Best surround system for home

Best Home Theater Systems of 2023

You can't have a proper home theater without a solid sound system. While the TV screen may be the first thing people notice, the sound quality is what makes it complete. There are plenty of options when it comes to buying a home theater sound system: from AV receivers and multispeaker setups to simpler yet still powerful soundbars, we've got you covered.

Soundbars offer a lot of performance in a compact package and cost much less to get up and running than a speaker system. You can even choose one with advanced features like Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi streaming. Some soundbars offer an upgrade path including optional subwoofers and rear speakers, though if you want to truly mix and match speakers, an AV receiver is for you. 

Receivers offer a lot in the box and, unlike soundbars, they have plenty of HDMI inputs to accommodate different sources. You can start with just a couple of stereo speakers -- until recently, I had lived without surround-sound speakers for about five years and didn't feel I was missing out.

Whichever route you choose -- soundbars or AV systems -- there should be something here that will improve your home entertainment experience. These are the best home theater systems available right now. We'll update this list periodically as we review new products.

Roku Streambar

Best budget soundbar

When it comes to bang for buck, it doesn't get much better than the Roku Streambar home theater system. This speaker offers both a dialogue-enhancing soundbar and a built-in 4K streamer in one package. If you want more bass or surround speakers, the system is also upgradable.

Read the Roku Streambar review..


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Klipsch Reference Theater Pack

Best surround-sound speaker package under $500

Originally retailing for $1,200, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is currently on sale for a quarter of that. This set features big sound from a compact 5.1-channel surround-sound system, and it is a perfect home theater option for apartments or games rooms. This speaker system is excellent for movies and not bad for music, either. Just add a receiver.

Read our Klipsch Reference Theater Pack review.


$269 at Amazon

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Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

Best stereo speakers under $500

If there's one area where we're spoiled for choice, it's affordable stereo speakers, and at $306 the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2s offer excellent playback of both movies and music. They offer a transparency that's unlike anything else near the price. While the Q Acoustic 3030is are more even-handed and have better bass response, they're also $550.

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Vizio M512a

Best value Dolby Atmos soundbar system

While the rotating speakers of the Vizio Elevate are cool, that system doesn't offer the best bang for your buck within the company's range. The Vizio M512a is a Dolby Atmos soundbar that includes 4K Dolby Vision, a subwoofer and rear-channel speakers, making it a sort of hybrid between a receiver-based system and a soundbar. It also provides incredible sound quality for music and movies.

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Onkyo TX-NR6100

Best 8K receiver

Despite the fact that there's basically no 8K video available now, you still can buy an 8K-compatible receiver. While the Yamaha RX-V6a with its striking looks and rock-solid performance is the best of the crop, it's also on back order at most places. If you need an 8K receiver right now then the TX-NR6100 is a worthy replacement. It offers a superior streaming suite -- including Chromecast built-in -- and better ease of use.

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Sennheiser Ambeo

Best soundbar with money no object

If you demand the best Dolby Atmos performance from a single soundbar, it doesn't get any better than the Sennheiser Ambeo audio system. It's not cheap, and it's not small, but if you want the best sound, this is it.

Read our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar review.


$2,500 at Crutchfield

$2,500 at Walmart

$2,500 at Amazon

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Dali Oberon 5 5.

1 Speaker Package review: A stylish, pleasant-sounding home cinema systemSkip to main content

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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. A stylish, pleasant-sounding home cinema speaker package Tested at £1699

(Image: © Future)

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Full, honest and warm - these clever performers will make the best out of any home cinema soundtrack


Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Home cinema speakers are about lifting your home entertainment onto a higher plane of existence. It’s all there on your video content just waiting to be unlocked: a beautiful soundtrack, clean dialogue, big-hitting bass and surround sound effects all projected onto a soundstage with you at the centre.  

All you need is a great package to unlock it. Could that be the Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package?

Build and compatibility

(Image credit: Future)

Upfront are the Award-winning Dali Oberon 5 floorstanders. The surrounds are either the five-star Dali Oberon 1 standmounters (£1699), which is the package we're testing, or the compact Dali On-Wall speakers (£1799). Either way, they have tidy MDF cabinets, with a choice of Black Ash, White, Dark Walnut and Light Oak finishes.

We feel rather blessed to be sat in the middle of the beautiful two-tone light oak options which are attractive, subtle, modern and the kind of speakers that would suit most rooms. 

