The Best Wireless Surround Sound Systems of 2022

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

By Timothy Dale | Updated Jan 6, 2022 4:54 PM

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The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option

Photo: amazon.com

A fully wireless surround sound system 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 amplify your TV’s sound using an omnidirectional speaker layout. A completely 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. Read on to discover some shopping considerations as well as the best wireless surround sound systems in their respective categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra Surround Sound System
  2. RUNNER-UP: Sony Sound Bar with Rear Speakers
  3. UPGRADE PICK: JBL Bar 9.1 – Channel Soundbar System with Speakers
  4. SMART PICK: Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
  5. COMPACT PICK: JBL Bar 5.1 – Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
  6. WiSA CERTIFIED: Platin Monaco 5.1 Plus Axiim Link Immersive System
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 wireless entertainment 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 surround sound 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 speakers and systems 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 Choosing the Best 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 best wireless home theatre 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.

Noise Level

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

For the best Bluetooth surround sound speakers, this Nakamichi system has a massive 10,000W 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.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bluetooth
  • Noise Level: 110 decibels
  • Speakers Included: 5 wall speakers and 1 subwoofer

Pros

  • Built-in Spatial Surround Elevation technology
  • Can connect to up to 6 devices
  • HDMI ARC, HDMI, optical, and coaxial inputs included
  • Backlit remote control included

Cons

  • Expensive price point

Runner-Up

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: Sony Sound Bar with Rear Speakers
Photo: amazon.com

The Sony wireless surround sound system comes with slim, compact speakers you can install directly to either side or the rear right and rear left of your central listening position. The central soundbar has three speakers that simulate the front left, front center, and front right surround sound positions, and a subwoofer completes the 5.1 configuration.

The 510W system gives your audio plenty of power, and the WiFi surround sound system ensures crystal clear sound quality. This 4K quality wireless surround sound system can be optimized for the content you are listening to, including settings for movies, music, gaming, news, and sports. You can also connect this system to Chromecast or the Sony Music Center app. For added convenience, this system comes with a remote control, HDMI cable, and mounting hardware.

Product Specs

  • Type: WiFi
  • Noise Level: 510 watts
  • Speakers Included: 3-speaker soundbar, 2 rear/side speakers, and 1 subwoofer

Pros

  • Slim, compact speakers; suitable for small spaces
  • Compatible with Chromecast and the Sony Music Center app
  • Provides 4K-quality sound
  • Comes with a remote control, HDMI cable, and mounting hardware

Cons

  • Some users have reported connectivity issues

Upgrade Pick

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: JBL Bar 9.1 - Channel Soundbar System with Speakers
Photo: amazon.com

Experience 9.1 surround sound with this JBL soundbar. The user can place its two detachable magnetic satellite speakers anywhere, so it’s easy to get a full-on surround sound experience right at home. The speakers have a 10-hour battery life and can recharge within three hours when docked with the soundbar. Users can still enjoy their favorite movies and shows while the speakers are attached to the soundbar with built-in compatibility with Chromecast, Apple Airplay, and Dolby Vision.

The soundbar has 820 watts of power for crystal clear audio, while the 10-inch wireless subwoofer enhances the action. Bluetooth capabilities allow users to stream music, podcasts, and more, while HDMI and HDMI ARC ports offer further compatibility.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Noise Level: 820 watts
  • Speakers Included: 1 soundbar, 2 detachable speakers,

Pros

  • Magnetic and detachable speakers for ample sound distribution
  • Speakers have 10-hour battery life
  • Compatible with multiple streaming services
  • HDMI and HDMI ARC ports included

Cons

  • Batteries for the speakers are not replaceable

Smart Pick

The Best Wireless Surround Sound System Option: Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Photo: amazon.com

For those interested in a high-tech upgrade to replace your original sound system, the Yamaha Audio Sound Bar system comes with Alexa already built-in. This wireless system comes with a 100W subwoofer and a 100W sound bar that provide a deep bass and voice control for quick and easy adjustments.

This system also offers either WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity and seamlessly connects with Spotify Connect and Amazon Music. With the soundbar controller app, this pick can also be controlled via smartphone. The only downside with this unit is that it cannot connect to AirPlay.

