7.1 Surround Sound

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7.1 surround sound is exactly as the name implies, a speaker system made up of eight speakers. Or put simply, it is an eight channel audio system used in a home theater set up. The most common type of surround sound system is a 5.1 surround sound system. However, this article will attempt to enlighten you on the difference a 7.1 surround sound system can have on your overall entertainment experience. That is not to say that a 5.1 surround sound system is not good, if the right products and installation have been taken into consideration then it is highly likely the system does what it needs to do. But that is not what this article is about, so lets move on.

If you are ready to move past traditional surround sound and looking for the best possible audio experience, upgrading to a 7.1 surround sound system makes sense. What is the point of your beautiful LG OLED if you don’t have the right sound to match the quality of your video? 7.1 surround sound is a way to turn your area into a three-dimensional space. Above, below, behind, to the right or left of you, the movie or media you are enjoying is literally anywhere and everywhere. That is the in its purest form what every director intends for every person experiencing their media.

7.1 surround sound delivers a cinematic experience through seven speakers and a subwoofer. A 7.1 surround sound system is comprised of, front and right speakers, a center channel speaker, surround right and left speakers, surround back right and back left speakers, and a subwoofer. And the key to achieving optimal sound is ensuring you have the right products, the right installation, and most importantly, the right set up. Keep in mind that no two rooms are alike, there should be a clear path between you and your speakers, and to achieve more balanced sound you should minimize bare walls and floors.

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Paradigm® Prestige Series

7.1 Speaker Placement

Sound is fifty percent of the entertainment experience. Great sound can expand the power of high definition video. Speaker placement is essential to the movie watching, game playing, or music listening experience. How you hear your sound should not only be heard, but more importantly it should be felt. To create the best sound you should familiarize yourself with both the role and position of each speaker, which we have simplified below:

  • Front Left & Right Speakers (L & R) ROLE: left and right speakers help sound follow action across the TV screen, especially with music, dialogue, and special effects. Left and right speakers should be equidistant from both the screen and you.
    • Placement/Position: place the Front Left and Right speakers at ear height, producing a 45° angle as viewed from the main seat. This delivers a wide sound stage and precise localization of individual sounds.
  • Center Channel Speaker (C) Role: the center channel speaker also helps sound follow action across the TV screen, especially with music, dialogue, and special effects.
    • Placement/Position: place the center channel speaker either above or below the display. Then, aim the speaker either up or down to point directly at the listener. If you have a perforated projection screen, center this speaker both horizontally and vertically behind the screen.
  • Surround Left & Right Speakers (SL & SR) Role: surround speakers create a lifelike sense of spaciousness, providing ambient sound within movies. Speakers should be placed to the sides of the seating area, ideally just above ear height.
    • Placement/Position: place the SL & SR speakers between 90° to 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener. The SL & SR speakers recreate the enveloping sound and intense special effects that you experience at a movie theater.
  • Surround Back Left & Right Speakers (SBL & SBR) Role: the rear speakers add intensity to the audio experience by further localizing sound effects. Place them behind the seating area at an angle of 135° to 150° from the center.
    • Placement/Position: the SBL & SBR speakers should be the direct firing type and placed together on the back wall. This allows the technology to deliver its maximum effect.
  • Subwoofer (Sub) ROLE: the subwoofer delivers bass, giving weight to movies, especially when watching action films. Bass moves in all directions, and because this is true, the angle and location of the subwoofer are flexible. However, make sure to avoid placing it in a corner, which leads to muddy sound.
    • Placement/Position: there are a few variations for subwoofer placement, depending on how many subwoofers you have in your room. If you have four subs, place one in the middle of each wall. If you have two, put them in the middle of opposing walls. If you have one, place it in the middle of the front wall.

