Your home entertainment center has a 75-inch 8K television. You have custom leather recliners and a mini-fridge stocked with your beverage of choice. All of this is great, but if you don’t have great sound, you are not going to enjoy the viewing experience.
There are a number of televisions that have decent sound. But if you are going to spend all of that money on a large screen TV or a 4K projector and if you are going to build a room specifically for your viewing pleasure, you have to invest in sound. Whether you are looking at a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speaker system, you can find a good one that fits your price range.
In this guide, we are going to review some of the home theater sound systems we feel are top of their class. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to include them in the comments section at the end of this guide.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Surround Sound System
Price is always the number one consideration when purchasing a surround sound system. If you have a budget, your goal is to get the biggest bang for each dollar that you spend.
In order to do this, you need to narrow down the options that are available for you. For example, do you need a subwoofer to give your listening experience more base? Do you need a center channel so you can have that face-to-face feel?
The next consideration that you should make is the speaker power and sound quality. These two things do not necessarily go together nor are they always mutually exclusive. You may find a nice surround sound system, but it may not be suitable for your home.
That’s why in this guide we are going to include things like design, sound quality, price, and features. Let’s get started with our first system.
- Best Choice – Logitech Z906
- Total watts (RMS): 500 W
- Subwoofer: 165 W
- Satellites: 4 x 67 W, wall mountable
- Center channel speaker: 1 x 67 W, wall mountable
- Digital optical input: 2
- Digital coaxial input: 1
- Six-channel direct input: 1
- 5mm input: 1
- Headphone jack: 1
- RCA input: 1
- Control console
- Infrared remote
Logitech Z906 Review
Logitech has built a reputation for creating PC speakers as opposed to creating home cinemas. However, in recent years they have ventured into the world of home theater speakers. The Logitech 906 is a 5.1 surround sound system that offers 500 W RMS power on tap.
You are going to immediately notice that both the satellite speakers and the subwoofer have a sturdy build and a sturdy feel to them. The orange LEDs tell you what input speakers are active and whether you are listening in stereo or if you are listening in surround sound.
The remote for the system is relatively simple, but it gives you the control and the input that you need while watching the scene on your sofa.
Ample Amount of Audio Inputs
The Logitech Z906 has many of the audio inputs you would expect from a home cinema system. However, here is where one of their major flaws stand out. The system lacks HDMI inputs or outputs.
If your Blu-ray player is like most and does not have a Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio as well as 5.1 analog outputs, you are not going to get the truest sound.
The system does come with dual SP – DIF inputs that allow you to connect Blu-ray players, DVD players, and gaming consoles to 5.1 surround sound.
What Can We Say About Logitech Z906?
This is a decent product, but it does not offer the same punch or flexibility as its predecessor the EZ 5500. We were disappointed about the lack of HDMI support. When you play music, it does sound decent. But without the HDMI support, movies were lacking volume.
That being said, it’s relatively cheap, especially when compared to other products in the same quality range.
Link – https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Surround-Sound-Speaker-System/dp/B004M18O60
- High quality build
- A lot of power
- Creative sound signature
- No support for HDMI
- 1 surround sound is not very impressive
- Best Value – Logitech Z506
- 1 speaker configuration
- 7 W power consumption when on
- 7 m center cable 5 m reader cable to the meter front cable
- 0 W consumption on standby mode
- RMS power output 75 W
Logitech Z506 Review
We are a fan of a number of Logitech’s speakers because of their relatively inexpensive price and surprising sound quality. The Logitech Z506 is slightly more expensive than some of the other models that we have reviewed. We were interested in seeing how the price increase compared with the overall audio quality.
We first noticed that the majority of the controls are located on the right satellite speaker. This means that power and other adjustments are easy to reach. The 3.5 mm jack is perfect for attaching headphones. One downside we noticed with the controls is that the base control is located on the back of the subwoofer. This can be a little bit of a challenge if you want to adjust tonal settings.
We were surprised with how well this unit handled music. The speakers are able to comfortably fill a test run with sound whether we were listening to jazz or rock music. The subwoofer has substantial bass, but you can still hear the satellites crisply over the subwoofer.
When you hear them with a movie that has a lot of action, you will be surprised at how convincing each speaker is at translating the details for the major action scenes.
What Can We Say About Logitech Z506?
We were not overly pleased with the base design of the unit. We had hoped that the Logitech Z506 was going to be a major leap forward when compared to its predecessor, but we were slightly disappointed. That being said, the surround sound speakers do a nice job with the games and Blu-ray movies. It is unfortunate that there is not an HD audio support.
