A true cinema experience is difficult to replicate but not impossible. It all starts with a comfortable couch, a large screen TV and a proper home theater audio system. Without a proper sound system, the movie simply loses a bit of its charm. Very few people realise that there is a lot of work that goes into making the sound effects and music of a movie. Not experiencing them using a decent home theater speaker system simply takes away some of the production value of the movie. It does not have to be a very loud system. It just needs to deliver rich, accurate and clear sound.
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Today we will go through a small selections of what we call purchase-worthy sound systems that can enhance a viewing experience and deliver a movie the way it was made to be experienced. Since a home theater does not need to be complicated, even a sound bar can be good enough as long as the sound quality is up to par. A 3D surround experience can only be achieved with a 5.1 system but for the sake of diversity we picked all types of systems from all price ranges.
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Best Home Theater Speakers in 2020
The main focus has been sound quality and value for money. It is simply not worth spending ridiculously high amounts of money on a sound system since there are so many decent, affordable options. With these things in mind here is our list of the top 10 best home theater speakers in 2020.
10. Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition 5-Channel Surround Sound Home Cinema Speaker System
Leviton AEH50-WH Architectural Edition home cinema speakers is a compact but powerful 5.1 system. It loud and the sound quality is quite impressive. The system has a 100 watt subwoofer and 5 loud satellite speakers. The model uses JBL speakers which ensures excellent sound quality. The design also makes them quite appealing. They are available in a white color and they are very easy to setup
- Magnetic shielding
- Powerful 100 watt subwoofer
- 1 sound system, expandable to 7.1
- Subwoofer tends to get quite warm
The system has a built-in amplifier, placed in the subwoofer. One issue that most users notice is that the subwoofer can get quite warm even at low volumes. This comes from the amplifier. It does not get hot enough to damage the subwoofer in any way but it can be a bit concerning especially during a hot summer day.
9. Polk Audio RM705 5.1 Home Theater System
Polk Audio RM705 is a great home theater system that comes with a modest price tag. It has a very decent construction with a large subwoofer and magnetic shielding for all speakers. The speakers can be mounted onto a wall and have a modern glossy finish. In terms of sound quality, the system delivers a rich sound that makes them great for watching a movie or even listening to music. The subwoofer delivers rich deep bass while the satellites provide crisp clear sound.
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- Quite inexpensive
- Very clear sound and rich bass
- Magnetic shielding
- Speaker mounts are a bit flimsy
The speakers can be mounted on a wall or left as is onto a flat surface. Unfortunately, the mounts are a bit flimsy when placed onto a wall and it is better to just avoid hanging them. Vibrations can interfere with the sound quality if they are not tightly mounted onto the wall.
8. Samsung HT-J4500 5.1 Channel 500 Watt 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System
Samsung has a lot of different home theater systems available but their most popular one has to be the HT-J4500. It is a complete system that comes with a Blu-Ray player and a 500 watt 5.1 speaker system. The model even supports Bluetooth connectivity and features Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround. Being a complete system also means that it has plenty of connectivity options and it is better suited for watching movies rather than for listening to music.
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- 500 watt sound system
- Comes with a Blu-Ray player
- Plenty of connectivity options
- Lack of wireless support
Despite having Bluetooth support, the sound system does not support a wireless connection. It does have an Ethernet port. These days it is quite uncommon to have a home cinema system without wireless support. Also, the instructions are not very clear which is kind of unacceptable. Setting it up might take longer than expected.
7. Polk Audio T50 Home Theater and Music Floor Standing Tower Speaker
Polk Audio T50 home theater system is excellent for the ones that simply do not like cables. The system is made of two tower speakers. Each speaker has sub-bass radiators and a tweeter. This makes up for crisp clear sound and very rich bass. The model is also quite affordable and offers great value for the money. The construction is also quite decent. It takes a bit of balancing from an equalizer to take full advantage of the speakers.
- Balanced sound and rich bass
- Simple construction and design
- Wooden enclosures
- Sounds needs to be balanced from an equalizer
The speakers do not sound great straight out of the box. Their quality is good but it takes a bit of tampering with the equalizers to get them to sound as they should. This comes from Polk and their choice in drivers for this particular model. Still, for the price, they offer a great bang for the buck.
6. Bose CineMate 15 Home Theater Speaker System
Bose CineMate 15 home theater speaker system is one of the more expensive options in our list. It is not as loud as some of the other models but it compensates with excellent sound quality. Despite having only one satellite and a subwoofer, the speakers are excellent for watching movies. They come with multiple input options and they are very easy to set up. It is worth noting that this particular sound system cannot be mounted onto a wall.
