Best surround sound system 2023: Jump Menu
1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best wireless system: Sony HT-A9
3. Most versatile system: JBL Bar 800
4. Best 5.1 system: Monoprice SB-600
5. Best LG system: LG S95QR
6. Best Sonos system: Sonos Beam (Gen 2) System
7. Best budget system: Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack
8. Buying advice
9. How we test
The best surround sound systems help you create the perfect home cinema experience, adding that missing element to how you watch TV and movies. In addition to a great TV, they are a great way to amp up the audio soundtrack to everything from action movies and sports to your favorite tunes and podcasts.
As any film buff or avid gamer will tell you, the image is only half of the story with surround sound. It's vital to have a great sound system if you're looking to perfect your home cinema experience - especially when the local multiplex isn't an option and more and more movies are being streamed at home.
A lot has changed in the world of surround sound in the past few years. The mass of cables, speakers, and stands that used to clutter our living rooms have been replaced by much tidier single-unit soundbars that sit underneath our TVs and boost what the slim flat screens can't do.
Listed below are some of the best options for surround sound. If you're not sure if you need multiple speakers, you may want to consider our guide to the best soundbars.
And the Cyber Monday surround sound system deals have started in earnest. We're already seeing 45% off some of our favorite models. We'll be cataloging the best offers as they happen here - expect to see deals as big as up to 70% off at brands like Bang and Olufsen, Sony and LG. Bookmark this page and we'll do the hard work for you.
The best Cyber Monday soundbar deals
We named this system the most versatile below as it can connect easily to so many devices. And we've not seen it at a price this low this year. No better time to buy - and this deal is still the best you'll find on any soundbar online right now.
As far as early Black Friday deals go, this is a pretty big percentage drop on the set we reviewed below as the best wireless system. This is unlikely to drop further and is low in stock, so is recommeded to buy now.
The quick list
Best wireless system
Sony's HT-A9 cinema kit delivers impressive audio quality without the hassle of a full 7.1 surround sound system. It includes four wireless speaker units and supports 8K HDR content. However, its high cost may deter budget-conscious buyers.
Most versatile system
The JBL Bar 800 soundbar offers strong connectivity with smart home devices and excellent audio quality for TV, music, and games. Its slightly bulky design is the only drawback.
Best 5.1 system
The Monoprice SB-600 5.1.2 home cinema system delivers capable performance at an affordable price of $350. It includes a soundbar, subwoofer, and rear speakers, along with mounting brackets, and offers decent volume and clarity, albeit with slightly muddy treble. A user-friendly remote and understated design complete the package.
Best LG system
The LG S95QR soundbar package offers cinema-style surround sound for a memorable film-viewing experience. The system is easy to set up and use, with multiple settings to suit various shows. However, its wide build and size may limit its use in smaller living spaces.
Best Sonos system
Sonos doesn't offer a single surround sound system, but its bundles make it possible to create immersive audio by using products together. The Sonos Beam package comes with Sub Mini and two Sonos One SL speakers that also double as rear units, while also offering features like Alexa and Google Assistant and customizable sound via the Sonos app.
Best budget system
True surround sound systems significantly improve the home theater experience, but building one can be expensive over time. The Klipsch HT50 starter pack is an affordable solution of six speakers, including a center channel, four speakers, and a wireless subwoofer, delivering excellent sound without Bluetooth or smart home compatibility.
The best surround sound systems we recommend in 2023
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Best wireless surround sound system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Buy it if
✅ You want real spatial audio: the 360 Spatial Sound effect creates a truly immersive environment.
✅ You're a real audiophile: audio has deep and powerful bass tones, clear and unmuddied treble, and crisp, full, and balanced mid-tones.
✅ You're thinking long-term: this long-term investment supports advanced formats like 8K and Dolby Atmos.
Don't buy it if:
❌ You're on a budget: the system's price point of $2,000 is a significant sticking point for those on a budget.
❌ You have a small living room: the big speakers may not blend well into their surroundings.
❌ You want a multi-purpose system: the base station has only one HDMI input, which may be limiting for those with a range of external sources.
The bottom line
🔎 Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System is a pricey investment, but it's worth it for audiophiles seeking high-quality sound without the hassle of a full 7.1 surround system. Its sleek design and 360 Spatial Sound effects genuinely fill the room and immerse you in your content. The system supports advanced formats like 8K and Dolby Atmos, making it a long-term investment. ★★★★½
For audiophiles who want high-quality sound without a complicated setup, the Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System is a worthwhile investment despite its $2,000 price tag. The system boasts a sleek design and 360 Spatial Sound effect that immerses you in your content, and while you'll need space to mount or place the speakers and enough power sockets, the audio quality is unbeatable, supporting advanced formats like 8K and Dolby Atmos.
Design: If you're considering the HT-A9, be prepared for some big speakers. They stand just over a foot tall and weigh 6 lbs each, so they won't exactly blend into their surroundings. However, their modern cylindrical design and textured plastic finish make them attractive in their own right, and the perforated metal grilles add a nice touch.
The base station is compact and has a small but efficient display of key status information. We'll note, however, that you may have some difficulty finding a place to put the speakers if you don't use the included wall-mounting brackets, as each speaker needs its own dedicated power input.
Audio: The powerful speakers contain four drivers, including woofers, tweeters, and upward-firing drivers. The '360 Spatial Sound' feature uses audio trickery and algorithms to mimic 12 'phantom speakers' around the room, creating an immersive environment.
We're pleased to say that the system's sound reproduction is almost cinema-level, with deep and powerful bass tones, clear and unmuddied treble, and crisp, full, and balanced mid-tones. Music sounds spectacular, thanks to the DSEE Extreme audio upscaling technology, which improves the fidelity of compressed audio files.
Features: The HT-A9 system supports 8K HDR content and Dolby Vision, making it a great choice for those needing a fully-fledged home cinema audio system. However, the base station has only one HDMI input, which may be limiting for those with a range of external sources. The system also supports Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming, and can be controlled through Google Assistant.
Read our full Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System review
|Design||Large; attractive speakers; compact base||★★★★½|
|Audio||Powerful speakers; immersive sound quality||★★★★★|
|Features||8K; Dolby Atmos; just one HDMI; Google Assistant||★★★★|