For anyone who values the audio quality in their TV room, home theater, or game room, the best surround sound systems are necessary for the best home theater experience. There are different types of surround sound systems shoppers, and they include some who dive in with their head first, some read and research about all their options, and some don't mind the details and specifications and would want a great home theater system. To cater to the types of shoppers, we have compiled all the information you should know concerning the best surround system, and you should read on to understand all about these systems.
- What is a Surround Sound System?
- Which is the Best Surround Sound System to buy?
- 1. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
- 2. Q Acoustics 3000i 5.1 (3050i) Home Theater Speaker Package
- 3. Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 HD Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound System
- 4. Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
- 5. Sonos Surround Set with Arc Sound Bar, Subwoofer, and One SL Speakers
- What is the Difference Between a Soundbar and a Home Theater System?
- What are the Components of a Surround Sound Speaker System
- What are the Types of Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Surround Sound Systems
- Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Home Theater System
- 1. What is the difference between surround sound audio and sound diversification?
- 2. Where should you place your surround speakers?
- 3. Does the distance of your speakers from the receiver affect sound quality?
- 4. How many subwoofers are needed for the best surround system?
- 5. Is it necessary to have an amplifier for a home theater?
What is a Surround Sound System?
A surround sound audio is a sound that surrounds you, and it means that the speaker will be in every corner of the room, and this projects a high-quality digital sound at you from all the angles like in a movie theater. Thus, it will bring the whole movie theater experience to the comfort of your living room and make you feel like you are in the middle of the action. Surround sound systems come in different configurations, and they include the 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1 setups, where the 5.1 system will have a woofer and five speakers. Notably, connectivity can be a major problem when connecting several speakers to a single source ad; therefore, ensure you choose speakers that will work well with your receiver.
We have compiled some of the best surround sound systems in the current market with some pros and cons, and we also have a buying guide to help you navigate the buying process.
Which is the Best Surround Sound System to buy?
1. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
- 5.1 digital surround sound: Hear every detail in your Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks...
- THX certified home theater speakers: Your assurance of true cinema quality sound....
- Delivers a continuous 500 watts of power, with the ability to deliver a peak of 1,000...
- Flexible setup: Connect upto six devices : Computer, music player, TV, game console and...
- Easy sound control: Compact control console and wireless remote let you instantly...
Logitech Z906 is the best surround sound system for your study and living room, and it can handle music, games, and movies well with a lot of inputs and a fantastic sound. It features a 5.1 system with a THX certification and 500W RMS power on tap, and the five satellite speakers and subwoofer feel quite sturdy. In addition, the home theater system features a set of orange LEDs that indicate input in stereo or surround sound and a large volume dial that is also surrounded with more LEDs but keep in mind that these lights could be a distraction when watching a movie or film from your TV.
Logitech Z906 surround sound system has a satellite that uses a regular speaker wire instead of proprietary connections. This is helpful if the length of the rear cables isn't long enough, and you will be able to buy longer ones without having to combine the wires. The sound quality is reasonable, and it is loud enough with a bass-heavy sound that it will fill a large-size room, and you get four speakers, one subwoofer, and wireless remote control.
Audio inputs will be fairly open with a digital COAX, RCA, headphone jack, optical inputs, and a six-channel direct system if you use speaker wires. However, the Logitech Z906 surround sound system lacks HDMI inputs or outputs. Therefore, it will not match other 5.1 speaker systems and lacks wireless connectivity, and you will not be able to beam music to the home theater system from your tablet or phone.
2. 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 3000i Home Theater Speaker Package is a 5-in-1 home theater system among the company's newest series of entry-level speakers. It features two floor-standing speakers for the front right and lefts and also has a 3090Ci center speaker, a 3060S subwoofer, and 3010i bookshelf speakers to handle the surrounds. One of the major reasons to buy the Q Acoustics 3000i surround speakers is they have included some innovations, including the Concept 500 speakers, which improve the accuracy of the soundstage.
Q Acoustics 3000i speaker system delivers a consistent performance that supersedes its price point, and they feel, sound, and look more expensive than they are. The sound system package has a tonal balance that ranges from one speaker to another and delivers a seamless steer of effects and clear and crisp dialogue, and an overall great listening experience for both music and movies. Apart from having a well-balanced soundstage, it is flexible when it comes to placement since the 3000WB speaker bracket can offer a safe wall mounting for the 3010i, 3020i, and 3090i speakers.
