Best Surround Sound Systems For 2024: Top 5 Brands Most Recommended By Experts

Surround sound systems can transform your home into the ultimate movie theater. Whether you want to feel like you are actually in the stadium when your favorite team plays or enhance the ambiance when you entertain, these exceptional devices will do the trick. That’s why StudyFinds has combed online expert opinions and put together a list of the best surround sound systems for your home.

A new surround sound system can enhance your viewing pleasure while you’re looking to wind down your day. A recent study reveals many Americans use TV to destress than any other relaxation method. So, invest in yourself by investing in upgraded home theater technology.

Another positive study shows that watching television before bed actually helps you sleep better. But this is only shown with brief media exposure. We spend so much time sitting in front of the TV that it only makes sense to level up our experience.

Are you in the market for a new surround sound system? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the top five best surround sound systems today. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Sony HT-A9 High Performance Home Theater System ranks #1 in the list of best surround sound systems.
Sony HT-A9 High Performance Home Theater System ranks #1 in the list of best surround sound systems. (Credit: Sony)

The List: Best Surround Sound Systems, According to Experts


1. Sonos Arc

The experts’ pick to click for best surround sound systems is the Sonos Arc. “Sonos has long been a trusted market leader in the speaker game thanks to its easy-to-use devices that are smart home compatible,” says ZDNet. “For the Sonos Arc, Sonos enlisted the help of Oscar-winning sound engineers so the Arc emphasizes the human voice, reducing the need to go back and rewind your show or movie to catch the quieter dialogue you might have missed. Additionally, the Arc offers optional speech enhancement when paired and used in conjunction with the Sonos app.”

Sonos Arc
Sonos Arc Sound System Sound Bar

“It’s worth it to procure the Sonos Arc soundbar, Sub subwoofer, and a pair of Era 100 surround speakers gradually to create a formidable home theater system that you can also easily connect with your TV and any number of Sonos products to make a multiroom audio setup,” writes Popular Science. “The Arc gives you Dolby Atmos playback through two top-firing speakers, as well as an HDMI eARC connection (which enables high-resolution audio), Apple AirPlay 2 streaming, and smart speaker features like built-in voice control with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. The Sonos app lets you connect most other streaming services, and the iOS version can run auto-calibration to tune the speakers’ response to your particular space.”

American Songwriter calls the Sonos Arc the best surround system for crystal clear audio. “The Sonos Arc proves that it doesn’t take an elaborate speaker system to pump out ultra-clear sound. Between the system’s Dolby Atmos support and eleven up-firing drivers, you’ll experience the Arc’s detailed sound effects bouncing around you, matching the quality of more comprehensive setups. If that wasn’t enough, the speaker system’s clarity has been tested and fine-tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers, so you can feel confident you won’t miss a single word of content no matter what you’re listening to.”

2. Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System

Coming in second on the best surround sound system list is the Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System. “If you’re looking for a surround set to pair with an AV receiver, then speaker manufacturer Klipsch has you spoiled for choice,” writes CNET. “For under $400 you can currently buy either the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack or the step-up Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System. Both offer excellent sound quality, but given that the full-cream Atmos system is currently only $50 more or so, you should get that — an unbelievable value.”

Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System
Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System

“This six-system setup includes four satellite speakers, one center speaker, and one subwoofer, along with the power of Dolby Atmos sound to amp up your cinema experience,” says ZDNet. “There’s a reason why these speakers are the #1 best seller on Amazon for the surround sound system category, and that is their quality sound.”

American Songwriter calls the Klipsch Reference Cinema Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System the best surround sound system overall. “The system is designed for a stress-free setup for audio system newbies, yet still has room-filling sound capabilities that will impress even the most trained ear. The speaker configurations are flexible, so you can tailor you can design to match your audio preferences and blend well with your entertainment space.”

3. JBL Bar

Another popular surround sound system recommended by online experts is the JBL Bar. “The JBL Bar 800 soundbar offers strong connectivity with smart home devices and excellent audio quality for TV, music, and games,” says Livingetc.

JBL Bar 700
JBL Bar 700

ZDNet’s favorite is the JBL Bar 700, calling is the best sound system overall. “The JBL Bar 700 includes a 10-inch subwoofer with 620-watt output, making it a powerful sound system. With built-in Wi-Fi, you’ll experience excellent audio with Dolby Atmos and theater-quality 3D sound. This sound system comes with Apple AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music, and Chromecast built-in, along with the ability to access over 300 online music streaming services like Spotify.”

Popular Science notes the JBL Bar 9.1 has the easiest setup. “JBL cuts even more cords out of your life with its Bar 9.1 system, which uses the soundbar to charge detachable battery-powered rear surround speakers that don’t even have to plug into wall outlets.”

4. Monolith by Monoprice

Fourth on the list is Monolith by Monoprice. “The Monolith by Monoprice THX speakers are designed for serious home theater enthusiasts who like to play movies at or near the volume they would hear in a well-calibrated commercial cinema,” says The New York Times.

Monoprice HT-35 Premium Home Theater System
Monoprice HT-35 Premium Home Theater System

Livingetc favors the Monoprice SB-600, calling it the best 5.1 system. “It includes a soundbar, subwoofer, and rear speakers, along with mounting brackets, and offers decent volume and clarity, albeit with slightly muddy treble. A user-friendly remote and understated design complete the package.”

Futurism recommends the Monoprice HT-35 Premium Home Theater System due to its budget. “This surround-system’s greatest strength is the compact size of its speakers. The front, rear, and center-channel speakers are all smaller than your typical set of bookshelf speakers, which gives you a lot of flexibility when you’re deciding where to place them. Monoprice says you can even wall-mount these speakers if you want. All five of those speakers are passive, so you will need to be mindful of where you’re able to string speaker cables, though. If you’re in a small room, including a dorm, this surround-sound system makes a lot of sense.”

5. Sony HT-A9

Rounding out the top five is the Sony HT-A9. “Sony’s HT-A9 Wireless Home Theater System encourages users to position its speakers arbitrarily, promising an even, uniform and immersive soundfield regardless of the symmetry of your set-up,” says What Hi-Fi?

Sony HT-A9 System
Sony HT-A9 System

“If you’re really looking to outfit your home with a sound system fit for any audiophile, the Sony HT-A9 system is a splurge but is equipped with impressive specs,” writes ZDNet. “Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology creates the illusion of the sound of 12 speakers from just four speakers. These speakers also have support for 8K UHD and 4K/120 passthrough so that movies and video games literally come to life.”

Livingetc calls the Sony HT-A9 the best wireless system. “Sony’s HT-A9 cinema kit delivers impressive audio quality without the hassle of a full 7.1 surround sound system. It includes four wireless speaker units and supports 8K HDR content. However, its high cost may deter budget-conscious buyers.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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  1. You should check out Platin Audio’ Monaco 5.1.2 with upfiri g drivers to support Atmos. Wireless set up and only $1,499. I just installed it and was blown away at the sound field and simplicity of set up. Brett

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