Are you looking for a piece of quality audio equipment that reproduces the audio the way the artist intended it to sound? Well, you better check out our list of 6 best THX certified speakers because we have prepared some great products for you.
Since not all people are familiar with the purpose of THX certification, let’s first say a few words about THX in general, and then we’ll proceed with the product reviews.
What is THX Certification and Why Do We Need It?
THX stands for “Tomlinson Holman’s Experiment” as well as THX Ltd., a company that developed THX high-fidelity audio/visual reproduction standard for different types of audio and video equipment.
The standard was developed to ensure that the audio and visual reproduction of the third Star Wars is as accurate as possible and to improve it in a way that preserves quality regardless of the audio systems used in theatres.
THX is often mistaken for recording technology, while in fact, it represents a quality assurance system that covers all kinds of audio and video formats.
THX certification includes numerous tests that tested devices must pass and this is not a simple or cheap procedure. It is actually very demanding and it is completely understandable why only a few companies decide to submit their products to such tests.
However, those that do can be sure that they have top-quality products that offer an incredible entertainment experience.
What Kinds of THX Certification Are There?
Despite the common opinion that only audio devices undergo the THX certification process, different kinds of devices such as home theatre systems, automotive components, speakers, audio receivers, HDMI cables, microphones, or even video games can be THX certified.
Depending on the type of certified device, we distinguish the following categories of THX certification:
- Select2 – certification of home theatre components that can cover up to 2,000 ft³;
- Ultra2 – certification of home theatre components that cover 3,000 ft³ or more;
- Multimedia products – certification of desktop and PC gaming systems;
- I/S Plus System – certification of speaker bundles and AV receivers;
- Video – certification of different kinds of projectors, plasma, LED, LCD devices, etc.
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Now that we have introduced you to the basics of THX certification, we can proceed to the most important part – reviews.
To simplify and speed up the search process, we have grouped all the products into 4 categories depending on the price range: best THX certified speakers under $200, best THX certified speakers under $300, best under $500, and best under $1000.
We sincerely hope that this will help you find your perfect set of speakers.
In case you need some additional information about THX certification, you can find them at the end of our article about 6 best THX certified speakers.
Best THX Certified Speakers Under $200
Best THX Certified 2.1 Speaker System Under $100 – Logitech Z623
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]
The first product on our list of 6 best THX certified speakers is an amazing and quite affordable 2.1 speaker system called Z623.
It comes in sleek matte black and is very compact (satellite speakers: 7.8 x 5.6 x 5.4 inches; subwoofer: 11.9 x 10.9 x 11.1 inches), which makes it perfect for use with desktop computers, where you can place the satellite speakers on each side of your computer and the subwoofer on the floor, under the table.
Apart from this, Z623 can also be connected to a TV, music player, or even a gaming console.
Z623 has a total output power of 200W and 70 of this 200W goes to the total output power of the satellite speakers. It features one RCA and two 3.5 mm ports, which allows connecting to gadgets and private listening through a pair of headphones.
If you need to power on/off your speakers, adjust the volume, or elevate the bass, the integrated controls on the right satellite speaker will help you do it in a blink of an eye.
In addition to being so compact, Z623 is quite portable thanks to its low weight (left speaker: 2.1lbs, right speaker 2.2lbs, subwoofer: 15.4lbs). Also, the satellite speakers are very stable thanks to their nicely rubberized enclosure.
We have come to the conclusion that Z623 has quite an appealing design and that is very easy to use. But how does it sound?
Considering that Logitech makes mostly keyboards and mice, one wouldn’t expect much of a company like this. However, Logitech is a true surprise on the speaker market and a very pleasant one, we must say.
Z623 may be compact but it’s surprisingly good-sounding. It is very powerful, loud, and it delivers incredibly clear sound. The subwoofer is there to add a lot of powerful, rich, and deep bass. The amount of bass can be adjusted to one’s taste thanks to the bass knob on the right satellite.