At just 83cm tall, the two-way front pair is as unobtrusive a set of floorstanders as you’ll find. They’re significantly smaller in every dimension than its main speaker package rivals, the Elac Debut 2.0 Home Theatre System and Q Acoustics 3050i Cinema Pack – and that’s well worth considering if you have limited space in which to house your 5. 1 system.

(Image credit: Future)

The Oberon 5s have a fairly large and lightweight 29mm soft dome tweeter, and that allows it to dip into lower frequencies to help integrate itself with the sound coming from the woofers.

Those two 13cm mid/bass drivers are made from Dali’s wood fibre/fine grain paper pulp choice of cone material, which the company believes is the best available balance between rigidity and low resonance. 

They’re positioned within a low-loss surround using spider suspension to focus on micro details with maximum transparency. All three units within each speaker are linked with a single-wired two-way crossover, giving a sensitivity of 88dB/W/m and a nominal impedance of 6 ohms.

(Image credit: Future)

It’s a similar story for the shoebox-sized Oberon 1 surround speakers. There’s just the one midrange driver here, and Dali has made these standmounters as versatile as possible by adding a wall-mounting attachment. 

While they sound better than most hung like this, we’d recommend setting them around 30cm into the room for maximum clarity.  

One of the key make-or-break battlegrounds of a speaker package is the centre and it’s the Oberon Vokal that is tasked with that job here. 

It has the same selection of drivers as the floorstanders arranged with the tweeter in the middle and the front-facing bass port just underneath. That arrangement has been chosen to help achieve a wider dispersion pattern and make positioning less fussy.

(Image credit: Future)

Last but not least, is the subwoofer. It’s a Dali Sub E9-F, which is a relatively small cube that comes in Black Ash, White or Light Walnut. An aluminium-coned, 23cm woofer sits inside the MDF enclosure which itself sits 3cm off the floor, thanks to some rubber legs, creating enough space for a downward-firing bass vent to work its magic.

It’s powered by a 170W RMS Class D amplifier and has a heavy magnet motor system with a four-layered, long-stroke voice coil designed to keep the cone up to speed with the amp’s signal. There are controls around the back for fine-tuning the speaker to your room with dials for gain and crossover.


(Image credit: Future)

We fire up the projector and head to Deadpool on 4K Blu-ray. The film opens up with the kind of scene that puts home cinema sound through its paces. It’s chaotic – with explosions, dialogue, cars zooming left and right, and plenty of thumps and amusing details as henchmen meet their grisly ends. The Dali Oberons perform the job admirably.

Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package tech specs

(Image credit: Future)

Finishes 4

Bi-wired No

Dimensions (hwd)
83 x 16 x 28cm

Weight 10.8kg

Dimensions (hwd)
27 x 16 x 23cm

Weight 4.2kg

Dimensions (hwd)
44 x 30 x 16cm

Weight 7.45kg

Dimensions (hwd)
31 x 29 x 31cm

Weight 11kg


There’s a beautiful rasping quality to a motorcycle as it zips across the picture trying to avoid a tumbling vehicle pile-up. It shifts across the soundstage in a wonderfully integrated fashion and, like the rest of the moving action, we’re never aware of the sound passing from speaker to speaker but more through the space around us which is exactly how home cinema should be.

There’s surprising authority and power to this relatively diminutive package as well; not as much as the crowd-pleasing Q Acoustics 3050is, perhaps, but the Dalis hold their own.

The hits are huge as airborne vehicles slam into the road with terrifying weight and every bone-crunching punch sounds as though it has been delivered with super-human strength, but the details of twisting metal and the splattering blood aren’t steamrollered by the thuds.

Switching to dialogue scenes with Wade Wilson and we’re blown away by the way the Dalis convey the character in his voice. The dynamics and detail from the centre speaker give a fabulous sense of the roughness of his timbre.

There’s more credibility to the hard-boiled background of the character as the speakers express the cracks in his tone, which you imagine are caused by things Wilson has seen and done as a Special Forces soldier. The muffled quality of his speech through the Deadpool mask is good enough to hear the texture of the disguise itself.

(Image credit: Future)

There are incidental moments where the detail is not quite as fine and singular as with the more delicate Elac Debut 2.0s — a glass placed upon a table, the safety clicked off a gun, for instance — they’re all present, but not quite so beautifully three-dimensional. Instead, what we have with the Dalis is the best of both worlds, and a definite overall step-up in sonic terms.

