How Much Does it Cost to Install A Surround Sound System?
Surround sound systems do more than just deliver high-quality sound. They elevate your enjoyment of your music, movies, television and games by providing a more realistic experience and movie theater-like sound quality. However, installing a surround sound system is a complicated job that's best left to the pros. Find a local professional to help install your equipment, and read on to learn more about installation costs and the types of surround sound systems available.
National Install Home Theater Surround Sound System Costs
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Table of Contents
- Surround Sound System Installation Costs
- Surround Sound System Installation Cost Factors
- Advantages of Surround Sound Systems
- Disadvantages of Surround Sound Systems
- Best Surround Sound Systems
- Wired vs. Wireless Surround Sound Systems
- Extra Surround Sound Features
- Surround Sound System Trends
- DIY or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Surround Sound System Installation Cost
Homeowners spend anywhere from $100 to $1,470 on average to install surround sound systems in their homes. While simple plug-in speakers require minimal work to install, some of the more sophisticated systems with multiple speakers spread around the home involve more skill and time for proper installation, particularly because they involve special wiring. Most electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour, depending on the complexity of the project. Use our electrical cost estimator for a better idea of what to expect. Installation costs average $504, but the exact cost depends on a variety of factors.
Surround Sound System Installation Cost Factors
In general, it's a good idea to get quotes from several professionals before you hire someone to install your surround sound system. This way, you can be sure you're getting the most competitive rates based on factors such as:
- The number of rooms included: More rooms equal more money.
- Wired vs. wireless systems: Any time you have to wire something in your home’s walls, it costs more.
- Mounted vs. integrated speakers: Mounted speakers hang on the wall, which offers easier and faster installation. Integrated speakers offer optimal sounds, but they tend to be larger and more expensive. Built-in speakers that are flush to the ceiling or wall require more time and skill to install.
Advantages of Surround Sound Systems
One of the biggest advantages of installing a surround sound system is the ability to enjoy your home entertainment options more thoroughly. Whether you enjoy entertaining or simply spending a cozy movie night at home, having the right sound system elevates your viewing and listening by providing an immersive experience. Benefits of these sound systems include:
- Exceptional Sound Quality: Immerse yourself in your movies, games and music. You can hear every whisper and soft sound without straining. Because the speakers are set to precise angles, the sound output is cleaner, richer and fuller from nearly any spot in the room or house.
- Versatility: Surround sound systems come in pre-matched, boxed systems or customized options that let you choose your components to mix and match speakers, subwoofers and receivers.
- Going Beyond the Room: Many of the best sound systems offer the option to add extra speakers to include more than one room in your surround sound setup. Add outdoor speakers for music while you're relaxing outside or add speakers in the kitchen so you don't miss a moment of the game while you’re making snacks.
- Wireless Options: With the number of wireless surround systems available, homeowners who don't want to run wires from the receiver to each speaker have options to benefit from improved sound with the added convenience of not having to deal with electrical panels.
- Connectivity: You can connect your surround sound system to your other electronics and your home automation system to control everything from a single remote.
Disadvantages of Surround Sound Systems
Before you buy and install a surround sound system, you should consider the benefits and the drawbacks. Some of the main disadvantages of having a surround sound system include:
- Wires: For the best sound, you want to go with a wired setup, which involves running unsightly wires from the receiver to the various speakers.
- Cost: Although there are some systems that offer good sound at a moderate price point, these systems aren't cheap.
- Space: If your media room is already cramped and cluttered, adding more gear with the necessary components can be challenging.
- Installation: Unless you're using a basic wireless system, most surround sound systems require professional installation or an electrician, which drives the cost up further.
Best Surround Sound Systems
When it comes to choosing the "best" surround sound system, you need to consider a variety of factors, including the price point, sound quality and setup of the system to determine what model is the right option for you. To get started, take a look at four of the best wireless and wired surround sound systems.
- Sonos offers seamless customization with wireless components that are easy to set up and sync together. Start with a Playbar, which offers high-fidelity sounds, and then add some of the Play 1 speakers to create the rich surround sound effects you want. One of Sonos's standout features is its night mode, which lets you enjoy your sound system with reduced bass and volume levels when other people are sleeping.
- LG SH7B Sound Bar: With multi-room streaming and a sleek design, LG's SH7B sound bar delivers solid sound performance. It connects using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or an HDMI input and delivers better sound performance than other comparable sound bars. The subwoofer is compact and connects wirelessly to the system, which you can expand to include other LG speakers for true surround sound effects.
- Paradigm Cinema 100 CT 5.1: If you want full-size sound from a compact system, the Paradigm Cinema 100 CT delivers the best performance relative to its compact size. Dynamic sound and space-saving speakers make this wired surround sound system a top contender.
- Klipsch 5.1 RP-250 Reference Premiere Speaker Package: This setup delivers a gorgeously designed, complete system with superb sound quality. This speaker system does have a few downsides, including the amount of space it requires, and the price tag, which tops $2,000 online.
Wired vs. Wireless Surround Sound Systems
When you're shopping for a surround sound system, one of the biggest, earliest decisions you need to make is whether to buy a wireless system or a wired surround sound system. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, wireless systems offer the convenience of easy setup and a lower price tag, but the sound quality suffers slightly. Wired systems deliver the best audio quality, but they cost more and require professional installation.
Extra Surround Sound Features
The cost of installing a surround sound system also depends on the number of extra features that you choose to add. Some cost-raising options include:
- Connecting the system to your home's wireless internet
- Opting for remotes that control speakers anywhere in the house
- Mounts and stands to hold speakers
- Upgrading to a Blu-ray player
- Customized cases for integrated speakers
- Concealing sound system wires behind wall trim
Surround Sound System Trends
In addition to some of the a la carte extra features that you might want, you can also boost your surround sound experience with extra devices and accessories. Some of the on-trend options include the following.
- Installing Multiple Screens: Having two or more televisions on the same wall has become an increasingly popular option that many homeowners are choosing to set up when they install their surround sound systems. In some cases, homeowners install one screen for everyday viewing and a large front-projection screen for viewing movies. Other homeowners install televisions on multiple walls in their entertainment spaces.
- Upgrading the Network: Although it’s often overlooked, your home internet network plays a crucial role in your surround sound system, especially if you're a fan of streaming videos and music or using the integrated social media apps on your smart TV. Many homeowners upgrade their routers and connection speeds while setting up a home theater or surround sound system to get seamless streaming without any buffering or other interruptions.
- Power Conditioners: Safety-conscious homeowners love these multitasking gadgets. Many models offer surge protection, noise filtering and reduced interference to keep your surround system's sound output clean and clear.
DIY or Hire A Pro?
Between calibrating the system, positioning the speakers for optimal sound quality and dealing with the electrical components while installing surround sound system wiring, this is a job that's typically best left to the professionals. Electrical projects are tricky, and unless you have a background in electrical work, you might not install your system correctly or according to your area’s building codes. As an added bonus, a professional electrician has experience in your local electrical codes and can complete any necessary repairs along the way.
Find A Pro
When you're investing in a surround sound system, it's best to choose professional installation to make sure the work is done correctly and safely. Visit our free electrician lead generator to find a pro near you.
Last updated on Sep 27, 2016
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