Product Specs

  • Type: WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Noise Level: 200W
  • Speakers Included: 1 soundbar and 1 subwoofer

Pros

  • Comes with Alexa built-in
  • Compact design for smaller rooms/home theatres
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect and Amazon music
  • Mobile app included for controls

Cons

  • Not compatible with AirPlay

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 wireless home theatre 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.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bluetooth
  • Noise Level: 510 watts
  • Speakers Included: 5 speaker soundbar and 1 subwoofer

Pros

  • 5.1 configuration
  • Detachable speaker system
  • Rechargeable batteries last for 10 hours on a full charge
  • 3 HDMI inputs included

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with connectivity

WISA Certified

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.

Product Specs

  • Type: WisA
  • Noise Level: 270 watts
  • Speakers Included: 5 speakers and a subwoofer

Pros

  • WiSA-certified surround sound system
  • 5.1 configuration
  • Compatible with LG TVs, NanoCell TVs, and Xbox One
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Not compatible with products that are not WiSA-certified

Our Verdict

Selecting a wireless sound surround sound system that is compatible with your WiFi or home theatre or family room can be difficult when there are so many options available. One of the best options overall is the Nakamichi wireless surround sound system with its Bluetooth connectivity, 110-decibel noise level, and built-in Spatial Surround Elevation technology. With 5 wall speakers and 1 subwoofer included, this system can connect to up to 6 devices at once and also comes with HDMI ARC, HDMI, optical, and coaxial inputs included. For easy adjustments, this pick also comes with a backlit remote control.

Alternatively, the Sony wireless surround sound system utilizes WiFi connectivity for compatibility with Chromecast and the Sony Music Center and has a smaller price tag. With 510 watts of power and 4K-quality sound, this option comes with a 3-speaker soundbar, 2 rear/side speakers, and 1 subwoofer, all of which are compact and easy to fit into small spaces. It is also compatible with Chromecast, comes with a remote control, HDMI cable, and mounting hardware.

How We Chose the Best Wireless Surround Sound Systems

Whether you are looking for the best wireless home theatre system for a large or small space, the right one for your intended use depends upon the type, noise level, number of speakers included, the configuration of the speakers, and connectivity. Bluetooth, WiFi, and WiSA-certified options are included in the above list to provide versatility and convenience to users.

As ample noise distribution is the main goal of a surround sound system, each of the above picks comes with ample range for either large or small entertainment centers. To ensure this sound distribution is effective, many of the above picks come with a variety of the best wireless surround sound speakers, soundbars, and subwoofers. Some of which are even detachable and magnetic to distribute sound where it is needed. Plus, select picks above come with 5.1, 7.1, and even 9.1 configurations for added surround sound.

As for connectivity, many of the above systems are compatible with Alexa, Chromecast, the Sony Music Center, LG Tvs, and more to seamlessly integrate with your current TV or entertainment setup.

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

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.

Q: How do I set up wireless surround sound?

When installing a wireless surround sound system, a transmitter and receiver may be needed depending upon the surround sound system you purchased. The transmitter connects to an audio source which sends a signal to the speakers, while the receiver picks up the transmitter’s transmission and powers the speakers. If necessary, you will need to connect the receiver to the rear surround speakers.

When installing, be sure to place the front speakers on either side of your TV, the soundbar underneath your TV screen, and the rear speakers within several feet of your sitting position (behind a couch or chair). If you have more than 5 speakers/soundbars, then the rest of the speakers should be placed on either side of your sitting position for proper sound distribution.

Q: Do you need a receiver for a wireless surround sound system?

Though traditional surround sound systems required a receiver, modern wireless models do not require one depending on the model you purchase.

Q: How do you properly recycle an old wireless surround sound system?

As with most broken or outdated household appliances and electronics, the best way to dispose of or recycle a wireless surround sound system is by bringing it to a recycling facility.

Q: Can you connect any wireless subwoofer to a soundbar?

Most soundbars cannot be connected to a standalone subwoofer unless they were sold together and designed to connect with one another.

Q: Does wireless surround sound use batteries?

Though some wireless surround sound systems use batteries, some require connection through power cords.

Q: How do wireless surround sound speakers get power?

While some wireless surround sound systems rely on rechargeable or pre-charged batteries, others rely on AC power cables for power.

Q: Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound better?

If you have a large home theatre or entertainment center, the 7.1 surround sound configuration is a suitable choice as it provides clearer sound and higher noise levels. If your home theatre space is smaller, the 5.1 surround sound system can be sufficient.