What is Surround Sound?
Everything you need to know about surround sound in the home
In the UK we have been a cinema going people for many decades. In the last few years we have seen a move to take the magic of the cinema and recreate it in the comfort of the home. As TV’s get larger and projectors become more available to the wider public, the concept of a home cinema becomes more appealing. One aspect of home cinema which is just as important as the screen you watch on, is the sound that you hear. To many it is the latter which is arguably more impoartant in creating an experience and elevating it to the levels you would expect of a visit to the cinema.
So read on to learn what true surround sound is and what are your options when creating a surround sound system in your own home.
5.1 Surround sound is a commonly seen expression of surround sound and essentially relates to the number of speakers in a set up. You will often see 4.1, 5.1 & 7.1 referred too as common combinations of speakers and subwoofers. The first number expressed relates to the quantity of ‘normal’ speakers in the room. I.e, the ones handling the midrange & treble. The ‘.1’ relates to the subwoofers in the mix which is typically one. For example, in a situation where somebody refers to 4.0 surround sound, this will mean 4 speakers but no dedicated subwoofers.
Looking back at the prior mention of Blu Rays, if you look at a case you’ll see the audio format info usually lists anywhere up to 7.1 Surround Sound. This means that the disk you are playing is essentially compatible with playback through surround sound of up to a 7.1 configuration.
What do you need for proper home surround sound?
So is it as simple as just having 4 or more speakers in your room. Well…not exactly. Lets assume you have your speakers and you have your source material. What we also need in the mix is something to distribute the sound to the correct speakers, a surround sound processor. Keep in mind that every speaker in the mix will be responsible for a very specific role. If the helicopter in the film flies over your left shoulder towards the horizon, you want to feel it approach from behind you in the room and move off into the distance on front of you. The ability to reproduce this is the skill the surround sound processor brings to the mix.
So there is your basic set up. Speakers, optional subwoofer, surround sound processor and of course a nice large screen to complete the home cinema. Putting that together can be a bit of a complicated and messy process though with potentially a lot of wires on show. However if you know Bang & Olufsen you will know we hate wires! As a result we have worked out a really neat way to give you wireless surround sound! As we also like to take take the complications out of anything technical and give you the best money can buy, unlike other TV’s on the market, we also include top class surround sound processor built into our TV’s!
Why not go wireless?
What do we mean by wireless surround sound? Pretty simply this revolves around our ability to offer wireless speakers that talk to our TV’s as our TV’s and speakers all talk to each other within the Bang & Olufsen ecosystem. So when you purchase a Bang & Olufsen speaker you can wirelessly connect it to your B&O TV. No wires apart from the power cable. Not only does this apply to our speakers, but also to our subwoofer which will give your movies some serious ground shaking bass. Rather uniquely to Bang & Olufsen is the addition surround sound processors to the TV’s. So unlike the earlier mentioned cabling a TV/projector to a surround sound processor, cabling to each speaker, with us you literally just plug in your speakers to a power supply and your ready to rock.
The smartest surround sound
One fantastic thing about surround sound is the scalability of it and at Bang & Olufsen we often see people scaling their system up over time. Our ecosystem lends itself perfectly to such progression over time as our surround sound processing can handle speakers getting added on in nearly any position imaginable. Our processor can work out how best to distribute the sound based on how far the speakers are from your screen and even take into account whether your speakers are shoulder level speakers behind you or speakers on the roof above you!
To see the worlds best home surround sound systems come and visit us at Bang & Olufsen of Merchant City as we always have various setups on site ready for you to listen to!
TV's With Surround Sound
Below are the TV’s in our range which have a surround sound processors built in.
BeoVision Horizon – Sizes 40 & 48″
BeoVision 14 – Sizes 40 & 55″
BeoVision Avant – Sizes 55, 75 & 85″