9 Best Home Theater Audio Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Good Home Theater Audio?
To buy a Home theater audio system, there are many things you need to consider, such as sound quality, durability, size, etc. However, it is necessary to always invest in top-quality products. In this article, we will go through 11 Home theater audio systems and discuss each product in detail. This conclusion will let you know which Home theater audio system stands out and why.
- BEST OVERALL: VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio
- BEST BUDGET: Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar 3.1 Home Theater System
- BEST SOUND QUALITY: Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Bluetooth Connectivity
- BEST SIZE : JBL Bar 5.1 – Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
- BEST PORTABILITY: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel 1000W Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar
- BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar + 8Inch Wireless Subwoofer
- BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
- BEST SURROUND SYSTEM: Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
Top-Rated Home Theater Audio
1. VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio
For over a decade, Vizio has been one of the best soundbar manufacturers in the market. The VIZIO V-Series 5.1 home theater sound bar doesn’t compromise quality and comes with a pair of speakers and a subwoofer.
To connect to the bar, you will need to connect with your display and the bar. Then, connect the speaker wire to the subwoofer, and everything will power up. The bar will automatically search for inputs that produce content; you can then steam something on your TV or connect your phone to the bar through Bluetooth.
VIZIO has stated that it takes a low-profile approach to this Home theater system, which is an understatement. V-Series 5.1 Sound Bar isn’t different from sound bars that have been recently released. The bar stands 36 inches tall and is about 2 inches shorter than the Sony HT-G700 sound bar.
The subwoofer and rear speakers are small, and the sub closure houses the speakers and subwoofer easily. The sound bar comes with three drivers, right, center, and left channels in a 5.1 system. The rear of the sound bar has many connections and a 3.5 mm stereo audio input, an HDMI Arc port, an optical port, a USB port, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input.
The bar comes with a few built-in features and is compatible with Bluetooth. The bar is equipped with a Front Surround Mode function, which is good for setups where putting speakers at the back of a room is tough. You can control this model with a remote control which comes with a bar. The bar utilizes the DTS virtual:X and creates a virtual surround sound.
The sound quality of this bar is good and has all the basic elements which make it a good surround setup. The rear speakers add immersion, and even though the subwoofer is just 50 HZ, it still produces good sound quality. This VIZIO bar produces a warm and balanced sound.
- Easy setup
- Warm and balanced sound
- Immersive sound
- The Center channel is weak
- Poor features
2. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
While Logitech is popular for manufacturing PC speakers, it has come with one of the best Home theater audio systems. This speaker system can easily handle music, games, movies, etc. The system has several inputs and delivers a fantastic sound. The Z906 5.1 system has THX certification and delivers 500W RMS power.
Usually, the satellite uses regular rather than proprietary wires for Logitech speakers. These wires are perfect for speakers if the provided wires are not long enough. Both the rear and front speakers of this system have wall mounting capabilities, so you have plenty of placement options.
All audio inputs of this system are behind the subwoofer, but there are no HDMI outputs or inputs, unlike most systems. Unless you have a Blu-ray player that comes with a DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD Master audio plus 5.1 analogue outputs, you won’t be able to use this system.
However, this system has two optical S/P-DIF and a coaxial input, which will allow you to connect a set-top box, a gaming console, a Blue-ray, or a DVD player. There are also a pair of analogue inputs on the 3.5 mm minijack sockets and the other on the stereo phone pockets.
This speaker delivers good sound quality; the center speaker produces clear and crisp sound, while the rear satellites perform well when their volume is full. The sound quality is good enough to fill a large living room.
- Good build quality
- Good sound quality
- The 5.1 surround isn’t up to the mark
- It offers no HDMI support
3. Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar 3.1 Home Theater System
Soundbars that come with high-quality subwoofers are rarely available at a reasonable price. However, that is not the case with the Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar, which has a relatively reasonable price tag. This soundbar delivers excellent music performance and crisp sound, and you can also expand it to a 5.1 system by adding rear satellites.
