In How to Make a Sound Investment: Step 1, we covered why your TV requires an external sound source, how soundtracks use separate audio channels, and where speakers are placed in the room. Now, let’s explore the benefits of multichannel sound—specifically, how it makes dialogue easy to hear and elevates your entertainment experience.
Using a 5.1 sound system as an example, let’s take a quick look at where speakers are placed. Here’s the layout we showed you in Step 1:
Separating the sound into front and rear channels makes it easier to hear the dialogue. Here’s why. The center-channel speaker, located right below the TV, projects the scene’s main dialogue into the center of the room. The front and rear satellite speakers—plus the subwoofer—are typically used for sound effects, making you feel like you are in the middle of the action. The location of the speakers and the sounds they’re assigned during mastering, make voices easy to hear. Dialogue doesn't get lost in the sound effects.
Of course, crystal-clear dialogue isn’t the only benefit. While front speakers convey the sound from the foreground, such as characters conversing, the rear speakers add ambiance and layers of depth to the scene. In fact, the professionals who record and engineer today's entertainment, use these channels to make your entertainment experience more substantial and immersive. Rear satellite speakers breathe life into the background noise—sounds of a passing car, busy murmurs of a coffee shop, or footsteps of a dinosaur approaching.
Because movies, series, sports, and games are mastered with distinct audio channels, a multispeaker sound system is the only way to experience entertainment the way it’s meant to be heard. Bottom line, you won’t miss a word—or a sound.
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