best satellite speakers for your home
All audiophiles are looking for a speaker that will enable them to explore the maximum possibilities of the surround sound system. And there's hardly a better unit for that purpose than a satellite speaker.
I'd be hard-pressed to name a better duo than a subwoofer for the bass sound and a satellite speaker for mediums and highs.
They both don't take up much room and yet add so much to your audio needs.
From home theater speakers for a near-cinematic home entertainment experience to your high-fidelity desktop speaker, there's a pick for everyone in the category of satellite speakers.
If you want to invest in the best satellite speakers for your home, dive into the reviews!
- In a hurry? After 25 Hours of Research, We Recommend:
- Best Satellite Speakers – Comparison Table
- Best Powered Speakers: Detailed Reviews
- 1. Bose 301-V Stereo Loudspeakers - BEST OVERALL -
- 2. SVS Prime Satellite Speakers - Runner-Up
- 3. JBL Professional C62P
- - The Most Compact Pick -
- 4. Bowers & Wilkins Mini Theatre M-1 Satellite Speaker - Best for Home Mini Theatre
- 5. Dayton Audio SAT-BK 3-3/4" 2-Way Satellite Speaker Pair Black - Budget-Friendly Pick
- 6. Polk Audio 2X TL1 100W Satellite Speaker - Best Entry-Level Pick
- 7. Leviton AESS5-WH Architectural Edition Powered By JBL Expansion Satellite Speaker - Best Low-End Pick
- 8. Fluance SXBP2 Home Theater Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers - Best for Home Theatre Experience
- 9. Cambridge Audio Minx Min 12 Bookshelf Satellite Speaker - Small but Mighty
- Best Satellite Speakers Buying Guide: Key Factors to Consider
- Best Satellite Speakers - FAQ
- After it's all said and done, we recommend:
- Final Words
In a hurry? After 25 Hours of Research, We Recommend:
Bose 301-V Stereo Loudspeakers
Why they are the best?
Last Updated: June 1, 2021
By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best satellite speakers available for those who are interested in having the finest quality audio. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best satellite speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Best Satellite Speakers – Comparison Table
Bose 301-V Stereo Loudspeakers
23.8 x 13.3 x 18’’
SVS Prime Satellite Speaker
4.9 x 6 x 8.8’’
JBL Professional C62P
5.1 x 5.1 x 5.6’’
Bowers & Wilkins Mini Theatre M-1 Satellite Speaker
4.5 x 6.4 x 9.8’’
Dayton Audio SAT-BK 3-3/4" 2-Way Satellite Speaker Pair Black
5.3 x 4.5 x 7.5’’
Polk Audio 2X TL1 100W Satellite Speaker
11.2 x 12 x 10.5’’
Leviton AESS5-WH Architectural Edition
7 x 6.7 x 5.7’’
Fluance SXBP2 Home Theater Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers
5.5 x 11 x 10.2’’
Cambridge Minx Min 12 Satellite Bookshelf Speaker
5.5 x 5.3 x 5’’
Best Powered Speakers: Detailed Reviews
1. Bose 301-V Stereo Loudspeakers
- BEST OVERALL -
Our Rating: 96/100
The Bose 301-V Stereo surround sound system vaulted past all other satellite speakers I've evaluated because of the incredible sound quality, mid-range drivers, and best design.
It's an upgrade of their Bose 161 speaker system, and boy, is it good!
So, let's see all about the set of features this satellite speaker comes with.
When you take a look at these satellite speakers, it immediately becomes clear that they are unique. Everyone will notice and admire them.
Namely, the horizontal design is something I wish I could see more frequently with speakers. It allows you to use them as bookshelf speakers, or you can use them with the stands.
These speakers are also optimized for wall mounting, and you can order the version with the mounting brackets.
In addition to the dark grey design that blends in nicely, there's a removable grill if you like to boast with excellent drivers that are inside.
The shape of these satellite speakers I've described above accounts for a detailed stereo sound and smooth high and low-frequency response.
Also, the distribution of the sound is wide, which means you can place this surround system as left, right, and front speakers in a home theater.
They suggest that you use it with Bose VCS 10 center speakers, but I tried them with another center channel speaker, and I got an excellent audio performance nevertheless.
The long-excursion 8-inch woofer delivers clear sound, and these versatile satellite speakers work with sources from 10 to 150W and receivers from 4 to 8 Ohms.
Our Rating: 94/100
The SVS Prime satellite speaker landed squarely in second place for one of the best mid-range sound experience in the class and outstanding build quality.
Without further ado, we can analyze what sets this speaker apart from some other satellite speakers that didn't make it to the list.
Had the speaker design of the Prime Satellite been flexible as some other compact satellite speakers, I would have considered it as a winner.
But, even though I have nothing bad to say about its construction in terms of quality, I still wish these satellite speakers were more flexible. The best way is maybe to use them with custom brackets.
