It’s one of those chill Friday night-ins. You’ve uncapped a beer, turned on Netflix on your smart TV, and are ready to start rolling with a night-long Game of Thrones marathon. But wait! Things don’t really sound right, don’t they? Your TV’s speakers can hardly reproduce the movie audio with deserved accuracy. If you want to do it right, you need a home theater system. Luckily, the market spoils you with choices, and we’ve even compiled a rundown of the best home theater systems around. Check them out.
The Best Home Theater System
Logitech is a heavyweight name in the surround sound systems industry, and their Z906 system is our best choice. Its THX-certified speaker system is ready to turn any of your rooms into the coolest home cinema on the block. Expect 5.1 channels of explosive, detailed sound that’ll allow you to hear every rumble, footstep, or tire squeal. They’ll surely deliver that cinematic sound experience all Netflix lovers long for.
Whether it’s acoustics for your movie, music, or games, the dynamic center and satellite channel speakers and 165-watt subwoofer are ready to deliver crystal-clear trebles, rich mid-range tone, and a badass, deep bass. Then, the DTS encoding steps in and accurately recreates the final surround so that you can hear every detail in your DVD, Blu-ray, or live streamed soundtrack.
5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround sound system
Inputs for multiple audio sources
Compact control console
Wireless remote control
1,000 watts of peak power
- Weight36.6 pounds
Superb functionality and sound with powerful bass despite the small subwoofer size
Relatively compact footprint compared to most home audio systems
The system maintains sound clarity even when the sound is on max
Wiring seems rather flimsy
The aesthetics could be improved
With its HT-S3910 home audio theater receiver and speaker, Onkyo addresses all those who want to turn their home movie nights from dull to dramatic. Delivering an immersive sound experience, this audio system uses the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies to mix object-based audio in the 3D space. Thanks to these features, you’ll be able to hear every individual sound in a life-like top-to-bottom dimensionality.
Six HDMI inputs and high dynamic range are other highlights, and we particularly like the Height Virtualizer that creates a virtual surround for an even more immersive listening experience. The Bluetooth-compatible system even lets you to seamlessly listen to audio from all your devices. Whether it’s your Bluetooth-enabled PC, smartphone, or tablet, Onkyo’s smart receiver recognizes your device automatically and starts playback whenever it detects incoming wireless audio stream. Another highlight is the DTS playback feature that provides advanced sound mapping, allowing effects to move from speaker to speaker. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a movie or your favorite game, you’ll surely be able to enjoy the beauty of 3D sound. All this for a more than affordable price. For more quality devices like this, check out our selection of the best soundbars.
5.1-channel Dolby Atmos system
Height Virtualizer technology
4K HDR support
High-current analog amp system
155 watts per channel
- Weight41.4 pounds
All channel stereo mode offers an immersive, natural sound experience
Very easy to set up and connect to a TV
Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play audio files from all Bluetooth enabled devices
The subwoofer could use more power
Next entry on our list of best home theater systems, the Pioneer HTP-074 is one of those premium systems that everyone would love to have. This 5.1 setup is designed to deliver impressive sound clarity even when you’re playing premium content. A sleek AV receiver and compact speakers and subwoofer are easy to position on shelves or mount on a wall, and all you have to do is connect your Blue-ray disc or DVD player to enjoy high-quality sound in your home entertainment room.
Designed with the next generation technologies in mind, the system features four HDMI inputs as well as Ultra HD pass-through, so the system can easily support the latest HDR video standard. Similar to the Onkyo, the Pioneer system also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to enjoy audio streaming from compatible devices. The HTP-074 even supports DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks. Furthermore, you can even enjoy quality sound from compressed audio files, including MP3, AAC, and WMA, while a convenient front USB input allows for quick connection of a memory stick. Honestly, what else could you wish for?
AV receiver with Bluetooth
Ultra HD pass-through
Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Pro Logic II technologies
Compact 150-watt speakers
- Weight2.2 pounds
Powerful, well-balanced setup for general movie viewing and gaming
Built-in Bluetooth wireless technology allows you to stream audio from most devices
The system can restore the output of compressed audio files for an enhanced listening experience
ECO Mode reduces energy requirements while maintaining the high-quality of the sound
Subwoofer might not satisfy bass-dependent audiophiles
HDMI pass-through might cause a loss of image quality
Are you tired of figuring out how to hide ugly home theater system wires when creating your set up? We surely are; that’s why the Enclave Audio CineHome has made it to our list. This wireless home theater system delivers uncompromising surround sound while integrating seamlessly in your home décor. With the possibility to place the speakers wherever you want – no strings attached – Enclave is perfect for movies, video gaming, sports, and music alike.
