Do you want surround-sound in your audio system?

Do you want surround-sound in your audio system?
I want it now!
12% (35 votes)
Sounds like a good idea
14% (40 votes)
I'll wait and see
30% (89 votes)
Not so interested
28% (84 votes)
16% (47 votes)
Total votes: 295

With the proposed DVD-Audio format comes the opportunity for multiple channels of high-quality sound. But would you even consider adding more speakers to your two-channel system?

Glenn's picture

I know the main reason I want it is for music surround. I want to be enveloped. Since I am installing rear speakers and a 5-channel amp, I might as well use it for movie surround too.

Joel Mack's picture

I just bought surround speakers for my HT room; it would be cost-prohibitive to do so in every room with two speakers.

Mannie Smith's picture

Without some room-compensation system, I don't see how you can separate the characteristics of the listening room from the characteristics of the space you're trying to reproduce.

Bob Cole's picture

I tried it on my Apogee Duetta/Bi-Amped VTL 600 system, using a Meridian 562 processor. I liked the effect a lot, but lost some transparency, so went back to stereo.

Tony Esporma's picture

¡Ay hombres! There goes the pocketbook! I just got a new Sony DVD player with the trick 96kHz/24-bit D/As in my Sony(s)/Pioneer/NAD(s)/PSB(s) AC-3 surround audio/video system. I must say the AC-3 with movies is one heck of a fun experience. I haven't yet bought any high-bit-rate-encoded DVDs, but I sure plan to in the near future. What I'm afraid of is that I'll like them and then I'll have to deal with the issue of the cost of getting three more channels of muy expen$ivo tube amps and costly, British-made minimonitors. Oh my Gawd! I forgot about the cables! I already put about $1k into AudioQuest/Monster Cable cables in the video system---can you image what it would cost to do it in true high-end? Does Kimber Kable sell stock?

Harvey B.'s picture

If it takes two more speakers to put me in the center of the soundstage, why not? Audio started out with mono, then stereo, so two-speaker systems evolving to four doesn't seem drastic to me. Imagine yourself being THERE. That's what we're after, isn't it?

John Rome's picture

I'm using, and am completely satisfied with, a pair of Martin-Logan SL3s. Getting them properly positioned in my room was a major accomplishment. I hear sounds from all the well-known surround positions with just the two (including behind my head). Trying to integrate even another pair of speakers would be a nightmare, as well as pointless, in my situation.

Chris Eble's picture

The only reason I would add any speakers to my "music" system would be for "surround" sound for a film, and then only if the industry really agrees on a format.

Allen Nakamura's picture

Was it only 15 years ago when the audio industry promised us "perfect sound forever" with CDs, and yet, the early CD discs and players sounded harsh and unmusical for the most part. Both the digital hardware and software improved in the 1990s but it took a almost a decade for the teething troubles to be worked out. I'm afraid that similar "growing pains" will plague the audio DVD format as well. For now, I will definitely sit back and wait. Not only will it give me time to save more money for this new technology when it comes out, but the prices will come down and a wider selection of products will appear on the market.

Arup Goswami's picture

Die-hard two-channel high-end person for donkeys' years!!!

Chris Horn's picture

Don't need it. My portable TV sounds OK to me (for a TV).

J-P Chelouche's picture

I've heard four discrete channels. It is an enormous improvement over two-channel plain stereo. I am for it!

Eric W.  Sarjeant's picture

Surround sound has been promised in various formats for many years. From discrete quad to Dolby Surround, the industry has had difficulty establishing a standard. Once again, surround sound is in the midst of a standards battle. Will it be AC3 or DTS? As a consumer, I don't want to take a chance that one or both of these surround formats is obsolete in a few years.

Ken Mastro's picture

May consider a center channel for three-channel stereo.

J Grant's picture

Considering how distracting I find surround sound in a theater, I can't imagine ever spending money to clutter up my listening room for sound I don't want.

E.  Watson's picture

When Dolby Pro hit the scene I bought a reputable brand decoder and hooked it up, For about 3 weeks. The compromise in fidelity convinced me to stay stereo not 5 channels of mediocore.

John Miller's picture

Have 50K system w/tuub traps and the like and I'm still working on the sound w?2 speakers - let alone more! Great website by the way!

Doug Brahm's picture

Just what the world needs, another format to confuse consumers-beta was better, but VHS is the standard-people don't care what is really the best, only what they think or have been told is best (I guess DIVX has a chance).

Mike Button's picture

In fact, why use two speakers at all? I use only ONE SPEAKER. That way, I can buy a really BIG speaker and a really BIG amplifier, the bridge the amplifier. Sound stupid? Try it sometime. Maybe when I get more money I will be able to afford a second speaker, but more are really out of the question.

Tasso Papaelias's picture

Stereo is supposed to reproduce original recording faithfully there are 2 speakers, in front to listen to. I havent heard live music when the artists were all around me, the surround idea is stupid.

Aaron John Reynolds's picture

Multiple-channel recordings will require multiple speakers. Doesn't this introduce the possibility of increased interaction between the listening room and the added loudspeakers? Perhaps if digital room-equalization devices become commonplace in the high-end audio scene, then the advantages of multiple channels of high-quality audio will become apparent.

Thomas Ramirez, MD's picture

When I go to a jazz club, I hear music coming from one direction; some music reflects from the acoustical setup in the room, but a live band, the ultimate system, doesn't have speakers in the back of the club for improved sound.

Anonymous's picture

In my audio system I would never add more than 2 speakers, why is it called stereo then?

David Ralph's picture

Additional channels for additional speakers should help the speaker companies---they'll have more to hype. I wonder if there'll be a push to upgrade the surround speakers separately from the two main speakers, or will it be all or nothing?

Bob Battino's picture

Have too much invested in current system. Been listening to two channel all my life. Every time I hear a multi-channel set up it sounds unatural to my ear. I'll stick with what I have as the key to sonic bliss has been conquered. ie controling room induced effects.

Mike Smith's picture

My computer currently has a pair of rear left and right channels and a sub-woofer to accompany my front left and right channels. I am currently in the market for a new system that I can have a center, sub-woofer, rear surround- you know the works.

kudoos amod's picture

will work only if other speakers driven by separate amplifiers.

Kevin's picture

too much clutter

Steve Baird's picture

With Petersen Pubs in the picture, how many cigarette ads can we expect to see in STEREOPHILE?

Charles Rodriguez's picture

While I understand the idea behind surround/quadrophonic sound, I'm just not with it. The bottom line is that when I go to see a band, they're playing in FRONT of me! If the goal is to try to re-create a musical moment as it happened, I can't help but feel we're going in the wrong direction with this idea. It's cheesy. It reeks of the "Club/Stadium/Cathdral" settings on a reciever.