Many of the best sounding home theater systems under $500 are from some of the best companies, with names you are sure to recognize immediately.  At this price point, you will be able to get quality, often with good wireless speakers and subwoofers, all at an affordable price.  Since customer reviews are all over the place, I will only focus on those which are generally getting topnotch ratings from the people who buy them, including myself.  This way you can buy with confidence and get crisp sound, which will make you wonder why you waited so long to get a new system.  Let’s take a look at who is offering the best options on the market today, for $500 or less.

Bose Acoustimass 5 Speaker System

Bose Acoustimass 5 Home Entertainment Speaker System (Black)
Amazon Price: $399.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)

Priced at under $400, this is probably the best value you are going to find from Bose.  With superior quality and customer reviews, you will be able to buy with confidence and know you are getting a good product with a great warranty and sound quality. 

Key Features

  • Direct/reflecting speakers are going to deliver life-like sound from a good balance of direct and even reflected sound.  It makes it sound similar to a live performance.  This will be very appealing to the ear.
  • The speakers are magnetically shielded, which allows for placement very close to your television set without causing interference, something which is lacking with cheaper alternatives.
  • The Automatic protection circuitry will prevent the drivers from being overworked and will provide good reliable sound, while reducing interference.
  • Computer tested to make sure they are of the highest level of reliability and quality.  As is common with the leaders in the home theater system industry.

Boston Acoustics SWXSHTSSEB SoundWare XS Home Theater System Speakers Special Edition

Priced at just under $500, this is a really good option to consider.  Many customers of Boston Acoustics claim them to be better than Bose, so you know you will be getting a quality product, which you will be happy with for a number of years.  They are known in the industry to be one of the very best in the business, providing great surround sound with crisp quality.

Key Features

  • 5 very compact SoundWare XS satellite speakers, which are wireless.  These provide excellent sound quality.
  • High Gloss finish is resistant to fading and scratching, so they will look great for a number of years.
  • The 100 watt subwoofer (250 watt peak) 8 inch subwoofer is one of the best you will find for quality sound, with crisp detail.  You will hear the difference.
  • The company uses BassTrac circuitry for powerful and very deep base without distortion, as you will get from the cheaper alternatives providing low cost home theater systems.

Yamaha YHT-597 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater System

Yamaha is considered by many to be the very best, even better than Bose.  This, of course, is up for debate, but customer reviews of the Yamaha YHT-597 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater System are quite favorable.  You will find that most of their customers are repeat customers, which speaks highly of their quality and dependability.  You will not find much of anything better for under $500 in the home theater world.  Take a look at what they have to offer.

Key Features

  • Powerful and crisp surround sound at 100 watts per channel (5 channels total) with HD Audio format decoding.  This provides high resolution audio sound.
  • There is an AV controller app for using functions from an iPad, iPhone, iPod, and even Android phones.  This is a really nice feature, getting great customer reviews.
  • Music streaming also available from Mac, PC, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
  • Next generation high resolution images from the 4k pass through.  This means a better viewing and listening experience.
  • Automatic speaker setup from the front panel USB digital connection for iPod, iPhone, etc.

Samsung HT-E5500W HTIB 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray 1000-Watt Home Theater System

Samsung makes many different home theater systems.  Some are not going to provide the best sound, since they also make some very inexpensive models.  However, the Samsung HT-E5500W HTIB 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray 1000-Watt Home Theater System delivers the goods.  You will find amazing customer reviews and the price is just under $400, which makes them a good option for anyone on a tight budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality.

Key Features

  • 1000 Watts of peak power, providing you with all you will ever need for good, crisp sounds in high resolution. 
  • 3D Blu-ray systems provide superior quality and viewing experience. It’s almost like you’re there live and in person.
  • Built-in Wifi makes it much easier and more convenient to use, without having additional equipment to buy, which adds to the total cost.
  • Wireless rear speakers, which allow you to get great surround sound quality from anywhere in the room.
  • Web browser allows you to surf the net and check out your favorite shows and websites right from your television set. 

Bose Solo TV Sound System

Bose Solo TV Sound System
Amazon Price: $399.00 $359.99 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)

Unlike others, this is a single, self-contained unit.  You will still get very good quality and sound you must hear to believe.  Unlike others, this one is designed to sit under your flat screen television set, so you don’t need to hide it in a cabinet, or use up extra space for it.  Since Bose is one of the best in the industry, you can buy with confidence and know you are getting incredible quality.

Key Features

  • Even sound throughout the entire room is possible from Bose speaker array technology, similar to what you get from the Wave Radio, known as a self-contained unit providing surround sound.
  • Proprietary digital signal processing gives you better sound with more effects in music and dialog.
  • The single speaker is self-contained, so it fits nicely under your HDTV television set, so you don’t need to buy any addition equipment, which just adds to the total cost.
  • Very easy setup.  There is one connection to make to your TV, and then you just plug this unit in.  Few are so simple as this.

 With so many options, you're going to love the crisp sound quality from your new home theater system, which you can buy pretty cheap.