When it comes to building or merely upgrading our existing home theater system, it is definitely a wise investment to buy one of the best satellite speakers in the market today. To match our wants and needs, these particular speakers come in many different shapes, sizes and price points. However, regardless of the direction you go, you’re getting an elevating audio-listening experience. Putting those finishing touches on that home audio system is important, and since there are so many available in the market, we chose the top 10 best satellite speakers to give you some options.
What are satellite speakers?
Satellite speakers are small (typically) speakers that can reproduce high and medium range sounds both indoors and outdoors. Like many other speakers and their internal organs, satellite speakers usually come built-in with a tweeter for higher frequencies and a woofer for the lows. Satellite speakers usually come with mounting brackets for easy positioning on the wall or on the ceiling, which is why they’re so sought after — convenience, versatility, and less intrusive to really complete our overall sound system.
Many prefer they’re placed behind or at least on the side of the listening area, although we’ve heard of this as well as others putting their satellite speakers everywhere they can. We know those who pair theirs up with a receiver, separate subwoofer, bookshelf speakers, and more — it all depends on the person and what they’re after in terms of a ‘complete sound system’.
Picking the best satellite speakers
- Your budget – Although the few factors below will also determine your budget, satellite speakers aren’t too expensive as compared to other speaker-types in the world. We’ve seen many under $200 and others higher worth looking at, however the lower you go, the more money you’ll be saving but some quality sacrificed as well. Again, if you plan on buying multiple pairs, the cost will obviously increase, so keep in mind the few questions after this as well when figuring out your cash situation.
- Where are you putting them? On the sides of your TV\projector, by the couch, in the wall, on the ceiling? The placement will be important since it will determine the shape and size you’ll want your satellite speakers to be. For example, there are specific satellite speakers that are made for being installed literally inside of a wall or ceiling to give a flush, rather camoflouged look, while others have some mounting holes in the back to attach on top of the surface (walls, desks, etc.).
- Size matters – But not in the stereotypical way. Obviously, the larger the speaker, the more powerful it will be (most of the time). However, when we say size matters here, we mean that you have to make sure they fit. We found as many types of these as we could to cover all bases.
- How many speakers? As stated previously, your budget will increase if you plan on buying multiple pairs. We know others who are fine with adding just two speakers to their home audio system, while others may want as much as 8 to cover the entire room\outdoor area. The more the better, right?
The top 10 best satellite speakers
The Bose 161 speakers in our opinion are among the best satellite speakers in the market today due to the combination of their affordable price and excellent technological features. We’ve all heard of them before — Bose speakers in general are functional and versatile. The 161’s adaptable design will make them look great in all interiors and exteriors as well because these satellite speakers easily handle different weather conditions. The Bose 161 functions with a stereo receiver, but it also can function as surround speakers when combined with a home theater. They have some unique tech called ‘twiddler drivers’ which create additional air flow to create rich sound on lower frequencies (something many satellite speakers at times lack). You also get mounting brackets that enable different placements (on the wall, on the ceiling or on the floor both inside and outside) as well as a proprietary articulated array design that uses specifically located drivers within the speaker cabinet to deliver a big and lasting sound field. All of these features will create a pretty cinema-like surround quality of sound (especially if you grab a few pairs). The speakers are magnetically protected, so you can post them up close to a television without any negative effect on the picture quality on top of it all.
If you are looking for speakers that are a bit more budget-friendly that our previous pick and will work great in both indoors and outdoors, then the Yamaha NS-AW150 are definitely one of the best satellite speakers to consider purchasing. These are speakers that come with built-in feet which make them great for placement around the home (and outside) if you weren’t planning on mounting them. On the other hand, there are also wall mounting brackets for both vertical and horizontal posting. In the package you are getting a pair of speakers with a 5 inch woofer and a half-inch dome tweeter, which will deliver some great quality of sound considering the price. Although it isn’t a beast or anything within the higher-end, you’ll still be getting, as reported by a lot of users now, some clear highs and great lows. The NS-AW150 come with ‘acoustic suspension‘ (bass distortion reduction), an impedance of 6 Ohms and a frequency response in the range from 55 to 40,000 Hz – supreme proof of ultimate sound quality. Let’s not forget to mention the sensitivity of 85 dB and power handling of 120 Watts.
