Buying surround sound speakers can be daunting, but it doesn”t need to be. With the right information, you”ll be prepared to shop.

In this post, we”ll cover Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) options.

HTIB systems typically include five speakers, a subwoofer and an AV receiver with an integrated DVD (or Blueray) player. You can spend anywhere from $150 to well over $3000 on an HTIB system. With such a wide ranch of offerings, how do you choose?

The simple answer: start with your budget and build from there.

The cheapest HTIB systems will not blow you out of your chair with sound, but the newest models still offer a quality surround experience. These affordable systems are also compact and easy to set up. Something to consider no matter what your budget: if you have an HDMI-equipped HDTV, make sure the system you buy has an HDMI output.

If you”re looking to amplify sound in a family viewing area, perhaps something in the main area of your home, but you don”t want speakers taking up a lot of space, the low-budget systems are a great option. The small speakers make them easy to fit into any home décor.

Bigger budgets typically get you higher quality sound, along with more features – and higher style. You”ll have greater selection in speaker appearance and size, from discreet, satellite speakers that are around five inches tall to sleek floor-standing speakers.

There are also HTIB component packages on the market. These systems separate the AV receiver and the DVD, allowing you to connect more devices to the system. The components are larger and not as stylish as other HTIB systems, but if connecting all of your gaming and viewing devices is a top priority, this is a good option for you.

While most HTIB systems are small and elegant, they do still require wiring an entire room. If you”re anti-wire, many manufacturers now offer wireless and virtual-surround HTIBs. Keep in mind, however, that even though you won”t need a wire running from the front to the back of the room, you will still need to plug in your wireless rear speakers.

If plugging in those rear speakers just won”t work for you, consider virtual surround. These systems provide a surround effect, using only one, two, or three speakers. Keep in mind that you won”t get a true surround sound with a virtual system, but the latest technology creates a decent approximation.