7 Best Surround Sound Systems (For All Budgets)

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  • Immersive audio is somewhat of a confusing area
  • With so many models and ‘channels’ available, you may wonder which is best for you
  • We dive deep into the 7 best Surround Sound Systems available on the current market
  • Also, check out our post on 5.1 vs 7.1 surround sound!

Nothing improves a gaming, cinema, or music listening experience quite like a great set of surround sound speakers.

Surround sound speakers are specifically designed to add spatial dynamics to your audio playback and can make certain audio experiences feel truly immersive. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best surround sound speakers on the current market, with considerations taken for various price points.

We’ve also thrown in a handful of tips on what to look for in a good surround sound system  

7 Best Surround Sound Systems in 2022 

The best surround sound system and our pick is the Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package which offers crystal clear frequency response and incredibly tight low-end. Very stylish finishing options. 

The best surround sound system for movies is the Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Cinema Pack. The 3050i emits minimal resonance and has a delightful bass dispersion that is prime for loud movie viewing. 

The best budget option is the Elac Debut 2.0 5.1. The Elac Debut offers surprisingly good quality sound for their asking price, as well as a handful of handy user functions. More on this below!

Our list of the 7 Best Surround Sound Systems reads as follows:

  1. Nakamichi Shockwave Elite 7.2.4 
  2. Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package (Our Pick)
  3. Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Cinema Pack (Best For Movies)
  4. Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System
  5. Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Home Cinema Pack
  6. Platin Monaco 5.1 WiSA Speaker System
  7. Elac Debut 2.0 5.1 (Best Budget)

1.  Nakamichi Shockwave Elite 7.2.4 

Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4 

Transform your living room into a premium cinema within minutes. Experience deep, room-filling bass with the industry’s only Dual Wireless Subwoofers and True 360° 7.2 channel surround sound with the Soundbar + Two Rear Surround Speakers

Why We Love It:
  • Affordable
  • Exceptional clarity
  • Immersive bass
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Key Features:

  • Power: 800 Watt
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital / DTS:X, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD, DTS
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 45.5″ x 3.0″ x 3.5″ (Soundbar) /12.0″ x 9.5″ x 20.5″ (Subwoofers)/ 5.0″ x 5.4″ x 8.0″ (Rear Speakers)


Nakamichi is a brand mostly known by audiophiles for its high-performing budget sound products.

The Shockwave Elite is one of the most popular editions to their home theater range and has been putting a lot of more costly competitors to shame with its effortless presence and clarity at a very affordable price. 

The strength of the Shockwafe’s quality lies in its generous driver array.

With 14 drivers in total on their Elite package tier, there is more than enough hardware present to deliver a definitive signal and stereo image. 

Most of these drivers are placed in the soundbar, generating most mid-to high-range frequencies during playback.

The Soundbar has various connectivity options, including HDMI, eARC coaxial, and optical inputs. 

Two wireless subs hold down the bass duties on this system but are sadly the weakest link in the Shockwafe’s chain. Even with 6’’ cones in the subs, there is a notable lack of low-end unless the volume is pushed near maximum levels.

Audiophiles or fans of bass-heavy audio experience may want to opt for something more powerful. 

2. Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package (Our Pick)

Our Pick
Dali Oberon 5 5.1 Speaker Package

The Dali Oberon 5 is the ultimate performer - combining Dali ideas, traditions, and inventions. Dali’s compact and elegant speakers will surprise you with their ability to deliver a deep, firm bass together with clear, well-defined mid-range and airy high frequencies. 

Why We Love It:
  • Sophisticated aesthetic
  • Fantastic value
  • Detailed and balanced sound
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Key Features:

  • Power: 170 Watts
  • Channels: 5.1
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital / DTS:X, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD, DTS
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 32″ x 6.2″ x 11″ (Fronts) /10.6″ x 6.2″ x 9.” (Surrounds)/ 12″ x 11.4″ x 12″ (Subwoofer)


Standing in front of the Dali Oberon 5 5.1 speaker package immediately makes you feel sophisticated.

