Best Home Theater System 2018: Budget & High-End Speakers Reviewed

Updated November 2018

We have spent around 60 hours combined researching the market and testing more than 15 units to find the best home theater systems available. Based on our findings, the Sonos 5.1 home theater system takes the grand prize. Flawless design meets pristine sound quality. The Sonos brings the full cinema experience into your living room.


Overview


Watching movies is an experience. Movies entertain us, influence us and speak to our emotions. They bring families together and make for memorable evenings. The movie feeling is built up by visuals along with audio. Have you considered why we go to the movies? – Because it gives us the full experience. It gives us breathtaking visuals and overwhelming audio. Did you know that the full cinema experience can be achieved at home? In this article, we will help you find the top rated home theater systems to bring the cinema experience into your living room.

The market can be a jungle to navigate, so we’ll sort you out and give you an overview of the most popular units.

We know that some TVs have built-in speakers that are able to blast high audio volumes. However, nothing fills up the living room with warm crystal clarity audio like a 5.1 surround sound home theater.


Our Top Picks

Below are three different units at different prices that all serve as home theater solutions.

Best Overall

Sonos 5.1 Surround Sound Theater System

Sonos 5.1 System

Pros

  • Strong built quality
  • Incredible audio quality
  • Stylish & minimalistic
  • Feature-packed

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

The Sonos 5.1 Home Theater has been gaining a crazy amount of traction lately. It has taken the market by storm with its clean and minimalistic looks and its stunning audio quality. If you’re looking for a high-tech and feature-packed solution with deep thought into every detail, the Sonos speakers is the right choice for you.

The Sonos speakers is our recommended solution because of its crazy good audio quality, great design, and easy management.

Best Sound Quality I’ve Ever Heard

As an audio fanatic I have never been this hyped in my life. Setting up the speakers must’ve been the fastest and easiest thing I’ve ever tried. Usually, these types of setups can seem daunting but this was a whole different story. Now, what really surprised me was the incredible sound quality!

I am a big sucker for Harry Potter and I am especially fond of the amazing music (shout out to John Williams). So, I thought what better way to kick things off than watching a Potter movie? During the opening sequence where the title music was playing, I was already straight up laughing out of pure amazement because the audio was so great. The Sonos 5.1 home theater system really makes everything a joy.

I’ve owned many home theater systems and listened through countless different speaker setups throughout the years and what Sonos achieves is second to none. This system really knocks you back in your seat. You get a beast sound system in a size your wife won’t get mad at you about. Hands down the #1 home theater speakers I’ve ever heard!

Easy Setup & Feature-Packed Enjoyment

It is no secret that every single detail has been taken into account by Sonos. Especially the setup and calibration process is impressive. Everything is easy as one-two-three. Ultimately this means that with zero effort, you’ll have all the components running optimally in no time.

When it comes to the features, Sonos also really sets apart from the pack. Pretty much everything is wireless (except from two cables from the PLAYBAR) leaving you free from the clutter. With Wi-Fi connectivity and regular updates, your speakers will always be running at full potential. Heck, it will even improve over time as Sonos add additional features!

Everything can be customized with ease using the Sonos app for iOS and Android. Having trouble hearing a dialog? – Turn on dialog enhancement mode and bring the conversation through the mix. Afraid of waking up the whole neighborhood while enjoying a movie at night? – Enable night mode and get balanced audio levels that enhance the lows and dampens the high sounds. Wanna set the mood of your romantic dinner with some passionate background music? The choice is yours – The Sonos solution is here to help.


Runner-Up

Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300

Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Cohesive, solid bass
  • Smartphone App
  • Great support

Cons

  • Setup somewhat hard
  • Slightly expensive

The Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300 bundle stands as a worthy opponent to the Sonos home theater speakers. It is clear that the two competitors had some of the same ideas when designing these setups. The Bose SoundTouch speakers were probably designed with the idea of getting the “cinema feel” in mind while the Sonos leans towards a “smart living” starting point.

Bose is a well-renounced brand in the audio industry. Probably more so than Sonos. The Bose speakers are the perfect choice for sound fanatics – and even better if you’re a Bose fan! You get the fantastic characteristic Bose sound that made the brand so famous in the first place.

