6 Best Surround Sound Systems of 2024

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Have you ever sat down to watch your favorite movie or show at home only to feel like something is missing?

Audio quality can make or break your home entertainment experience, and once you've upgraded to the latest and greatest TV technology, the next logical step is a surround sound system upgrade.

In this in-depth article, we've carefully handpicked six of the best surround sound systems to suit your needs. Whether your top priority is finding a quality system at an affordable price or a surround sound with enough bass to impress your guests, we'll provide you with a healthy list of options.

Our #1 pick is the Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 because of its dynamic sound, superb bass, reliability, and very reasonable price point.

Whether you're an action-movie fanatic, hardcore gamer, or music lover, our list of the best surround sound speaker systems will help you complete your home entertainment setup.

Quick Summary of the Best Surround Sound Systems

  1. VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio (Best Surround Sound System on a Budget)
  2. JBL Bar 9.1 Channel Soundbar System (Best Surround Sound System for Versatility)
  3. Sonos Arc (Best Surround Sound system for Crystal Clear Audio)
  4. Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 Channel 1000 Watt Dolby Atmos Soundbar (Best Surround Sound System for Power)
  5. Yamaha Audio YHT 4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System (Best Surround Sound System for Durability)
  6. Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 (Best Surround Sound System Overall)

Best Surround Sound Systems

1. Best Surround Sound System on a Budget – VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio

VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio


  • Audio Channels: 5.1
  • Output Power: 50 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 50 Hz- 20 kHz

Vizio is known for quality products, including at-home theater systems, at an affordable price point. The Vizio V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio is no different. With a sales price of around $200, this speaker system provides excellent audio quality for those operating on a budget.

This beautifully designed speaker system will give you a massive upgrade over your TV speakers, and it will look good doing it. Enjoy the effects of built-in Dolby Atmos, the leading technology in new, high-quality sound. The rear speakers add to the fully immersive audio experience.

The wireless subwoofer will highlight those low-depth noises that more basic models can't, and the front surround sound mode allows you to adjust the audio output for compact spaces. With the system's plethora of connectivity options, including HDMI ARC, auxiliary outputs, and Bluetooth, you can connect to your phone, tablet, and more within seconds.

Buyers report the system setup is a breeze, making it a perfect choice for tech-savvy individuals and those new to audio systems. As a bonus, the backlit remote control ensures you'll have no issues operating your sound system even when the lights are out.

2. Best Surround Sound System for Versatility – JBL Bar 9.1 Channel Soundbar System

JBL Bar 9.1 Channel Soundbar System


  • Audio Channels: 5.1.4
  • Output Power: 820 watts
  • Frequency Range: 34 Hz- 20 kHz

The JBL Bar 9.1 is a fine choice for those seeking a substantial upgrade to their home audio setup, and its detachable wireless speakers offer plenty of versatility. The wireless speakers have a solid, 10-hour battery life, and recharging them is as simple as plugging them directly into the soundbar.

The system's four up-firing speakers provide vertical sound effects, and its built-in Dolby Atmos technology gives viewers an in-depth audio experience. The 300-watt subwoofer pumps strong bass to round out the immersive audio experience with true home theater sound.

The surround sound system's compact design adds to its versatility to fit in any environment. Other highlights of the JBL system include voice control options through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and multiple sound modes that optimize audio to whatever content you're indulging in.

Read about other soundbars for your at-home music listening.

3. Best Surround Sound system for Crystal Clear Audio – Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc


  • Audio Channels: 5.0.2
  • Output Power: 110 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 25 Hz- 20 kHz

The Sonos Arc proves that it doesn't take an elaborate speaker system to pump out ultra-clear sound. Between the system's Dolby Atmos support and eleven up-firing drivers, you'll experience the Arc's detailed sound effects bouncing around you, matching the quality of more comprehensive setups.

If that wasn't enough, the speaker system's clarity has been tested and fine-tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers, so you can feel confident you won't miss a single word of content no matter what you're listening to.

As a bonus, Trueplay technology adapts your entertainment's sound based on your room's acoustics. While you can add a subwoofer or additional surround sound speakers later, many customers are pleased to find the Sonos Arc provides plenty of premium quality sound and bass without the add-ons.

When you're in the mood to jam out to stereo music or listen to your favorite podcast, the Sonos app and Airplay 2 will give you instant connection to all your audio devices.

4. Best Surround Sound System for Power – Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 Channel 1000 Watt Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 Channel 1000 Watt Dolby Atmos Soundbar


  • Audio Channels: 9.2.4
  • Output Power: 1000 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 20 Hz- 22 kHz

You may be looking for that power and thumping sound that will impress every guest in your home. If so, the Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 wireless surround sound system may be the perfect fit for you. The mighty system is capable of drowning out the loudest voice in the room and shaking the ground beneath your feet.

