The Best Home Theater Systems

While there’s nothing quite like a night at the movies, with a good home theater system, you can enjoy all the thrills and excitement of professional-grade audio from the comfort of home. Finding the best home theater system for your home means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available components and configurations. With the right home theater system, enjoying a great movie, TV show, or sporting event from the comfort of home can become a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of home theater systems to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated home theater systems homeowners can purchase to ensure the best listening experience possible.

Top Pick
Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set
Immerse yourself in shows, movies, music, and more.

We’ve identified Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set as the best home theater system out there. Delivering powerful, realistic sound means this home theater system is one that will make sure that your viewing experience is always in tip-top shape. These benefits allow you to enjoy a great movie, TV show, or sporting event with the family, with professional-level sound, right in the comfort of your home.

The 5 Top-Rated Home Theater Systems

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Top PickSonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set4.1
Runner UpBose Soundbar 700 5.1 Home Theater Set3.8
Best for BudgetPolk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater System4.1
Best Wireless Home Theater SystemJBL Bar 5.1 4K Ultra HD Soundbar Set4.1
Best Surround Sound Home Theater SystemPolk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set

The Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set took the top spot on our list of the best home theater systems, and lets users fully immerse themselves in their favorite shows, movies, music, and more. With nearly plug-and-play installation, even those with minimal technical skills can enjoy theater-quality sound from the comfort of home. The base unit includes ten amplified speakers, and doubles as a wireless speaker for music. It comes complete with a subwoofer unit with two force-canceling speakers that won’t rattle your stand, no matter how high the volume is set.

Those who purchased and reviewed this home theater system appreciated the clarity it provided, as well as the ease of setup and installation. People liked the ability to “tune” the system to the room, but wished it was available on Android systems and not just iOS.

With a price tag of about $1,636, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with more than 200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing homeowners to make the investment.

Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set Key Features: 

  • Alexa enabled for voice control
  • Customize or expand your system with any Sonos speaker
  • Quickly connects via WiFi

Our Runner Up Pick: Bose Soundbar 700 5.1 Home Theater Set

Runner Up
Bose Soundbar 700 5.1 Home Theater Set
A combination of sophisticated design and exceptional sound.

The Bose Soundbar 700 5.1 Home Theater Set took the runner-up spot on our list of the best home theater systems, and features exceptional sound quality in a sophisticated design. It comes complete with a soundbar, a wireless, compact subwoofer, and two surround speakers to deliver 5.1 channel surround sound. The system uses the brand’s quiet port technology, which helps nearly eliminate distortion for crystal clear audio.

Those who purchased and reviewed this home theater system appreciated that they could customize their home theater experience by adding other Bose speakers to the system. While people said the sound was good out of the box, they said it was worth using the companion app to customize settings for even better quality audio. Users did comment that setup was a bit tricky on this system, but worth it when complete.

At a cost of around $1,597, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 3.8 on Amazon with nearly 200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing homeowners to make the investment.

Bose Soundbar 700 5.1 Home Theater Set Key Features: 

  • Alexa enabled for voice control
  • Connect to WiFi music services like Spotify, or Bluetooth devices to play your favorite tunes
  • Available in a choice of colors to complement your decor

Best Budget Pick: Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater System

Best for Budget
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater System
A budget-friendly option with a sleek and compact design.

The Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater System is an excellent choice for those looking for a home theater system that won’t break the bank. It comes complete with four TL1 satellite speakers, one TL1 center channel speaker, and one TL1600 powered subwoofer. It is ideal for use in small- to medium-sized rooms, and features a unique curved base shape that aligns the acoustic centers of the tweeter and mid-bass in the same plane for richer audio.

Those who purchased and reviewed this home theater system appreciated that it offered good quality sound in small spaces, and the ability to set the system up to their preferences. The system includes instructions, but many people said they didn’t need them. While you still need a receiver for this system, people still felt it was a value compared to other more expensive home theater systems.