While the sub can create quite the rumble with the gain turned up high, it’s best to dial it down for a more subtle response. At sensible levels, it still delivers enough atmosphere and tone. If serious weight is what you need, then you can always upgrade to the Dali E-12F with its 30cm driver.


Lean, attractive, interesting and unfussy: these words are equally apt for both the aesthetics and acoustics of these clever performers.

The Dali Oberon 5 5.1 system presents every frequency in full, but with honesty and warmth that brings the best out of any soundtrack. They’re transparent but fun, powerful but subtle; we’d have them round to ours any day.



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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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top-11 rating according to KP

Listening to music is a pleasant experience. But it is also important to choose the right technique in order to feel the composition in full force. A good sound system can provide a good musical rest. This, as a rule, is a large multimedia device - speakers, amplifier, subwoofer, which allows you to listen to your favorite songs in high quality and can work both independently and, for example, in conjunction with a computer or phone, player or other multimedia device. Fans of noisy parties, it definitely will not hurt.

The best acoustics for the home in 2023 are represented on the market quite extensively. Let's talk about the most interesting options.

Editor's Choice

ProAc Response DT8

ProAc Response DT8. Photo:

In the 1990s, Response was very popular in the Hi-Fi/High End industry. It has everything you need to provide yourself with high-quality musical accompaniment.

The frequency response of the model lies within the range recommended by experts from 38 to 30,000 Hz. Despite a nominal impedance of just 4 ohms, the DT8s are not overly demanding on amplifiers.

They have a fairly high sensitivity - 90 dB - so most models in a similar price category can easily cope with them. There are two bands of acoustic design here - bass-reflex, which combines high sound quality and impressive volume, and passive.

The devices of this manufacturer are distinguished by a beautiful and high-quality finish. One column weighs 26 kg. The design is floor-standing and will look great beautifully in any corner of the house.

Key features

Top 10 loudspeakers in 2023 according to KP

1. HECO Aurora 1000

HECO Aurora 1000. Photo:

Solid acoustics. Users describe the sound as "crystal clear". Here you will find excellent dynamics and powerful speakers. According to the manufacturer, the HECO tweeter provides ideal dispersion properties thanks to a 28 mm silk dome and a specially calculated multi-wave front panel. It is extremely stable thanks to ferrofluid cooling and is equipped with a powerful dual ferrite magnet system.

This system looks stylish. In addition, it is quite convenient - because of the stand with spikes under the structure, you can wipe the floor or, for example, get a trifle that has rolled there.

The main characteristics
AS Front loudspeaker
Acoustic design type
4 ohm
Pros and cons

High-quality sound, good dynamics

This speaker system is inconvenient to transport


JBL EON. Photo:

Active speaker system at a very decent price. A full-featured, battery-operated, 4-channel, Bluetooth-controlled mixer in a compact package weighing only 8 kg, a professional-grade model.

Good sound comes from premium effects and presets that can be manually adjusted on your phone using the JBL EON ONE Compact Control app.

Users will also appreciate the mute function of the EON ONE Compact. It lowers the background music volume when it detects a microphone signal that is receiving a signal from a paired audio device. Bluetooth supports peer-to-peer music streaming. Thanks to many hours of operation from a replaceable battery, you can listen to music almost all day. Monitor Audio Silver 50. Photo:

Here, buyers first of all note the build quality. Everything is made reliably, nothing leaves, does not break. The sound is also decent - it plays cleanly and without problems. Good AFC performance. This acoustics can be bought at not the highest price on the market, but at the same time it is of high quality and long-lasting. Such a model is not located on the floor, but on a shelf.

The speakers here are protected by a "grill" that can be safely removed. The speaker has a 5.25-inch cone woofer that enhances the sound quality at different frequencies.

The device is designed for use in large rooms. An oval grill with a magnetic mount helps protect the midrange and woofers. All these speakers are united by Slatefiber technology, which also provides dynamic sound with powerful bass.

Key features
9027 024
Acoustic design bass reflex
Maximum frequency 28000 Hz
8 ohm
Pros and cons

Thanks to special technology, the model provides dynamic sound with good bass. Work with various types of amplifiers

Users complain about weak low frequencies

5. Bowers & Wilkins 607

Bowers & Wilkins 607. Photo:

Excellent compact option. The buyer will be pleased with the sound of good quality and solid bass. The kit includes plugs for a phase inverter - a type of acoustic design that combines high sound quality and impressive volume. The mutes will help if the sound needs to be made quieter and at the same time maintain dynamics. The system has a pleasant appearance, the workmanship also inspires confidence.

