Whether you are a movie lover or a music buff, the need for crisp, clear sound that allows for a full, realistic audio experience is a must. Luckily, technology has advanced at such a rate over the past few decades that recreating professional-grade sound within the home is easy and not necessarily expensive. However, before you go out and buy hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of audio equipment, it is important to take time to learn about the types of sound systems available and why they might be the right choice for you.
The most basic type of sound system is stereo sound, also called 2.0 to designate that it travels via two front speakers and lacking a subwoofer. Most televisions come with stereo sound pre-equipped via a 'sound bar' either at the base of the screen or on the back end of the unit. However, since stereo sound uses two speakers, or channels, instead of just one, it still produces a degree of directionality since not all sounds come from both speakers at the same time. Stereo sound is the easiest and least expensive sound system available.
Stereo Sound System
The alternative to a stereo sound system is a surround sound system. This more complex and expensive option is popular because surround sound more closely mimics a true 'movie-going' experience. Surround sound usually consists of anywhere from five to seven different speakers and one subwoofer. As such, surround sound systems come in 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 varieties. The numbers reference to the number of speakers and subwoofers operating within the system. Most surround sound systems have five speakers located in the following positions:
Surround Sound System