What Is a 5.1 Surround Sound System: Tech Tips
5.1 surround sound allows you to have a fully immersive listening experience. Typically, speakers are set up in every corner of the room, projecting sound at the listener. As the floorboards rumble, it’s easy to imagine that you’re actually a part of whatever you’re watching or listening to! But what is a 5.1 surround sound system? We’ve covered all the main points to help you make an informed decision if you’re thinking of buying one.
What Is 5.1 Surround Sound?
Often referred to as “true” surround sound, 5.1 surround sound is essentially a setup consisting of four speakers placed behind and in front of you, a good quality central speaker and a powerful subwoofer for deep rumbling bass tones. Home movie lovers and music fans will really love the crisp sound provided by a 5.1 surround sound system. The name “5.1 surround sound” comes from the number of speakers surrounding the subwoofer, so in this case, we’ve got five separate speakers and one powerful subwoofer.
5.1 Surround Sound Speakers Explained
A subwoofer is a large speaker that can produce deep bass tones and other low-frequency sounds by releasing air pressure. As subwoofers vibrate when making sounds, we recommend placing them securely on the floor. When watching a war movie like Dunkirk, it’s the subwoofer that will rattle the floorboards and make the bombs sound like they’re landing in your living room!
When it comes to surround sound systems, the central speaker is generally considered the most important speaker. It’s normally bigger than the others and contains more speaker cones. As such, significant sounds like dialogue or music lyrics are played out through it.
These are the five speakers that can be placed around the room of the surround sound system. They’re often smaller than the central speaker and play out other, more insignificant sounds, but are still essential for the overall immersive experience.
When combined, these speakers all work to really bring your audio experience to life.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Surround Sound System
Buying a surround system can seem intimidating, especially for non-techies. When picking the perfect system, consider what you’ll actually use it for – will you need it for background music at work, or listening to albums or watching movies at home?
If you’re planning to use it in the office, you’ll probably want quality satellite speakers, rather than a top-tier subwoofer. On the other hand, music and movie lovers might want to choose a 5.1 surround sound system with a hefty subwoofer, in order to get the full experience.
As high-quality surround sound systems can be expensive, it’s worth thinking about how often you’ll use it. Take a second to look back at all the factors which apply to you before buying.
5.1 Surround Sound System Recommendations
With thousands of surround sound speaker systems available on the market, it can be challenging to find the right one. Should you opt for one from a well-known brand like Sony or Bose? Or should you choose something based on other users’ reviews? To make your job a little easier, we’ve selected some of our favourite 5.1 surround sound systems.