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  Sound systems
7.1 Speaker systems

Creative and the others are warming to the market for 6.1 and 7.1 speaker setup's now. Lets have a look at some of what's on offer in the 6.1 speaker market. Moving on to the 7.1 systems we have the Creative Inspire 7.1 t7700. These speakers come with 7 satellites 6 8w channels and the centre speaker with 20w power. The front speakers are slightly larger in size than the surround speakers so you shouldn't get confused which ones are...

6.1 Speaker systems

With the PC's sound system becoming more and more important to PC users we look at the types of surround sound available and the best way to set these systems up. Plus take a look at some of the speakers available for these 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 systems. The 6.1 offering from creative here is the Inspire 6.1 6700. The setup supports Dolby Digital Surround-EX to allow 5.1 audio to mixed into 6.1 channels. Also allows 6.1 audio for games...

5.1 Speaker systems

With the PC's sound system becoming more and more important to PC users we look at the types of surround sound available and the best way to set these systems up. Plus take a look at some of the speakers available for these 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 systems. Speaker systems for the 5.1 setup have been around for a while now and there are plenty of choice in this market. The leader in the field has been creative for some...

6.1 Channel Setup

As you would expect the 6.1 speaker system adds an extra speaker to the 5.1 model. This speaker is the rear speaker. In the 6.1 setup the rear speaker is positioned directly behind you. It is important to know that when you are a 6.1 sound system with a DVD encoded in 5.1 channels (the norm) then the 6th speaker does not actually have any new sounds. The rear speaker combines the signals from the two surround speakers and creates a balance for a rear sound. Although you don't hear anything extra you do get a better feeling of immersion...

5.1 Channel Setup

To set up a 5.1 speaker system you should position them as above. The centre speaker should be position either on top or underneath the screen if your screen is on a stand. The front left and right speakers should be set up on either side of the screen or mounted on the wall behind the screen on either side. The surround speakers should be setup approximately level with your seating position. Do not neglect the position of the surround speakers. Effectively these speaker set the 5.1 speaker system aside from standard stereo formats. The Surround speakers produce the ambient...

Sound Channels

In a surround sound setup you will find that different speakers will produce different sounds. There are four types of channel for the surround setup. The centre, front, the surround and the LFE (Low Frequency Effects). The centre speaker is used for the dialogue of the film etc. you will soon know if your centre speaker isn't working properly as you will only hear noises and no words. do note though that when a stereo audio source is used the centre speaker will not produce anything at all. The centre speaker only works with a true 5.1 source. The Front...

The Knowledge : THX

THX stands for 'Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment' and is named after a past technical director of LucasFilm, the production company behind Star Wars and many other blockbusters. It was to him that George Lucas turned in 1982 when it became apparent that not all was well with cinema sound. The company defined a performance specification for professional cinema components. Only venues with Lucas-approved equipment could claim the THX logo. That philosophy eventually came to home cinema. Domestic AV manufacturers build their...

Home Cinema sound for Your PC!

A good sound card is definitely a critical factor for serious gaming or for listening to music on a PC. But it's not everything! It's much better to add a good 4.1 or 5.1 sound system if you need power and quality. The best sound card in the world will not be much good if it doesn't have adequate speakers to match. And don't forget the quality/price ratio. In the end, all these factors make it hard to find the...

MP3 surround sound system debuts

Soon your MP3 files could be sounding even better. The Fraunhofer Institute has found a way to reproduce surround sound in a way that works with small MP3 files. Using a small amount of additional information added to an MP3 encoding stream the technology catches information about where sounds are supposed to be coming from. Fraunhofer said that the system it developed would work with existing MP3 software and music players. Extra data: Surround sound is usually produced by recording...

Sound future for home cinema

There was a time when stereo sound was considered cutting edge. But since then the movie and music industries have been developing numerous formats in an attempt to liven the listening experience, most notably with 5.1 surround sound. The move from mono to 5.1 sound systems in the living room can be traced through the cinema. "Movies in the 1950s were battling television," said Steven Guttenburg of Home Theatre Magazine, "everyone was saying who needs to go to the movies,...