With a cost of approximately $249, this home theater system is a solid choice for those looking for a home theater system option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with nearly 100 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing homeowners that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at playing their favorite media as its more expensive counterparts.

Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater System Key Features: 

  • Compatible with nearly any receiver
  • Detachable grilles included
  • Provides 5.1 channel surround sound

Best Wireless Home Theater System: JBL Bar 5.1 4K Ultra HD Soundbar Set

Best Wireless Home Theater System
JBL Bar 5.1 4K Ultra HD Soundbar Set
Transforms from a soundboard into a true wireless 5.1 home theater system.

The JBL Bar 5.1 4K Ultra HD Soundbar Set is the best wireless home theater system and transforms from a soundboard into a true wireless 5.1 home theater system for added versatility. The soundbar includes two detachable wireless surround speakers, which are battery-powered and boast up to 10 hours of playtime. It comes complete with a 10-inch wireless subwoofer, and there are three HDMI inputs that allow the system to connect 4K devices. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream your favorite music from any mobile device.

Those who purchased and reviewed this home theater system appreciated that it was quick and easy to set up, and liked the ability to switch between a soundbar system and true 5.1 surround sound. Reviewers said the design and materials were of good quality, and the audio was excellent once set up. It does take about 3 hours to charge the wireless surround speakers, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a movie night.

With a price tag of about $500, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with more than 200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing homeowners to make the investment.

JBL Bar 5.1 4K Ultra HD Soundbar Set Key Features: 

  • Includes Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS
  • Flexible placement without the hassle of wires
  • Compatible with many of today’s top TV remote controls

Best Surround Sound Home Theater System: Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Best Surround Sound Home Theater System
Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System
Proprietary dynamic balance technology provides wider dispersion and minimal distortions.

The Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System is a 15 speaker set that provides home theater-quality surround sound right in your living room. Each bookshelf speaker includes a 5.25” driver and a 0.75” tweeter, while the center speaker has two 5.25” drivers and a 1” tweeter. Both tower speakers include a 6.5” driver, 1” tweeter and two 6.5” bass radiators for well-balanced, room-filling sound. The 10” subwoofer has a directed port for punchier bass, and the system is compatible with most home theater AV receivers.

Those who purchased and reviewed this home theater system appreciated that it offered super-clear and accurate full-range sound with noticeable bass, at a fraction of the cost of some systems. People liked the versatility of setup and appreciated the option to expand the system further. You will still need a separate receiver for this system.

At a cost of around $485, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.6 on Amazon with more than 1,700 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing homeowners to make the investment.

Polk Audio 5.1 Channel Home Theater System Key Features:

  • Proprietary dynamic balance technology
  • Can be set up for single or multi-room enjoyment
  • Subwoofer features a sleek, detachable front grille

Who Should Buy a Home Theater System

A home theater system is an ideal choice for those who enjoy watching television programming including sports and movies from the comfort of home. A high-quality home theater system can provide your family with a richer, more enjoyable viewing and listening experience, often at an affordable price point.

A home theater system is also a great option for those who enjoy listening to music, as the high-quality speakers that come with many systems provide for a richer audio experience as well. Some systems allow you to play audio in different rooms within the home for added versatility.

Keep in mind that you can buy the various components of a home theater system separately in order to mix and match for your specific needs, although it will be less expensive to purchase a pre-built system.

Finally, those who enjoy video games will appreciate the immersive sound experience that a good home theater system provides.

Top Pick
Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set
Immerse yourself in shows, movies, music, and more.

