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Seraphim Teterin
Seraphim Teterin

How To Buy Surround Sound System REPACK

If you're a film or music lover, you probably yearn for the crispest, clearest sounds to enhance your audio experience. And with all the recent advancements in technology, there's never been a better time to be an audiophile. If you've got the money to burn, there's a vast array of options at your fingertips when it comes to audio systems.

how to buy surround sound system


However, navigating through all those options can be intimidating. You've got to learn the jargon and find out what equipment fits your needs. If you don't do your homework, you might end up dishing out hundreds -- or even thousands -- of dollars on a disappointing or overly complicated audio system. To help you on your way to a better audio experience, we're going to discuss surround sound. This is one popular setup that can make listeners feel as though they're in the middle of the action. There's nothing like it to sweep you away and envelop you in another world.

Surround sound works through the use of multiple speakers, each of which contributes a different audio channel (or component of the original recording). The system allows listeners to hear the full gamut of sound provided by, say, a speeding car. First, you hear the car approaching, then there's the sound of it humming beside you and finally the faint hum of it in the distance as it zooms past you. This is why some say full surround sound for a movielike experience demands at least five speakers: front-center, left-front, right-front, left-rear and right-rear. Film action and dialogue are separated among the speakers for realism, and background noise comes out of the back speakers.

Knowing this can help you understand some figures often used in surround sound jargon. For instance, 5.1 refers to five speakers (meant for the positions we just described) plus one subwoofer, designated by the .1. Subwoofers play very low-frequency sounds. Other common surround sound systems include 6.1 and 7.1, which include additional rear speakers. Regular stereo sound is referred to as 2.0, encompassing two speakers and no subwoofer.

As technology advances, it's difficult to keep up with the standards as well as latest and greatest equipment. So HowStuffWorks has compiled some overarching guidelines that should keep you afloat in the sea of surround sound options.

If you love the movie theater experience of surround sound and are anxious to replicate that at home, don't rush out to the store just yet. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the multitude of options available. For this reason, you'll want to be familiar with your choices and narrow down what you want before you head out.

Of course, your budget might also narrow down your options. To avoid overspending, set your budget for yourself before you go shopping. The upside to getting a simpler surround sound model (such as HTB, or home theater in a box) is that it can be easier to set up than a higher-end option.

While we're on the topic of setup, consider the logistics of how you'll be placing speakers around the room. The problem of running wires along the walls and floors can get frustrating. Some surround sound packages offer wireless options for the rear speakers. They aren't truly wireless because they still require power cords, but they can help reduce the number of wires stringing across the room if you plug them in to the closest wall outlets [source: CNET].

So what do you do if you don't know much about the technology and don't have too much money to spend but are impatient to get a surround sound system? This may seem like a crippling combination, but experts maintain that it's still possible to achieve movielike sound quality at home. Electronics expert G. Randy Slone says the secret is to start simple. Purchase a small, quality system, and once you get familiar with the technology and your preferences, gradually build on to it [source: Slone]. Just make sure your receiver has enough input/output jacks to handle the additions.

Surround sound experts like to reiterate the idea summed up in the old adage, "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link." In other words, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your audio system even if many of the components are top-quality. For instance, it's not wise to be stingy on the connective wires. Though they might seem like they're all alike, these wires can significantly affect the quality of your sound [source: CNET].

We've already mentioned the frustrations that come with stringing wires around a room. Besides the so-called wireless setups we discussed, there's another way to dodge this problem. It's called virtual surround sound and it will simplify the process for you -- even if it doesn't result in the highest quality sound. These systems can consist of just two regular speakers and a subwoofer (hence designated as 2.1) or of a single digital sound projector, which contains a row of speakers.