Despite its compact form, the 607 S2 Anniversary Edition exudes power and scale. It features a Continuum cone and updated crossovers for exceptional sound detail and musicality. Ideal for stereo or surround sound.

Key Features
Acoustic Design Bass Reflex
Maximum Frequency 33000 Hz
Impaedance 8 Ohms
Pros and ditches

Compact form, good ventilation system

not very conveniently placed the volumes for connecting to other devices


Canton Gle 496.2 Canton Gle 496.2. Photo:

A model with a strict and stylish design. It is made of high-quality materials that do not cause complaints from users, judging by the reviews on the network .. Everything is evenly glued, the body material is MDF, veneer on top. There should be no problems with sound, low and medium frequencies function as expected. Customers will be pleased with the presence of special holes on the back for attaching anthers.

Pros and cons

Stylish and strict design, soft feet for installation

"Metal" sound at high frequencies

7. Adam T7V

Adam T7V. Photo:

Compared to many competitors on the market, this home acoustics has a very attractive price. Despite this, the sound of the device is comparable to more expensive models. For listening to audio in the apartment, this is a very good option. The main thing to achieve the best sound is not to install the speakers close to the walls.

This is a "monitor" acoustic, it is perfect for those who are planning or already playing music professionally. The system provides the correct sound transmission and control over audio material in recording studios. It allows you to hear the soundtrack the way it should be - without "improvements" and "processing". At the same time, for simple listening to music and watching movies, the device is also great.

Key features
Acoustic design bass-reflex type
Maximum frequency 25000 Hz
Pros and cons

Good build quality. Works great at low frequencies

Slight bass adjustment per room

8. Monitor Audio Bronze FX

Monitor Audio Bronze FX. Photo:

Hanging model. Designed to work with home theater. When watching your favorite movie, the picture on the screen is accompanied by excellent sound. The kit includes a bracket for wall mounting. Also, for the safety of the speakers, you can close the speakers with a special grille.

The construction does not weigh very much - just over three kilograms. There are two sound bands here. They work quite well. There are practically no complaints from users about this model. She does a great job for little money.

The main characteristics
Acoustic design Closed type
Maximum frequency 30000 Hz
Imphedspeedance 8 ohm
Pros and cons

Good build. Excellent sound quality for watching movies

A narrow "specialty". This model is designed for home theater and not very suitable for other purposes

9. Wharfedale D320

Wharfedale D320. Photo:

Affordable shelf model with good performance. Such a system looks very technologically advanced. It will look appropriate, for example, on a computer desk. The speakers play cleanly and are able to saturate compositions with volume and detail.

The device is excellent for rhythm instruments - drums and basses, low frequencies are pleasant and legible, highs are also convincing. According to users, synth basses are not very bright here. To get what you want from electronic music, you have to take a sub.

Main characteristics
Maximum frequency 20000 Hz

Good sound at high and low frequencies, quality build

Vocals can be distorted at mid frequencies

10. RCF ART 715-A MK4

RCF ART 715-A MK4. Photo:

Acoustic system with dynamic, detailed sound. Thanks to the built-in energy-efficient class D amplifier and powerful drivers, the RCF ART 715-A MK4 acoustics will become a universal solution for sounding events and concerts. The cabinet design also makes it easy to use the system as stage monitors.

Acoustic equipped with a 15" woofer and a 1" tweeter. The RCF ART 715-A MK4 is capable of delivering up to 1400W of peak power, and thanks to the volume control and built-in Flat and Boost EQ modes, it allows you to quickly adjust the sound based on the acoustic properties of the room.

Main features
Maximum frequency 20000 Hz
Pros and cons

Reliable speaker system, has a light sound

Not the most accurate sound detail

How to choose acoustics for your home

Before buying a speaker system, you need to study its characteristics. How to choose acoustics for the home, "Komsomolskaya Pravda" was told by the consultant of the household appliances store Vasily Ignatiev .

First you need to determine the acoustic installation format. What do you need? Speakers on shelves? System on the floor? Maybe the acoustics need to be hung on the ceiling or built into the wall? Choose a place to install the system and start from it, which model, what sizes you need. You also need to pay attention to the type of model, sensitivity, frequency range and impedance, the number of bands and the materials from which the device is made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of acoustics should I choose - active or passive?

These are the two main types of speakers. The first are speakers with a built-in amplifier. They work without additional devices. If you do not like to adjust the sound and look for some solutions, then this option will suit you. Passive speakers need an amplifier or speaker cables. This is probably more an option for those who are fond of music, like to experiment with sound, set up the perfect one, and not just want to arrange a powerful disco.

Why monitor acoustics?

This option is interesting for those who professionally work with music in a recording studio. Monitor are speakers and subwoofers with the most even amplitude-frequency response. They are both passive and active with a built-in amplifier.

How many bands do you need for a good speaker?

Ideal acoustics, as often described, consists of a single full-range speaker with a full frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz. But more often the acoustics are divided into two bands, and sometimes more. One band, as a rule, is low-frequency, the other is high-frequency. If there is a third, then it is mid-frequency. Many bands sound better, but this isn't exactly a homemade option.

Home Theater Sound Systems

A guide to building an amazing surround sound system

In a nutshell, a surround sound system consists of several main parts. In this article, you'll learn how to put them together to create a coherent home theater sound system. Here's what you need:

  • Home theater receiver.
  • Center channel speaker located below or above your TV.
  • Front left and right speakers located on the sides of your TV. The most popular choices are floor standing speakers or bookshelf speakers.
  • Two or four surround speakers placed behind and/or next to you. You can also use bookshelf speakers, or specialized speakers whose sound waves are directed in different directions (dipole / bipole speakers).
  • One or two active subwoofers.
  • Want to get vertical sound effects? If your receiver supports Dolby Atmos® multi-channel audio, purchase a pair of in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.

Want to keep things simple? Let's take a look at the process of building a home theater sound system using a pre-selected surround sound system as an example. See our top reviews of 2018.

Generally speaking, I'm a seasoned nerd flying through a variety of science fiction. Offer me a space movie or anything with dinosaurs and I'll be fascinated; and it especially pleases me if I can watch a movie on my home theater, because watching a movie in surround sound puts me right in the middle of a space battle or a tyrannosaurus rex chase.

My goal is to help you enjoy the same sense of fun and adventure with your surround sound system. This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when planning your home theater.

How to choose speakers for your room?

The first thing to consider when designing a surround sound system is the room itself.

How much free space do you have? A large open living room with vaulted ceilings obviously needs different equipment than a small or medium room with 8" ceilings.

If you are planning to install the home theater system in a room where children play, then you may want the speakers to be attached to the wall so that they don't get in your way. On the other hand, if you have a separate home theater room, floorstanding speakers (or speakers on stands) are unlikely to pose a danger to pets or children.

Choose speakers that fit your room. Floor standing speakers ideal for large open spaces

Stand, wall or in-wall speakers are good for small spaces

Where will your speakers sound best?

Consider the layout and shape of your room. Where will the speakers look and sound best?

My article on speaker placement provides detailed guidance on sound system layout planning and may be helpful to you.

Compact speakers offer discreet placement options

Is your sound system going to your living room? First of all, you need to consider that here the TV and sound system should not always be in the spotlight. Compact speakers will easily fit into your interior and leave a lot of free space.

Wall mounted speakers are the safest for your movement

Wall and ceiling mounted bookshelf speakers are great options for immersive sound without taking up much space.

Get theatrical sound with floorstanders

If space is not an issue, you can use larger speakers. Using floorstanding speakers in your surround sound system helps replicate the cinema experience. Large acoustic chambers provide powerful surround sound effects, which is especially true for movies and video games. "Towers" (columns Tower), among other things, are ideal for listening to music in stereo.

Floor standing speakers provide a more realistic soundstage at the front of your room

What role does each speaker play in a home theater system?

The home theater sound system consists of several different types of speakers. Understanding the role of each will help you choose the best options for your room.

Here are the main components of your surround sound system:

  • Center channel speaker located below or above your TV.
  • Front left and right speakers located on the sides of your TV. The most popular choices are floor standing speakers or bookshelf speakers.
  • Two or four surround speakers placed behind and/or next to you. You can use bookshelf speakers, or specialized speakers whose sound waves are directed in different directions.
  • One or two active subwoofers.

Center channel speaker plays dialogue and more

The center channel speaker is often considered the most important speaker in a sound system. It provides playback of more than 50% of movie soundtracks, including almost all dialogue. It also provides important sound effects in the center of the stage.

The center channel speaker must be well combined with other speakers. Compact speakers require a smaller center channel driver, while floor standing speakers need a large center speaker to match their increased power.