While this might sound like a bit much for the standard living room, the audio quality is ideal for large entertainment areas or a dedicated home cinema room. If sacrificing clarity for power is a concern, Clear-voice technology ensures every dialogue you play is crystal clear.

Enjoy wireless connectivity with the system's two 10-inch subwoofers, giving you flexibility in their placement. Dolby Atmos and the system's four wireless rear speakers ensure a true surround sound experience for every movie and TV show you watch.

The system's intuitive backlit remote control allows plenty of customization to fine-tune sound exactly to your preference. Connectivity options include HDMI ARC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, making it compatible with all your favorite devices.

5. Best Surround Sound System for Durability – Yamaha Audio YHT 4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System

Yamaha Audio YHT 4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System


  • Audio Channels: 5.1
  • Output Power: 400 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 28 Hz- 25 kHz

Yamaha has been a trusted brand in audio for decades, so it should come as no surprise that their Yamaha 4950U home theater system receives high marks from consumers for its durability.

The system, comprised of four speakers, a center speaker, a receiver, and a subwoofer, puts out balanced home theater audio at an unbeatable price point.

When rear speaker placement is difficult due to your room's setup, you can take advantage of the system's virtual cinema front configuration that allows you to place all five speakers in the front without any detectable difference in your 360-degree audio experience.

The system's speakers exude the elegance of the Yamaha brand, and customers rave about the system's consistency and clarity.

You can also expect a hassle-free installation as the Bluetooth-compatible speakers are surprisingly easy to set up. That means you can skip the headache and jump right to enjoying your favorite content on your new immersive surround system.

6. Best Surround Sound System Overall – Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4

Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4


  • Audio Channels: 5.1.4
  • Output Power: 300 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 90 Hz- 20 kHz

Imagine listening to crisp, 360-degree sound with just the right amount of bass. That's what the Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 surround sound system provides, and it does so at a very reasonable price, earning our vote for the best surround sound system.

The system is designed for a stress-free setup for audio system newbies, yet still has room-filling sound capabilities that will impress even the most trained ear. The speaker configurations are flexible, so you can tailor you can design to match your audio preferences and blend well with your entertainment space.

Another notable system feature is the linear travel suspension aluminum tweeter that minimizes distortion, so you can enjoy an ultra-clear audio experience with perfectly balanced sound. The 10-inch wireless subwoofer provides just the right amount of boom to experience every ounce of the action without the hassle of dealing with cables.

Buyers also rave about the sound system's durability and multi-use functionality for movies, gaming, music, and more. Klipsch has a strong reputation in the audio world, and the Klipsch Reference Cinema is precisely the type of high-quality system Klipsch loyalists have come to expect.

Best Surround Sound Systems Buyer's Guide

Beyond the surround sound systems we've covered, you'll find many other options on the market, which can make deciding which system is best suited for you a challenge.

Before navigating the market, you'll want to consider several factors to help you make the best choice. We're here to remind you of those factors you'll want to keep at the front of your mind while shopping for a new surround sound speaker system.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll cover subjects like budget constraints, connectivity, and channel requirements.

Let's dive into the most important considerations before proceeding with your exciting new purchase!

Room Size and Layout

Before purchasing a new surround sound system, room size and layout are two factors you'll want to consider. Room dimensions and shape will dictate whether you need a comprehensive setup, including front and rear speakers, or if a simplified setup like a high-quality soundbar will do.

In a compact room without much space behind your viewing area, a system like the VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio could be more than sufficient thanks to its Dolby Atmos technology that is equipped to efficiently spread sound waves across small to medium-sized spaces.

If your room has an unusual layout or shape, consider a surround sound system equipped with room calibration technology that will use algorithms to adapt to your room's acoustics.

The Yamaha Audio YHT 4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System is one example that uses this type of calibration technology with its Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer that makes these necessary adjustments.

It's important to remember that once you purchase a surround sound system, you may also have to tinker with its setup until you find the audio sweet spot. As general rules, you'll want to try to keep the speakers in an equilateral setup around your primary viewing area with as few objects between you and your speakers as possible.

Number of Audio Channels

To determine how many audio channels you need for your surround sound system, you will want to consider several factors, including room size, listening preferences, and the type of content you typically enjoy.

In general, more channels will translate to a more immersive sound experience, though smaller spaces will not necessitate as many. If your entertainment area has loads of space, investing in a system like the Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 Channel 1000 Watt Dolby Atmos Soundbar system may be worth it.

