Best Home Theater Systems of 2023

When it comes to setting up a home theater, the TV may come first, but equally important is sound quality. There are plenty of options when it comes to buying a home theater sound system: from AV receivers and multispeaker setups to simpler yet still powerful soundbars, but we’ve got you covered.

Soundbars offer a lot of performance in a compact package and cost much less to get up and running than a speaker system. You can even choose one with advanced features like Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi streaming. Some soundbars offer an upgrade path including optional subwoofers and rear speakers, though if you want to truly mix and match speakers, an AV receiver is for you. 

Receivers offer a lot in the box and, unlike soundbars, they have plenty of HDMI inputs to accommodate different sources. You can start with just a couple of stereo speakers — until recently, I had lived without surround-sound speakers for about five years and didn’t feel I was missing out.

Whichever route you choose — soundbars or AV systems — there should be something here that will improve your home entertainment experience. These are the best home theater systems available right now, and most are on sale for Black Friday. We’ll update this list periodically as we review new products.

When it comes to bang for buck, it doesn’t get much better than the Roku Streambar home theater system. This speaker offers both a dialogue-enhancing soundbar and a built-in 4K streamer in one package. If you want more bass or surround speakers, the system is also upgradable. The Streambar is currently on sale for Black Friday at $80 (save $50).

Read the Roku Streambar review..


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Originally retailing for $1,200, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is currently on sale for a quarter of that. This set features big sound from a compact 5.1-channel surround-sound system, and it is a perfect home theater option for apartments or games rooms. This speaker system is excellent for movies and not bad for music, either. Just add a receiver.

Read our Klipsch Reference Theater Pack review.


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If there’s one area where we’re spoiled for choice, it’s affordable stereo speakers, and at $399 the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2s offer excellent playback of both movies and music. They offer a transparency that’s unlike anything else near the price. While the Q Acoustic 3030is are more even-handed and have better bass response, they’re also $550. For Black Friday the Elacs are on sale for $240.

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While the rotating speakers of the Vizio Elevate are cool, that system doesn’t offer the best bang for your buck within the company’s range. The Vizio M512a is a Dolby Atmos soundbar that includes 4K Dolby Vision, a subwoofer and rear-channel speakers, making it a sort of hybrid between a receiver-based system and a soundbar. It also provides incredible sound quality for music and movies for its Black Friday price of $350 (save $150).

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Despite the fact that there’s basically no 8K video available now, you still can buy an 8K-compatible receiver. While the Yamaha RX-V6a with its striking looks and rock-solid performance is the best of the crop, it’s also on back order at most places. If you need an 8K receiver right now then the TX-NR6100 is a worthy replacement. It offers a superior streaming suite — including Chromecast built-in — and better ease of use. It is on sale for Black Friday at $599 (save $200).

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If you demand the best Dolby Atmos performance from a single soundbar, it doesn’t get any better than the Sennheiser Ambeo audio system. It’s not cheap, and it’s not small, but if you want the best sound, this is it.

Read our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar review.


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