When you want a really powerful, fully featured multi-channel home theatre, you will be making a big investment. Home theatre systems don’t come cheap, and it makes sense that you would want to pick something that is high quality. We have looked at some of the very best multi-channel home theater systems on the market and narrowed down the choice to just a few of them. Here are our best picks and how they compare to one another.
Reviews of the Top Multi-Channel Home Theatre Systems
1. VIZIO SB46514-F6
What we like about this system is that it offers really great features and a powerful sound but is economically priced, compared to the competition. It includes Dolby Atmos and offers 5.1 surround sound. The setup includes a 10-inch subwoofer, helping to boost the low notes and add power to the sound.
It offers a center channel as well, which boosts speech for a clearer and more enjoyable movie watching experience.
The system is really well built, but when you crank up the sound all the way, you get some audio artifacts that sound like crackling and popping. We weren’t really impressed with the remote, either. The remote could use a backlight and would be more comfortable if it were larger. These drawbacks are mostly minor complaints, though.
- Impressively big subwoofer
- Dolby Atmos surround sound
- System offers 5.1.4 surround sound
- Competitively priced
- Compatible with Google Assistant
- Small remote
- Playing at maximum volume can cause sound artifacts
2. Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite
If you want powerful audio performance, you can’t go wrong with the Shockwafe. This 7.2.4 system comes with surround speakers, a well designed soundbar, and two subwoofers (check out this YouTube video).
Having two subwoofers is pretty great, since you can set up the system to spread sound in different directions. The soundbar is one of the most impressively loud ones on the market, but you will find some audio distortion if you are listening at max volume. The Elite system is powered by 800 watts to really carry that sound.
It also includes Dolby Atmos technology and lets you customize the sound settings to your liking so you can get the most from your system’s performance.
One of the big drawbacks with this system is just how expensive it is. You’ll find that it costs more than pretty much every other home theater system on this list, but if you’re willing to pay for quality, it’s definitely not a bad system.
- A very wide soundstage
- Center speech channels included
- Dual subwoofers
- Audio distortion at max volume
- The display is not very wide
- Very pricey
3. VIZIO V-Series 5.1
For a much more affordable option, consider the Vizio V-Series. It comes with Dolby 5.1 (more details) with true surround sound and 4K HDR, making it an impressive home theater system by any standard. This system includes DTS Virtual:X with room-filling sound. We like just how compact it is, so you can set it up in a relatively small space and enjoy expansive sound that’s as big and as booming as many larger systems. You can control this system with your voice, which is a nice feature, and when you combine that with everything else this system offers, it makes it one of the most user friendly choices on the market.
One drawback we saw with the system was that its sensor is on the weak side, so it may not always pick up actions from the remote like you would want it to. It can be frustrating to have to press the button a few times and try different positions before you get a response. It also doesn’t include the standard Dolby Atmos that most of the other top-rated home theater systems have.
- Very affordable
- Compact size adds to its convenience
- Fully featured Dolby 5.1 in 4K HDR
- Has no Dolby Atmos (see TomsGuide)
- Limited, finicky remote sensor
4. Klipsch Cinema 600
While some of the high-end home theater systems come with two sub woofers, you only get one with the Klipsch Cinema 600. It’s a stripped-down system that includes the sound bar and a single wireless subwoofer, and you get a 3.1 surround sound setup. However, you could hook it up to an ARC system and pump out a full 5.1 surround sound experience if you wanted to.
One standout feature about this system is that it can handle high volume experiences, and it’s perfect for those big, booming blockbusters. Where other systems might produce sound artifacts when cranked up to maximum, this home theater system can handle that beautifully.
- Can be upgraded by partnering with other home theater components
- Very powerful for what it offers
- Performs well at high volumes
- Very limited features compared to some of the other top options
- Mid-range performance is somewhat weak
- Takes up a lot of space
Multi-Channel Home Theatre System Buyer’s Guide
What should you be looking for in a multi-channel home theater set-up? We put together a short guide of different features your system should have and how it should perform.
Home Theater System Configuration
It’s best if your system offers 5.1, as that gives you the standard multi-channel set-up. You want to consider how powerful the system is for your space. Smaller rooms may not be able to accommodate a 7.1 system in all its glory. A 3.1 system may still be able to handle your needs, but it’s going to be somewhat limited unless it can be upgraded with the right setup.
What kind of audio features should you expect from a quality system? We recommend something with DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Atmos for the very best performance. Decoding technology is also very useful because it can help your system perform better than it would otherwise.
Power and Size
You should consider how large the system is and how much space it’s going to take up. There’s no point in buying a system that’s too big for where it’s going to be placed, unless you’re okay expanding the storage area. The power of the system is important as well, because you want something that can produce at least 500 watts to give you an impressive sounding home theater system. Anything less than that may sound weak and tinny, especially when you’re trying to pump out sound to a large space or watch a big blockbuster movie.
Our Top Pick for a Multi-Channel Home Theatre System:
Even though we’ve given you a small selection of multi-channel home theater systems to pick from, we do have a favorite, and that’s the Vizio SB46514-F6. It simply offers the best in most comprehensive features at the most competitive price.
We consider it a high-end system, thanks to its excellent performance, superb audio profile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection capabilities, and center channel that’s dedicated to speech. This doesn’t mean it’s the best one for your setup, but it’s our top choice overall.
Last Updated: August 5, 2022