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Hi guys I've a friend claimed that surround sound is completely gimmick;not worth the money. He says If your surround speakers do not have good placement,then the sound waves will mess each other up. If the sound waves cross paths before they hit your ear, its not going to sound good. More speakers does not mean better sound he claimed.

So I'm just wondering if will a $5k home stereo 2.2 setup will win over Similar priced $5k home theater 7.2 setup? What are your thoughts? :cool:
 

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I have two systems, a 2 channel Hifi and a 7.1 home theatre. The home theatre does superb 2 channel although not as good as the hifi as the hifi has a high quality stereo pre-amp.

For movies you want to have multi-channel sound, it's mixed that way so down mixing it to 2 channel loses the effect.

Of course for the same budget the 2 channel will be much higher quality, as you have less amplifiers, less speakers, you can get away with not having a subwoofer.

Your friend doesn't quite understand soundtrack mixing.
 

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I have two systems, a 2 channel Hifi and a 7.1 home theatre. The home theatre does superb 2 channel although not as good as the hifi as the hifi has a high quality stereo pre-amp.

For movies you want to have multi-channel sound, it's mixed that way so down mixing it to 2 channel loses the effect.

Of course for the same budget the 2 channel will be much higher quality, as you have less amplifiers, less speakers, you can get away with not having a subwoofer.

Your friend doesn't quite understand soundtrack mixing.
I copied your text and he replied saying that there's no point for me getting surround speakers because the content I'm watching only supports 2 channel. Am I better off with stereo setup? :confused:
 

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Simple is good

Your friends comments have validity, however I think most decent AVR's have the capability to adjust time/phase delays to avoid the scenario described. That being said, for a fixed budget as most of us work with, I personally would opt for fewer, higher quality, components and forego some of the effects. In our particular case, we have a dedicated 2 channel set-up in a different room and a smallish 'media' room rather than a full home theater (seating for 5). In the media room, we went for a 3.1 setup, using PSB Imagine speakers and NAD electronics. Concern for dialogue wash-out prompted the center channel, but running the set-up in pure stereo mode preserves excellent dialogue, though it can't be individually controlled.
 

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I copied your text and he replied saying that there's no point for me getting surround speakers because the content I'm watching only supports 2 channel. Am I better off with stereo setup? :confused:
If your movies are old, like stereo or mono, then possibly. Even so, I use Logic 7 for stereo soundtracks and it sounds superb.

It is quite amazing what DSP can do with soundtrack, watchning Conan The Barbarian which I think is mono or stereo upmixed to 7.1 is pretty amazing- when an effect onscreen is behind you, it sounds like it is behind you from the speakers. I have no idea how it can extract surround sound from mono or stereo, but it does.

Logic 7 is superb.
 

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If you want sound affects from behind you and moving around yo, including behind you, you need to have speaker behind you! For most TV viewing, no real reason for surround soundd. And you freind is correct, you have to take some time to get your speaker placed correctly. But it ain't like curing a disease, withsome effor you can geta good sounding surround system. And if you have the correct BR soundtrack and good speaker pacement, the results are phenomenal!
 

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Um I think your friend is completely uninformed. For Movies [DVD/Blu-ray or streaming] you will want a full 5.1 and up system for a real movie experience. Also for music whether it be CD or MP3 sounds fantastic in new surround technology like Dolby Prologic II music or DTS-NEO. They both do a great job of spreading around the sound that it sounds really awesome. Also if that doesn't do it for you a modern HT receiver does a fine job at stereo if you prefer music that way. In my opinion you'd be better off with a HT.
 

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There is nothing that a two channel audio system can do that a multichannel system can't do just as well or better.
 

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Hi guys I've a friend claimed that surround sound is completely gimmick;not worth the money. He says If your surround speakers do not have good placement,then the sound waves will mess each other up. If the sound waves cross paths before they hit your ear, its not going to sound good. More speakers does not mean better sound he claimed.

So I'm just wondering if will a $5k home stereo 2.2 setup will win over Similar priced $5k home theater 7.2 setup? What are your thoughts? :cool:
I would expect a 5K 2.2 system to beat a 5k 7.2 system in 2-channel, because there would be a huge difference in quality of the speakers and subs. Now for home theater the 7.2 system would probably still be better, even with the speaker quality difference, because you can get decent speakers still and a 2-channel system can't do surround sound as well. If we can help you, give us a call or shoot us an email.
 

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There is nothing that a two channel audio system can do that a multichannel system can't do just as well or better.
+1 This. 3.1, 5.1, 7.1, etc., are just extensions of a two channel system. You will note that the front left and right keep the same place in every setup, and are always the most important speakers, so you can think of surround sound systems as fundamentally two channel systems with extra points of sound emission. While the surround channels are nowhere near as important as the front stage speakers, they certainly do not hurt, and can add an extra layer of immersion. As was said, most current AVRs can competently auto calibrate them for a good response with distance compensation, corrected phase, and so on, so your friend is mostly incorrect in his comments. He is correct only in that the front two are the most important, and if they are off, the whole system collapses.
 

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+1 This. 3.1, 5.1, 7.1, etc., are just extensions of a two channel system. You will note that the front left and right keep the same place in every setup, and are always the most important speakers, so you can think of surround sound systems as fundamentally two channel systems with extra points of sound emission. While the surround channels are nowhere near as important as the front stage speakers, they certainly do not hurt, and can add an extra layer of immersion. As was said, most current AVRs can competently auto calibrate them for a good response with distance compensation, corrected phase, and so on, so your friend is mostly incorrect in his comments. He is correct only in that the front two are the most important, and if they are off, the whole system collapses.
I agree with you to a certain extent, until you get into high end 2-channel rooms, vs high end dedicated HT rooms. Usually an HT room is more dead than a 2-channel room.
 

