14 min. read

The Best Surround Sound System for 2023

Add a surround sound system to your entertainment setup for crystal-clear, room-filling sound.

Whether it’s playing your favorite games, watching the latest Netflix series, or streaming a great album, the greatest surround sound system can open up a whole new experience with enhanced bass, room-filled sound, and more! But as any movie or game fanatic will attest, the visual is only one side of the story. To produce consistent sound and a dramatic experience every time, modern audiophile speaker systems should have easy audio inputs and little delay.

What features define the ideal surround sound setup? Excellent sound quality, which means tremendous detail and range, along with lots of low-end sounds without sacrificing the mids and highs you’ll need to round out a really dramatic, immersive experience, is the foundation of a well-rounded system. The best home theater speakers should also complement each other and your room’s size and acoustics. The best solutions for your needs have been compiled below, should you decide to upgrade to surround sound.

How We Picked

  • Audio Quality

    A solid sound system can make or break a major event or party, helping to bring out more emotion in the sound; not only should it provide you with quality sound control, but it should also fill out your home theater space.

  • Size and Location

    For the best experience, you want to consider the size of your space to determine the best placement that will trick your ears into thinking sound is coming from all around you.

  • Power/Wattage

    The amount of wattage a proper sound system can produce is one element that contributes to sound quality.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Looking for a surround sound system that won’t break the bank? Investing in technological gadgets that offer a winning combination of performance and price is your best bet.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Sony HT-A9

This choice may be more pricey than others, but it’s totally worth it.

The Sony HT-A9 wireless surround sound system is adaptable, versatile, and cutting-edge. While guaranteeing an even, consistent, and immersive sound field regardless of the symmetry of your setup, it enables consumers to place their speakers anywhere they like. It might not have the same clarity and fidelity that we would anticipate from a conventional speaker package, but it still strikes a great balance between performance and use. We predict that many people will find this system appealing.

Buy Now for $1,798.00

This surround system impresses with its sleek design and 360-degree spatial sound effect.

Runner Up

Samsung HW-Q950T

With one of the best reviews in the market, you don’t want to miss this!

The Samsung HW-Q950T is a modest and compact soundbar system, one of our favorite multi-speaker setups for your home theater system, and our pick for the best surround soundbar system. However, it does it without taking up a lot of room in your living room and delivers an excellent surround soundscape. It's a winner in terms of sonic strength since it consists of a soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, two upfiring rear speakers for overhead audio, and a wireless subwoofer. The technology also enables it to adjust the sound to match what you're watching in Adaptive Mode and Game Pro mode, depending on what you happen to be into.

Buy Now

With strong, thumping bass and a neutral, well-balanced sound signature, this is appropriate for a variety of audio content.

Most cost-effective

Klipsch 1

Wanna have that breathtaking experience within a considerable budget? Here it is!

If you want something that will produce results right away without requiring you to add back speakers and more later, this Klipsch product is one to consider. In total, it has six speakers: one center channel, four directional speakers for placement throughout the room, and a wireless subwoofer. Simply because you can decide where to position them, it's more adaptable than some other surround sound systems. The system also includes high-excursion aluminum woofer cones and an aluminum tweeter for high-quality sound.

Buy Now for $269.00

Klipsch is an excellent choice for upgrading your audio system on a tight budget.

Almost made the cut

JBL Bar

This has a lot of advantages, making it a viable option to consider.

Perhaps the most intriguing option on this list, or at the very least the most original, is the JBL Bar 9.1. What appears to be a typical soundbar has a hidden feature — its ends can be snapped off to expose battery-operated, feature-rich wireless rear speakers! The central device serves as the center, left, right, and above sound channels as well as a charging station for the rear speakers. The rear- and rear-height ambient sounds are adjusted to any given scene by the removable parts, which are sophisticated enough to know where they have been placed. To complete the set, a separate subwoofer is included.

Buy Now for $999.95

This is a fantastic product that provides a balanced sound profile with just a touch of extra bass thanks to its subwoofer.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Sony HT-A9

This choice may be more pricey than others, but it’s totally worth it.

$1,798.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

Samsung HW-Q950T

With one of the best reviews in the market, you don’t want to miss this!

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Klipsch 1

Wanna have that breathtaking experience within a considerable budget? Here it is!

$269.00

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

JBL Bar

This has a lot of advantages, making it a viable option to consider.

$999.95

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This page contains products for anyone looking to improve their home cinema experience!

