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Surround Sound Explained

19 Dec Posted by in Blog | Comments
Surround Sound Explained

Basic Components

Surround Sound

There are two principal components to a surround sound system: speakers and a receiver.*

  • Receiver: A receiver is a single component that will receive all of the necessary audio inputs (TV, DVD/Blu-Ray, CD, MP3, etc.) and transfers them to the speakers or outputs. Receivers certainly are a straightforward and affordable solution to home theater audio and surround sound.
  • Speakers: Speakers, or channels, are the place the sound emanates from, clearly.

* Even though I list speakers and receivers for the two basic components to a surround sound system, they are not the only option. You can purchase preamps or amps for the specific component, but this is generally set aside for top end systems and is more expensive.

Forms of Surround Sound

There are a lot of categories of surround sound, but the preferred systems are 7.1 and 5.1. The numbers are based on the number of speakers or channels which the system uses.

5.1 Surround sound includes Front Left, Front Right, Front Center, Low Frequency (Subwoofer), Back Left and Back Right speakers or channels.

7.1 Surround sound is made up of Front Left, Front Right, Front Center, Low Frequency (Subwoofer), Side Left, Side Right, Back Left and Back Right channels or speakers.

The greater channels or speakers you have, the fuller and richer the sound is going to be.

Positioning the Speakers

5.1 Surround Sound: You normally want a person to be in the center. The speakers ought to be arranged so that they point to the middle of the space, where the listeners generally should be positioned. The center speaker ought to be immediately facing the listener, typically located over or underneath your TV. The front right and front left speakers generally should be placed even distance away from the center speaker. The front right speaker should be at a 30° angle from the center speaker while the left speaker would be -30°. The back right speaker will be at the back of the listener, and at 110° on the very same circle. The back left would be at -110°, equal distance from the source and listener with the back right speaker. The subwoofer or low frequency speaker should generally be located near the center speaker.

7.1 Surround Sound: You will employ the exact same setup as the 5.1, using the following difference. The side left and side right speakers should be at 90° to the center of the room, nonetheless positioned on the same circle. The back left and back right, will be placed at 130° and -130°, respectively.

Hopefully this helps to clarify any issues you may have regarding surround sound. It’s a crucial component to the home theater audio experience and should be a part of your plans when you build a home theater. Lastly, to learn more about designing a home theater, stop by All Star Audio Video at 7300 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074 or call (713) 464-8203


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