Top 3 Surround Sound Systems

Our Pick for February

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound System

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

 

Table of Contents

 

1. AUNA Area 525 WH – 5.1 Surround Sound System – Best Cheap Option

Long Story Short

AUNA Area 525 WH - 5.1 Surround Sound System
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Boasting a broad sound spectrum and a host of nice features, AUNA Area 525 WH is by far the best pick for people craving a high-quality surround sound system at an affordable, low-budget price.

A Specs Peep

  • Brand: AUNA
  • Model: Area 525 WH – 5.1
  • Connections:
    1 x stereo RCA audio input
    1 x RCA surround input set
    5 x RCA output
  • 5.1/2.1-Modus
  • Pro Logic
  • Frequency response: 40Hz – 20kHz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio:> 70dB
  • Channel separation:> 45dB
  • Separately adjustable speaker volume
  • Features:
    Mute
    Sleep mode
    Standby function
  • Power supply: 230V, 50Hz
  • Dimensions:
    16.5 x 32 x 34 cm
    25 x 10 x 12 cm
    10 x 15 x 12 cm
  • Weight:
    Subwoofer: 5.5 kg
    Centre box: 900g
    Surround box: 700g
  • Included in the Package:
    1 x remote control
    3 x RCA Cable
    1 x AUX cable
    1 x English user manual

Things You Need to Know

Well, it is not exactly easy to find top-notch quality at a cheap price, but if you are mainly interested in really strong sound then the Area 525 WH active surround sound system will not fail your expectations.

Build quality is pretty standard for an AUNA model – robust, compact, nicely designed, it will add an elegant spice to your personal space. Connectivity caters to most users’ needs: you get the typical stereo RCA input, allowing the connection of most types of audio equipment, such as smartphones and CD / MP3 players, as well as laptops and televisions.

Featuring a broad sound spectrum and a 5.1 sound output, Area 525 WH delivers a truly immersive sound, with 5 x 15 watts + 50 watts RMS power. Equipped with a side-firing bass reflex subwoofer, it gives great control over its tuning, mainly thanks to its handy remote control.

You can easily adjust separately the surround sound output of the subwoofer and the satellite speaker – a capability that gives you an amazing tuning range. Bass control (i.e. reducing it) though is not as simple, which may prove irritating for some. Bass will remain a bit heavy in most cases. Still, since you wish to remain at a low price range, you should expect to make some compromises of this sort.

Besides, it is always a good thing when you are able to make adjustments from afar, especially during movies with special effects or music sessions with tracks that differ in bass requirements and overall style.

Pros
  • Well-built
  • Elegant design
  • Handy remote control
  • Strong sound
Cons
  • Strong bass

Verdict

A truly excellent choice for a cheap surround system, AUNA Area WH may prove just a bit too… bassy to more sensitive ears, but will certainly meet your expectations for solid surround sound, easy handling and tuning through its remote control.

2. Trust Gaming GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System – Best “Value for Money” Option

Long Story Short

Trust Gaming GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
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Most people that have tried the Trust Gaming GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System describe it as “amazing for its price” – and that’s 100% true.

A Specs Peep

  • Brand: Trust Gaming
  • Model: GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 (22004)
  • Weight: 27 Kg
  • Dimensions: 26.8 x 25.2 x 25.3 cm
  • Connectivity
    Connection type: wired
    Cable length audio cable: 180 cm
    Cable length subwoofer to front satellite cable: 280 cm
    Cable length subwoofer to rear satellite cable: 500 cm
    Cable length subwoofer to centre satellite cable: 280 cm
  • Audio:
    Power output (peak): 180 W
    Power output (RMS): 90 W
    Speaker impedance: 4 Ohm
    Audio input: 3.5 mm
    Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
  • Features:
    Bass-synced LED Subwoofer
    Wireless remote (volume and bass control, input selection)
    Compatible with PC, Wii*, Sony PlayStation 3* and Xbox 360*
    Smart Power Management
  • Included in the Package
    Wireless remote control incl. battery
    Converter cable to connect a game console
    Power cable
    User guide
    Gaming sticker

Things You Need to Know

One thing is for sure: you will enjoy your bombs and motor roars with this one!

