Home theater systems are broadly divided into two categories: those that use a TV as the primary source of audio and visual content, and those that use a home theater receiver as the primary source.
The first option is more straightforward, requiring only one remote to control the entire system, but has less overall sound quality than that of receivers. A home theater receiver has the advantage of better sound quality and more flexibility when adding components or upgrading the system.
In any case, home theater speakers play a crucial role in the audio experience. Here are the most important factors to consider before buying one.
The number of speakers you need will depend on the size of your room and how much space you have for speaker placement.
If you have a smaller room, you're probably better off with a soundbar or a 2.1 speaker system, where the soundbar contains the left and right channels, and the subwoofer handles the bass.
For a larger room, you can go for a 7.2 system, with seven speakers placed around the room, plus two subwoofers.
Usually, larger and more powerful speakers offer louder audio experiences while also delivering deeper bass. Small speakers are less likely to suit you if you have a space larger than 300 square feet. The same applies if you need ground-shaking bass or plan to listen to music at a very high volume.
If deep bass isn’t a priority and you just want to enjoy movies and TV shows, then smaller but capable satellite speakers might be a better option.
Speakers shorter than 7” and a woofer shorter than 4” can be considered small.
As the list above shows, there is quite a broad pricing range for home theater speakers. The main difference is sound quality, with more expensive options generally providing better sound.
The cost of installing a home theater sound system varies from $300 to $3,300, including the price of the receiver, speakers and wiring.
Components and Connectivity
Home theater sound systems are divided into two broad categories: wired and wireless.
If you opt for the wired connection, ensure your receiver has the right inputs for all your components. For example, if you have an older TV, you may need an HDMI-to-component converter. As you can see in our list, many wired home theater speakers are sold without wires, so budget for wiring.
If you don’t want the hassle of running wires through your room, ensure the speakers have a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.
Pay attention to the frequency response or how well the speaker reproduces frequencies, from the lowest bass notes to the highest treble notes. 20Hz to 20kHz is considered the acceptable frequency of the speaker, and the wider the range, the better.
Home theater speakers are usually meant for movies and TV. If you also need it for game consoles, make sure the speakers are compatible with the device you want to connect them to.
Additionally, some home speakers are designed for outdoor use, which means they can handle weather fluctuations and are usually more durable.
When looking for a home theater sound system, pay attention to the size of your room and your individual needs. As the price range varies, consider what you are willing to spend and what sound quality you expect in return.
There is no need to invest in professional quality audio equipment if you are not an audiophile. Many expensive and high-performance home theater sound systems have advanced functionality you may not need in a home environment. You may well end up paying more for features you don’t need.
If you want to create a home theater experience when watching a film, medium-quality home theater speakers are enough.
The budget-savvy option for creating a home theater in a small room would be to buy mid-priced stereo speakers and mix them with a subwoofer for extra bass.
Here are three quick guides to help you make the right choice:
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, then prepare to spend more on a high-end system. You can also choose one of the best outdoor speakers to create an outdoor home theater.
Whichever option you choose, remember to enjoy the experience.
What Are Surround Speakers?
These are speakers that are placed around the listener.
Surround speakers are the left and right speakers that are placed behind the listener to create the surround sound effect. The main purpose of these speakers is to produce parallel sounds from different directions to make the viewing experience more immersive.
Where Can I Buy the Best Home Theater Speakers?
Order online or from a local store.
All the items from our list above can be easily found online — either on Amazon or the manufacturer's website. You can also buy them from local stores, where you can see and touch the product and get more information from staff. The downside is prices are usually higher than they are online, and the selection is often more limited.
Do I Need to Buy an Amplifier for Speakers?
Yes, if you’re looking for a better listening experience.
Amplifiers turn a source's low voltage signals into a signal that can power the speakers and play the sound. All speakers need amplifiers, so buy one only if your preferred model lacks a built-in amplifier.
Is Home Theater Seating Important?
If you're looking for a well-rounded home theater experience then there's no doubt that seating has to be part of your consideration in your dream setup. Whether you're looking for a TV recliner or something a bit more luxurious such as a row of home theater seating you'll want to carefully consider all options. Be sure to check out our guides below: