While most gadgets have become gloriously intuitive, surround sound systems seem to be stuck in amber. There are usually cords and cables everywhere, the pros and cons of different products aren’t always clear, and even basic features require working knowledge of obscure hi-fi audio lingo. We can help. Whether you’re completely new to this category, or you're simply curious about the current state-of-the-art in immersive audio, we’ve highlighted the systems worth looking into. It’s a wide range, with something for whatever type of movie or music lover you happen to be.
Energy Take Classic 5.1
The Take Classic 5.1 is probably the most beloved home theater system in the world, earning rave reviews since its debut in 2006, and still outperforming anything within its price-range. But there are no features to speak of – no Airplay or Bluetooth or net-connectivity – and, like most traditional 5.1 speaker sets, it requires a separate A/V receiver and lots of speaker cables. The Take Classic just sounds great, and stays balanced even at higher volumes while playing music or movies. [$400; energy-speakers.com]