be hooked up to a stereo receiver to work. Overall, Q Acoustic 3050i floor standing theater speakers are an excellent choice.
4. Bose Surround Speakers 700, Black Bundle with Bose Bass Module 700
- Product 1: Designed to match and enhance the overall aesthetic and acoustic performance of...
- Product 1: Wireless, Cinematic sound that puts you in the center of your entertainment
- Product 1: Simply plug the adapters into a power source and wirelessly connect the...
- Product 1: Compatible with the Bose sound bar 700, Bose sound bar 500, and sound touch 300...
- Product 2: This wireless, compact subwoofer is designed to be paired with the Bose sound...
The Bose Soundbar 700 takes the spot as one of the best for shows with surround sound. As a core Bose smart wireless 5.1 home theater system, Bose gives exemplary performance and will promptly blow you away with its crystal clear, powerful sound field. This sound field seems much wider than other 5.1 pre-packaged systems, makes even low-toned dialogue crystal clear and equally effective no matter where you sit.
The Bose family of smart wireless speakers and subwoofer with a 5.1-channel system can be placed anywhere in the kitchen or the bedroom for a multi-room audio experience throughout the whole house. Additionally, with Amazon Alexa in-built, you have voice control.
5. Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 Speaker System
Another tiny, possibly charming, but extremely capable 5.1 surround speaker package. It has already had a significant reduction in its launch price for a more affordable home theater. It stands roughly 19cm tall with a 4 satellite speaker system that's small enough to fit anywhere suitably.
As recommended, you can place these bookshelf speakers on dedicated home theater supports; however, the compact speakers are designed to be placed on top of shelves ideally, or bookcases, on a TV rack. In addition, the entire system package comes redesigned with a glossy front and cabinets with curved edges and a smooth leather-like finish that's wrapped around the speakers to remove the need for the use of spikes or rubber feet.
This means you can comfortably place them directly on floor surfaces without fear of them leaving scratch marks. For a sleeker, smarter, and more luxurious look, each satellite comes with a 7.5cm mid/bass driver and a 19mm silk dome tweeter, with its centered channel using 2 of the mid/bass drivers to flank that same tweeter.
These satellites all come in closed-box designs with no port to make it easier to comfortably place them close to walls without affecting their sound quality. The center channel also comes with an aperiodic bass loading system to help reduce low-frequency distortion and control the bass performance from its small speaker cabinet.
The active WH-D8 subwoofer completes this set that comprises a forward-firing 20cm long-throw driver powered by a 70W amplifier that's compact enough to be neatly tucked away in a bookshelf.
For regular movies, keep the ‘auto sense’ switch toggled on since it helps the subwoofer automatically go on standby mode when it's not being used and then switch itself back on when the signal is detected.
6. SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Package -
The SVS brand has immensely grown over the last 2 decades into one of the most reputable brands in the sound system industry. Initially, they were known for their award-winning sternum-vibrating subwoofers. And today, the SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 home theater system package is a great example of that brilliance. Its compact build easily fits in smaller rooms. But don't let that compact size fool you; it turns up the boom fills your room.
Each of the SVS Prime Satellite speakers is roughly the size of a loaf of bread, and each of them comes with a 1-inch tweeter and a 4.5-inch midrange driver. They are small, yes, but they sure do punch the airwaves like Roberto Duran.
Additionally, its legendary 300-watt powered SVS-1000 subwoofer comes with 12-inch drivers for a neat job. It’s compact enough to tuck away into any corner neatly. Of course, this theater system is wired, but for its price, this SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 speaker system package might just be the biggest 'small' 5.1 system in the market. However, if you want something a little bigger, you can always check out SVS’s Ultra series line of home theater speakers.
Another big plus the SVS will give you full advantages is gaming. Many customers say that it works well with gaming systems, so if you don’t want to spend a fortune for a full vivid experience, the SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 system package is ideal for you.
7. ELAC Debut 2.0-5.1 Floorstanding Speakers System
- You will receive: 2 Elac F6.2 Floorstanding Speakers + 1 C6.2 Center Speaker + 2 B6.2...
- Elac Debut 2.0 - 5.1 System with 2 F6.2 Floorstanding Speakers, 1 C6.2 Center Speaker, 2...
- The pinnacle of ELAC’s Debut 2.0 Series is the F6.2, a floorstander with credentials to...
- ELAC 2.0 Home Theater Package
Since the Pioneer designer Andrew Jones switched to ELAC, this German company upshot on real overdrive mode, this upsurge has brought one of the most fascinating home theater speakers in the market, one after the other. These speakers continue to offer great quality at the different price ranges, and this also applies to the ELAC Debut 2.0 speakers, with a grand 5.1.4 setup.
These new ELAC Debut 2.0-5.1 speakers are slightly tuned differently from previous ones and are technically highly adapted. This new line comes with Aramide fiber speaker drivers and tweeters in a more solid enclosure under the black veneer. In addition, some ELAC Debut 2.0 models come with a bass port that's brought to the front, making it much easier to place.