The dimensions of this sound bar are 2.8 by 45 by 34 inches, and it comes with a cloth-lined grille covering and a wooden enclosure, which covers most of the visible area. This bar is also equipped with 7 drivers: four-inch cone woofers and one-inch soft-dome tweeters bonded to the Tractrix horns.
You can also mount this bar on the wall, as it comes with brackets and screws. There are inputs for 3.5 mm aux, optical cable, and HDMI Arc in the back panel. The back panel also has a subwoofer output and a power cable.
The audio quality of this sound bar is impressive, and once you dial up the volume, it feels like you are sitting in a theater. What is interesting is that the sound quality is good, not gimmicky. There is clarity in dialogues while watching a film, and the bar significantly expands the stereo field.
- Good quality audio with theater-like and deep sub-bass.
- Crisp High-definition quality
- Subwoofer is wireless
- Bluetooth compatible
- Good wireless surround mode
- No User adjustable EQ
4. Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar + 8Inch Wireless Subwoofer
To boost a TV’s sound quality, you can connect the Klipsch Cinema 400 soundbar, which will give the sound a much-needed uplift. While the sound bar doesn’t have many features but can offer high sound quality. If you arrange a movie night, you should go to the Klipsch Cinema 400 Sound Bar.
- Horn Speaker Aesthetic
- 101 cm length
- Wooden housing
This soundbar falls in the entry-level/budget category, and the bar is accompanied by screws and brackets that will enable you to mount the soundbar to the wall. The bar structure is made from wood and is covered by a black fabric grille. The sound bar is equipped with horn-loaded speaker technology.
The speakers are covered by wooden end caps and have a brushed metal finish. While Cinema 400 is similar to the Cinema 600 model, it is slightly shorter in length. On the right side of the bar, there are several buttons for volume and power source. Above the buttons is a panel that displays bar mode.
- No WIFI or smarts
- Dolby audio decoding
- No DTS support
- Analogue and digital outputs
- No support for rear speakers
Since this is an entry-level soundbar, it comes without smarts. The bar is not WIFI compatible and has no voice assistant application or support. This bar is simple and designed for practical use. You will find analogue, digital optical, USB, and HDMI Arc inputs around the soundbar’s rear.
This sound bar is a stereo, which means it is not compatible with DTS:X and Dolby Atmos; it only plays Dolby Digital soundtracks.
- Good design
- Good bass performance
- Weighted and detailed delivery
- High music performance
- Easy to use
- No smarts
- Simple features
- No DTS support
- Come with technical gremlins
5. Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
Sound bars are good at improving the sound quality of televisions; however, if you want to take advantage of the rear-channel surround sound effects, you will need a 5.1 system and an AV receiver. While you might end up with many speakers in your room, they don’t need to be large to create good quality sound.
While manufacturers are bringing out new designs for Atmos speakers regularly, Klipsch has kept things simple and only offers a 5.1 system setup. This speaker is an updated version of the HD 500. The sound system has four satellites and a horn loaded tweener.
The cabinets are made of plastic and are small, as their dimensions are: 7.75 by 4.5 by 5.5 inches. Like most Focal satellites, the Klipsch satellite comes with spring clips.
The satellites that come with this surround system are small and are not capable of creating much bass. These satellites are at 110 HZ, which means it is essential that the AV receiver’s subwoofer adjustments/bass management be set according to the satellites.
The sound of the satellites is directional, so it is necessary to aim all the satellites towards the main listening position in order to achieve the best audio quality.
- Cones are lightweight
- Low-frequency response
- Equipped with Tractrix Horn technology
- An aluminum tweeter enables the speaker to deliver natural sound
- It comes with an amplifier for the subwoofer
- It is not suitable for large rooms
6. Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel 1000W Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar
This soundbar proves that you don’t need an expensive sound bar to experience good sound. This sound setup offers high-quality sound, and you will only need a few cables to set this system up. This is an all-in-one sound bar with four satellite speakers and dual subwoofers.