Other than that, the engineering properties of this surround sound system are flawless. ABS construction is one of the best in class, and the black ash wood finish looks amazing.
The 4.5-inch woofer delivers a surprising bass response and surround sounds you wouldn't expect from a pair of satellite speakers.
It performs as good as some picks with 5-inch subs. Plus, it has an aluminum ring for reduced distortion and better sound performance in your home theater.
The 2-way crossover, nicknamed SoundMatch, accounts for smooth transitions between the drivers and quite an accurate frequency response.
With 150W of the speaker power, you'll get an impressive low-frequency extension and rich dynamics.
Back to the impact of the construction of these satellite speakers on its performance, I have to say that the baffle chambers maximally reduce tweeter diffraction, resulting in a natural sound.
Our Rating: 86/100
The JBL C629 hanging pendant satellite speaker is certainly not the most advanced home theater satellite speaker out there, but for the mid-range price, it offers more than excellent features.
Pair this speaker with a powerful center channel, and you'll get a fantastic home theater surround sound system.
Okay, these are not the most powerful satellite speakers, but would you expect that much power from a 2-inch unit either way?
These satellite speakers are so compact you can fit them anywhere you want, and they'll be a great addition to your home theater.
Just make sure to mount them correctly, which isn't very difficult, as the main and safety suspension cables are easy to set up. You can fasten them and adjust the height as much as you wish.
The coverage angle of 140° means that this satellite speaker will nicely distribute the sound throughout your home.
The 5-inch woofers (2 x 2.5) are polypropylene-coated paper with butyl rubber surround, and they nicely accentuate a wide range of sounds.
I found that this speaker is ideal for speech (which is great for your home theater and movies) and fast-paced music genres, such as techno, drum n bass, etc.
It's easy to install these satellite speakers thanks to the two removable locking 2-pin connectors.
For the price, I was more than amazed at what the C62P satellite speakers can do.
This intricate satellite sound system is primarily posed as a home theater surround sound speaker system.
Are there any other uses to it? How does it grade against other satellite speakers? Let's see!
While the speaker does not feel out of place mounted on the wall or settled down, I find it better not mounted.
Installing the mounting brackets is a bit complicated with these satellite speakers, and they come with dedicated stands to be positioned without the brackets.
Their design is uncomplicated, which makes this speaker ideal for contemporarily-designed home spaces.
The matte black style is a nice touch, but I must admit they don't look as elegant as some other satellite speakers on my list.
The experience of the sound is full, rich, and immersive, which is what anybody could wish for from their bookshelf speakers.
The tube-loaded tweeter removes any unwanted resonance from the sound, while the mid-range driver is constructed from a polymer foam that results in excellent clarity of the sound.
These satellite speakers are ideal if you want to spruce up your 5.1 surround sound channel, as you won't get much bass without a sub.
If you flip it sideways, you can even use this satellite speaker as a center one below your screen.
I also liked the efficient cable management. Overall, this is a solid pick if you want a satellite speaker that comes with an affordable price tag.
Our Rating: 84/100
If you are in search of both quality and clear sound and you want a good listening experience that isn't going to demolish your savings, you are in the right place.
To see what these speakers come with, read along, and see whether they are the right choice for you.
Here's the trick that I loved – Dayton made sure that their speakers are weather-resistant, which makes them just right for both indoor and outdoor use.
They do come with an included mounting bracket hardware and rubber feet for facilitating wall-mounting, but I have encountered a couple of bumps that resulted in a loose hanging speaker.
Nevertheless, nothing about their design gives away their budget-friendly price. The curvy shape plus the black finish give an air of sophistication to the speaker.
After the setup process, I was more than eager to test them out.
The tonal delivery was seamless, clear-cut, and detailed.
The key to their endurance lies in the neat blending of their long-excursion woofers and poly dome tweeters.
Bear in mind that, even though they can go down to 100Hz only, they still do an amazing job with it. The sound delivery of the bass in this speaker is way better than on some high-end satellite speakers I have had the chance to test out.
Standalone, they do a great job considering their price range, but in my opinion, they shine their brightest as team players in the background.
Our Rating: 88/100
Moving on, Polk Audio has quite a solution for home theater satellite speakers.
Considering the fact that I have nothing but positive words about Polk Audio, naturally, I decided to take a little peek behind the Polk satellite curtains and see what this speaker is like.
The sleek signature design Polk Audio speakers come with blends professional with a pinch of accessible. Now, this would generally mean that, once the gates of the mainstream are open, something's got to give, right?
Well, they didn't do it at the expense of these surround speakers.
When it comes to the intricacies of their design, I enjoyed the curved enclosure, which is crafted to strengthen it, thus delivering less audible sound coloration from surface resonances.
And because of its design, the sound that these speakers can produce is more dynamic in both clarity and volume, which is definitely not something that you'd expect from a speaker of its size.
