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Best wireless surround sound systems

Top ways to get home theater without all the wires

In a nutshell: Want the surround sound experience without the hassle of running and hiding wires for rear speakers? Consider these system options:

  1. Prepackaged wireless surround sound system
  2. Home theater receivers that support optional wireless rear speakers
  3. Sound bars as the center of your wireless surround sound system
  4. Klipsch Reference Wireless system with WiSA technology

S

urround sound creates a thrilling, immersive soundscape that increases your enjoyment of movies, games, and sports. But running wires to rear speakers can be a real hassle. Wireless surround sound systems give you all the gain with none of that pain. Here are four great options:

1. Prepackaged systems

This is the simplest solution for a wireless surround sound system. Here are a few of our most popular packages.

Sonos sound system in a living room.

If you already own or plan to buy a Sonos wireless speaker, you should strongly consider a Sonos surround sound package. It will fit right in to your Sonos multi-room audio system.

Sonos

You basically have three options for 5.1 packages from Sonos, all of which rely on your choice of sound bar. The sound bar will serve as the center, left, and right channels. In addition, you will get the Sonos Sub and two Sonos One (Gen 2) to use as surround speakers.

JBL BAR 5.1

The JBL Bar 5.1 is the only wireless surround sound system that offers battery powered surround speakers. Two surround sound speakers detach from the sound bar and can be placed wherever you like. Since the bar recharges their batteries, you won’t have to plug them in.

JBL Bar 5.1 Powered home theater system.

The Bar 5.1's battery-powered rear speakers recharge when connected to the sound bar. A full charge gives you about 10 hours of surround sound.

As far as sound goes, JBL always knows how to pack the bass. The subwoofer is no exception. Meanwhile, the sound bar is powerful enough as a center, left, and right channel to bring the soundtrack and accentuate the dialogue.

Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR

The MagniFi MAX SR from Polk audio is another convenient, easy set-up system.

MagniFi

The MagniFi Max SR gives you five sound-optimizing EQ presets, so you can easily tailor the sound to any program material.

The system is packed with handy features, like independent bass control and five EQ presets. It also includes Polk’s patented VoiceAdjust technology so you can hear the actor’s voices during explosions or upticks in the film's score.

Want more options? Check out our entire selection of systems.

2. Receiver plus optional wireless rear speakers

Yamaha surround sound receivers and the Denon HEOS AVR now let you use self-powered wireless speakers for the rear channels. Your center, left, and right speakers will have wired connections.

This option gives you a lot of flexibility for your TV, movie, and music system.

Dave Brown with the Denon HEOS AVR

The HEOS AVR has no buttons or lights on the front panel. Just a volume knob. You use an app to control everything.

Denon HEOS AVR

Our own David Brown already did an in-depth article breaking down six reasons he was excited about the Denon HEOS AVR.

Connect the HEOS AVR to a hard-wired center, left, and right speakers. Then wirelessly pair two Denon wireless speakers for your surround channels.

Yamaha Wi-Fi receivers

Yamaha sells quality receivers at a great value. Since 2018, their Wi-Fi receivers have used MusicCast to wirelessly transmit surround sound channels to compatible speakers.

Yamaha receiver

You can get two MusicCast 20 speakers in a bundle. Then add a MusicCast SUB 100 for deep, clear bass.

3. Sound bar plus optional wireless rear speakers

Many sound bars support the addition of optional wireless rear speakers. Below you'll see a few of our favorites.

Bose 700 sound bar

Use the Bose ADAPTiQ® automatic calibration system to perfectly balance the sound of the bar with the optional bass module and wireless surround speakers.

Bose® sound bars

The Bose® Soundbar 500 and Soundbar 700 have compact designs that deliver big sound. They can be paired with the wireless Surround Speakers 700. Wireless bass modules (500 and 700) are also available.


Bowers and Wilkins Formation Bar and Formation Bass

The sound of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation suite rivals the performance of receiver-based systems.

Bower & Wilkins Formation series

The exquisite Formation Bar has a total of nine speakers configured as front, left, and right channels. Add the Formation Bass for depth and impact. Then add two Formation Flex wireless speakers for your rear channels.


Bluesound Pulse 2i

The Bluesound Pulse 2i offers some really useful listening modes, including wide cinema, dialogue enhancement, and late-night.

Bluesound Pulse 2i

Bluesound is a multi-room audio system that is capable of streaming high-resolution audio files. A wireless home theater system includes the Pulse 2i sound bar, Pulse sub, and two Flex 2i wireless speakers for the rear channels.


LG soundbar with upward-firing speakers.

