Have you ever watched a movie at home only to discover that it does not provide the same viewing experience as going to the movies? One of the most noticeable differences is the lack of high-quality, surround sound audio from your home television.
Fortunately, installing a home theater system in your living room to provide the same impressive viewing experience, whether you’re watching television, sitting down for a feature-length movie, or playing video games, is simple. Best of all, a home theater system doesn’t have to be expensive; in this article, we’ll show you how to find the best home theater system under $500.
And, if you would like to, not only the home theater system: we can help you fit up the whole entertainment zone starting from ping pong table and ending with treadmill, which would fit perfectly next to your home theater system.
The 8 Best Home Stereo Systems To Purchase (Detailed Review)
TOP 4 HOME THEATER SYSTEMS UNDER $500 REVIEW
1. Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System, Set of Six
- 4 gloss black 2-way Energy satellite speakers
- 1 gloss black Energy center channel
- 200 watt Energy subwoofer with front firing port and 8" driver and patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround(TM)
- Perfect for a large or small space surround sound solution
- Wall mountable
This Energy home theater system is well under $500, making it a great value and one of the best starter audio systems to add to your living room for a theater experience. The speaker system is a 5.1 system with 200 watts channeled through the five surround speakers and an additional 200 watts channeled through the subwoofer.
Please keep in mind that the speaker system does not include a receiver set, so you will need to purchase one separately if you want to use the speakers with your television or other devices.
Users were pleasantly surprised by the sound quality of these low-cost speakers, noting that they provided relatively tight bass control that worked well for both music and movies. The aluminum dome inside the speakers, on the other hand, requires a 50-hour break-in period, so expect an overly bright sound that will gradually warm up and become richer as you use the speakers.
- Type: 5.1 channel system
- Power Handling: 200 watts
- Speakers: 2-way energy satellite speakers
- Subwoofer: 200 watts
- Installation: wall-mountable
- Warranty: free 60-day tech support
2. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
- 5.1 digital surround sound: Hear every detail in your Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks the way the studio intended. Sub woofer: 165 Watts
- THX certified home theater speakers: Your assurance of true cinema quality sound. Satellites : 4 x 67 W, wall mountable
- Delivers a continuous 500 watts of power, with the ability to deliver a peak of 1,000 watts under certain circumstances: Provides rich audio and thunderous bass that let you truly hear and feel every detail
- Flexible setup: Connect upto six devices : Computer, music player, TV, game console and more; Infared remote
- Easy sound control: Compact control console and wireless remote let you instantly personalize your surround sound experience, Digital optical input: 2 (up to 1080p)
This small and inexpensive Logitech home theater system is surprisingly powerful, with a continuous 500-watt output through the five speakers and a peak output of up to 1,000 watts. Furthermore, with a peak power of up to 300 watts, the subwoofer delivers room-shaking bass when needed.
Users praised the low distortion of these THX-certified speakers and subwoofer at high volumes, noting that the sound quality did not degrade even at excessively loud levels. However, at the quiet end of the spectrum, the subwoofer’s bass can sound relatively flat.
All of the satellite speakers can be wall-mounted with an aftermarket kit or placed on shelves, though it should be noted that the receiver unit is not designed to be wall-mounted. The system’s overall footprint is quite small, making it suitable for both large and small rooms.
In addition, the receiver and center speaker can be stacked to save space. The speakers are wired rather than wireless, and some users complained that the wiring is a little flimsy. As a result, the lack of a warranty is a major concern with this speaker set.
- Type: 5.1 channel system
- Power Handling: 1000–500 watts
- Speakers: THX-certified home theater speakers
- Subwoofer: 165–300 watts
- Installation: wall-mountable
- Warranty: not specified
3. Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4 Channel 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar
- Transform your living room into a premium cinema within minutes. Experience deep, room-filling bass with the industry’s only Dual Wireless Subwoofers and True 360° 7.2 channel surround sound with the Soundbar + Two Rear Surround Speakers. Discover what you have been missing from movies, music and games and step into the future of home theater. Created with the same DNA as our flagship Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 SSE, Winner of the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Battle (hosted by Brian Tong, Ex Cnet host)
- Our DUAL 8" WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (industry's first!) produce ground-shaking rumbles that you will hear and feel from anywhere in your living room. They merge to distribute adrenaline-pumping bass effects evenly throughout the room with zero localization. Altogether, the sound bar with subwoofers unleash cinema-level volumes without a trace of distortion, replicating the perfect cinema experience. Agreed among experts, TWO subwoofers are a must for ultimate home theaters.
- TWO 2-WAY REAR SPEAKERS (industry’s first!) produce spacious and dynamic surround sound. Each of them (connected to sub via RCA wires) is constructed with a tweeter that reproduces high frequencies with captivating clarity, and a full-range driver that delivers surround effects with power and precision. Simply put, the surround sound performance from simulated/virtual 2.1 or other 5.1 channel surround soundbars does not come anywhere close to this.
- Experience a whole new level of surround performance with our exclusive Spatial Surround Elevation SSE Technology. Featuring 3 advanced audio processing engines working in harmony to enhance directionality, enlarge spaciousness and unlock extra details of any audio soundtrack. Envelop your home theater with up to 7.2.4 channels of Dolby Atmos or DTS:X moving audio that flows all around you. Unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience with 106dB of room-filling sound.
- All units sold since Aug '19 can receive Dolby Atmos surround via TV’s eARC when streaming with TV’s smart apps like Netflix (Note: not all TVs can output Atmos. Refer to your TV brand’s audio output specs). Enjoy advanced connectivity with Dolby Vision, 4K UHD pass-thru and High Dynamic Range (HDR). Connect up to 6 devices via 1 HDMI ARC, 3 HDMI, 1 Optical and 1 Coaxial inputs. The 52-key backlit remote allows seamless control of sources, DSP modes, individual channel and room size optimization
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4 Channel 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar is ranked third on this list. It shouldn’t come as a surprise given its distinct approach to surround sound. The includes two subwoofers, two satellite speakers, and only one soundbar, completing an unusual setup.
Instead of numerous satellite speakers, the included soundbar simulates the function of the front left, center, and right channels, as well as wide soundstage speakers for right and left ambient effects.
The system also includes two rear two-way speakers and two wireless subwoofers, with the rear speakers being directly wired to the subwoofers.
To put it mildly, installation is extremely simple. The system also includes a remote control, which makes it easier to use. Unfortunately, we wish the remote’s range was a little bit longer. There is an optical input, three HDMI inputs, and a coaxial input for connecting.
- Type: 7.2 channel system
- Power Handling: 800 watts
- Speakers: two rear surround speakers + soundbar
- Subwoofer: 370 watts for two units
- Installation: wall-mountable soundbar, floor-standing speakers
- Warranty: 1-year
4. Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System
- 5.1 channel powerful surround sound
- Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 100W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD); Rated Output Power (20Hz 20kHz, 2ch driven) 70W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD); Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (Jeita) 145W (6 ohms, 10% THD)
- HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.2 (4 in/1 out)
- 4K Ultra HD support, HDR10, Dolby vision, hybrid log gamma and BT.2020
- YPAO auto calibration technology for ideal sound, Exclusive Yamaha Cinema DSP technology supports playback of HD Audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, etc.), providing natural and expansive sound imaging
This Yamaha speaker set offers great sound quality for the price for those on a tight budget, but keep in mind that installation is a significant amount of work and that you will need to add components to complete your home theater system.
Because the speakers do not come with wires, you will need to buy speaker wires separately and connect the speakers to a central receiver, which is also sold separately. If you don’t already have one, take a look at our list of the best A/V receivers under $500.
Furthermore, while the speakers can stand alone on shelving, you will most likely need to purchase satellite speaker mounting kits. Having said that, the 100-watt power output of these speakers allows for a surprising amount of volume with relatively low distortion, and the 100-watt subwoofer delivers solid bass for the price.
