Join us as we step away from our usual budget or type restricted speaker article style to peruse a few products that make for an awesome addition to a surround system set-up, as we choose the 10 best high-end home theater speakers in 2023.
We have been highly selective with our criteria this week as a larger system can be thrown together piece by piece, and the options out there are nigh-on infinite. The speaker market is super-saturated with products and when it comes to surround sound there are some very innovative space saving solutions.
To get the ball rolling on todays review sections we have a premium quality pair from the professionals at Pyle Audio. The Pyle 8” PIC8E In-Ceiling speaker consists of a well-manufactured pair of high quality 2-way stereo speakers with a power output of 300-watts.
Each 8” poly cone woofer is made from UFLC (Urethane Film Laminated Cloth) and worked by a very capable driver. The silk dome 1” tweeters can be adjusted to send the high-performance sound where you want it to go because of their directional pivots.
Another convenient feature of the speaker system is its built-in mounting hardware for easy installation; the template and instructions that come with it are very easy to follow, anybody can do it.
As if the quality sound at this price range isn’t enough – each speaker even has adjustable treble controls for the perfect tone and they are very lightweight, weighing in at just over 3lbs a piece. This is naturally quite a comfort because their very best feature has to be the space-saving ‘In-Ceiling’ design, you can fit them in any room without taking up the slightest bit of floor space.
+ Space saving in-ceiling set.
+ High quality build including stain resistant white covers.
+ Integrated mounting hardware.
+ Competitively priced.
Why We Liked It - They feature decent sized woofers and a fab crossover, which allows for EQ tailoring to suit the individual. They are a great way to go in a larger home system set-up given that they have no footprint, providing you are happy to install within your ceiling.
Placement - When shopping around for high end home theater speakers, you should think about location first and foremost. With freestanding, in-ceiling, and wall mount options available, think about the layout of your room and whether you have the space available to accommodate each of these varieties of speaker setups in your home theater.
2. Orb Audio: Mod1 Mini 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System
Here we have a very cute high-end entry from orb audio which feature compact spherical satellite designs. They are very aesthetically appealing and make for a very capable self-contained 5.1 system option, which saves the headache of working out your channel options leaving only the placement to worry about.
They are an audiophile quality set, the sound is essentially unmatched but they are also one of today's highest priced selections.
The complete system comprises of 5 'orbs' and a 9” subwoofer, which work harmoniously to effectively handle an extensive frequency range for broad audio-soundscapes, rich with textures and crisp detail.
The components chosen within the different driver delegations are very high-quality and are constructed exceptionally well by hand here in the USA.
The orbs have very wide dispersion thanks to their convex shape. They have gold terminals and require wiring to the heart of the system. They come in 6 different finishes to compliment your home decor and range of brackets to provide versatility in terms of mounting methods.
The dedicated subwoofer features dual underside ports which give it the same capabilities and deliverance as larger cabinets. It features a carefully calibrated enclosure with adequate dampening in place and, good rubber supports to raise it from the floor itself.
Why We Liked It - They are visually cool, and very versatile, they provide exceptional dimensional surround sound, the subwoofer has zero distortion, and they are a reasonably priced solution given that no additional speakers are required.
It can mount up to a very large investment when you install a home surround system so here we have hand selected a sensible package solution.
The Take Classic Home Theater System provides good quality sound at a reasonable price, and it's easy to install.
Energy acclaimed 5.1 Surround Sound offering benefits from over 4 decades experience in its engineering.
It is classy and handsome in its glossy black finish, with all six of its components comprising high-quality MDF cabinets and it's Convergent Source Module (CSM) intelligent tweeter/woofer orientation in each.
The sound is produced in a uniform manner across a wide range of frequencies thanks to its Flat On-Axis response and the sound is crisp and clear, as each has been designed optimally to keep all distortion at bay.
All woofers are sited in a patented ribbed elliptical surround which dampens distortion and keeps efficiency maximized. The 200W subwoofer (if carefully sited) won’t interfere with the mid or high ranges and has a directional front port and 8” driver in order to achieve this.
Each of the satellites and the center speaker has a removable front grille, and feature wall mounts for ease of installation.
+ Compact size compared to its closest competitors.
+ Wide, consistent, and constant audio dispersion.
+ High quality, crisp sound.
+ High impact bass.
Why We Liked It - It is all in all, a good quality surround sound system that is far more affordable than other manufacturers offerings, and they would look good in anybodies front room.
Center Speakers - Your center speakers are going to be the most crucial speaker of the home theater setup as it will provide the bulk of the sound in the distribution between speakers. It is best to place these speakers in a central location. Make sure that the size of the central speakers corresponds to the size of the other speakers in your setup.
Another great in-ceiling alternative is this set from Klipschs CDT series, you can have sound wherever you want it and will take up no floor, or surface space whatsoever.
The high-quality titanium tweeters within are equipped with a flared opening TracTrix horn which we have discussed deeply in many other Klipsch reviews. The shape of the horn provides efficient dispersion and reduces internal reflections, expelling air away from the tweeters, giving them space to function optimally for an ultimately more detailed sound.
