Let’s face it, when it comes to imitating the ultimate theatrical experience, the screen gets all the attention. You may have the latest and greatest 4K TV, so that when you hit the lights, you can totally immerse yourself in the picture.
But it’s not all about the eye-popping visuals!
True immersion is multisensory. That means your ears want to get involved just as much as your eyes, with sound that envelopes you and transports you in the world you’re watching. This is why the cinema experience is so good. The sounds travel all around you – even through you, allowing you to feel every boom, bang, and scream (if that’s what you’re into).
So, a picture draws you in, but the sound makes it visceral.
We’ve looked at the best soundbars before (and you’ll one or two here too), but if you’re after that complete home theatre experience, surround sound is where it’s at. In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive rundown of the best surround sound speakers available to suit you. But, first things first…
What Should I Look Out For When Buying A Surround Sound System?
There are a variety of surround sound speakers available on the market today. But, how do you best determine what you want? What factors do you need to look out for when buying speakers for your home setup?
The Size of Your Room
Sound reflects and reverberates in a space, and so the size of your room matters when choosing a surround sound speaker. When it comes to audio quality, people typically opt for large speakers that boom out the sound.
But big speakers take up more space, which not only affects your room décor, but also the acoustics. Smaller speakers in contrast can become lost in a large space and not have the power to deliver impact. So, consider the size of your room first, and where you might place the speakers. This brings us to the next factor.
The System Type
Depending on your room size, you’d most likely want speakers with 3.1 or 5.1 configurations. The 3.1 system has 3 sets of speakers (right, center, left) with the subwoofer. The center speaker is either placed atop or somewhere near the subwoofer. The other speakers are placed on either side of the TV screen. The 3.1 sound system is a good choice for smaller rooms.
The 5.1 sound system has 3 sets of speakers close to the TV (like the 3.1) and two more surround speakers that are placed in the rear corners of the room. This creates sound that fully surrounds the viewer for total immersion. The 5.1 is recommended for rooms that are larger in size.
Another thing you should look out for is its compatibility. The right surround sound systems can play audio from just about anything – your TV, PC, DVR, smartphones, and tablets. You’ll want to look out for this feature to get the most out of your speakers.
Ease of Installation
No one likes the idea of spending hours setting up a sound system, only to make some kind of mistake down the line. You should look out for a system that can be easily set up within minutes, and without all the complicated wires if possible!
Your room is also a factor in deciding how much audio wattage is needed. For smaller rooms, you need a speaker that transmits 50-70W. For larger spaces, you need speakers with audio wattages of 150W and above.
Here’s How We’ve Determined The Best Surround Sound Systems
Now that you’re up to speed about what to look out for, we’ve compiled the best surround sound systems on the market today. These are based on their specs, types, and price, as well as the pros and cons to help you decide. Check ‘em out.
5.1 System | Subwoofer 170W | Wireless Setup | $1,249.98
If you’re looking to create a truly cinematic experience, then this is your best bet. Klipsch speakers deliver warm, rich sounds, producing some of the best audio out of any input.
It is a 5.1 system, which means you get soaked in sound from the moment the audio starts playing. Due to its sleek design, you can stack the speakers on a shelf and they’ll look visually great too. Available in dark walnut, white, light oak, and black ash finishes.
- Packed with style
- Full immersive sound
- Expressive dynamics
- A bit pricey
5.1 System | Bluetooth | DVD/CD | 1000W | USB | Karaoke | $395.99
If style is what you’re searching for, then the LG LHD657 Speaker may be what you’re after. But, it’s sound we want! This surround sound system delivers a powerful audio output that will definitely improve your gaming, sporting, and cinematic experience.
The 5.1 setup really packs a punch as you hear deep and faint sounds from all around you. And there’s even Bluetooth available to connect your smartphones and PC to play music. There’s also a USB port also available to play videos and music from a USB stick. A fantastic sound system that delivers in droves.
- Compatible with all devices
- Sleek design
- Powerful considering its price.
- Ease of setup
- The speakers aren’t wireless.
5.1 System | USB | SD Card | LED Display | Bluetooth | $117.75
A portable, yet powerful surround sound system you should consider for your home is the Acoustic Audio by Goldwood. It’s a little less obtrusive, but it also comes at a very affordable price for a great surround sound experience.
It’s a 5.1 setup which works well for all purposes such as movies, music, and gaming without breaking the bank. It even comes with an LED illuminated subwoofer multicolored display that really make it stand out in your home.
- USB and SD Card port
- LED illuminated subwoofer
- Efficient for its price
- Wireless display not available
3.1 System | Bluetooth | Wi-Fi | Alexa | 100W | $557.98
If the words “powerful” and “compact” were ever to be in the same sentence, it is definitely the Polk Audio T Series.
The surround sound system is loaded with impressive audio quality to give you the best cinematic experience you can get in a 3.1 system. This system blends nicely with the interior décor of your small-to-medium-sized room. It features a powered subwoofer packed with enough bass to really get your heart thumping. It’s also compatible with smart devices and it is Alexa-enabled. Just what you need when you can’t find the remote.
- Wireless connectivity
- Alexa enabled
- Impressive design
3.1 System | Wi-Fi | Bluetooth | Wireless | 4K Compatible | $996
If there was one company that doesn’t joke around with sound, it is Sony. Considering its price, the HT-Z9F delivers a superior HD-quality sound that you can’t but fall in love with. Technically a 3.1 setup, but the front speaker is a multi-directional soundbar, with two separate rear speakers.
It offers 5 sound modes for different experiences: gaming, sports, music, movie, and news. It is also compatible with 4K HDR, blessing your ears with blissful premium sounds. You also have the opportunity to stream hi-res audio with either Chromecast or the Sony Music Center app.
- 4K HDR compatible
- Superior audio quality
- Sleek design
- A bit pricey
5. 1 System | 50W (200 watts peak) and Center: 75W (300 watts peak) | HDMI
The Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack may look small but don’t let its size fool you. This surround sound system is perfect for those looking for a setup that’s completely hassle-free. It may not bring you complete surround sound, but it’s very close for a small package.
Your room is a soundstage with this sound system that is quite simple to install and use. Included in the package is an HDMI cable to match sound for picture quality.
- Can blend in smaller rooms
Get The Best Surround Sound Speakers For Full Immersion Experience
So, there you have it. When it comes to creating the ultimate viewing experience, your TV will really benefit from a great surround sound speaker system. In your search for such, remember to consider the size of your room, the system type, wattage, and those other factors mentioned above.
While there are many surround sound systems to choose from, their quality can really differ. And buying high-end doesn’t always guarantee this. Hopefully, these recommendations will give you a better idea of what to look out for, and maybe even introduce you to some systems you may not have known about.
So, crank up the sound and make your TV the best it can be. And once you experience truly immersive surround sound, you’ll wonder how you ever watched TV without it!