Surround Yourself with the Best Surround Sound Systems

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What Are the Best Surround Sound Systems?

Shopping around for a better way to immerse yourself in the sounds of music, movies, TV, or other media? Then you’ll need the best surround sound systems to choose from. I recently decided to upgrade my entertainment area and spent countless hours researching and listening to different setups. As a musician and artist, I know how important sound quality is. You’ll need the latest technology and features that you may not even know existed, along with the elegant designs that are just some of the great qualities found in the best surround sound systems.

The first important tip for any buyer to know is that the cheap versions of the best surround sound systems just won’t cut it. The quality of every single part and piece that is used in the construction of the speakers, box, magnets, cones, and everything else is essential for the best sound possible. The cheap models just don’t have what it takes to be something that will make you happy after you purchase it.

If you want to know that the system you buy will last a long time, hold its value if you decide to sell it and upgrade, and keep the quality of its sound throughout the years, you’ll need trusted brands that use the latest features and technology to further enhance the sound.

It’s also important to note that the best surround sound systems on this list are for indoor home theaters and living rooms. If you want to check out outdoor speaker systems, check out this article.

What Are Features Common in the Best Surround Sound Systems?

First, you’ll want all the latest features in connectivity. It’ll be pointless if your system can’t connect to Wi-Fi and have Bluetooth connectivity so you can play music streaming apps right from your phone, tablet, or computer. Going wireless with every piece of tech that you buy is always going to be a good thing.

However, it’s important to note that any device that is wired is going to have a better connection. Latency issues disappear, along with connection quality that can reduce sound quality in this context. Several years ago, when Bluetooth technology was first introduced to the surround sound system market, the reservations people had about the new features were very understandable. The quality of the sound wasn’t nearly as good as a wired system.

When Bluetooth speakers were introduced, the same issue occurred where the sound quality was driven down because they weren’t wired. Now, those issues are completely resolved by using small coding and programs inside the computer of the device to allow for maximum enhancement of the sound quality. The senders and receivers are much better equipped to produce sound just as if they were wired in.

Price

The price point has to be right as well. There are some serious systems out there that can go past $15,000. There aren’t very many people that would pay more for one of the best surround sound systems for their needs than they would a car. The most bought surround sound systems are the cheaper ones, of course, because people want to save money.

But, the quality isn’t near what you want it to be in the cheaper models. You want something that won’t drain your bank account but has the quality and features of the super expensive models. They do exist, and you’ll get three explained right here for you.

The Winner-

Bose Lifestyle 650 best surround sound systems

This wouldn’t be much of a list of the best surround sound systems without Bose being on it. When one thinks of the best quality of sound, Bose is the first name that pops up. There is a reason that trend exists.

Bose has been at the forefront of leading the industry in innovative technology for many years. This particular surround sound system model is no different. You get all the features of a new system, plus the outstanding performance of a Bose system. Every detail is intricately engineered in these products.

Nothing is overlooked, and everything is enhanced.

This 5.1 channel surround sound system combines elegance, superior craftsmanship, unmatched sound quality, and features that are hard to find in most other surround sound systems.

Bose Lifestyle 650 Craftsmanship

Bose outdid even themselves when making- what I consider- the best surround sound systems on the market. The receiver, speakers, and the Acoustimass wireless bass speaker module are all carefully crafted from brushed aluminum. Bose is also mostly known for how small they make their products that produce a bigger sound than their traditionally designed counterparts. This surround sound system uses smaller speakers, but the technology behind them creates a sound much bigger and a better quality than anyone would imagine.

Bose uses what they have trademarked, “OmniJewel” speaker technology. This is two opposing drivers, or speakers facing each other to create an omnidirectional sound that also reduces undesirable sound interference like static, distortion, reverb, etc. They have mastered the art of the speaker, and have carefully housed it in a modern, but elegant box that looks great in any home.

Bose Lifestyle 650 Sound Quality

Bose Lifestyle 650 best surround sound systems

The sound quality of this system is off the charts. It is better than one would expect even from a more expensive system like this one. The dual opposing driver speaker technology is the most modern design and the quality of the sound is just amazing.

The bass speaker that comes in this package is called the “Acoustimass Bass Module”. This means its construction allows it to provide a much deeper, richer bass and clear tones that the competitors just can’t touch.