Packed with smart features that make everyday living more manageable, the Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300 is a fantastic product with immense detail and a modern look.

Professional Audio in a Smart Package

The Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300 home theater is a brilliant choice for audio lovers. Bose is well known for their affordable but high-quality products. This unit is their take on building a smart solution for people wanting to bring the cinema experience into their living room. And oh my, did they do a good job!

Packed with cool functionality that broadens the use of the unit, you’re bound to be amazed. If you’re a die-hard Bose enthusiast or already own Bose speakers, this is a must-have addition to your collection.

Lots of professional musicians and audio technicians praise Bose into the clouds – and for a good reason. They build flawless units with impeccable sound quality.

A Strong Competitor

Now, can the Bose 5.1 SoundTouch 300 compete with the Sonos unit? – Possibly.
Does it sound better than the Sonos unit? – In my opinion, it does not.
Should I pick this over the Sonos unit? – Only if you have a specific reason for it.

If you have experience with Bose and like the brand, I don’t see why not.

In my opinion, this unit is a strong competitor, but it does not beat the top solid Sonos home theater. That said, the sound quality differences are minimal and it’ll most likely be a subjective matter which is best. If you like the Bose brand better, go with that.


Best Budget

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Speakers

Shockwafe Ultra 9.2

Pros

  • 9.2 System
  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Easy to use
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Turns off with TV
  • Not compatible with all Harmony versions

You might be of the idea that getting proper home theaters is expensive. Well, it doesn’t have to be! Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is the perfect example of an extremely powerful home theater that takes you further for your money. With double subwoofers and 4 additional audio channels, this powerhouse of a speaker system really brings insane value for your money.

We highly recommend the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 home theater speakers to anyone looking for the full home cinema experience without having to empty their wallets. The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is by far the best budget solution – but it does not feel or sound cheap!

Impressive Detail with an Impressive Price Tag

You might be thinking that with a soundbar, four speakers, and two subwoofers, there must be some compromises elsewhere. Well, actually there’s surprisingly few! The first thought would be that the sound quality could be poor. Let me just quickly shoot down that idea. As a long-time audiophile, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 still managed to make my jaw drop. I put it to the test watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, because of the epic soundscapes and wonderful visuals. Was the speaker system able to match the stunning visuals on a 60″ 4K TV? Oh, yes they were!

The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is geared with more fire-power than any of the competitors. This 9.2-channel soundbar has 1000 watts of speaker power. Supporting all the modern surround formats (DTS:X, Dolby Audio), is a versatile unit. All in all, you’re looking at volumes of up to 110 decibels (which is the equivalent of having a car honk at three feet away).

Coming Through, Loud & Clear

The home theater speakers play louder than any of its competitors. It has 18 speaker drivers and comes with two subwoofers, providing a more precise soundscape, allowing for more accurate detail. Size-wise, this system takes the cake. With bass frequencies as low as 45 Hz and highs up to 18 kHz, you’re going to get crystal definition in the whole sound spectrum.

The Shockwafe is one of the best home theater systems for people who want to get immense power at a low cost. If you can live without the extra features of say, the Sonos, you’re more than set with this unit. While some of the other systems are more subtle and have additional high-tech features (such as voice-activation and smartphone apps), you’re certainly not compromising with the audio experience.

If you’re looking for most value for your money, Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is the only right choice.


Power for Pennies

Klipsch HDT-600 Speakers for TV

Klipsch HDT-600

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap
  • Decent power
  • Stylish look

Cons

  • Lacking fullness in sound
  • Requires an AV receiver
  • Wired

The Klipsch HDT-600 wired speakers for TV is another great addition to this list. The HDT-600 is one of the cheapest speaker systems by a reputable brand you can get.

The HDT-600 has an impressive frequency range from 33Hz – 20kHz. This means you get to experience deep bass as well as soothing highs. The previously mentioned systems all include soundbars – the Klipsch HDT-600 does not! Though it is a nice to have, it is not a must have for everybody. This TV speaker unit definitely has all the essentials needed to give you a great experience.