Featuring a robust build and a pretty standard design, the Trust Gaming GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Speaker System is more than easy to set up. Note that on the side panel of the subwoofer there are some basic controls, namely the activation button, volume control and source switch.

Staying true to its manufacturer’s devotion to realism and functionality, the Trust Gaming GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Speaker System delivers powerful sound and a genuinely great gaming experience.

Still, this does not mean that movies or music suffer through its speakers. On the contrary, with rear speakers that have 8 metres long cables and can easily be placed almost anywhere in the room and proper positioning of the rest of the speakers, you enjoy an immersive sound experience, be it a PlayStation game, a Blue-Ray movie or a live concert of your favourite band.

The speakers are very easy to set up and connect to most gaming consoles, including Wii*, Sony PlayStation 3* and Xbox 360*; just use the standard via the AUX connection. Unfortunately, there is no wireless connectivity.

The wooden bass speaker delivers a 180-Watt power output and a fantastic bass. Actually, one feature we really loved is the visualisation of the bass! There is a blue LED ring in the speaker designed to react to the power of the bass.

Control-wise, there is a wireless remote control that allows you to adjust the volume of the speakers, change the source (AUX or 5.1 connection), light, and configure the speaker surround sound subwoofer volume and centre speaker volume – all without ever having to sit up from your couch.

Pros
  • Easy to set up.
  • Solid sound, great bass – both easy to configure per your preferences and type of sound (gaming, movie, music).
  • Handy remote control.
  • Great length of cables, allowing ideal positioning of the speakers.
Cons
  • No wireless connectivity.

Verdict

Designed mainly for gaming, the Trust GXT 658 Tytan 5.1 Surround Speaker System will also cater to the needs of ardent movie buffs and music lovers. Easy to set up and handle, and at a great price, it is indeed our best “value-for-money” pick for the best surround sound systems.

3. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound System – The “Best of the Best”

Long Story Short

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
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Closing our list, one of the best surround systems of the decade. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound System delivers fantastic sound, affords full controls over its tuning and bass, and can thus cater to the needs of the gamer, the films enthusiast and music lover. Let’s take a closer look.

A Specs Peep

  • Brand: Logitech
  • Model: Z906 5.1 (980-000469)
  • Total watts (RMS): 500 W
  • Subwoofer: 165 W
  • Satellites: 4 x 67 W, wall mountable
  • Centre channel speaker: 1 x 67 W, wall mountable
  • Digital optical input: 2
  • Digital coaxial input: 1
  • Six-channel direct input: 1
  • 5mm input: 1
  • Headphone jack: 1
  • RCA input: 1
    Control console
    Infrared remote
  • Dimensions:
  • Subwoofer
    293 mm x 281 mm x 319 mm
    Weight: 9 Kg
  • Satellites
    166.3 mm x 100.3 mm x 93.5 mm
    Weight: 0.89 Kg
  • Centre Channel
    100.3 mm x 166.3 mm x 93.5 mm
    Weight: 0.89 Kg
  • Control Console
    293 mm x 281 mm
    Weight: 0.50 Kg
  • Compatibility
    Television
    Computer
    Smartphone
    Tablet
    Music player
    DVD player
    Blu-ray player
    PlayStation®
    Xbox®
    Wii
  • Included in the Package
    Six-channel direct cable
    Control Console
    Wireless remote
    3 AAA batteries
    User documentation

Things You Need to Know

The Z906 is a 5.1 surround sound system comes with a THX certification and a gargantuan RMS power of 500 watts.

Before coming to the performance though, a few words about the build. Both its subwoofer and satellite speakers feature a nice sleek design and a sturdy casing. Instead of the LCD screen of its predecessors, the Z906 comes with a set of orange LEDs indicating the active input and speakers, as well as the type of sound (stereo or surround).

LEDs are all around the volume dial too, with some reviewers complaining that they can be distractive during a movie. Personally, I had no such issue.

The remote control is pretty standard, allowing the user to control the active input, volume and tone settings from afar.

Now the speakers are equipped with regular speaker wire instead of proprietary connections, which is odd for Logitech and great for us since it allows us to buy and use longer cables in case the given ones (already 4.6m and 7.6m long) prove too short for your personal space.

