Theater Audio Quality in a Living Room - Best Wireless Surround Sound System

With theaters still on the verge of existence and streaming platforms offering endless streams of quality content, staying home watching TV quickly became or go-to option for having fun.

Still, home entertainment isn't without its challenges. For instance, emulating a perfect theater-like enjoyment requires a quality 5 1 or higher surround system. All these units also need to be laid out in a manner that will spread the sound properly and create that immersive experience.

This requirement, though, creates additional challenges for people living in smaller apartments. With little space to spread out the speakers, all these units and wires can create a tangled mess that is neither practical nor easy on the eyes.

The solution to this problem can be found in the best wireless surround sound systems that effectively eliminate the cables and help the users layout the rear units in the most convenient and practical manner.

Let me help you find the best out of the bunch.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel
90/100
our score

Why it is better?

It is a highly efficient device that comes with high-performance specs to take your car stereo speakers from boring to banging. The major highlights on the Alpine X-A70F include:

  • Excellent home theater system for the money
  • Killer soundbar
  • Dual subwoofers
  • The receiver is competent and easy to use
  • Atmos and DTS:X technology
  • Traditional Nakamichi quality
  • Many different connectivity options

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products compared

Last Updated: May 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best center channel speakers available for those who are interested in ramping the quality of their sound up. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best center channel speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Top 6 Wireless Surround Sound Systems - The Comparison Table

Product

Number of channels

Central unit

SIze of the subwoofer

Power

Supported drivers

Current Price

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel

Best Overall

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel

9.2.4

Soundbar

2 x 10-inch

1000W / 110dB

Dolby Atmos, DTS-X

JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar

JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar

5.1

Soundbar

10-inch

510W / 104dB

Dolby Digital, DTS

VIZIO 2.1 Channel Home Theater Surround Sound Bar with Bluetooth

VIZIO 2.1 Channel Home Theater Surround Sound Bar with Bluetooth

2.1

Soundbar

10-inch

N/A / 100dB

Dolby Digital / DTS-X

Logitech Z606 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

Best for Small Spaces

Logitech Z606 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

5.1

Central receiver

5.25-inch

160W / N/A

N/A

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home

Least Budget

Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home

5.1

Central receiver

8-inch

1000W / 106dB

N/A

Samsung HW-Q67CT 7.1ch Soundbar with Acoustic Beam

Samsung HW-Q67CT 7.1ch Soundbar with Acoustic Beam

7.1

Soundbar

8-inch

160W / 95dB

DTS Virtual:X

How to Find the Ideal Wireless Surround Sound - Buyers Guide

Ok, now that you have some general thoughts about the units I will cover in greater depth further below let me quickly go through some of the important considerations that got me to these conclusions.

You see, wireless surround systems are very complex setups with many variables and features to take into consideration if you want to get the optimal level of enjoyment.

In other words, the recipe for the perfect setup doesn't exist.

So, here are the main things to consider to find the wireless surround system from your dream.

The Number of Modules

I could've just as easily called this section "5.1 vs. 7.1" and get the point. To put it simply, going below 5 surround speakers doesn't offer sufficient sound quality. Ramping up this number is overly excessive unless we are talking about the really huge room.

But, what are the advantages and disadvantages of these two wireless speaker setups?

Well, at a basic level, 5.1 are cheaper, more widespread, easier to set up, and easier to find fixes for. In short, they are ideal for smaller rooms and tight budgets.

The 7.1 setups, obviously give you the advantage of two additional speakers which adds more depth to the sound but only if the rear speakers are laid out correctly. If not, the output can become muddled. You also have two additional modules to worry about.

Ultimately, I would say that the choice between the two boils down to the size of the room.

Wireless or semi-wireless?

When we talk about a wireless speaker set up most of us imagine the package with no strings attached. And to be quite honest, such bundles do exist. In this case, the transfer of data is usually conducted through a Bluetooth connection.

However, most of the other setups feature only one or a couple of modules entirely cordless. These models are usually a subwoofer and two rear speakers. Central speakers remain attached to the central unit.

Which one of these speaker options is better?