However, users report that at high volumes, the bass can become muddy. Users praised the center speaker in particular, which is larger than most comparable speakers for the price and has enough volume to hear vocals over background audio from the satellite speakers.
- Type: 5.1 channel system
- Power Handling: 100 watts
- Speakers: two-way satellite speakers and a single two-way center-channel speaker
- Subwoofer: 100 watts
- Installation: wall-mountable
- Warranty: 1-year on parts and labor warranty
Polk T50 Audio Home Theater Stereo System (Complete Review)
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BEST HOME THEATER SYSTEM
Now that you’ve learned more about our five favorite home theater systems under $500, how do you choose between them to find the best home theater system for you?
Many home theater consumers, particularly in this price range, are first-time buyers, which can make understanding the technical specifications listed for each of these systems difficult.
WHY GET A HOME THEATER SYSTEM WITH A SURROUND SOUND?
If you’ve ever watched movies or played video games in your living room and felt let down by the viewing experience you get in a theater, a home theater system could be a good investment. In comparison to a movie theater, your home television may have excellent picture quality but a subpar audio system – after all, most television screens are not designed to provide optimal audio on their own.
A home theater system connects your television and other devices to a set of speakers, which can then be distributed throughout the room to create a surround sound experience.
Alternative Video: Best Home Speakers Under $500
FEATURES TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A HOME THEATER SYSTEM
When looking at home theater systems, one of the most important decisions to make is how many audio channels you want the system to have – which directly corresponds to how many speakers you can connect to it.
Home theater systems are typically rated as 5.1, which means they can connect five speakers and one subwoofer, or 7.1, which means they can connect seven speakers and one subwoofer.
2. Sound quality
The sound quality of the system is the next most important factor to consider when selecting a home theater system. Sound quality is difficult to quantify because it is determined by the combination of speakers, subwoofer, and total power output of the theater system.
Speakers and subwoofers can be compared in terms of power output, and many home theaters are rated based on the total amount of power distributed among the included speakers.
Even under $500, a home theater system is a significant investment – so you want to be sure that it will serve you for years to come.
Unfortunately, warranties on theater systems are relatively short or nonexistent, and some manufacturers – like Energy – offer limited free technical support rather than a true warranty. While no warranty stands out on home theater systems under $500, note that having any warranty period at all is typically better for peace of mind than having no warranty.
Home theater systems also vary greatly in terms of how simple or difficult they are to install in your home. Although this is dependent on the devices you want to connect to your home theater system, make sure to check what types of connection ports the audio receiver has and whether they are compatible with the outputs on your television, gaming consoles, and other devices.
The ability to connect devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is one of the most important extra features that some home theater systems provide. This can make connecting new devices to the home theater system much faster and easier, and it eliminates the need for a jumble of cables.
The Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System, the Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System, and the Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4 Channel 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar were our top picks for under $500 home theater systems.
Only the Logitech system comes with a receiver, and all three systems will almost certainly require speaker mounting kits, so plan on making additional investments in addition to the cost of the speaker systems. Having said that, all three systems provide excellent sound quality for the price.
FAQs About The Best Home Theater Stereo System
Is a Bose system worth it?
For good reason, Bose systems are regarded as among the best. They manufacture high-quality, technically efficient equipment that is built to last, and you pay for the brand support that comes with such a well-known name. They are pricey, but they are well worth it.
What is the best sound system?
The JBL Bar 9.1 by Harman is the best home theater system on the market right now, whether it’s for the 3D sound or the adaptability with 4K. It has Dolby Atmos and DTS surround sound, which will make you avoid going to the movies more often.
What is better Klipsch or Bose?
More accurate and crisp sound tends to be more expensive, but Klipsch offers a wide range of choices and options at significantly lower prices than Bose. Both companies provide low-cost options, but Klipsch has a much better track record when it comes to high-quality sound on a budget.
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