The overall goal for the system was to provide a 360-degree sound so the user can completely immerse themselves in the experience. This is achieved by the omnidirectional technology that is exclusive to Bose products. During the initial setup process, which the system guides the user through, it will give you the best possible place to put the speakers to get the best sound.

But, if you were even to put them all around the same area, you would still get a ‘surround’ sound, because the speakers produce sound in all directions, except for the backside, while they are against the wall.

Unify

This model of surround sound system features “Unify”, which is an exclusive setup guide that is super easy to use. Its all on the screen, so the user simply follows the prompts. Within the guide, another technology, ADAPTiQ, which is an audio calibration tool that finesses the sound down to the finest detail. It considers room size, shape, where the speakers are, speaker levels, sound levels, and many other settings and features.

The ‘bass module’ and speakers that are for the back of the room, usually away from the console, TV, cable box, etc. are wireless so you don’t have to run 30ft cords across your room. The quality of the sound is not affected one bit. All the speakers have the same quality about them regardless if they are wireless or not.

Bose Lifestyle 650 Features

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth technology
  • “Unify” technology to add more wireless speakers
  • Easy on-screen setup guide
  • Universal remote with hundreds of settings and buttons along with LED screen at the top
  • Comes with wall mounts for OmniJewel wall speakers

What’s in the Box?

The Lifestyle 650 model comes with OmniJewel speakers with a true 360-degree sound output. The unit comes with:

  • 4 omnidirectional wall speakers
  • 21″ soundbar center speaker
  • Wireless “Acoustimass” bass module with “QuietPort” technology
  • Alexa-enabled system module with 6 HDMI inputs and all-around connectivity
  • Universal remote
  • Speaker cables
  • Headset for ADAPTiQ
  • HDMI cable
  • IR emitter
  • Batteries for universal remote
  • Power supplies
  • Owner’s manual
  • Setup hardware and instructions

Bose Lifestyle 650 Connectivity

Bose Lifestyle 650 best surround sound systems Amazon Alexa

Connect any device you have to this surround sound system, and it will support it. Here are the ports you can find on the back of the system console:

  • 6 HDMI ports
  • 2 coax connections
  • 2 optical connections
  • L/R audio out
  • Connections port for Bass Module
  • IR repeater connection
  • Ethernet port
  • USB port
  • Data port

On the front of the main system console, you can find:

  • Headphone jack

Bose Lifestyle 650 Picture Quality

This surround sound system is made for other devices to pass through it, which will enhance both the picture and the sound on any device. This model enhances the picture quality using 4K passthrough connectivity technology. Simply, it’s quite incredible.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Omnidirectional wall speakers- 1.84″ x 5.77″ x 1.84″ @ .78 lbs.
  • Main System Console- 15.98″ x 2.56″ x 10.16″ @ 8.8 lbs.
  • Center Channel Speaker- 21.34″ x 1.9″ x 1.84″ @2.66 lbs.
  • Rear Speaker Wireless Receiver- 6.54″ x 1.6″ x 3.07″ @ 9.8 oz.
  • “Acoustimass” Bass Speaker- 11.61″ x 12.8″ x 11.61″ @ 30lbs.

Flaws, But Not Dealbreakers

Some folks have complained pretty fiercely about the setup, and how terrible it is to do. Most don’t have a problem. Just remember that this is a larger system that requires careful settings’ manipulation and setup, running cords, plugging everything in safely, installing wall mounts, etc.

It is reported that the entire process takes about two hours to do. That isn’t bad considering everything the system has.

Final Thoughts

The Bose Lifestyle 650 surround sound system is a beast. It is a magnificent and elegant system of equipment that will enhance every part of your home entertainment lifestyle. The sound quality is unbelievable.

The wireless connectivity is super convenient, and it doesn’t take away from the quality of the sound. The extra features and settings that are exclusive to Bose put this system over the top of its competitors.

Plus, the fact that you can buy single wireless Bose speakers and add to the system is amazing. You can put speakers in every room of your house, and use the settings to map it. You can then tell Alexa to continue playing your music in the bathroom, or anywhere else. The technology is futuristic, and it will connect to any newer device out there, no matter what it is.