Important Features to Consider

Not all home theater systems are created equal. A home theater system should suit your space and provide a rich listening experience. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best home theater systems for your home:

  • Receiver. Arguably the most important factor when buying the best home theater system is the receiver. This is the brains of your entire system, and so it’s important to choose a high-quality unit. If you can afford it, look for one that has Dolby Atmos onboard and seven channels at a minimum, which will allow you to future-proof your system while ensuring a theater-like experience from the comfort of home.
  • Channels. When it comes to surround sound audio, opt for a system with 7.1 surround sound as it offers better quality than 5.1 systems. This is because 7.1 surround sound systems use 8 channels to create the sound you hear, whereas a 5.1 surround sound system uses 6 channels. Spring for the upgrade if it’s in your budget and having the best sound quality is important to you.
  • Wired vs. wireless. Home theater systems are available in wired or wireless versions, depending on your preferences. If opting for a wireless system, keep in mind that you’ll still often require a power source for the satellite speakers. For wired systems, running speaker wire in the walls or floor can be a pain, but offers more reliable sound. Another feature to keep in mind is that wired home theater systems are often less expensive than their wireless counterparts.
  • Speakers. For true home theater sound, you need a minimum of 3 speakers — one for left, right, and center audio. For true surround sound, a minimum of five speakers is required — one for left, right, and center audio, along with two rear speakers. The front left and front right speakers are most important for creating quality audio, and sound professionals frequently say that bigger is better when it comes to speakers. Large floor-standing speakers at the rear will provide better quality audio overall as opposed to a smaller bookshelf or in-wall speakers.
    A subwoofer is a special type of speaker that helps to round out bass, while clarifying and amplifying low-end frequencies. You’ll often feel the rumble of a subwoofer working during certain scenes. Look for systems that include at least one, if not two, subwoofers for the richest quality audio.
  • Size. While bigger speakers offer better sound, they also take up a lot of space. Think carefully about the size of your room when deciding on a system, and whether or not it will fit the size and aesthetic of the space.
  • Ease of setup. If you aren’t overly concerned with specifics, there are many plug-and-play style home theater systems that are quick and easy to install. That said, a carefully planned and well-prepared home theater system with separate components will take longer for the initial setup, but will provide a better experience.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a home theater system. Home theater systems vary in price from $100-$1,000 or more. You can sometimes find discounts around holidays such as Black Friday or Boxing Day that can make buying a home theater system more affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What components do you need for a home theater system?

The components you will need for a home theater system include a home theater receiver (also sometimes known as an AV or surround sound receiver); a television or video projector with a screen; loudspeakers; a subwoofer; connection cables; and speaker wire. The following items are optional, but will make it more convenient and enjoyable to use a home theater system, including an antenna, cable, or satellite box; a media streamer; and a disc player or VCR.

Are wired speakers better than wireless?

Yes, wired speakers are better than wireless speakers for a number of reasons. First, wired speakers aren’t susceptible to radio interference, which means you aren’t likely to hear static coming through or have drop outs. Second, wired speakers provide more dependable and high quality sound compared to wireless speakers. Wired speakers are also less expensive than their wireless counterparts, and will never be affected by WiFi outages.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound better?

When it comes to surround sound, 7.1 surround sound offers better quality than 5.1 systems. This is because a 7.1 surround sound systems use 8 channels to create the sound you hear, whereas a 5.1 surround sound system uses 6 channels. These two extra channels provide a better overall sound quality, so spring for the upgrade if it’s in your budget.

Can you get wireless surround sound?

Yes, you can get wireless surround sound systems. While there are some true wireless home theatre systems out there, most will still have the main receiver that is wired into the television and needs plugged into an electrical outlet in order to work properly. You can get wireless subwoofers and loudspeakers to complete your surround sound system, however. Keep in mind that wireless surround sound that uses WiFi will be susceptible to WiFi outages, while Bluetooth versions can experience interference. You may also need to charge your speakers or change batteries more frequently than is convenient.

Other Home Theater Systems We Reviewed

Top Pick
Sonos Playbase 5.1 Surround Set
Immerse yourself in shows, movies, music, and more.

We looked at 20 other home theater systems. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best home theater systems list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for setting up your own home theater system. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Surround Sound Home Theater Systems Under $500

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system boasts 5.1 surround sound, and comes complete with a subwoofer with built-in receiver, a 3” center channel speaker, two 3” full range front channel speakers, and two 3” full range rear channel speakers.