Each of the grainy wood finishing options adds an exceptional allure to their aesthetic and also serves a valuable practical purpose. Dali’s choice of reliable woods like walnut and oak do a great job of minimizing resonance from each speaker without choking their clarity.

The entire speaker setup is powered by a 170 Watt Class-D amplifier with classic dials for crossover and gain for room calibration. 

The highlight of the Oberon 5.1 speaker package is undoubtedly the freestanding bookshelf speakers, which carry the majority of the overall playback strength and image.

Each speaker hosts a 23mm tweeter and a dual set of 6.5’’ mid and brass range drivers, and this set alone delivers an incredibly broad and consistent frequency response. 

This strong image is further enhanced with a set of Oberon 5 shoebox speakers, meant for firing to the center of the room from the sharp left and right angles.

You’ll need a wide space to achieve the optimum leveling from the bookshelf and shoe box speakers, primarily to avoid cluttering up your listening position. 

The final member of the Oberon 5 family is the humble Dali Sub E9-F, which houses a single 10’’ woofer, thankfully.

Anything bigger would have simply been obnoxious, especially alongside the bookshelf speakers.

If you’re looking for a surround system to fill up a large area without being overly abrasive, you’ll enjoy the consistent and classy performance of the Dali Oberon 5’s. 

3. Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Cinema Pack (Best For Movies)

Best For Movies
Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Home Cinema Pack

The 3050i Series 5.1 Home Theater Speaker Package will unleash the full potential of your home cinema electronics. Its exquisitely detailed sound will convey all the atmosphere, natural dialogue, and, when required, the full-bodied explosive drama of every video soundtrack. 

Why We Love It:
  • Attractive finish
  • Detailed sound
  • Dampening material to reduce resonance
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Key Features:

  • Power: 50-180 Watts
  • Channels: 5.1
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital / DTS:X, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD, DTS
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 5.9″ x 10.0″ x 9.9″ (Centre Speaker) 16.9″ x 6.0″ x 8.5″ (Bookshelf Speaker) 18.9″ x 11.8″ x 5.9″ (subwoofer) 12.2″ x 40.2″ x 12.2″ (Side Speaker)


Q Acoustics developed the 3050i as an evolution and expansion option to their highly popular 3050 surround sound speakers.

Fans of the original should immediately notice the aesthetic and performance upgrades that the upgrades offer. The new editions of the 3050s cost just a tiny bit extra than the originals, which is a huge bonus. 

The updated 3050i’s come with vastly improved cabinets with a unique dampening technology called Helmholtz Pressure Equalizer (which the company has used in other speaker productions). 

This design uses a specific dampening material laced inside the tube of each driver to help minimize resonance and any other unwanted vibrations within the cabinet.

Each cabinet also features a chrome bezel around the speaker cone adds to the rigidity of their playback quality. The result of these upgrades is an incredibly taut and sharp playback quality.

Even untrained ears should easily pick up the enhanced definition between movie audio elements like dialogue, music, and sound effects. 

Louder noises don’t stab directly at you while watching movies or gaming, thanks mostly to bass duties being shared between the central sub and bookshelf speakers.

While they might not be considered a top-shelf item by hardened audiophiles, there’s nothing to complain about the 3050is – especially at their asking price. 

4. Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System

Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System

Immerse yourself in a multi-dimensional audio experience with the HT-A9 Home Theater System. Unique 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology calibrates sound to your room for an environment that seems to expand beyond the walls.

Why We Love It:
  • Flexible layout
  • Clear and crisp sound
  • 360 spatial sound mapping technology
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Key Features:

  • Power: 504 Watts
  • Channels: 12
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Dual Mono, DTS, DTS HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 96/24, DTS:X, LPCM
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth, Wireless Network
  • Dimensions: Undisclosed


Trust an ambitious company like Sony to turn the intricate science of surround sound into a more playful home exercise.

The configuration of these speakers requires you to set them up in more non-conventional layouts depending on your room shape and size, which might deter fans of traditional home surround sound setups. 

However, those that throw caution to the wind may be surprised to see the method in Sony’s apparent madness, especially if you’re shopping for tighter listening spaces. 

