Buying Guides

Best $1000 5.1 Speaker System for Those that Care About Front Soundstage – All from Best Buy!


Starting in AV can be difficult. Purchasing a new system can be daunting. And if you have a limited budget, it can be even more difficult. A lean budget generally means that you will need to make a compromise somewhere. But where do you compromise? In this article, we will again create a $1000 5.1 speaker system, this time for those that care about a solid front soundstage. 

Last time we looked at an easily accessible system through Amazon. But what if you have a Best Buy gift card or credit and are limited to just there? Well, we have you covered! Let’s explore what I think is the best $1000 5.1 system at Best Buy that focuses on your front soundstage. 

I designed this system for people with $1000(ish) to spend and those who want a solid front sound stage – left, center, and right speakers. Because of that budget, they may not be appropriate for all rooms and situations, and it will be light on deep bass. If your space is bigger, you may find that these speakers cannot play loud enough for your room.

  • Recommended Seating Distance: No more than 10-12 feet
  • Recommend Room Size: No larger than 3000 cubic feet
  • Receiver Recommendation: Pair with receiver Denon AV760H or Better
BrandTotal PriceLink
Front SpeakersElac Debut 2.0 6.5″ bookshelf$399.98/PrBuy Now From Best Buy
Center SpeakerElac Debut Dual 5.25″ CC$269.98/EaBuy Now From Best Buy
Surround SpeakersSony SSCS5 Core Speakers$169.99/PrBuy Now From Best Buy
Overhead/Atmos SpeakersNONE
Subwoofer(s)Polk PW10 10″ subwoofer$120.99/EaBuy Now From Best Buy
CablingBB Essentials 100′$17.99/EaBuy Now From Best Buy
Stands*Atlantic Bookshelf Speaker Stands$49.99/PrBuy Now From Amazon
Wall Mounts*WALI Dual Slide Clamps$30.99/PrBuy Now From Amazon
TOTAL$1059.91 w/ accessories
TOTAL$978.93 w/o accessories
*With this budget, it was near impossible to get a no-compromise front sound stage. If you have a hard budget of $1000, you may need to look used for accessories.

Why These Speakers

Putting together a $1000 5.1 speaker system for those that care about the front soundstage isn’t easy. You will see that I went $60 over my target. I struggled to find a speaker on Bestbuy that I could recommend in this price range. That said, I have absolutely bargained with BestBuy employees for discounts, and I am certain that if you said your max budget was $1000, they would find a $60 discount for you.

The Elac Debuts

I chose the Elac Debut 2.0 6.5″ speakers (and Debut center) because I feel that they can anchor your system for years to come. While still priced as entry-level speakers, I think that the Debut speakers punch well above their weight class and offer exceptional value for their price. At 87dB sensitive and 6ohm, they are still fairly easy to dive with most AV receivers. At 15″x8″x11″(ish) and 16lbs for the bookshelf speakers, they probably will not be relegated to surround duty unless you are willing to use stands. While the bookshelf and center have different sized woofers, they will still be timbre matched with their drivers, so they can still be used together without worry.

The Sonys

The Sony CCCS5 Core speakers are a great surround speaker, although you will need a good mount for them. I looked at more expensive surround speakers, but I went back to the Sony speakers because they offer great value for their performance. As you upgrade, the Sony’s can be used as surround or height speakers. This means that you will not have to shelve or sell them as you upgrade.

The Sub

Honestly, the PSW10 is not a capable sub. I’m sorry, it is just true. I struggled to recommend this sub, and if I were you, I’d skip the subwoofer and go 5.0 (see my comments above), or skip the surround and do a 3.1 system with a better subwoofer. But the PSW10 does go lower than the Debut speakers, so it will (technically) help add some of the low-end. Just know that you will sell this (if you can) for a more capable sub later on.

Author’s Note: If you want to really round out this system with a capable subwoofer, Best Buy sells SVS. I would highly recommend you save up a little extra and shell out for the SVS SB-1000 Pro. At $600, I couldn’t include it in this $1000 system, but it is definitely worth the extra money. And, no, you can’t buy the PSW now and add the SVS later. They are too mismatched.

What You Get

First, these speakers have average sensitivity (87dB), which means that it will not take a lot of power to drive them to reference volume. If you need a lot of volume, or you sit a large distance from your speakers, these will not do the trick.

Secondly, although I have had limited time listening to the Elac speakers, my impression and the reviews I have read show these to be neutral speakers. There should be no exaggerated bass or treble, which means they will easily match with other speakers. 

My intent was to focus on the front soundstage with a pair of speakers and matching center that you can use for many years to come. I’ve done that without making too many compromises that will force you to want to upgrade immediately. These might not be your forever speakers, but you are going to have to spend a lot more money to get noticeably better performance.

What You’ll Miss

Bass! With such a limited budget, I compromised on the subwoofer. The Polk PSW10 10″ is small, underpowered, and only reaches down to 35hz. On top of this, it is boomy and muddy (I have owned one and returned it). So this subwoofer is a case of you are getting what you pay for.  

You’ll also be missing stands and mounts if you shop at Best Buy! Unfortunately, there was nothing I could find on the Best Buy website that wouldn’t blow the budget. This is a case where I have to recommend you go with something used, DIY, or look on Amazon for your speaker stands.

Wrap Up

There are thousands of speakers on the market. As much as we like to keep up with things, we can’t know everything. This is the best 5.1 $1000 speaker system for those that care about a clean front soundstage that we could find from Best Buy. Plus, new speakers are released all the time! We’ll update this article as we come across better deals. Do you have any suggestions for speakers in this price range? Mention them in the comments below so that other readers will have more options!


2 Comments on Best $1000 5.1 Speaker System for Those that Care About Front Soundstage – All from Best Buy!

  1. Caliloo

    Hey Andrew,

    What about putting off buying the center channel and using that money for a better sub?

    With a smaller room, someone might be able to get by without a center speaker. Not having a center channel would also free up some power to the other speakers.

    Just a thought…

    • Andrew Thomas

      I absolutely support that decision. I stand with Tom in saying that the center channel is the only channel you can remove completely and not unbalance the sound. Those Elacs can totally image a phantom center easily.

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