What Is Stereo Sound?
The human desire for volume manifested itself long before the advent of 3D video effects in the field of sound. At the dawn of sound recording, when there was not only digital equipment, but even magnetic tapes, working with stereo sound was already a reality. However, till the middle of the last century, it had a kind of experiments, and stereo systems started to be widespread only by the 1960s. Today stereo sound for the absolute majority of consumers seems to be a natural boon and mono-sounding audio equipment is a rarity and a toy for professionals.
Mono sound is recorded in a single audio track and played back with a single speaker. At the same time, its perception is not affected by the spatial position of the listener relative to the sound source. In principle, you can connect a lot of speakers, but in this case, each speaker will broadcast sound in exactly the same way. Stereo sound is recorded with two microphones in two or more tracks, and the division by channels is made at the level of frequencies, instruments, voice, noise, and sound effects.
For example, when listening to a mono recording of an interview, the sound of a car passing by will be perceived along with the interviewee’s voice, while in the case of a stereo recording it will be perceived as distant or nearby background. Stereo sound reproduction requires at least a pair of speakers, and for optimal effect, the listener should be approximately centered on both sound sources. Therefore, stereo speakers are installed on either side of the monitor or TV.
By the way, the three-dimensionality and stereo sound volume is a kind of fiction. Two speakers on a table or headphones do not make the sound three-dimensional, because they are the sound sources, clearly defined by the brain as “right” and “left”. If you increase the number of sources (the famous “super surround” sound around), it will just mean more playback points. In order to obtain a three-dimensional effect and get a real sound picture, for example, when watching a movie, the sound should be spread vertically as well.
What is Surround Sound?
Surround sound gets its name because it creates an acoustic environment around the listener that goes beyond the two-channel stereo sound of the past. In a variety of cinemas, whether public or home, the systems create sound around the listener while providing a natural experience.
In the real world, the perception of sound occurs in the context of the noises surrounding us. Listeners can hear if someone speaks or sings, the noise of TV, children in the yard, the sound of an airplane in the sky nearby.
Usage for Stereo
If we compare stereo and surround sound, then we must understand that stereo will prevail when listening to music. In most cases, music is recorded for stereo playback, which does not require directional sound. Some modern music recordings are now available with multichannel sound, where stereo still plays a major role. Stereo listening has become more practical and affordable because most technologies already have only two audio channels and stereo speakers are built-in.
If you prefer fantasy or racing, installing a surround sound system will greatly enhance your viewing experience and emotion, and most movie soundtracks are recorded for surround sound these days. Maximize the amount of sound work invested in this movie by creating a sound environment that immerses you in the scenes.
What’s the Difference Between Surround and Stereo?
The main difference between surround sound and stereo sound is the number of speakers and the way the sound is recorded. When you use the stereo sound you have basically 2 speakers. It can come with bass or a subwoofer that focuses on low frequencies. With surround sound, you have more than three speakers. Surround sound includes:
- Left speaker
- Right speaker
- Center speaker (focuses on voices)
- Rear left
- Rear right
- Middle rear left (7.1)
- Middle rear right (7.1)
Everyone understands that when creating a surround sound system, you will need more speakers and, accordingly, more space to place them. Plus, you need to get your head around the cable routing and it can be said that managing 8 different cables going to the center console will be a big challenge for most people.
The stereo speakers on the other side usually only have 2-3 cables, and since you place them all in front of you (similar to a soundbar), it’s easy to hide them somewhere and connect everything behind the TV, on a stand, or on a shelf.
Stereo and surround sound are by far the most popular audio reproduction methods familiar to home use. And even if you don’t have a specific goal, they are really worth making your vacation better. Whether you love classical music or enjoy live performances, stereo playback puts everything in the foreground instruments, atmosphere, and more. In this case, the surround sound system will give you completely different emotions; although each speaker will not play a different instrument, the atmosphere will shift to the sides and back, showing what you would hear.
Both stereos and surround systems can change over short periods of time, which is good news because then they will only get better. Their main differences are best sound quality, use, installation. Be sure to check these features. Choose the best sound quality for you.