The system is the easiest thing I have used. It does everything for you. The setup is completely guided, the settings go through and tell you what exactly it changes, and you can mess with levels and all kinds of other settings. Simply plug it in, connect some wires, and fire it up. Everything connects seamlessly, and you’ll be ready to go in no time. The price is high, but it is well worth the money because it has everything the best surround sound systems should have.

 

The Runner-Up- Yamaha YHT-5920UBL

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL best surround sound systems

Yamaha has been making the most incredible instruments and some of the best surround sound systems for decades. So needless to say, one of their models makes the list of best surround sound systems for good reason. This particular surround sound system model has all the goodies, features, connectivity, and settings that make it one of the best on the market.

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL Craftsmanship

Yamaha products are known to their resiliency and robust design. This company makes concert speakers that stack up to the ceiling on a stage. This little system will be able to take some damage and still keep pumping out great sound. The boxes are made from a very hard plastic material.

Simply put, it’ll last as long as you’ll take care of it. The materials Yamaha uses to make every single piece of their products. They come from the best sources and are designed and made by the most brilliant people in the industry. Yamaha products are also known to last the longest because of their precise and firm quality control standards.

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL Sound Quality

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL best surround sound systems

The sound is driven by a powerful 100w subwoofer, 4 wall mount speakers, and a center speaker. Yamaha has done such a fantastic job of combining new sound enhancing technologies into their products. For example, Yamaha’s digital piano is considered the best in the world because of their innovative sound enhancement software.

The same kind of innovation and technology is used in all their digital products, including this model, one of the best surround sound systems on the market.

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL Features

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity SBC / AAC
  • Wireless Direct connectivity
  • Compressed music enhancer technology
  • Compatible with DSD 2.8MHz, WAV, AIFF 192 kHz, 5.6 MHz, FLAC, Apple Lossless 96 kHz, and 24-bit playback
  • 4K UHD passthrough technology
  • HDCP 2.2 support
  • “MusicCast”- added wireless speaker capability
  • YPAO- automatic wireless sound optimization setup
  • Compatible with Spotify, AirPlay, and Pandora
  • A/V controller app
  • Works with Alexa
  • 3D video signal support
  • CEC compatible- unit turns on and off with your TV or projector
  • DSP settings and parameter adjustment software
  • Gapless playback
  • “Virtual Cinema DSP & Front”- These are 2 speaker setup selections that use virtual sound technology to make it sound like there are two speakers behind where the person is sitting when there isn’t. This is a virtual setup when running speakers to the back of the room just aren’t possible. In these setups, all of the physical speakers are at the front, by the TV or projector in these two setup options
  • Extra bass setting
  • “Cinema DSP 3D”- enhances the quality of audio by decoding HD audio on 3D formatting
  • “Virtual Presence Speaker”- this enhancement provides true 3D sound from the regular speakers. No actual presence speakers are required for this setting
  • Subwoofer Trim settings for enhanced sound imaging
  • Adaptive Range Control
  • Built-in FM/AM tuner and antenna

What’s in the Box?

  • Main console A/V receiver
  • 4 wall mount speakers, front, and rear
  • Center speaker
  • 100w subwoofer w/ 6 1/2″ cone
  • Power cables
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty information
  • Universal remote

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL Connectivity

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL best surround sound systems

This unit has all the ports one would need to hook up a serious entertainment system. At the back of the receiver, you’ll find:

  • 6 HDMI in ports
  • HDMI Out port
  • Ethernet port
  • Coax connection
  • Optical connections
  • Multiple wired speaker ports
  • L/R audio out connections
  • A/V connections

At the front of the unit, you will find:

  • Headphone jack
  • USB 2.0 / 3.0 port
  • Auxiliary port
  • YPAO microphone input

Yamaha YHT-5920UBL Picture Quality

This model is capable of 3D and 4K passthrough and enhances the picture of regular HD. The picture is astounding. This product will put out the best picture that is possible, but it will all depend on the capabilities of your TV or projector. Check out this article if you want to learn more about the best projectors on the market.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Front Speakers- 4 3/8″ x 6 7/8″ x 4 5/8″ @1.3 lbs.
  • Center Speaker- 10 7/8″ x 4 3/8″ x 4 5/8″ @ 1.61 lbs.
  • Surround Speakers- 4 3/8″ x 6 7/8″ x 4 5/8″ @ 1.3 lbs.
  • Subwoofer- 11 3/8″ x 11 1/2″ x 12 7/8″ @ 17.6 lbs.
  • Main System Receiver- 17-1/8” x 8-3/4” x 12-7/8” (with antenna) @ 17.9 lbs.

