The best surround sound systems are designed to enhance your home cinema experience and are perfect for the film buffs, box set bingers and avid gamers among us. Yes, they're an investment. But, they're more than worth it for an unrivaled, at-home audio experience.
Our top picks are stylish, wireless and – in some cases – even offer impressive smart capabilities that ensure the aesthetics of your home aren't ruined in the pursuit of cutting edge technology.
Discover why each of the models below have made our pick of the best surround sound systems, below. But first, we'd recommend browsing our top tips on how to buy the best surround sound system.
- Find out more about how to build a home cinema room in our handy guide
- For expert advice, jargon-free info and unbiased reviews, head over to The Hub
What is the best surround sound system?
Where to buy the best surround sound systems
The best surround sound system is the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 and it's easy to see why. In addition to offering clean and seriously quality sound – which should be your top priority when investing in a surround sound system – it also makes a dramatic design statement, too.
Its looks are customisable, and the speaker can be connected to your smart phone for remote control. We'll admit that it's somewhat pricey, but you're looking for uncompromising quality, it doesn't get much better than this.
Discover the rest of our top picks below, then keep scrolling for full product reviews.
- The best surround sound system: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9
- The best surround sound system for small homes: Sonos 5.1 Home Theatre System
- The best surround sound system for sound quality: Bose Home Cinema
- The best multi-room surround sound system: Samsung HW-K950
- The best small surround sound system: Yamaha YSP2700
THE BEST SURROUND SOUND SPEAKERS
1. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9
The best surround sound system: ideal for minimalists who want to impress, this B&O speaker ticks all the boxes and more
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Are surround sound systems worth the investment?
The short answer is yes. While screen technology has advanced dramatically over recent years, the same can't necessarily be said for sound. This is due to consumer preference for thin TV screens, almost all of which lack the space to incorporate technology required for high quality sound.
Completely customisable to your space and taste, the Beoplay A9 doesn't only make a dramatic design statement, but it features built-in room adaptation to adjust the sound perfectly to its surroundings, so you experience honest, clean sound in any room. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Choose from displaying your speaker system on wooden legs (as above) or wall-mounting, depending on your preference and the set-up of your space.
Its also worth noting that this model is available in white, black, smoked oak or bronze tones, thanks to interchangeable covers, so you really can choose a finish that complements your interiors style.
Only requires one speaker
Unlike other surround sound systems, the Beoplay A9 is so powerful that only one speaker is needed to fill the room with sound, ideal for those who are going for a minimalist look or don't like clutter.
You can connect the speaker to your phone via Bluetooth, Airplay or Spotify, use the Bang & Olufsen app on your smartphone to control it remotely, or swipe and tap the Intuitive Touch Interface along the top of the system.
Build a wider sound system
Bang & Olufsen fans will be pleased to know the speaker features BeoLink Multiroom technology, allowing you to unite all your Beoplay products to play the same music in every room.
A stellar product featuring a ground-breaking design, this is our pick of the very best surround sound speaker for your home.
2. SONOS 5.1 Home Theatre System Bundle
Best surround sound system for small home cinemas: a sleek and stylish surround sound system for small and medium sized lounges
Reasons to buy
Another of our top picks, that offers impressive sound quality for an immersive, cinematic experience, from the comfort of your own home, is the SONOS 5.1 Home Theatre System Bundle. Here's everything you need to know about it:
If you require a system that blends style with superior sound quality, this Sonos system may be the one for your lounge. It’s compact in design, and even the woofer has adopted a futuristic style beyond the typical speaker tower. Perfect for those who don't want their sound system to take over their living room.
Deep, HiFi sound
Sonos say the system has been designed to provide a room with deep, clear Hi-Fi sound, so it’s great for giving your Spotify dinner playlist and television shows that cinematic boost.
Connect to your smart home system
If you’re looking for an ultra techy system, the soundbar links up to your Amazon Echo too. While it won’t create the same cinema viewing experience as a floor standing set, for the size, there’s nothing to complain about, and the reviewers certainly agree – all great reasons why it deserves our number two spot.
3. Bose Home Cinema
Best surround sound system for sound quality: a low profile speaker set from sound giants, Bose
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Our second favourite offering from surround sound experts, Bose, we couldn't recommend the Bose Home Cinema, enough. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Superior sound quality
This surround sound speaker set has earned its position in our top rated products thanks to its low profile design and promise of superior sound quality. So, if you're uncompromising when it comes to audio quality, you certainly won't be let down by this sound system.