I am pleased to inform you that the performance of Polk Audio speakers is more than satisfactory.
Namely, there are several factors at play that help the speakers achieve this harmony in sound.
One of the best qualities is its silk dome tweeter, specifically in charge of delivering smooth, precise, and detailed sounds.
The aperiodic-tuned rear-firing bass port is yet another component finely tuned to this speaker in order to ensure the excellent sound of the audio system.
It delivers the clearest bass extensions and maintains a perfect blending between the speaker and the subwoofer.
Our Rating: 82/100
Next up, I have an interesting combination coming from Leviton and powered by JBL - the Leviton AESS5-WH satellite speaker.
JBL's patented technology promises to pack a lot of power, so I wanted to see how the AESS5-WH speakers manage to deliver.
As neutral as they get, Leviton's design is easily one of the best for the color of the surround system.
White easily blends and settles into just about any environment, so these speakers of compact size will not disturb the harmony of your home.
The magnetically-shielded satellite speaker can be relatively unnoticeable due to its color and size, and it is ideal for smaller, cozier settings.
These speakers are compatible with the vast majority of the receivers, i.e., they are not brand-conditioned.
When it comes to the overall listening experience, those of you musically inclined may be more sensitive to this satellite speaker's slight offs.
The entire set is customizable, and you can add more satellites to your original setup easily, so the basic set is ideal for smaller rooms if you don't want to affect the quality of the sound.
My first test round of the sound performance earned a generally positive review, but I discovered that the sound quality lacks depth upon deeper listening.
To get the immersive surround feeling, you must strategically position these satellite speakers. Generally, the low-frequency sounds don't come out as rich as they should.
Our Rating: 92/100
My thorough journey of trying and testing the best satellite speakers unearthed another gem in the form of Fluance SXBP2 Home Theather satellite speakers. This model also goes by the Fluance AVBP2 name.
Let's investigate its many practical applications, shall we?
Fluance certainly came and did not intend to play with its competitors. Their aim was to change the game entirely with the Fluance AVBP2 satellite speaker, be it the design or the performance.
Design-wise, they made sure that their customers enjoy a lifetime warranty on each and every part of their satellite speakers.
The speakers themselves have skillfully crafted from MDF wood cabinetry in order to reduce resonance from the cabinet.
Their innovativeness, however, lies in the bipolar radiation pattern, which basically sets the 3D soundstage.
By having two extended satellite speakers on opposite sides of the cabinet, the sound engulfs and completely overwhelms the room, thus achieving its full range.
Their one-of-a-kind design definitely puts their bipolar patterns to work as it brings a new kind of experience.
Every scream, shout, tear and laugh are heard and felt, as there is not a single sound omitted from the spectrum and not performed right in your own home theatre.
This high-quality performance makes you feel as if you are fully present in the moment, and the sound definitely won't let you get away.
What I really appreciated is the excellent sound delivery, as these TV speakers definitely encompass the very definition of the surround sound systems.
Last to be mentioned, but definitely not lacking in design or performance, I found a little Minx for us!
These pesky little satellite speakers will surprise audiophiles and aficionados specifically because of their size; you don’t expect that amount of sound to come out of 3 inches tall and wide of a square.
As I have already mentioned, Cambridge Audio’s Minx Min is compact and might fill out an entire room by itself, so fitting it inside your living space won’t be such a big deal.
The tonal prowess this speaker carries will enrich your homey atmosphere and bring you closer to whatever you are watching or listening to.
There are several ways of placing them to fit your liking: they can be placed on stands or mounted on the wall, or nested simply as you want them to be.
You must not let their size fool you; they pack a great deal of power and will surpass your expectations.
Each of the Minx Min is optimized with a BMR driver. This means that you will get supreme detail at both high and low volumes for the sound quality.
The subwoofer doesn’t lack detail either, seeing as it is empowered by a digital amplifier, a signal processor, and an 8-inch forward-firing woofer with an 8-inch auxiliary bass radiator on top, ensuring that these low-lows stay low.
Once they are put to the test, these components make a harmonious delivery – the sound was rich and stunning as it filled up the entire room.
Best Satellite Speakers Buying Guide: Key Factors to Consider
Now that you decided to equip yourself with the most suitable sound system, you want to make sure that your investment counts.
With innumerable options at your disposal, it's difficult to decide which one fits you the most.
To help you choose the most fitting satellite speakers, I have drawn up a list of their most essential features.
Based on them, you'll be able to optimize your living space with the best speaker system!
Without further ado, let's lay out the factors to consider when buying the best satellite speakers for yourself:
The abundance of options available may lead you astray and confuse you. There's a slight but important difference when it comes to the type of your satellite speakers.
They differ in their speaker-woofer ratio, and based on it, they are most commonly sold as either 2.1 or 5 1 channel satellite speakers.