- Crisp sound
- Powerful subwoofer
- 500 RMS
- THX certified
- Six audio inputs
- Multiple stereo modes
- 1 Dolby and DTS decoding done by the consul
- Ugly design
- Lacks LCD monitor
- Lacks HDMI connectors
- Cable bundle designed for PC users
- Bass overpowers Treble
- Premium Pick – Yamaha YHT-4930UBL
- Bluetooth for wireless music streaming with compressed music Enhancer
- 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP 2.2 support. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) : 100 W (8 ohms, 0.9 percentage THD)
- YPAO sound optimization for automatic speaker set up
- 1-Channel compact Black gloss speaker package
- 6-1/2” 100 watts powered subwoofer.DSP Programs:17
- Bluetooth for wireless music
- 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP
- 5 inch 100 W subwoofer
- 4- 2.75-inch full-range surround speakers
Yamaha YHT-4930UBL Review
The Yamaha YHT-4930UBL is a mid-grade home theater system. It is a small system that is designed to pack a powerful punch. It has five satellite speakers as well as a small yet impactful subwoofer. Its mid-range classification is understood when you look at the AV receiver. It lacks a lot of what you would expect from a surround sound receiver.
The subwoofer has the ability to create frequencies ranging from 30 Hz to 200 Hz. Yamaha has seen to it that their product has a number of adjustable settings, allowing you to customize your home theater to meet your needs. One feature you will likely enjoy is the Virtual Cinema Front.
This feature is designed for individuals who live in a tight space and are not able to configure their surround sound system as they would if they were in a larger space. By using this alternate configuration, you are able to simulate surround sound.
The AV receiver is not as impressive as some of the other home theater systems we have reviewed, but it does have a number of the ports you are going to need. One thing that we do love is the fact that it has four HDMI inputs and supports HDC the 2.2. If you are going to watch movies, you will need to use a streaming box, a DVD player, or a Blu-ray.
What Can We Say About Yamaha YHT-4930UBL?
This sound system is fine for use inside the home, but it does not come close to what you would expect from cinema-quality sound. This is a good system for someone who is on a budget. This unit definitely does not have the number of ports you would expect from a more expensive unit, but most people should be able to make do with what it offers.
Link – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BNXXJKB?aaxitk=QzIDWoN52dBMMlPn-IbzdA&pd_rd_i=B07BNXXJKB&pf_rd_p=44fc3e0f-4b9e-4ed8-b33b-363a7257163d&hsa_cr_id=1225590960301&sb-ci-n=asinImage&sb-ci-v=https%3A%2F%2Fm.media-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F71yL2G88WsL.jpg&sb-ci-a=B07BNXXJKB
- Virtual cinema front seating to give the feel of surround sound in a small space
- Multi-room audio support
- Amazing streaming audio features
- Plastic speaker cabinets
- Smaller than the average subwoofer
- Mid-range audio performance
- Best Budget – Fluance SXHTB-BK
- Weight: 33.5 pounds per tower speaker
- Product Dimensions 13 x 7.8 x 38.8”
- Two-way three driver floor-standing main speakers
- Power handling 50 – 160 W
- Frequency response 49 – 20 kHz
- Impedance 8 Ohm
- Two three-way driver center channel
- Power handling 30 – 100 W
- Frequency response 80 – 20 kHz
- 2X two way to driver surround sound speaker
- Power handling 30 – 100 W
- Frequency response 80 – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity 86 dB
Fluance SXHTB-BK Review
One of the first things that you are going to notice when you look at the tower speakers is that they are sizable. Each tower speaker is going to weigh over 33 pounds, and the entire surround sound system ships in two large boxes. For our money, the basic black is the best color option. Black grain goes with anything, and it does not have the cheap feel that vinyl impersonations of woodgrain have.
The surround sound speakers are relatively small, coming in at around 10 inches. However, the tower speakers more than makeup for the surround sound speakers, coming at a towering 38.8 inches tall and 13 inches deep. This full size allows them to produce a truer sound that adds life to what you are listening to.
What Can We Say About Fluance SXHTB-BK?
We feel that the speakers are good for the price. They are a budget speaker, so they do not produce the same bass quality as top-of-the-line speakers. However, if you add a good subwoofer to the mix, you get a truer sound as the responsibility for creating bass no longer lies with the tower speakers but instead with the subwoofer.
The center speakers of the Fluance SXHTB-BK do a decent job for their size, and the surround speakers are effective. If you can throw on a decent subwoofer, then you will have a nice system.
- Great sound
- Easy to set up as the speakers are more forgiving when positioning
- Great potential for upgrades when you want to expand your system
- Center channel is weak
- Towers are skinny
- There are no local dealers available, so repairs are a challenge because of the excessive weight
- Best Bluetooth – Pioneer HTP-074
- HDR support
- Built-in Bluetooth wireless technology
- Plays MP3s, WMA’s, and AAC’s
- 4K/60 P pass-through allows you to pass a 4K image from a Blu-ray device to your 4K television without the need of processing
- Two eco-modes. The first eco-mode offers minimal energy-saving while maintaining sound quality. The second mode seems more energy but does have an impact on sound quality.
- Five HDMI ports
- Five compact 150 W speakers
- one subwoofer 100 W
- Dolby True HD/Dolby Digital Plus/Dolby Pro Logic II.
