When putting together a surround-sound system, you're going to need surround-sound speakers. And while you could go with bookshelf or satellites, the best bet for this application is likely a speaker with a design that's dedicated to the task. Namely, you want a speaker that is designed for wall mounting from the get-go, and that offers good coverage of the listening area.

One thing that surround-sound speakers do not need to be is large. The reason for this is they don't need to play full-range, it is a given that they are part of a larger system, and that other speakers (likely a subwoofer or multiple subs) will handle the bass. What surround speakers do need to do, is cover the listening area. And that means many designs focus on wide dispersion, including many that have a split, angled front baffle with two sets of drivers (or at least two tweeters) to increase horizontal spread.

Another approach to good coverage of the audience is found in the Top Choice in this list, the SVS Prime Elevation. This speaker has an angled baffle that allows you to aim the sound in the right direction, it all depends on how you mount it.

What to look for in a surround-sound speaker

  • The speaker should be easy to hang
  • Make sure the impedance is compatible with your amplification (for 4 ohm models)
  • Higher sensitivity is good, lets you get more out of your system
  • High power handling is nice, but not as important as higher sensitivity
  • There are different designs for height speakers and ear-level surrounds
  • If you want timbre-matching, look for surrounds from the same manufacturer as your main speakers
Who should buy surround-sound speakers

  • Movie lovers who want a home cinema experience
  • Gamers seeking full immersion
  • Music lovers who enjoy upmixing to surround-sound
  • Anyone with an AVR that supports multi-channel speaker configurations

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1. SVS Prime Elevation

The SVS Prime Elevation feature a 1” and 4.5” woofer, as well as a 1” bass port, and are designed to also help the reproduction of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D formats. The SVS Prime Elevation can be mounted to walls and ceilings with their Multi-Purpose Wall Bracket.


  • A remarkably versatile speaker, not "just" a surround
  • Use as a surround speaker, elevation speaker, or even a desktop speaker
  • Angled baffle and multiway mounting bracket
  • Timbre matched to all of SVS speakers
  • 1 inch aluminum dome tweeter
  • 8 ohm impedance, 87 dB sensitivity, 150 Watt power handling
  • 55 Hz to 25 kHz frequency response


2. Definitive Technology SR9080

The Definitive Technology SR9080 features two 1” tweeters and two 4.5” woofers, and can be hung on any wall with its two keyhole hangers. The Definitive Technology SR9080 is designed to provide enveloping surround sound for your home theater.


3. MartinLogan Motion 2i

Don’t let the name fool you – the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speaker will give you surround sound. The MartinLogan Motion 2i feature the brand’s own 1” Folded Motion tweeters to minimize distortion and control dispersion, while a 3.5” driver handles the lower frequencies. The MartinLogan Motion 2i are good for on-wall installation and can also mount upside down.


4. ELAC Debut 2.0 OW4.2

The ELAC Debut 2.0 OW4.2 is a 2-way bass reflex speaker with a 1” tweeter and a 4” woofer, as well as a dual flared port for additional bass handling. The ELAC Debut 2.0 OW4.2 is specifically designed for tight spaces, which also makes wall mounting a breeze.


5. Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-250S

The Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-250S features dual 1” titanium tweeters, and dual 5.25” spun copper cerametallic cone woofers. The Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-250S can be wall-mounted and also features a removable grille.


6. BIC Acoustech PL-66

The BIC Acoustech PL-66 are three-way speakers that feature a 6.5” high efficiency aluminum horn tweeter, a 6.5” screen pressed long fiber woofer, and one 5”:x7” passive radiator for extended bass output. The speakers come with flush wall mounts.


7. Fluance SXBP2 Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers

The Fluance SXBP2 Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers are a two-way speaker with dual 1” tweeters and dual 4” polymer-treated woofers with butyl rubber surrounds. The Fluance SXBP2 Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers are designed for a convincing 5.1/6.1/7.1 surround sound, and work with Dolby Atmos systems. The speakers can be wall mounted via keyholes.