Well, honestly, I would go with the semi-wireless setup? In this case, the connection is simply far more reliable and streamlined.

But, if you are in desperate need of a 5 1 system that doesn't require drilling or any cables at all, the modern home. Bluetooth speakers are capable enough to play the sound without excessive hiccups and sound drops.

Module types

When you hear the home surround sound system, the first thing that probably crosses your mind is a traditional 7 1 or 5 1 system that spreads all around the living room.

However, over the last couple of years, we have seen to rise of some pretty capable soundbar speaker systems that took a huge bite out of this market

So, what can I say about these quality soundbars?

Well, for a start they set one killer sound stage in smaller, shallow rooms where spectators are close to the screen. A regular soundbar usually feature a great build quality, require less maintenance, and cost less than a regular speaker system. Pairing them with rear speakers creates one darn good experience.

As opposed to a soundbar system, multi-component speaker setups simply offer better sound and a more immersive surround feeling.

Dolby ATMOS vs. Auro3D vs. DTS:X

The three mentions I have listed above refer to the software algorithms the speaker manufacturers use to create that immersive surround effect we all want in our room.

Out of them, DOLBY Atmos makes the most wide-spread option that, at the same time offers the best third-party support. These days, the Atmos is used by a whole slew of companies like HBO, Sony, FOX, and even a number of video games.

To work, however, the speakers need to be laid out in a particular order. In some cases, that poses a big problem. In the case of wireless speakers, though, the problem becomes somewhat obsolete.

This means that the other two technologies have to take a back seat in this case. Sure, they may be easier to organize and pack a perk or two, but the DOLBY Atmos support takes a sure win here.

Audio Performance

Speaking about the audio performance of such complex systems is somewhat hard since every component has its own set of specs. But, let me clear some general terms for you so you know what I am going to talk about in the reviews below.

  • Frequency response range - As the name suggests, this term describes the range of frequencies the speakers are able to hit. Usually, wireless surround sound speakers sit somewhere between 20Hz and 20kHz.
  • Power handling - Power handling marked the level of power (measured in watts) the speakers can safely utilize. All speakers are described by RMS power (how much power they handle continuously) and peak power.
  • Sensitivity - Finally, sensitivity marks the speakers' ability to translate the power into actual output and is measured in decibels (dB). In this day and age, good sensitivity ranges between 80 and 110 dB.

Connectivity options

In this case, I am talking both about internal and external connectivity. Since you are buying a wireless setup you want to keep as few cables around as possible. But, it's always great to have an option, especially if you have a bunch of older devices lying around the house.

So, I would say that the minimum you shouldn't go below is Bluetooth, HDMI, and standard coaxial audio jacks.

Best Wireless Surround Sound on the Market - Individual reviews

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel
Our Rating: 90/100

Compiling the list of best home surround speakers without mentioning the Nakamichi Shockwafe system would be near-impossible. To put it simply, the home speakers are the Japanese company's bread and butter.

So, it shouldn't come of as a too big of a surprise, this Nakamichi audio wireless speaker surround system ranks so high on my list.

Design

So, as you can see from the title, this audio set includes as much as nine different modules - receiver, two 10-inch wireless subwoofers, and four surround effect speakers, while the rest of the modules are packed in a soundbar.

This is more than even for the most hardcore cinephiles amongst you. Maybe even too excessive for a small room where this potential can't be properly utilized.

What's even most important all these elements like soundbar are well-built beautiful to look at and feature all connectivity options you can imagine.

It is also important to note that the central receiver supports a wireless Bluetooth connection, so you will stream the sound from any smart device in the house.

Performance

Being the powerhouse we know we all know and love, Nakamichi made sure this wireless surround sound system stands tall amongst the competition both in terms of specs and performance as well.

For a start, the system supports both Atmos and DTS:X object-based technology, so you get the best of both worlds. The speakers also utilize the advanced algorithm to reverberate the walls' sound, so you don't lose any quality even in smaller rooms.

The sound quality is stellar and probably the closest to the cinema experience I got in my room in recent years.

Of course, there are some issues.

