Home Surround Sound

responsive

Home Surround Sound

02 of 08 Best Budget: Samsung HW-K470 4.1 Channel Buy from Amazon This Bluetooth powered 4.1-channel sound bar from Samsung produces just as immersive of a surround sound experience as budget-range speakers, but is much easier to setup. Its expansive sound is complemented by a wireless subwoofer that offers dynamic and rich bass. The satellite speakers and subwoofer can be placed anywhere, and the sound bar can be wall mounted for added versatility.The 35-inch 460 Watt bar syncs with the SWA-8000s kit speakers for rear wireless surround sound. The sound bar has two front facing speakers and two side facing, allowing the sound to envelop your living room.The clutter-free system can be controlled wirelessly from the Samsung Audio Remote App for easy audio adjustment. If you own a Samsung TV, everything is even easier with TV SoundConnect. So while the sound on this surround sound system will not compete with a real unit, it definitely rivals cheaper wall-mounted set-ups that are a hassle to install.

Home Surround Sound

This Bluetooth powered 4.1-channel sound bar from Samsung produces just as immersive of a surround sound experience as budget-range speakers, but is much easier to setup. Its expansive sound is complemented by a wireless subwoofer that offers dynamic and rich bass. The satellite speakers and subwoofer can be placed anywhere, and the sound bar can be wall mounted for added versatility.The 35-inch 460 Watt bar syncs with the SWA-8000s kit speakers for rear wireless surround sound. The sound bar has two front facing speakers and two side facing, allowing the sound to envelop your living room.The clutter-free system can be controlled wirelessly from the Samsung Audio Remote App for easy audio adjustment. If you own a Samsung TV, everything is even easier with TV SoundConnect. So while the sound on this surround sound system will not compete with a real unit, it definitely rivals cheaper wall-mounted set-ups that are a hassle to install.

Home Surround Sound

responsive

In a surround sound setup, a box-like stereo receiver sends unique signals to two or more speakers, with an onboard amplifier providing power to the speakers. The quarterback of the home audio system, a good stereo receiver orchestrates sonic frequencies and volume levels for the home audio system to create the effect of sitting right in the middle of an action film. This refinement of audio signal is called equalization, or (EQ). Home surround sound receivers offer precise EQ settings that fine-tune audio best suit the media and the room. The more speakers you have, the more precise you can get. A surround sound numbering system quantifies various speaker setups and configurations: 2.0 – A stereo setup with two speakers, a left and a right channel, situated in front of the viewer. 3.0 – Stereo setup plus a dedicated, powered subwoofer, also called a LFE (low-frequency effects) bass channel. 5.1 – Standard surround sound. Five channels total; four speakers placed around the perimeter plus a LFE. 6.1 – Adds a third channel called the back surround speaker. It is located behind the viewer in most cases and enhances the effect of sonic movement. It is commonplace for studios to release 6.1 DVD and Blu-ray titles nowadays. They are compatible with 5.1 systems.

Home Surround Sound

08 of 08 Runner-Up, Best Budget: Vizio SB3851-C0 Buy from Amazon When we consider a surround sound home theater system, a soundbar isn’t the first piece of audio equipment that comes to mind. However, Vizio’s SB3851-C0 is a superb budget-friendly option, and its included wireless subwoofer and satellite speakers is an early look at future surround sound system design. The 5.1-channel system offers crystal-clear audio quality up to 100 dB with less than one percent total harmonic distortion.The inclusion of DTS circle, digital and studio sound enhances the price-to-performance ratio and with Dolby Digital to top it off, there are few features missing at this price point. The soundbar itself measures 38.2 inches long and three inches high, with a weight of 6.6 pounds. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, even when the TV is off, and the included LCD remote allows for easy audio setting changes.Setup is a quick and easy, thanks to the lack of wires to both the subwoofer and satellite speakers. Wall mounts are included, but Vizio does not provide the appropriate fasteners (they're dependent on the type of wall in your home). The wireless nature of the system may make it prone to minor interference every now and then from other wireless equipment, but it’s a problem that was rarely discussed via Amazon reviews. Vizio also encourages tabletop and built-in placement of the soundbar beyond the typical wall-mounted option.The sound bar itself is best utilized with TVs that are at least 42 inches or larger. The 3″ x 5.9″ x 3” satellite speakers and 8.3″ x 9.1″ x 8.3″ subwoofer are capable of placement anywhere in an average-sized room or up to 60 feet in the line of sight from the sound bar. Sure, it’s not your typical surround sound system, but it offers the same feature set and arguably better sound with less setup hassle.

