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Home theater surround-sound systems are considerably more capable than the wireless soundbars we've previously covered. Note that most of these systems are likely to require installation by a professional, as it's of utmost importance to place all audio components correctly in order to enjoy great sound.
Home theater speakers need to be connected to a capable audio receiver for the best experience. If you don't already own one, take a look at this roundup for a few great suggestions.
Like most things tech, the more money you spend, the richer and more immersive sound you're likely to enjoy. In case you've decided to splurge on speakers, make sure that you already own a high-end TV or a home theater projector.
The Yamaha YHT-5920UBL home theater system is the best option for most buyers. It's reasonably priced, and it comes with a bundled audio receiver, so you'll have all the necessary components to step into high-quality audio in the box.
The YHT-5920UBL receiver supports 5.1-channel surround, as well as 4K content pass-through via HDMI. It supports Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, and Pandora music streaming. You can also connect your favorite mobile devices to it via Bluetooth.
The sound setup of the system consists of four surround speakers, a center speaker, and a 100-watt subwoofer. Its audio quality is among the best in its price range.
Best Budget Buy
The HT-S3800 home theater package by Onkyo is our favorite budget buy. The home theater system is capable of delivering 5.1-channel surround with truly impressive audio quality for its price point. It also comes bundled with an audio receiver, so you'll be ready to get started the moment you open its retail box.
The audio receiver supports both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio codecs. It's compatible with 4K video content, so it's future-proof, too. Bluetooth connectivity is also on board in case you want to connect the Onkyo HT-S3800 to your laptop or smartphone.
The Bose Lifestyle 650 home entertainment system is an industrial-design masterpiece whose machined metal speakers are so small, it'll take you a while to wrap your head around the phenomenal sound quality they deliver. A stylish wireless subwoofer is also part of the audio setup. The Lifestyle 650 system comes with its own main unit and a universal remote control.
Once installed, the system will allow you to control your TV — as well as any other entertainment device you might own — from an Apple TV to an Xbox. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are also on board, as well as NFC for one-touch pairing with compatible devices. You can also control the system via the Bose SoundTouch app.
Overall, the Bose Lifestyle 650 system is pricey, but it's well worth it if it fits your budget. You can order it in black or white with silver speakers.
Best for Easy Setup and Great Audio Quality
The Sonos 5.1 home theater system consists of the company's superb Playbar TV soundbar, a wireless sub, and two PLAY:1 wireless speakers. The system is easy to set up, and it can deliver excellent sound that's great for enjoying all types of content.
Of course, being a Sonos product, the Wi-Fi-connected system will also let you listen to your favorite music from all major streaming services from the Sonos app. This system doesn't require an audio receiver.
The Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 5.1-channel home theater speaker system is a solid option with a great value, thanks to its 5-year warranty. Its setup consists of a quartet of satellite speakers, a center speaker, and a subwoofer with a built-in 50-watt amplifier.
The system's frequency response ranges between 45 and 20,000 Hz. A clever Time Lens technology by Polk Audio helps enhance its soundstage for a more immersive audio experience.
Best for Audiophiles
This home theater speaker system by Klipsch has a beautiful design and build quality that matches its price tag. The floor speakers and the center unit have a gorgeous cherry finish. All audio drivers in the package have the company's signature copper finish.
Powered by the audio giant's Reference Premier speakers, the audio package delivers superb sound that's bound to appeal to even the most discerning audiophiles. It's definitely not a compact setup, but it's well worth the space and the money if you can afford it.
Best for a Compact Footprint
The Onkyo SKS-HT690 is a 5.1-channel surround-sound home theater speaker system with compact design. Its subwoofer has a 10-inch audio driver that delivers deep bass, while its front speakers consist of a woofer and a tweeter for a balanced sound signature.
The woofer's clever design allows users to place it in a corner without affecting its sound quality. All audio components of the system are crafted from high-density resin with a glossy finish.
Best for Stylish Looks and Excellent Audio Quality
The Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V 5.1-channel system consists of a quintet of ultra compact speakers and an Acoustimass bass module with two audio drivers built-in. The system is easy to install — it comes with clearly marked cables and connectors.
Great for medium- and large-sized rooms, the Acoustimass 10 Series V delivers crisp and powerful sound that's to be expected from one of the industry leaders. The speaker system requires an audio receiver.
Best Starter System
This Yamaha offering is an excellent "starter" surround-sound system whose price tag makes it hard to overlook. The NS-SP1800BL can deliver 5.1-channel surround sound via a quartet of satellite speakers, a center unit, and a dedicated subwoofer.
The Yamaha NS-SP1800BL has a robust 600 watts of total power. Its frequency response ranges between 28Hz and 50KHz.