Good balance of sound quality, usability and affordability is what the most users are expecting from the best home theater system. However, that is not the only aspect that distinguishes a good product from a bad one. There are numerous characteristics that make an impact on the overall quality of a home theater system and if you are a newbie on the subject, that might present an issue.
Nevertheless, all of that can be fixed in no-time and all you need to do is act according to the following guidelines, and your perfect device will show up eventually.
How to Choose the Best Home Theater System
In order for you to make your search for the best home theater system as simple as possible, you should focus your attention on a few important characteristics that make the biggest difference and separate quality products from the rest.
One of the most important home theater characteristics is definitely surround sound; however, it’s not just its configuration (5.1, 5.2, 7.1, 9.1, etc.), but also supported formats (Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc.).
7.1 surround sounds is usually a better option than 5.1, just like support for various formats usually provides a much better sound experience. You should, however, choose your best fit based on your room size or needs, not just performance.
For instance, 7.1 would probably be too much for a tiny room, and also many surround sound formats wouldn’t have enough space to show their best sides. Therefore, be reasonable and choose the combination that will give you the best possible experience in accordance with your needs and circumstances.
As you can guess, connectivity is one of the most important aspects of a home theater system; however, it’s not because of its general use, but mostly because of its versatility.
If you have a variety of connections available, you will have the opportunity to connect it to other devices and as a result, expand the usability of the system. In other words, there are never enough connectivity options.
More power allows you to efficiently use your home theater system in a larger space. For instance, 50W subwoofer in combination with 50W speaker, or smaller, is usually good enough for small rooms, while for larger rooms you would probably need a subwoofer with more than 100W and a set of speakers that goes along with that. Have in mind: the larger the space, the more power is needed.
9 Best Home Theater Systems
Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
A Highly Compact, but Efficient Home Theater
Finding a practical home theater system that combines a compact size and quality performance is desired by many, and Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack delivers precisely that. It offers a rich sound, common for much bigger systems and overall small size that makes it perfect as a discrete home theater solution.
Unfortunately, its 50W subwoofer, paired with 50W satellites and 75W center speakers doesn’t supply enough power for use in large rooms, but still, it represents a respectable starter pack that will ideally suit most living rooms.
Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack provides a 5.1 surround sound, offers a reliable 2.4GHz wireless connection and is equipped with LFE/Stereo inputs. Also, it has an input impedance of 8 Ohms and offers a sleek, black look, which makes it suitable for all sorts of interiors.
On the other hand, its price is a bit too high. However, if you are searching for a stylish and efficient system that presents one of the best wireless home theater systems at the same time, Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 is an ideal fit for you.
- Rich sound
- No AV receiver
A Great, Small Home Theater System that Can Fit in Any Room
If you are into products that offer a solid build and good performance, and on top of that are small and practical for placing in every type of room or office, Yamaha YHT-4930UBL should be your choice.
This system presents an affordable option, with numerous connection types (five HDMI outputs, one Optical and two coaxial connections, three Composite outputs, etc.) and support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. More importantly, this device provides a full 4K (60fps) compatibility and support for both HDCP 2.2 and 5.1 audio, and altogether represents an ideal option for the majority of users.
Unfortunately, this system lacks the Wi-Fi and Ethernet connection. However, it is equipped with Bluetooth that provides support for wireless streaming and at least partially compensates for the absence of an internet connection.
Yamaha YHT-4930UBL is fitted with 100W subwoofer and YPAO room optimization software and provides a great sound quality, which will satisfy a large number of users. In general, this system provides a great combination of features and performance and overall belongs to the group of the best 5.1 home theater systems available. Therefore, you can’t be wrong with this purchase.
- Full 4K and HDR10 support
- Bluetooth connection for wireless streaming
- Good value for the money
- Fair price
- No Fi-Wi or Ethernet connection
An Amazing Home Theater System that Will Satisfy Anybody’s Needs
Onkyo HT-S9800THX is a high-quality home theater system, with great performance and advanced features that, among others, include THX certification and support for Dolby Atmos, which is rather rare for dedicated home systems.
