What is Surround Sound and Why Do You Want It?

Whether you are an audio novice or an experienced technophile, this article is for you.

Let’s take a few minutes to review the basics of surround sound, and the principles behind it. If you are new to surround sound, this will help you to understand the concept. It will also refresh the memory of those already in the know. These are the basics of sound.

Monophonic sound is single channel and unidirectional. Basically, this means that your audio is all filtered down into a flat single channel.

All elements of the recording are mixed down into one source, thereby seeming to originate from the same source no matter where you are standing in the room. This is old school, kids.

Stereophonic sound is reproduced through two channels and is considered superior to monophonic sound. You can tell stereophonic sound, because different sounds originate from either speaker.

This type of sound gives one the sense of being there during the recording. The best example of this is listening to a recording of the symphony, where different band members are located in different parts of the room. The strings are over here, and the horns are over there.