The ELAC Debut 2.0 floor stands also come quite slim to help make them less disturbing and suited for smaller rooms. Additionally, the center speakers (which come in two models) are generation 2 modified to make the ELAC Debut 2.0 version much higher in sensitivity.
This particular feature is important since it makes this speaker much easier to control if you ever need to work with a less powerful AV receiver. That's a smart move since the center speakers can either make or break a surround audio setup.
Using a corresponding ELAC Subs app ( available in iOS and Android) that connects to your device via Bluetooth 4.0, you can correct the receiver or speaker's problems after a quick analysis using your smartphone. However, it is positioned in the lower range, and a newer phone version may be required for this. In addition, its subwoofer and receiver are built to let you adjust a number of its settings.
The ELAC Debut 2.0 system has a quick and simple setup. After the right calibration with the Onkyo receiver, you get a very open, clear surround field with an LFE channel that lightly supports the speakers to make music playing remarkably well.
8. KEF Q350 AV 5.1
- The KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speaker is the newest iteration of KEF award-winning Q Series. The...
- The Q350 contains an enhanced Uni-Q driver Array designed to smooth out treble...
- The front port has been moved to the back of the Q350 and internal architecture has been...
- The Q350 is available in sleek matte Black and White vinyl finishes.
If space is not an issue, you'd want to consider this brilliant KEF speakers setup. For a start, as one of the best home theater speakers, they have a sonic ability that warrants that 5-star rating. On top of that, there's no ignoring its brutish stature audio package or its power-filled audio command.
It comes with big and bold upward-firing front speakers, subwoofer, and receiver that create sounds to match up and create a beautifully immersive audio experience. Overall, the front speakers and subwoofer work together to create audio formats and a wonderfully coherent sound field. The bass is undoubtedly powerful but never overstated, meaning the audio experience is never muddied distorted. This is an ideal choice that shouldn't disappoint you.
Factors to Consider for the Best Home Theater Speakers
A) Shape and Size
Home theater systems come in different shapes and sizes, which include both the bookshelf and floor-standing models. Bookshelf home theater speakers are roughly 1 foot tall and are the ideal choice if you’re planning to set up a sound system in your living area or bedroom.
On the other hand, floor-standing speakers can be approximately 3 feet tall and are ideal if you have a large room/ space, like the open basement.
B) Speaker Drivers
The part of the speaker system that produces sound is called the driver. Generally, larger speaker drivers are better, but their material construction and location matter too. All these speakers reviewed have multiple drivers that can handle different frequencies for clear and accurate music.
C) Stereo Vs. Surround System
Some of the best home theater speaker systems come in pairs, perfect for stereo, commonly referred to as the 2.0 systems. On the other hand, some speaker systems come in 6-speaker packages to give you better surround sound. These include the 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos speakers. Choosing a stereo pair of speakers allows you to build on a well-balanced surround sound system over time since you can always add another pair later on.
D) Passive Vs. Active
Typically home theater speakers come in 2 different styles: passive speakers and active speakers. Passive speakers don't come with an in-built amplification, which means that you'll need to connect the speaker to a stereo receiver for it to work. On the other hand, active speakers are pretty much more of an all-in-one solution; they come with a preamp, inputs, and volume controls on the speakers themselves.
Both passive and active speakers are available to accommodate the different space constraints. If you have plenty of space, then passive speakers are more ideal, while the all-in-one active speakers give you a better option if you don't have plenty of room. Also, bear in mind that active speakers are relatively heavier than the passive ones and might actually have smaller drivers since the speaker compartment has to accommodate more hardware.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Home Theater Speakers
1. What is a soundbar system?
Technically, a soundbar is an all-in-one speaker sound system built to deliver a high-quality sound for music and movies. A soundbar system is stylish, easy to use and set up, and provides great sound since its intuitively compatible with the latest technology.
2. What is a Center channel speaker?
Basically, a center channel speaker will playback the center channel in a 5.1 surround sound mix. It comes as a wide speaker that's placed on or under the TV screen.
It looks similar to a soundbar, but the main difference between a center channel speaker and a soundbar system is that the center channel speaker is designed to reproduce the center channel information in a surround sound system, mainly in dialogue. Still, it can also reproduce the music and effects in the movie.
3. What is a bookshelf speaker?
Bookshelf speaker systems are a common type of speaker in many homes. Normally, bookshelf speakers come with 2 drivers. A woofer for the bass response frequency and a tweeter for high frequency.
From their name, bookshelf speakers are designed to fit on a bookshelf or cabinet easily but also big enough to give a good full-range sound.
4. The 5.1 Vs. 7.1 surround sound, which one sounds better?
A 5.1 surround sound system will use 6 channels to create the surround sound. The 7.1 surround sound system uses 8 channels, where the 2 extra channels of sound give you a slightly better audio quality.