Polk Audio Atrium 4
Up next, the Polk Audio Atrium 4 are one of the best satellite speakers considering the price and quality you’ll be getting. They are great for outdoor and indoor usage because they are resistant to water, dirt and dust (many also consider these outdoor speakers as well). Made of anodized aluminum, the tweeter domes are surrounded with rubber for great resistance to weather elements. You will not have to worry about functionality while at the same time you get high-quality sound, thanks to a frequency response ranging from 12 kHz to 20 kHz and an impedance of 6 Ohms. The Atrium 4 comes with a baffle design that will deliver clean, powerful sound in all-weather conditions. The speakers also feature a speed-locking system for mounting, which means you can easily attach them to all kinds of surfaces. For attractive presentation along with high-quality, crystal clear sound, you can choose either the black or white version – both of them are weatherproof and very durable installations. Easy mounting, great quality, and an overall cheaper price than most.
With the Bose 301 you are getting one of the best satellite speakers in the higher-end category that blows most of these things away (for a price, of course) that will serve you reliably even in conditions with high humidity just in case. You’re getting some amazing sound from its unique 2 inch stereo targeting tweeters, combined with a 2 inch tweeter firing back. Combined together, these create a more complex build than others, providing a well-balanced stereo sound across wide spaces – perfect for large rooms and the like. Together with the tweeters comes a long-excursion 8 inch woofer for powerful bass, coming in at mostly two times the size as others. The Bose 301 also comes with unique direct and reflecting speaker technology to help even more for that balance. It has a spatial dispersion lens that will deliver a high frequency response for wide dispersion of sound across the room. In terms of protection, they are equipped with auto-protective circuitry that will prevent overdrive. As you can see, the design is appealing, compact and attractive and will easily combine with every interior design. The only thing some may not like is the lack of in-wall or in-ceiling design, something that many look at satellite speakers to do. If you can afford these, you’re definitely not going to be disappointed any time soon.
The Pyle PDIC60 are a pair of in-wall\in-ceiling satellite speakers that are pretty affordable as well reviewed highly by many. They’ll enable you to experience some high-quality, powerful sound everywhere you want: in your living room, on a porch, beside the swimming pool, in the garden, etc; however, these are definitely recommended for those who want something non-intrusive and mounting inside of something which really makes them multi-functional and versatile – definitely one of the best satellite speakers when you are looking for functionality in all-weather conditions as well as easy mounting. This is a 2-way directable one inch tweeter speaker system with an easy and simple to apply flush mount. In regards to other numbers and specs, you are getting satellite speakers with a 6 and half-inch midbass and a one inch high temp voice coil. The build isn’t necessarily jaw-dropping but pretty impressive considering these being on the lower-end of the pricing spectrum. The frequency response range from 65 Hz to 22 kHz combined with 4 to 8 Ohms impedance will ensure clear and crisp sound, both indoors and outdoors. The 250 Watts peak power will additionally ensure top functionality. You can grab as many pairs as you need, just make sure you have enough wiring.
Acoustic Audio AA321B
If you are looking for one of the cheapest pairs of satellite speakers in the market that are still worth looking at to get some decent quality out of, then look at the Acoustic Audio AA321B. These are reviewed by many to work well, especially for speakers that can handle different levels of humidity, which means that you can use them in the bathroom, in the kitchen, etc. With a frequency response from 150 Hz to 20 kHz, you can count on a decent range of sound with reliable highs (half-inch tweeter) and low across all frequencies and thanks to the 2.5 inch polypropylene woofers, you will also get decent bass considering the price (we’d still recommend grabbing a separate subwoofer to accommodate them if you have the cash). They come with Quick Release Spring Loaded wire terminals and the mounting bracket\hardware is included in the package so can get to using them as soon as you open the box. The sturdy ABS design of cabinets gives these speakers an appealing look and overall stable build to last you quite a while if you take care of them. You can use them with a power range from 20 to 400 Watts.