The CDT-5650-C IIs blend in with any decor as they come with white SlimTrim magnetic covers that simply snap into place leaving a seamless finish and can be painted to match their environment.
Installation is easy and can be achieved in any ceiling, even suspended ones (utilizing a piece of plywood to reduce unwanted vibration) and the cones then simply swivel into the optimal position to ‘point’ your sound where you want it to go.
They work well in pairs for stereo music in any room, the Cerametallic finish is even heat and moisture resistant so can be fitted in a bathroom or kitchen and can be multiplied for a very high-quality surround system.
+ Space-saving design and SlimTrim covers blend these loudspeakers in with your decor.
+ Swiveling gimbals with Control Dispersion Technology (CDT) directs the sound
+ Crisp, detailed sound from high quality titanium tweeters
Why We Liked It - We are big fans of Klipschs TracTrix horn tech, it allows for very efficient high-frequency handling and therefore better audio dynamics.
Another exciting easy mount model from Polk Audio popular Vanishing series, aptly named for their incredibly low profiles. It is a single speaker option which can be wall of ceiling mounted.
As a 3-Way speaker, the 265-RT covers a much wider range of frequencies in order to complete your audio experience. The array consists of Dual 6.5” woofers and a very hardworking 1” pivoting silk-dome tweeter, both are constructed from a high-grade polymer composite. Together with the help of Polks patented Power Port bass venting system they deliver a great frequency response providing deep bass, detailed mids, and crystal-clear highs.
The venting system helps to eliminate distortion risks and keeps turbulence nominal, but it is important to note, that this set should be hooked up to a dedicated sub to provide the best bass handling.
The Reflective Room feature essentially allows you to plan the wall distance settings and tailors frequency response regardless of room shape.
They are well-built and incredibly robust for a product so reasonably priced. The magnetic grilles fit extremely close to the wall and work perfectly when joined by the other Polk speakers in the range.
They can be used as a center, front, or satellite modules in a surround system, or will happily work in pairs for a quality stereo sound.
It features built-in switches which let users tailor their sound to match their specific room and installation.
They are easy to mount via their simple installation design which incorporates twist clamps attachments to grab the drywall, and their Sheer grilles can be painted to match your wall color.
+ High performance handling.
+ 3-way class pair.
+ Easy installation.
+ Reflective Room tech.
+ Power port bass venting.
+ Well built.
Why We Liked It - We impressed before with products from the Polk Vanishing series, they are very well designed put together they provide a wide frequency response, and even sound pretty good as a stand alone pair.
Now for a fab 3-way class center channel option from Fluances esteemed signature series which has quickly become a real powerhouse in home audio realms.
They feature acoustically inert cabinets crafted from precision engineered wood which has a natural dampening effect, eliminating wave cancellation. They are finished with a black ash veneer and are very visually appealing to look at.
Beneath their classy exteriors, they harbor dual 5” mid-range drivers with cones that are woven with glass fiber. The rigidity, teamed with the lightweight nature of the fabricated materials reduces secondary movement, giving them the capability to deal with higher outputs with precision.
The mid-range drivers are complimented by a unique pointed dome ultra high-frequency tweeter that has been carefully designed as the result of years of dedicated research to perform impeccably. It features neodymium magnets and can handle the highest of volumes.
What culminates from the chosen driver combination is a very formidable mid-range, with highs that have absolute accuracy. Installed in a larger system they provide some of the most natural sound reproduction around.
+ Accurate highs, great vocal clarity.
+ Stunning aesthetics.
+ Acoustically inert engineered wood cabinet.
Why We Liked It - Stunning look, with or without the magnetic front soft grille (we prefer without).
Here we have another Fluance model which has rather a lot to boast about. They are actually marketed as a stand-alone alternative to a full surround system, as they capably provide a convincing representation of a much larger set up because of their bipolarity.
The drivers work in opposite directions placed back to back in their cab at an angle of 45 degrees from one-another. This provides a more omnidirectional dispersal, which is far wider than a traditional speaker. They are made to model a cinema surround system set up and intended to placed beside or indeed behind the listener for 3-dimensional, sonic captivation.
The dual combination provides a broad frequency response covering all ends of the spectrum with a very generous crossover, this, in turn, gives the mids (which are often overlooked) a far more dynamic feel. The audio produced is intensely layered with superb definition and warmth.
The speakers are driven by neodymium magnets and are well-designed and executed. They are housed in a stylish precision engineered MDF enclosure which has reduced natural resonance.
+ Bi-Directional Ultra wide dispersion.
+ Audio akin to a 5.1 system.
+ Precision engineered enclosure.
Why We Liked It - Having two entire full-range loudspeaker, essentially back to back in one box creates superb soundscapes.
If you want to set up a surround sound system but are pressed for space then a sound-bar might be a sensible center channel choice for you.
This slimline option from Polk Audio signature series is just 4” tall and 24.4” long and is intended to tuck away neatly making great use of the otherwise wasted space below your television, or monitor screen.
