9 Best Entry Level Home Theater Systems (Top Picks Reviews)

What are the Best Entry Level Home Theater Systems? Anyone who wants to watch movies at home knows they need two things: a television and either a media console (such as a Blu-Ray player) or a streaming device (like a Roku stick).

Of course, you could get around this with a Smart TV, but you get the idea. However, if you’re a true cinephile, you’ll recognize that audio is only half of the experience.

Key takeaway

There are several options for entry-level home theater systems. Some of the best options include:

• Pioneer 5.1 Home Theater System[1]

• Yamaha 5.1 Home Theater System[1]

• Roku Stream bar

 

• Klipsch Reference Theater Pack

• Vizio Elevate soundbar with subwoofer and rear speakers

Other good options can be found on websites that specialize in home theater systems, such as The Home Cinema Guide and Life wire.

What Are The Best Entry-Level Home Theater Systems?
What Are The Best Entry-Level Home Theater Systems?

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While many TVs come with built-in speakers or you can get a soundbar for a reasonable price, a true home theater requires the booming bass and crisp mids of a surround sound system.

But what should you do if you aren’t an expert on cinematic audio gear? To get started, you can buy an all-in-one theater-in-a-box system. On the following list of entry-level home theater systems, we’ve gathered the ten best.

WHAT IS A HOME-THEATER-IN-A-BOX?

All complete “theater-in-a-box” systems include two distinct components: a set of speakers and a receiver. The purpose of the speakers — which will vary in quantity, size, and type — is fairly obvious: they are the devices through which the sound is projected.

A surround sound system will typically include a combination of high- and mid-range speaker units, as well as at least one subwoofer for bass, though this can vary depending on the brand, technology, and overall price of the system.

These devices work together to produce a wide range of cinema-style audio. However, without a receiver, they are practically useless.

9 Best Entry Level Home Theater Systems

1. PIONEER 5.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM

SaleSALE No. 1
Pioneer VSX-534 Home Audio Smart AV Receiver 5.2-Ch HDR10, Dolby Vision, Atmos and Virtual Enabled with 4K and Bluetooth
808 Reviews
Pioneer VSX-534 Home Audio Smart AV Receiver 5.2-Ch HDR10, Dolby Vision, Atmos and Virtual Enabled with 4K and Bluetooth
  • DTS:X PLAYBACK. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X is the next-generation audio codec from DTS that leverages object-based audio to enable new immersive and interactive audio experiences.
  • BLUETOOTH COMPATIBLE. Seamlessly connect your phone, tablet or PC and stream to the receiver with Bluetooth Wireless Technology. This smart receiver remembers your device and starts playback whenever...
  • DOLBY ATMOS. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer provides an immersive listening experience, creating a virtual surround and height effect without employing additional surround or height speakers. 5.1.2ch...

You don’t need deep pockets to get a home-theater-in-a-box with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from modern technology — this Pioneer home theater system has them all.

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This system comes with a receiver that can handle Ultra HD, HDR, 3D movies and video games, as well as Dolby-tuned audio and video for high-resolution sounds and images no matter what you’re watching, listening to, or playing. To top it all off, it has Bluetooth compatibility for wireless control. That isn’t even the end of what this system has to offer.

2. YAMAHA 5.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM

SaleSALE No. 1
Yamaha Audio YHT-4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System with Bluetooth, black
1,166 Reviews
Yamaha Audio YHT-4950U 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Home Theater System with Bluetooth, black
  • Your purchase includes: 1 AV receiver, 5 speakers, 1 Sub-Woofer and Speaker wire.Waterproof : No
  • Dimensions: AV Receiver – 17” W x 6” H x 12” D | Four Speakers (each) – 4” W x 6” H x 4” D | Center speaker – 10” W x 4” H x 4” D | Subwoofer – 11” W x 11” H x 13” D
  • Technical specs: HDMI – 4 | Standby Power Consumption – ≤ 0.2 W | Frequency Response – 28Hz/25kHz

In terms of price and features, this Yamaha system is comparable to the previous Pioneer option, but it lacks one major feature that the Pioneer system does: YPAO optimization. YPAO is a system that automatically reads the space where you’ve placed your speakers and optimizes them for that space.

That means you can get the best sound for the room of your choice with just a simple plug-and-play system. And if you ever move or switch rooms, it’s just as simple to re-optimize.

Combine that with a full suite of surround sound speakers, 4K Ultra HD support, and Bluetooth compatibility with a compressed music enhancer, and you have one of the best bang-for-your-buck systems available.

