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Speakers & Surround Sound A place to learn more about speakers, their functionality and how they can complement your entertainment experience.

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Does surround sound actually work?

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Old 07-21-2014, 05:02 AM   #31  
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Difficult questions I have no problem with. Obtuse ones are another story.
I don't see why one or the other has to be superior . Each have a place in their own application .
That like asking me why do I like apples but not peaches?
Tell me why peaches are superior.
Actually that doesn't make much sense, it's more like saying, "why are peaches superior to apples" I didn't once say that I disliked SS, in fact I said I preferred it! You don't see why one has to be superior? Well, there must be some reason why people are spending all this money on SS when they could just get a set of decent cans.

Am I missing something?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:47 AM   #32  
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Actually that doesn't make much sense, it's more like saying, "why are peaches superior to apples" I didn't once say that I disliked SS, in fact I said I preferred it! You don't see why one has to be superior? Well, there must be some reason why people are spending all this money on SS when they could just get a set of decent cans.

Am I missing something?
Unless your hearing impaired, there is most certainly a major difference in SS vs headphones (headphones produce a definite single directional sound being directly aimed into your ear canals) where as SS allows sounds to be omni-directional and enter your ears at varying angles allowing them to be individually analyzed and processed, unlike a single sound source.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:13 AM   #33  
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I never use headphones when watching TV. So, I really don't know whether they do surround sound as well as a 5.1 speaker system. But, Dolby Headphones do discrete 7.1, suggesting that stereo is not as realistic as you seem to believe.

Regardless, this seems kind of pointless as almost no one uses headphones instead of speakers, even when they only have TV speakers. The user interface is dreadful.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:17 PM   #34  
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interesting question.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:54 PM   #35  
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Unless your hearing impaired, there is most certainly a major difference in SS vs headphones (headphones produce a definite single directional sound being directly aimed into your ear canals) where as SS allows sounds to be omni-directional and enter your ears at varying angles allowing them to be individually analyzed and processed, unlike a single sound source.
Those omni-directional sounds all meet at two places, the left ear and the right ear, the ear doesn't care how many sources of sound there is, as far is the ear is concerned, there is one stream of audio going into it. The brain uses both ears to determine where the sound is. All that is needed are two sources of sound...headphones.

I am not hearing impaired, maybe you just haven't listened through a decent set of headphones.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:56 PM   #36  
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I never use headphones when watching TV. So, I really don't know whether they do surround sound as well as a 5.1 speaker system. But, Dolby Headphones do discrete 7.1, suggesting that stereo is not as realistic as you seem to believe.

Regardless, this seems kind of pointless as almost no one uses headphones instead of speakers, even when they only have TV speakers. The user interface is dreadful.
Maybe stereo is not as realistic as I seem to believe, that is why I am here asking this question, I want to know why? Maybe the sole purpose of SS is just so that everybody doesn't have to wear headphones.

Just looked at the Dolby Headphones, they are stereo in the sense that there are two speakers. They just have the ability to process 7.1 audio, which supports my theory in that it all happens in the brain, only 2 speakers needed. Here's a snippet from their headphones description:

The Dolby Headphone processor combines the 5.1-channel audio information into two encoded channels that deliver the spatial properties of the original audio. The result is natural sound that seems to extend far beyond the confines of the headphones.

Last edited by shnabz; 07-21-2014 at 05:00 PM..
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:13 PM   #37  
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Maybe stereo is not as realistic as I seem to believe, that is why I am here asking this question, I want to know why? Maybe the sole purpose of SS is just so that everybody doesn't have to wear headphones.

Just looked at the Dolby Headphones, they are stereo in the sense that there are two speakers. They just have the ability to process 7.1 audio, which supports my theory in that it all happens in the brain, only 2 speakers needed. Here's a snippet from their headphones description:

The Dolby Headphone processor combines the 5.1-channel audio information into two encoded channels that deliver the spatial properties of the original audio. The result is natural sound that seems to extend far beyond the confines of the headphones.
It's called advertising hype, but I'm sure you can hear the difference.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:16 PM   #38  
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It's called advertising hype, but I'm sure you can hear the difference.
I'm sorry I have no clue as to what that comment means or how it contributes to the conversation. The difference between the headphones and what?
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:24 PM   #39  
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I'm sorry I have no clue as to what that comment means or how it contributes to the conversation. The difference between the headphones and what?
5.1 is comprised of Five discrete sounds LF CC RF LR RR and a subwoofer to handle LFE Head phones only support 2 distinct sound paths .....that is the answer.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:11 PM   #40  
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I believe Dolby Headphones produce an output that helps the brain better locate sounds in three dimensions.

