The best surround sound speakers 2018

A lounge set-up isn’t complete without a set of stylish surround sound speakers. We’ve compiled a list of the best so your home entertainment system benefits from style just as much as impeccable sound

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There’s no doubt that flat screen TVs have been revolutionary in the way in which we design our lounge. As the centrepiece, they determine the direction of the sofas, the position of the coffee table and even various wallhangings. However, in the advancement of screen technology, there’s one element that seems to have been left behind, and that’s the sound. Because thin screens lack the space to incorporate the technology required to produce high quality sound, surround sound speakers have become an imperative purchase for those who want to appreciate the full impact of their favourite film. 

Over the years, surround sound speakers have also had a 21st century revamp, making them sleek, smart and almost as statement as your television. Typically, surround sound speakers are purchased as a 5.1 set - that’s 5 speakers to 1 woofer, although there is the option to invest in more speakers if you require. 

Included in the set are usually 2 front speakers, 2 rear speakers and a centre speaker. The 2 front speakers may sit in the two corners of the room in front of your sofa and they typically carry the bulk of the track. The 2 rear speakers should sit behind your sofa, and provide an immersive sound experience. The centre speaker usually sits underneath your television and amplifies the dialogue in the track, separating speech out from the rest of the sound, which makes it clearer and easier to hear. The woofer can usually be placed anywhere in the lounge and provides bass and depth- it’s the speaker that makes the room vibrate if you turn the volume right up.

Surround sound speakers exist in three levels of size. Small lounges 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. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best surround sound speakers so you can gain a clearer idea on the kind of system you should be looking for for your home. We’ve included smart systems from the likes of Samsung and Bose and floor standing surround sound speakers from lesser known but equally as credible designers such as Q Acoustics. No matter the size of your lounge or quality of sound you’re after, we have you covered. 

1. SONOS 5.1 Home Theatre System Bundle

A sleek and stylish surround sound system for small and medium sized lounges

Specifications
Best for: TV and music sound
Contents: Subwoofer, soundbar, 2 speakers
Connection method: Wi-fi
Reasons to buy
+Stylish and compact+Available in black and white
Reasons to avoid
-Not as cinematic as our first pick 

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. 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. 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 one spot. 

2. Bose Home Cinema

A low profile speaker set from sound giants, Bose

Specifications
Best for: Easy set up
Contents: Subwoofer, soundbar, 2 speakers
Connection method: Wi-fi and Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Small and compact+Deliver big sound
Reasons to avoid
-Only available in one colour 

There’s no doubt that Bose are the giants of the sound universe, so it makes sense to put a surround sound speaker set from this household name into our list. This surround sound speaker set has earned its position thanks to its low profile and promise of superior sound quality. With built in Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the soundbar can be used on it’s own to play your favourite Spotify playlist or part of the larger system. The speakers connect via Wi-Fi, so they’re incredibly easy to set up too and if you hate the sight of wires, this system is certainly just the ticket for you. 

3. Samsung HW-K950 5.1.4 Wireless Sound Bar

A blend between style and cinematic experience

Specifications
Best for: Multi-room functionality
Contents: Subwoofer, soundbar, speakers
Connection method: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Cinematic experience+Play different songs in different rooms
Reasons to avoid
-Instructions can be hard to decipher 

This speaker system promises immersive audio and thanks to the 4K pass through, superior quality sound. 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. 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. Despite being Samsung,the system is fully compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.

4. Q Acoustics Q3000 Cinema Pack

Promises clear, crisp sound for half the price of other systems

Specifications
Best for: Compact cinematic sound
Contents: Subwoofer,2 stand mount speakers, centre speaker
Connection method: Cables
Reasons to buy
+Can be stand or wall mounted+Small, yet promise cinematic quality
Reasons to avoid
-Not as compact as other speaker systems 

Generally speaking, the smaller the speaker, the less powerful the sound. While our Bose and SONOS picks are great for smaller lounges or for those that don’t want their surround sound system to overshadow other features in the room, if you’re really looking for cinematic quality, you’re going to have to up your sizing. Much smaller than our first pick and half the price, these speakers promise clear, crisp and well balanced sound without taking centre stage. With a traditional front and sleek, black body, their universally appealing appearance makes them suitable for any interior style.  

5. Yamaha YSP2700 7.1 Wireless Sound Bar

A smaller scale system that still offers up great quality sound

Specifications
Best for: Smaller scale system
Contents: Soundbar, Subwoofer
Connection method: Wi-fi and Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Only includes two elements+Connect the speaker to your phone
Reasons to avoid
-May lack the depth of sound others can offer 

If you’re looking for a basic surround sound package that you can build on, this Yamaha soundbar and subwoofer package could fit the bill. The sound bar includes 17 internal speakers for enhanced dialogue, while the subwoofer is there to provide the depth of sound. Because the subwoofer is wireless, you won’t have to worry about where you place it. 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. 

6. Philips Fidelio E6 Surround On Demand Home Cinema Speaker

Convert from a 2.1 speaker system to a 5.1 with this set from Phillips

Specifications
Best for: Multi-dimensional system
Contents: 2 stereo speakers, 2 surround sound speakers, subwoofer
Connection method: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Stereo speakers and subwoofer detachable+Stylish speaker units
Reasons to avoid
-App is still a bit clunky 

If your home is already filled with lots of gadgets, you’ll love this nifty surround sound system from Philips. First of all, each speaker unit is uniquely stylish, so the system will look great in any lounge. Secondly, 2 of the speakers and the subwoofer are detachable, portable, and can be controlled remotely through your mobile phone via the app and Spotify Connect or the controller included. The speakers have been designed to be free standing and not too large, so they can be placed around the room without being obtrusive. 

7. Yamaha NSP40 5.1 Home Cinema Speaker Kit

A stylish budget surround sound system

Specifications
Best for: Budget system
Contents: 4 satellite speakers, centre speaker, subwoofer**Connection method:**Cables
Reasons to buy
+Promises full bodied sound+Sleek and stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Don’t hook up to a smart device 

For the price, this surround sound speaker set will fair well in your lounge. It has a sleek black finish so they’ll look great as part of a home entertainment system. While they don’t offer the same smart features as other speakers on the list, the sound quality still promises to be good for the size and the price that you pay. The system lacks Bluetooth of Wi-Fi connectivity, so you’ll have to rely on wiring, which means it may take a little longer to set up than other surround sound systems in the list, and reviewers say you’ll require an AV receiver to benefit from the highest quality sound.