Flaws, But Not Dealbreakers

The system just doesn’t have many flaws. Yamaha took their time in perfecting most of the components and technology associated with this product. However, there are just a few things that irked some people.

The wires for the front speakers and subwoofer isn’t a very good quality wire. It still works just fine the way it is, but if you want the best connection and sound, it would be best to buy a high-end 16g speaker wire to replace the factory wire.

Some people are upset about the speaker quality. Personally, I believe that to be really splitting hairs, because the sound quality is amazing. Some people have some media that isn’t the best quality and then blame it on the speakers. If you play a 4K movie through this system with quality HDMI cables and have the setting right, you’ll be blown away at the sound this surround sound system makes.

Another complaint, which I actually found a bit of merit in, is that the speakers do not have the best highs. If you want the highs to come through, you must fiddle with the levels and other settings and it ends up taking away from the mid-levels and low levels. Again, this is splitting hairs, and it would take an experienced ear to even notice the difference. To the average user, the highs are completely fine.

Final Thoughts

It was tough to decide whether or not to put the Yamaha YHT-5920UBL MusicCast in the first place position or not because of all the amazing features and enhancement capabilities that they put into it. The extra goodies they put into the unit aren’t empty promises either. They enhance the sound to a ridiculous level of professional quality that other brands just cannot come close to.

The options available for the user for connectivity, settings, features, and fine-tuning every single aspect of how the system works is amazing. Even though this surround sound system can be very complicated, which is great for the experienced user, the unit is still incredibly easy to use for the average user. Once the system is set up, just a couple of buttons on your phone, tablet, computer, or the remote will get you to where you want to be, listening to music, watching a movie, streaming music, or video, or casting the screen of your device onto your TV.

The price of this system is the best part of this whole deal. You’ll pay much more for a quality TV or projector, which is great because you’ll save a ton of money getting one of the best surround sound systems money can buy. Plus, you don’t have to stop at just the setup that comes in the box. You can purchase additional wireless speakers and disburse them throughout your home theater or other rooms in your home at your leisure.

The extra speakers are very affordable too. All in all, you are getting the best quality surround sound system for a fraction of the price of some of the other models that do the exact same thing.

The Honorable Mention- Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 best surround sound systems

While this system is the Honorable Mention, don’t be fooled. It is a sound powerhouse that will shake and rattle your entire house if you want it to. There aren’t any surround sound systems that can be put up against this one for the price.

When thinking about how speakers and systems like these work, we want to know about how much power they have in each channel, and how much power you need for your application. Sound physics is a very complicated matter, but to make it easy for everyone, let’s just say that more power is a good thing.

Small speakers need to work harder to produce the decibels and sound quality that people want out of their surround sound systems. It does not have to work very hard at all to give you some serious sound that is excellent throughout the entire range. At 210w per channel @ 6ohms and 100w per channel @ 8ohms, you’ll be able to rattle the devil’s cage at maximum volume.

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 Craftsmanship

This system is made of a high-quality plastic with MDF speaker enclosures. The makers use quality materials to make the inner workings of the unit, like the computer, video, and audio boards, etc. The connections are solidly built and sturdy against the backing of the main system receiver.

Most other surround sound systems are made from the same material, more or less. There’s really nothing special about this system besides to note that it is sturdy enough to justify the price tag.

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 Sound Quality

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 best surround sound systems

Onkyo has been a leading sound company that produces some of the best surround sound systems. They like to show off that experience in their products. They only use the best, proven technologies, materials, and people to build their products. I could go on for days about the little details and enhancements at different frequencies and so forth.

Just listening to the system puts a smile on your face, especially if you’re an audiophile. You know that when you play your favorite album on Spotify or another music app, you’re getting some of the best quality sounds, and you also know that it turns up to 11.

