Surround Sound System Reviews
The top rated surround sound systems that we have reviewed here are from superior manufacturers that are known for sound quality. With these reviews and the buyer’s guide that follows, you will understand the surround sound system much better and not be scared off by what seems like a lot of technology to understand and learn about.
Best Overall Surround Sound System
5/5 Product Rating
With the rear satellite speakers and the wireless subwoofer that provides plenty of deep bass, you will feel like you are right in the middle of the action.
Stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device you own from the sound bar with the built in Bluetooth feature even if your television set is off.
The intuitive LCD display makes changing audio settings simply and easy. The Vizio sound bar itself can be placed on a flat surface or conveniently wall mounted as well.
This system holds a Best in Class audio performance rating that will deliver up to 100 dB of sound that is crystal clear and contains less than 1% total harmonic distortion. It may look understated and simple but that is one of the things customers like the most about the Vizio sound bar.
It is easy to set up and you can have the total home theater experience in no time as soon as you unpack it from the box. Once you’ve experienced the sound quality and “right in the moment” sound and feel it gives you, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get one.
– Darius Spieth
Best Overall Surround Sound System – Runner Up
4.8/5 Product Rating
The built in Wi-Fi adds even more perks with access to hit movies and television shows, great music and more right from your TV. Your smartphone can be connected easily with one touch Bluetooth pairing that will get your music streaming instantly. No you can enjoy all of your favorite music in your home without worry or hassle of any wires.
You will most definitely be bringing the “just like the movie theater” experience right into your home thanks to the full HD 1080p, blu-ray disc player, the vibrant 5.1 channel HD surround sound and 1000 watts of power. You can easily connect to the internet without any worry of any cluttering cables.
Imagine being able to stream Netflix, Huluplus, Pandora and much more right from the television set… It will definite ass pizzazz and style to the way your television entertainment usually is. Invite your friends and family over for a great movie night that will surround them with all of the great sound effects that are in movies these days.
– Darius Spieth
4.6/5 Product Rating
With 1000 watts of peak power you will feel every thumping note of bass the soundtracks and audio has to offer as well as the crystal clear high notes and rich mid-range sounds as well.
Logitech offers a very flexible set up to the user with the ability to connect up to 6 different devices including:
The easy sound control console and wireless remote allows users to easily personalize their own surround sound system experience. The speakers that are part of this surround sound system have the coveted THX certification which means they have met strict performance standards. The small speakers can be mounted or set on a table or shelf to truly customize them to the size and needs of your room.
The compact design of the Logitech surround sound system is stackable to fit in with your existing home entertainment system. You can use the easy to use wireless remote or the inputs on the console to adjust volume, power and mute settings as well as setting up the inputs.
When you purchase the Logitech Surround Sound System you will get everything you need to transform your living room or den into a true entertainment space. Included in the box are 5 satellite speakers, 1 subwoofer, 1 speaker connection, 6 feet of six channel direct cables, a stackable control console and wireless remote. Watching television will never be the same.
– Darius Spieth
With all of the digital and high definition capabilities on the market today, a surround sound system is still a key factor in any home entertainment set up. With the right system, such as one of these top rated surround sound systems, the viewers will feel like they are immersed in the action of the television show or movie that they are watching.
Surround sound systems vary in the features they offer depending on the amount of the power source it has and the number of components it has. Continue reading below to learn all about surround sound systems. Our buyer’s guide will help you discover the features, benefits and considerations that you need to know to choose the right surround sound system for your home.
4. Yamaha 203
5. ZVOX 580
6. Yamaha 105
7. ZVOX 220
8. ZVOX 570
9. Harman Kardon
Surround Sound System Buying Guide
What is a Surround Sound System?
Having a high quality surround sound system can add quality sound to your television experiences. When you want to purchase a surround sound system, there are a few things you will want to do before you actually make a purchase.
First of all, check and see what connection options you have with your existing devices. Once you have done this, evaluate the room you are transforming for things like echo and size as well.
Lastly, decide whether you want a custom set up or a “surround sound system in a box” which is what the three top rated surround sound systems are that we have reviewed here.
Surround Sound System Components
There are several components that make up a surround sound system. If you are picking and choosing components these are the basic ones that you will want to include.
- Center Channel Speaker – This speaker delivers 2 channels of sound, right and left and is the one that is usually placed in the front of the room, facing the viewers. The center speaker is your anchor and is responsible for playing the dialogue and sound effects that come from the front.
- Satellite Speaker – Your satellite speaker delivers one single channel of sound and is best places in a corner or the rear of the room. Sometimes satellite speakers are called surround speakers. You can have anywhere from 2 to 11 satellite speakers and are best places in a circle around the room. Be sure that you get speakers to the sides and in the back as well.