The enclosure is well built, together with acoustically inert materials to help dampen unwanted vibrations and it has a significant amount of depth in comparison to other sound bar options in a similar price region.
The array includes 7 different drivers in total 6x 3” cones, teamed with a tiny 1” Terylene tweeter. Each is dedicated to a specific frequency range and they work harmoniously to provide a great L/C/R combo.
It has a great frequency response making it capable of playing modern high-resolution audio. The signature series actually holds a high-res certification and has really set the bar a lot higher for its competition.
+ Central sound-bar speaker.
+ Space saving.
+ Combination of 7 individual speakers.
+ High resolution audio.
Why We Liked It - We are real fans of Polks products, even the lower regions tend to impress, but this is a very capable central option indeed.
9. Fluance Signature Series Hi-Fi Bipolar Surround
Our third and final Fluance option is another of their innovative bipolar beauties, this time a very capable but more traditional mid-range woofer tweeter set-up. They sport, as the name suggests, Fluances unique angular configuration for super-wide audio dispersion which ultimately gives a surround feel to the sound.
They are more simplistic than the first back to the back set model we reviewed but deliver impactive sound with high definition. They are actually the next step-up model as the larger surfaced cone to allow for a more sensitive response and cope better with higher output task.
The cones consist of a very rigid fiberglass cotton composite which is an idyllic sounding-board. The mid-range pointed dome provides an extra surface area within and produces some of the best cinematic sounds in its class.
They feature the same highly calibrated enclosures engineered from pressure treated MDF wood which helps to eliminate unwanted resonant frequencies within the chambers.
We are ending our best home theater surround sound reviews with another 5.1 complete set-up selection.
It provides a dedicated low-frequency bass radiator, a great center channel speaker, and 4 identical satellites with BDSS tech and pressure-coupling for left and right front, and rear placement. They share the audio workload to deliver room-filling cinematic surround sound.
The audio is rich with distinct dynamics. The low-frequency sound effects are directed to the radiating 10” subwoofer for the ultimate jump scares on movie night. Its cone is densely rigid and it is seated in a flexible, snug surround to prevent distortions at max outputs.
Its SuperCube incorporates a 250-watt amplifier for impactive sound. The center channel is exclusively designed to handle the brunt of the work and is swiftly efficient thanks to the assistance of to mid-range side firing radiators. They provide great dispersion and the pure aluminum dome tweeter tops it all off, keeping the treble frequencies at their best.
+ Expertly designed and developed.
+ Incredible center channel speaker.
Why We Liked It - It is a good example of a package deal where each of the elements are equally matched in their quality.
Surround Sound - For your surround speakers, you'll want to place these under, to the side of, or behind the seats in your home theater. This will create a sound that will auditorily place you in the middle of the action. Choose between 5.1 channel and 7.1 channel systems before your purchase.
High End Home Theater Speakers Buying Guide
Your average modern TV is usually made with the design elements leaning towards a great visual resolution rather than the sound, the key reason being that the audio ought to be handled by an amplifier and speaker system.
Even a 2.1 set-up will sound noticeably better than your standard stock TV set. If setting up a surround is new to you it may seem a bit daunting so here is some useful relative info.
What to look for in High-End Home Theater Speakers?
Your key criteria for consideration is used (movies/audio or both?) your room size and power consumption.
The power allowance and indeed channel configuration will be determined by your amplifier abilities. Many amplifiers have a bit of wiggle room with switchable channel impedance suited to higher or lower watts.
Whether it's 5.1 or 7.1 you are aiming for, you want to source a solid center channel choice.
The center channel loudspeaker is a key component in any system and arguably one of the most important parts as the majority of a soundtrack is handled by it. It is vital for clear dialogue and because it is central, provides the most directional sound.
It is imperative to have a dedicated woofer or subwoofer to cope with the lower frequencies that really tax the other speakers making your mids far less clear. The middle range frequencies are where most of the details lie and letting a sub relieve them of their lower response makes them far more efficient.
Placement is a very important factor in a smaller space you might want to opt for an in-wall or even an in-ceiling mount. Installation is a lot more straightforward than you might think but there are things to consider, which we go into in more detail in our 10 best in-wall speakers in 2018 article.
There are a host of options available on the current market which work incredibly well in their intended surround fields. They are each designed to be a team player and whilst some have capabilities to work alone, as part of a larger set-up is how they perform to the best of their abilities.
Knowing your amplifier capabilities is crucial to your channel selections and where to place them is also of key importance.
Finding the right solution for your needs should be relatively simple and doesn't have to cost the earth in modern times either.
We have reviewed a decent range of home theater models and we hope that will have helped expose the benefits of each kind, the duties demanded of it, and whether or not it is right for you as an individual.
Our suggestions paired with our buyer's guide info should leave you armed with all you need to know before you buy but feel free to browse our other articles for additional reassurance.
If you are completely new to setting up a surround system we suggest going with a package deal set-up, sometimes referred to as a home theater in a box or HTIB. They will work seamlessly with one another.