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surround sound
Last modified: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Surround sound is a term used to describe a type of audio output in which the sound appears to "surround the listener" by 360 degrees. Surround sound systems use three or more channels and speakers in front and behind the listener to create a surrounding envelope of sound and directional audio sources. The term surround sound has become popular in recent years and more commonly used since the advent of home theater systems. Surround sound can be either an analog or digital system.

Also see "How Surround Sound Works" in Webopedia's "Did You Know..." section.

Image: Example of a home theater surround sound system using Dolby 5.1 Surround set-up.

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For pages about surround sound . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Home Cinema Choice Online 
The online version of Home Cinema Choice magazine.

Home Theater Magazine 
Featuring news, spotlights, product descriptions and reviews of today's Home Theater equipment.

Surround Sound Speaker Placement 
This SoundStage article discusses issues and common problems associated with surround sound speaker positioning.

How to Buy Surround Sound
Sound & Vision Online provides the simple steps that will take you from just thinking about a great home theatre to actually having one.

Surround Sound Past, Present, and Future (PDF)
A history of multichannel audio from mag stripe to Dolby Digital. The first commercially successful multichannel sound formats were developed in the early 1950s for the cinema. At the time, stereophonic sound, a concept new to the public, was heavily promoted along with new wide-screen formats by a film industry feeling threatened by the rapid growth of television.

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related categories


Home Entertainment

Surround Sound

related terms

5.1 Surround Sound

6.1 Surround Sound

7.1 Surround Sound


Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital EX

Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Pro Logic IIx

Dolby Surround

Dolby TrueHD



TruSurround XT

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