Key Features: 

  • Five band equalizer
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Choice of 4 LED lighting modes

Cost: $150

Yamaha Yht-4950U Home Theater System

Yamaha Yht-4950U Home Theater System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system boasts powerful 5.1 surround sound and comes complete with an AV receiver, five speakers, subwoofer, and speaker wire for ease of setup.

Key Features: 

  • 4K Ultra HD HDMI
  • Flexible speaker placement options
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cost: $400

Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System

Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system boasts 5.1 surround sound, and comes complete with a wireless subwoofer, four satellite speakers, and a center channel speaker.

Key Features: 

  • Exclusive Tractrix Horn Technology
  • Flexible placement system
  • 2.4GHz connectivity

Cost: $460

Acoustic Audio by Goldwood 5.1 Speaker System 

Acoustic Audio by Goldwood 5.1 Speaker System 

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system boasts 5.1 surround sound, and comes complete with a subwoofer, a center channel speaker, and four satellite speakers for flexible placement options.

Key Features: 

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Includes a full function remote
  • LED illuminated subwoofer

Cost: $89

Jamo Studio Series S 803 HCS-BLK Black Home Cinema System

Jamo Studio Series S 803 HCS-BLK Black Home Cinema System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system comes complete with dual S 803 Dolby Atmos ready bookshelf speakers, a center channel speaker, and two S 801 speakers for crystal clear surround sound.

Key Features: 

  • Beautiful, contemporary design
  • Fully magnetic front grilles
  • Dolby Atmos ready

Cost: $199

Onkyo HT-S5800 5.1.2-Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater Package

Onkyo HT-S5800 5.1.2-Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater Package

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system supports Dolby Atmos up to 5.1.2 channels, and features simple rear panel diagrams for ease of setup.

Key Features: 

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Double base function
  • 4K UltraHD ready

Cost: $449

Sony DAVTZ140 DVD Home Theater System

Sony DAVTZ140 DVD Home Theater System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system comes complete with two front speakers, two surround speakers, a center speaker, and a subwoofer for 5.1 surround sound.

Key Features: 

  • 1080p upscaling
  • Includes DVD player/receiver
  • Smart remote included

Cost: $230

auna Areal Active 620 Surround Sound System

auna Areal Active 620 Surround Sound System

This budget-friendly surround sound home theater system comes complete with five satellite speakers and a 6.5″ bass reflex subwoofer for quality sound, and features an elegant design suitable for any decor.

Key Features: 

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Remote control included
  • Compatible with televisions and projectors

Cost: $98

Surround Sound Home Theater Systems Over $500

YAMAHA YHT-5950U 5.1-Channel Home Theater System with MusicCast

YAMAHA YHT-5950U 5.1-Channel Home Theater System with MusicCast

This surround sound home theater system comes complete with a Music Cast AV receiver, five satellite speakers, a subwoofer, and speaker wire for convenient setup right out of the box.

Key Features: 

  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 4K Ultra HD HDMI
  • Flexible placement system

Cost: $600

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 Ch. Dolby Atmos Home Theater Package

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 Ch. Dolby Atmos Home Theater Package

This surround sound home theater system comes complete with seven surround speakers and one subwoofer, and offers Chromecast, AirPlay, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Key Features: 

  • Dolby Atmos ready
  • 8 HDMI inputs
  • Receiver and remote control included

Cost: $569

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 Home Theater Bundle

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 Home Theater Bundle

This surround sound home theater system comes complete with a 9.2 channel AV receiver, four TL1600 satellite speakers, one TL1600 center channel speaker, and one TL1600 powered subwoofer.

Key Features: 

  • 4K Ultra HD HDMI
  • Integrates with Sonos Home Sound Systems
  • Dolby Atmos ready

Cost: $698

Klipsch Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System Bundle

Klipsch Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System Bundle

This surround sound home theater system comes complete with four Klipsch satellite speakers, one Klipsch R-8SW subwoofer, one Klipsch center channel speaker, and one Pioneer VSX-LX303 9.2-channel 4K Ultra HD network AV receiver.

