With so many options for streaming movies and TV shows nowadays, countless homes are choosing to pair their high definition TVs with high quality audio systems to complete the modern home theater. 

This is for good reason, as many streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Netflix are showing select films in HD and 4K formats with high-fidelity audio like DTS-MA or Dolby Atmos. 

If the video is excellent, it almost demands better audio.

Today’s best home theater systems are feature-rich, yet streamlined, and provide a vastly improved experience over the built-in speakers getting crammed thinner and thinner form factors.

Top Home Theater Systems

Ready to take that movie to a new level at home? These are our favorite top-rated home theater systems. This post includes a mix of all-in-one, add-on, and peripheral systems to fit different budgets.

1. Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite

Best Overall


Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4 Home Theater System
  • Transform your living room into a premium cinema within minutes. Experience deep, room-filling bass with…
  • Our DUAL 8″ WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (industry’s first!) produce ground-shaking rumbles that you will hear and…

Modeled after Nakamichi’s flagship, award-winning 9.2.4 sound system, this scaled-down version is a less expensive option with the same bones. 

The spatial surround elevation modes and one-button room optimization provide sound control based on your room size. The eight-speaker soundbar is the star of the show, with a supporting cast of two two-way surround speakers and two dual wireless subwoofers.

It’s a great plug-and-play system with immersive 360-degree harmonic, bass-driven sound delivered in multiple layers, direct, above, below, and on either side.

Features

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible
  • Dolby Vision and 4K UHD HDR compatible
  • Bluetooth with Qualcomm aptX-enabled
  • Optimized for QLED, OLED, and HD TVs
  • Backlit remote

Input/output: 3 HDMI, 1 coaxial, 1 optical, 1 HDMI ARC, 1 Stereo analog and 1 USB 

Power: Space to plug in three components into an outlet

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Brand has 70+ years in the audio business
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Somewhat overpriced for what you get
  • May not be ideal for small spaces (smaller than 14’ x 14’)
  • Remote has limited range
  • Heavy shipment (grab a friend to help you get it in the house)

2. Bose Lifestyle 650

Best Upgrade Pick


Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Theater System
  • As main components, your purchase include: One Console, 4 OnmiJewel side speakers, One OmniJewel center…
  • Dimensions (”): Console – 15.98 W x 2.56 H x 10.16 D | OmniJewel Side speakers (each) – 1.84 W x…

Bose is known for creating great sound experiences at home or on the go. This system is for when you want to stay in (and make popcorn). 

It’s ideal for a home theater experience to support multiple audio formats such as Dolby Digital, multichannel PCM, and DTS. This system from Bose boasts connections for up to six HDMI-enabled video sources. 

You get a full circle of sound with the five-speaker center channel and four compact omnidirectional speakers. The unassuming wireless Acoustimass subwoofer module delivers serious bass for movies, music, or gaming.

If you want to splurge on a system from one of the most well-known names in sound, this is the one.

Features

  • Alexa-enabled for voice control
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Built-in NFC
  • Apple AirPlay 2 compatible
  • Optimized for 4K/60 TVs and devices
  • SoundTouch wireless music streaming over WiFi

Input/output: 6 HDMI, 1 HDMI ARC, 2 optical, 2 digital coaxial, 2 Stereo analog, 1 data, 1 IR repeater, 1 Ethernet and 1 USB (for software updates)

Power: Space to plug in four components into an outlet

Pros

  • ADAPTiQ headset for setup and sound optimization help
  • Simple yet elegant design
  • Two color options (white or black)
  • Can expand the system 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • High-end price
  • Set up takes time

3. Sonos Arc

Best Soundbar


Sonos Arc
  • All-new Sonos Arc – Bring all your entertainment to life with the brilliantly realistic sound of Arc,…
  • 3D sound with Dolby Atmos – Experience shows, movies, and games with the precise and immersive sound of…

Sonos is Latin for sounds; this soundbar lives up to its name. If you’re just exploring the idea of better sound while watching your favorite movie, a soundbar is a great place to start.

Yet, this is not a starter soundbar in terms of technology.

The Sonos Arc is a smart soundbar designed with input from Oscar-winning sound engineers. It’s compatible with the popular 3D Dolby Atmos sound format and offers Trueplay, a self-optimizing acoustic feature.

What’s more? You can run this as a standalone soundbar or add in a Sonos subwoofer and a few Sonos One SL speakers to create the ultimate 5.1 surround sound experience as you stream your favorite flicks.