This is undoubtedly one of the best soundbars in the market; it supports all audio formats and comes with several advanced features. Your gaming experience will surely get an uplift when you connect this soundbar to the gaming console.
Features and Design
The Nakamichi Shockwafe has several features which are definitely worth the investment. The sound bar is manufactured for the complete sound experience and is ideal for home theater systems. The sound bar has a unique shape and comes with six 2.5-inch drivers.
The bar also features one-inch tweeters, which bounce the sound off the walls, and offer a dynamic sound profile. The Nakamichi Shockwafe has a 35 % wider sound profile compared to other sound bars.
The dimensions of this high-quality sound bar are 45.5 by 3.5 by 3 inches, and it only weighs a mere 7.27 pounds. The lightweight sound bar can be easily mounted on the walls or alongside the television. There are also several buttons in the bar for volume control, demo mode, source selection, and control power.
This is a plug-n-play sound bar, and it is extremely easy to set it up. If your TV has an HDMI ARC connection, all you have to do is plug the bar into the TV. The bar comes with a cable, which will enable you to plug it into the TV easily.
However, your TV will also need external speakers or should be CSC enabled; you can find these options in the audio menu. If you can’t find them, check the TV manual, as they can be in another menu.
Additional HDMI ports in the sound bar enable you to plug in gaming consoles, DVDs, and Blu-ray players. After connecting the bar to a source or a TV, you can set the rest of the speakers. Remember, the speakers should be connected to the subwoofer, and the rear and left speakers should connect directly to the speaker.
- It comes with a unique configuration compared to other high-end brands.
- It offers an immersive sound experience because it has 18 drivers.
- Has a solid design.
- Easy to configure, dynamic and loud sound bar.
- Well-designed remote controller.
- Stereo content is not clear.
- The maximum volume will suffer from compression.
7. Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System
The Rockville HS56 is the answer to your home theater audio requirements. The framework of the system comes with 1000-watts top forces, 500 watts programs, and a constant RMS of 250 watts. The framework is loud, so don’t get it too close to your ear.
This home theater audio system comes with a pair of full-range 3-inch back speakers, an 8-inch subwoofer, a middle speaker, and two full-range 3-inch front speakers. The cupboards of the speaker are made of MDF material, not particleboard, like other frameworks.
Each speaker comes with its volume control, which allows them to be balanced freely. However, one thing you should remember about 5.1 Home theater audio systems is that when you play music through radio, Bluetooth, or other sources, the subwoofer and all the speakers will play the music together.
The eight-inch subwoofer gives a clear sound, so perceptible bending or shaking has been observed. This home audio system comes with a beneficiary/ media player with a 5-band EQ, Advanced readout, SD/USB info, Bluetooth, and FM Radio.
On the back of the system are 6 RCA DVD sound sources, an FM reception apparatus input, and 2 RCA Aux inputs. Additionally, 5 RCA contributions control the LED of every speaker.
The subwoofer comes with 4 LED light modes; it has a multicolor or 7 hues mode. There is zero mutilation in the volume, and you can increase the bass setting as high as possible.
This system offers superior sound; here is the link length:
- Front L/F: 12 Ft
- Rear L/F: 24 Ft
- Recurrence Response: 20 HZ to 20 kHz
- Center: 10 Ft
- It comes with 4 LED modes
- Digital Display
- Preset Equalizer Curves (5)
- The remote Controller usually doesn’t work properly
8. JBL Bar 5.1 – Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
The JBL Bar 5.1 was released many years ago, but a few years old is not that big a deal in the audio industry. If you find a decent sound bar on sale, you can still consider buying it. So how does this impressive soundbar work? The bar comes with a pair of speakers that attach to the bar with the help of a magnet.
