The procedure of setting up multi-channel audio speakers in home theater systems is relatively tedious and suppliers have invented new products and technologies including wireless speakers kits or surround sound wireless headphones recently to help simplify the setup. I will review the most recent trends to find out which products really work. In case of 5.1 surround, 6 speakers are utilized: center, left and right front, left and right rear and a subwoofer. More recent 7.1 systems require a total number of 8 loudspeakers by adding 2 extra side speakers.
This technique applies signal processing to the audio and adds phase shifts and cues to the sound which would usually be broadcast by the remote loudspeaker. The signal processing is based on measurements which are done using a standard human ear model. As a result virtual surround will not work equally well for each person. A number of products utilize the less crowded 5.8 GHz frequency band and consequently have less competition from other wireless gadgets.
Another approach are side-reflecting loudspeakers. These products are also named sound bars. In this case the sound for the remote speakers will be broadcast by individual loudspeakers positioned at the front at an angle and reflected by walls as to seem to be originating from besides or behind the viewer. It will work well for square rooms with no obstacles and sound reflecting walls. However, realistic scenarios often will differ from this ideal and reduce the effect of this option.
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