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?

Tony Coughlin's picture

I haven't the space . . . or the cash . . . or the inclination.

Tom Wolters's picture

This is a tough issue. I can't deny that DVD audio and the higher-resolution formats definitely offer a sonic advantage over the current digital standard. Furthermore, the opportunity to add more channels to the reproduction system with these new formats would almost certainly move the listener closer to experiencing the original performance and its original venue. Having said this, I would still have to say that I'm staying with my two-channel audio reproduction system for the foreseeable future. Though I have no doubt that the newer formats and the additional channels they offer would improve things, it would cost me WAY too much to reproduce music on a multiple-channel reproduction system with the same quality that I am able to reproduce two-channel stereo on at present. I'm not willing to invest in the new format and additional channels until my money will buy the same quality of audio reproduction as I get with two channels now, but with multiple channels. Hopefully, that day will be coming soon.

Christoph's picture

People still have two-channel systems?

D.R.N.'s picture

A Sub maybe.

Steve Stewart's picture

To paraphrase JA from several years ago, I am very hesitant to add more speakers to an already-flawed two-speaker system. I am refering to a music playback system. When it comes to playback for movies, they should be played back in surround-sound because that is how they were recorded. Recording music for playback in surround is questionable. Will extra speakers in the rear really reproduce the sound of a concert hall? We have only two ears, not 5.1. What about binaural?

Stuart Avery's picture

In Melbourne, Australia, a very reputable high-end dealer (Absolute Hi-End) has developed a system known as "TAS." Put simply, TAS seems to destroy 30 or so years of my so called hi-fi knowledge. In essence, the preamp is a decoder that utilizes something (I know not what) to decode signals from recorded formats. It is not Pro-Logic, et al., but something quite different. They use a four-speaker setup to enhance or enable spatial disparity.

Anonymous's picture

as soon as I get the cash, my old speakers are going in the trash.

Anonymous's picture

My system is a excersise of historic componets that happen to sound good. lp-12, ESL-57's ect. And if I was going to a multi chanel set up I would have to be a whole new system

Anis Y.  Jiwani's picture

Pro-Logic to me is more like Pro-(il)Logic. No question of becoming illogical. Two channels make sense for the two ears that we have. Processed music is not real.

Kurt Christie's picture

We've all been down this road before! Until the new audio format is finalized, who would want anything new right now?

R.  Cornelson's picture

The technology is moving too slow to expect multichannel hi-fi even in the next 10 years. As I've read, filmmakers aren't even implementing true 5.1 surround mixes for the standard DVD.

Victor Lopez's picture

Every album these days is recorded in 5.1 channels. I think two-channel stereo cheapens the artist's work, just as pan&scan cheapens movie presentations.

Hugh G.  Rection's picture

Anything that improves on the audio quality of the exsisting CD format I want ASAP. We are all tired of waiting for the promises that digital audio made to be fulfilled.

Daniel Lew's picture

The few articles I have read show that this sounds like a good idea. But I would like Stereophile to do more articles and tests on whether multichannel sound is better than two-channel. This can be costly, but we need more information on quality equipment that can serve both multichannel audio and home theater. So which of the two magazines will cover this kind of hybrid??

Aran Cox's picture

If artists make genuine use of more channels, I'll be interested. Otherwise, it's a joke.

Erik Leideman's picture

I cannot see the necessity of multi channels for music. Besides, the layout of my living room does not allow for any rear speakers. If I were to buy a multi-channel system for home theatre, I would buy a cheaper separate one and place it in another room. My movie preferences are not of the sound effect category anyway.

michael k.'s picture

5.1 sounds like a good ideal , but I feel it should be done right. Pink Floyd would sound great recorded in 5.1 suround sound

John Thompson's picture

Given what 5.1 has done for the ambience of film I see no reason at all that if implemented in a sensible way that multiple channels cannot enhance the listening pleasure and we should certainly be open to potential improvements in music listening.

Scott Siegel's picture

This week

Anonymous's picture

There are too many potential variables to allow a certain answer at this time: How many speakers? At what price? Driven by what electronics and other signal processing equipment? And for what purpose: as part of a multimedia home entertainment system or for music alone?

Sandro Magni's picture

Listen a AC3 Music Show and you will change your mind !

Scott Ward's picture

The stereo image and soundstage that we all know and love is a result of psycho-acoustic tricks. However, they are very good tricks! It is likely that even more impressive affects may be achieved with more channels of information. Still, it alldepends on fooling thebrain into thinking that there are infinite sources whenin reality the sources are finite. Adding more than two could make it easier to approximate reality butit is all in the implimentation. Moreis not always better.

Glen Pidsadnick's picture

I still own my Pioneer Quadriphonic Receiver I purchased in 1975.

Bill Crane's picture

Only for home theater; absure for music!

Steve Guttenberg's picture

I'm a two-eared kind of guy, so two-channel audio works just fine for me. Besides, the near 50 year old surround question (remember 70 mm film always had 6 discreet channels) has never been completely addressed. Is the listener in the middle of the action or are the rear channels reproducing ambience? If it's the latter, that raises the question, What ambiance, most studio's don't have any. Good two channel recordings can be vividly three dimensional--most surround-sound recordings I've heard are anything but. I have two questions, since they still haven't figured it out, why will DVD be any different? And-- most folks have a hard enough time properly setting two speakers--five plus sub--give me a break!