Home Surround Sound

When we consider a surround sound home theater system, a soundbar isn’t the first piece of audio equipment that comes to mind. However, Vizio’s SB3851-C0 is a superb budget-friendly option, and its included wireless subwoofer and satellite speakers is an early look at future surround sound system design. The 5.1-channel system offers crystal-clear audio quality up to 100 dB with less than one percent total harmonic distortion.The inclusion of DTS circle, digital and studio sound enhances the price-to-performance ratio and with Dolby Digital to top it off, there are few features missing at this price point. The soundbar itself measures 38.2 inches long and three inches high, with a weight of 6.6 pounds. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, even when the TV is off, and the included LCD remote allows for easy audio setting changes.Setup is a quick and easy, thanks to the lack of wires to both the subwoofer and satellite speakers. Wall mounts are included, but Vizio does not provide the appropriate fasteners (they're dependent on the type of wall in your home). The wireless nature of the system may make it prone to minor interference every now and then from other wireless equipment, but it’s a problem that was rarely discussed via Amazon reviews. Vizio also encourages tabletop and built-in placement of the soundbar beyond the typical wall-mounted option.The sound bar itself is best utilized with TVs that are at least 42 inches or larger. The 3″ x 5.9″ x 3” satellite speakers and 8.3″ x 9.1″ x 8.3″ subwoofer are capable of placement anywhere in an average-sized room or up to 60 feet in the line of sight from the sound bar. Sure, it’s not your typical surround sound system, but it offers the same feature set and arguably better sound with less setup hassle.

Home Surround Sound

07 of 08 Best for Gaming: Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System Buy from Amazon When it comes to dedicated gaming, sound can make all the difference. Whether it’s a nostalgia play with Doom or today’s console gaming, surround sound can take your gaming experience from just average to out-of-this-world. And the Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System is our choice if you truly want a gaming experience that is immersive. The only model on this list to receive THX 5.1 certification (think Star Wars) offers an all-in-one system that can connect up to six separate devices. Out of the box you’ll receive five compact satellite speakers and one 500-watt powered subwoofer, hardly something to smirk at when you consider how the Z906 is a compact system. The front and rear satellite speakers are identical sporting a bland design with a meshed grille that offers more of a tech-centric look than your more traditional dedicated television surround sound system. However, build quality is superb and, while their overall design faces them slightly upward when laid flat, there are screw holes on the rear for wall mounting.Three digital inputs on the subwoofer allow for simultaneous connection between a DVD player, cable box and games console, as well as direct input for PCs or 3.5mm input if you still utilize a dedicated MP3 player. We’re a little disappointed there’s no HDMI input for a Blu-ray player, but as we’re eyeing this model specifically for gaming, it’s a tradeoff we’re willing to take. One additional appeal of the Z906 is the control console, a desktop-sized unit connecting to the subwoofer that allows volume control, selecting between various sound modes and adjustment levels for each channel. This might be of greater use when connected to a PC as the supplied remote has the same functionality, so it’s a win-win regardless of use-case.When it comes to delivering distortion-free performance, loud levels, and hard-hitting bass, the Z906 delivers. The single satellite drivers do struggle a little with musical highs, but unless you’re a dedicated audiophile who can sense these anomalies, you won’t notice. There’s more than enough detail coming through on the Z906 so you’ll never look at your TV speakers the same way again. That alone can justify the price.

Home Surround Sound

responsive