Top 5 Best Surround Sound Systems That Deserve Your Attention
Music Authority may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
The best surround sound systems bring sound from all directions into your home theater, giving you a completely immersive experience. Good surround sound speakers may make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action in your TV room, game room, or home theater since everything sounds more lifelike.
While the overall sound quality is crucial, there are additional factors to consider when selecting surround sound speakers. Surround sound systems are available in a variety of configurations, including 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1 combinations. A 5.1 system consists of a woofer and five speakers (front left, front right, front center, surround right, and surround left), with bigger installations containing even more speakers. When trying to connect many speakers to a single source, connectivity can be a major issue, so double-check that your speakers will work with your receiver. If not, be sure to check out our top recommendations of the best surround sound systems for the finest stereo receivers to complete your system.
Best Surround Sound Systems – Comparative Table
|1.Sony ST5000 7.1.2ch 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Buy on Amazon
|2.Bose Lifestyle 600 Home Entertainment System
Buy on Amazon
|3.JBL Bar 2.1 – Deep Bass Soundbar with 6.5″ Wireless Subwoofer
Buy on Amazon
|4.Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System
Buy on Amazon
|5.Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800 System Black
Buy on Amazon
Best Surround Sound Systems – Our Reviews and Comparisons
Sony’s HT-ST5000 is the ideal audio complement for Sony TVs if you don’t want to skimp on your AV gear. It’s an audio powerhouse with a few surprises up its sleeve, and it’s jam-packed with features.
- One of the greatest Dolby Atmos soundbar systems we’ve tested is Sony’s HT-ST5000. It uses an ambitious 7.2.1 speaker configuration, which means that not only does it give the impression that sound is coming from seven different locations to the front, sides, and back of your seated position. But it also gives the impression that sound is coming from two overhead points – that Dolby Atmos magic – with one separate subwoofer speaker for delivering rumbling bass.
- It’s also well-equipped in terms of ports. Three HDMI inputs enable 4K HDR, as well as additional HDMI output, USB, Bluetooth, and NFC connection. With NFC (near field communications), you can quickly transmit whatever music is playing on your phone to the speaker with only a tap.
- You can easily search films on your phone and have them streamed to your TV via the speaker with Chromecast integrated. With Google Assistant compatibility, you can also talk to your device, allowing it to manage things like your home’s lighting, make reminders, and play music using only your voices.
- There’s even built-in compatibility for high-resolution music services like Tidal – but we’ll confess that getting used to the HT-rather ST5000’s awkward remote control may take some time.
What We Like About Sony ST5000
For Spotify users, there’s also a dedicated ‘Music Service’ button that can be used to immediately transfer whatever you’re listening to on another device to this primary, powerful speaker system.
What We Don’t Like About Sony ST5000
Sony ST5000 is expensive and only supports Google assistant.
|Highly Immersive Dolby Atmos
NFC connectivity is a bonus
Impressive music streaming smart assistant support
Only supports Google Assistant
Bose is recognized for producing all-in-one audio systems that are small and portable. However, when it comes to high-end home entertainment, their business model fails miserably. It seems to be the reason that if you want a powerful, all-encompassing sound, you’ll need a set of huge, prominent speakers.
- The console, the wireless bass module, and the remote speakers are the three major components of the Lifestyle 600. The receiver serves as the system’s central hub. It serves as a go-between for all of your inputs, whether they’re 4K video sources or your computer, and the television. From the supplied remote, you may change inputs, channels, and adjust every element of the sound.
- The 600 comes with five different speakers. There are three channels at the front: left, right, and center. The two satellite speakers are located at the back of the vehicle.
- The primary speakers of the 600 series are the same ones that were utilized in their previous top-tier kit, the Lifestyle 535. They’ve previously established themselves in the market with the Jewel Cube speakers utilized in the Lifestyle 600. They have two separate drives within them.
- These drivers are identical, unlike conventional audio systems, which employ a tweeter for high notes and woofers for bass sounds. While they both play the same frequencies, the sound is played in a different direction.
- They may alter the loudness of each direction using their superior sound processing technology to give the impression that the sound is coming from someplace in the middle of the room rather than from one of the individual speakers.
- The 600 series’ separation is still considerably better than a standard 5.1 system, although it depends on your seat. The Jewel Cube speakers aren’t truly pushing the sound in a certain direction; instead, they use some clever engineering to deceive your ears into believing so.
- Although the Lifestyle Series’ major benefits are placement and separation, don’t be fooled into thinking that the pure audio quality is compromised in any way. These small speakers can produce extremely high volumes without distortion or muddiness. Highs will be crystal clear, mids will be detailed, and lows will be punchy.
- The quality of this technology has improved to the point that you no longer hear an “audio track.” Instead, separate components are heard. The rustle of clothes as characters pass across a scene, the sound of birds in the background, traffic on the road.
- A few hundred dollars for a professional calibration may not seem like much when you’ve spent so much on your home theater. The Bose Lifestyle system, on the other hand, will automatically calibrate the device. The system is called ADAPTiQ, and it works flawlessly.
- You have six different HDMI connections for video, which should allow you to connect whatever device you possess. These ports are compatible with 4K video since they support the newest HDCP standard. There’s also an audio pass-through option.
What We Like About Bose Lifestyle 600
If you’re a real movie enthusiast who won’t compromise on sound quality, the Lifestyle 600 is your only option.
What We Don’t Like About Bose Lifestyle 600
This may not be the greatest option if you’re searching for a system that will be utilized mostly for music. Almost all music is recorded in a two-channel stereo mix. You won’t be able to enjoy all of the Lifestyle series’ amazing features unless you’re listening to surround sound media.
|Super easy installation
Easily adjustable controls
The JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass is a basic speaker. It’s a single soundbar and wireless subwoofer that can broadcast music through Bluetooth.
- There’s no fancy visual like the Roku Smart Soundbar or the faulty JBL Link Bar, no multiroom audio like the Sonos Beam, and no built-in Alexa or Google Assistant like almost every other speaker these days. Instead, it simply sounds fantastic, thanks in part to, you guessed it, deep bass.
- The JBL has a great dynamic range thanks to the bigger sub, which is especially useful for blockbuster movies. This soundbar makes up for its lack of finesse and atmosphere with pure brawn.
- While the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass isn’t quite as cheap as the Vizio V21, it certainly packs a punch. This soundbar is the next best thing to going to the movies if you have some extra cash on hand from not going to the cinema any longer.
- Despite its identical name, the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass is distinct from (and does not replace) the previous JBL Bar 2.1, and it has a new subwoofer and simplified remote control. The primary speaker is a 28-inch popsicle stick-shaped bar finished in the company’s signature gunmetal grey.
- It features volume, power, and source buttons on the top, and an LED display on the grill-covered front that is pretty straightforward to understand, especially when compared to Vizio’s.
- While other soundbars provide Wi-Fi streaming through Chromecast or AirPlay, the JBL is confined to Bluetooth for playing music from your phone. It also features Dolby Digital decoding, optical digital, and two HDMI ports (one with ARC). Four full-range drivers and two 1-inch tweeters make up the primary soundbar’s speakers.
- The wireless subwoofer is a monster, as the name suggests. It’s 9 inches square and 14.6 inches tall, with a back-mounted port, a 6.5-inch driver, and a design that’s similar to the new Xbox Series X.
- The JBL compensates by enhancing the intelligibility of speech as well as the sense of detail by adding some presence sparkle to its heavy bass response.
- The single bass button offers three settings, however, we thought that there was a need for another step between medium and high because the top level was too much for us. This isn’t an issue with movies, but it becomes apparent while listening to music.
What We Like About JBL Bar 2.1 – Deep Bass
The JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass provides a reasonable recreation of your neighborhood movie theater in the comfort of your own home. The absence of surround sound (simulated or otherwise) is a minor annoyance when contrasted to the massive impact that its powerful sub can deliver.