This means that you have a single unit, and if you want to, you can also easily disconnect the speakers from the soundbar. You can also put the speakers behind a couch or the bed if you don’t want to connect them to the sound bar, which will create a wireless 5.1 home theater audio system.
The JBL Bar 5.1 comes with a subwoofer, which has a traditional feel despite being wireless. The subwoofer is connected to the bar wirelessly. Each satellite speaker that comes with the bar is wireless and has a battery of 10 hours. You have to plug them into the bar to charge the satellite speakers.
This JBL soundbar might look cheap, but it has a hefty price tag, like other JBL bars. The body of this product is made of plastic, and while it feels sturdy, the screen and buttons are not as slick as in other JBL sound bars. The bar’s body is wrapped in perforated mesh, and it hides a small display placed under it, right of the JBL logo.
On top of the soundbar are four buttons: input source, volume, and power. At the back of the soundbar are different input options: Optical (1), HDMI ports (3), AUX (1), and USB (1).
The satellite speakers will plug into the ends of the bar due to a strong magnetic. The whole system looks like a traditional sound bar when everything is plugged in. The total height of the bar is about 1148 mm, which is broad for a soundbar.
The biggest plus point of this JBL sound bar is the wireless sound capabilities. The bar is easy to set up, and you can also unplug the satellite speakers and place them anywhere else, such as along the bed or behind a couch. You can plug a petit microphone in the bar and run auto-calibration, which will fill the room with white noise and bursts of loud sounds for a brief period.
- Wireless 5.1 sound system
- Easy to use and setup
- Good vocal clarity
- Plastic body
- Music feels flat
- The gap between bass and mids
9. Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Bluetooth Connectivity
The Bose Smart Soundbar is the answer for all one-piece audio solutions. This bar is extremely easy to use, all you have to do is plug it into a power source, and you are good to go. The audio experience is spectacular, with no muss or fuss. The Soundbar also offers several features such as WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Airplay 2, the Boss music application, and much more.
The dimensions of the soundbar are 2.25 by 27.5 by 4 inches, and it weighs just 7 pounds. The system has four full-range drivers, one in each cap, and two speakers flank the tweeter in the center. The objective of Bose here is clarity and simplicity, and we believe this bar delivers unmatched quality.
Quality of Sound
Intelligibility and clarity are front and center here. The quality of this sound bar is so impressive that it is among one of the best soundbars in the market. The dialogue delivery in moves is on point, and the Bluetooth pairing is reliable, quick, and easy.
However, while the music app connects easily to the sound bar, the music had some inadequacies in low-frequency extension and spaciousness. You must adjust the bass settings before playing music on the soundbar. You can also connect Voice4Video with this sound bar, which will pair with Alexa’s voice assistant.
- Delivers clarity and unmatched quality
- Easy to set up and use
- Easy to plugin
- It offers an impressive variety of source options
- Can connect to several apps
- Poor audio quality when playing music
- No 360 degrees of immersion in the system
- No Ethernet connectivity
What Is a Home Theater Audio?
A home theater audio is a sound system for amplifying the sound of a media player in homes. This appliance comes with 4,5 or more speakers and a subwoofer. Home theaters have different capacities, with powerful ones able to produce strong, distinct sounds. Due to the multiple speakers audio theaters use, these multiple speakers will produce realistic sounds they conventional systems cannot produce.
Besides, the quality of sounds they produce makes for an ultimate viewing experience as the sound is streamlined with quality visuals. The minimum spec of a home theater audio system is 5.1 and where the woofer is placed is critical to the quality of the sound. The good thing about the system is that the bass frequency is not directional, so that it can reside in any part of the room.
The biggest difference between a home theater audio system and any other type of sound system used in homes is the quality of the sound system. While you can hear sounds coming from the screen, the audio system will circulate sound to every part of the room, and it will seem like the sound is coming from everywhere even though it is not. When you stand on the right side of the speakers, you will hear the same sound intensity if you stand on the left side.
