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The Best Surround-Sound Systems Under $2,500

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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A surround-sound speaker system gives movie lovers a home audio experience that’s more like what they hear in the theater. We picked the Polk Signature Elite Series as our favorite because it delivers the best combination of performance, design, user-friendliness, and affordability. The speakers sounded as good as anything we tried in their price range, and they look terrific.

Polk Signature Elite ES15, great performer, great value

Polk Signature Elite ES15

Great performer, great value
The ES15 bookshelf speaker pair sounds great, looks cool, and is surprisingly affordable.
We recommend
Polk Signature Elite ES10, a compact surround speaker

Polk Signature Elite ES10

A compact surround speaker
The small ES10 is easy to fit or install just about anywhere, so it’s ideal as a surround speaker.
We recommend
Polk Signature Elite ES30 , an easy-to-place center speaker

Polk Signature Elite ES30

An easy-to-place center speaker
The ES30 is a good, affordable center-channel match for the ES15 and ES10 speakers in a surround-sound system.
We recommend
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2, big sound for home theater

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2

Big sound for home theater
The B6.2 bookshelf speaker has a powerful sound, and a matching Dolby Atmos add-on module is available. But it’s bulky and not very attractive.
Another good choice
ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2, a smaller bookshelf speaker

ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2

A smaller bookshelf speaker
The B5.2 is a little smaller and usually a bit less costly than the B6.2, so it’s a good choice for the surround channels.
Another good choice
ELAC Debut 2.0 C5.2, a matching center speaker

ELAC Debut 2.0 C5.2

A matching center speaker
This fairly compact center speaker is a good match for the B6.2 bookshelf speakers.
Another good choice
Monolith by Monoprice THX-265B, for the loudest, most immersive experience

Monolith by Monoprice THX-265B

For the loudest, most immersive experience
The Monolith by Monoprice THX-265B is bulky and plain-looking, but it plays movies at commercial-cinema volume and has an upward-firing Atmos speaker built in.
A better upgrade
Monolith by Monoprice THX-365C, for clear, full-sounding dialogue

Monolith by Monoprice THX-365C

For clear, full-sounding dialogue
The THX-365C adds a midrange driver that lower-priced center channels usually lack, so dialogue sounds clear in every seat of a home theater.
A better upgrade

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