You'll also find many smaller-scale systems that leave room for future expansion. If you're unsure what size system your room will require, consider starting with fewer channels and then determining if you need additional speakers to optimize your experience. For those working with a budget, this may be the best strategy.

Additionally, you will want to consider how prevalent hard surfaces, such as bare walls and wooden floors, are in your room. These surfaces create sound reflections that lead to more echoing. Choosing a system with more channels will give you strong sound quality while limiting these echoes.

Visual Preferences

Many consumers prioritize finding a dynamic sound system that blends in well with the room. Surround sound systems that include standing speakers and oversized subwoofers cannot easily be hidden.

If your entertainment room is average-sized, a standard 5.1 system or a standard soundbar, both of which are generally more visually appealing than large-scale setups, will likely give you a satisfactory sound level without compromising on appearance.

The Sonos Arc soundbar system and its Dolby Atmos technology create the illusion of more speakers surrounding you, allowing for an optimal audio experience and a clean, sharp look. An additional benefit of choosing a soundbar system is the ability to add speakers later for a more true multi-dimensional experience.


Like any big purchase, budget will likely factor into your surround sound shopping experience. Fortunately, there are many budget-friendly options that will significantly upgrade your home entertainment setup.

The VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar with Dolby Audio is the perfect starter system, especially if you aren't looking to cover a ton of space. It wasn't that long ago that getting this system's level of audio quality would have cost you a pretty penny. If your current home audio setup is TV audio, VIZIO's system will massively increase your overall home theater experience.

As is the case with any new type of purchase, you can always opt to climb the ladder one rung at a time. Start with something more affordable that will give you a noticeable upgrade over your current setup, then upgrade the entire system when you can afford it.

Connectivity and Smart Technology

Connectivity and Smart technology are game-changers in the world of new surround sound systems, offering unprecedented convenience and ease of use. While most new surround sound systems can connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, some systems possess superior capabilities when it comes to Smart technology.

Voice command users will want to search for systems that incorporate virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. If you intend on connecting all your favorite devices to your system, seek out those that utilize Apple Airplay and Chromecast.

The JBL Bar 9.1 Channel Soundbar System is one system we highly recommend that scores an A+ with its incorporation of these features. Smart technology integration can also simplify the process of optimizing your system and giving you the excellent sound quality you're after.

Additional technology you may want to prioritize is the ability to adapt sound based on room acoustics. The Sonos Arc sound bar does this through Trueplay technology, and many other systems have similar technology that provides a similar optimization process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many channels do I need?

More channels typically mean a more immersive sound experience, but choosing the right amount of channels will also boil down to the size of the space you are covering.

A 5.1-channel surround sound system, which consists of five speakers, is often considered the standard. This setup includes a center speaker, two front speakers, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer.

A 7.1-channel system is the same as a 5.1-channel setup, with two additional speakers added in the rear.

What is Dolby Atmos and how does it work?

Dolby Atmos technology has forever changed the audio landscape. While traditional speaker setups assign sounds to specific channels, Dolby Atmos moves sound above and around the listener, creating a more three-dimensional.

How do I know what kind of subwoofer I need?

A subwoofer can drastically affect the overall experience of your surround sound system. Subwoofers reproduce low-pitched frequencies so your audio experience contains more depth and intensity.

Similar to the number of channels you'll need, if you're covering a large amount of space, you'll need a powerful subwoofer capable of pushing out those low frequencies to all corners of the room.

If you like to feel the full impact of sound from action and thriller-style movies, you'll want a subwoofer strong enough to incorporate those effects.

On the flip side, those who plan to primarily use their system for music and less sound-intense movie genres like dramas and romantic comedies may prefer a subwoofer that takes a more measured approach to its sound effects.

Can I use my surround sound system for music?

In today's era of surround sound systems, nearly all of them are designed to double as high-quality stereo systems. Multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and auxiliary outputs, make this a possibility.

Any newer surround sound system with a subwoofer and a pair of speakers will give you a customizable, immersive listening experience that other music-playing devices can't replicate.


With so many high-quality surround sound systems, it can be hard to decipher which option is the best fit for you. Accounting for factors like your room size, budget, Smart technology requirements, and what types of entertainment you primarily use will help simplify your surround sound shopping experience.

Our top choice, the Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 surround sound system, is a safe choice that has made many consumers very happy. Not only is the system versatile and made by one of the most trusted brands in audio, but it comes at a very affordable price.

For impressive power at a reasonable price, the Nakamichi Ultra Shockwafe 9.2.4 Channel 1000 Watt Dolby Atmos Soundbar is another fantastic choice.

No matter what system you ultimately land on, upgrading to a new surround sound system will transform your home audio experience and take your home entertainment enjoyment to a new level.

The only question left will be, who's bringing the snacks?

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