This device brings great connectivity and comes equipped with nine HDMI ports, two Optical and two Component inputs and one Coaxial input. Furthermore, it provides Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking and offers support for AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi, FireConnect, and also has a built-in Chromecast. Also, it provides support for Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and other streaming services, which altogether makes it an ideal device for the entertainment of the whole family.
Onkyo HT-S9800THX comes with a two-year warranty and provides a full 4K (60fps) video compatibility that is followed by DTS, HDCP 2.2, HDR10, HLG and BT.2020 support. In other words, everything that would be expected from the best home theater system is there.
Thanks to its 165W amplifier and 7.1 surround sound system, the delivered audio quality is among the best in the class. However, dedicated Dolby Atmos speakers aren’t included in the package and therefore, you are required to purchase them separately in order to have the best possible experience.
Nevertheless, if you want a top-class home theater system that will fulfil most of your needs, be sure that Onkyo HT-S9800THX is more than up to that task.
- Support for Dolby Atmos, HDR10, Dolby Vision
- Great connectivity
- Not the best customer service
- It comes without dedicated Dolby Atmos speakers
Sonos 5.1 Home Theater System
A System for the Future
If you are a fan of innovation and unconventionality, Sonos 5.1 Home Theater System might be the device for you. This system offers great flexibility and excellent performance, but more importantly, it doesn’t require a wired connection. Therefore, you can place the speakers wherever you want around the house and enjoy the music while you are bathing, or lying on your sofa, or just relaxing from long day at work in your bedroom.
Sonos 5.1 Home Theater System offers a 5.1 surround sound and comes equipped with a 55W amplifier, which is good enough for a solid stereo configuration but would lack power if you decide to include some more serious towers.
When talking about connectivity, this system is supplied with many output connections (RCA, digital optical and digital coaxial), but unfortunately only one input connection (RCA), which may present an issue with many TVs and prevent you from using it with them.
On the other hand, it’s Wi-Fi and Ethernet connection allow you to fully enjoy up to 30 different streaming services (Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn, etc.), while thanks to its dedicated app you can simply add or remove components into/from the configuration and therefore, easily adjust it up to your needs.
In other words, one of the best home theater systems is in front of you, of course, if you are willing to accept its limitations, and more importantly, its progressive approach.
- Limited input connectivity
Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System
A High-quality Home Theater Speakers Ideal for Sitcom Devotees
Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System is the best example that beautiful design and a quality performance go head to head. Although a bit bulky, this system offers an attractive appearance, and more importantly, one of the strongest home theater speakers builds, which, among others, involves the usage of concave metal grills.
When talking about performance, this device comes fitted with Acoustimass module that significantly improves its bass, but unfortunately, it doesn’t give it enough punch, which makes the whole system not that suitable for action and bass-heavy tracks. On the other hand, the clarity of the vocals and dialogues is amazing, therefore, sitcom and movie fans will love it.
Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System has a five-year warranty, offers full 5.1 surround sound experience and can handle 200W of power per every channel, which is highly respectable for this sort of system. Also, it comes supplied with multiple tweakable controls and cables that are labelled for easy setup, which isn’t that important, but certainly presents a nice detail.
All in all, this system isn’t perfect and has its drawbacks. However, if you need a durable and efficient system for your drama or comedy nights, this is the best home theater sound system you can find.
- Great clarity of vocals and dialogues
- Not that great bass performance
- No A/V receiver
An Affordable All-around Home Theater System
A combination of good performance, familiar brand and affordable price has been a winning combination for a long time and Yamaha Yht-4950U is the proof for that. This system doesn’t bring anything spectacular; still, it delivers just the right amount of everything to provide more than a satisfying experience for the user.
This system offers full 4K compatibility, followed by HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and 3D support. Also, it is equipped with YPAO Sound Optimization that adjusts the whole system in accordance with your room acoustics and offers support for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital Plus. More importantly, although it isn’t amazing, its delivered sound is balanced, with rich bass reproduction and overall results in excellent 5.1 surround sound experience.
