Low to mid range home audio


Dec 26, 2015
I'm looking to replace the speakers for my home theater system. I currently have the Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver and the Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer. My current speakers are Athena Micra, but they have been moved more than is good for them and fussed with by small children. My current setup is 5.1, but I plan to go to a 7.1 setup, keeping the subwoofer and buying 6 new satellite speakers and a new center channel speaker.

My planned budget is no more than $2,000 total, but if there is something that will suit my needs for less than that it would be great. This system will primarily be used to watch movies / TV. Thanks for your help.


Mar 28, 2010
This will be a quick post, don't have much time right now.

Ascend Acoustic: CMT 370SE x 3 for the fronts CBM 170SE(pair) x 2 for the rears. Around $1330 shipped.
Sierra-1 x 3 for fronts, CBM170SE (pair) x 2 rears. $1810

SVS: Prime Tower x2 (L/R), Prime center, Prime Satellites x 4. $1750 (Could get another Tower for the center if you want for an additional charge)
Prime Bookshelf Surround package + 2 Prime Sats. $1250

Hsu Research: 7.0 speaker package $1230

EMP Tek: R55Ti x 2 (L/R), R56Ci center, R5Bi(pair) x 2 rears. $1540 shipping may or may not be free.
R5Bi(pair) x 3, R56Ci center. $1070

This is just off the top of my head. Probably the best option is the Sierra/170SE package, with the best value for the dollar being the 370SE/170SE or the bookshelf EMP Tek package though all of them are solid, mid range choices.

Also, I listed some with towers and some with just bookshelves. Towers do have advantages over bookshelves, but in most of these cases here, they are probably minor and not necessarily worth the extra money over their bookshelf counterparts.

I'll also point out the the Polk Sub isn't a particularly good one and will be the weakest link for any choice here. I'd suggest replacing it too, maybe not now but at some point. Some very good choices would be: Rythmik LV12R @ $569 and will receive a discount when purchased with ascend speakers, SVS PB-1000 @ $499 can be discounted with SVS speakers, Hsu VTF-2 MK4 @$530 discounted with Hsu speakers. These are a clearly a couple of steps ahead of the PSW505 and when paired with some of the more modest suggestions, will come in under the $2000 top end. But then again, if you are happy with what you have then there isn't a need to upgrade.

yes, i would go with speakers from the same company, and ideally same product line as kanewolf suggested.

for front speakers you have the option of going with either bookshelves or floorstanders depending on your preferences and yes, you want a good center channel.

where to start looking? thats hard to say... it depends on what country you are in as speaker choices vary widely based on location. also, you might want to note what kind of sound you prefer (such as if you like the bright treble from horn tweeters or softer more mellow treble of dome tweeters).

in europe, look at the diamond 9 or diamond 10 series (anything newer is not as good). in usa look at klipsch, paradigm. though of course there are lots of other brands you can look and plenty of decent models from companies.

personally i'm a klipsch fan and i love the tweeter horn. i'm running a small satellite klipsch set in my smaller pc / theater room as bookshelves are too big for this area (and were above my budget).


My preference has been Paradigm. Klipsch are great. You either like the horn drivers or don't. That is a personal preference. You need to take source material (CDs or other audio source) and listen to a bunch of speakers. Have the sales people put YOUR audio on and listen. Acoustic instruments and vocals are the best because it is easier to know what they are "supposed" to sound like.


Dec 26, 2015
I'm in the U.S., but I plan to go with something I can purchase online and have delivered to me. I know most people want to go into a store and listen to them, but I'm fine with looking through enough reviews and coming to a decision that way.

I'm not really sold on either buying 6 satellites and a center or 7 satellites, but I would get them from the same company and line.
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