With a maximum acoustic output of 112 dB and a 100 W subwoofer, you’re getting lots of power for your money. The HDT-600 can fill even large livingrooms with detailed audio.

A solid solution with a few shortcomings

All in all, we were very impressed by these TV speakers when testing it. But there are a few reasons as to why these speakers are cheaper than the others.

  1. The unit requires an AV receiver to run. This does not come bundled when you purchase it. Therefore, it won’t work out of the box.
  2. All the components are wired. This means you’ll have the struggle of cables. The Sonos speakers are definitely a better option if you’re looking for wireless speakers for TV.
  3. It has no soundbar. Instead, it has a center channel speaker. Though it doesn’t match up with a soundbar, we were still quite impressed by the rich sound if the center channel speaker when isolating it.

Decent sound quality

As mentioned earlier, we were very impressed by the sound quality of this TV speaker system. Not only does it cover a wide frequency range, but it also has some really crispy highs. However, like most cheaper theater speakers, it lacks slightly in terms of bass quality. The bass can sound a little cold at times, though it definitely can be heard.

We recommend the Klipsch HDT-600 theater speakers for anyone who can live with cable management and having to set things up with an AC receiver.

Some of the other theater systems have smart soundbars. This system is only about audio. And you definitely get a solid audio experience at a very low price.


Other Options

5. Logitech Z906 Speaker System

Logitech Z906The Logitech Z906 comes in a bundle that also includes a Bluetooth Audio Adapter, so you can stream music from another room of your home. This one is definitely one of the better systems out there – let’s see why!

When it comes to the speakers, they come with the 5.1 digital surround sound that can support both Dolby Digital and DTS:X soundtracks – therefore, you can experience music or audio in the way they were meant to when being recorded.

Of course, the Z906 can’t be used only for soundtracks or music, as the speakers are THX-certified, ensuring that the system offers its owner a true cinema-quality sound. Moreover, the setup can reach up to 1000 watt in power and you can connect up to six devices to the main speaker.

As we mentioned before, a Bluetooth Audio Adapter comes included in this bundle – this nifty gadget makes it possible for you to stream any type of audio from your phone or tablet from up to 50 feet away from your speakers.

The adapter is not limited to the Logitech speakers, as it can be plugged into any PC speakers, A/V receivers, and home stereo systems – compatible with RCA or 3.5mm jacks. Keep in mind that the adapter just receives a signal from your portable devices and does not transmit music itself. The Logitech Z906 definitely is one of the top contenders.

Key Features

  • The Subwoofer has a power of 165 watts.
  • The Z906’s satellites come with 67 W of power each and can be mounted on walls.
  • It is easy to set up, as well as flexible – you can connect your TV, PC, game console, music player, and many more to it.
  • The control console and the wireless remote let you personalize your sound experience even if you’re far from the system.

Rating: 4.0/5

6. Samsung HT-J550W Home Entertainment Speakers

Samsung HT-J550WThese home entertainment speakers come equipped with one center speaker, two front speakers, one subwoofer, two satellite speakers, a 3D Smart Blu-ray player, and a nifty remote.

The Samsung HT-J550W features 5.1 channel speakers that can output up to 1000 watts of power – for when you really want to have that cinema feeling right at home. Moreover, it supports Full-HD 2D and 3D Blu-ray videos.

Also, in case you lacked some connectivity with your old home theater speakers, you don’t need to worry about that with this one, as it comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Smart Blu-ray HT-J550W also allows you to easily access games, apps, websites, and all sorts of media.

Furthermore, for those that just can’t stand a video not being in HD quality, the HT-J550W is capable of HD up-conversion, making those near-HD quality DVDs more enjoyable.

Naturally, the HDMI port is there so that you can connect it to most modern devices and enjoy the best digital video and sound quality out there – it also features DTS:X Surround Sound and Dolby Digital Plus with True HD sound quality.

Key Features

  • Capability to stream 3D videos with the Blu-ray player.
  • Increased Connectivity due to the built-in Wi-Fi; you can connect and sync all your devices with the system.
  • Smart Home Theater – you can make an entertainment hub out of your TV by connecting the HT-J550W to it, being able to access websites, apps, games, and such.
  • Converts non-HD media to near-HD quality media, so that you can enjoy some of your older videos as well.

