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Magic holes that make noise.

File:5.1 setup.jpg
A common 5.1 surround sound setup.

Speaker Types

Bookshelf speakers

Bookshelf speakers are compact stereo speakers designed to be able to fit on a bookshelf. Smaller bookshelves will usually feature two drivers (a subwoofer and a tweeter), while larger bookshelves will usually feature three or four (a subwoofer, a midrange driver a tweeter and occasionally a super tweeter). Unlike traditional speakers, bookshelf speakers are calibrated and designed to go as a pair, meaning they will have better imaging than other configurations. As bookshelves do not require an additional subwoofer, it is necessary to be mindful of the specific crossover frequencies certain crossovers can create the audio equivalent of screen tearing.

Surround speakers

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They do the duf duf

Floor standing speakers

stand on the floor boi.

He vibes and the resting surface dances with him

Wall mounted speakers

on the wall boi.

he screams into the air for our sins

Active and Passive

Active has amp built in, can be bi amped can be single amp. Not customisable but easy. Cable lengths ect are fixed. Passive needs separate amp, can be bi amped can be single (depends) completely customisable and upgradeable, can make cables any length and terminate anyway.

Speaker Impedance

Most speakers are 4 or 8 ohms. Which one you chose is very important depending on your amp. The cables you chose will also depend on the impedance of the speaker...... Stuff about correctly output power based on assumed impedance.

Speaker Placement

There are two prevalent ways to place speakers around a room, depending on the listener's preferences. these being Near-Field Listening placement and the second being Far-Field Listening placement.

Near Field Listening

Near-field listening has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the smaller living spaces spread of personal computing. Near-field listening allows for greater width and stereo imaging at the expense of reflected sound. It can drastically change the listening experience of existing speakers that were previously configured for <far field listening>. In Near-Field listening the speakers are placed directly in front of the listener, generally 1-3 meters in front. The speakers are often placed on a desk, however, they may also be brought out into the room on stands with 3-4 meters behind them. A hidden benefit of this form of listening is that less amplification is needed to achieve the same level of sound for the listener, allowing for less powerful amps to be used or for less heat to be output from powerful amps.

Far Field Listening

Far-field listening is generally the way most people will listen to their speakers. This method reduces the amount of indirect sound coming into the listener's ears by distancing the speakers away from any hard surfaces, lowing sound reflections. This listening method is only ideal for medium to large size rooms, for smaller rooms <near-field listening> is a more ideal method. In Far-Field listening, the speakers are placed 3-4 meters in front of the listener, generally with 1-3 meters from the back. The Speakers will be tilted 10-15 degrees to line up with the listener's ears, creating the stereo effect.

Speaker Configurations


Stereo refers to the speaker configuration where the audio signal is split into a left and right channel. Thus this configuration features two speakers. The premise of stereo is that by delaying the time it takes for a signal to hit your left ear from your right, an impression of sound being heard from various directions can be made. Bookshelf speakers and floor standing speakers will cover a large frequency response by using multiple drivers tuned and designed for different frequency bands. Hence the subwoofer and tweeter is self contained in the single unit. Regular desktop speakers however tend to only offer a larger single dynamic driver which tries to cover the entire frequency range by itself, leading to lower quality and unsatisfying sound.

2.1 Channel

A 2.1 channel configuration refers to a stereo configuration with the addition of a subwoofer. This can be a fully featured stereo setup backed up by a subwoofer to add more depth and extension to the bass (cutoff frequency inaudible), or it can be a simple setup with single driver speakers and at a certain cutoff frequency (typically 3000-2000 hz) the subwoofer will kick in. This can be undesirable since it can lead to sound immediately switching between the woofer and the stereo making it noticeable in that cutoff range.

5.1 Surround Sound

A 5.1 Surround Setup allows for sound to be thrown around a room and creates a sense of being in the action. This setup is more complicated than 2.1 or stereo since it heavily relies on the acoustics of the room, meaning the placement of the speakers have to be tweaked until they have been room calibrated. This setup comprises a left front channel, a centre channel, a right front channel, a rear left channel and a rear right channel and a subwoofer that can be placed anywhere in the room, as long as the bass level is manually tweaked.

7.1/7.2 Surround Sound

The 7.1 and 7.2 Surround Sound configuration has become increasingly popular in the half-decade, partly due to the lower costs of HIFI. This configuration allows for a wider and more open soundstage, creating a greater distinction between the placement of sound elements around the listener. Since the number of tweeters has increased, it is not uncommon to see 2 subwoofers used. This setup is configured with two front channels angled +- 30 degrees from the listener, a left front subwoofer channel directly in front of the listener, a center channel, a right front subwoofer channel directly in front of the listener, a left side channel directly beside the listener, a right side channel directly beside the listener and two rear channels angled +- 30 degrees from the listener.


This setup is identical to the 7.1/7.2 setups, however, they now feature two additional channels above the side channels for 9.x and also two above the front channels for 11.x.


everything 9.x has but now includes ceiling speakers. effect comes most noticeable with rain or waterfall scenes where it feels like the rain is pouring on you.