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Should Surround Speakers Be Louder Than The Front Speakers

Movies and shows are only fun if you have the right sound system alongside the visuals. With the right sound system placed in the right position with the right volume, you can get an amazing sound experience.

Getting the right speakers might be easy for you but the tricky part is adjusting the volume to get the sound effect you want. A proper sound system for home theatre includes more than a single speaker. You would need a surround speaker, a center channel speaker, and front left and right speakers, etc.

There is a lot of confusion around the ideal volume of surround speakers. Most people don’t know if setting up surround speakers at a higher volume would give them a better sound quality or not.

Surround speakers are responsible to enhance the background noise and music, and should not be louder than the front speakers. Increasing the sound of surround speakers can make it difficult for the listeners to hear the dialogues, due to the background noise blending with them.

How Do Surround Speakers Work?

Surround speakers are responsible for the background music and other sound effects in the movie. They are used less, which is why they are less critical than the front speakers. Surround speakers are also called rear effect speakers as they play back the sounds that set the scenes. This includes the chirping of birds, roar of the ocean, and murmur of voices in a large building.
Listeners need to observe certain rules while setting up sound speakers to achieve the best results. A standard 5.1 surround system comes with 2 rear speakers while the larger 7.1 system has four.
There are two types of surround speakers which are as follows.

  • Bipole Surround Speakers – These bi-directional sound speakers are 2 in quantity and fire sound in the opposite direction at the same time. The sound is released around the theatre instead of the listeners. They produce an in-phase and less directional sound.
  • Dipole Surround Speakers – Unlike Bipole speakers, Dipole speakers produce sound out of phase. These speakers are flexible in terms of positioning but they create a very diffused sound. It is important to place them in the right position to experience the right effect.

Why Should Front Speakers be Louder Than Surround Speakers

Front speakers allow the users to hear dialogues while the surround speakers are responsible for the background music and sound effects. If you turn the surround speakers a bit too loud, you would not be able to hear the dialogues of the movies and shows properly. This would also cause an over-emphasis to the back and you will experience an unnatural surround field.
If you want to make sure that your front and surround speakers are at an ideal volume, follow the steps below.

  • Before adjusting the sound levels, sit down at the place where you watch most of your movies and shows.
  • Adjust the master volume of your receiver to the level most comfortable for you
  • Initiate the receiver test tone after you have adjusted the volume.
  • Adjust all the volume levels of every channel after the test tone has reset all the previous volumes. This would help you get the ideal volume for your speakers.

Why Are Surround Speakers Important

Background noises and music is as important as the dialogues. Sounds like a clock ticking, telephones ringing, coughing, and light clicking on fingers on the keyboard give us a realistic effect. Such sounds can only produce realistic effects if these noises come from around us instead of the front.
These speakers are placed in elevated positions above and behind the listener and they give out a natural and ambient sound that is reflected from the walls and ceilings.

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