The Best Wireless Surround Sound Systems for Home Entertainment

Immerse yourself in high-quality sound during your favorite movie, song, or video game with a new wireless surround sound system.

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The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option

Photo: amazon.com

A wireless surround sound system comes with all the benefits of a conventional surround sound system but without the hassle of running ugly wires across the floor, wall, or ceiling. You can replace your television or stereo’s directional sound with multiple interconnected speakers that fill the entire room with evenly-balanced, high-quality audio from all directions.

Surround sound capabilities help you forget that you are sitting on a couch or chair in your house using an omnidirectional speaker layout. The best wireless surround sound system can completely immerse the listener in the environment, giving you a cinematic feel that lets you truly enjoy the complete audio and visual experience.

The products below are some of the best wireless surround sound systems available in their respective categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra Surround Sound System
  2. COMPACT PICK: JBL Bar 5.1 – Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
  3. PREMIUM PICK: Platin Monaco 5.1 Plus Axiim Link Immersive System
  4. SMART PICK: Bose 5.1 Home Theater Set
The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Wireless Surround Sound System

Wireless surround sound systems are not for everyone, so before getting into the factors to look for when buying, consider these elements that you may not have expected.

First, wireless surround sound systems are not cheap, so make sure you have a budget in mind.

Also, be aware that wireless surround sound systems are not exactly free of wires. Depending on the system, they may need to be plugged into a power outlet or connected to the subwoofer. While you do get rid of most of the wires that wired surround sound systems have, you won’t be completely wire-free, so keep this in mind when you are thinking of the layout of the room and proximity of available power.

Types of Wireless Surround Sound Systems

Wireless surround sound systems are categorized into two main types based on the way they receive information: Bluetooth and WiFi.

Bluetooth 

Bluetooth wireless surround sound speakers were the first of their kind to emerge into the market. However, because Bluetooth must compress audio data before transmitting it, this technology’s quality is limited.

Despite falling short in the quality category, Bluetooth systems are easier to install, less expensive, and more ubiquitous, allowing these wireless surround sound systems to work with almost any electronic device.

WiFi

WiFi wireless surround sound systems are newer to the market than Bluetooth technology, so you may run into issues when you want to connect a device that doesn’t have WiFi compatibility. However, most Bluetooth-enabled devices will have their own app that you can access through WiFi. It is a more complicated way to pair your device, but the benefits of WiFi might make it worth it.

WiFi wireless surround sound systems are more expensive than Bluetooth, but they are of higher quality in most ways. The sound quality is undeniably better with WiFi because the data does not need to be compressed before transmission, and WiFi connections are much more reliable than Bluetooth. WiFi wireless surround sound systems also offer a better range than Bluetooth systems, making them ideal for large spaces.

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Buying a Surround Sound System

Before choosing a wireless surround sound system for your home, take a few minutes to educate yourself on the most important shopping considerations to keep in mind.

Sound Quality 

The sound quality for a wireless surround sound system is dependent on a lot of technical specifications, including frequency response, rated output power, RMS, signal-to-noise ratio, and Total Harmonic Distortion, which combine to form a unique sound experience. However, unless you spend a lot of time studying the audio industry, most of these numbers will be difficult to understand or completely meaningless.

To make this easier to understand, sound quality can be neatly split between Bluetooth and WiFi.

  • Bluetooth wireless surround sound systems have a lower sound quality because Bluetooth technology requires audio data to be compressed before it can be transmitted. This data compression decreases the sound quality, so even if the speakers you use are capable of producing very high-quality sound, the transmission method will reduce their overall ability.
  • WiFi wireless surround sound systems do not have the same restraint on their transmissions, allowing audio data to be sent in its original form and size, preserving its quality.

However, with any wireless surround sound system, the sound quality is based on your perception.

Volume Capability 

The volume produced by a wireless surround sound system is measured in decibels (dB), but many audio system manufacturers use watts (W) to indicate maximum volume capability. So to understand the volume your wireless surround sound system is about to put out, you need to know what different dB levels mean and how they correspond to wattage.

