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Surround Sound Technology

The market for surround sound technology has grown immensely in recent years. Televisions are becoming thinner each year and it has become a challenge for top of the line television manufacturers to provide the quality of speakers that consumers expect. The lack of quality of integrated television speakers has greatly expanded the market for surround sound technology.

When home surround sound systems first came onto the scene in the 1980’s, everything was big. Televisions were big, remotes were big and speakers were big. Most surround sound home audio systems consisted of one very large subwoofer for the bass end of the audio and a minimum of two speakers for the rest of the audio channels to place around the room, creating the “surround sound” and a receiver to send the audio information from the television to the speakers.

The nuts and bolts of these components are still mostly the same today, but one of the most noticeable changes is the size of the equipment. Surround sound speakers used to be the size of an end table, and doubled as such, but are now often times only the size of a soda can. Individual speakers can be mounted to the wall, placed on shelves or even built into the wall so they are flush with the surface. The size of the speakers varies greatly depending on the size of the room where the surround sound is located and the volume and power of sound desired. Subwoofers are now easily hid behind or under furniture.

Some modern surround sound systems do not even require the use of a subwoofer if the speakers are large enough to have built-in bass capabilities. Depending on the desired usage of the surround sound system, one might choose to install larger speakers and forego a subwoofer. This is a good option for outdoor setups or in larger rooms where the speakers may not all point in the same direction. By using speakers with bass capabilities, the sound of the bass output will be the same regardless of where a person is sitting or standing. If the setup is in a smaller closed in area, for example a media room, a subwoofer used with smaller speakers would be a good choice. Since the speakers generally point toward the same direction and it is more likely that people will stay seated in one spot there is very little change in where the sound will be heard. This eliminates the need for bass output in every speaker.

Surround sound receivers have also come a long way since their introduction in the 80’s. Today, most receivers are streamlined and sleek devices compared to the formerly bulky boxes with large knobs and dials. Most receivers are controlled by remote to power the system on and off, adjust the volume and change the input and have no visible buttons on the front.

While these changes have made surround sound systems more appealing for home use, the price of surround sound setups has come down drastically. Prices can range from just a few hundred dollars for a basic setup to several thousand dollars for a high end surround sound system. Surround sound systems are also easily available for purchase at most big box stores and online.

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