Benefits of surround sound speakers
If you’ve never given surround sound any thought, you might want to think about some of the benefits of owning one. Of course, the immersive experience is the main benefit. Your home will have surround sound installed, allowing you to enjoy movies the way they were intended. You might have speakers all around you, depending on the system you select, giving the feeling that you are in the scenario.

The customization choices are something else to look forward to because everyone has distinct tastes in sound design. While some people love loud bass, others choose dialogue amplification. A home theater system’s appeal is that it gives you creative freedom. Another major plus is that you do not need to worry about the installation process. Professional installers can assist you in configuring your system for the best possible viewing. Additionally, authorized installers will take your preferences into account while adjusting speaker performance to make sure you are happy with your purchase.
Ideal wattage input and output for at-home speakers
To be specific, between 15 and 30 watts is the sweet spot for house speakers. 20 watts is sufficient for the majority of homeowners. Sensitivity is just one factor among many that influence speaker wattage and significance. Make sure not to pair a speaker with an amplifier whose output power exceeds the speaker’s wattage. When the amp is at or below the speaker’s power rating, you will experience greater audio quality and speaker safety. Once more, if you play the speaker loud enough to hear distortion, it could get burned.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 better surround sound?
Six channels are fed into six speakers in a 5.1 surround sound system to produce surround sound. Systems using 7.1 surround sound need eight channels. The two additional speakers and sound channels result in marginally improved audio quality.

Six speakers and five sound channels make up 5.1 surround sound. For low-frequency effects like explosions, it has a subwoofer, a center speaker, left and right front speakers, and left and right rear speakers. It is less expensive, easier to set up, and suited for small or medium-sized spaces because it includes fewer speakers and is the industry standard. 5.1 surround sound is produced using DTS or Dolby Digital. DTS is less popular than Dolby Digital but uses less compression.

There are eight sound channels in 7.1 surround sound. The same six speakers as before are used, plus two more side speakers. The additional two speakers provide the surround sound experience with more depth. 7.1 surround sound is only appropriate for large rooms and is more expensive because it employs more speakers. Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio can be used to create 7.1 surround sound. These are regarded as “lossless audio,” as they are exact replicas of the movie studio’s original.

Why You Should Trust Us

Working with reputable independent contractors with years of expertise writing about lifestyle topics and product reviews is something National Today takes great pleasure in. We studied many customer evaluations and conducted extensive research on the best surround sound system options available in the market and online to create this post.

How We Picked

The best home theater systems offer a great balance between high-quality audio and simple installation, which is ideal for many consumers. There are several factors to consider when choosing the ideal surround sound system for your needs. The most important is location: how much space does your TV have underneath it? Is there space to set up the back sound channels and plug outlets to power them from behind your sofa? On this list, we purposefully included surround sound systems at a range of price points because we know that every household has different requirements and spending limits.

A surround-sound system can sound fantastic, but it might not be the best idea to cram a lot of speakers into a tiny area. Each speaker in a multi-speaker surround sound arrangement should be directed squarely at the sweet spot for the best sound quality. The aim of surround sound is defeated if the speakers are placed too closely together since your ears will find it more difficult to distinguish the direction from which particular sounds are coming.

If your viewing distance is between 6 and 12 feet, then any system or soundbar should be appropriate for volume control. It depends on how loud you want the sound to be before deciding whether or not larger places are still suitable. An all-in-one system might not be the best option for you if you have more specialized requirements. In this situation, having a separate home theater receiver and speakers will allow you greater control over how loud the room may be made to sound.

The power rating provides a general indication of the system’s volume in the space as well as how well an amplifier will drive a pair of speakers. These enable you to compare several devices. With practice, you can also predict how loud it will be simply by glancing at the numbers. Unlike before, receivers are not necessary with soundbar systems, which are becoming more common and consist of a bar, a subwoofer, and two or more back speakers. Nevertheless, the use of many speakers will depend on how conventional you want to be. One or more A/V receivers may be required for home theater systems because they act as the connecting element between the other components.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Sony HT-A9

Best Pick

Sony HT-A9

This choice may be more pricey than others, but it’s totally worth it.

The Sony HT-A9 wireless surround sound system is adaptable, versatile, and cutting-edge. While guaranteeing an even, consistent, and immersive sound field regardless of the symmetry of your setup, it enables consumers to place their speakers anywhere they like. It might not have the same clarity and fidelity that we would anticipate from a conventional speaker package, but it still strikes a great balance between performance and use. We predict that many people will find this system appealing.