Even though the Q Acoustics 3000i needs to be wired to a source through an AV amplifier, it is the best surround sound system and has an edge in price and overall performance, making it an ideal choice for music and movie fans. However, the subwoofer could be better, and it also has a limited dispersion.
3. Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 HD Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound System
- HD 5.1 WIRELESS HOME THEATER BUNDLE – Premium HD surround sound system for TV Includes...
- PLUG AND PLAY SIMPLICITY – Using your TV's ARC or Optical connection, the Enclave home...
- CONNECTS WIRELESSLY – Simply plug in each speaker to the wall along with the Enclave...
- 11 POWERFUL 24-BIT CLASS-D AMPS – Powered by 14 custom-designed drivers and a 10-inch...
- 3.5mm ANALOG, BLUETOOTH INPUT – Don't let that vinyl go unheard! With a 3.5mm analog...
Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 Surround Sound System is the best surround sound system if you want to avoid a wired surround system and get rid of the length cords by syncing your speakers using wireless connections. It is an attractive and minimalistic design with solid matte black speakers that can disappear into shadows in a dimmed room. The speakers are of a tough build and have a non-reflective black plastic that could be thought to be aluminum in their feel and appearance with a front covered by a fine mesh from a distance, and it blends with the rest of your speaker seamlessly.
Enclave CineHome surrounds system has speakers equipped with a reset button, a status indicator light, and a power adapter socket. The center speaker will double up as a hub for the entire speaker system. The audio quality is top-notch for a wireless system around the room for both movies and music, and it will continuously deliver a great listening experience. It also has a useful mobile app and can be used as a remote control for your CineHome home theater system. You can adjust CEC mode, change Dolby Dynamic Range move, Dolby Pro Logic Mode, and the app's input device.
Some of the reasons to avoid this model are the control panel on the top, and input/output ports on the back with buttons that don't deliver well and also it has a plastic feel to it which is made of cheap and glossy plastic easily attracts dust, scratches, and smudges. In addition, the power indicator light on the center speaker is off when the light is on and on when the light is off, and also, each of the surround speakers needs its wall socket.
4. Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
- The Klipsch reference theater pack delivers a superior acoustic performance while keeping...
- Klipsch's exclusive Tractrix Horn technology and aluminum Tweeters deliver the cleanest,...
- To complement the easy placement of the wireless subwoofer, each satellite speaker has a...
- The reference theater pack brings the Klipsch cinematic sound into your home with an...
Klipsch 5.1 Surround Sound System is the best surround sound system for a premium feel. It delivers a pre-matched 5.1 surround sound experience that delivers a stunning visual and acoustic feel. It has compact pieces and a minimal footprint that will fit well in a medium-sized room, and even if the set can blend well in a medium room, you can opt to leave them out with grills on and let the woofers attract all your visitors' eyes. It is also the best surround sound system if you look for a detailed and clear sound thanks to the center channel, four satellite speakers with unique construction, and the horn-loaded tweeters that minimize distortion.
Klipsch 5.1 Surround Sound System has an impressive bass for its size and a frequency response ranging from 38 to 120 Hz, and an amplifier is 50-watt RMS rated for continuous power and 150-watt peak power. It is also a wireless home theater system, and this gives you the flexibility to place it wherever you want it to fit and wherever it sounds the best in your room, thanks to the keyhole mount and a threaded insert.
This Klipsch Surround Sound system had a down-firing wireless subwoofer that delivers room-fitting low frequencies without much floor space. However, one of the reasons to avoid purchasing this system is that they have visible connections labels on the speakers, which might be a major con as it may look messy.
5. Sonos Surround Set with Arc Sound Bar, Subwoofer, and One SL Speakers
- 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...
Sonos Surround Set with Arc Sound Bar is the best surround sound system for looking for the smartest home theater system since it's one of the best and considered among the industry beasts. The home theater delivers crystal clear highs and lows through the Sonos subwoofer punch and any dialogue through the centerpiece. The Beam Sound Bar is beneficial for consistently delivering sounds in the front and center. Furthermore, thanks to a stylish yet discreet design, it can blend in any room and won't feel like clutter around the room while giving you a home cinema audio experience.
The Sonos surround sound system has an impressive feature set, starting with the fact that it is whip-smart and wireless, saving a user the hustle for a power cord and HDMI output. In addition, it comes with a Sonos app that is considered the smartest and best app in the home theater industry and includes Apple Airplay 2. One of the reasons to buy would be because it can stream everything through the over 50 music services supported by Sonos. It can also be navigated using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control.
