Surround Sound Professionals
In this article we will consider the common stereo and surround sound speaker location and layout types that you will come across for home theater systems.
It is common for people to spend a great deal of time and money buying and installing a large flat screen TV, but then pay little attention to the sound that they hear. They forget that the sound forms a large part of the movie experience, and if it is ignored then they will be missing out on half the fun.
Whilst the audio you get from a modern flat screen TV can be acceptable, it is nothing compared to a dedicated sound system in your room. The extra volume and clarity your will get from an amplifier and speaker setup is far superior to the built-in speakers you get with your television.
One of the important decisions you need to make if you are considering a speaker system, is to decide which speaker configuration you want for your room. Here is a list of the the most common speaker layouts you will come across. They are often given names that refer to the number of speakers in the setup, and these are the terms we will use here:
1. 2.0 Configuration
Otherwise known as good old stereo. This is the most basic setup which will have two speakers either side of your television. surround sound. Although a basic setup, you can still get a much better sound than the speakers on the TV with a good amplifier and pair of speakers.
2. 2.1 Layout
This is similar to the stereo version above. The difference being there is the addition of a subwoofer. A subwoofer is a large speaker dedicated to reproducing the low, bass frequencies and can make a big difference to the sound quality - especially for movies with lots of deep bass sound effects. The '.1' in the name tells us there is a subwoofer.
3. 5.1 Configuration
This is a surround sound setup, which means there are speakers placed all around your listening position to make you feel right in the middle of the action. This configuration has six speakers - front left and right, centre, surround left and right and a subwoofer. This is the most common setup for a home surround sound speaker system.
4. 7.1 Layout
A 7.1 surround sound system has eight speakers. It is the same as the 5.1 layout above, except it has two extra speakers placed behind your seating position. This speaker layout gives an even better feeling of being part of the action.
5. 7.2 Configuration
This is becoming more common and many AV receivers now support this layout. It is the same as the 7.1 configuration above except it has two subwoofers. The main reason to have two subwoofers in your room is to spread the bass frequencies around the room more evenly.
Now that you understand the different stereo and surround sound speaker location configurations you have to choose from, it is easier to make a choice as to the best layout for your room. The one that you choose may depend on the space you have available in your room, or may come down to the budget you have to spend on your system.
The main thing to remember is that any of these will give you a much better sound than you get from your TV.
Once you have decided which layout you want, there are many things to consider regarding the placement of the speakers in your room. For more information on speaker placement, follow the links below.