Buy Now for $1,798.00

Who it is for

The Sony HTA9 Home Theater System, which consists of four wireless speakers and a control box, is perfect for people who don't want to "settle" for a soundbar. The system is great for anyone who doesn't have the luxury of installing a sizable wired surround sound system in their living room.

Why it is great

Despite being relatively expensive, this theater system impresses with a chic appearance and 360-degree spatial sound that fills any room. Serious audiophiles will find the investment worthwhile, though adequate power outlets and space to install or position the speakers are required. If you have a small space, an irregularly shaped space, or simply prefer simplicity, this could be the solution.

Potential flaws

The HTA9's absence of an integrated subwoofer is a drawback, but if you want more power, you can buy one separately. The speakers are excellent on their own, too, and have built-in Chromecast, 360-degree spatial sound mapping for adaptable audio in your environment, and support for an existing Alexa or Google Assistant.

Other features

For those who want high-quality audio without the trouble of setting up a full 7.1 surround sound system, it's an excellent home theater kit. It has a wide range of features without getting overly confusing, and the audio quality is unmatched.

Product specifications

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Channels: 7.1
Components: 4 x speakers
Dimensions (per speaker): H12.3 x W6.2 x D5.7in
Weight: 30.8lbs

Runner Up - Samsung HW-Q950T

Runner Up

Samsung HW-Q950T

With one of the best reviews in the market, you don’t want to miss this!

The Samsung HW-Q950T is a modest and compact soundbar system, one of our favorite multi-speaker setups for your home theater system, and our pick for the best surround soundbar system. However, it does it without taking up a lot of room in your living room and delivers an excellent surround soundscape. It's a winner in terms of sonic strength since it consists of a soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, two upfiring rear speakers for overhead audio, and a wireless subwoofer. The technology also enables it to adjust the sound to match what you're watching in Adaptive Mode and Game Pro mode, depending on what you happen to be into.

Buy Now

Who it is for

The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar system is great for people who want to feel like they're in a small movie theater; it can be the solution if you have limited space, an irregularly shaped place, or simply long for simplicity.

Why it is great

This soundbar system's built-in wireless up-firing rear speakers produce spectacular overhead audio for the best home theater sound quality. The system reflects sound off the ceiling and wraps sound around and above. By offering 14 different sound channels, it combines Samsung's typically terrifying power with improved precision and dynamics. Additionally, due to its slimmer profile, it will fit under a larger variety of TVs.

Potential flaws

Apart from the pricey tag, this product is more of a soundbar system than a true surround sound system.

Other features

It includes a dual technology that catches each unique sound as it flows above and around you and explores the depths of sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Through the 20-speaker system, the soundbar's 9 channels, 1 subwoofer channel, and 4 up-firing channels surround you with entrancing sound. The soundbar's powerful audio fills the room, and the rear speakers reinforce the surround sound effect thanks to its broad speakers on both corners.

Product specifications

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Channels: 9.1.4
Components: 1 x soundbar; 1 x subwoofer, 1 x speakers
Audio format: Dolby Atmos/DTX:X
Dimensions: 48 x 2.7 x 5.4"

Most cost-effective - Klipsch 1

Most cost-effective

Klipsch 1

Wanna have that breathtaking experience within a considerable budget? Here it is!

If you want something that will produce results right away without requiring you to add back speakers and more later, this Klipsch product is one to consider. In total, it has six speakers: one center channel, four directional speakers for placement throughout the room, and a wireless subwoofer. Simply because you can decide where to position them, it's more adaptable than some other surround sound systems. The system also includes high-excursion aluminum woofer cones and an aluminum tweeter for high-quality sound.

Buy Now for $269.00

Who it is for

The Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack Surround Sound System is for people who want to save some money. In addition to the wireless subwoofer, this surround sound system is more adaptable than some others simply because you can decide where to place the speakers.

Why it is great

The technology in these speakers is the same as what the company incorporates in their much larger speakers but in a much more compact form. Thanks to a combination of metal tweeters and Horn technology, they produce crisp, clear, and powerful sound. Each speaker comes with both a keyhole mount and a threaded insert, giving you options for how you want to hang your speakers.

Potential flaws

Of course, Klipsch's lack of Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with smart home systems like Google Assistant and Alexa is a price-related trade-off. If you don't care about this, though, it makes a good beginner kit for those who are less tech-savvy but still want to enjoy high-quality audio.