Briefly, these are some common sounds and their dB levels that you can use to get an idea of how a certain dB range sounds:

  • Refrigerator – 50 dB
  • Hairdryer – 70 to 90 dB
  • Motorcycle – 95 to 110 dB
  • Stadium concert – 110 to 120 dB

With these levels in mind, this is how they correspond to wattage:

  • Refrigerator – 1W
  • Hairdryer – 1 to 2W
  • Motorcycle – 8 to 32W
  • Stadium concert – 512 to 600W

Most wireless surround sound systems have a maximum range between 100 to 120 dB (or 64 to 600W). However, keep in mind that most people leave a concert with ringing ears, so you likely will never have to push your wireless surround sound system to its highest volume.

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option

Photo: amazon.com

Number of Speakers 

Wireless surround sound systems typically come in a 5.1 configuration. With this system, three speakers are placed in front of you occupying the front left, center, and front right locations. Two other speakers are placed on either side of your central listening location, like a couch or chair, leaving one subwoofer positioned alongside the center speaker. This configuration is the most popular, and it meets the standards for most streaming sites with Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 audio formats.

However, if you want more sound in your room, you can install two more speakers and place them in the back left and back right positions for a 7.1 setup. A 7.2 arrangement will add another subwoofer to the ensemble, or you could put in two or four ceiling speakers for a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 speaker set.

Just keep in mind that most people don’t have this type of setup, which means that most media doesn’t accommodate a full 7.1.4 surround sound system, so you may not be getting the most out of your speakers.

Ease of Connection 

Installing a wireless surround sound system should be easier than installing a wired network, but depending on the method you get, connecting to the device could be the most challenging part. To avoid frustration, steer clear of products that require multi-page questionnaires, registrations, or other time consuming, non-essential fluff that prevents you from enjoying your purchase as soon as possible.

Look for products that have clear setup instructions and information provided by the manufacturer that indicates the platforms, devices, and systems with which the product is compatible.

Ideally, you would like to find a system that just needs to sync to your WiFi or Bluetooth to start working. While it should have other customization options available, they shouldn’t be an immediate necessity, so that you can be listening to music or watching your favorite show in seconds.

Range

Range is a significant consideration if you plan to install the wireless surround sound system in a large room or space. You can also break down the difference by comparing Bluetooth and WiFi technologies.

  • Bluetooth wireless surround sound systems are best for short ranges in smaller rooms. On average Bluetooth systems have a range of about 30 feet.
  • WiFi wireless surround sound systems are the ideal choice for big spaces. They have the same reach as other WiFi systems, with the average range being about 100 feet in the open air. This range can drop to as low as 50 to 75 feet in a house depending on the number and type of physical obstacles (hanging lights, furniture, bookshelves, etc.). However, the WiFi range is still superior to Bluetooth, and if you are unsure, you can get WiFi boosters to extend the system’s range.

WiSA Certification 

The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) was established in 2012. This group’s goal is to bring all WiFi audio and video equipment manufacturers into their organization so that collectively they can set universal standards and have completely interoperable equipment. This means that any surround sound system could work with any television, smart home hub, speakers, cameras, or any other WiSA certified device.

However, there are still many companies that do not operate under WiSA standards and universal compatibility. So, this certification is more for indicating the quality of the product and separating it from non-certified products that may not work with other WiSA approved devices.

Ultimately, the only difference with a WiSA-certified wireless surround sound system is that you know you’re getting high-quality. The endorsement also ensures compatibility with other WiSA-certified products.

Our Top Picks

The top-rated products below are some of the best wireless surround sound systems on the market based on quality, price, and reputation.

Best Overall

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra Surround Sound System
Photo: amazon.com

This Bluetooth wireless surround sound system has a massive 600W capacity, allowing the speakers to push concert-level volumes into your home. The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra Wireless Surround Sound System uses exclusive Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) technology to give the experience of seven wall speakers, one subwoofer, and four ceiling speakers (7.1.4 configuration), despite only having five wall speakers and one subwoofer (5.1 configuration). Connect the wireless surround sound system with up to six devices, including one HDMI ARC, three HDMI, one optical, and one coaxial input. The included backlit remote gives you control over sources, individual channel settings, and room-size optimization.