3. POLK AUDIO BLACKSTONE & DENON 5.1 HOME THEATER PACKAGE

SALE No. 1
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES35 Slim Center Channel Speaker - Hi-Res Audio Certified,Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Compatible, 1' Tweeter & (6) 3'Woofers, Dual Power Port for Effortless Bass,Contemporary Walnut
2,134 Reviews
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES35 Slim Center Channel Speaker - Hi-Res Audio Certified,Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Compatible, 1" Tweeter & (6) 3"Woofers, Dual Power Port for Effortless Bass,Contemporary Walnut
  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE SLIM CENTER CHANNEL - Polk Signature Elite ES35 features Dynamically Balanced Acoustic Array with Cascading Crossovers, a 1" Terylene Tweeter and (6) 3" Woofers that deliver...
  • NOT ONLY HEAR, BUT FEEL THE HEART-THUMPING BASS - With Polk's Patented Power Port Technology, the ES35 center channel gives you a dramatic frontal impact and carries almost 75 percent of the audio so...
  • REALISTIC SOUND REPRODUCTION – ES35's high sensitivity and 4- & 8-Ohm compatibility delivers spacious, enveloping, and true to life music streamed online via Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, Spotify &...

Polk Audio, which was founded in 1972, has been a trusted name in audio systems for nearly as long as they’ve been in business. While other low-cost options may come from relatively trustworthy brands with a wide range of product types, Polk has remained almost entirely focused on audio products, such as home theater systems.

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That is, they are specially designed to provide excellent sound in a theater-in-a-box system. Take, for example, the Blackstone & Denon system shown here. This home theater system provides booming cinematic sound without being gaudy or cumbersome, thanks to a suite of compact, out-of-the-way speakers.

4. ENCLAVE AUDIO CINEHOME HD 5.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM

SALE No. 1
AC/DC Adapter Charger Replacement for Subwoofer of Enclave Audio CineHome HD 5.1 Wireless Audio Home Theater System Power Supply(Only Fit Subwoofer)
  • Brand New, High Quality Replacement AC Wall Power Charger Adapter
  • Input: AC 100-240V 50/60Hz Auto (Worldwide AC Input),Cable Length: 10 feet.
  • Over Voltage Protection, Over Heat Protection

Whereas most traditional home theater audio systems require a receiver to serve as a central hub, a few new brands are emerging that have recognized the potential in smart technology to replace that outmoded format. Enclave is one such company, as their CineHome HD system does not use a traditional receiver.

Rather, the Smart Center (a stand-alone device) replaces it entirely as a two-in-one receiver hub and wireless speaker. It is accompanied by four smaller speakers and a subwoofer for powerful bass.

5. ONKYO 5.1.2 DOLBY ATMOS HOME THEATER PACKAGE

SALE No. 1
Onkyo HT-S5910 Dolby Atmos 5.1.2-Channel Home Theater Package,Black
39 Reviews
Onkyo HT-S5910 Dolby Atmos 5.1.2-Channel Home Theater Package,Black
  • With Dolby Atmos and DTS: x Audio formats, sounds in the movie scene are mapped to their corresponding Positions within the entertainment space, allowing any audio to be localized or moved from one...
  • When playing any Dolby format, engaging Dolby Atmos height virtualizer enables a more immersive listening experience, creating a virtual Surround and height effect from traditional speaker layouts...
  • DTS Virtual: X is a surround virtualization technology that works with DTS: X, DTS formats, and non-encoded stereo soundtracks to create an immersive 3D sound-field from horizontal speaker layouts...

Unless you’re intimately familiar with home audio equipment, you’ve probably never heard of Onkyo. But we’ll be the first to tell you: they have an exceptional grasp on the aforementioned technological gear category.

Their Dolby Atmos-ready Home Theater Package is an exceptional home-theater-in-a-box that even the most enigmatic audiophiles and film buffs can appreciate. It is a simple-to-use system with a plethora of built-in features.

Among these features are eight built-in HDMI ports for all of your peripherals, Bluetooth compatibility, and a diverse set of built-in technologies ranging from Chromecast to Spotify and more. If you want a top-of-the-line system at a mid-range price, look no further.

Best Entry-Level Home Theater Systems
Best Entry-Level Home Theater Systems

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6. SONOS 5.1 BEAM HOME THEATER SYSTEM

The Sonos Beam Home Theater System, the second setup on our list that eliminates the need for a receiver entirely, is one of the most streamlined smart home-theaters-in-a-box on the market today. That’s because their system is based on their Beam soundbar, a smart device that supports Bluetooth, Alexa, and AirPlay 2 and looks as good as it performs.

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Even better, it’s simple to connect to your television and expand your surround sound setup with additional speakers. Whether you want a simple home theater audio setup or a multi-room speaker system, this kit is the best place to start when user-friendliness and ease-of-use are your top priorities.