How Does a Home Theater Audio System Work?
A home theater audio system works with the aid of a Video/Audio receiver and an amplifier assembly, just like a stereo system or any sound system. The system receives signals from the external media device such as your Tv, VCR, DVD, or cable and then amplifies the sound and sends it to your sound system or speakers. The beauty of the technology is that it amplifies sounds by combining different components together.
Some home theater audio systems also have a Media player or DVD player added to the components. But you can also buy them separately and group them into one cohesive unit. Buying different units is still practical, but it will cost you more money compared to buying a single unit with all the components already in place. The components that make a home theater audio system work include the following parts
- Output for speakers and TV
- Surround signal processor
- Audio/Video input
- Power amplifiers for the channel
These components work individually and collectively to produce quality sound. The sound source (DVD, VCR, Cable) feeds the signal to the receiver unit. The chosen unit is connected to the preamplifier that picks the signal and amplifies it to the line level. The sound is then transmitted to your TV and decoder, which sorts the different channels. Once it receives the video signal, it sends the same information to the amplifiers, which are connected to the appropriate speakers or set of speakers.
This process is a complex process with a goal by design which is to amplify the sound being produced. If the woofer and speakers are in good condition, the surround will be top-notch and will echo as the sound bounces off the walls ls and ceiling of the room.
What Are the Benefits of a Home Theater Audio System?
If you have a home theater audio system in your home, you stand a chance to enjoy an excellent viewing experience akin to what you would enjoy in a cinema. Home theater systems produce pristine, clear sounds that no other private audio system can boast of. If you are thinking of buying one from your home, here are the benefits you stand to gain and what to expect.
The obvious benefit of a home theater audio system is the quality of sound you stand to gain. The system comes with three or more speakers, which translates to better sounds all around. The first thing you will notice is the quality of the bass output. You can literally leave one room to another and still hear the sound as if you were standing in the room where the system is installed; that is how good the system is. Home theater audio sounds are fuller, more accurate, and better than conventional speakers.
Have you ever experienced poor sound transmission due to delayed signals or distance from the sound source? While this is a common theme with many sound systems, you will not experience the same with a Home Theater audio system. If you land a robust system and Install it in your home, you will enjoy a robust and streamlined sound output that is pure and harmonious. So it doesn’t matter whether you are far from the sound source or not; the quality of the sound remains the same.
Secondly, you will not experience delayed transmission; rather, the transmission will be the same as what you see on your TV or media player.
The cinematic effect is another benefit of a Home theater audio system and why many people spend so much on it. Imagine sitting in your living room and enjoying your favorite movies, show, or sports as if you were sitting in the hallowed halls of a cinema? That is the effect this system will give you. The sound is crystal clear, and every note will be picked and transmitted.
Great for Games
Are you an avid gamer? If you are, you should consider installing an audio system in your home. Video games are much more than images. Taking away the sound and the experience is not as fun as it should be. A home theater audio system will give you an excellent gaming experience as you enjoy a full sound surround. Let’s just say that it amplifies the excitement as much as it amplifies the sound to your delight.
The sound effects as you approach and hit climax, the soundtrack, and the transition sound from one scene to the other will not be lost. All this you will get when you install a quality system in your home.
How to Choose A Home Theater Audio System?
Many people have w hard time choosing a home theater audio system because they either do not have much experience with the sound system or they have too many options at their disposable that they become confused. The good thing about having different options is that you can choose, but the tricky part is deciding which one suits you.
To help you make the right decision, we have compiled a guide to help you make the right choice. Read our guide to know more.
The first thing you should consider first is the size of your room. No matter how good the system is, if your room is too small, you will have limited space left after installing it. Moreover, what should be a work of art will eventually become a menace in your living space.