If you don't opt for the virtual surround sound or home theater in a box (HTB) options, you'll have to pick speakers individually. For this route, avoid mismatching brands of speakers, especially when it comes to the left-front, right-front and center speakers [source: CNET]. Although movie buffs should spend about the same amount on each speaker for the cinemalike experience, if you plan on listening mostly to music, aim to spend the biggest chunk of your speaker budget (30 to 40 percent) on the front-left and front-right stereo speakers [source: CNET].

As you might expect, proper placement of the speakers is essential to getting the most out of your surround sound system. But what you might not know is that it isn't something you should put off thinking about until after you've made your purchase. That's because while you're at the store, you should consider buying speaker stands. It's tempting to pinch some pennies here and mount your speakers on bookshelves and tables, but individual stands will deliver the best audio experience. Other advantages to stands? You won't have to waste shelf space, and they make for a slick, professional look.

Surround sound is a technique used to provide an immersive audio experience to the listener. For a long time, surround sound could only be experienced in a theater. Thankfully, with new technologies and modern advancements in design and manufacturing, many surround sound systems are now affordable enough for people to have them in the comfort of their houses.

Surround sound systems immerses the listeners in a sense of realism. When you experience surround sound, you feel like you are part of the movie. For surround sound to work, you'll need three things: media with audio mixed for surround sound, a proper audiovisual (AV) receiver, and an assortment of speakers properly placed around your sitting area.

To fully understand how a surround sound system works, let us first talk about standard surround sound formats, then proceed to various items needed for surround sound, before ending with the standard speaker placements.

You may have heard of various surround sound terms such as "5.1", "7.1", or even "9.1.2". You may confuse it with a version number, but it is just a naming convention to know how many speakers you have in a room at different heights.

A 5.1.0 configuration would mean five ear-level speakers, one subwoofer, and zero over-ear-level speakers. If the configuration doesn't use an over-ear speaker (the third variable), you simply identify the system as surround sound 5.1 (without the zero).

The surround sound 5.1 is the most popular speaker configuration for surround sound. Many households use this surround sound configuration as it uses the least amount of speakers and can still provide a true surround sound experience.

Surround sound 7.1 is a balanced step from surround sound 5.1. With just two more speakers, this system produces an even more convincing surround sound experience. The configuration of this system is exactly the same as 5.1 but with two extra satellite speakers placed at the sides of the viewer.

With surround sound 9.2.2, the setup now uses nine ear-level speakers, two subwoofers, and two overhead or ceiling speakers. This surround sound system is ideal for larger areas where you can't place ear-level speakers at the center of the room. In addition, the extra subwoofer and ceiling speakers provide an even surround sound experience throughout the room.

Now that you know the most common surround sound configurations, let's talk about the items you'll need to make your surround sound system. Although you can use just about any full-range speakers in the market, the best setups split different audio signals between specialized speakers.

As the name implies, a center channel speaker is a speaker placed at the front center of a surround sound system. A good center speaker covers the full audio spectrum detectable by human ears. To cover such a spectrum, these speakers often utilize three types of speaker drivers: tweeter, midrange drivers, and woofer. If you can only afford a small setup, a center channel speaker with a single full-range driver should do.

The main left and right speakers are placed beside the center channel speaker. The main left and right speakers can be a variety of speakers, such as a bookshelf speaker and floor standing speaker. Just like the center channel speaker, these speakers employ two or three types of speaker drivers (tweeter, midrange driver, woofer) to cover a broad spectrum of the human audible sound spectrum.

Satellite or surround speakers are placed at the side and back of the listening/viewing area. They cover mid to high audio frequencies using tweeters and mid-range speaker drivers. They are often floor-standing speakers, but they can also be wall-attached so long as they are placed at the side or back of the listening/viewing area.

A subwoofer is a type of speaker that covers the low and very low sound frequencies. Due to the low sound frequencies they cover, people within the effective range of a subwoofer will feel that rumbling-like effect you usually get at the theaters. Subwoofers are often the largest speakers within the system. The bigger the subwoofer, the more air it can move, and the more noticeable its effects are within the room. 041b061a72


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