7. SONY 7.2 HOME THEATER SYSTEM

SALE No. 1
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2 Channel 8K AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X with Complete SONY 8 Speaker System Bundle (7 Items)
12 Reviews
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2 Channel 8K AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X with Complete SONY 8 Speaker System Bundle (7 Items)
  • Bundle Includes: Sony STR-AN1000 7.2 Channel 8K AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X (Black), Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer (Black), Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker (Pair, Black), Sony...
  • Experience true immersion. Sony’s exclusive 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology reproduces a physical sound field that can adapt to your environment so your home theater feels more like a cinema or...
  • Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX precisely corrects the distance, angle, sound pressure, and frequency response of each speaker that’s connected to the STR-AN1000 to create the ideal sound field...

Sony has been producing consumer electronics for a long time, including audio systems for music, movies, and video games. And, because they have such a diverse range of products, it’s in their best interests to release home theater systems that work well with their other products, such as the industry-leading PlayStation 4 console.

This system is one of the most comprehensive on our list, with nine individual units ranging from a booming subwoofer to a Dolby Atmos-equipped receiver that will make you feel like you’re in a full-sized IMAX theater inside your own home. It also supports 4K video, HDR, and other features. It’s a complicated setup, but anyone who hears it will be impressed.

8. FOCAL SIB EVO & YAMAHA 5.1.2 HOME CINEMA SYSTEM

SALE No. 1
Focal SIB EVO Atmos 5.1.2 Two-Way Bass-Reflex Satellite Home Cinema Loudspeaker System Compatible with Dolby Atmos
20 Reviews
Focal SIB EVO Atmos 5.1.2 Two-Way Bass-Reflex Satellite Home Cinema Loudspeaker System Compatible with Dolby Atmos
  • Sib Evo Dolby Atmos was designed with more rear volume than the Sib Evo to give it even more extended frequency response..a 3" full-range one-way Polyflex speaker driver dedicated to reproducing the...
  • In 5.1 and 5.1.2 Home Cinema systems, the loudspeaker can also be used horizontally, turning the satellite into a center loudspeaker. Subwoofer Just like the Sib Evo and Sib Evo Dolby Atmos...
  • Focal also wanted to offer a perfectly adapted upgrade solution for customers already equipped with Sib loudspeakers: two Dolby Atmos loudspeakers can be added to an existing Sib system to experience...

If you want a setup that provides exceptional sound as well as unique and stylish device designs, the Focal Sib Evo kit shown here might be a good place to start. With five wide-range speakers and a very powerful subwoofer, this home theater system delivers cinematic sound in a more subtle package than many of the other options on the market.

It also includes one of the industry’s most trusted receivers, a Yamaha RX-A780, to ensure proper operation. That means it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Spotify built-in (along with a number of other audio streaming services), 4K and HDR support, and so much more.

9. KLIPSCH & YAMAHA 5.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM

SALE No. 1
Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
2,137 Reviews
Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
  • The Klipsch reference theater pack delivers a superior acoustic performance while keeping an incredibly minimal footprint
  • Klipsch's exclusive Tractrix Horn technology and aluminum Tweeters deliver the cleanest, most natural sound possible. The down-firing wireless subwoofer is designed to deliver room-filling low...
  • To complement the easy placement of the wireless subwoofer, each satellite speaker has a keyhole mount and a threaded insert for maximum mounting flexibility

Besides designing and manufacturing absolutely stunning and iconic audio equipment, Klipsh is one of our favorite audio brands for their unimpeachable dedication to making all of their gear sound as good as possible at any volume. As you might guess, their Home Theater System you see here is definitely no exception to that rule.

This cinematic system comes with a reliable, top-of-the-line Yamaha RX-A760 receiver, as well as dual tower speakers, surround speakers, a center channel speaker, and a massive subwoofer.

It’s a bit more cumbersome than some other options, and thus better suited to a home than, say, an apartment. Of course, if you’re a total audiophile, they also offer even more comprehensive setups. When it comes to home theater systems, you simply cannot go wrong with Klipsch.

Alternative Video: Best Home Theatre Systems

Best Home Theatre Systems

CONCLUSION on the Best Entry Level Home Theater Systems

The only thing better than going on a date to the movies is being able to enjoy the same high-quality cinema experience from the comfort of your own home.

You can save money on expensive popcorn and avoid distracting background noise while still enjoying the incredible immersive audio that immerses you in your favorite films. Because there are so many options on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to the best quality mid-range home theater speakers.

FAQs About Entry-Level Home Theater Systems

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround better?

A 7.1 system is ideal for larger rooms where sound can become lost in the space. It offers a more immersive surround sound listening experience. Theater quality media designed for a 7.1 system will be heard more clearly than on a 5.1 system.

What does 5.1 mean in terms of surround sound?

Surround sound audio systems are commonly referred to as 5.1 surround sound (“five-point one”). In home theaters, the most common layout is 5.1. It makes use of five full-bandwidth channels as well as one low-frequency effects channel.

How many watts of home theater do I need?

The higher the wattage power under the hood, the better your theater will sound. And, strange as it may seem, a high-power theater appears louder at lower volumes. Without fear of running out of power, 125 watts per channel is the ideal amount to have.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!

 

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