Polk Audio OWM5
The Polk Audio OWM5 give us another option from one of our favorite speaker brands, and this one is a versatile and capable satellite speaker that will satisfy your need for high-quality surround sound indoors and outdoors. This speaker is well-designed and equipped with capacitive coupling technology for high-quality sound in all on-wall situations, and given the skinnier, sleek size, may be the perfect fit for your current system or idea you have in the works. The ABS enclosure that is filled with glass and composite cone drivers for dynamic balance will ensure satisfaction with the sound whether you are watching TV, listening to music or playing games. The OWM5 satellite speakers are also equipped with mounting elements, so you can conveniently post them on the wall wherever you like in 9 different ways for left, right or center channel applications to create your own home theater. The Polk Audio OWM5 are one of the best satellite speakers when it comes to versatility of use – don’t neglect them when making your choice. Their 4 Ohm impedance and frequency response from 100 to 25000 Hz aren’t too shabby, either.
If you are looking for bipolar satellite speakers that will offer surround sound quality (a different spin to surround imaging — a radiation pattern that involves drivers on opposite sides of each other for a more “omnidirectional sound”), then the Fluance AVBP2 are definitely one of the best to consider. These satellite speakers will bring us great sound quality due to their neodymium tweeters. Besides clear highs, you can also count on some solid bass thanks to the dual 4″ polymer designed woofer. The numbers aren’t too huge but a bit bigger and higher quality than other, smaller counterparts. Their unique bipolar design and frequency response range from 130 Hz to 20 kHz creates some ‘3D sound quality’. They are designed with a trapezoid form, which is a pretty efficient choice for surround sound quality since they’ll have more of a surface area to work with. When it comes to design, the Fluance AVBP2 are made of black MDF ash wood of audio grade quality for minimum resonance, which is at the same time very appealing and attractive. They’re not too heavy on the wallet, either.
The Leviton AESS5 are satellite speakers that include 5 channels, which can easily be upgraded to 6 or 7 for even more advanced surround sound capability. Usually sold separately, this satellite speaker comes with classic audio wiring topology that connects satellites directly to the receiver speaker terminal as well as the subwoofer to the receiver’s SUB and LFE out jacks. The AESS5 combines well with many different speakers, surround-sound systems as well as EQ models. This makes these speakers one of the most versatile and ideal for those looking to put some additions to their already-built home audio setup. In terms of build, these come with a high output 2.5″ woofer and 0.5″ tweeter, for decent highs and powerful bass. The AESS5 is also magnetically protected, so you can position them very close to the television without worry that it might negatively impact the picture quality. Just another option here, but we do like these especially since they have an extender in the back to help with angling and positioning.
Polk Audio RM6751
Last but not least, the Polk Audio RM6751 are satellite speakers that are a bit larger in size than the others. If you can risk the bigger placement, they’ll deliver some great quality sound both indoors and outdoors, thanks to their durable casing. At the same time, these are mountable full range satellite speakers with keyhole slots on the back, which means you can position them almost anywhere you can fit them. The bigger size also means you’ll be getting some better quality in regards to the lower mid-range of frequencies, something those smaller satellite speakers will lack. With a half-inch tweeter and 3 and a half-inch woofer dish, you’re getting a large and stable internal makeup. These speakers are also video shielded, which means that you can put them close to a television without having to worry about possible interference with the signal and picture quality. They can handle a maximum of 100 Watts and it comes with an appealing bass-reflex design; you can choose between the black or white version. Also keep in mind they’re usually sold individually so buy a pair, you’ll have to multiply it all by 2 (or more).