These LG sound bars have upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling, mimicking overhead speakers. They also feature Meridian Audio technologies that expand image height and widen the sound field.

LG sound bars

We carry four different sound bar + subwoofer packages from LG. All of these can be expanded to full surround sound with the SPK8-S Rear Speaker Kit. Depending on your sound bar selection, you can get up to 7.1.2 wireless surround sound.


Sony HT-Z9F sound bar

The Sony HT-Z9F has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, but it can also deliver immersive surround sound from any audio signal.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is another sound bar/subwoofer combo. It can be paired with the SA-Z9R wireless speaker kit for full surround sound.

This set up is a virtual 7.1.2. Although there are no upward-firing speakers, Sony has created the “Vertical Surround Engine”. It’s a new digital processing technique that simulates overhead speakers. Since it doesn’t rely on a surface to bounce off, it’s optimal for use in rooms with vaulted ceilings.

Want more options? View our complete selection.

4. Klipsch Reference Wireless system with WiSA technology

The Klipsch Reference speakers are some of the world’s most tried and true speakers. Now, with the inclusion of WiSA (Wireless Speaker & Audio) technology, you can get a full 5.1 system without a receiver or speaker wires.

The Klispch Reference wireless 5.1 bundle includes:

  • Four RW-51M speakers as your left, right, and surround speakers.
  • One RW-34C as your center channel.
  • One RW-100SW as your subwoofer.
  • One Axiim LINK wireless home theater transmitter which will send the signal.

I sat in on a demo of this system where we watched an action set piece from the film Spider-Man: Far From Home. The sound was huge, just like I what I heard when I saw it in a movie theater. It was amazing to hear speakers produce that much quality and volume without the use of a receiver.

Note that you need compatible sources for this system to work:

  • Xbox One consoles
  • 2019 LG OLED or NanoCell TVs
  • Windows® PCs
  • Mac® computers

What we mean by "wireless"

Keep in mind that the term "wireless" refers to signal transmission only. you don't need speaker wire. But you do need AC power for your self-powered wireless rear speakers. They come with power cords that must be plugged into power outlets. The one exception is the JBL Bar 5.1, which includes battery-powered rear speakers that dock with the sound bar to recharge.

Connect with a Crutchfield advisor

Have questions about choosing the right equipment for your surround system?

For one-on-one shopping advice, call, email, or chat with us today. Free lifetime tech support is included with every order.

Call, email, or chat with us online today. 

Last updated 2/4/2020

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Matt from Cleveland, OH

    Posted on 10/14/2018

    Looking to re-do my office setup....primarily for music listening but also TV occasionally......currently Klipsch Synergy B3 bookshelf speakers, Klipsch C1 center channel (which doesn't work with my receiver for music), Klipsch subwoofer, Pioneer VSX 517 receiver. All from 2006-2007 era. Looking to replace all....keep the bookshelf setup, get a nice center channel, subwoofer, upgraded receiver....and looking to add wireless rear speakers that would be wall mounted about 2-3 feet behind me on the wall. Am not interested in a soundbar or anything like that, and would like a receiver with multiple digital outputs for TV and music. I wouldn't have too big of an issue plugging in rear speakers to power outlets. I don't know if higher end wireless speakers exist that I could get the rest of the system from the same company (all my other systems are all the same.....Magnepan, Klipsch, Sony). Any ideas?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/15/2018

    Hi Matt! Thanks for reaching out — I'm putting you in touch with one of our advisors, who will get a bit more information from you to help design you new system.
  • Kevin from Garden Grove

    Posted on 9/21/2018

    I have a Denon X3400 receiver and QSC 10" as my front right and front left speaker, a QSC as my subwoofer and klipsch as my center. I would like to wirelessly add surround speakers(Left/right) and possible surround rear(left/right). What speakers do you recommend? I read that Denon has HEOS technology. I heard its similar to Sonos. Would you recommend going this route?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/24/2018

    Hi Kevin! I'm putting you in touch with one of our Advisors who will help you choose the best options for your system.
  • Edwin A Santiago from Chelsea

    Posted on 8/5/2018

    My question is can you tell me if the Cavelli cv-19 5.1 home theater is as good as the bose home theater system not wireless?? Which would you keep?

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 8/8/2018

    Hi Edwin, I'm not familiar with Cavelli (it's not a brand we carry), so I'm afraid I don't have any insight into their speaker performance.
  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/3/2018

    Hi Oscar, that's right. Your soundbar uses a proprietary wireless technology that is designed to work with the SWA-9000S wireless surround speaker kit. The good news is that it comes with everything you need to complete your system.