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He says If your surround speakers do not have good placement,then the sound waves will mess each other up. If the sound waves cross paths before they hit your ear, its not going to sound good.
That would be true if all the speakers played the same content. But they don't. Your friend should restrict his advice to subjects with which he is knowledgeable. Home theater sound isn't one of them. :rolleyes:
 
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Whether you go for a stereo set-up or surround sound set-up largely depends on the use you are planning for these speakers.

If you want a music focused set-up than go stereo. If you want something for watching TV/Movies/Gaming, go with surround set-up.

For 5k I feel you can get a great set-up for surround sound which comes with 2 great towers to listen to your music in stereo but it will also have the ability to sound great in surround sound mode as well with its other matching speakers. Watching modern DVD's mixed in dolby 5.1 you are missing a substantial amount of the audio just using a stereo set-up. The Center channel alone get 70-85% of the audio during more TV shows, movies, and games. With using a stereo set-up and watching these things you are constantly turning it up for the dialogue parts than turning it down for the action scenes.

The real question to ask is what you are planning to use this audio set-up for...
 

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Whether you go for a stereo set-up or surround sound set-up largely depends on the use you are planning for these speakers.

If you want a music focused set-up than go stereo. If you want something for watching TV/Movies/Gaming, go with surround set-up.

For 5k I feel you can get a great set-up for surround sound which comes with 2 great towers to listen to your music in stereo but it will also have the ability to sound great in surround sound mode as well with its other matching speakers.

The real question to ask is what you are planning to use this audio set-up for...
Watching anime and music.
 

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Watching anime and music.
It is true that surround speakers are not as important as the main front speakers for movies. Thus, you don't need to spend as much money for surround speakers.

But I would recommend that you do what MOST of us experienced guys do - go for a 5.1 speaker system.
 

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Hi guys I've a friend claimed that surround sound is completely gimmick;not worth the money. He says If your surround speakers do not have good placement,then the sound waves will mess each other up. If the sound waves cross paths before they hit your ear, its not going to sound good. More speakers does not mean better sound he claimed.

So I'm just wondering if will a $5k home stereo 2.2 setup will win over Similar priced $5k home theater 7.2 setup? What are your thoughts? :cool:
Pretty much all good responses. And for what you use a sound system for, your friend may be right. I have a 2.1 system for music only, and in another room a 3.1 system (will be 5.1 when I get off my lazy butt and run cables between the walls and across the attic space). The problem with a 2.0 or a 2.1/2.2 system is you will always be restricted should you ever decide to watch movies with excellent surround capability (there are hundreds of titles that are mixed extremely well), as well as 5.1 concert videos. In this day and age, there is no need to restrict yourself. Start with a great 2.1 system and add as you go along. Granted, you will need an AVR. A good AVR should be able to run most speakers very well … and has the side benefit that one can cook eggs on its top grille! How can you beat that ;).
 

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Agreed, start with a great 2.1 system. It might be all you need. But most go for a 4.1 or a 5.1 system. I don't like center channels in general unless I can position the speaker optimally and the speakernis identical to the L and R.
 

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There is nothing that a two channel audio system can do that a multichannel system can't do just as well or better.
Not if budget is the same, $5,000 budget for 2 channel system will sound better than $5,000 budget for multi-channel system

So I'm just wondering if will a $5k home stereo 2.2 setup will win over Similar priced $5k home theater 7.2 setup? What are your thoughts? :cool:
Assuming you are buying the same AV Receiver since you want either a 2.2 or 7.2 system, then YES, 2.2 will sound better
Why? Instead of buying 7 speakers, you are allocating the same amount of money on only 2 speakers so you will be getting better speakers for 2.2 vs 7.2 and speakers is the biggest factor regarding how a system sound (followed by placement and room treatment)
 

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Not if budget is the same, $5,000 budget for 2 channel system will sound better than $5,000 budget for multi-channel system



Assuming you are buying the same AV Receiver since you want either a 2.2 or 7.2 system, then YES, 2.2 will sound better
Why? Instead of buying 7 speakers, you are allocating the same amount of money on only 2 speakers so you will be getting better speakers for 2.2 vs 7.2 and speakers is the biggest factor regarding how a system sound (followed by placement and room treatment)
If all you want is a front soundstage, then I agree. However, if you want "immersive audio", no 2-channel system can do that. None... Zip... Nada. No matter how good it is, no matter how much you spend on it, no pair of speakers placed in front of you can make sounds come from your sides or behind you. (I take that back... Polk used to make a line called the SDA, or Stereo Dimensional Array that used some acoustic trickery to make sounds seem to come from all around you, but that was just "trickery"... effective, but just trickery, and it only worked from one very small listening position. Nonetheless, to my knowledge, no one is doing that, or anything like it anymore. Why would they when there are multi-channel systems that can do the same and better?)

The "argument" in the OP that the soundwaves from multiple speakers will mess each other up is, to put it politely, misinformed. Anything can be screwed up by incorrect setup. If you install a multi-channel system in an acoustic nightmare of a room, with cheap speakers placed badly, aimed incorrectly and calibrated incorrectly, and a subwoofer with poor integration, yeah that's not gonna sound good. But... if you use good speakers, good subs, place and aim everything correctly and calibrate it properly, in a decent acoustic environment, even an inexpensive system can sound fantastic.

Taking the other side of the "argument," even a 2 channel system can be screwed up, especially if it includes subs. You can take the best, most expensive speakers and subs, put them in an acoustically terrible room, place them badly and set them up all wrong, and they'll sound terrible.

Bottom line, getting the most out of any audio system is ALL ABOUT SETUP.

Craig
 
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