The HT -A9s achieve their intriguing mix through Sony’s Sound Field Optimisation process. This process uses microphones inside each speaker to measure a room’s dimensions and points of reflection.

This information is used to create a synthesized sonic space that fits your room’s requirements. All of this is fascinating on paper but can be hit-and-miss if testing is done in cluttered or busy spaces. 

The HT-A9 surround sound speaker system comprises just four speakers, each housing punchy 19mm tweeters and full mid-range drivers.

Sony has offered a separate sub as an expansion offer which the system sadly needs, as the general tone that the speakers deliver can be a bit harsh and weightless, especially when pushed to high volume levels. 

5. Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 5.0 Home Cinema Pack 

Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 5.0 Speakers

The new Diamond series woofers feature their new Klarity mica-infused Polypropylene cones with molded radial ribs to add stiffness and reduce flexing. The result is a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low coloration, and lightning-fast response. 

Why We Love It:
  • Superior performance
  • Resonance control cabinet
  • Affordable, high-quality speakers
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Key Features:

  • Power: 100 Watts (Primary Bookshelf Speakers)
  • Channels: 12
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Dual mono, DTS, DTS HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 96/24, DTS:X, LPCM
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth, Wireless Network
  • Dimensions: 12.2″ x 7″ x 10.9″ (Primary Bookshelf Speakers)


Some may view the Wharfedale Diamond home cinema pack as an excessive means to an end when setting up their home stereo system.

With 12.0 and 21.1 channel options, the Wharfedale team has made sure to leave no sonic stone unturned with this setup. 

The home cinema pack comprises a solid 6-speaker configuration, including a stunning subwoofer that stands out from the entire driver array.

The SW-10 subwoofer comes with a 10’’ long-throw driver that delivers a very concise and tight low-end with minimal resonance

Added to the speaker array are two bookshelf speakers and two standing mount speakers – all centered around generating a sturdy mid-to-high range presence. 

The collective sonic character of the Diamond cinema pack can best be described as dynamic and precise.

There are certain sound design textures, like the tinkling of glass or the weight of a punch in a fight scene, that these speakers manage to exhibit effortlessly.

With this in mind, the Diamond home cinema pack will probably muddy up in tighter spaces with minimal sound diffusion. 

6. Platin Monaco 5.1 WiSA Speaker System 

Platin Monaco 5.1 WiSA Speaker System 

Platin Monaco unlocks the high-definition sound that today's movies, shows, and games offer and delivers it with cinema-quality surround sound. Both Monaco 5.1 and 5.1.2 come with everything you need to add stunning wireless surround sound to your home entertainment experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Superior quality
  • Simple set up
  • Seamless connectivity
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Key Features:

  • Power: 100 Watts (Primary Bookshelf Speakers)
  • Channels: 12
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth, Wireless Network
  • Dimensions: 4.3″ x 10.2″ x 5.5″ (Centre Speaker) 5.3″ x 15″ x 12.2″ (subwoofer), 6.7″ x 4.7″ x 5.5″ (Rear Speakers), 9.7″ x 4.3″ x 5.5″ (Front Speakers)


Shopping for a surround system on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise on sound quality.

The Platin Monaco 5.1 ‘s will probably make you sacrifice some functionality (and perhaps a few gray hairs during setup) for their sound quality – but the package is ideal for budget shoppers or speaker configurations for tight spaces. 

It’s easy to underestimate the central, rear, and front speakers that come with the Platin Monaco. At first sight, each seems like a failed prototype for a smaller studio monitor.

However, each speaker packs a surprising amount of weight and mid-range presence despite their diminutive appearance. 

These speakers all house 63mm drivers and separate tweeters, contributing largely to their overall crispy tone. Sadly none of these speakers come with mounting options, which can make room calibration a lengthy and frustrating process. 

The WiSA speaker system’s driver array is completed by a single subwoofer with a 6.5’’ floor-facing cone. The system packs an impressive 270 watts of power and could survive a punch-up against some more expensive models.

However, subtle design and ergonomic oversights will prevent most users from experiencing their full potential. 