  • Oscar from Las Vegas

    Posted on 7/3/2018

    Hello, I have Samsung soundbar HW-MS6500. I wanted to add wireless surround speakers and a SW, but I was told it only works with Samsung brand speakers. Do you know if that's correct?

  • Dr M G Prabhu from dubai

    Posted on 5/25/2018

    I am a dental surgeon by profession, having music as my hobby, which is my life, runs in my blood. Most of the weekends I spend my time meeting people whohave dedicated their life for music, music equipements, the sound systems, visiting the adio/video shops where I can find the audio/video units, to study, understand. I am a member of many groups in music, but since I started to go through your articles, your explanations, all extrodinary, very simple to understand and digest even to very beginer in music field. God bless you all people who have dedicated your life for music, as music being a God's gift, which relieves the mind from every tensions, soothing thousands of people at the same time, really music is marvellous. I learnt a lot,a lot, specially in home theater science, right from buying the right units, placing them, matching them, etc, with a great depth and success too. Keep the good work. Congratulate Mr Bill and the entire team for their great success.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/23/2018

    Hi Matt, an HDMI switcher, like this one from Metra, is ideal for your scenario. It lets you connect up to five HDMI sources to a single HDMI input on on your TV.

  • Matt from Melbourne

    Posted on 3/23/2018

    Hi! I have a Sonos Playbar now and I'm looking to purchase the rest of the 5.1 components. However, my challenge is my Sony TV only has 4 HDMI inputs and I have 5 (minimum) HDMI devices. I've been looking for a Sony receiver to expand my HDMI options, but there is nothing I'm finding that doesn't also include an amp and wired speaker options. I really don't want to drop hundreds on something with all of those features when I just need something to expand my HDMI device count to pass A/V to my TV. Would love to hear what you guys are recommending to customers who are embracing the wireless speaker systems, but have needs that traditional AV receivers offer.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/8/2018

    Hi David, it's been discontinued by Klipsch and we no longer carry that line. I haven't heard anything about a replacement, but I'm hoping we see something soon — that system rocked.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/8/2018

    William — I don't believe we currently carry any wireless transmitters that would work for your system. But I'm going to pass along your question to an Advisor, who will reach out to discuss options with you.

  • David from Cape Canaveral

    Posted on 2/8/2018

    What happened to the Klipsch HD wireless 5.1 system.

  • William Sykes from Pleasanton

    Posted on 2/8/2018

    Hello, I have a Pioneer VSX 1124 receiver, Polk Audio Rti A7 front speakers and Polk Audio center speaker and Polk Audio sub woofer. Is there any way I can add wireless surround speakers to my system? If so, who makes them ? Or what can I do Thank you

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/10/2018

    Hi Scott, yep — everything will work exactly as you described (no home theater receiver needed). You'll connect your video sources to your TV via HDMI, and then send the audio out to the PLAYBAR via an optical digital cable (it comes with one).

    Each Sonos speaker in your house can be grouped together (so you could play the TV audio through the entire house). Or, each one can play something totally different. You could certainly have a game going on the TV, and have music play through the rest of your Sonos speakers in your house at the same time.

  • Scott from Hermosa Beach, CA

    Posted on 1/9/2018

    I am considering getting a Sonos wireless surround sound system. I have a couple of questions. 1. I currently get my TV signal through a Tivo box. Currently the TIVO signal goes through a receiver but will I need a receiver if I get the Sonos system or can I just HDMI from the TIVO to the TV and then link up the Sonos system to the TV? 2. Does the Sonos system have the ability to be zoned? For example, if I have guests over and I have music playing on Sonos speakers scattered around the house (including the ones attached to the TV), can I then isolate the TV speakers so I can be watching TV in one room and listening to music in the others?

  • Gary

    Posted on 1/5/2018

    It's good that our living room is surrounded by speakers because we love music and watch movies. it's a bit expensive but watching movies and listening music is surely a different perspective.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/1/2017

    Hi Steven, I haven't heard the new Polk system yet. But the Klipsch package you're considering is a pretty sweet system, and would work nicely for you. I also like the new JBL Bar 5.1, which has the first completely wireless surround speakers we've ever seen. I recommend checking it out!

  • Steven from Yorba Linda

    Posted on 11/1/2017

    Hello Mr Crane, I want to spend around $1000 for wireless speaker system, and I don't want to run wire to the rear speakers. I am thinking on "Klipsch RSB-14 + RW1 speakers as rear speaker" or "Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR". Any suggestion?? MagniFi MAX SR is not released yet, no reviews yet. I skipped Sonos playbar 5.1 since it doesn't come with HDMI and Bluetooth.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/27/2017

    Hey Randy, you'd be hard-pressed to top the Sonos PLAYBAR 5.1 Home Theater System for what you're looking to do. It's far and away out most popular wireless surround system, and it's super simple to set up and enjoy.