Either way, listening to movies or playing video games will certainly be more realistic than it was before. And not only because of the bass but also because of the amount of detail allowing you to hear every instrument, every enemy sneaking up on you, every explosion, bullet, etc.
- THX certification that guarantees great audio quality
- Extremely low distortion at high volumes
- Detailed, cinematic sound with powerful bass
- Compatibility with different types of devices and gadgets
- Attractive design, easily blended into most interiors
- Not as many ports as the upgraded version, Z625 (optical, two 3.5 mm ports, RCA input port, one headphone jack)
- The extension cable is a bit too short
- Remote control is not included in the package
Best THX Certified 2.1 Speaker System Under $200 – Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 is one of the oldest speaker systems on the market and it’s been present for more than 20 years. Despite being so “old”, the system survived minimal transformation and it’s still one of the best products when it comes to compact and budget speaker systems.
ProMedia 2.1 comes in dark gray to black matte color and it has a very simple, yet appealing design. It consists of one 11Ib subwoofer (9.5 x 10.8 x 9.8 inches) and two 2.1Ib satellite speakers (4.2 x 8.5 x 5.7 inches). It’s quite compact and fairly light, which makes it highly portable.
The subwoofer has one 6.5-inch woofer while each speaker features one 3-inch woofer and one 0.75-inch tweeter. The subwoofer is made from MDF, the speakers are made from ABS and we can definitely confirm that they feel well-built and durable.
The total power output of the system is 200W, 130 of which is used by the subwoofer while each of the speakers has a power output of 35W. They also feature one headphone jack, as well as one output and one input AUX ports.
Thanks to this, they can be connected to your computer or any gadget via the 3.5mm port. No matter where you put them, they will be very stable as each of the satellite speakers has strong metal stability feet.
The right one is considered to be the main channel, so all the controls and ports are located right there. The subwoofer knob (in charge of the lows) and the volume knob are located on the bottom, while the AUX ports are located on the right side.
When it comes to performance, we can’t say that ProMedia 2.1 can replace any 5.1 or bigger system but it is a great substitute, especially because it saves a lot of space and money.
The subwoofer features a 6.5-inch woofer but it can deliver a great amount of very pleasant and powerful (but never overwhelming) bass.
Also, it never distorts and interferes with the mids. The satellites deliver quite detailed mids as well as extremely clear vocals and crisp highs. The distortion becomes noticeable at very high volumes but the overall impression is that the sound is really balanced.
All in all, considering the features and the budget, you can’t really get a much better 2.1 system than this one (at least not at this price).
- THX certification
- Attractive design with a matte finish
- Stability and durability
- Rich bass, clear vocals, sparkling highs, detailed and balanced audio reproduction
- Compatible with desktop computers, gadgets, etc.
- Non-detachable cables
- Unable to deliver very low frequencies
- Only the first version of the system was THX certified (the later ones are not THX certified)
Best THX Certified Speakers Under $300
Best THX Certified 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System Under $300 – Logitech Z906
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.9]
The next product on our list of 6 best THX certified speakers is Logitech Z906, which is a bit pricier than the previously described speaker systems and this is why we put it in the group of best under $300.
Considering all the features and performance Z906 is one of the best affordable surround sound systems on the market and that’s why it is so popular and appreciated among customers.
Z906 is a 5.1 speaker system that comes in two separate boxes: one for the subwoofer and the other for the satellite speakers.
Apart from the speakers, you will also get a device called the control console that is used to switch between different sources and sound modes, one IR remote, and all the necessary cables. Of course, they didn’t forget to include the user manual and a warranty card.
The system comes in black color with an elegant matte finish. We must admit the design is quite simple and basic but we found it very attractive at the same time. Also, the speakers seem well-built, sturdy, and durable.
The subwoofer contains an 8-inch bass driver and one bass reflex port located on the right side. It has an output power of 165W, which totals in 500W of output power when combined with 67W of the power output of each satellite speaker. Pretty impressive, right?
The subwoofer is some kind of a system hub and all the speakers have to be connected to it. It features 5 different types of inputs: one coaxial, two optical, one RCA, and 6-channel PC/DVD input.
