How Much Does Surround Sound Installation Cost?

Typical Range:

$235 - $1,315

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,472 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated October 3, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing a surround sound system in your home costs $773 on average. It’ll typically run between $235 and $1,315, but some reports put it at $3,000 or more. A set of two in-wall speakers, including wiring, runs from $200 to $500. A multiroom system runs around $3,000 to $12,000, and you can expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 per room.

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National Average $773
Typical Range $235 - $1,315
Low End - High End $85 - $4,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,472 HomeAdvisor members.

Surround Sound Speaker Costs by Location

How much is surround sound? The location of the surround sound system impacts the installation cost when hiring a local home audio expert. The easier it is to install, the lower the installation costs, with some of these systems requiring multiple speakers and receivers. Keep in mind that free-standing speakers are easier to install than those placed on a ceiling or behind walls. 

In-Ceiling Speaker Installation Cost

Installing in-ceiling speakers costs anywhere from $200 to $2,000, including the speakers, necessary wiring, and labor. For complete surround sound, expect to pay an average of 

$1,000 per room. This is in addition to related entertainment center components, such as a TV and stand or mount. On average, installing a home theater costs $17,500.

These installations require cutting into the ceiling to run wires, placing each speaker, putting in a back-box per code requirements, and patching any holes. This cost increases according to the speakers' quality, associated equipment such as receivers or amplifiers, and the total distance wires need to run. The farther the wires have to go, the higher the cost. 

Additionally, installing this type of setup in a new ceiling is less costly than a pre-existing one. Using Bluetooth speakers that don't require wires also reduces your overall price.

Wall-Mounted Speakers

Mounting speakers to the wall or integrating them inside of wall cutouts cost around $150 to $2,000, which includes parts and labor. These prices vary according to the job complexity, speaker size, speaker type, and whether the speakers are mounted or placed inside the wall. 

Just like with in-ceiling installations, cutting out the walls to run wires is a primary cost factor. Cutting out the walls for the speakers costs around $30 per cutout. The longer you run wires to reach a receiver or amplifier, the higher the overall cost as well. Save money by mounting the speakers to the walls, avoiding cutouts, and going for wireless Bluetooth speakers whenever possible. 

Floor-Standing Speaker

This is the easiest installation type, as it doesn't require cutting into walls or anything too invasive. Installing a floor-standing surround system costs approximately $150 to $1,000, depending primarily on the price of the speakers and related hardware. 

Installation is a breeze for pros and amateurs alike. Just arrange the speakers to your liking and set up some simple cable management accessories to hide the wires. Bluetooth wireless speakers are another option, further simplifying the overall installation, while wired installations cost more due to the work involved. Home theater wiring costs around $500.

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Surround Sound System Prices by Type

Not all surround sound systems are equal, as there are multiple designs to choose from. Each boasts its own pros, cons, and price ranges. 

5.1 Surround Sound 

Installing a full 5.1 surround sound setup costs between $500 and $2,000, depending on the job complexity and the price of components. A 5.1 surround sound includes two speakers behind the listener, two in front, and one in the center. This amounts to five speakers, thus the name. 

The "1" refers to the single subwoofer involved with this setup, which is the norm for the vast majority of 5.1 system designs. This five-speaker setup is great for average-size living rooms, and you can find it in most home theaters. 

6.1 Surround Sound

Putting in a 6.1 surround sound system costs anywhere from $600 to $2,500, depending on the speaker prices and installation complexity. This is a relatively rare setup that includes six speakers and one subwoofer. 

Going with this design over a 5.1 system affords a slight uptick in sound quality with regard to immersion. However, few manufacturers make 6.1 systems, so most homeowners go for smaller or larger setups. 

7.1 Surround Sound

Going with a 7.1 surround sound setup costs an average of $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the component price and any unique installation needs. This is a relatively new specification, and as the name suggests, it features seven speakers and a single subwoofer, all placed to maximize immersion during use. 

Most average-size living rooms are too small for this type of system, as the speakers require plenty of room. However, this setup excels in dedicated home theaters and larger-than-average entertainment rooms. If you have the space, some users go a step further to a 7.2 design that features two subwoofers. However, there are plenty of wires involved with a 7.2 system, leading to repairs down the road. Repairing home audio wiring costs an average of $210.

Dolby Atmos

Choosing a Dolby Atmos surround sound system costs about $1,000 to $7,000, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation job. Dolby Atmos systems take a modular approach to surround sound, with speakers transmitting sound into different areas of the room to create an immersive 3D experience. 

Save money by starting small and seeing if there's enough sound to fill the room. This is a modular system, so it's designed to place more speakers later if needed. However, Dolby Atmos systems are on the louder side, so consider soundproofing the entertainment room. Soundproofing a room costs an average of $1,900.

Sound System Cost Breakdown

A surround sound system consists of several interrelated parts, each featuring a unique cost range. Depending on the design, your system may not need each of the below components. For instance, older designs don't require smart hubs, and some newer designs don't require many wires or cables.

Surround Sound System Component Average Price Range
Speakers$50 – $500 each
In-wall speaker wiring*$35 – $75 per wiring
Brackets$10 – $30
Back-boxes$30 – $50
Amplifier$300 – $1,000
Smart hub$500 – $1,000

Speaker Installation Cost

Hiring a professional electrician near you or a dedicated speaker installation expert costs around $50 to $100 per hour. An average room takes around two to three hours to complete a standard installation, but these prices can increase drastically with certain setup types. 