While I will avoid asking whether you are a 12 year old , you seem to be fixated on the fact that we have two ears. Yes, that is certainly true. But, those two ears operate in an omnichannel environment. In the real world, our ears get directional cues. Surround sound provides similar types of cues. That's the meaning of the last part of the snip you posted from the Dolby site - encoding 5.1 into stereo channels that "deliver the spatial properties of the original audio."

As for speakers, stereo - even with additional processing such as PLII - cannot deliver sound as realistic as discrete multichannel. That seems intuitively obvious.

Last edited by BIslander; 07-21-2014 at 07:29 PM..
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:47 PM   #41  
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I believe Dolby Headphones produce an output that helps the brain better locate sounds in three dimensions.

While I will avoid asking whether you are a 12 year old , you seem to be fixated on the fact that we have two ears. Yes, that is certainly true. But, those two ears operate in an omnichannel environment. In the real world, our ears get directional cues. Surround sound provides similar types of cues. That's the meaning of the last part of the snip you posted from the Dolby site - encoding 5.1 into stereo channels that "deliver the spatial properties of the original audio."

As for speakers, stereo - even with additional processing such as PLII - cannot deliver sound as realistic as discrete multichannel. That seems intuitively obvious.
Your wasting your time .......anything and everything already expressed has fallen on Deaf Ears .
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:12 PM   #42  
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5.1 is comprised of Five discrete sounds LF CC RF LR RR and a subwoofer to handle LFE Head phones only support 2 distinct sound paths .....that is the answer.
The 5.1 ends up as TWO distinct sound paths when they vibrate the L & R ear drums.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #43  
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The 5.1 ends up as TWO distinct sound paths when they vibrate the L & R ear drums.
Yes but HOW they vibrate the eardrums is dependent upon the strength and direction of the sound waves as they strike the ear. There is no way for a speaker located in front of you to produce a sound located behind you. Different waves (sounds) striking the ear from different directions causes different stimulation. Also Doppler effect will allow the brain to determine if the sounds are getting closer or farther away.

Your ears are just the collection point but sounds eminate in a 360 radius and by placing speakers or speaker arrays all around you , one is better able to simulate or recreate these different sound fields.

You keep getting caught up with 2 ears and stereo - that doesn't matter. Somebody who is totally deaf in one ear would still benefit from surround sound as each ear individually determines WHERE a sound is coming from. By using two ears we get the expanded spatial simulation.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #44  
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I believe Dolby Headphones produce an output that helps the brain better locate sounds in three dimensions.

While I will avoid asking whether you are a 12 year old , you seem to be fixated on the fact that we have two ears. Yes, that is certainly true. But, those two ears operate in an omnichannel environment. In the real world, our ears get directional cues. Surround sound provides similar types of cues. That's the meaning of the last part of the snip you posted from the Dolby site - encoding 5.1 into stereo channels that "deliver the spatial properties of the original audio."

As for speakers, stereo - even with additional processing such as PLII - cannot deliver sound as realistic as discrete multichannel. That seems intuitively obvious.
Funny how you didn't mention the few words before your above quote, let me write them for you:

"into two encoded channels that deliver the spatial properties of the original audio."

You seem to be fixated on the fact that i am fixated on the fact that we have two ears. Yes that is certainly true, but you should pay more attention to that fact that stereo headphone provide a sound stream that the brain hears as omni-directional too! The stereo headphones provide the same directional cues.

It's not about where the sound is actually coming from, its about re-creating the illusion that the sound is coming from around us as if we were at the film set. This is what we call a sound stage.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #45  
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Yes but HOW they vibrate the eardrums is dependent upon the strength and direction of the sound waves as they strike the ear. There is no way for a speaker located in front of you to produce a sound located behind you. Different waves (sounds) striking the ear from different directions causes different stimulation. Also Doppler effect will allow the brain to determine if the sounds are getting closer or farther away.

Your ears are just the collection point but sounds eminate in a 360 radius and by placing speakers or speaker arrays all around you , one is better able to simulate or recreate these different sound fields.

You keep getting caught up with 2 ears and stereo - that doesn't matter. Somebody who is totally deaf in one ear would still benefit from surround sound as each ear individually determines WHERE a sound is coming from. By using two ears we get the expanded spatial simulation.
You haven't been following the thread properly, im talking about headphones. So your response is void. Especially this bit:
"There is no way for a speaker located in front of you to produce..."
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