Features

  • Built-in Alexa voice controls
  • Apple AirPlay 2 compatible
  • Dolby Atmos compatible
  • Speech enhancement

Inputs/output: 1 HDMI ARC (compatible with eARC), 1 optical and 1 Ethernet

Power: Space to plug in one component into an outlet

Note: Compatible with TVs larger than 49 inches (for smaller TVs, check out the Sonos Beam)

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Slim design, discreet footprint
  • It comes in two colors (black or white)
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Sonos app is unreliable
  • Only for larger TVs
  • Requires iOS device to use Trueplay dynamic tuner

4. VIZIO SB3651-F6

Best Value

Are you looking for an affordable 5.1 channel surround sound system? Take a serious look at this offering from Vizio. It’s jam-packed with upgraded features, which is admirable considering the price.

This system offers five speakers: three in the soundbar and two peripheral speakers. This system can deliver up to 101 decibels of crisp sound and 50 Hz of pure bass combined with a subwoofer’s power that connects wirelessly to the soundbar. 

Features

  • Dolby Audio and DTS:X compatible
  • Works with Google Assistant
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • WiFi streaming-enabled
  • Built-in Chromecast

Input/output: 1 HDMI, 1 HDMI ARC, 1 digital coaxial, 1 optical, 1 Stereo analog, 1 Ethernet and 1 USB

Power: space to plug in two components into an outlet or power strip

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Powerful sound profile
  • Easy setup
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • It does not support 4K HDR
  • Reviewers report intermittent issues with powering on
  • Hard to read, flimsy remote
  • Unreliable app

5. Yamaha YAS-209BL Soundbar

Best Budget-Buy


Yamaha YAS-209BL Soundbar
  • Easy setup with HDMI or Optical cable and automatic subwoofer connection
  • Wireless subwoofer for deep bass and flexible placement. Center unit-36-5/8 × 2-1/2 × 4-1/4 inches,…

Yamaha is a leading producer of audio and visual equipment and multiple product lines that make life easier. This soundbar aligns with its legacy.

While it’s not “cheap”, This Yamaha soundbar is a budget-conscious pick for what it offers. It’s a streamlined 3D sound system with just a soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. The soundbar’s design offers multi-directional sound without the need for multiple speakers around your home theater room.

Have Amazon Fire TV? Control movie night through this soundbar by saying what you want to see. Easy. 

Features

  • DTS:X, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II compatible
  • Built-in Alexa voice controls
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Speech enhancement

Input/output: 1 HDMI, 1 HDMI ARC, 1 optical, 1 Ethernet and 1 USB (software updates)

Power: Space to plug in one component into an outlet or power strip

Pros

  • Supports 4K and 3D passthrough
  • Easy plug and play setup
  • Compact
  • Suitable for medium to large spaces

Cons

  • Unreliable app
  • Does not support AirPlay 2
  • Does not support all streaming devices
  • Does not work with Google Assistant

6. Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800

Best Cinema Experience 

For those who want a straight-up cinematic setup, this system from Definitive Technology is hard to beat. The multi-speaker system has bass radiators, a technology that delivers efficient bass with low sound distortion.

In this 5.1 channel setup, you get a powerful center channel, four compact satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. Plus, you can add on speakers or subwoofers to expand your sound’s reach, making it scalable as your needs change.

It has a tower speaker sound with a smaller footprint. If you close your eyes, you might think you’re at your favorite theater. 

Features

  • BDSS tech drivers with HD sound
  • Pressure-coupled bass radiators
  • Compatible with multiple home theater AV receivers
  • Pure aluminum dome tweeters

Input/output: 2 sets of gold-plated 5-way binding posts, speaker connections

Power: Space to plug in two components into an outlet or power strip

Note: This system requires at least a 5.1 channel home theater receiver

Pros

  • Delivers warm, rich sound
  • Discreet design, easy to hide
  • Works with multiple receivers
  • 5-year warranty for drivers and cabinets
  • 3-year warranty for electronic components

Cons

  • Time-consuming setup
  • Requires knowledge of setting up a receiver
  • It only comes in black
  • Wired system

7. Polk Audio Home Theater System

 Best Tower Speaker System


Polk Audio Home Theater System
  • MASSIVE SOUND FROM 15 SPEAKERS – Each bookshelf features a 5.25” driver & a 0.75” tweeter, center…
  • A POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR EXTRA BASS & PUNCH (up to 100 watts) – A 10-inch subwoofer with a uniquely…

If you’re looking for a home theater system that stands out and delivers excellent sound, this is our top pick. This 5.1 channel system has a center channel, two tower speakers, two bookshelf speakers, and a subwoofer.

This tower system is perfect for small to medium-sized rooms but expandable to fit larger areas by adding additional speakers and subwoofers as needed.

