This is the sound system I use the most at my own house. It is a 6.1 surround sound system, which, if bought today would set you back about $1060. Its right in the zone for a surround system that really does a great job and impresses all of your friends, without costing an obscene amount of money.
For speakers I bought a set of Pioneer Andrew Jones 5.0 Home Theater Speakers ($430). These are well reviewed speakers. Towers are nice in front because they are very good, can stand on the floor and really do soundtracks and music effectively. The center channel is very well made, and does a great job at dialogue. The bookshelves, good speakers in their own right, do an especially great job on the sound effects that normally show up in surround sound tracks. One of my bookshelf speakers failed when I was testing the speakers, so I got another pair sent to me by Amazon, leaving me with an extra speaker, hence the 6.1 surround. You could buy another pair of bookshelf speakers
and go 7.1 for $130. I include these in my total price.
For a receiver, I bought an Onkyo TX-NR626 7.2-Channel Network Audio/Video Receiver($300), which provided all the features I needed and gave me room to add channels and offers me the chance to add another subwoofer. I might very well do that.
The subwoofer is a rather large Dayton SUB-1500 ($200). Its big, goes low, and is great for movie sound effects. Its not particularly clear, but it does a great job in this environment.
This first picture shows the room as a whole. I’ve got blackout curtains, a table for my center speaker, a sectional sofa, an ottoman, and a 120″ TV screen. It’s selling for $750 now, I got it for around $500.
A side view of the room, this shows my project, a BenQ W1080ST, mounted above the center of the room. It also shows my surround speaker on a mount. The speaker is facing backwards so that it cause a big reflection off the side and back walls, making the surround sound feel like its not just coming from one speaker on the side.
Likewise, my rear surround speaker is mounted to aim over the heads of the audience and reflect off the overhang in the back of the room. This helps to disperse the surround sound effect.
My speaker wire covers skill was lacking here, but this lets you see the big dropoff in the ceiling.
Finally, A picture of my component rack, sitting quietly where no one has to look at it during a movie.