The Best Home Audio of 2021
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For any home entertainment paradise, a quality speaker system is a must-have. Recreate your home into an oasis a la Kylie by installing one of these home audio systems. Get professional-sounding playback in your own music studio or jaw-dropping sound during your movie night with these upgrades!
When looking for a home audio setup, consider the size of the space you’re working with. For example, smaller bookshelf speakers might be ideal for a home studio, a soundbar is perfect for a bedroom, while larger living rooms could need a bigger setup. Low-profile ceiling speakers also create a dynamic sonic experience.
Research into compatibility with playback when selecting your home audio system. If you’re using it for television and movies, an HDMI jack or auxiliary cable could be what you need. Others hook up to smart televisions or smart devices over Bluetooth and wifi for convenience and reliability.
The industry is developing bigger sound in smaller packages, with wireless options growing every season. For customizable systems, an AV receiver lets you to mix and match subwoofers and rear speakers. Additionally, looking into the power that it delivers, with 100 amps being a good goal.
These speaker systems were selected for their top performances, engineering, price, and style. Take a look and see which is right for your home theater.
- Bose Soundbar 700 with Bass Module 700 and Surround Wireless Speakers
- Klipsch Reference Theater Pack
- Dali Oberon 1 Bookshelf Speakers
- Earthquake Tigris Dual Home Theater Tower Speakers
- Polk Audio RC80i
- Vizio Elevate
- LG CM4590 XBOOM
- Yamaha YHT-4950U
- Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite
- Bang & Olufsen Beoplay
1. Best Overall Home Audio System: Bose Soundbar 700 with Bass Module 700 and Surround Wireless Speakers
Type: Soundbar and surround speakers
Size: 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25”
Weight: 10.5 lbs
The Bose Soundbar 700 with Bass Module 700 and Surround Wireless Speaker lets you mix and match equipment for ideal sound performance. Its setup delivers great sound that can be thundering loud or more mellow with audible subtle details. This 5.1 setup is versatile and high quality, with Apple Airplay, Bluetooth, and wifi compatibility from up to 40 feet away. The included speakers are made for an immersive surround sound experience and it also functions as a stand-alone soundbar.
An exciting tech feature is the system’s compatibility with Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free control. The inbuilt room correction feature automatically engineers the levels to be ideal for the room the speakers are set up in. With its sleek profile soundbar, you have the option of black or white speakers.
2. Best Introductory Home Audio System: Klipsch Reference Theater Pack
Type: Surround sound speakers
Size: 11.8 x 11.8 x 13.3 inches
Weight: 15.0 Ibs
The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is the sixth installment of the company’s home audio offerings. It is built to render the full spectrum of sound, with 4 satellite speakers, including a wireless subwoofer with heavy bass. Copper in the woofers helps the speakers look beautiful even when the grille is off. This smaller speaker set performs best in small or medium-sized rooms.
These speakers are rated at AV 110 Hz and have a 5.1 setup. You will find a lot of power packed into this small, lightweight package, and getting started is simple. Its aluminum tweeter and Tractrix Horn Technology delivers sound that is sure to satisfy.
3. Best Small Room Home Audio System: Dali Oberon 1 Bookshelf Speakers
Type: Bookshelf speakers
Size: 9.21 x 6.38 x 10.79 inches
Weight: 9.26 lbs
These compact Dali Oberon 1 speakers will fit anywhere, making them ideal for a small room tight on space. With the same size 29 cm dome tweeter as the floor-standing model, it outperforms other bookshelf speakers with impressive sound. In addition, mids and lows are notably more robust with the company’s signature wood and fiber cones. Dali is an acronym for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, and you can find this speaker set in a variety of colors like black ash, dark walnut, light oak, and white to match your home decor.
The speakers are designed to be versatile, with included wall mounts built-in. Their range particularly shines with vocal performances, delivering clear and crisp audio. The smallest in the Dali series, the Oberon is a quality 5.1 channel speaker set.
4. Best High-End Home Audio System: Earthquake Tigris Dual Home Theater Tower Speakers
Type: Woofer/ Tower speaker
Size: 51.25″ (H) x 19.2″ (D) x 10.8″ (W)
Weight: 136 pounds
For knock-your-socks-off sound performance, the aptly named Earthquake 3 Way is a top choice. Part of the Tritan line, these are huge speakers that deliver even bigger sound quality. Even at the highest volumes, the 3-way speaker delivers accurate representation and playback with great detail.
The Tigris speaker pair is engineered to minimize sound reflection and they have a slick, glossy black finish. After five years of development (in a 25-year quest to build the perfect loudspeaker), the Tigris outperforms many of its competitors. All the parts were built in-house to work together for the best possible speaker experience from initial design to production.
5. Best In Ceiling Audio System: Polk Audio RC80i
Type: In-Ceiling Speakers
Size: 12.1 x 11.8 x 9.8 inches
Weight: 4.3 poundsCeiling speakers offer the best of both worlds, with high-quality sound and low-profile design. The Polk Audio RC 80 is a two-way audio speaker system with high-impact composite driver baskets and a wide dispersion design resulting in reliable sound coverage. The audio is smooth with a solid mid-range and a good lower range. With its surround sound performance, any audiophile will appreciate the Polk Audio RC 80i.