Unfortunately, Yamaha Yht-4950U has no Wi-Fi, nor Ethernet connection. However, it is fitted with Bluetooth, which allows for music streaming from the compatible devices and is equipped with a USB port that just adds one more playback option to its already highly versatile nature.
Along with that, this system is packed with connectivity options (five HDMI ports, four RCA and one Optical TOSLINK connection, two Digital Coaxial connections, etc.), it is equipped with 50W YST II subwoofer and provides up to 145W of total output power.
Altogether, the best home theater system for the money is in front of you.
- Good price
- Easy setup
- Great performance
- No Wi-Fi, nor Ethernet connection
Pioneer 5.1 Home Theater System HTP-074
A Perfect Entry-level Home Theater System for Every Household
If you are searching for the decent entry-level device, with numerous features and more than decent performance, Pioneer 5.1 Home Theater System HTP-074 might be the best fit for you.
This system includes five speakers that provide up to 150W of power when combined, has a 100W subwoofer and AV receiver with 100W and 6 ohms per channel. More importantly, this 5.1-channel surround sound system, provides support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and delivers not that impressive, but still decent sound quality that will satisfy the majority of users.
It is ideal for small rooms and offers full 4K(60fps) compatibility that is followed by the support for HDR10 and HDCP 2.2. Therefore, movie fans should also be more than pleased with the delivered experience.
Along with that, this system offers great connectivity (five HDMI ports, three RCA Composite connections, USB port, etc.) and is equipped with Bluetooth function that allows for music streaming from the compatible devices.
Altogether, if you want the best budget home theater system for your house, you can be sure that Pioneer 5.1 Home Theater System HTP-074 won’t disappoint you.
- Numerous options
- Good price
- Not the best sound quality
Enclave Audio CineHome
One of the Best There Is
Enclave Audio CineHome is one of those systems that bring a great combination of features, performance and usability and on top of that, innovation.
This system is completely wire-free and all the operations are done through Enclave Smart Center that is used as a hub. There is no need for the cables, while its Enclave Audio app that is compatible with both Android and iOS, makes it ideal for music streaming from those types of devices.
The sound system itself provides an amazingly crisp and clear sound, which makes it perfect for both movie fans and demanding audiophiles. Its setup (pairing) can be done in a snap, while the system is upgradeable to 5.2 or even 7.1 configuration.
Enclave Audio CineHome offers Bluetooth connection and has a built-in Chromecast. Moreover, it provides decent connectivity, with four HDMI ports, ARC connection, analog stereo input, etc. Unfortunately, its HDMIs are 1.4b, and therefore don’t support 4K audio pass-through. However, the device itself provides 4K compatibility that is done through the ARC connector and offers support for DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and more.
All in all, Enclave Audio CineHome is among the best home theater speaker systems you can find and surely one of the best deals on the market right now.
- Fully wireless
- Great design
- Excellent audio quality
- Its HDMI 1.4b doesn’t support 4K audio
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600
An Affordable Audio System Made for Home Cinema Beginners
Quality sound doesn’t always demand the purchase of expensive systems, sometimes even the cheap devices can bring a thrilling performance that will satisfy most users, and Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 is the prime example of that.
This system offers powerful and very balanced sound, with solid bass performance, which shows its best sides in upper layers. Drumbeats are deep, while the treble is precise and crisp. In other words, with Polk, you are getting a great value for the money and much better performance than its low price suggests.
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 comes with four identical TL1 satellites, one Center Channel and 50W subwoofer, that all-around deliver a good 5.1 surround sound experience. The system itself can be easily expanded to 6.1 or 7.1 configuration, while its compact size makes it suitable for every home or office. However, the system shows its best results in smaller rooms, while in the larger spaces its sound has a tendency to get lost.
Nevertheless, if you want the best home theater system under 500 bucks, that will deliver a staggering audio performance, Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 is a perfect choice.
- Good build quality
- Quality sound
- It gets “lost” in large rooms
- No AV receiver
If you want to watch the next movie with a new home theater system, compare the products we have listed above and we are sure that one of them will be the right fit for your living room. Just consider all of our advice and you simply can’t go wrong! Good luck!