Rating: 3.5/5

7. Goldwood Acoustic Audio AA5170

Goldwood Acoustic Audio AA5170If you want budget home theater speakers that can still deliver a kick when turned on, then this one from Goldwood may be what you are looking for – the 700 watts power system has a 20Hz – 20 KHz frequency response.

In terms of connectivity, the AA5170 can be paired via Bluetooth and it is also equipped with a Flash Drive, MP3 Player, SD Card slot, and an FM Tuner.

The entire setup is made of 5 elements – 1 subwoofer speaker that’s ported for fuller, more enjoyable bass, and 5 full range satellite speakers. It is worth mentioning that two of the fronts and one of the center satellite speakers come with a 6-inch single RCA cable, while the other two rear speakers come with a 12-inch RCA cable.

As most home theater systems out there, this one is Plug and Play – you don’t need to set it up or install some kind of software on your PC; all you have to do is plug it to your preferred device and start streaming your favorite music.

When it comes to design and its features, the Goldwood Acoustic Audio speakers are designed in a way that boosts its bass – exactly what you were looking for, right? Moreover, the controls for the main, treble, and bass volume can be found on the front panel, which also features an illuminated display.

Key Features

  • 700 watts of power, which is just enough as they are budget speakers as well.
  • Pro Surround Function and Enhanced Bass Boost Design.
  • Ported Subwoofer for Fuller Bass.
  • Increased Connectivity – Bluetooth, USB, and SD card reader, MP3 Player and Flash Drive compatible.

Rating: 3.5/5

8. Logitech Z-5500

Logitech Z-5500Yet another entry from Logitech, the Z-5500 comes equipped with speakers that are THX-certified, have 5.1 Digital Surround Sound and have 505 watts of power. It’s true that when compared to a high-end home theater system, for example, it may not be that powerful – but for a speaker system, it does its job just fine.

It comes equipped with a 10-inch subwoofer and has enough audio inputs for you to connect up to six devices to the speaker system – music player, DVD player, PC, video game console, and many more.

Moreover, the 188W RMS subwoofer can get as high as 1010W in certain conditions. The frequency response of the Logitech Z-5500 is of 33 Hz – 20 KHz and it is also capable of a maximum SPL greater than 115 dB.

When it comes to the amplifier it is equipped with, it is an ultra-linear and high-capacity analog one – providing you with the best there is in terms of sound quality. Furthermore, with the help of the four satellite speakers equipped with Digital SoundTouch that you can place around the room the Logitech Z-5500 is in, you can enjoy high-quality surround sound.

Its control panel looks quite good and features an intuitive display and buttons as well – but, if you don’t feel like getting out of bed to personalize your sound, the speaker system comes with a wireless remote with batteries. The Logitech Z-5500 scores one of the best ratings out of all the options mentioned in this section.

Key Features

  • THX-certified and 5.1 Digital Surround Sound Speakers
  • 10-inch Subwoofer that can go as high as 1010W.
  • Wireless Remote Control Available
  • Connectivity – you can connect up to six devices to the system.

Rating: 4.1/5

9. Onkyo HT-S3900

Onkyo HT-S3900Yet another top rated home theater system on our list, the Onkyo HT-S3900 comes in your home with a classy, matte black, and modern look – perfect for when you want a sound system that blends in with the room it is placed in.

First of all, it is easy to understand the connection panel of the Onkyo HT-S3900, as every connection is illustrated and labeled and also readable upside down – no need to pick up this part of your system in order to understand the labels anymore.

The receiver the Onkyo HT-S3900 comes equipped with can decode DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD, and even Blu-ray Discs and most of the lossless multichannel soundtrack formats.

Its HDMI port lets you enjoy the one thing we all want from our theater system, namely, the 4k resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. Moreover, the Onkyo HT-S3900 has an Audio Return Channel as well, in case you want to amplify TV broadcasts.