Apart from this, there are the speaker outputs. You would think that the subwoofer is then responsible for the signal processing but that’s something the console is in charge of – the subwoofer receives the signal and sends it to the console, which splits it into six different channels for the five satellites and subwoofer.
Z906 supports DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1. Its console converts any stereo signal to surround 3D sound, which makes this product quite amazing for the money.
One more amazing thing about this speaker system is the way it sounds. It is very powerful for a relatively small system. The lows are quite fast and pleasant, the mids are very clear, distinctive, and articulate, while the highs are very consistent.
- THX certification
- Clear and detailed sound
- Compatibility with different source devices
- Comes with a remote
- Great value for the money
- Connection cables such as optical, coaxial, etc. aren’t included in the package
- The bass could be bigger
- No bass and treble controls
- Crossover frequency can’t be adjusted
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Not suitable for larger rooms, only for small or medium ones
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]
Logitech Z-2300 is an upgrade from the amazing Z-2200 and a very good one. The new version kept many great characteristics of its predecessor and THX certification is probably the most important among them.
Also, Z-2300 has the same amazing frequency response (35 – 20,000 Hz) and its subwoofer has the same output power of 120W.
The speaker system comes with its own remote that enables you to connect the system to your headphones and control the subwoofer performance as well as volume level.
The remote is quite unusually designed, the controls are shaped like knobs and the remote is actually wired and connected to the system.
We have also noticed some changes in the design reflecting in the obvious replacement of all-black design with an eye-catching black and silver style.
The satellite speakers have slightly smaller drivers (2.5 inches) that, surprisingly, offer the same 40W of output power per channel. The subwoofer, on the other hand, uses an 8-inch boomer and a large bass reflex port located on its left side.
One thing is noticeable – despite the size reduction, Logitech managed to keep the excellent performance and quality that the previous Z-2200 offered.
Speaking about performance, we must notice that Z-2300 delivers very loud and energetic sound, thanks to its 117dBs of max SPL. Apart from the loudness, the system also delivers quite a balanced sound.
The bass is very pleasant and deep, which is expected considering the size and the construction of the subwoofer. Thanks to this, the system is able to reproduce very low tones without a problem.
The mids are decently clear and the highs don’t get much distorted at very high volumes.
All in all, Z-2300 is a great choice for any of your activities that require realistic, detailed, and powerful sound: listening to music, throwing house parties, watching movies, playing video games, etc.
Thanks to the fact that it is a 2.1 speaker system, Z-2300 can be a great choice for your desktop computer. It won’t occupy a lot of space on your desk but it will significantly improve the computer’s audio performance.
- THX certification
- Reduced dimensions with preserved sound quality
- Clear, detailed, and well-balanced sound
- Saves space and money
- Unusually shaped wired remote
- Due to its dimensions and output power, we conclude that Z-2300 is not suitable for larger rooms
Best THX Certified Speakers Under $500
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.9]
Z-5500 is probably one of the best Logitech systems and it would probably be a great choice for most movie enthusiasts. However, this also places it on the list of very expensive speaker systems that not all of us can afford.
Z-5500 is one of the oldest Logitech’s products but it’s still highly competitive. It’s a 5.1 speaker system with a simple black design that many still find very attractive and desirable.
It consists of one 188W subwoofer with a 10-inch driver, four 62W satellite speakers with 3-inch drivers, and one 69W center channel speaker.
All the speakers are connected to the powered subwoofer, which is controlled by a wired control console.
The console enables you to turn the system on and off, control the volume, change inputs, modes, access settings, and mute the device. Above the control buttons, you will see a small LCD display that reads all the necessary information about your current selection.
The console also features all the ports enabling you to connect up to 6 different devices to the system. There are digital and optical audio inputs as well as 3.5mm inputs that enable you to connect some of your gadgets or even your headphones.
The speaker system also comes with a small wireless remote. It’s not something you will need considering that you can control the playback using the console but there it is.