The package comes with a Sono Arc Wireless Soundbar with Dolby Atmos, a SUB Wireless Subwoofer (Gen 3), 2 - OneSL Speakers for Stereo Pairing, and Home Theater Surrounds HDMI cable, and power cords to connect your speakers. However, this Sonos set comes at a steep price, but for the technology, absolutely immersive 5.1 surround sound, and features it packs, it's worth the price.
What is the Difference Between a Soundbar and a Home Theater System?
Both soundbar systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and they are as follows. A soundbar will take up less space and be more budget-friendly, and it is the best choice for inexperienced users who want a home theater audio system that is easy to set up. The soundbar needs minimum wiring, and since it's compact, it will not feel like clutter around the room or for your home cinema. In addition, a soundbar will mimic surround sound with technology, including Dolby Atmos, which gives almost the same fantastic experience as in a movie theater. It allows you to hear sound from your TV from all the angles it's coming from, including overhead.
To top it all, a soundbar is reasonably priced. It will offer a better sound quality than the TV speakers, but keep in mind that if you are looking for the utmost home cinema experience, it will not be the best surround sound speaker for you.
On the other hand, a dedicated home theater system will come with a separate amplifier, and the speakers will be more prominent. They will provide a great sound quality but remember it will be more expensive to purchase and more complex to set it up. Home theater setups give a user the maximum theater-style setup where you are surrounded by sound, and you use your choice of speakers and customize your setup to get the most out of your setup. Additionally, you can get different surround options with the best home theater depending on the room size, for example, 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1.
However, some of the reasons to avoid the home theater system are it comes with a lot of components that may feel like clutter to some people. Also, it requires a lot of wiring since it has a complicated setup, and this can be daunting unless you choose the wireless speakers.
Notably, if you spend more on purchasing a high-end soundbar system, you can be able to get a sound quality that can match up to a complete home theater.
What are the Components of a Surround Sound Speaker System
Any typical surround sound speaker system is made up of several core components, and they include:
A subwoofer is a large, powered speaker designed to produce quality bass tones and also low-frequency sounds. It uses air pressure to create and deep yet rumble sound to fill a room with bass, and they have mostly placed on the floor in the corner of a theater or room for maximum effect.
For example, if in a room or a theater with a loud bass that makes the floor rumble, it's the feel of a subwoofer. Also, a subwoofer helps in creating a superb bass tone when playing music or a movie on the PC surround systems.
b). Center Speaker
This is often considered the most important speaker in a surround sound system, and it's versatile, large, and comes with more individual speaker cones than with satellite speakers. The important sound such as keep sound effects and dialog are channeled through this speaker. In addition, the high-quality surround sound systems feature a center speaker that differs from the right and left satellites.
c). Satellite Speakers
A satellite speaker is a word used to describe any speaker designed to be placed either on the right or left sides of the room, where for a standard 5.1 system, it means the left and right rear speakers and the left and right front speakers. This totals to four speakers plus the center speaker, which makes it five. The ".1" usually represents the subwoofer, and that's how the term "5.1" was developed; therefore, the "6.1" surround sound means that there are six speakers plus one subwoofer.
d). A mixer or equalizer
A mixer or equalizer is part of your PC or audio receiver for the home theaters. Most computers feature built-in equalizers or mixers as part of their sound card output specifications, and most audio software such as iTunes will come with a mixer. However, for the high-end systems or the on systems that need a lot of power, you may need a separate equalizer as part of your powered amplification system.
What are the Types of Surround Sound Speaker Systems
a). 2.1 Speaker Systems
2.1 audio speaker systems will not technically surround sound, but they are upgraded from the simple shelf speakers, which don't come with a subwoofer. Just like with 5.1 systems, the "2" means two satellite speakers with one at the right and left front, and the "1" usually stands for the subwoofer. These systems are an amazing economical solution if you lack the space and money for what is known as a true surround sound but may still want a high-quality yet dynamic sound.
b). 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers
5.1 surround sound is also referred to as true surround sound. It is because five speakers will allow for right and left front speakers, two left and right rear speakers behind your head, a high-quality center speaker, and a powerful subwoofer that allows deep and rumbling bass tones. In addition, when you play digital surrounds sound signals such as THX or Dolby, you get to experience a whole new feel of sound with dynamic music, thundering explosions, and subtle yet encompassing sound effects within your room.
c). 6.1, 10.2, & other Multi-Speaker Systems
5.1 surround sound system is the minimum number of speakers needed to achieve a true surround sound. Other common configurations include 6.1 (six speakers and a subwoofer) or 10.2 (two subwoofers and ten speakers). The configuration will not matter a great deal and will depend on your room size and personal preference, but most audio experts will advise you to ensure all the speakers are balanced on each side of the room. In 6.1 systems, the additional satellite will be at the back center of the room, and this will help balance out the front center speaker.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Surround Sound Systems
1. Wired Vs. Wireless
When choosing between a wired or a wireless setup, a wired setup will always have an edge for sound quality, especially if you don't mind sacrificing sound in the name of design. Therefore you should opt for a wireless setup. A wireless connection is offered through Bluetooth or wi-fi, and most home theater systems will feature a subwoofer that will automatically par with the rest of your devices and give an improved bass.
