Home Theater Cost — Know the Total Cost of Installation, Projectors and More (2023)

A home theater can be crazy expensive decked out with all the latest technologies. On the other hand, you can choose to go with the bare minimum. Our experts are going to give you information on home theater cost so you can get the best of both worlds without having to spend too much to meet your needs.

How Much Does a Home Theater Cost?

How much does it cost to construct your dream home theater setup? What should you consider when buying equipments for your theater? These are some of you may come across when assembling your ideal theater.

More often than not, the total budget cost estimates to build a home theater setup really vary from home to home if you want a low or high cost. However, you can expect to pay a couple of hundred to install it in your theater. Generally, this means that the bigger your home theater or studio to construct, the more costly the cost of building a surround sound system would be. A home theater room size calculator will get you the exact average room size dimensions per square foot for your system and an idea of how much will be the budget you want in your system will cost. 

If you decide to go all out on budget costs and build a home theater that is integrated into your home, this will also raise around the average value of your residence. Even if you only purchase home theater setup components such as Blu ray media players and Dolby Atmos necessary speakers, it still adds seating value to your home.

The total setup cost to build home theaters or studios really comes down to what you are looking for or seating for. Low-end home theater setup or audiovisual equipment will cost you less but might not elevate your viewing experience by much. Consider the average size and cost of your space per square foot, room cost, installation, what you want to add, and what you need. Our experts will now go into more detail about the cost to build home theater equipment, find home theater budget-friendly cost, and present options for your budget. 

Design, Layouts and Acoustics of a Home Theater

To get a high-quality viewing experience, the outline, layout, and acoustics of your home theater matter. Our experts have saved the components you want for the best home theater speaker system for later and are going to focus on the placement and style for your home theater or family room or even just a small room.

home theater system

The seating area and the screen size, whether you are using one of the best budget projectors below 500 or a large flat tv, should be on opposite sides of the room. The new home theater equipment you may want and choose will be placed throughout the space, with the location optimized for sound quality. 

Our team suggests carpeted floors and sound treatment option to absorb the sound and to create a dynamic sound stage. Different components of your movie theater system can also be wall-mounted to save space.  Wall sconces add style and ambiance. If you intend on keeping the AV receiver and other surround sound system parts out of the way, then make sure your room has wall-mounting space.

The cost to build a home theater with full surround, sound speakers, from scratch can be staggering, so if you aren’t an avid cinephile or audiophile, dedicated home theaters in the mid-range will be sufficient to elevate your audio visual experience at home.

When considering hiring professionals to build your home theater, remember to inquire about their cost per hour. The cost per hour number should be factored into your overall cost to build the finished product. 

For aesthetically pleasing home theater space, you can consider picking high-quality home theater paint colors here

Equipment Needed in a Home Theater Installation

For this portion, our team will dive deeper into the audio visual equipment that factors into your system cost. You can decide to include all of them or mix and match according to your budget cost and needs.


A projector and screen have virtually no limits to screen size. Even when using a DIY projector screen, when installed in your room, you can still experience blu ray players content at the same resolution as you would using a home theater screen in a box.

RCA projector

It’s easy for the projector to create a much larger viewing screen than your flat screen TV and over time, you will notice it’s much easier on your eyes than the harsh glare from a regular LCD screen [1].

One thing our team will remind you about excellent home theater projector and screen is they have a tendency to cost more to maintain. The lamplight and projection lens requires replacement over time

Getting a quality blu ray projector and screen is difficult If you are on a budget, but we can recommend the Vankyo Leisure 3 mini projector which is less than three digits average cost and is a great option for your home theater system that will cost less but doesn’t sacrifice the resolution you want.

However, if the projector and screen price or cost is of no constraint to you, then our team suggests the Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector, one of the premium home theater projectors below 1000 that is also excellent for gaming. So if you want to enjoy your viewing experience on screen/ TV shows, watching movies and video games at a higher quality, this model gets our 5-star approval. 

Projector Screen

If you opt for a projector, then you need a projection screen. This isn’t 100% necessary as a lot of people use their walls with high-quality projector screen paint. However, a screen will enhance the color and gain of your video content in a way plain white walls can’t. If you choose to use your wall, you will notice faded colors and less vibrance.

White is generally what is recommended, but it is only ideal for a home theater room that largely operates in the dark. If you don’t want to watch a movie in complete darkness, then light grey or a shade of beige will enhance the color under lighting.

A pocket friendly option of a projector screen is the Mdbebbron 120 inch projector screen. It’s large size will simulate a true cinematic experience, especially if it’s paired with at least a 5.1 surround sound system. It’s very easy to set up, has anti-crease features like and folds for storage.

Projector screens don’t cost much, and most high-end premium options are under three digits.


If you don’t go the projector route, then you need a TV for your home movie theater. There are a lot of high-end TVs that are made specifically for home theaters. On average, households opt for TVs that are 40 inches screen and over. However, for a home theaters, you may need a screen of around 60 or more to really get the theater experience.

tv and Vizio soundbar

4K, 8K are integrated into many of the best TVs. However, compared to a projector, a TV could lead to viewing fatigue after many hours.

Sony has earned a reputation of being a very reliable brand with some of the best media products. Their X800H 75-inch TV is our experts’ recommendation for a home theater setup.