Other features

Aluminum Tweeters and Klipsch's exclusive Tractrix Horn technology combine to produce the clearest, most realistic sound conceivable. The room-filling low frequencies can be delivered by the down-firing wireless subwoofer without taking up a lot of floor area. Each satellite speaker includes a keyhole mount and a threaded insert for maximum mounting options to go with the wireless subwoofer's simple placement.

Product specifications

Connectivity: N/A
Channels: 5.1
Components: 1 x center unit; 4 x speakers + subwoofer
Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.8 x 13.3 inches
Weight: 32lbs

Almost made the cut - JBL Bar

Almost made the cut

JBL Bar

This has a lot of advantages, making it a viable option to consider.

Perhaps the most intriguing option on this list, or at the very least the most original, is the JBL Bar 9.1. What appears to be a typical soundbar has a hidden feature — its ends can be snapped off to expose battery-operated, feature-rich wireless rear speakers! The central device serves as the center, left, right, and above sound channels as well as a charging station for the rear speakers. The rear- and rear-height ambient sounds are adjusted to any given scene by the removable parts, which are sophisticated enough to know where they have been placed. To complete the set, a separate subwoofer is included.

Buy Now for $999.95

Who it is for

With two removable surround speakers and the additional power of Dolby Atmos, the JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar is for consumers who want to bring the audio experience of a movie theater into their home. Thanks to its subwoofer, it boasts a balanced sound profile right out of the box with a little bit more bass. Whether you're watching a movie or listening to music, its detachable satellites contribute to a more immersive listening experience.

Why it is great

This soundbar delivers when it comes to bass that rattles the windows and rooms. Its retractable surrounds and four dedicated upward-firing drivers help it fill a room as effectively as any other soundbar. Conceptually, this is a fantastic piece of technology, and with the addition of some audio excitement, it might be the ideal answer for anyone looking for a true home theater experience from a device that is more portable than a full home theater package.

Potential flaws

The JBL Bar 9.1 has a clever design and deserves a spot in your living room, but it also has a few minor flaws. For instance, its front channels have a rather cramped feeling and occasionally make it difficult to tell when audio is coming in from the left and right.

Other features

You can experience true surround sound without cables thanks to removable, battery-operated surround speakers. Included components in this product are the main soundbar, two detachable wireless surround speakers, a wireless subwoofer remote control, power cords, HDMI cables, two L-shaped wall brackets for the main bar, and two U-shaped brackets for the surround speakers, along with a kit of screws.

Product specifications

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Channels: 9.1
Components: 1 x soundbar w/ 2 x speakers; 1 x subwoofer
Dimensions: 40.63 x 15.04 x 19.21 inches
Weight: 8lbs

Care and maintenance

How to care for a home theater
You can maintain a home theater in a number of ways, such as by checking for loose connections, keeping an eye out for failed parts, keeping your equipment clean, making sure that parts are secure, and even altering the picture quality if it varies over time.

How to set up
Invest in a surround sound audio system. An AV receiver is the most flexible choice, but other options include an all-in-one home theater system and a soundbar system with surround speakers.
Construct the audio system, then arrange the surround speakers all over the space. There are several wireless speaker systems, although speaker wire is the most common method of connection.
Join the sound system to your content source. To connect the audio outputs from your TV or content source to the sound system, use HDMI, optical, or coaxial connectors.
Play content with surround sound audio on your device and ensure that the correct input is selected on your audio system.

Volume/Hearing damage warning
It is possible to harm a speaker by playing music at an excessive volume; however, this would largely depend on the speaker in question and the audio equipment being used to drive it. In general, if you have good audio equipment and speakers that are rated for the power being output, you won’t be able to harm those speakers by simply turning up the volume. Apart from this, it is advisable to keep the volume of your systems at a reasonable level to prevent hearing loss or damage.
Electronic Safety
Of course, the general rule of thumb for your electronic appliances (in this case, home theaters) would be to keep them away from liquids and avoid overheating. With the more recent addition of microelectronics and video cards, receivers have become more complicated, necessitating the need for a prop cooling solution. A server rack out in the open would be ideal, or at the very least, in cabinets with open fronts and backs. If this is not possible, you can use cooling fans instead. These industrial cooling solutions are developed precisely to keep your AV equipment cool and operating quietly.