Note that all satellites speakers can be easily mounted on a wall, allowing you to place them anyway and anywhere you wish.

As to connectivity, you get the whole package. It will work with any device using the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, an RCA, a six-channel direct, a digital coaxial input, or optical ones.

Note that this is a surround sound system, not a home-cinema system, and that is why you will not find any HDMI inputs or outputs. Still, you can connect a Blu-ray player through the S/P-DIF. Bear though in mind that this type of connection limits the playback to Dolby Digital and DTS formats.

Equipped with one coaxial and two optical S/P-DIF inputs, Logitech Z906 easily connects to all game consoles, as well as DVD or Blu-ray players and set-top boxes for 5.1 surround sound. On top of that, you get a pair of analogue audio inputs, one on stereo phono sockets and the other on three 3.5mm minijack sockets for 5.1 surround.

Let’s turn now to the sound quality. Despite the fact that Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio were not available during our movie sessions, Z906’s positional audio was surprisingly accurate, with plenty of punch throughout the action sequences. The centre speaker delivered crisp speech without being overwhelmed by either the satellites or the subwoofer.

Last, a few words about music playbacks. Since the bass can be easily adjusted via the subwoofer volume, you will be able to enjoy any type of music at an optimal configuration. Personally, I found the sound quality to be exceptional.

Pros
  • Sleek design, sturdy build
  • Extremely powerful
  • Easy to set up
  • Fine-tuning and bass configuration
  • Fun sound signature
Cons
  • No HDMI support

Verdict

True, it is not exactly cheap, but we believe that Logitech’s Z906 5.1 surround sound system is by far your best choice out there, considering its features, build quality and price.

Surround System Buying Guide

What are the best surround sound speakers? Well, it depends. It depends on your space, needs, preferences, on the way you plan to use them, and, of course, on your wallet.

But knowing a few things can do a lot in clearing up your mind from the specs cataclysm and narrow down your options. So, let’s start with the basics.

Surround Sound – What Exactly is It?

The term is self-explanatory. It is a sound that surrounds the user, coming from all main directions, i.e. front, back and both sides. Audio systems with surround sound deliver a much more realistic and immersive audio experience, making movies, music and gaming far more enjoyable and allowing them to bring out all their sound effects.

The trick with surround sound systems is the proper positioning – that’s why you need to make sure they have plenty of cable, which will allow you to place them at optimum position and angle.

How Does Surround Sound Work?

Audio engineers split the noises of a game, movie etc. into separate channels. So, a surround sound system plays the role of the channel manager, making sure that each sound gets exactly where it is meant to.

Usually, the centre channel delivers all the dialogue and frontal action, with the satellite speakers producing mostly secondary sounds coming from the background or the side of the action, thus providing a much more realistic audio experience.

Surround Sound Formats

Now, all surround systems are accompanied with a number, usually given with the X.1 format, e.g. 5.1 or 7.1. The first number refers to the speakers, while the second to the subwoofer. Needless to say the bigger the number of satellite speakers, the more immersive is the audio experience, but do not be fooled just by numbers. Other factors, such as the configuration controls, tuning and the bass depth and volume of the subwoofer play an extremely important role. In other words, balance is much more important and sheer numbers.

Note that all surround systems can incorporate more than subwoofers, but most people that would consider such a choice probably know already all there is about the subject to read this part of the article.

A Few Things You Need to Know

So, now that you master the basics, let’s see a few things you need to keep an eye out for.

First, check out the build of the units. Surround sound systems, dispersed as they are across your living room, can be easily kicked, knocked down or hit by accident, so you need to make sure that their casing is sturdy enough to withstand such blows.

Next, you have the configuration. The more control the surround system affords you, the better. Check out, for example, if you can adjust the bass and the volume of the subwoofer, as well as if there is a remote control – since most of the times you will enjoy your gaming or movies from the comfort of your couch and hardly wish to get up and make adjustments from the main unit.

Next, check out if the surround system that caught your eye is THX-certified. THX-certified standards guarantee that the sound created by the movie’s or game’s audio engineers will be properly reproduced.

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