Consider where you will place your center channel speaker. If you have a special cabinet, make sure it fits in the space provided for it on the shelf.

The home theater center speaker is responsible for most movie soundtracks. Choose the one that fits both your room and the other speakers in your sound system

Left and right front speakers create a wide soundstage

The front left and right speakers play the movie soundtrack. They also handle most of the special effects. To pull you into the story more effectively, the sound moves between the front speakers in sync with the action unfolding on the screen. Floor-standing, bookshelf and wall-mounted speakers work well as such.

Surround speakers provide realistic special effects

Surround speakers are located next to and/or behind your seats. They immerse you in the movie by creating ambient sounds such as raindrops or rustling leaves.

The surround speakers also work with your other speakers to create impressive sound directional effects. Think of a locomotive passing by or a bullet flying past you.

5.1 channel sound systems use one pair of surround speakers placed next to or behind you. Sound systems that support 7.1-channel audio use speakers located at the back and both sides of the circle with the listeners in the center.

If you have a large room or multiple seating areas, consider a 7.1 channel system.

In a 5.1 system the surround speakers are best placed to the left and right of the listening positions install on stands or attach to the wall.

Which speakers should you use for your surround channels?

Many traditional bookshelf speakers or wall-mounted speakers can be used as surround channel speakers.

You might also consider specialized bipole/dipole speakers that have multiple drivers that produce sound waves in different directions. This creates a special, so-called. diffuse, sound field, which enhances the effect of sound wrapping.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X vertical effect speakers

Have you decided to build a Dolby Atmos® or DTS:X™ system? Then you will need a pair or two pairs of speakers to produce sound in the area above the listening position. You can use either in-ceiling speakers or vertical-firing speakers for this.

The Dolby Atmos system is used with a conventional 5.1 or 7.1 surround system, to which two or four vertical speakers (or speakers built into the ceiling) are added to create sound effects falling down on the listener

Which subwoofer size would you prefer?

Movie soundtracks are provided with a dedicated deep bass (low frequency) channel that is played through a powered subwoofer. The subwoofer is what recreates in your room the effect of exploding bombs and the roar of an airplane flying overhead.

Choose a subwoofer that fits well with your room and your speakers. As a general rule, the larger the subwoofer speaker, the deeper the bass.

Do you have a large room at your disposal? Then you should definitely upgrade to a subwoofer with a 12-inch or larger speaker.

Do you have a small room at your disposal? A compact subwoofer will sound great here. For more detailed recommendations, check out my article on choosing subwoofers for your home theater.

Most people place their subwoofers at the front of the room so they can be easily connected to a home theater receiver. If running the cable where your subwoofer sounds best is not practical, use a wireless subwoofer

Voice matching, which is optional

Each brand or series of speakers has its own tonal quality or "voice". To get an evenly balanced sound level throughout the room, I recommend using the same brand of speakers for all locations.

If you cannot match all the speakers together, try using the same brand of speakers for the front left, right and center locations. This will give you a complete front soundstage, i.e. ensure stable sound system performance.

Want hidden surround sound?

If you need a sound system with the smallest footprint, consider built-in, in-ceiling or wall-mounted speakers. Read my article on installing in-wall and ceiling speakers for more on what's involved.

Everything you need to get started

To get the best sound, you need to pair your new speaker system with a good home theater receiver. This guide will help you choose the right parts for your sound system.

Use dedicated speaker wires and subwoofer cables for connections. We also recommend that you secure the power supply to your receiver, TV, audio/video components and subwoofer.

Best All-In-One Home Theater Systems

Over the years, I have developed dozens of surround sound systems. And the systems I custom made are great. And I'll let you in on a secret: you can get theater-quality sound by purchasing a pre-matched surround sound system. Here are a couple of my favorites.

  1. Klipsch Reference Theater Pack - the best surround sound system for small rooms

Klipsch Reference Theater Pack quickly gained popularity among buyers. The system does not take up much space, but it provides the sonic depth and sonic attack that you would only expect from large speakers. This is the perfect choice for small rooms with premium space.

Fantastically clear sound, compact yet powerful.

Adjustable subwoofer allows you to move from

Dynamic explosions to subtle vibrations

- Larry, Texas

  1. Definology Proocinema 800 - Best system

Definitive Technology's ProCinema 800 is a powerful, dynamic system that offers surround sound without the need for floor standing speakers.

Learn more