This system delivers a true home theater experience with its wireless speakers and convenient remote control. The only cable is the one connecting the Enclave Smart Center to your TV, but rest assured the system is capable of hosting both HDMI and SPDIF optical sources. We also like that the WiSA certified CineHome delivers high-quality 24-bit uncompressed audio straight out of the box. Featuring 3 HDMI cable inputs, it lets you connect your dish, DVD or Blue-ray player, streaming appliance, or HDMI pass-thru. It doesn’t matter if you want to watch movies or listen to Bohemian Rhapsody at full volume, the enveloping surround experience will surely spellbind you.
360-degree 24-bit HD wireless audio
Dolby Digital and DTS
Analog, optical, and Bluetooth inputs
Compatible with Android/iOS streaming
- Weight30 pounds
Full-range drivers on opposing sides deliver a widespread, surround sound experience
Instant wireless connectivity allows you to use the system straight out of the box
The system is easy to control wirelessly via a mobile app
The included remote control is very minimal
Bulky DC power supplies
Packing an aggressive gaming look, the Rockville HTS56 can be the solution to your surrounding need if you’re after a crazy loud system. Four full-range speakers – two front and two rear – a center speaker and a subwoofer deliver that immersive, 3D sound experience with no compromises. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the radio, watching a movie or challenging someone in your favorite video game – this system surely lives up to expectations.
Perhaps the most impressive is the super-clear, deep, rich bass provided by the 8-inch subwoofer. No rattling or discernible distortion even at high volume will quickly turn you into the neighborhood’s home party king. Speaking of parties, you’ll also love the two ¼-inch MIC inputs with echo control on the front, that are just perfect for Karaoke nights. A wealth of inputs on the rear gives you the possibility to use the system with whatever devices you want to use it, from TVs to PCs and everything in-between. Including your mobile devices, that is, thanks to the Bluetooth capability, but keep in mind that no input is HDMI. Coming at a fraction of the price of other home theater systems, the Rockville surely knows how to impress. No doubt, the best home theater system for enthusiasts on a budget. Be sure to check out our reviews of the best portable Bluetooth speakers for more amazing audio devices like this.
5.1-channel system with LED effects
Built-in FM receiver
1,000 watts peak power
Full-function remote control
- Weight28.7 pounds
You can independently control the volume of each speaker and subwoofer
The system has no distortion, even when the volume is all the way up
Four LED lighting modes and 7 colors add versatility to your home cinema experience
No optical audio connection
If you’re one of those who don’t mind the budget but want the best home theater system around, then you should go for Sonos. At first glance, it looks like one of those minimalist wireless home theater systems that don’t promise much, but it packs a punch. Despite looking like a 3.1 system, this is actually a 5.1 with the front speakers hidden in the sophisticated playbar. This 3-channel sound device can amp up any movie with its nine amplified drivers. It hides six mid-woofers and three tweeters, a setup capable of delivering crisp, natural sounds.
But that’s not it! Sonos 5.1 Home Theater System also comes with a highly performing subwoofer developed to bring out all those deep bass sounds. Whether it’s playing Metallica or living an immersive gaming experience, the bass’s got you covered.
Wireless speaker connection
Multi-room audio capability
App audio control
- Weight20 pounds
All-round audio system works with most devices, including TVs, smartphones and tablets, and smart home units like Alexa or Google Home
It can feel any room size with great sound thanks to the flexible configuration options
You can easily add more speakers to the system for multi-room audio streaming or music playing
Updates from the manufacturer could mess up the system
When a 5.1-channel system is not enough, Sony could be the answer to your prayers. This home theater system features a 7.1.2 configuration with Phantom Surround Back, a technology developed to envelop you in 3D sound. Not only you’ll hear the audio from your front and back; this system delivers an accurate 360° surround sound. Pair it with reliable 3D goggles, and there you have it – 3D cinema experience at your home.
Nine speaker channels deliver even the most subtle nuances of any audio, be it music, movies, or games. A nice touch is the flexible speaker solution Sony came up with that virtually relocates the sound in an attempt to simulate the optimal angle and position for a real-life audio experience. While all these features do need a lot of resources, Sony STR-DN1080 7.2-Channel Home Theater supports HDR signal pass-thru, so you can also enjoy the best image quality. Our guide to the best tailgate speakers features more cool audio devices like this, so check them out.
HDR-compatible 4K pass-thru
Atmos Home Theater receiver
Voice control with Google Home
Phantom surround rear speaker
Virtual surround technology delivers one of the best audio experiences
The system gets really loud without losing sound quality
Easy to setup
Not versatile enough for a system in this price range
Another wireless home theater system that’s made it to our list comes from Yamaha. This 5.1-channel setup packs all the audio performance Yamaha is known for in an affordable price range. You can expect enveloping, cinematic sound delivered by a powerful AV receiver, subwoofer, and five speakers. One thing you should get wrong, though, it’s the wireless capability that only refers to the system’s ability to play audio files from your phone or other devices. Yet, you’ll still have to wire the speakers to the receivers, which is a letdown.