The speakers are built to be moisture and rust-resistant and fit flush with any drywall or other ceiling type. Its wide sound dispersion engineering means they work well in even larger rooms, and the overhead sound experience gives the whole space consistent audio. A key for the performance of the Polk RC80i speakers is the soft dome tweet encased with a polymer composite cone with rubber surround and 8-inch dynamic balance, which results in clear sound in nearly any mounting position. Installation is an easy 3 step process: cut a hole in the wall, thread through the wires, and insert the speaker. Its humidity-safe design makes it ideal for bathroom or kitchen performance, and it would perform well in select outdoor settings.
6. Best Sound Bar Home Audio System Vizio Elevate
Size: 4.45 x 20 x 2.19 inches
Weight: 3.69 lbs
The Vizio Elevate soundbar system is truly the future of home audio, with rotating speakers compatible with Dolby Atmos. Listeners enjoy a wide variety of connectivity options, including Spotify, USB, Bluetooth, Wifi, and Chromecast. Its unique engineering physically moves the inner components for a speaker for the absolute best sound quality for movies, games, or music, and it is also compatible with DTS:X. As well as being a high-performing soundbar, the home audio setup includes a backlit remote, a big subwoofer, and rear speakers.
A colorful LED display shows which input and level the speakers are one, and the plastic and metal construction feels durable. Reaching a maximum of 107 decibels, the Vizio Elevate also has an impressive bass range. The system is also compatible with Google Play and Alexa voice assistants. This lightweight 5.1.4 surround soundbar has an impressive 18 total channels, and it is Vizio’s most highly awarded system.
7. Best Budget Home Audio System: LG CM4590 XBOOM
Size: 29 x 11.8 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 37.15 Pounds
The plug-and-play design of the corded LG CMM4590 XBOOM is familiar and budget-friendly. The system has a built-in cd player (remember those?) and FM radio tuner for the quintessential boombox experience. You can connect smart devices with the two included USB inputs or Bluetooth compatibility for extra oomph when watching TV. It’s engineered with a 2.1-Channel Configuration and a 2-way speaker design projecting 700 watts of audio for room-filling sound.
The Auto DJ feature keeps the music playing smoothly and minimizes gaps in between songs for a DJ-quality experience. Another great feature is its automatic syncing with LG HDTVs via SoundSync Wireless, with no cables needed.
8. Best Easy To Use Home Audio System: Yamaha YHT-4950U
Size: 23 x 22 x 18 inches
Weight: 40 pounds
The Yamaha YHT-4950U is a reliable choice for a 5.1 channel home theater system for cinematic quality sound at a reasonable price. Designed by Yamaha to be an entry-level home audio system, it has plenty of great features that make it a great buy. This “home-theater-in-a-box” comes with Ultra 4k HDMI input. Flexible speaker placement lets you adjust the layout to find the best quality sound. Hook up the system with an AV receiver and connect with Bluetooth for high-definition audio.
Yamaha’s included YPAO™ room optimization helps you install and modify the speaker system to create ideal sound. With one center channel, a subwoofer, two surround speakers, and two front channels, you can adjust the placement and volume for a comfortable experience in rooms of any size. Yamaha’s exclusive CINEMA DSP technology works with HD audio playbacks like DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD and creates a true-to-life ambiance in your home.
9. Best Music Home Audio System:Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite
Size: Subwoofer, Rear Surround, Soundbar
Weight: 7.3 lbs
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite has a 7.2.4 channel system that creates a 360-degree listening experience that sets it apart from traditional soundbars. Two wireless subwoofers and two rears combined with 800 W create a powerful range and well expressed lower registers. The multi-speaker setup is built for a true surround sound experience with vibrations you can feel at the right volume. Its technology is compatible with Dolby Digital Atmos and DTS X, so audiophiles can enjoy the latest and greatest in sound. Plus, the included remote makes it simple to control right from the couch.
Multiple audio input choices include Bluetooth, 3 HDMI, HDMI1 ARC, 1 Coax, and 1 Optical. Stream your favorite playlists from your smart device with a press of a button on your smart device. Audio modes like news, movies, and music simplify adjusting levels so you can spend more time enjoying the system. Plus, the setup is essentially a plug-and-play design with an included wall mount to save space.
10. Best Stylish Home Audio System: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9
Size: 27.6 W x 35.7 H x 16 D in
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay looks like a modern art sculpture and functions as a high-definition speaker. Design features such as leg wood choices– oak or walnut– and your choice of white or black helps customize this creative tower speaker. You can also purchase additional covers or legs for the speaker. The 8-inch diameter subwoofer has a wool cover, and the speaker has an aluminum ring engraved with the logo. An intuitive touch-sensitive control screen is where you can adjust the volume.
Technology aspects like the Active Room Compensation feature create a great sound that fills a room. Other Bang & Olufsen speakers can play the same music in multiple rooms of the house. The wireless speaker can connect via Chromecast, Apple Airplay 2, or Bluetooth and is easily controlled with a smartphone. A jack input in the rear connects with external audio sources, or you can stream right from your favorite apps with lossless playback.
Our Hot Take
These home audio system choices offer exceptional value and quality for your own home theater. The right sound system creates exciting sounds when watching movies or listening to your favorite music. Many of the sound systems have incredible interior engineering and careful exterior design that add value to your home.
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