Home theater surround sound systems provide a professional, theater-quality audio experience right in your own home. This high quality audio lets you feel the action of your favorite movie or program – not just hear it. You are moved by the music, immersed in the action and anticipating the next dramatic moment of excitement.
The Components of a Surround Sound System
A home theater surround sound system uses multiple speakers at various locations and levels throughout the room to allow the audio to engulf you. A surround sound system usually consists of:
- An AV receiver or amp
- Five to seven speakers, but sometimes as many as eleven
- A subwoofer, and sometimes as many as four
The AV receivers available today are often used to control a multitude of devices, such as a satellite or cable box, a DVD player and gaming system. Many now allow audio signals to be sent from a tablet or cell phone. This receiver is considered the brains of your surround sound system and controls the audio signals sent to the speakers, as well as the video signals sent to your television.
The home cinema surround sound speakers are usually set up with a minimum of a front center speaker, a pair of front speakers, a pair of rear speakers and a subwoofer.
Choosing the Right Surround System
Depending on your budget, you may choose an HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) or each individual component separately. If you choose to purchase components separately, you will need to do a bit of research to understand what components will mix and match with one another. For example, you don’t want to buy a high-grade speaker and attach a low-grade subwoofer.
Understanding Surround Sound Specifications
Understanding the specifications associated with home theater surround sound is important so you will know how many audio channels or speakers may be used. These specifications are numerical and are expressed using a decimal format. For example:
- 2.0 means there are two speakers, a right one and a left one
- 5.0 means a surround sound system with one speaker in the front center, two speakers in the front and two speakers in the back
- 5.1 means the same as the 5.0 specification, except a subwoofer has been added
- 6.1 means the same setup as the 5.1, but with an additional rear center speaker to match the front
- 7.1 means the same setup as the 6.1, but with two additional speakers, usually placed on the sides of the room
It is important to remember that the source material you are playing must match the surround sound specifications. If you play a DVD with a 5.1 surround sound on a 6.1 surround sound system, you will only get the 5.1 surround sound experience.
A Vital Component of Your Home Cinema
For a truly exceptional home theater surround sound system, be sure to consider the size of your room, your audio needs and your budget. You will love how a quality surround sound system enhances your viewing experience.