- Subwoofer – This unit is what is responsible for those low frequency, thumping bass sounds. The subwoofer can be put anywhere you choose in the room. During set up, try placing it in different places and see what sounds good to the viewers. Avoid placing the subwoofer in a corner to avoid getting the common “boom” sound or overly muddy bass. You can have one or two subwoofers for a surround sound system.
- Receiver – The receiver is the core component that decodes the signals coming from the audio sources and sends them to the speakers to be projected out to the viewers. The receiver is usually placed next to the TV or projector screen and the center speaker. The majority of receivers on the market support a variety of formats.
Comparing Surround Sound Systems
The most popular surround sound system set ups are the 5.1 channel and 7.1 channel systems. Other options are available that are less popular which include 2.1 channel, 6.1 channel, 9.1 channel, 9.2 channel, 10.2 channel sets up. There are advantages and disadvantages of each of these set ups.
- 2.1-Channel Systems – True surround sound is going to be from a set up that is 5.1 channel or higher but it does fall under a category that is called virtual surround sound. The 2.1 channel system is comprised of 2 speakers and a subwoofer. This combination mimics a true surround sound system. If you have a 2.1 channel system, you will place this in the front of the room close to the television. Space the speakers equal distances apart. Even though a 2.1 system is more often than not, less expensive than other systems, it is limited on what it can do. The best type of room to put a system of this kind in is a small, square room that the sound will be able to bounce off of to create an illusion of true surround sound.
- 1- Channel System – The 5.1 channel system is the most commonly used surround sound format. The majority of all movies support this channel system. It is made up of a center channel speaker, 2 front satellite speakers, 2 rear satellite speakers and the subwoofer. These 5 speakers are placed evenly around the room to give the viewer a true surround sound experience. If the design of room allows for it, place the rear speakers in the corners of the room and place them just above ear level from a sitting position. The front speakers should also be set in the front corners and the center channel speaker centered with the TV directly in front of the viewing space. Make sure all of the speakers are facing the viewers.
- 1 Channel Systems – When Blu-ray HD came onto the scene, the introduction of 7.1 channel systems also came about. The 7.1 channel system adds 2 speakers to the 5.1 set up. A 7.1 system uses 4 channels two in the rear and 2 surrounds. The two additional speakers that are part of the 7.1 channel system should also be placed behind the seating area. The addition of the two speakers provides even more sound quality enhancement tht improves the viewers TV experience.
Features of a Great Surround Sound System
There are many different features that are part of a surround sound system. These features need to be part of the consideration process as you are researching various set ups. For most consumers, a 5.1 channel system or a 7.1 channel system will be plenty to provide viewers with a fantastic surround sound experience. Let’s go over other features that will be a part of the surround sound system.
- Do you want separate components or a set? – You can either choose the parts of your surround sound system separately or buy sets that are already put together. This is sometimes called a “Home Theater in a Box”. They come with all the needed components and are ready to install right out of the box. These “in the box” systems make things much easier when you are looking to create that home theater experience.
- Speaker Size and Shape – Speakers will either be wall mounted, floor standing, or can be set on a shelf or table. The front speakers will more often than not be larger than the rear and surround speakers. They can range in size from 4” to as large as 20”. If the system has floor standing models, they may be as tall as 3 or 4 feet in height.
- Wired or Wireless? – Surround sound systems come in both wired and wireless varieties. Wireless systems will create much less clutter, especially in the larger 7.1 or above channel systems. Wireless surround sound systems use infrared or radio signals to transfer the sound to the listeners. Wireless systems will still require a power cord and an available outlet. Make sure that the cables used are long enough to reach and that there are available outlets in the room.
- Receiver Choices – The receivers that are in your surround sound system will vary. Depending on the model and size of the set up, they may be integrated with Blu-ray or a DVD player. These will already be configured for the best possible performance. Don’t forget to check for HDMI connectivity and the ability of the receiver to translate the analog signals into surround sound. Thos capability will provide the most fulfilling television viewing and hearing experience.
Surround sound systems provide the ultimate viewing experience for viewers with sound effects that make you feel like you are right in the middle of all the action. They are not difficult to set up, especially with the home theater kits and set ups, so you can have your home theater ready to go in no time.
In general, users should go with the rule of thumb that small surround systems are going to be better in small rooms and if you have a large room, you will get better results from a large system. With advancing technology, there are many choices that you will have from Blu-ray integration to DVD players and much more.
Many people avoid surround sound systems thinking they are way too complicated to understand and set up but this is not the case at all. Because there are so many sets that are already put together with all the needed components all that is really necessary is to research the complete sets and read reviews to find out what customers have to say about their performance.
With the information we have provided in these reviews and the buyer’s guide, you have the information you need to make an informed decision as to the surround sound system that is perfect for your preferences, your room size and your budget as well.