If you’ve ever felt the hair-raising thrill of a T-Rex roar sweeping from one ear to the other, you’re already acquainted with the magic of surround sound. Imagine the sensation of Gandalf’s commanding voice enveloping you as if he’s right by your side, or the spine-tingling suspense of hearing Jason Vorhees’ heavy breath lurking just behind. It’s not just sound; it’s part of the experience. But to truly experience that immersive journey into the world of film, you need the best surround sound for movies.
From sleek soundbars that pack a sonic punch bigger than their size, to full-on speaker setups that re-create explosions so vividly you might want to duck, we’ve rounded up the top 5 best surround sound for movies. So grab your popcorn, fluff those cushions, and get ready to be swept off your feet (metaphorically, of course, unless your speakers are really powerful). Whether you’re a casual viewer or a cinephile extraordinaire, we’ve got a home cinema sound system that’ll leave you craving surround sound in every corner of your life.
Product Comparison Table: Best Surround Sound for Movies
|Best in class
|Klipsch Cinema 400
|Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Speaker System
|Klipsch Reference Cinema System
|Best Dolby Atmos
|Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 4th Gen Wireless Multiroom Speaker
|Klipsch 5.0 Home Theater System
|Best without Subwoofer
The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a full system, even though it only comes with two parts: a 40” 2.1 horn-loaded Cinema Series Soundbar and an 8” class-leading wireless subwoofer. Internally, that includes a linear travel suspension tweeter, proprietary Tractrix horn technology, and fibre cone composite woofers. The surround sound works via 5.1 decoding, which virtualises the sound to “come” from throughout the space. And with 400W peak power, it’s strong too.
There’s also dialog enhancement mode to clarify every boom or whisper, and true left and right stereo for optimum immersiveness. HDMI-ARC gives you full control of your system, including the wireless sub, with a single remote. Setup is easy, too – just plug the included HDMI or optical cable into your TV and enjoy a premium home theater experience.
- Virtualised surround sound
- Compact soundbar unit
- HDMI-ARC and one remote
- Annoying auto turn-off
The Klipsch Cinema 400 is our best surround sound for movies if you prefer a soundbar, and there are plenty of reasons why you would. If you only have a cramped space to fill, a sleek little bar bolted just under your TV is a much more elegant solution than a small army of speaker units. The virtualised surround is very impressive, too, for such a compact unit. The only issue is the power-saving auto standby function – which might come to turn you off by getting a little too switch-happy.
The Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Speaker System includes 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer, to powerful surround sound while watching TV, gaming, or streaming music from your phone to the built in Bluetooth receiver. Although they only give out 300W of power max, these great value speakers each feature an integrated amp – and some cool flashing LED lights as compensation. It also comes with a range of extras in-box, though some of these should probably be a given: a full function remote, 3.5 millimeter to RCA cable, three RCA to RCA jack cables, and an instruction manual in case you forget how to plug things in.
- Bluetooth connection plus cables included
- Flashing LED illuminations
- Great value low price
- Low maximum power
Although this may not be the most powerful system in the world, it’s definitely one of the best value; the Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Speaker System is the cheapest on our list of the best surround sound for movies. It has decent performance for a casual movie viewer, and the sound comes through pretty clear and immersive. The flashing LEDs are also very fun, and you can even program them to flash in different patterns if you want an accompanying light show.
The Klipsch Reference Cinema System includes four satellite speakers outfitted with Dolby Atmos technology. If you haven’t heard of this ground-breaking sound technology before, it’s pretty simple to summarise. In traditional surround sound systems, audio is divided into channels (such as 5.1 or 7.1) and played through specific speakers placed around the listener. Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, adds height or overhead channels to the mix, enabling sound to come from above and around the listener, creating a more realistic and enveloping auditory experience.
On top of this, it has a lot of the same cutting-edge technology you get in the Klipsch Cinema 400. Exclusive Tractrix 90° X 90° horn technology and aluminum tweeters deliver impressive high-end response and greater extension, and the built-in all-digital subwoofer amplifier delivers 300W of power with high efficiency and true-to-source accuracy.
- Exceptional sound quality
- Dolby Atmos support
- Klipsch internal technology
- More expensive
The Klipsch Reference Cinema System is our best surround sound for movies if you’re looking for top sound quality. Dolby Atmos is probably the most advanced cinema-style audio technology in the world, so you’ll feel like you’ve been to your local Multiplex every time you watch TV. Of course, your wallet will probably feel like it too – but sometimes you have to pay for quality.
What does luxury sound like? If you’re curious, look no further than this Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 4th Gen Wireless Multiroom Speaker. Although it was originally made for music, we found that this multiroom speaker was perfect for watching movies, elevating every whisper, explosion and swell of strings into an immersive masterpiece.
It’s truly incredible how much a single-speaker system like the Bang & Olufsen can do. Its seven effective drivers and active room compensation mean that the unit responds to its placement within any space, whether you mount it on the wall or allow it to stand on its premium real-oak legs. Connect via Airplay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth or even Bang & Olufsen’s own Beoplay Multiroom to wrap yourself in sound.
- Beautiful state-of-the-art appearance
- Multiroom sound from one speaker
- Wireless connectivity
- Customizable sound EQ and room compensation
- Hefty price tag
Some say you hear what you pay for. The price tag on the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 4th Gen Wireless Multiroom Speaker is justified by not only how incredible it sounds (did we mention the Beosonic Adjustable EQ?), but also how incredible it looks. Everything about this model is suave and expressive, and that’s what makes it our best premium surround sound for movies.
The Klipsch 5.0 Home Theater System delivers a captivating audio experience with its five-channel setup, providing rich and immersive surround sound for movies, music, and games. Not only that, it also features those good old renowned Klipsch horn-loaded tweeters, which enhance dialogue and vocals by providing clear and accurate sound reproduction, and a huge dynamic range. You’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action with precise audio imaging – which is the next best thing to Dolby Atmos.
Additionally, the system can be paired with a compatible Klipsch subwoofer to add deep, powerful bass for a more complete 5.1 cinematic experience. As for the speakers in the set, they can be easily placed on shelves, mounted on walls, or positioned on speaker stands to suit your room layout.
- Klipsch internal technology
- Wireless connection
- Precise audio imaging
- Subwoofer not included
Maybe you already have a subwoofer, or perhaps you prefer to mix-and-match your kit to achieve your perfect customised sound. Or maybe you just really love boosted treble – we won’t judge. Whatever your reasoning for ditching the sub, the Klipsch 5.0 Home Theater System is the best surround sound for movies without an included subwoofer you can get. But of course, if you want a subwoofer, this won’t be the one for you.