What We Don’t Like About JBL Bar 2.1 – Deep Bass
The JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass is not ideal for music enthusiasts.
|Dynamic and detailed movie sound
The large subwoofer goes deep
Two HDMI ports add flexibility
|Average performance in terms of music
Devoid of surround or Virtual:X processing
Few sound controls
The Elac Debut 2.0 speakers are a revised version of the original Debut speakers from 2016. The MDF cabinets’ internals, as well as the drivers themselves, have altered. What hasn’t changed is their subtle elegance from head to toe.
- The internal MDF bracing increases rigidity, strength, and eliminates undesired vibrations, making the structure more solid than before. They’re coated in a faux black ash vinyl that goes with almost any home decor.
- The drivers are also a step above. The wide-roll surround of the new silk dome tweeters raises the frequency response to 35kHz for a more accurate representation at the top of the spectrum.
- According to Elac, the woofer cones are composed of braided aramid fiber, which is more flexible and stronger than paper or polypropylene. It’s the company’s option of compromise between rigidity clarity and dampening required to prevent undesired resonance.
- The Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 floorstanding fronts, two Elac B5.2 stand mounters, and the C5.2 center speaker holds these delights. The floorstanders include four drivers each, including a 25mm silk dome tweeter and three 13cm woofers, as well as three backfiring reflex ports for a more powerful push.
- The bookshelf surrounds have a tweeter and a single woofer, as well as a reflex port in the front to reduce the importance of placing distances from walls.
- In addition to the single tweeter and twin woofer combination, the Elac C5.2 center speaker includes two front-facing ports, one on each end of the cabinet.
- There are additional Elac Debut 2.0 A4.2 Dolby Atmos modules available for £180 for each pair, which are not included in the bundle.
- These attach to both the front and surround speakers, converting your 5.1 system to a 5.2.1 system with overhead sound for any height effects in Dolby Atmos-compatible movies.
- The realism of the soundscape is astounding. These aren’t effects that have been precisely put in one of six perfectly placed speakers, but a beautifully balanced auditory picture that immerses the spectator in the movie experience while allowing the equipment to fade away.
- From speaker to speaker and scene to scene, the audio quality is constant. It’s simple and clear, but it can be warm when needed.
What We Like About Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System
At this price, some speakers could push a forward or forceful sound to make the owner feel like they’ve purchased anything. It’s delicate and well-balanced, with no single frequency range taking center stage, yet it’s nevertheless quick and fast.
What We Don’t Like About Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System
The Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System can punch a hole in your pocket.
|Impressive build quality
There are certainly more costly surround sound speaker alternatives available, all of which would be considered a “splurge.” If money isn’t an issue, other several choices may cost hundreds, if not tens of thousands of dollars. However, we’re emphasizing “splurge” choices for everyone for the sake of practicality. The Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 is a powerhouse that outperforms its price tag.
- Even if it looks, at first sight, to be simply another black speaker set, the design immediately draws your attention.
- Both the movie language and the different soundtracks created a deep bass that was far superior to comparable high-priced alternatives.
- Unfortunately, unlike some higher-end Bose or Klipsch versions, the Definitive subwoofer won’t rattle your bones, but the experience is nonetheless immersive and immensely pleasant.
- Similarly, Definitive speakers won’t go all the way up to maximum volume without distortion, but there are a few cinematic moments that we want to hear as loudly as possible.
- The 300-watt subwoofer, center speaker, and satellites are all well-regarded in their own right, but when combined, they provide remarkable value in high-performance music.
- There’s little doubt that you’ll conclude that the ProCinema 800 provides both value and a high-end experience that belies its price.
What We Like About Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800
The simplest way to define Definitive is that it is detail-rich, retaining the authenticity of a soundtrack while enabling all of the simultaneous effects to be heard and appreciated.
What We Don’t Like About Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800
You might hear some distortion when you crank up the volume.
The Bose Lifestyle series is highly recommended or the best surround sound system according to us if you want the greatest audio system available. In general, systems in this price range are quite complicated. However, they’ve taken a difficult problem and made it simple for customers. You won’t be trapped with a highly specialized system that suddenly becomes inferior if you transfer it to another area or rearrange the layout since it’s so simple to calibrate.
We hope this review on surround sound systems helped with making an ideal choice!
More to read: