The 10 Best Surround Sound Speakers of 2019

Bring the movie theater experience into your living room

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best for Gaming: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System at Amazon

"Taking your gaming experiences from 'just average' to 'out of this world.'"

Best Value: Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater at Amazon

"A luxurious addition to your existing home theater."

Best for Audiophiles: Onkyo HT-7800 5.1-Channel at Amazon

"With support for 4K video playback and DTS:X technology for customizing dynamic range."

Best Wireless: Enclave Audio CineHome 5.1 Wireless Home Theater at Amazon

"An excellent option that eliminates the need for cables connecting each separate speaker."

Best Budget: Vizio SB3851-C0 at Target

"Offering crystal-clear audio quality up to 100 dB with less than one percent total harmonic distortion."

Best Splurge: Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800 at Amazon

"A top performer that punches well above its pay grade."

Best for Large Rooms: Onkyo SKS-HTC993THX 7.1 Home Theater at Amazon

"You’ll immediately fall for the immersive audio of this THX-certified system."

Best Compact: Monoprice 5.1 at Amazon

"Providing a deep bass...with room-filling sound and dynamic feel."

Best Design: Klipsch Reference Theater Pack at Amazon

"Delivers a pre-matched 5.1 surround sound experience that’s truly stunning, both visually and acoustically."

Best for Small Rooms: JBL Cinema 610 5.1 Home Theater System at Amazon

"You’ll find maximum value with these speakers in small to medium-sized rooms."

Our Top Picks

Best for Gaming: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System

Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.7

When it comes to dedicated gaming, sound can make all the difference. Whether it’s a nostalgia play with Doom or today’s console gaming, surround sound can take your gaming experience from just average to out-of-this-world. And the Logitech Z906 is the best surround sound speaker system if you truly want a gaming experience that is immersive. The only model on this list to receive THX 5.1 certification (think Star Wars) offers an all-in-one system that can connect up to six separate devices. Out of the box, you’ll receive five compact satellite speakers and one 500-watt powered subwoofer, hardly something to smirk at when you consider how the Z906 is a compact system. The front and rear satellite speakers are identical sporting a bland design with a meshed grille that offers more of a tech-centric look than your more traditional dedicated television surround sound system. However, build quality is superb and, while their overall design faces them slightly upward when laid flat, there are screw holes on the rear for wall mounting.

Three digital inputs on the subwoofer allow for simultaneous connection between a DVD player, cable box and games console, as well as direct input for PCs or 3.5mm input if you still utilize a dedicated MP3 player. We’re a little disappointed there’s no HDMI input for a Blu-ray player, but as we’re eyeing this model specifically for gaming, it’s a tradeoff we’re willing to take. One additional appeal of the Z906 is the control console, a desktop-sized unit connecting to the subwoofer that allows volume control, selecting between various sound modes and adjustment levels for each channel. This might be of greater use when connected to a PC as the supplied remote has the same functionality, so it’s a win-win regardless of use-case.

When it comes to delivering distortion-free performance, loud levels, and hard-hitting bass, the Z906 delivers. The single satellite drivers do struggle a little with musical highs, but unless you’re a dedicated audiophile who can sense these anomalies, you won’t notice. There’s more than enough detail coming through on the Z906 so you’ll never look at your TV speakers the same way again. That alone can justify the price.

Best Value: Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System

Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System
Courtesy of Newegg
4

The 7.1-channel Onkyo SKS-HT540 speaker system makes a luxurious addition to your existing home theater. At under $350, this system could also fall into the budget category, but given the remarkable sound quality, it offers tremendous value. Note that you’ll have to purchase a separate A/V receiver, but even without it included, the price is a steal.

Off the bat, you’ll notice that the speakers and subwoofer are much bulkier than most systems. Still, many people are happy to sacrifice space for sound quality. Its two-way bass reflex front, center and surround speakers produce a 130-watt total output, and a 230-watt subwoofer includes a 10-inch cone driver. While its spring-clip wire connectors instead of higher-quality binding posts will remind you that some consider this a budget system, you’ll forget it the second you’ll hear its clear bass, mids, and highs.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best home theater starter kits available online.

Best for Audiophiles: Onkyo HT-7800 5.1-Channel

4.9

The Onkyo HT-7800 5.1-channel system is powered by seven surround sound speakers and one subwoofer and it even comes with a receiver. With built-in support for Chromecast, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a slew of streaming music services, there’s never a shortage of ways to enjoy sound on the HT-7800 system. The two-way bass reflex front left and right speaker cabinets add Dolby Atmos technology for bouncing sound effects off ceilings. It also has support for 4K video playback and DTS:X technology for customizing dynamic range. Whether it’s a small or medium-sized room, the Onkyo is set up in under an hour, allowing you to focus solely on its outstanding sound.

Best Wireless: Enclave Audio CineHome 5.1 Wireless Home Theater System

3.1

Combining outstanding value and wireless setup, the Enclave Audio CineHome 5.1 is an excellent option that eliminates the need for cables connecting each separate speaker. The other six independent speakers work together for a total of 14 speaker drivers, delivering 360 degrees of HD wireless audio. The Enclave’s two Bipole surround speakers include two full-range drivers on opposite sides of the enclosed speaker, perfectly designed to spread sound throughout an entire room.

While wireless audio may be the highlight of the Enclave system, there’s a bevy of additional features to maximize value. Three HDMI inputs enable owners to connect a gaming console, Blu-ray player and a streaming device (Apple TV, Roku, etc.). Just download the Enclave Audio app onto your phone and stream music from any of your favorite services. Bluetooth connectivity is built in along with Googlecast, which connects to Google’s Chromecast hardware for an additional audio streaming option. 

Best Budget: Vizio SB3851-C0

Vizio SB3851-C0
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When we consider a surround sound home theater system, a soundbar isn’t the first piece of audio equipment that comes to mind. However, Vizio’s SB3851-C0 is a superb budget-friendly option, and its included wireless subwoofer and satellite speakers is an early look at future surround sound system design. The 5.1-channel system offers crystal-clear audio quality up to 100 dB with less than one percent total harmonic distortion.

The inclusion of DTS circle, digital and studio sound enhances the price-to-performance ratio and with Dolby Digital to top it off, there are few features missing at this price point. The soundbar itself measures 38.2 inches long and three inches high, with a weight of 6.6 pounds. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, even when the TV is off, and the included LCD remote allows for easy audio setting changes.

Setup is quick and easy, thanks to the lack of wires to both the subwoofer and satellite speakers. Wall mounts are included, but Vizio does not provide the appropriate fasteners (they're dependent on the type of wall in your home). Additionally, the wireless nature of the system may make it prone to minor interference every now and then from other wireless equipment. Vizio also encourages tabletop and built-in placement of the soundbar beyond the typical wall-mounted option.

The sound bar itself is best utilized with TVs that are at least 42 inches or larger. The 3" x 5.9" x 3” satellite speakers and 8.3" x 9.1" x 8.3" subwoofer are capable of placement anywhere in an average-sized room or up to 60 feet in the line of sight from the sound bar. Sure, it’s not your typical surround sound system, but it offers the same feature set and arguably better sound with less setup hassle.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best overall stereo speakers under $1,000 and best home theater starter kits for under $500.

Best Splurge: Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800

Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800
Courtesy of Amazon.com

At less than $1,000, there’s undoubtedly more expensive surround sound speaker options, all of which would be deemed a “splurge”. If money is no object, there’s no shortage of options that can range into the thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. However, for the sake of practicality, we’re focusing on “splurge” options for the everyman. Our top choice, the Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800, is a top performer that punches well above its pay grade.

The design catches your eye right off the bat, even if at first glance it appears to be just another speaker set available in black. Both movie dialogue and the respective soundtracks produced a deep bass that was definitively better than other options around the $1,000 price point. Unfortunately, the Definitive subwoofer won’t rattle your bones like some higher-end Bose or Klipsch models, but the experience is still immersive and wildly enjoyable. On a similar note, Definitive’s speakers won’t take you to full volume without distortion kicking in but there’s a handful of cinematic moments we just want to hear as loud as possible.

Definitive’s best described as detail-rich, preserving the fidelity of a soundtrack while allowing for all the simultaneous effects to be heard and enjoyed. The 300-watt subwoofer paired with the center speaker and satellites are all well regarded on their own but together they create an incredible value in high-performance audio. There’s little question you’ll end up feeling like the ProCinema 800 offers both value and a high-end experience that belies its price tag.

Best for Large Rooms: Onkyo SKS-HTC993THX 7.1 Home Theater Speaker System

If it’s big sound you’re after, Onkyo’s SKS-HT993THX is the best surround sound speaker system. You’ll immediately fall for the immersive audio of this THX-certified system. Film soundtracks will sound rich and detailed, not unlike what you would expect when you’re are the theater. And you can take the volume all the way up — each individual speaker is wrapped in a solid MDF cabinet to prevent vibration.

Everything centers around the subwoofer that’s pumping out 125 watts of power through its 12-inch front-firing cone. Supporting the subwoofer are seven additional speakers, including three center speakers and four satellite speakers. The satellite speakers will fill a large room with sound thanks to their 5.1-inch woofers and one-inch tweeters. Each satellite speaker arrives with wall mounts that won’t sacrifice any aspect of audio clarity. The front and center speakers offer nearly the same dimensions with five-inch woofers and one-inch soft-dome tweeters for 360 degrees of sound.