Loudspeaker

Loudspeaker is simply an electro-acoustic device that converts electrical signals into sounds loud enough to be heard at a distance. Speakers come in all shapes and sizes enabling you to watch movies, listen to music, play video games, and more. The dynamic loudspeaker that we know today was first built in the 1920’s. Using a magnetic field to move a coil magnet, connected to a diaphragm, the modern loudspeaker of today turns electric signals of varying strength into movement. A loudspeaker is made up of several parts:

  • The Diaphragm/Cone/Dome: the actual physical surface area of the driver that moves up and down from the voice coil interaction with the permanent magnet, thus producing sound by compressing and rarefying air, thus creating sound waves. Hence, sound is not moving air it is propagating pressure fluctuations.
  • The Dust Cap: located at the center of the cone and covers the voice coil and it can increase rigidity of the diaphragm and most importantly in seals the diaphragm.
  • The Basket/Frame: the physical structure that holds the entire driver together.
  • The Voice Coil: a wire coiled around a bobbin (electromagnet) at the center of the speaker and attached to the spider. When current flows through the coil supplied by the amplifier
  • The Spider/Damper: two prime functions of the spider, in conjunction with the surround, are to center the diaphragm, and force the forward and back movements of the voice coil to be linear, so that the coil does not scrape the narrow magnetic gap.
  • The Suspension/Surround: typically made of cloth, butyl rubber or foam, attaches the diaphragm to the driver basket and in conjunction with the Spider, and helps to control and dampen cone movement.
  • The Permanent Magnet: a fixed DC magnet that is part of the motor structure affixed to the basket of the driver creating a stable magnetic flux across the annular gap, which the voice coil sits in.
  • The Phase Plug: similar to the cone but typically looks like a bullet. Its purpose is three-fold, to reduce moving mass and on-axis beaming, serves as a heat sink and to a smaller extent offering venting.
  • The Vented Pole Piece: this is a hole located in the center at the back of the permanent magnet to help reduce air pressure under the dust cap and cool the voice coil.

A picture of the newest Paradigm speaker Persona by Paradigm.

Paradigm

For over 30 years, Paradigm has set the standard for innovation and technology in loudspeaker manufacturing. The new Prestige Series builds on this history by combining new technologies with smart engineering, for astonishing performance at an incredible value. And Prestige is designed and crafted right here in our Canadian facility. Technology, by definition, is the practical application of knowledge. When it comes to sound reproduction, no one knows more than Paradigm. When it comes to the practical application of that knowledge they are committed to doing it better! Better measurements, better materials, better components always result in better sound, and better speakers.

While many speaker companies do not have the resources to design and manufacture their own drive units, Paradigm purposely designs robust drivers for specific speakers. To ensure superb consistency, their crossovers boast hand-selected precision parts. Their high-power, high-current amplifiers with oversized power supplies and massive heat sinks deliver tremendous (and instantaneous) power output at all times. Use your knuckles! Rap on the enclosures! As one reviewer asserted, they’re as dead as they claim in their literature! Acoustically inert high-density hardboard reinforced by strategically located radial braces limit unwanted resonances and increase enclosure stiffness. At other times, no bracing is even required on speakers, even on their most powerful subwoofers as they pound out the deepest, loudest bass imaginable, it’s all in the design!

Custom speakers often referred to as architectural speakers, designs hidden out of sight in a wall or ceiling (for those who don’t have the space or want a minimalist approach to music and home theater), are growing in popularity. Again, Paradigm is leading the way in this area. When it comes to in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, there is no substitute for good design build on years of experience producing the very best sounding freestanding designs.

More than 25 years of intensive research and design backed by cutting-edge technology, much of it proprietary, lie behind every custom speaker they produce. The result is sound reproduction that rivals that of the very best freestanding designs. Precision, Consistency, Long-term reliability, is the inherent characteristics of even the smallest Paradigm component part. Technology and design that represent true innovation in the pursuit of perfection in audio reproduction. Out of this come sonic accuracy and purity, a clean, detailed and transparent reproduction of the original performance, nothing more, nothing less.

SNEAK PEEK, a new loudspeaker lineup from Paradigm is coming…

Surround Sound System Installation Contractor

No matter what type surround sound system you desire, Shultz Audio Video can provide the assistance you need to create an entertainment experience like no other. The key to a successful surround sound installation project is working with the right company. Retrofitting older homes for a surround sound can be done, wires can be routed through your attic or walls and when necessary wires and cables can be run along the exterior of a home.

Retrofit installations require thinking outside of the box. The type of thinking that sees beyond the missing wire and the low vaulted ceilings in your attic. When you are ready add a surround sound system, look to Shultz Audio Video for the best solutions. Our products and installation services are backed with by our guarantee, to provide the very best products and services in San Diego.

Our team is well versed in what it takes to re-create the experience we each have come to enjoy at the movie theater. Contact us today. We have surround sound solutions to fit your lifestyle and your budget.

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