While you can connect it to various devices, you can also rely on an USB drive in order to play or stream music or videos – perfect for when there’s a party at your place and someone wants to blast their favorite song through the speakers or watch one of their favorite movies without having to turn on multiple devices.

Key Features

  • Six-piece Speaker System that’s small enough to fit smaller rooms but packs just enough power.
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • Ability to listen to Surround Sound tracks at Studio Resolution
  • 120 watts per Channel and 60 watts per Channel of Power.

Rating: 3.8/5

10. Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System

Energy Take Classic 5.1 System

The Energy 5.1 Take Classic is a top rated solution by many reviewing sites – and no wonder why.

This is one of those home cinema systems that brings the classic look of this type of equipment back into your house – for example, the Energy Home Theater System comes in a gloss black color and with the look of a studio equipment.

There are six elements that make this system – four 2-way satellite speakers, 1 center channel, and a 200-watt subwoofer that is equipped with a front-firing port and an 8-inch driver, as well as with a patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround technology.

The Energy 5.1 Take Classic also adds a Convergent Source Module (CSM) to your sound experience – this one has a 3-inch poly-titanium woofer and a .75-inch Hyperbolic aluminum-dome tweeter. This ensures wide dispersion, great midrange performance, and low distortion.

Moreover, the front and rear of the elements that make up the system are equipped with vents that make the bass response even more powerful than it already is. The patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround woofers we mentioned a bit earlier ensure low distortion once more and add high efficiency to the system as well.

In short, the Energy Classic is capable of wide and constant dispersion – even sound pattern for all the frequencies that radiate from the system – and of low distortion and resonance.

Key Features

  • 200-Watt Subwoofer with Ribbed Elliptical Surround technology.
  • The system can be mounted on walls.
  • A perfect fit for both large and small spaces when it comes to surround sound.
  • Convergent Source Module
  • 110Hz – 20KHz frequency response for Satellites and Center, 33Hz – 160KHz for the Subwoofer.

Rating: 4.0/5

11. Samsung HT-J4500 3D & Blu-Ray System

Samsung HT-J4500 3D & Blu-Ray SystemSamsung – manufacturers of some of the best home theater systems – come this time with the HT-J4500 system, with a simple, modern look. The glossy black look of the entire system makes it perfect for any type of furniture/decoration as it can easily blend in with the rest of the room.

The HT-J4500comes with 5.1 channels that are capable of up to 500 watts of power. Besides this amount of power, you also have the possibility to view videos and images in 2D, 3D, and Full HD quality.

Moreover, the Smart Blu-ray technology keeps you up to date with the latest news and smart technology, as you can easily access media, apps, games, and websites with the help of the home theater system.

This tech is also paired with the Opera TV apps that can turn any normal, classic TV set into a Smart TV – and all you have to do is just get your hands on the Samsung HT-J4500.

When it comes to audio and video quality, the HT-J4500 is equipped with the much-needed HDMI port and with DTS Surround Sound and Dolby Digital Plus technologies that ensure the most immersive sound that you can get.

Key Features

  • Dolby True HD – near-studio sound quality
  • HD up-conversion that makes old DVDs more enjoyable to watch
  • Smart Blu-ray Technology
  • Wireless Remote
  • DTS Surround Sound and Dolby Digital Plus – ensure clear and rich audio, enhanced bass response, consistent volume levels, and clear dialog.

Rating: 3.7/5

12. Yamaha YHT-4930UBL Music Cast Component Receiver

Yamaha YHT-4930UBL Music Cast Component ReceiverThis one is yet another glossy black system on our list – it is specially designed and colored to resemble the Yamaha grand piano. The four surround speakers and the center speaker will easily blend in with the surrounding environment while also adding a stylish touch to it.

Moreover, the YHT-4930UBL can be mounted on walls as well, which gives you the perfect chance to add some decoration around it and make a certain wall look just the way you want it to – while providing you with clear and rich sounds.

When it comes to the subwoofer, it is 6 and a half inches and has 100 watts of power. To ensure strong and clear bass, the people at Yamaha also added the Yamaha Advanced YST II technology to the YHT-4930UBL.

