home theatre system
Experience movie nights like never before, when you hook your TV up to a home cinema system. Image Credit: Unsplash/Loewe Technology

True audiophiles know that a soundbar, while great for amplifying the television's in-built speakers, leaves something to be desired. The singular unit may be sleek, wireless and easy to set up, but its sound doesn’t envelop quite like in a surround sound system. You have plenty of options, if you’re looking to bring the cinema home.

Some prefer the traditional arrangement, decking out the living room with multiple speakers and a subwoofer, all hooked to an AV (audio/video) receiver. Then, there’s the minimalistic soundbar system that features rear speakers and a subwoofer, best suited for smaller TV rooms and studios. Both deliver a wraparound audio bubble, but a receiver-based system is always pricier, for bringing the audience a clearer, bigger and richer performance.

You might also notice a price hike with speakers that include Dolby Atmos technology. This feature gives one the impression of a movie playing in all directions, especially overhead. If you want a true 3D immersion, consider the height dimension that an Atmos system adds.

Discover the best home theatre setup for you below, and shop as a Prime member to get free delivery on some of these units.

1. Best Overall: Sony 4K AV Receiver with Complete 5.2 Surround Sound System

Pros

  • AV receiver with four HDMI inputs and two outputs
  • 5.2 channel support
  • Turn on the unit remotely via Bluetooth
  • Includes five speakers and one subwoofer
  • Switches to 2.1 system for smaller rooms

Cons

  • Expensive

Sony’s complete 5.2 surround sound system comes with an AV receiver – perfect for those starting from scratch. A 5.2-channel receiver means you can have up to five speakers and two subwoofers in your home theatre system. Our pick is a set that includes two bookshelf speakers, two floor-standing speakers, a central speaker and a 10-inch subwoofer. Expect stellar 4k video support with Dolby Vision through the receiver that has four HDMI ports for your TV, gaming console, DVD player and more. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Turn on the unit straight from your paired smartphone or tablet, and then stream your favourite playlists from music apps. If you’re just catching the news on TV, switch the receiver to a 2.1 format (two speakers and subwoofer) for a less overwhelming virtual surround sound.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh590.56 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh426 and two years for Dh605.

2. Best for Smart TVs: LG LOUDR Home Theatre Speaker System

Pros

  • Best compatibility with LG smart TVs
  • Modern setup for a clean look
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • 3D Blu-Ray disc player only works with 3D TVs
  • Doesn’t come with an AV receiver

Own an LG smart TV? Pair it with this comprehensive home theatre system by LG Electronics. Instead of an AV receiver, this 5.1-channel surround sound setup comes with a 3D Blu-Ray disc player. Some might find it limiting in terms of plug-and-play convenience, so you’ll have to resort to other means to connect to the TV audio. A workaround for this is to ensure your smart TV has an ARC (audio return channel) feature, which basically lets you send audio from the TV to an audio system via the HDMI cable. In terms of appearance, the speaker system is sleeker than most models, featuring two tall boy speakers, two small speakers and a centre piece, with a subwoofer. You can stream audio via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh184.88 for 12 months with select banks. Add professional installation for Dh250.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh131 and two years for Dh186.

3. Best Value Speaker Set: PIONEER Home Theater Speaker 5.0

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Pairs with any amplifier or AV receiver of your choice
  • Tower speakers have built-in woofers

Cons

  • Misses subwoofer

If you already own a trusted AV receiver, then opt for this home theatre speaker package. At this price point, you’re getting two tall front speakers integrated with twin woofers, a centre speaker and two small surround speakers. Granted, since it’s a 5.0-channel format, there’s no separate subwoofer in the unit. Five-star reviews can’t stop marvelling about how good the system sounds right out of the box, even without calibration. For a more streamlined setup, add an Atmos-enabled Pioneer AV receiver here.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh184.88 for 12 months with select banks.

4. Best Soundbar System: JBL Bar 9.1 True Wireless Surround

Pros

  • Four upward-firing speakers with Atmos support
  • Detachable speakers can be taken to any room
  • Excellent bass from subwoofer

Cons

  • Only has one HDMI input port

Here’s a soundbar home cinema system, complete with Dolby Atmos, for smaller spaces. The JBL Bar 9.1 setup is backed by two detachable surround speakers, a subwoofer and the main soundbar that carries the stereo and centre channels in one. But how does a flat bar deliver height channels as promised by Atmos? It’s the way the speakers are angled in the soundbar. Four up-firing speakers bounce sound to the ceiling and back down to create a three-dimensional experience. In other words, you’ll be listening to the rainfall overhead as it pours on TV. Place the detachable wireless units behind you, and the audio bubble gets even better. The unit pairs with your TV, tablet and smartphone via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or an HDMI cable (included). Check out individual soundbars for smaller setups here.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh233.50 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh171 and two years for Dh242.

5. Best Speaker Set: Jamo S 809 HCS 5.0 Channels

Pros

  • Bass is decent, even without a dedicated subwoofer
  • Tower speakers can be converted into Atmos-ready units
  • Premium build and quality

Cons

  • Some might not prefer how ‘bright’ or high pitched it sounds
  • Misses subwoofer

The Jamo HCS 5.0 speaker set is worth considering for its Dolby Atmos-ready tower speakers. When you’re ready to upgrade to the technology, you can fasten special Atmos-certified modules (sold separately) to elevate the tower speakers. Other pieces include two surround sound speakers and one centre speaker, sans the subwoofer. However, four out of five speakers do come with aluminised polyfibre woofers for bass frequencies, sounding decent still, without the subwoofer. Reviewers have paired this set with Marantz and Denon AV receivers, with success.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh331.58 for 12 months with select banks. Add professional installation for Dh225.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh227 and two years for Dh323.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.