The stereo sound makes use of two speakers to produce the sound you hear. You can add to the quality of sound with the use of a subwoofer, which gives that extra needed low bass.
Examples of devices that use stereo are:
- Portable CD and DVD players
How Surround Sound Works
Surround sound makes use of several speakers. Typically, it is made up of five or more speakers that produce a sound that feels like it’s coming from all around you. This all-encompassing sound field gives the perception of depth, allowing you to hear things at varying volumes and intensities, creating the illusion of depth.
It is typically found in modern cinemas, and home theatre systems, as it is perfect for creating that 360 degrees and 3D sound.
Now that you know the main difference between the two systems, let’s take a look at the ideal uses for both.
Ideal Use for Stereo and Surround Sound.
If you are going to use your speakers primarily for listening to music, then going with a stereo is the better option for you. Most music is recorded and optimized to be played back through a stereo sound system as it does not need directional sound.
Some newer music has been recorded to make use of surround sound, but it is an unnecessary addition. Stereo is a more convenient and affordable sound option as most of the speakers on the market are stereo.
If you are a big film fan, a surround sound system could be the best option for you. It can significantly enhance the overall viewer experience and make you feel like you are in the scene yourself. A surround sound system comes brimming with features to create the ultimate experience. This is only if you set them up correctly.
A surround sound system has 5 to 7 speakers and a subwoofer. A 5 speaker system is correctly set up by placing 3 of the speakers in the front of the room with the TV. One speaker is placed above or below the screen. The other two front speakers are placed on either side of the TV. The back two speakers are placed behind the seating area, preferably on a wall. It is important that you read the manual as these speakers can’t be placed randomly.
If speakers are placed randomly the sound will not make sense. Dialogue that is meant to track left with the character will not. It might end up behind you, ruining the immersive experience.
The purpose of a surround sound system is to make the sound travel around you seamlessly and if you watch lots of movies and have a desire to be immersed in them, this system is the correct one for you.
Additional Factors to Consider
You need to look at your space and if you have enough for a sound system. What does your space look like? Do you have lots of it to play with, or are you wanting to set up a system in a small apartment? The more space you have to play with, the harder it becomes to decide which system suits you better. An additional consideration here is that the bigger your space, the more powerful and expensive a system you will need to fill it.
It is possible to improve your listening experience if you do not have enough space for a full surround sound system. Room acoustics play a big role in how sound behaves. Your furniture, rugs, carpets, even your curtains can improve sound quality. They absorb unnecessary sound, creating a better listening environment.
2. Frequency of Use
You need to really consider how much use you are going to get out of a sound system. Are you just going to use it for background music, or noise, or do you use it for an immersive experience? Do you listen to music more, or do you watch movies more? What type of movies do you watch? Not all movies are improved by a surround sound experience. Comedies and high-speed action movies have very different sound balances and the latter of the two is the only one that you will really experience a different movie viewing experience.
We hope this has been helpful. What you choose is ultimately up to you and your needs and preferences. Good luck!