The YHT-4930UBL is also equipped with Bluetooth technology so that you can stream your favorite music when you are not near it – this makes it much easier to cook, for example, and switch to your preferred soundwaves without having to leave the kitchen.

In terms of video, the YHT-4930UBL is capable of 4K Ultra HD pass-through, Dolby Vision, HDCP 2.2 support, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and BT.2020 – in short, HDR Video at your service.

There is also an Extra Bass setting available that you can turn on and make the small speakers of the system provide your ears with even more bass output. All in all, the YHT-4930UBL is a top solid option.

Key Features

  • Wireless Music Streaming via Bluetooth
  • Virtual Cinema Front
  • Sound Optimization Tuning with the help of YPAO
  • 100-Watt Subwoofer with Extra Bass Setting

Rating: 4.0/5

13. Leviton AEH50-WH

Leviton AEH50-WHThe Leviton AEH50-WH is available in two classic colors – black and white. You can choose the shade depending on the furniture/decoration you have inside your house. The overall design of the speakers is modern with a clean look.

As usual, the Leviton Home Cinema Speaker System has five channels – however, this can be expanded to a 6.1 or 7-channel system. This gives you more to choose from in terms of surround sound operation – it comes with optional AESS6 satellite speakers.

When it comes to the subwoofer, it has 100 watts of power and a size of 8 inches – not too big, but powerful enough.

The people behind the Leviton AEH50-WH have also thought of the problems usually caused by the magnets in the speakers, especially when placed close to the TV sets – that’s why they added Video Magnetic Shielding Technology, which allows you to place the satellites anywhere close to the TV without experiencing any kind of issues.

In terms of installation flexibility, the Leviton AEH50-WH can’t be mounted only on the walls of your house, but also on the ceiling – if you pair this with the 7-channel option, you can get yourself one of the most complete systems out there, as you’ll be able to place a certain satellite exactly where you want to.

Key Features

  • Option to expand the 5-channel system to a 6.1 or 7-channel system.
  • 8-inches, 100-watt Subwoofer.
  • Video Magnetic Shielding
  • Five Architectural-Grade Adjustable Mounting Brackets
  • Standard Audio Wiring Topology – SUB OUT or LFE OUT jacks to directly connect the satellites to the receiver’s terminals.

Rating: 4/5

14. Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ

Harmon Kardon HKTS 16BQIt seems that glossy black is preferred when it comes to most home theater speaker systems as this one displays the same kind of color, with a clean and modern look as well – after all, it’s only natural that the sound system has a neutral color that can easily blend with the rest of your home/furniture.

However, no matter where you place the HKTS 16BQ, you will enjoy its 5.1 channel surround sound system that can be upgraded to 7.1 channels as well. When it comes to its satellite speakers, they are two-way, voice-matched, and store up to 120W of power.

On the other hand, the 200W subwoofer is able to provide you with just the bass you need – namely, powerful and down-firing. Moreover, the subwoofer has phase switches and bass-boost controls so that you can set and personalize the bass to your liking.

All the speakers that come with the HKTS 16BQ are magnetically shielded as well so that you don’t face any issues when you place them close to your TV set. The combination of the 5 elements, with the voice-matched and two-way satellites, provides you with a surround-sound environment that extends up to 360 degrees, depending on how you place the satellites.

Key Features

  • 1 channel system that can be easily upgraded to 7.1 channels.
  • 200W Subwoofer that can offer rich, powerful, and clear bass.
  • 120W Satellite Speakers that are equipped with voice-match and two-way technology.
  • Bass-Boost Controls and Phase Switches for Sound Personalization

Rating: 4.1/5

15. Damson Dolby Atmos Home Theater System

Damson Dolby Atmos Home Theater SystemThis is probably the entry that some of you were actually waiting for – a completely wireless home theater system. You won’t need any extra audio cables anymore. However, you still need some HDMI cables to go in the HDMI inputs in case you want to enjoy full HD video.

The Damson Dolby Atmos comes with a discreet and compact stylish that fits perfectly with it being wireless – it will look just like another piece of furniture with a hidden purpose, as it displays no wiring.