For instance, I had noticed occasional sound drops when I was changing the volume, especially when I was streaming the sound. But nothing that would spoil the enjoyment to some large extent.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Impressive soundbar
  • Immersive surround effect
  • Well-made home theater system
  • Bunch of connectivity options
  • Top-tier specs

Cons

  • Occasional sound drops
  • A bit too pricey
JBL Bar 5.1
Our Rating: 88/100

In the world of affordable wireless surround sound speakers, JBL is probably the only company that can stand toe to toe with Nakamichi Shockwafe.

So, it is only fair to put JBL Bar 5 1 system immediately after the Japanese giant in my roundup.

Design

Ever since it hit the market, JBL was the king of appealing and trendy design. JBL Bar 5 1 is no exception. The surround sound system looks simple, streamlined, and fits every possible style that can cross your mind.

What can I say - you can't go wrong with a simple black matte design.

Moving on to the components and connectivity. Here, JBL Bar 5 1 made sure to check all the important boxes you can imagine.

The package consists of one 10-inch wireless subwoofer, one central subwoofer and two rear units creating a high quality surround effect. All of them are made with are well made and make one speaker system you definitely want to buy.

In terms of connectivity, the soundbar and the rest of the speakers offer all the modern options you may need.

The device allows you to stream the music from your tablet or mobile device, while surround speakers can be detached and offer 10 hours of autonomy. If you want to play with cables, HDMI ports will offer all the modern options you need.

Performance

Packing the total power of 510 watts JBL Bar 5 1 promises one very loud and clear clear performance and I am happy to say that this potential is, to great extent, fulfilled.

To put it simply, although it lacks some of the precision in the mid ranges, the home theater speaker set is more than capable of hitting high and low frequencies at the ends of the spectrum.

The Wi-Fi speakers also feature very few drops and create an incredibly rich and immersive surround audio effect. So, you pretty much get what you have paid for and much more.

Make sure, though, you have enough time to deal with charging times. Three hours of charging for ten hours of performance may be too much for some of you.

Pros

  • Great value proposition
  • Loud booming sound
  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Left-right surround speakers are detachable

Cons

  • Minor lack of precision at mid ranges
  • Slow charging
VIZIO 2.1 Channel Home Theater Surround Sound Bar with Bluetooth
Our Rating: 87/100

Few brands in the market offer the reliability and quality that Kenwood brings to the table. It is a highly acclaimed brand and the KAC-M3004 4 channel digital amplifier proves why that is so. 

The 4-channel amp may not pack the kind of power you find in other models in our review, but its performance certainly delivers a rich sound quality. 

The Design

The KAC-M3004 impresses in a classy design featuring a brushed aluminum finish. It is fairly compact with dimensions of 6.5 x 1.75 x 3.9”, allowing you to install it almost anywhere inside the car, including the glove compartment. 

With solid hardware used in its construction, this amp is designed for long-term functionality. Everything from the printed circuitry, the chassis, and the connectors are built using high-grade material. 

The Performance

Although it comes in a relatively tiny package, the KAC-M3004 punches above its weight class with the kind of performance it delivers. It can take your car sound to the next level.

The 4 channel amp boasts a frequency response that handles the entire audible spectrum (20Hz to 20kHz). This makes sure that the highs, lows, as well as mid-range sounds in your music are enhanced, resulting in well-balanced and high-fidelity sound. 

This is not the most powerful amp out there. Its maximum power of 300W might underwhelm some people but it will still upgrade your sound. As such, it is a great choice for speakers with low sensitivity if you want to get really loud sound out of them. 

The Class D amp is rated at 50 watts x 4 at 4 Ohms or 75 watts x 4 at 2 Ohms. However, it can also be bridged into a 2-channel amp with a 150 watts rms x 2 at 4 Ohms, which I feel will be good for most high-powered subs. 

The conformal coating does a great job of protecting the amp. It is a type of polymeric film that is both water-resistant and dust-proof, which makes it an invaluable asset to have when venturing into rough and dusty off-road trails once in a while. 

