Surround Sound System 101: What are the Different Types of Surround Sound Speakers?

Surround speakers are one of the primary components of a home theater system. Learn more details about these speakers and why their role in reproducing sounds. 

A home theater system consists of five basic speakers. These include the center channel speaker, front left and right speakers, and left and right surround speakers. The subwoofer is an additional component of a surround sound that handles very low frequencies that the main speakers can’t pick up.

While these speakers have a significant role in reproducing sounds, some tend to forget about surround speakers, especially beginners. Probably the reason is that the surround speakers act as a support of the front left and right speakers in reproducing music and effects since they reproduce similar frequencies.

Surround speakers also function as a support for front speakers; these hold an essential role. They make the sound fuller and richer. It is why you can hear the subtle sound effects while watching a movie.

Most home theater system owners don’t know that the surround speakers have different types. Each type of surround speaker produces audio differently, which vastly affects sonic quality.

The Monopole Speakers

The traditional speakers you know since childhood are monopole. They are direct-radiating, which is why the audio you hear is always forward-sounding coming from the speaker.

A monopole speaker is the type of speaker you’d want upfront. It allows you to hear sounds clearly when watching a movie or listening to music. Facing a monopole speaker away from the listener or viewer is never a good idea. You’ll notice a bit of distortion on the audio and the sound is less full.

Bipole Surround Speakers

A bipole speaker is a special type of surround speaker. As its name suggests, this sound equipment is bi-directional. Hence, it consists of two speakers that reproduce sound in opposite directions simultaneously.

All the 5.1 and 7.1 home theater systems you’ll find here at Home Cinema Effect are bipole speakers. The audio moves in opposite directions, which allows the sound to spread within the space. Since the sound is omnidirectional, you’ll have a better listening experience rather than a direct-firing speaker. It also doesn’t hurt your auditory senses and at the same lets, the sound travels throughout the room.

Bipole speaker placement is usually on the seating area positioned diagonally. Such positioning allows the surround speakers to project the audio in the room without being too forceful on the people listening.

Dipole Surround Speakers

Dipole surround speakers are also a special type of speaker. They are similar to bipoles that utilize a pair of speaker drivers.

A bipole speaker pushes sound to the other side. However, a dipole works opposite. The latter pulls the sound instead of pushing it towards the listeners which creates a diffused sound. This aspect makes it difficult for listeners to locate where the sound is coming from.

With this type of surround speaker, the key to a good audio performance is to find the correct placement. The speakers must be placed in the right position to get the best effect and prevent distortions.

A beginner might find it difficult to use a dipole speaker. If you’re new to surround sound systems, the best option is a bipole surround speaker.

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