The formerly mentioned 2.1 satellite speakers contain three audio channels, two main speakers, and one subwoofer.
They are most commonly used to listen to or play music, while the 5 1 channel is employed in home theaters.
Depending on your needs, you may even need a 6.1, which means that these have seven audio channels, with six main speakers distributed evenly and one subwoofer. However, this is usually restricted to professional settings.
Based on your needs, you'll decide what type of surround sound system you want to have, and you can choose their perfect ratio accordingly.
To choose the best satellite speakers, you must give some thought to the size and the space you have available.
The idea is that satellite speakers are made to be small and compact; however, your audio system highly depends on the number of speakers incorporated in it.
These speakers are usually relatively small, which means that they are ideal for any home-based theatre.
Pro tip: It's of prime importance that you take into account the size of your room.
For example, if you have a relatively large living room, the most fitting surround sound system will ideally deliver more volume.
Generally, as this kind of speaker is compact, you can use them as your regular bookshelf speakers, but a vast majority can be mounted on the wall, too.
Be that as it may, their size most likely won't affect the positioning, and you'll find satellite speakers versatile and flexible.
This is a very important characteristic, which greatly affects the sound quality that your surround speaker delivers.
High-frequency response means that the sound your bookshelf speaker emits will be richer and more detailed.
This is measured in Hertz, and the most common frequency response range should fit the 20 Hz – 20KHz parameter to channel both the highs and the lows of the sound.
High-frequency response is closely knitted to high-quality-sound, so this is one of the essential features you should consider.
I've laid out the frequency response range of all of these in the table above.
Before you make the purchase, pay the utmost attention to your chosen satellite speakers' sensitivity.
Sensitivity is related to loudness, and how loud the sound will be is important, especially if you place the surround system in a room of a smaller size!
The optimal sensitivity will be above 85-90 decibels (dB).
Why? Well, the sound can get ultra-loud if the optimal sensitivity is in the prescribed range.
Likewise, you can find the info about these speakers' sensitivity in the table above.
There are several connectivity possibilities.
They do all have their advantages and disadvantages, but, typically, it all depends on how you wish to have your new set to connect.
The most popular way to connect your speakers is Bluetooth, as it can establish a wireless connection.
Bluetooth gives you many options, as you can play, stream, and connect to your speakers from your smartphone.
The only known disadvantage to this option is the connectivity range, as the audio can disconnect if the range doesn't cover the entirety of your room, per se.
The old school AUX wire is the second option, equally beneficial to your needs.
You can decide upon your wire length, but the most important factor when using one is to obtain a high-quality wire.
Otherwise, the sound quality can be endangered if the wire is somehow broken or impaired.
When you want to invest, it is always better to overlook the most popular, flashy brands and look for the product's quality in their design.
Your speaker system should provide you with excellent sound, but it should have something more.
First and foremost, your satellite speakers need to be backed by a warranty, as there is no telling in when they will break down.
Once it comes to their build and design, your satellite speakers should be equipped with durable, high-grade plastic to protect the inside components.
The inside components should be copper-based so that they won't collapse over time from loud sounds.
Best Satellite Speakers - FAQ
Q: What are the best satellite speakers?
A: As of now, the best satellite speaker is the Bose 301-V Stereo. It is a modern and brushed-up upgrade of the famous Bose 161 speaker system that occupied the throne before this speaker. The improvements in the speaker design alone place these satellite speakers above all the other models that I've tested.
Anyone who is a serious surround sound technology enthusiast will enjoy the incredible audio performance and versatility that come with this system.
Q: What is a satellite speaker?
A: To put it broadly, satellite speakers carry the mid-bass, and aren't usually used solely. They accompany other speakers.
The satellite speaker system consists of a pair of small speakers - satellites - and the sub, or sub-woofer center speaker, which is a bass-only speaker. Thus, satellites and subs complement each other.
This kind of speaker system with satellites is most commonly used as a home theater system that you place behind or on the sides of the listening area. They are also popular simply just for listening to music or for a desktop system.
Q: What is the best speaker brand?
A: As more and more brands put competitive offers on the market, it has become near to impossible to choose the one and only best speaker brand.
However, there are brands that continue to meet my expectations as a speaker geek and regularly find their place on my top lists.
This is by no means an extensive list, as the speaker production and competition has got to such a point where you can actually expect excellent models from less known brands, too.
After it's all said and done, we recommend:
Why they are the best?
Congratulations; you're ready to take your music and movies to the next level with a powerful home theater system!
The best satellite speaker for this purpose is the Bose 301-V Stereo. It swept the field of satellite speakers with the impressive feature set that turned out to be even better in practice.
Plus, there's the unobtrusive and stylish look that will nicely blend in into any room and interior.
Turn it up, and you'll get an excellent audio output without distortion for any listening purpose.