Best Compact: Monoprice 5.1

Monoprice 5.1
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When it comes to a compact surround sound speaker system, the assumption is that size matters. But our choice, the Monoprice 5.1 Home Theater System proves that theory very wrong. Included in the system are four 5.1-channel satellite speakers, a single center speaker, and one 8” 200-watt subwoofer. The compact-sized satellite speakers with their 3” polypropylene mid-range driver are wall mountable providing 100 watts of power for your movie and music-listening pleasure. Setup is simple and requires just a few cable connections after wall mounting and you’re off to the races without breaking the bank.

The subwoofer provides a deep bass and the speakers perform admirably with room-filling sound and dynamic feel. Unfortunately, not everything is shiny as dialogue can sometimes feel hollow which might prompt some tinkering with the center channel to try and find a sweet spot. Overall, while there’s no question you can spend hundreds, if not thousands, more for a top-of-the-line system, the Monoprice provides incredible value for the everyday user just looking for something “more." It is an easy choice for our favorite compact system. 

You may also want to take a peek at our roundup of the best budget-friendly stereo receivers.

Best Design: Klipsch Reference Theater Pack

The Klipsch brand is well known for its premium audio hardware, and their Reference Theater Pack delivers a pre-matched 5.1 surround sound experience that’s truly stunning, both visually and acoustically. The pieces are compact, with a minimal footprint that fits nicely in a small- or medium-sized room. But while the set can blend in size-wise, especially with the grills on, you can also opt to leave them off and let Klipsch’s signature spun-copper woofers catch the eye. The center channel and four satellite speakers all feature this unique construction, which, along with the horn-loaded tweeters, minimizes distortion and produces clean, detailed sound.

Delivering the low end is a down-firing eight-inch subwoofer with surprisingly powerful bass output for its size. Its frequency response ranges from 38 to 120 Hz and the amplifier is rated for 50-watt RMS (continuous power) and 150-watt peak power. The best part is that it’s wireless, giving you the flexibility to place it wherever it fits and sounds best in your room.

For our other top picks from this brand, check out our guide to the best Klipsch speakers

Best for Small Rooms: JBL Cinema 610 5.1 Home Theater System

The JBL name can easily be characterized as a manufacturer of unmatched sound, and that’s exactly the case with the Cinema 610 surround sound system. With five voice-matching satellite speakers, each of which includes a three-inch driver and one-inch tweeter, the dialogue is crystal clear. The dedicated center speaker adds near-cinematic power and exceptional clarity for dialogue and sound effects.

The eight-inch subwoofer only adds to the overall excellent performance, especially when you consider it’s only putting out 60-watts. Bass feels deep and punchy without any vibrations. In fact, the whole system can withstand max volume without breaking a sweat. There are almost no hiccups or interference.

These speakers can be wall mounted (brackets are included) or placed on shelves. For the best possible sound, you’ll find maximum value with these speakers placed in small to medium-sized rooms. 

Find out more about positioning loudspeakers and subwoofers for the best sound outcome.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought two top-rated surround sound speakers that our reviewers tested for 16 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these speakers, from their sound quality to their design. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Surround Sound Speaker

Room size - Before you look at the power output of a set of speakers, consider the size of your room. If it’s on the small side, you might not need too much power and you can save a bit of money by buying a compact system. If, however, you have an expansive room to fill, don’t hold back. Go for a full-size, full-range system with an amplifier instead of a receiver.

5.1 vs 7.1 - A 5.1 channel setup consists of five small speakers and a subwoofer, while a 7.1 channel setup includes two additional speakers -- obviously. The additional speakers provide richer sound, but can get pricier. In most cases, a 5.1 channel setup is more than enough, but if you’re looking to splurge, a 7.1 channel setup can be very impressive.

Wired vs. wireless - A wired setup will have an edge when it comes to sound quality, but if you don’t mind sacrificing sound in the name of design, go for a wireless setup. (For tips on hiding those unsightly wires, read this.)

Test Results: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System (Best for Gaming)

3.7
What We Like
  • Great sound

  • Straightforward setup

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t include input audio cables

  • Visually unattractive

Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System
Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker
Logitech Z906
Logitech Surround Sound Speaker System
Logitech Speaker System

If all you’re looking for is quality sound in your speaker system, our testers agreed this product hits the mark. “The sound quality is great,” reported one of our reviewers, “however the system visually is not attractive.” One of our testers was also disappointed that it didn’t come with the audio cables she needed, but did note that the overall setup was pretty straightforward. The bottom line: You’ll get a “robust sound quality” with this system, according to one of our reviewers, but the design feels “outdated.”

Test Results: Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System (Best Value)

4
What We Like
  • Powerful

  • User-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Not wireless

  • Unattractive design

Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System
Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater

One of our testers described this system as “powerful, effective, [and] user-friendly.” However, the overall design and the fact that it’s not Bluetooth enabled will bother those looking for visual appeal, cautioned our reviewers. Our testers did note setup was simple. The takeaway? “The system is effective, it sounds great — but it has way too many cables,” declared one of our reviewers.