For instance, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers generally cost more to install, as each requires light excavation work. Additionally, running wires from speaker to speaker across long distances increases the price. Installation costs decrease with the presence of a wireless system.

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Surround Sound System Installation Cost Factors

Some additional cost factors are worth considering before finalizing an estimate with your pro. Read below for more in-depth information.

Number of Rooms

Each room added to your setup increases the installation cost by approximately $500 to $1,000 in the case of a whole-home system. Some companies offer package deals that lower the price per room when you purchase speakers for several rooms at the same time. 

However, for the lowest price, start with a living room or single home theater, adding more rooms later on as needed. Some rooms aren't set up to accommodate surround sound systems, requiring some remodeling procedures. Remodeling a living room costs an average of $8,000.

Wired vs. Wireless Setups 

Wired systems are less expensive to purchase, as they use older technology, but are more expensive to install. Many wired systems necessitate running these wires through walls and the ceiling to create the desired effect and to reduce clutter. Each wire adds about $35 to $75 to your overall estimate, depending on how far it needs to go. 

To reduce the price, conceal the wires using cable management tools instead of hiding them inside walls and ceilings. 

Mounted vs. Integrated Speakers

Mounted speakers are the less costly option since you place them on a shelf or a bracket already affixed to a wall or ceiling. Integrated speakers require cutouts in the walls, adding about $20 to $30 per cutout. These costs add up in the case of multispeaker surround systems, such as 7.1 designs. 

Surround Sound System Costs by Brand

There are many manufacturers that specialize in surround sound systems. Some companies focus on integrated whole-home systems with multichannel hubs, while others manufacture individual components like speakers and amplifiers. Newer companies emphasize smart hubs and surround sound systems with advanced tech-forward specifications. A smart home automation system costs around $750, but this is just for a hub and doesn't include speakers or related components. 

Here are some major players in the surround sound space, along with their focal points and cost ranges. 

  • Savant: This company manufactures whole-home systems at around $750–$1,000 per room. These systems include all hardware, smart hubs, and related software. 

  • Control4: They specialize in hubs and related software, costing approximately $500–$800 per room. These hubs are compatible with nearly any speaker. 

  • Sonos: This is a well-known brand in all aspects of home audio. Sonos systems cost about $600–$900 per room for surround sound, including a hub, software, and proprietarily designed speakers. 

  • Bose: Another well-known home audio brand, Bose specializes in surface-mounted systems that cost about $400–$4,000 per system. These systems mount to brackets for simple installations. 

  • Polk Audio: This is a top choice among audiophiles, with a price tag to match. Polk surround sound systems start at $400–$3,000 per speaker, with additional costs for hubs, preamps, receivers, and other components. They only offer floor-standing, bookcase, or surface-mount systems.

  • LG: LG makes a wide array of surround systems, occasionally marketed under the brand Zenith, and charges about $300–$2,000 per system. The offerings range from simple soundbars to bundled wireless surround sound setups. 

  • Platin Audio: They specialize in wireless 5.1 surround sound setups, typically sold in complete all-in-one packages at $750–$1,500.

DIY vs. Hire a Surround Sound Installer

Installing an out-of-the-box system, such as an all-in-one 5.1 surround sound system, is appropriate for an average DIY-er. These systems are consumer-friendly, though a pro is helpful when integrating the new speakers with pre-existing stereo components. 

Hire a local home speaker installer for anything more complex, as many of these setups require cutting holes in the wall and dealing with finicky wires and electrical components. Additionally, these experts know exactly where to position the speakers and related components to maximize sound quality. Expect to pay around $50 to $100 per hour for services rendered. 

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How hard is it to install ceiling speakers?

Installing ceiling speakers is challenging and likely the most difficult of available installation types. It requires the same electrical work and excavation of an in-wall system, but you must perform all the work on top of a ladder. This slows things down and increases labor costs. Save on ceiling speaker installations by opting for a simple mount or bracket rather than an in-ceiling design. 

Are surround sound systems worth it?

Surround sound systems are worth it if you prioritize immersion while watching movies and playing video games. However, if you’re just a casual music listener and TV watcher, the benefits may not outweigh the installation costs. Try out a complete system at a nearby retail location to gauge your personal tastes. If you’re worried about the costs, you can start small with a standard 5.1 system and work your way up. 

Are soundbars as good as surround sound?

Due to modern innovations, some soundbars are nearly as good as surround sound but stop short of offering the level of immersion found with dedicated surround systems. Surround sound systems physically surround you, with immersive audio to match. Soundbars are placed in a single location, typically directly in front of where you sit to watch TV. However, soundbars are useful when placed in addition to a surround sound system. 

How much does it cost to install a home theater system?

Building a home theater costs an average of $17,500, including several necessary components such as a large TV or projector, a surround sound system, adequate seating, a media center, and more. The cost increases or decreases according to the room size and each appliance's quality.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound better?

Neither 5.1 nor 7.1 surround sound is better, per se, as it largely depends on the size of your space. If you have a spacious living room or home theater, a 7.1 system is likely the best option. If you have a small- or medium-size space, opt for a 5.1 system. After all, too many speakers can be just as problematic as too few.