This surround sound speaker is among the smallest designs currently available on the market, making it a practical option for those who want a home cinema experience in a smaller space.
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
With built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, this soundbar can be used on its own or as part of the larger system to play everything from your favourite Spotify playlist to a 60-piece orchestral work.
In our opinion, these are the best wireless surround sound speakers for those who are looking for something easy to set up and use. And if you hate the sight of wires, this system is certainly just the ticket for you.
4. Samsung HW-K950 5.1.4 Wireless Sound Bar
Best multi-room surround sound system: a blend between style and cinematic experience, this is the best surround sound speaker for multi-room functionality
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're looking to build a multi-room audio system, the Samsung HW-K950 5.1.4 Wireless Sound Bar could just be what you've been looking for. Here's why it made our round up:
This impressive speaker system promises immersive audio and thanks to the 4K pass through, superior quality sound. When it comes to audio quality, this model makes no compromises.
Build a multi-room audio system
If you’re looking for a system that will allow you to link up to your phone and play different sounds in different rooms of the house, you can operate this system separately or as one.
Compatible with Android and iOS
Despite being Samsung,the system is fully compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems. So, you won't need to worry about incompatibility if you've already started building a smart home system.
Factors worth considering
These are bookshelf speakers, so they’re best suited for medium and larger sized lounges and they’re going to need a mount or stand for display.
5. Yamaha YSP2700 7.1 Wireless Sound Bar
Best small surround sound system: a smaller scale system that still offers up great quality sound
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you’re looking for a basic surround sound package that you can build on, this Yamaha YSP2700 7.1 Wireless Sound Bar could fit the bill. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Complete with 17 internal speakers, this stylish sound bar offers enhanced dialogue, while the subwoofer is there to provide the depth of sound. Whether you're looking to enjoy audio, or sound effects in near perfect quality, you certainly won't be disappointed with this model.
Because the subwoofer is wireless, you won’t have to worry about where you place it. This is certainly a perk if you're particular about the aesthetics of your home and don't want a giant sound bar interfering with your interiors.
Build an extensive sound system
You can build on your system over time will other MusicCast products and eventually create a multi-room system where you can either play the same track or a different one through each speaker.
How to buy the best surround sound system
When buying the best surround sound system for your home, there are a number of factors and features you'll want to consider. After all, wireless systems tend to be something of an investment, so you'll want to ensure you're getting the most for your money. Here's what to look out for:
If, like us, you're something of an interiors fanatic, you may be slightly concerned about the aesthetic impact of installing a surround sound system. Fortunately, there are a number of smart – and even stylish – designs on offer. Alternatively, check out those that are small enough to be tucked out of the way.
Consider what's included in your system
Typically, surround sound speakers are purchased as a 5.1 set – that’s five speakers to one woofer, although there is the option to invest in more speakers if you require. You'll typically receive two front speakers, two rear speakers and a centre speaker as part of a typical kit, in which case the following set-up is advisable:
- The two front speakers may sit in two corners of the room as they typically carry the bulk of the track.
- The two rear speakers should sit behind your sofa, as their purpose is to provide an immersive sound experience.
- The centre speaker usually sits underneath the television as it amplifies the dialogue in the track, separating speech out from the rest of the sound, making it clearer and easier to hear.
- The woofer can usually be placed anywhere within the space and provides bass and depth – it’s the speaker that makes the room vibrate if you turn the volume right up, so use with caution.
However this is not always the case. For example, our first pick, the Beoplay A9, has all of these features piled into just one speaker, ideal for those who don't want several speakers dotted around the room but still want good quality sound.
Surround sound speakers exist in three levels of size. We'd recommend bearing the following factors in mind when choosing the option that's right for you.
- Small living rooms will benefit from a compact surround sound system. The speakers are small enough to put on a shelf or on top of a cabinet, allowing to you maximise the space that you have.
- The next size up are bookshelf speakers – these typically require a mount or a stand and deliver a better sound quality than a compact surround sound set without being too obtrusive.
- Finally, there’s floor standing surround sound speakers, which are a feature in their own right and are best placed in large lounges where there’s plenty of space.
Can you build your surround sound system over time?
Surround sound systems tend to be expensive and are something of an investment for the vast majority of people. If you can't afford an entire system in one go, it may be worth opting for a make that can be built over time.
If that sounds like you, our pick of the best soundbards may be your best starting point.