That said, we still love the way Yamaha Yht-4950U sounds, and the fact that it’s compatible with all modern technologies. Thanks to the exclusive Yamaha CINEMA DSP technology, the system supports playback of high-definition audio, including DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Then, a parametric room acoustic optimizer can even analyze the acoustics in your room and adjust the audio to provide the most immersive, natural sound imaging. Ideal to use with the latest televisions, Yamaha also supports 4K video transmission at 60fps, as well as HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Whether you want to use it for movies, video streaming, or gaming, this system won’t let you down. For more quality devices for your home, check out our selection of the best tower speakers.
5.1-channel system with AV receiver
Can play music from your devices
Flexible speaker placement options
YPAO room optimization
Advanced YST II subwoofer
- Weight40 pounds
The receiver in this kit handles the DD+ output from Amazon and Netflix channels, and it’s perfect for movies
The surround system is flawless thanks to the YPAO room optimization technology
Excellent value for money
The remote control is rather flimsy
Speakers must be wired
Having a home cinema is great and all, but sometimes you might just not want to spend eye-watery amounts. Luckily, the Acoustic Audio system by Goldwood is proof that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality. Sure, you won’t get the highest performing system out there, but Goldwood Acoustic Audio 2.1 Bluetooth Speaker System can satisfy most gamers and movie enthusiasts living in a small studio apartment.
Its greatest strength is the satellite speakers that deliver clean high notes as well as lush mid ranges. At the same time, the powerful subwoofer fires powerful bass. A front panel volume control knob, as well as a full-function remote control, makes it easy to get the volume up or down. What we wouldn’t have expected from a home theater system this cheap is built-in Bluetooth connection, but the Acoustic Audio boasts it. You can seamlessly connect most devices, including gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, and even a DVD player or PC. Compact, stylish, and affordable, this home theater setup will surely have little impact on your wallet.
200 watts total power
Built-in audio amplifier
RCA audio outputs
- Weight6 pounds
Very easy to set up in any room
Ideal for gaming, movies, music listening, and general audio playing
Built-in Bluetooth allows you to play music from your devices
Only RCA inputs
Sound quality isn’t the best
The last among the best home theater systems on this list, the VIZIO SB3651-F6 is a 5.1-channel setup designed for those who want an all-round home theater system but don’t have the budget to invest in an expensive top-of-the-range. With a design inspired by some of the most famous brands, the VIZIO comes with a three-channel soundbar, wireless subwoofer, as well as two rear speakers developed to redesign your listening experience. Incorporating the acclaimed virtual overhead technology, the system can even deliver a 360° surround feel.
Using WiFi instead of Bluetooth, it also connects with your mobile devices and Chromecast-enabled audio apps, including Google Play, Pandora, and Spotify. The Smart Cast Mobile app even allows you to turn your mobile into a powerful remote control, and we like that the bar even works with Google Home. You may also be interested in some of the best gaming speakers from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Built-in WiFi technology
Works with Chromecast-enabled audio apps
- Weight5 pounds
Sound quality is surprisingly good, and the system is very easy to set up
Compatible with most devices as well as Chromecast-enabled apps
Excellent quality-price ratio
The surround sound quality is not the best
Subwoofers and speakers must be connected through a wire
Home Theater System Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Home Theater Systems
We would all love to live a cinema-like experience at home, but before investing your hard-earned money into a home theater system, you should make sure it is the best. Here are a few features you should consider before buying.
Quality – The quality of a system is rarely guaranteed by the brand or price point. Sure, some brands are better than others, but overall, you should check the sound quality as well as the system’s compatibility with your devices. Keep in mind that a home theater system can impact the image quality, too, so make sure the one you want is compatible with your TV, computer, or other devices you might want to use.
Size – Depending on your interior décor, you might want to get a big system that stands out or a sleeker one that can blend with your furniture. Then, you should also consider the actual size of the system by evaluating how many speakers it comes with. Some of the best home theater systems come with soundbars that incorporate the receiver and front speakers, for a sleeker, more sophisticated design.
Type – Last but not least, also decide if you want a wired or wireless system. The former is cheaper, but if you don’t want to see any wires along the walls, a wireless home theater could be your best bet. Pay attention to the product description, though. Some systems come with actual wireless speakers and woofer, while others only have the capability to connect with your wireless-enabled devices to play audio from them. That said, a wireless system not only cuts wires off the equation but also gives you the flexibility to place the speakers wherever you want.