Compact Pick

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
Photo: amazon.com

This wireless surround sound system has 510 watts of power to produce remarkable volume out of a single subwoofer and a five-speaker soundbar. For a 5.1 configuration surround sound setup, disconnect the speakers on either end of the soundbar and mount them at the sides or rear of the room. Connect your devices through Bluetooth and use the three HDMI inputs to link to your television or other high-definition devices. The detachable speakers are completely wireless, allowing you to mount them wherever you want. They are powered with rechargeable batteries that last up to 10 hours before needing to be recharged.

Premium Pick

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: Platin Monaco 5.1 Plus Axiim Link Immersive System
Photo: amazon.com

The Platin Monaco 5.1 Plus Axiim Link Immersive Wireless System is designed specifically for use with WiSA certified products through the included Axiim hub. It doesn’t use Bluetooth or WiFi, instead relying on a WiSA specific connection that produces mid-range sound quality that falls between the lower-quality Bluetooth and high-quality WiFi.

This WiSA certified 270W system wouldn’t deafen anyone with its volume, but it’s more than enough for most media rooms. The 5.1 speaker setup comes with three separate speakers for the front, two for the side or rear, and a subwoofer. However, this system is not compatible with products that are not WiSA certified. For a full list of products, including 2019-2020 LG TVs, NanoCell TVs, and Xbox One, refer to the manufacturer’s website.

Smart Pick

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: Bose 5.1 Home Theater Set
Photo: amazon.com

Amazon Alexa is built-in to have full voice control over the Bose 5.1 Home Theater Set using superior voice pick up ability through eight different microphones. The wireless surround sound system connects through either WiFi or Bluetooth, giving you the flexibility to use the system with almost any device. This wireless surround sound system comes in a 5.1 configuration with three front speakers in the soundbar, two rear/side speakers, and a subwoofer. The small speakers blend effortlessly into most designs, but with a powerful 600W output, you won’t have to worry that they are too quiet.

The Advantages of Owning a Wireless Surround Sound System

Owning a wireless surround sound system is a great way to bring the cinema experience into your home. The standard 5.1 setup will enhance the television’s sound quality, giving you more precise sound and greater control over the volume. This configuration also sends soundwaves to your ears from the right and left side, enveloping you with sound. With most streaming sites using 5.1 audio quality, you can finally hear your favorite movie or television show the way it was intended to be heard.

Wireless also means that you won’t have to fight with cords and cables that need to run across your floor, ceiling, or walls when you are installing your new surround sound system. While there are still some cables that connect to AC power, the switch to wireless dramatically reduces the setup complexity and makes the room look cleaner.

  • With a wireless surround sound system, you can fully immerse yourself in the multimedia experience, like being in a movie theater but within your own home.
  • You can get the most out of your favorite streaming site or app with a 5.1 speaker configuration that matches the media audio quality output.
  • Wireless means that you won’t have to deal with the same mess of cables that a wired surround sound system would have.

FAQs About Your New Wireless Surround Sound System

Check out the answers below to some of the most commonly asked questions about wireless surround sound systems.

Q. How does a wireless surround sound system work?

Wireless surround sound systems have a series of speakers that link to a central hub, which is usually the soundbar or center speaker that comes with the system. The speakers’ connection is often wireless, but with some systems, only the subwoofer is truly wireless, and the speakers still connect back to the hub. Signals travel through the central hub and out through the speakers so your ears receive soundwaves from every corner of the room simultaneously.

Q. Are wireless surround sound systems as good as wired?

Wireless surround sound systems match the quality of wired models and give you the freedom to place your speakers without connecting back to the main system. However, if you invest in a low-quality wireless surround sound system, there is the possibility that smartphones, microwaves, and other technology in your home could cause interference and degrade the sound quality.

Q. How do I connect my TV to a wireless surround sound system?

Wireless surround sound systems must be connected to compatible audio outputs on your television. Most systems can connect through the HDMI Audio Return Channel (HDMI ARC). You can also connect with an optical TOSLINK connection or coaxial connection if that is not available. However, you cannot establish the system with the analog audio output on the television, because it is not compatible with surround sound capabilities.