Pioneer HTP-074 Review
The Pioneer HTP-074 is a system that has a lot of features to meet the needs of demanding home theater audio customers. It offers excellent sound and has the ability to connect to your Blu-ray, DVD, and CD player. It can stream music from different devices via Bluetooth technology.
This unit has passive formatting that it relies on an external amplifier. This is a perfect system for a smaller room that doesn’t require overwhelming sound. The unit has a front USB port, making it possible for you to connect a memory USB easily. Another plus is the fact that the unit has an AM/FM tuner, which allows you to set 30 preset chattels.
If you are not watching movies or listening to your music collection, you can listen to your favorite radio stations with amazing sound.
What Can We Say About Pioneer HTP-074?
The Pioneer HTP-074 is a nice unit for individuals who have a smaller space and who are looking for a clear and reliable yet non-overwhelming sound. This is not the unit to purchase if you are looking to fill a larger room with a deep rich sound. However, for its price, it does a reasonable job.
- HDR support
- Multiple HDMI inputs
- Proprietary wall mounts
- The ability to play files as MP3s WMA’s, and AAC’s
- Bluetooth technology
- Does not come with a built-in DVD/Blu-ray player
- Speakers are not wireless
- The system is not Wi-Fi ready
- Best Compact – Leviton AEH50-WH
- 8 inch 100 what subwoofer
- Video magnetic shielding on satellite speakers
- Product weighs 40 pounds
- Five channel system with the option to expand to 6.1 and 7 surround sound
- Five architectural-grade adjustable mounting brackets
Leviton AEH50-WH Review
The Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition is a smaller system designed to offer quality surround sound for a small room. The five satellite speakers are shielded, so you can use them near your television.
The unit is white, so it goes well with just about any type of furnishings. The speakers work well with almost any receiver. The satellite speakers have their own woofer and tweeter. The system is easy to set up, so this is a nice option for people who want a decent sound but do not want to go through the rigmarole of doing a complicated installation.
What Can We Say About Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition?
Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition produces a surprising sound for the size of the unit. We appreciate the fact that it is customizable, making it possible to use the unit in a larger room. We have doubts about its durability, especially if you are looking at watching movies that have deep bass sound. For light use or for use listening to music that does not have a lot of bass, this is a good option.
- Clear audio with a surprising bass sound for relatively small speakers
- You can fill a small space with sound easily
- Easy to set up
- Customizable system that allows for additional satellite speakers
- Works with a number of receivers
- Sound lacks depth. The midrange is not as clear
- The surround sound feel is not as real as with other systems
- With time, the satellite speakers give out if you are listening to music or movies that have deep bass sounds
- The subwoofer will shut itself off if it detects too much sound frequency
- Subwoofer has a tendency to overheat
- Best 5.1 – Rockville HTS56
- Plug and play system
- 250 W continuous RMS power
- 1x 3” Center Channel Speaker
- 2 3 inch front channel speakers
- 2 3 inch rear channel speakers
- 5 band equalizer
- 5 RCA audio outputs, 6 RCA DVD audio outputs, to RCA auxiliary outputs
Rockville HTS56 Review
The Rockville HTS56 is a 5.1 channel home theater system that provides an impressive surround sound feel at a price that most people can afford. The system has 1000 W peak power, 250 W continuous RMS, and 500 W program. It is unbelievably loud. It has three front speakers as well as three rear speakers and a powerful 8-inch subwoofer.
The unit boasts sturdy construction as it is made of MDF as opposed to particle wood. Each speaker has an independent volume control, and the unit comes with long RCA cables. The Rockville HTS56 is built to allow you to listen to music, movies, and video games with surround sound.
What Can We Say About Rockville HTS56?
The Rockville HTS56 is a quality system. It offers sound that is on par with some of the other systems we found in this price range. It also provides a 90-day money-back guarantee and has enough sound to fill a medium-sized room, but it does not lose clarity. The surround sound effect it creates is impressive.
- Zero distortion
- Built-in FM receiver
- LED lighting modes
- Powerful 8 inches subwoofer
- No optical audio connection
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Surround Sound System
How can I improve the sound of my home theater?
Square rooms are not good for acoustics. If possible, choose a room that has a non-square shape. Be careful about where you place your speakers.
They should be at the height of the listener’s heads when they are sitting down. Make sure that your speakers are properly calibrated and upgrade your equipment to take advantage of the latest technology.
Are more expensive surround sound systems better?
As a general rule, the more expensive something is, the higher quality materials are used and the better it is built. However, this is not a hard fact. Don’t focus so much on the price of the unit.
Instead, look at how it is built. Nothing would be more disappointing than purchasing an expensive unit that is built poorly. There are some big rage audio systems that perform better than high-end products.
What is the difference between 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound?
A 5.1 configuration will have a subwoofer, a center speaker, left and right speakers in the front, and left and right speakers in the rear. A 7.1 configuration will include two side speakers, giving a fuller surround sound feel.