Chapter 6

Surround Sound1

Francis Rumsey

Surround sound is a ‘catch-all’ term often used to describe any form of loudspeaker sound reproduction that involves more than two loudspeakers and attempts to surround the listener with sounds from multiple directions. It started as a marketing term that aimed to imply something more spatially interesting than 2-channel stereo. These days the term may be rather dated, as it has to some extent been superseded or replaced by more generic terms such as spatial audio, or trumped by systems termed 3D or immersive. It is still useful, nonetheless, to describe a set of entertainment audio systems and techniques that involve more than two loudspeakers arranged around the listener, but only in the horizontal ...

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