Key Features: 

  • Exclusive Tractrix Horn technology
  • Flexible placement system
  • Dolby Atmos ready

Cost: $1,000

Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System

Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System

This surround sound home theater system comes complete with two Elac F5.2 floorstanding speakers, one C5.2 center speaker, two B5.2 surround speakers, and one BIC/Acoustech Platinum Series PL-200 subwoofer.

Key Features: 

  • Improved cabinet design
  • App-enabled ELAC subwoofer
  • Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital/DTS inputs

Cost: $1,350

Klipsch RP-8060FA 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Home Theater System

Klipsch RP-8060FA 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Home Theater System

This surround sound home theater system is a splurge-worthy of the best home theaters for serious sound buffs. It comes complete with two RP-8060FA floorstanding speakers with Dolby Atmos, two RP-6000F Reference Premiere floorstanding speakers, a SPL-150SW 15″ Bass-Reflex subwoofer, two RP-500SA Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos speakers, and two RP-600M Reference Premiere bookshelf speakers.

Key Features: 

  • Low cabinet integrated speaker terminals
  • Compressed molded silicon face
  • Vented tweeter design for enhanced detailed sound

Cost: $5,692

Wireless Home Theater Systems

Sonos Beam 5.1 Surround Set – Home Theater System 

Sonos Beam 5.1 Surround Set - Home Theater System 

This wireless home theater system comes complete with a compact soundbar, subwoofer, and two Sonos One surround speakers. The system is Amazon Alexa-enabled and can be built upon for even greater sound quality.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Automatically pairs with your TV and remote
  • AirPlay compatible

Cost: $1,496

VIZIO SB46514-F6 5.1.4 Premium Home Theater Sound System

VIZIO SB46514-F6 5.1.4 Premium Home Theater Sound System

This wireless home theater system comes complete with four up-firing speakers and rear surround speakers, a wireless subwoofer, and a 5 channel soundbar with the dedicated center channel.

Key Features: 

  • Dolby Atmos ready
  • Chromecast, Bluetooth, and WiFi connectivity
  • Includes premium audio cables

Cost: $798

Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Audio Home Theater System

Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Audio Home Theater System

This wireless home theater system boasts plug-and-play installation, and comes complete with two bipole rear speakers, two bookshelf speakers, a subwoofer, and a Smart Center hub which eliminates the need for an AV receiver.

Key Features: 

  • Flexible placement system
  • Remote control included
  • Includes 3 HDMI inputs

Cost: $750

Sonos Playbar 3.1 Surround Set – Home Theater System

Sonos Playbar 3.1 Surround Set - Home Theater System

This wireless home theater system boasts 3.1 channel surround sound and comes complete with a soundbar and subwoofer. The plug-and-play installation requires virtually zero setup time.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Compatible with most IR remote controls
  • Add more speakers for even better sound quality

Cost: $1,398

Yamaha 7.2-Channel Wireless Bluetooth Home Theater System

Yamaha 7.2-Channel Wireless Bluetooth Home Theater System

This wireless home theater system comes complete with two 2-way floor-standing speakers, two 2-way bookshelf speakers, a 2-way center channel speaker, a 10” active subwoofer, and a 7.2-channel wireless Bluetooth 4K network AV WiFi receiver.

Key Features: 

  • 4K Ultra HD upscaling and pass-through
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Phono input for turntable connection

Cost: $1,030

Sonos 5.1 Surround Set – Home Theater System with Playbar

Sonos 5.1 Surround Set - Home Theater System with Playbar

This wireless home theater system comes complete with a Playbar, two Sonos One speakers, and a subwoofer. It is Amazon Alexa enabled, and easily expands with the addition of more speakers.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Flexible placement system
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity

Cost: $1,796

Products You May Be Interested In:

Avatar