Surround Sound

Posted by Robyn on 3/12/2014
Of all the possible configurations, surround sound gives you the best auditory experience to go with watching your movies and playing video games.  There are several surround sound specifications, however the best of the bunch are 7.1 and 7.2 systems.  The main distinction between a 7.1 and a 7.2 sound system is that the 7.2 system has an additional subwoofer that provides more thrust to the sound.
Some 7.1 systems may seem like 7.2 systems because they come with two subwoofers, but this is where you could be fooled.  A true 7.2 system will have two separate channels for the subwoofers, to that the two will not be outputting the same signal.  So a 7.1 system with two subwoofers means that both subwoofers get the same signal from a single channel via a Y splitter.  
When it comes to the lower frequency sounds, the effect of having two separate sub channels should be more directionality.  The best way to accomplish this is by altering the volume levels of one of the subwoofers so that it seems like it’s coming from a specific spot and not from dead center.  The 7.1 system with two subwoofers split would produce sound that appeared to be coming from dead center since the two will always have the same intensity and volume.
A drawback at this time is lack of support in modern media.  Since supporting them does not provide much return for media makers, these systems are not too commonplace.  Currently, most DVD systems only support 5.1 systems while others can extrapolate up to 7.1.  You only get 71 sound on Blu Ray hardware, and the content need to be purposed for 7.1 systems.  And actually, no media supports 7.2, so you might as well go with 7.1.