 The high-level inputs used on this amplifier allow for easy installation while KAC-M3004 accepts a signal from almost any source. Whether you are using the speaker wires of your factory radio or the RCA cables of an aftermarket receiver, the speaker will function without fuss. 

When using speaker-level inputs, the amp senses the signal and turns on automatically, meaning you don’t require a remote to turn your car audio on. Additionally, high and low-pass filters on the M3004 enable you to program the cut-off frequency anywhere from 50-200Hz. 

Alternatively, you can decide to cut it off at either a lower or higher mark. If your car doesn’t have a sub and your speakers keep on rattling when handling sub-bass sounds, I suggest setting the high-pass filter in the 60Hz range to eliminate the excess distortion. 

Pros

  • Excellent value proposition
  • Deep base and goof frequency range response
  • Simplistic but functional design
  • Good sound quality
  • Solid surround sound experience

Cons

  • Limiting specs
Z606 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with Bluetooth The Best Surround Sound System for Gamers
Our Rating:84/100

Now that we had an opportunity to take a good look at one pretty capable entry-level soundbar coupled with a Bluetooth subwoofer, it is time to go back to the good old 5 1 wireless surround sound category.

Let's see what Z606 5 1 Surround Sound Speaker System has to offer.

Design

Logitech is a company that was always known for its trendy streamlined design. So, it doesn't come as too big of a surprise that this surround sound system continues this tradition. People who like something more subdued may not be thrilled with the package, but gamers will dig this hard.

What's most important is that all the components the package includes are well-made and look like they can last the ages.

Also, I should mention that the speakers support Bluetooth streaming, the components are internally connected with the traditional RCA cables, which you should keep in mind.

Performance

Logitech Z606 5 1 may not be the most versatile wireless surround sound system on the list, but the set can climb up to 120 kHz and 50 Hz (the subwoofer unit), reach 160 watts of peak power, and work at 80 watts in RMS mode. All these specs are more than enough to fill a smaller room with rich and immersive sound quality.

I am also happy to report that, for the most part, the speakers hit frequencies pretty accurately. The only instance where I wasn't entirely satisfied with the output was the bass that, although deep and booming, wasn't all that loud.

And loud bass makes the pillar of good surround sound home theater experience.

Furthermore, the surround sound system doesn't utilize any of the licensed 3D drivers. On the one hand, you will be losing some of the advanced surround sound effects. On the other, you have the freedom to lay out the speakers wherever you want.

Pros

  • Very affordable and well made
  • Good frequency range
  • Loud output
  • Precise surround sound reproduction

Cons

  • The design is somewhat divisive
  • Muffled bass
Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System - Youthful and Energizing
Our Rating: 84/100

If the previous wireless surround sound systems flirted with the gamers and the younger population, it doesn't take more than a passing look at this home theater setup to see it feels right at home with this population.

Is there anything interesting for the rest of the audiophiles here?

Design

So yeah, I already said that this wireless surround sound system aims at a younger population. You have all the mean lines, all the LED light modes, all the flashy features spread around the plastic bodies.

Personally, I am not really a fan of such an aggressive design, but to be fair, the speakers look solid, and they will find their audience.

The package includes one receiver, one 8-inch subwoofer, and four surround speakers, so you have all of the 5 1 boxes checked. All of them in high-quality MDF cabinets, I might add.

Of course, you can stream the music via Bluetooth while the speakers are internally connected with RCA cables. Overall, not bad.

Performance

Although I didn't expect that much, the wireless surround sound system didn't actually disappoint.

The speaker set can hit 1000 watts of peak power, work at 250 watts of RMS power, and offers an excellent frequency response range between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. All these specs are great and make one pretty punchy audio surround sound system that doesn't cost a fortune.

The real problem here is the actual real-life performance. You see, the wireless speakers don't offer the level of precision I have gotten used to from the top-tier sound systems.

This comes especially evident in the higher frequency ranges. But the Wi-Fi subwoofer does deliver one meaty, high-quality performance I can't help but admire. Definitely, worth buying.

