There are two main components to building your home theater system: audio and video. Both are equally important. You’ll want to start with your visuals. Of course, starting with one of the best 65-inch TVs is a good place, or go with a short throw projector like the Samsung Premiere laser projector. Once you get your visuals dialed in, take care of the other equally important part of your home viewing experience: the audio.
The audio portion of your home theater system generally consists of a center speaker, left and right speakers, two surround sound speakers and a subwoofer (that would be a 5.1 channel setup). Now, your front speaker and even your front, left, and right speakers no longer need to be three different components. And often, you don’t even need an AV receiver anymore. You’ll find great home theater systems where a sound bar replaces the traditional left, right and center speakers and the AV receiver. But don’t be scared of traditional five to seven speaker setups either; those are still great and can provide more versatility and room for expansion for a home theater system setup.
How We Chose the Best Home Theater Systems
It might feel like there are a lot of components to a home theater system, but don’t be dismayed; home theater speaker manufacturers have truly streamlined the process to make setting up these speaker systems in your home simple. Here are a few of the details we looked for in searching for the best home theater systems:
- Setup: We looked for various setups, including systems with traditional AV receivers to ones with sound bars and even single component setups with full media streaming capabilities.
- Features: We looked for home theater systems with multiple Dolby audio codecs to ensure that the latest movies sound as spectacular as they should. We also looked for designs with wireless setups, compatibility with voice controls and multiple connectivity options.
- Price: The home theater systems below vary widely in price, but that’s to give you options. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get an immersive surround sound experience, but if you have the extra coin, some amazing systems are available at higher price ranges too.
If you’re ready to step up your entertainment room and bring your favorite pieces of visual and audio art to life, we have the home entertainment system that fits your needs and budget.
1. Vizio M-Series 5.1.2 Premium Home Theater System
Combining the sound quality produced by the sound bar with around-the-room directional speakers, the subwoofer and two surround speakers, convenience of control, and the price, it’s easily considered one of the best home theater systems. Dolby Atmos and DTX support supply excellent surround sound to your movie watching and gaming experience. There’s voice assistant support through Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, and you can even control your sound bar with your existing TV remote. All of that for under $500 — not bad.
Pros: Up-firing speakers combined with surround sound speakers provide immersive surround sound.
Cons: No WiFi connectivity.
2. Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack
BEST BUDGET OPTION
Klipsch makes great audio equipment at a solid price, and this compact and stylish system of speakers looks great with or without the grille. The system is a 5.1 surround sound system comprising six speakers, including the subwoofer. The subwoofer is wireless, making for easier placement. The speakers are compact, so you can easily set them up even if you live in a small space.
Pros: Stylish look. Economical. Wireless subwoofer.
Cons: Other options have a more robust sound.
3. Polk True Surround III Wireless Surround Sound System
This affordable home theater system is a great sounding and smart solution for your home audio woes. Wireless connectivity keeps your living room devoid of wires while the sound bar, subwoofer, and left and right speakers provide immersive 5.1 surround sound. And with Dolby Digital surround sound decoding, the audio is loud, clean and rich — ideal for both movies and music. Speaking of music, you can pair to any device quickly thanks to Bluetooth and also features an HDMI ARC and Aux input for other audio connection needs.
Pros: Affordable with lots of connectivity options.
Cons: Left and right wireless speakers must be connected to a power source.
4. Yamaha YHT-4950U Home Theater System with Bluetooth
GREAT WIRED OPTION
A more traditional home theater system in the sense that it comes with an AV receiver and five speakers, including a subwoofer instead of a sound bar and two additional surround sound speakers. The advantages to this setup are that you have versatility in placing your front, left and right speakers, and the AV receiver provides you with more audio EQ options than other systems. Speaking of EQ, it even comes with an acoustic tuner that calibrates the speakers to your room. Just because it’s not wireless doesn’t mean it’s not smart.
Pros: Comes with an AV receiver that allows you to add and swap out speakers in the system.
Cons: Not a wireless option.
5. Roku Stream Bar
BEST SMART OPTION
The Roku Stream Bar is your one-stop shop for your home theater system. Ok, so you’ll still need a 65-inch TV, but after that, the Roku Stream bar takes care of everything else. You get the incredibly easy-to-use Roku streaming platform built right in that is also Amazon Alexa compatible. The remote provides quick access with a single button to Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and Hulu. It sounds great, and possibly the best part, it even quiets loud commercials through smart technology. Pretty clever, right?
Pros: Includes Roku media streaming platform and quick access to major streaming sites.
Cons: Not a great surround sound option.
6. Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System
While there is some sticker shock, the Bose Lifestyle 650 is an incredible home theater system considering its compatibility with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby, TrueHD, and DTS. That’s a recipe for having amazing and immersive surround sound while watching movies. When connected to WiFi, you can also stream all of your music from your favorite platforms like Spotify. All that being said, it also looks elegant and modern in your home.
Pros: Many supported Dolby audio codecs for great movie sound quality.
Cons: The system is not entirely wireless and incredibly expensive.
7. JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra Soundbar with Wireless Surround Speakers
Unique to the JBL Bar home theater system are the detachable left and right speakers that connect to the sound bar but can be removed and placed anywhere you please for a true surround sound experience. Each wireless speaker is battery-powered and lasts up to 10 hours. But when you’re listening to music and don’t want the surround sound experience, you can connect them back to the soundbar. It’s a powerful system with 4K, Bluetooth connectivity, and three HDMI inputs for all your peripherals.
Pros: Unique design and lots of connectivity.
Cons: Forgetting to charge speakers means no surround sound.
8. Samsung HW-Q950A 11.1.4 Channel Home Theater System
If sounding great wasn’t enough, this home theater system is also covered by an additional Epic four-year warranty on top of the factory warranty, providing additional peace of mind to a rather expensive purchase. Beyond the lengthy warranty, it also sounds great too. Between the 11-channel system firing sound off in every direction, creating a truly immersive surround sound experience and all the different Dolby audio codecs and SpaceFit Sound+ – customizable sound based on your room – you’ll have the audio portion of your home theater system covered.
Pros: It features 11 channels and room-fitting sound.
Cons: It is pricey.
9. Sonos Immersive Set with Arc
If you have the money to spend, the Sonos Immersive Set with Arc is not only one of the best home theater systems you can purchase but also one of the smartest. All of the speakers connect via WiFi (no need to run wires all over your living room) for a streamlined and clean look in the living room. The system sounds incredible and is incredibly easy to set up with the Sonos app. Plus, it’s compatible with AirPlay 2 and has voice controls for hands-free operation.
Pros: Sounds amazing and is easy, and the setup is simple.
Cons: It is expensive.
10. Logitech 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
The Logitech 5.1 has a DTS soundtrack and a 165 subwoofer that delivers a deep bass that will bring movies to life. The system comes with four 67W wall-mountable THX-certified home theater speakers that deliver 500 watts of power with the ability to peak at 1000 watts. The Logitech 5.1 is perfect for smart homes, with the ability to connect to six devices, including TV, tablet, phone, game console and more. Old movies and TV shows are upgraded with the Z906 speakers, which can convert the two-channel stereo into surround sound.
Pros: Smart connectivity options for up to six devices. Can upgrade old content into surround sound.
Cons: Some options are more economical.