Whether you plan to install it in your living room, recording room z basement, or wherever, make sure you have the space for it. If your room is too small, you may opt for one with wall-mounted speakers to save ground space. However, if space is not an issue, you can go for one with more than one woofer and several speakers.
For medium-sized rooms, let the size of your TV guide you in making a choice. For smaller sets, you should go for smaller speakers, but for a large one of 65 inches and above, a theater with larger speakers will do.
Another thing you want to consider before you go hunting for a home theater audio system is the reason why you want one in the first place. Home theaters consist of speakers, receivers, and subwoofers for an immersive experience. While they make viewing better, it is best to consider all qualities as well. Music requirements are different from movie requirements.
For movies, you need a system that can cover sounds for dialogue, sound effects, and background music. As you already know, music sounds have more bass than dialogues in movies and voice effects. For voice sounds, the sound comes from the central speaker channel in such a way that you will feel you are being spoken to directly. So when picking a home theater system, decide on what you will most likely use it for.
If it is mainly for music, choose one with very powerful bass, but if it is for viewing, you want one with less bass. However, note that the sound quality remains top-notch, so don’t let this factor alone influence your choice.
Do You Want A 5.1 or A 7.1 System?
How many speakers do you want the system to have? Ideally, we advise buyers not to use three speaker systems for their limited range. For a more immersive experience, the best to go for is a 5.1 or a 7.1 speaker system. Remember that home theater audio systems are mainly about surround sounds, so the more speakers the set has, the more sound it will produce.
Now, you should know that there are two basic setups. The first one is the 5.1
5.1 means five speakers and one woofer, and this type is the least expensive package. It has three front speakers positioned on the left, right, and center and two surround speakers positioned on either side of the surround speakers at the back of the front three.
The 7.1 unit is the most expensive one, and it has seven speakers and one woofer. It has three front speakers and four surround speakers instead of one. The additional speakers are positioned to the side or rear and serve as listening speakers.
The good thing about 7.1 units is that you can incorporate height speakers into the setup to enable an immersive surround sound.
So which do you go for?
It should depend on your budget as 7.1 units are more expensive than 5.1 units. Secondly, the size of your room is another factor to consider. If you have a room with a space of 200 square feet and above, you can go for a 7.1 unit, but for a smaller room, the unit will choke up the space. So your room size is one of the major factors to consider before making a final choice.
This factor should only be considered if you want to install height speakers. The good thing about height speakers is that the sounds they produce will seem like they are coming from the ceiling rather than the wall where they are hung. They produce sounds that bounce off the ceiling and walls and shoot straight at you. But is a height speaker worth investing in?
The choice is yours, but yet again, you should consider the length of your walls and your overall interior design. If your ceiling is high, a wall speaker will not be effective because the sound will travel a long way. You should also know that not every home theater audio system needs a wall speaker. The sound the speakers on the ground will produce is enough to make up for the lack of sound coming from the walls and ceiling.
You need to buy a unit with a very good subwoofer that has very good bass. It makes no sense to have a home theater that does not amplify the sound of every kick and note. When making your selection, the quality of the woofer is a major component to focus on. You want one that has acoustic ls that will match with the speakers. But if you are not impressed with the quality after buying it, you can invest in another woofer separately with much higher quality. Some of the best units have subwoofers that you can plug directly into the power socket, and they work just fine.
Wires or Wireless System
If you don’t want wires lying everywhere in your home, we recommend you go for a wireless system. Wireless Home theater audio systems have become very popular these days. Installation is easy, and you can connect it using Bluetooth, but they are quite expensive. But the downside is that you can’t upgrade them as much as you can with a wireless system. Let your final decision be based on your preference and budget.
In this article, we reviewed the 9 best soundbars available in the market. We did in-depth reviews for each product, going over several aspects. However, not all sound bars are equal, as each has pros and cons.
When it comes to picking one sound bar, we will go with the VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio, as we feel it offers the best experience. Don’t rush, test each product, if possible, and then purchase a sound bar.