Pros

  • Good price-value ratio
  • Appealing design for young gamers
  • Capable 5 1 wireless surround set
  • Excellent 8-inch wireless subwoofer

Cons

  • The surround sound performance could be more refined
  • The design is not for everyone
Samsung HW-Q67CT 7.1ch Soundbar with Acoustic Beam
Our Rating: 85/100

And for the very end, we have the surround sound system coming from Samsung - a name that doesn't require too much introduction even outside the circles of avid audio lovers.

Why is it speaker package so low on the list then? Well, despite some neat features, the wireless system asks you too much to pay for the audio performance it offers.

Design

When it comes to design, the Samsung delivers only the best so I won't spend too much time talking about how this package looks but rather on what it includes.

And it includes one excellent, well-made Bluetooth-powered soundbar, and as much as 6 surround speakers making one pretty well-equipped 7 1 surround sound system with an appropriately hefty price tag.

I should also mention that the surround sound speakers system set also supports Amazon Alexa, acoustic beam and offers wireless rear kit which means you won't have to drag many cables around the room. If you do, HDMI ports keep everything in check.

Performance

The real problems of this great looking 7 1 surround sound system show their face only when you connect them and turn them on.

It doesn't take too much time before you notice that the wireless home theater speakers offer the sound quality that is pretty comparable with the wireless surround sound systems that cost far, far less.

That means you are paying for the design and the different features but not exactly the quality.

Does that make the performance bad? Not exactly, but some mid-range frequencies are not that precise, and the subwoofer could be far louder.

In any case, you do better for this money.

Pros

  • Beautiful wireless surround sound system
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Capable soundbar
  • Numerous connectivity options

Cons

  • Pretty average 7 1 performance
  • The price of the system should be lower

Best Wireless Surround Sound - Frequently Asked Questions (400)

Is there a completely wireless surround sound system?

Yes. In this day and age, you can buy wireless surround sound systems that feature no audio connecting cables whatsoever.

The question is do you need this level of audio autonomy, especially in the case of the soundbar, receiver, or the front speakers that are anyway located close to the screen.

In cases like this audio, RCA cables don't create that much damage or clutter, so it is good to have them as an option. As long as you can stream the audio to the soundbar, you should be fine.

Left, right, rear, and surround speakers, as well as a wireless subwoofer, an entirely different beast. You want the freedom to move them around.

Just make sure the speakers are properly charged before any longer movie-watching session.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround better?

It really depends on the very wireless surround sound systems. Theoretically speaking, a 7 1 home surround system includes additional speakers, creating a richer and more immersive experience.

Another example where these 7 1 systems take when is then the wireless system includes Dolby Digital and similar technologies that use the potential of these two audio components even better.

But, what happens when you take Dolby Digital out of the equation?

Well, if you can get a pretty capable 5 1 wireless surround sound system, that is probably even better suited for a smaller living room where additional rear modules create excessive noise and resonating.

Some of these wireless surround sound systems probably offer better performance than the entry-level 7 1 surround sound speakers.

What is the best home theater system with wireless rear speakers?

In my opinion, that would be Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel.

As you can see, this is not a 5 1 system, not a 7 1 system, but a full scale 9 1 wireless surround sound system with all the bells and whistles of one high and system in 2021.

What I like the most is that because of the advanced Atmos technology the package includes, the system doesn't suffer even in a smaller room. On the contrary, the soundbar pumps out clear and precise audio, the subwoofer is loud and booming, and everything works like a charm.

What is the best sound system for home theater?

In this case, I would go with my second runner JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar.

Although it lacks some of the advanced features like Nakamichi, the subwoofer doubles down as one capable central receiver, the wireless subwoofer is truly excellent, and everything is affordable enough for an average consumer.

If you want to buy something punchy and capable but don't want to spend a small fortune on your wireless surround sound system, this is the one for you.


Wireless Surround Sound - In Conclusion

We are finally at the end of this roundup of some of the most popular wireless surround sound systems you can currently get. As you can see, Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel came out as a winner, but I wouldn't rule out JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar as a second and more affordable option to buy.

All other wireless surround sound systems I have covered are great end excel in one way or another. But these two wireless audio sets are probably the best-rounded.

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