The main output of the Damson is capped at 130 watts of power. The two S-Cubes that the package contains can go on playing and streaming your favorite soundtracks for up to 8 hours – universal power adaptors included.

A great addition to this system is the Dolby TrueHD and the Dolby Atmos sound technologies, which make up an Ultra High Definition audio. However, your TV must support this type of technologies through its ARC – if it does, then a LED on the S-woofer will start flashing.

When it comes to the small S-Cubes, they are packed with 35 Watts of power each and support universal wall connectors and speaker stands. Moreover, if you want even more sounds, you have the option to connect up to 16 S-Cubes together and make your entire house a home theater – surround sound experience in any room you want. The 2 built-in HDMI inputs make using this system super easy.

Key Features

  • Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD Sound Technologies.
  • Connectivity Options – 2 HDMI ports, Bluetooth, and Analog Audio.
  • App Compatibility – compatible with entertainment app when connected via Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with Comcast, Amazon Fire 4K, and Apple TV 4k.
  • Wireless Home Theater System

Rating: 4/5

16. Pyle PT798SBA

Pyle PT798SBAThis product comes only in one type of setup – namely, in the form of a 7.1 channel system that has a total power of 164 watts. Moreover, the system is equipped with an amplifier, a subwoofer with a 10-inch long throw active driver that’s capable of pumping out up to 500 watts of power, and a pre-amp.

The Pyle PT798SBA is equipped with the 2.0 Bluetooth technology so that you can stream directly from your Android, Tablet, iPhone, and Blackberry devices. Furthermore, you can connect to the system with your MP3 players, iPods, and iPhones with the help of the 3.5mm aux input that can be found on the rear of the unit.

If you take a closer look at the rear of the receiver, you’ll come across 7 pairs of speaker outputs, Audio and MP3 inputs, DVD inputs, FM/ANT antenna inputs, and a subwoofer output – that’s a lot of outputs and inputs!

When it comes to customization and sound personalization, you can do so much with this system – first of all, you can make basic adjustments, such as treble and bass adjustments, but you can also customize the Equalizer’s levels when you want to hear that strong and powerful bass better. Unfortunately, this product does not have any HDMI inputs which is a huge letdown.

Key Features

  • Total Power of 500 Watts.
  • 1 channel with a separate subwoofer channel.
  • The Receiver Includes Subwoofer, Amplifier, and Pre-Amp.
  • Remote Control.
  • DVD & CD Compatible.
  • Frequency Response of 50Hz – 330 Hz for the subwoofer and 150Hz – 20 KHz for the satellites.
  • Equipped with Fully Functional Wireless so that you can stream your favorite music straight from your devices.

Rating: 2.5/5


Buying Considerations: Home Theater Systems

There are some things you want to consider when buying a theater system. Obviously, there’s the price and the design but when it comes to a sound system, there are other things to keep in mind.

Surround Sound

We’ve probably all heard of the term 5.1 surround sound. But unless you have expertise in the field, you probably don’t know what it means.

In general, the number before the dot indicates how many speakers or audio channels are involved. The decimal number represents the number of subwoofers or low-frequency effect channels in the sound system.

This means that in a 5.1 surround system there would generally be 5 speakers (or at least channels) and one subwoofer. This format is by far the most commonly used one. Digital television, Blu-ray and DVD formats, Netflix and other streaming services all support 5.1 surround sound these days. A regular TV usually is a 2.0 solution (meaning it has a left and right speaker with no subwoofer). This actually means that to enjoy the full surround sound experience at home, you’d need at least a 5.1 system.

It is widely acknowledged that the bigger the room, the bigger a surround system is needed to fill it. A standard modern living room can be filled up with warm sound from a 5.1 unit without issues. Now, if you have a large room, you can even scale it further and go for a 7.1 system or go for the monstrous 9.2 system.

Surround Formats

We know that surround formats can seem extremely confusing at first because audio is audio, right? While this is true, various sound formats process the audio a little differently from one another.

These surround formats interpret the audio and tell the individual speakers which part of the audio they should play. This is where the term “surround sound” comes into play. Rather than having 2.0 audio thrown into your face, you’re surrounded by the audio. You in the middle of the eye of the storm.