Surround Sound Speakers

Not only are the visuals important in your home theater surround speakers, but without an impressive sound systems, your theater experience will fall flat. High-end speakers such as Dolby Atmos can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars, but you don’t necessarily need the best quality to enjoy the audio.

A 5.1 surround sound system is the entry point for a true sound system. For small rooms, we would recommend a 5.1 surround system. However, if you’re going for a full home theater anyway, our experts advise going for 7.1, depending on the size of your room. The price or cost difference between a 5.1 and a 7.1 system is not too staggering and a full system is better if you want the best movie and music experience you can get.

Some suggestions to help get you started is the JBL Bar 5.1 that is very worth the price you pay around 200. It can transform instantly into a 5.1 system with detachable satellite speakers.

For a full-out 7.1 system, our team’s recommendation is the Klipsch 7.1 RP-280. The price is a bit steep but for the technology you are getting, which includes their proprietary Tractrix Horn Technology, the cost is worth it.

Home Theater Receiver

If you go for a passive home theater speaker system, then you need Dolby Atmos surround sound in your setup. Its job is to send and receive audio and visuals from multiple sources including your speakers and other components. It also processes the audio and visual formats including Dolby, DTS,  4K, and 8K resolution.

yamaha receiver

It’s important to make sure the AV receiver is compatible with your speaker setup. In other words, if you have a 7.1 system, look for a receiver that has the same number of channels.

The Denon AVR-S540BT is a 5.2 channel option our team recommends. If you have a 7-channel setup, then the Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver is our top choice.

Home Theater Seating

Don’t forget about your own comfort in your home theater. Many people tend to forget this. How you decorate and furnish the room should also be considered at the cost. The national average budget for a 5. 1 surround sound system isn’t very high, but if you want the most high-end Dolby Atmos speakers and seating, then the price range or cost of a home theater increases.

We do suggest not skimping on installation costs for comfort. Your movie won’t be as enjoyable without a nice and cozy couch or other theater seating to enjoy it on. Look around for high-quality recliners to install with armrests, memory foam, and cup holders.

Some of our top recommendations include the Valencia Tuscany home theater chairs and the Valencia Piacenza for a cozier setup.


The national average flooring labor costs won’t be too high if you already have carpeting. Instead of having to install new floors, consider putting in a large rug or two. As long as there aren’t a lot of polished surfaces in your room, the sound won’t sound hollow.

Acoustic Panels

Another form of treatment is with board panels. These are for the walls and are designed to absorb the sound the way carpeting would on the floors. You can easily purchase these foam panels online. We have included a few of our top choices here.

The DEKIRU 12 Pack Acoustic Panels are a nice and good quality option if you like a white color scheme. However, most foam panels for your theater room are similar to the 12 Pack – Acoustic Foam Panels from Fstop.


The lighting contributes greatly to the good ambiance of your home theater. The lighting won’t be a major player in your budget range and will cost an average of 10-20% of your overall cost.

Valencia Tuscany Home Theater Seating

Most of us like a completely dark room when we watch a video, but there are some that like it dim. It doesn’t matter what kind of lighting you get if you dim them or turn them off when enjoying a  good video.

Our team does suggest not going for harsh fluorescent lights and opt towards warmer bulbs. The experts say having a dimmer switch to control everything from your seat is the best option. You can consider the Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch to control your  system.


Even if you go for a mid range system, the wiring is extremely important for good audio quality. Don’t skimp on your budget when it comes to the good components wiring, and this includes the wires or wiring. Choose the toughest and most sturdy cables/wiring to hook up your system, as they play a part in your ultra HD video relays.

12 gauge wires/wiring such as the InstallGear 12 Gauge Speaker Wiring or 14 gauge like the InstallGear 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wiring  are the most recommended by our team.

For wireless projector setup, know how you can establish a wireless connection for your projector here


Do you want to soundproof the theater to keep the sound inside your space? If so, then it could make a much more significant dent in your budget range. The price and installation of soundproofing vary depending on the components used and what effects you want, but the average cost for a midrange setup is over three digits for sure.

Soundproofing isn’t important if your room is secluded in the basement or if the room doesn’t have windows.

(For soundproofing ideas, you can check our page about how to soundproof your home theater here

home theater

Other Expenses

Other expenses include extra features you want in your home theater in a media room. One thing that our experts have found very convenient is to have a mini-fridge and a popcorn machine. You don’t need one that’s heavy-duty, just as long as it keeps your beverages cold and have popcorn for snacks from popcorn machine. Consider the RCA RFR320 mini fridge that comes in multiple vibrant colors to match your interior.

If your home theater is in a studio with a pool table, gaming space, a popcorn machine, and more; then all of the additional installations will costs and contribute to your overall budget range. 


How much does it cost to install home theater?

It costs a few thousand dollars to over 30k to install a home theater in a media room this includes already Dolby Atmos surround sound. Keep in mind, the exact budget range depends on what you want to include, the installation, and the features you need. A mid-range system will provide an adequate home cinema feel or home theater experience for most average households and won’t costs too much into your budget.


A mid-range or expensive setup for your home theater should at least have a 5.1 sound system. Your home theater budget hinges on the speakers you choose and the upgrades you need to make. It may seem like a steep price to pay for entertainment, but a completely remodeled home theater room will add value to your home and make the budget worth it in the long run.

Tell us your ideal home theater setup  in the comment section below.

Looking for the perfect accessory for your home theater? Why not set up one of the best popcorn machines in your theater as well? 



Picture of Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.