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How to Buy a 5.1 Surround Sound System

by Dolby on May 25, 2011


Whether it’s listening to jets flying overhead or experiencing the sound of the jungle all around you, stepping up to a 5.1 channel surround sound system is essential for enjoying a cinema-quality experience at home. A surround sound system unlocks all of the incredible soundtracks and effects that movie makers include in their blockbuster hits, which literally bring the movie viewing experience to life!

What is 5.1 Surround?

5.1 systems include 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer. Music comes from the front left and right speakers, dialogue from the center channel, special effects from the rear left and right surround speakers and explosions from the subwoofer.

Those that have trouble hearing dialogue will especially benefit from home theatre system. With the center channel dedicated to dialogue, you can adjust the volume level to your own preference.

What to Look for in a 5.1 Surround Sound System

You don’t have to spend big dollars or be a techie to enjoy high definition surround sound. When it comes to surround systems, you can select a receiver and separate speakers or invest in a package like this Onkyo Home Theater in a Box system.

It includes 5 speakers, a subwoofer and a receiver with a built-in Blu-ray player. It also has additional inputs for connecting other components like your cable box.

Regardless of what type of entertainment system you invest in, be sure to look for advanced features like Dolby TrueHD for Blu-ray discs and Dolby Digital Plus for listening to streaming content in 5.1 from Netflix and Vudu.

What’s Available to Watch in 5.1 Surround Sound

Today, more movies and TV shows than ever are encoded with 5.1 surround sound. DVD, Blu-ray discs, cable, satellite and over the air broadcasts all include 5.1 surround sound.

More recently Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround has become available online through TVs, Blu-ray players and gaming systems that have apps for streaming services like Vudu and Netflix.

Imagine the convenience of selecting and then viewing movies and TV programs in high definition and surround sound—without you ever leaving your couch.

What You Need to Enjoy 5.1 Surround Sound

So remember, to enjoy the immersive experience of 5.1 surround sound, you’ll need content encoded in 5.1, a receiver that can decode 5.1 sound, plus five speakers and a subwoofer. It will be music and much more to your ears.


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