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- Crystal clear sound quality
- Comes with a dedicated remote
- Very easy to setup
- Price tag is a bit steep
If it were for the high price tag, the sound system would have scored much higher in our list. It still offers great value for the money but not that many are willing to pay the price for a simple soundbar system. They can be used for movies and music especially due to the subwoofer that is capable of delivering deep and clear bass even at high volumes.
5. Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker System
Acoustic Audio AA5170 is a great model for the ones that have a limited budget. It is a 5.1 speaker system that comes with a dedicated remote and some extra useful features. The speaker system comes with Bluetooth connectivity, SD card support and can play music directly off a USB drive. Sound quality is decent and their design is good but it will not impress anyone. For the price, they offer a great deal.
- Bluetooth support, SD Card slot, USB drive mp3 playback
- Includes a dedicated remote
- 700 Watt sound system
- Sound quality is poor at high volumes
The speakers seem to be unable to handle high volumes. Maybe the manufacturers should have limited the volume a bit to avoid the crackling sound. As long as the volume does not reach extreme highs, it should be fine. They are still quite loud for regular domestic use. Sound quality is decent but not impressive. The speakers are still quite suitable for watching movies and listening to music.
4. Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker Set
Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1 channel home theater speaker system is a good pick for the ones that are struggling with a limited budget. The system comes with a loud 100 Watt subwoofer and five satellites. It is a standalone speaker package that offers good sound quality without having any useless features. It is very easy to setup and all the speakers are magnetically shielded which means they can be placed right next to the TV.
- Great value for the money
- High fidelity
- Rich bass and crisp clear mids and highs
- Requires an amplifier
The system itself comes bare-bone. It does not have a built-in amplifier which means that it will require some extra equipment and implicitly more wires to go around. However, we are talking about a high fidelity system and they usually come without an amplifier. Such high-quality speakers usually go for much higher price tags.
3. VIZIO SB3851-C0 38-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers
A 5.1 speaker system usually implies a lot of wires. Not everyone likes this type of systems because of the extra wires. The VIZIO SB3851-C0 is a great option as it has a wireless subwoofer and just 3 satellites. The center satellite is a long sound bar. Sound quality is also quite impressive. It supports Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround and audio post-processing. The speakers can also be wall mounted.
- Wireless subwoofer, better cable management
- Includes a remote
- High quality DTS and Dolby Digital sound decoding
- Audio interruptions over Bluetooth
Despite having Bluetooth support, the sound system has some issues over wireless. Not all units experience this but it can happen for the audio to experience interruptions when playing audio over Bluetooth. The system works much better over a wired input. It works perfectly for movies and listening to music due to the high quality drivers used.
2. Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System
Energy 5.1 home theater system is one of the more expensive models in our list. It offers excellent sound quality that places it well above the average. The model uses a 200 Watt subwoofer and high fidelity satellites. Unlike other high fidelity systems, this one has a built-in amplifier. It is very easy to setup and can be mounted onto a wall. What is surprising is how compact the speakers are when taken into account how powerful they are.
- Built-in amplifier
- Powerful 200 Watt subwoofer
- High fidelity sound quality
- High price tag
Not everyone will be willing to spend this much on a home theater system when there are so many affordable option. The system caters more towards audiophiles and the ones that truly want a cinema experience at home. They can be very loud and maybe a bit too powerful for use at home. Even so, the system is still worth spending the extra money.
1. Logitech Z506 Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System
The Logitech Z506 surround home theater system is by far the most popular model released by the Swedish company. It is perfectly suitable for a medium to large room. Despite having a total rated power of 75 Watts they are still loud and the sound quality is quite impressive. Bass is clear and rich while the mids and highs are crisp and sharp. The system can be used with a regular TV, DVD, console or even a PC.
- Very versatile works great with any device
- Crisp clear sound quality
- Could have been a bit more powerful
75 Watts is not a lot. Surely it works for a medium to small room to enjoy some music or a movie but the system is not powerful enough for a small party. A bit more punch would be required. Still, for the price tag, the sound quality is quite good and they work very well as a home theater system.
Choosing The Right Home Cinema Speaker Set
Home cinema speakers come in many shapes, forms, and sizes. Sound quality matters most than anything. The prices can vary a lot depending on several things such as the drivers used and the features they offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a home theater speaker system.
- Does it have a built-in amplifier? Not all speaker systems have a built-in amplifier. The ones that do not, will need a dedicated amplifier. This can improve sound quality but it also means more cables and can cost a lot more overall.
- 1, soundbars and tower speakers? True surround can be obtained only with 5.1 systems and the movie also needs to be available in 5.1 audio. Also, 5.1 systems mean more wires. The simple solution is to get a sound bar or tower speakers. Sound quality can still be good, there are less cables but there is no true surround.
- How powerful should it be? A sound system with a 100 Watt subwoofer should be more than enough. Anything above that is overkill. Systems that have a total of 100 Watts or less are excellent for a small to medium room.