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 Features

  • Amplification of Dynamic Audio
  • Circuitry- Non-phase-shift
  • “VLSC” filtering technology
  • 2.2 Dolby Atmos playback support
  • Up-mix Dolby Surround capability
  • “DTS:X” and “DTS Neural:X” technology
  • Chromecast built-in
  • DTS Play-Fi
  • Supports all music apps
  • THX certified sound quality
  • Supports HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10, 4K/60Hz, BT.2020, and HDCP 2.2
  • “Powered Zone 2” allows for additional speakers and other wireless audio sources to be integrated into the system seamlessly
  • Onkyo Controller- an app that allows the user to control every part of the system, including streaming services and controls the audio and playback using “FlareConnect”
  • “FlareConnect”- a built-in feature that allows the user to mirror different kinds of audio to other compatible devices and speakers
  • 7.1 channels
  • 1595w total system power
  • Multiple DSP modes
  • AccuEQ- advanced equalizer settings that allow the user to fine-tune sound throughout the entire range
  • Advanced music optimizer
  • Bass boost
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies
  • Front, Center, and Surround Speakers- 2-way acoustic suspension construction
  • Subwoofer- 12″ acoustic suspension, front firing
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • 3D pass-through capability

What’s in the Box?

  • Onkyo main system receiver
  • 2 front speakers
  • Center speaker
  • 4 surround speakers
  • Subwoofer
  • Power cables
  • Speaker wires
  • Various cables
  • Instructions
  • Universal remote
  • Warranty information

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 Connectivity

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 best surround sound systems

This system will support anything you want to connect to it, either wirelessly or wired in. On the back of the receiver, you’ll find:

  • 7 HDMI in 2 HDMI Out
  • 2 Component video ports
  • USB port
  • 2 Composite ports
  • 2 Optical connections
  • Coax connection
  • 6 audio I/O
  • Zone 2- Line-out
  • Ethernet port
  • Tuner audio I/O
  • 6 audio in- TV, CD, stream box, game, cable/satellite, BD/DVD
  • Subwoofer Pre-out
  • 2 video in- cable/satellite, stream box
  • AM/FM connections

Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 Picture Quality

This system features a 4K passthrough and is 3D compatible, so it will enhance the picture quality of any media. As long as the quality of the media and the cables are good then the picture will be of the best quality money can buy.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Front Speakers- 6 1/4″ x 17 1/16″ x 7 13/16″ @ 11.7 lbs.
  • Center Speaker- 17 1/16″ x 6 1/4″ x 7 13/16″ @ 11.7 lbs.
  • Surround Speakers- 7 7/8″ x 10 13/16″ x 6 5/8″ @ 7.7 lbs.
  • Subwoofer- 14 15/16″ x 17 1/2″ x 16 7/8″ @ 34.2 lbs.
  • Receiver- 17 1/8″ x 6 13/16″ x 14 7/8″ @ 22 lbs.

Flaws, But Not Dealbreakers

There have been some reported issues with quality control when people order this surround sound system online. But their customer service is super helpful, and they always make it right no matter what. Although, it can be quite annoying to a customer when a product arrives damaged, broken, and doesn’t work correctly.

Final Thoughts

The Onkyo HT-S9800THXOnkyo HT-S9800THX surround sound system has enough power to rattle all your decorations off your wall but still has the advanced technology to produce a crisp, clear, and rich sound at every single frequency. You certainly feel the lows in your chest when you turn it up, the mid-levels keep everything nice and smooth, and the high levels are crisp and not overpowering.

The combination is a wonderful sound that gives you the real experience of being in a movie theater. Personally, it is better than going to the movies, because you get to control everything. Plus, the sound is better in a smaller environment. The power of this system is just amazing.

Overall Thoughts on the Best Surround Sound System

The best surround sound systems are great for any home or even at the office or elsewhere. You can use them for a number of applications. Versatility wasn’t a quality of the best surround sound systems just a few years ago. Now you can connect anything to them and still have the best quality sounds. This is due to them being produced through brilliant sound innovation, futuristic technology, and scientific perfection of tried and true desirable speaker qualities.

The price is what usually puts people into a certain category when they shop for a product like a surround sound system. The best thing to do is not settle for a smaller, cheaper model, even if that system is from a name brand. While those types of systems are the most popular, they are also the most disappointing. People show it through reviews and comments all throughout the internet.

Do yourself a favor and budget for a quality surround sound system so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down, not being compatible with what you have, or not being able to produce quality sound and picture from your devices. You cannot go wrong with the three best surround sound systems above, but there are many more out there that may fit your needs better. Your pick of one of the best surround sound systems is the one that you love the most.

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