  • Randy from Chicago

    Posted on 10/26/2017

    Hello Mr. Crane, I want to spend about $1500-$2000 for a wireless speaker system. In other words I want a system where I don't have to run wires to the rear speakers, any suggestions? (By the way I don't mind wires to the bass or receiver) Thanks in advance for any insight!

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/14/2017

    Shane — not currently. Right now the system supports Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital EX, and DTS NEO:6. I'm hopeful that future firmware updates will bring additional format compatibility.

  • Shane

    Posted on 8/14/2017

    Does the Klipsch system support Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio?

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/11/2017

    Hi John, that sounds like a fun project. I'm putting you in touch with one of our advisors, who will help you design the best system for your cabin. Good luck with the reno!

  • John from Sacramento

    Posted on 8/10/2017

    I am renovating a mountain cabin (no internet access yet, but I can get decent FW stereo), and Id like to install a mid-level home theater receiver with 2 wireless or wired shelf speakers for hanging , plus a good sub woofer. Ideally I can upgrade this later with surround sound. Any suggestions for the first phase ? Second phase will be satellite internet and 4K big screen.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/12/2017

    Scott — good catch. I've updated the caption, thanks!

  • Scott from Cottonwood, Az

    Posted on 6/10/2017

    Your sonos 5.1 photo says playbar and play 1's but play 3's are in the photo. Just an observation

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/20/2017

    Hi Joe, the trick with in-ceiling speakers is that they'll always need a hard-wired power source (whether it's an AC plug to an outlet, or speaker wire to an amplifier). So far, no one has figured out a totally wireless in-ceiling speaker.

    There are a few different sound bar systems that use rear surround speakers that you can mount to the wall. I'm going to pass along your info to one of our advisors for a recommendation.

  • Joe from Houston

    Posted on 3/18/2017

    I want to downsize my 6.1 speaker system. I like the idea of a soundbar with wireless sub, but I would like to add in-ceiling surround speakers. Does anyone do this? Wireless in-ceiling speakers that connect to the soundbar? Thanks.

  • Joel

    Posted on 2/24/2017

    Thank you so much for this article. I just called in two days ago with this question and was told the expensive Klipsch stuff was the ONLY option. Now I have more (and cheaper) research to do! :)

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/30/2017

    Hi Bob, if your receiver has multi-channel RCA outputs, I recommend the Russound X1-TX8 transmitter to send surround information to the X1-RX220 wireless amplifier. You can then use any surround speakers that you'd like in the back of the room.

    The 'TX-8 can also broadcast to your subwoofer at the same time using the X1-RX2 wireless receiver

  • Bob Philhower from Valley Cottage

    Posted on 1/29/2017

    I have an existing 3.1 setup in my living room and am looking to upgrade to 5.1 and hoping to avoid running speaker wire.

    Is there a way I can do this without investing in an entire new system? Ideally I'd plug something into two channels on my receiver and then pair speakers to it.

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/17/2017

    Hi Lynn, right now is the perfect point in the home-building process to plan your audio system. I recommend giving our A/V Design team a call. They can help you find the best solution for your home. Good luck with your build!

  • Lynn de la Torre from Racine, Wi

    Posted on 1/16/2017

    Hi! I am building a home and wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate to install surround sound now? Does anyone come to the house to design a system? Thank you!

  • Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/30/2016

    Hi Jim, a better receiver will make a world of difference in how your system performs. Indeed, a high-current option like the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1060 will deliver more dynamic sound with better control than your Pioneer.

    That's no knock on the VSX-820-K, but the Yamaha you mentioned is a high-performance race car that will get the most out of your Klipsch speakers. Yamaha also uses advanced room correction to make sure that speaker distance and room acoustics are properly accounted for.

    I'd stick with the sub you're using now and focus on the receiver as the next step. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!

  • Jim Thomas from Spring, TX

    Posted on 12/30/2016

    I have a home theater system that is of good quality components but it just doesn't deliver the sound quality I'm looking for. The system consists of a Pioneer VSX-820-K receiver, Klispch Synergy F-2 Towers, Synergy S-2 surrounds (2), Synergy center, and a Velodyne VRP-10 Sub Woofer. Also the BRD is a Sony BDP-S570. The system sounds OK but it seems like I have to push it quite a bit before begins to perform, somewhere around 60% Volume. Any suggestions what I can do to beef it up? I've been thinking more reciever power like the Yamaha 1060, but don't know what else may be a better choicer should I be looking at a different sub-woofer or whatever?