Z-5500 may not be very easy and simple to use but it definitely offers many options to adjust the sound and overall performance to your own taste.
Truth to be told, it seems that this speaker system can play it all, regardless of the genre or format. And the way it reproduces audio is remarkable. It’s accurate, powerful, clear, crisp, and nicely balanced.
To sum it up, this is an excellent speaker system. It works great with computers, gadgets, gaming consoles, and many other source devices.
No matter if you’re playing music, throwing a party, playing a game, or watching movies, you will be more than pleased with the overall listening experience.
- THX certification
- Variety of useful features and options
- Accurate, detailed, and clear sound
- Compatible with different source devices
- Quite expensive
- Can cause cable cluttering
- Wireless remote is of poor quality and quite useless
Best THX Certified Speakers Under $1000
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]
As the last speaker system on the list of 6 best THX certified speakers we have chosen Z-5300e – a surround sound speaker system meant for those with a bit thicker wallet.
It consists of five satellite speakers (four 35.25W front and back speakers and one 39W central channel speaker), 100W subwoofer that acts as the system amplifier, and a control console.
The set-up process is quite simple and easy: you position all the speakers, connect them to the console, and then both – the console and your PC to the subwoofer.
The only problem you may encounter is the cable length (only 6 feet), which may force you to choose the only possible speaker placement that includes placing the subwoofer right below your desk.
All the controls are located on the console and they include the volume knob, power button, selector button (that chooses whether you’ll adjust the volume of the subwoofer or some of the speakers), and a matrix button that activates the up-mixing feature that enables playing two-channel sources through all the speakers.
Apart from the controls, there’s also the headphone jack that allows you to listen to your music or play video games in private.
When it comes to performance, we must say that we found this speaker system very desirable. Z-5300e has a very enjoyable sound signature – nicely balanced and quite smooth. The bass is punchy, the mids are clear and accurate, and the highs are nicely shaped.
The lows are actually so good that they allow you to enjoy a true cinema-like sound while watching moves.
The sound is also very detailed which is not only good for watching movies or listening to music but also for playing video games, making them more realistic.
The system gets very loud but even at the highest volume, you won’t be able to notice any distortion.
- THX certified
- Has the ability to up-mix 2-channel stereo sound and play it on all the speakers
- Integrated stands double as wall mounts
- Great performance for the price
- Can be connected to gaming consoles via the included plug adapter
- Very short front-speaker cables
- Doesn’t have AUX audio input or digital audio inputs
- Not exceptional performance for a 5.1 system
- Can’t be connected to a second device such as iPod or tablet
This was our list of 6 best THX certified speakers. Hopefully, our selection of speaker systems was interesting enough and helped you find a system you like. In case you want to know more about the THX certification process, please read the text below. It will help you understand why only a limited number of companies decide to certify their products and why the previous speakers and speaker systems are so expensive.
What Are the Challenges Companies Encounter When Building THX Certified Speakers?
THX certification is not a free process. In fact, it is quite expensive as it enables the company to keep existing and doing business.
In addition to the high certification prices, we have to consider all parts of the certification process. Not many people know that this process consists of over 400 different tests and it usually lasts long.
It may get a bit clearer if we say that the first thing done is the prototype development. After that, the prototype undergoes a series of tests conducted in order to ensure the product quality.
If the prototype passes the tests, it gets THX certified and the manufacturer can proceed to producing devices to precise specifications.
Ultimately, the final products are tested all over again to confirm their quality.
Once you understand this, it becomes obvious why only some brands with serious incomes such as Onkyo, JBL, Panasonic, Logitech, etc. participate in the certification.
As the certificate acquisition requires a lot of time, patience, and money, it is completely understandable that the manufacturing company will raise the price of the final product to compensate for all the expenses.
Subsequently, the high prices of the final products limit the number of customers that can afford such devices.
Despite all the downsides of the certification process, we can’t diminish its importance.
After all, once you buy a THX-certified device, you can be confident that you will enjoy the best possible audio reproduction.