7. Elac Debut 2.0 5.1 (Best Budget)

Best Budget
Elac Debut 2.0 5.1

This Elac Debut home theater package is ideal for those looking for a home system that's both affordable and doesn't compromise on sound. This bundle includes bookshelf speakers, a powered subwoofer, floor-standing units, and a center channel speaker.

Why We Love It:
  • Affordable
  • Good value
  • Consistent quality regardless of placement
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Key Features:

  • Power: 140 Watts 
  • Channels: 5.1
  • Supported Sound Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity: RCA, Optical, HDMI, Coaxial, Bluetooth, Wireless Network
  • Dimensions: 7.09″ x 40″ x 9.21″ (Primary Bookshelf Speakers)


The Elac Debut is probably one of the smarter budget options for surround sound shoppers today. At just over $1,000 (USD), it’s best not to have any expectations of this system and then allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised.

Features like an auto-tune EQ and full Bluetooth control are also not common at this price point, which shouldn’t go unnoticed. 

The Elac’s primary appeal is in its simplicity. There’s nothing overly ambitious or outstanding about the overall playback quality, but the speakers are tenaciously consistent regardless of their room placement or volume level. 

The system comprises a set of bookshelf speakers, two floor-standing units, a C2 center speaker, and a SUB310 subwoofer.

All speakers have cones made using cloth-dome tweeters and bass reflex enclosures to help reduce resonance and any unwanted energy. 

The subwoofer is quite possibly the strongest fixture in this array, with a sturdy 10 Aramid-fiber inch woofer carrying most of the playback’s weight quite confidently. 

What To Look For In A Good Surround Sound System

Anyone unfamiliar with sound systems for home theater setups may not know how to discern the good from the bad.

Understanding what goes into a reliable surround sound system can help streamline the shopping process and also save you a good few bucks if you shop smart.

Below is a list of basic functions and features that good modern surround systems should include:

  • Amplification – Reliable surround sound setups are driven by amplifiers that should ideally match their power output requirements. A stronger amp does not necessarily equate to a better sound. Instead, try to find surround sound setups with amp speaker combinations. Ideally, you’ll want an adjustable amplifier to help you calibrate your speaker levels to your room manually. 
  • Connectivity Options – Good modern surround sound systems should offer a variety of connectivity options, including direct inputs like RCA, coaxial and optical inputs, as well as wireless options such as Bluetooth. 
  • Surround Sound Channels – A standard surround sound comprises a central speaker and subwoofer with various channel options for various surround sound speaker configurations. These channel configurations can come in 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, and even 12.1 setups. 
  • Compatibility – The most definitive function of a surround sound setup is its spatial sonic capabilities. However, surround sound setups must be compatible with the surround sound format of the media from your playback device. Common formats include Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital/Plus/True HD, DTS, and Stereo PCM. 

Final Thoughts

Finding the right surround sound system entails a lot more than just buying a trendy-looking set of speakers. Without proper amplification and speaker calibration, your surround sound system can do more harm than good and may be nothing more than furniture around your TV and shelving. 

The above-listed options should provide most users with a healthy starting point when searching for purchase options for surround sound systems.  Each listing provides a reasonable balance of performance and functionality. 

All the above-listed options allow for a healthy range of manual and custom calibration, which is crucial for matching various room requirements.

If you need extra advice on your ideal surround sound system, try contacting a local retailer or ted technician for some hands-on advice. 


Which Is Better For Surround Sound: 5.1 or 7.1?

The 5.1 and 7.1 setups carry specific pros and cons for surround sound setups. 7.1 surround sound is an expansion of 5.1 surround sound.

Though this may seem like a more beneficial setup due to the extra speakers, the added firing points can create phasing and other audio clashes, especially when used in tight spaces. 

How Much Should I Spend On A Good Sound System For A Home Theater?

When shopping for a new sound system for your home theater, you’ll probably spend anywhere between $1,000 – $4,000 (USD).

However, some surround sound systems can reach prices of up to over $50,000. 

Should You Spend More On Speakers Or An Amp?

There is a lot of debate surrounding this topic. However, many believe that it is best to spend the majority of your budget on speakers and then find an amp that can match their power output level.

If you’re struggling to connect a powered subwoofer to your passive speakers, check out this article!