The best home audio system makes watching movies, TV and sports at home a powerful and immersive experience. They vary from separate sound bars to small stereo systems and full surround speakers.
If you just want to improve the sound of your TV in a simple way, you should take the Nakamichi Shockwave Pro, which with its sound bar, two rear speakers and a subwoofer gives the feeling of a movie without unnecessary effort.
Factors such as room size play a big part in determining the wattage and wattage required for your speaker setup, and other details should help you choose the perfect equipment. Consider, for example, whether or not you want surround sound. Without further ado, check out our list of the best home sound systems.
Most Popular: Nakamichi Shockwave Pro 7.1 DTS:X Sound bar
This massive 600 watt 7.1 channel Nakamichi sound bar provides a powerful home audio experience for those who don’t want to commit to the hassle and space of a full reception system. While it may not rival a real system in power and sound quality, it provides a rich and immersive surround sound experience, perfect for those living in apartments or other small spaces.
The tank features five sealed speaker chambers and a quad-core DSP chipset that creates acoustic breadth that brings your media to life with DSP EQ modes. The system features 13 tuned speaker elements and an included 8-inch subwoofer for deep, rich bass. The satellite speakers are also wireless, while the HDMI connected bar has 4K pass-through and plays Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital plus content.
Ideal for small rooms: Sony CMTSBT100 Micro Music System with Bluetooth and NFC
Suitable for smaller spaces, the Sony CMTSBT100 library-style micro music system features 50 watts of power, a built-in CD player, AM/FM radio, USB input for your music playlist, one-touch Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. you can stream music to your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Brushed metal and old-fashioned styling give the CMTSBT100 a retro look. And while the original iPod dock may be missing, the USB port offers a 2.1 amp charging capacity if you want to charge your smartphone and play music from it at the same time.
Don’t expect too much brute force, though, as the device’s USB port can only read 250 songs, and its power-saving feature shuts it down after some inactivity.
Best Showcase: Logitech Z506 Surround Speakers
Our most affordable recommendation, the Logitech Surround Speakers Z506, is a wired two-channel 5.1 and 3D stereo surround sound system with six black speakers and a downward-firing subwoofer for clean, punchy bass. While the system doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity like our other recommended sound systems, the Z506 still offers 75 watts of balanced power – enough to fill a room with sound and even shake some windows. The speaker bass is equipped with an adjustment wheel, with which you can easily adjust the bass levels.
You are not limited to connecting the system to your computer, as the package induces a 3.5mm or RCA audio output, allowing you to easily connect to game consoles, iPods or any external source. While the speakers can work with game consoles and TVs, the audio only produces 2.1 sound quality with no surround sound when plugged in.
Ideal for large rooms: Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 Bluetooth System
You might think that powerful multimedia sound systems cost you an arm and a leg, but the AA5170 Acoustic Audio Bluetooth 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System with 700W active subwoofer strikes a nice middle ground between massive power and an affordable price. The system has six speakers that provide excellent coverage in any room you place it in.
For a great price, the system includes an active subwoofer; five separate and independent channel input/output speakers suitable for surround sound; Bluetooth connection for mobile streaming, SD card input, and MP3 player with flash drive for various music playlists, FM tuner to play your favorite radio stations and 3.5 Aux-RCA cables to start listening right away.
The Acoustic AA5170 home theater uses only 700 watts at a power frequency of 20 Hz to 20 KHz, making it a compact yet powerful speaker package suitable for any home theater system (although static electricity can occur if played at too high a level).
He holds a BA in Comparative Media Studies (Game Design) and has written for the MIT Game Lab as a blogger and narrative designer. He tested several home entertainment systems in this round.
Bill Loguidice has two decades of experience writing and reviewing technology. It was previously published on TechReady, PC Gamer, and Ars Technica. It specializes in home entertainment, smart home technology and computers, tablets and other devices.
What do you need to build the perfect home audio system?
The main requirements for a home audio system are quite simple: you just need a receiver, speakers and an audio device (usually a cable box, streaming device or computer). Additional devices, such as additional speakers or a subwoofer, are the next step in improving the sound quality of your home theater.
Is a home theater sound system good for music?
The home audio systems on our list are usually great choices for listening to music, watching movies, or playing games. In general, the best options for music are at least 5.1 surround and in some cases even a sound bar.
How many watts do my speakers need?
Power output is usually only an issue in very large rooms, and for most people 50W should be more than enough to drive the desired volume into their home theater system. As a general rule, the more sensitive your speakers are (how well they convert the amplifier’s power into acoustics, measured in decibels per watt / distance), the less watts are needed to drive them.
What to look for in a home audio system
Sound quality can be a very personal thing – some people like deeper bass, while others prefer a more balanced sound. Different speaker systems have different sound profiles (which can also be slightly adjusted by moving the speakers around the room). Most home audio systems have main or center channel speakers, left and right channel speakers, and a subwoofer. This combination is a good starting point for most home theaters, but the sound bar and subwoofer combination can also be suitable for apartment dwellers.
If your speakers are intended for a smaller room, you probably don’t need a full 7.1-channel installation. a sound bar or a single speaker can do the trick. However, if you want to fill a larger room with sound, skip something more powerful. Take a look at the overview of 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 channel systems to get a good idea of your capabilities.
Wired vs. Wireless
Like headphones, wired systems often offer better sound, but are often more complicated to set up. If you’re willing to trade sound quality for convenience, a wireless system is a good choice. Standard wireless connectivity is provided via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Some audio systems also have NFC for pairing. Most individual subwoofers are also wireless, meaning they automatically connect to the rest of your sound system when plugged in.