2. Room Size
Before you even check the power output of any set of speakers, you should consider your room size, and depending on the size, and you will know the best surround sound system to opt for. For example, if you have a small room of about 7x10 feet, you may not need much power, and you can save money by opting for a compact system. However, if you have a large and expensive room of about 15x20 feet, then you shouldn't hold back, and you can opt for a full-size full-range system that features more than one woofer.
Surround sound speakers come in three size levels, and you can consider these sizes when choosing the best option for you:
- A small living room will be best with a compact surround system since the speakers will be small enough to be placed on top of a cabinet or a shelf, allowing you to maximize the space you have.
- Bookshelf speakers are the next size, and they need a stand or mount, and they give a better sound quality than the compact surround sound sets without being too intrusive.
- The last one is the floor standing surround sound speakers that feature their right and are best placed in large lounges or homes with a lot of space.
If you are into interior design and are somehow an interiors fanatic, you would be concerned about how the aesthetics will be impacted by installing a surround sound system. Luckily, there are several stylish and smart designs in the market, and some are also small enough to be tucked out of the way, and this factor can be solved.
4. 5.1 Vs. 7.1
A 5.1 channel setup includes five small speakers and a subwoofer, while a 7.1 channel setup comes with two additional speakers. Naturally, the extra speakers in the 7.1 speakers will offer a richer sound, but it can be with a high price, and in most cases, a 5.1 channel setup is more than enough, but if you want to splurge, a 7.1 channel setup will sound very impressive.
5. Smart Capabilities
Even though this is not a crucial factor, it is still a beneficial factor. Some of the latest surround sound systems are smart-enabled, meaning they can be synced with a chosen smart assistant such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The smart capabilities make it easy for you to control your surround sound system using your voice and also enable you to control your whole home cinema setup using the smart assistant.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Home Theater System
1. What is the difference between surround sound audio and sound diversification?
A surround sound audio usually also means sound diversification, and it means the deep thunderous bass rumbling the floorboards when an explosion happens on your screen. Also, it has subtle sound effects of tapping and skittering behind you in a suspense scene. For music, sound diversification will mean the maximum sonic envelopment of your song.
2. Where should you place your surround speakers?
Where you place your surround sound system will depend on the setup you will be using, either the 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 setups, but there are rules to follow regardless of the many speakers you are using. Try to place speakers distant from each other where the surround speakers should be placed in corners close to your listening area. Additionally, try to keep your speakers free from any obstructions and away from alcoves, and if you can, mounting them on the wall would be a great idea.
3. Does the distance of your speakers from the receiver affect sound quality?
Yes, and while it's impossible for the best audio quality, you should try to keep the length of your cable to tether your speakers to the receiver as short as possible. The sound quality won't suffer unless they are 25-feet from the receiver. So for the wired speakers, you should use a 14-gauge cable and potentially use a 12-gauge cable for the speakers and extend past 25-feet from your receiver.
4. How many subwoofers are needed for the best surround system?
It all depends on the room size, and a lot of subwoofers will offer a great bass quality and offer you a more flexible placement when looking for the best location for optimal sound quality. However, to have more than a single subwoofer in a small listening area and may be overkill.
5. Is it necessary to have an amplifier for a home theater?
No, an amplifier is unnecessary for the best home theater audio, and if you don't want an amplifier in your room, you can opt for a soundbar system. This is a great solution since a soundbar system does not need an amplifier as it is an active system and has its internal amplifiers.
Notably, you can purchase some soundbars for your home theater audio that have separate sound speakers, subwoofers, and Dolby Atmos, speakers. The Dolby Atmos systems usually include up-firing speakers that will help deliver a more immersive surround sound but ensure your speakers are compatible and they are paired with a capable Av receiver. Alternatively, you can also achieve the Dolby Atmos sound with in-ceiling speakers. The other option would be getting a discrete subwoofer system with all speakers in one box and placing it below your TV.
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