Component system Component surround sound systems give you top-notch audio performance, and usually offer greater flexibility, too. (This system requires rear speakers, not pictured here.)
A component surround sound system is a smart way to go when:
You have a large room. Nothing fills a big room with sound like a set of full-sized speakers driven by a dedicated receiver.
You do a lot of music listening. Music presents any audio system with just as great a challenge as movie sound. Larger speakers and a good receiver let you experience your favorite recordings with especially powerful and nuanced sound.
You want maximum flexibility. A lot of options open up when you go the component route. Many home theater receivers now allow multi-room music or PC networking possibilities. You can also make creative substitutions, like using in-wall speakers (this requires involved installation but saves lots of space). Down the road, you'll also enjoy more potential for system expansion.
For more information, see our article on the components you need for home theater.