Some of the most popular formats are Dolby and DTS:X.

You’ve probably heard Dolby Digital a dozen times. It probably holds some authority in your eyes while knowing precisely what it means. It is perhaps the most popular surround format ever.

DTS:X is almost equally as popular. The produced sound result is also pretty identical.

The main difference is that DTS:X has noticeably higher bitrates thus meaning it can process more data (and possibly detail if you may) at once. This is not necessarily an advantage as the two technologies work quite differently. It could be that Dolby is just better at optimizing thus bringing the same amount of audio detail at a lower bitrate.

In conclusion, neither of these should set you off. Both formats are widely accessible and well established. You’ll get excellent results with either format. The difference in the quality of sound is very subjective and we’re almost certain that you’d be happy with both solutions.

Audio Frequencies

Another measure to take into account is the frequency at which speakers can playback audio. Frequency is a term used to specify how low or high sound is. Obviously, the deeper the sound, the lower the frequency – and the other way around!

To get a little nerdier, let’s take a look at how the human ear works.

Humans can generally only hear frequencies from around 20 hertz (Hz) upwards to 20,000 Hertz. These can be considered the absolute borders of our hearing range. Our hearing is most sensitive between around 2,500 Hz and 5,000 Hz.

Human Hearing Frequency Range

Regarding buying the best home theater systems, you’ll want to look for something that covers up the human hearing range as much as possible. Weirdly, some manufacturers produce wireless speakers for TV that go all the way up to 40,000 Hertz.

When you look at the numbers, 40 kHz obviously looks more impressive than 20 kHz but honestly, this is a gimmick. We don’t doubt that the speakers are able to churn out these frequencies, but you won’t be able to enjoy them. Well… Your dog might be able to hear some sinister secrets that you can’t, but who would want that?

Connectivity Options

Thankfully, the era of cables is over. Most of us grew up with cable connectivity everywhere. This cable goes there, that cable goes here… But honestly, things are so much simpler now that we have wireless connectivity options.

You’ll quickly see that most of the modern home cinema units feature one or multiple wireless ways to connect to it. Most common is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

If you find a unit that does not feature either of the two options, let me give you an advice – stay away! The unit is outdated in some fashion and is only going to lose its pace compared to the competitors and the constant industry evolvement.

Cables are straight up ugly and annoying. Whether they tie knots on themselves or you trip over them, you’d instead wish for wireless connectivity. My point is,  the best home theater systems feature Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. Preferably both. If you can’t have that, you definitely need HDMI inputs.

The central part of the unit needs to be powered by cable. This is usually the soundbar, which provides all the functionality. A cable or two for that is perfectly fine, but if you need wires running up and down the walls and around the furniture, you’re better off with another solution.

Keep it clean, keep it simple. Cut the cords and go wireless!


Verdict: Home Theater Speakers for TV

We really hope that you’ve now acquired the knowledge needed to buy the best home theater system for your needs. As you can see, there are two sides two every story. There is no definitive winner here. Which is the best home theater system is highly subjective to your individual needs. The best you can do is to weigh the pros and cons of each option to see what suits your needs the best.

If you are looking for a very smart solution packed with useful and luxurious features, we recommend the Sonos home theater unit. Not one single compromise has been made with this cinema system. Though the price tag can make you hesitant, once you try it, you’ll know it’s well worth it. In my opinion, if you really wanna build a home theater system, it’d be a waste to settle for a budget unit that does not give you the experience you want. Have the money for quality? – Buy the Sonos. The Sonos speakers are really top notch.

If you are looking to get a great and compelling experience on a budget and don’t care too much about additional features, the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 will do the job. At about half the price, you’ll get a more significant system that rocks! Yes, there’s less customization, less smart features, and fewer connectivity options but you’re ensured an impressive audio experience.

Which is the best home theater system, solely depends on you. We’ve listed our favorite picks at various prices. Reading further into these units, you’re almost ensured to find the perfect match.

Now, get going and bring your movies to life with a home cinema system! Oh, and try not to wake up the neighbors.

If you haven’t got enough of audiophile reviews, you can find lots of more cool content branching out from our homepage.


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