Polk delivers rich, immersive sound. It will require a little effort, but your setup time will reap the dividends of jaw-dropping audio.

Features

  • Dynamic Balance Technology
  • Acoustic Resonance Control
  • Bass radiators
  • Compatible with most home theater AV receivers
  • Timbre-matched speakers for seamless sound blend across speakers

Input/output: Binding posts, L/R in-out, speaker connections

Power: Space to plug in two components into an outlet or power strip

Note: This system requires at least a 5.1 channel home theater receiver

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Full bass sound with smooth highs
  • Can upgrade by adding speakers
  • Perfect for a multi-room setup
  • Sturdy construction of components

Cons

  • It takes time to set up
  • Inconvenient location of binding posts
  • Not plug and play; requires receiver setup
  • It only comes in black
  • Wired system

8. Klipsch Cinema 600

Best Plug and Play 

This Klipsch home theater system is truly a plug-and-play masterpiece. It’s a 3.1 channel setup featuring a soundbar and a 10-inch down-firing wireless subwoofer. Plug your HDMI or optical cable into your TV and get instant theater-quality sound in seconds.

The large subwoofer provides a clean yet powerful bass response that comes in handy when you watch concert films or action movies. The sound can transform your living room into your private cinema.

The Klipsch Cinema 600 is an easy-to-use system that can expand with two additional Klipsch Surround 3 speakers to create a 5.1 system.

Features

  • Virtualized surround sound
  • Dolby Digital compatible
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Dialogue enhancement modes
  • Linear travel suspension tweeter
  • Fiber composite cone woofers
  • Crafted from premium wood

Input/output: 1 HDMI ARC, 1 optical, additional wired subwoofer connection and 1 Aux analog

Power: Space to plug in one component into an outlet

Pros

  • Relatively affordable
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Expandable system
  • 1-year warranty on electronics
  • 3-year warranty on woofer, cabinet, and non-electrical parts

Cons

  • Unreliable app
  • No adjustable equalizer

9. Polk Audio MagniFi

 Best Compact System

Sale


Polk Audio MagniFi Home Theater System
  • BIGGER, MORE DYNAMIC SOUND – Packed inside this slim and sleek sound bar 7 powerful drivers and tweeters…
  • INCLUDES PLUG AND PLAY WIRELESS SUBWOOFER & TWO WIRELESS SPEAKERS, which are instantly recognized by the…

The Polk Audio MagniFi is a slim, compact solution that gives you signature multidirectional sound without taking up a lot of room. It’s a simple 5.1 system with loads of features and options for connecting your entertainment hub to theater-quality sound.

Plug in a Smart TV or other smart device and enjoy the 3D sound quality produced by the Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA) surround technology. It eliminates crosstalk and leaves you with a pure sound experience at home.

Features

  • Built-in Chromecast
  • Wireless subwoofer and speakers
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Voice Adjust technology
  • SDA Surround technology
  • Movie, sports, and music modes
  • Optimized for 4K and HD TVs

Input/output: 3 HDMI, 1 HDMI ARC, 1 optical, 1 Ethernet, 1 Aux analog and 1 USB (software updates)

Power: Space to plug in four components into an outlet or power strip

Pros

  • Good value
  • Easy setup
  • Wireless
  • Expandable system
  • Multiple connections
  • Compatible with most TVs

Cons

  • It only comes in black
  • Basic remote design

10. Sony HT-S350

 Best Starter System

Sale


Sony HT-S350 Home Theater System
  • Ultimate Home Theater Upgrade: Sony 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System With Wireless Subwoofer for Optimized…
  • Audio Comes Alive:320W total power output brings content to life with incredible volume and clarity

If you aren’t looking for a 5.1 system but just want an introduction to better sound, the Sony HT-S350 is a solid starter system. The virtual sound technology provides cinematic surround sound from a central speaker.

It’s a 2.1 channel setup with a soundbar and wireless subwoofer. The soundbar covers the high and mid-range sounds; the subwoofer completes the sound experience with deep, low rumbles for an immersive experience.

Features

  • Virtualized surround sound 
  • Multiple sound modes
  • Voice enhancement
  • Dolby Audio compatible
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Voice control on remote

Input/output: 1 HDMI ARC, 1 optical, additional wired subwoofer connection and 1 Aux analog

Power: Space to plug in two components into an outlet or power strip

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy plug and play set up
  • Easy to mount
  • Connects to multiple TV brands

Cons

  • Not expandable
  • Bulky subwoofer
  • No digital display

Summary

There are many home theater systems and speaker systems that can create a cinema-like experience at home.

Make sure to choose a good surge protector to use with your new home theater system. Protect your investment.

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