Sometime between the Industrial Revolution and the era captured by the fine television series Happy Days, all sound systems were basically mono. A single channel, cranking out a low quality crackle. When stereo later gained prominence, it proved an important scientific fact: sound could actually come from more than a single place. In the 21st century, we’ve all become familiar with Surround Sound – which can easily and quickly be optimized to specifically enhance the audio properties of different locations.
Sound bounces. When it does, it creates an echo that can do one of two things:
(i) Distract you.
(ii) Create an additional layer of warm, rich audio – which gives the illusion that you’re in the same room as the
musicians you’re listening to.
If echoes distract you
Generally, the softer and more porous a surface, the more sound it’ll absorb. If you’re enjoying your Surround Sound system in an area which has quite a few windows, try closing the curtains and you should notice an immediate difference in the room’s sound dynamics. Alternatively, you can always invest in a Surround Sound system which contains a single visible speaker array. This allows you to easily adjust your speakers to ensure they’re not projecting directly onto a wall or ceiling. The Bose Cinemate 1 SR comes equipped with a great speaker bar that’s completely wireless – so it’s simple to install and easy to reposition on-the-fly.
If the echoes are still a problem, there’s always Monster’s glorious Inspiration Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones – which actually look so cool, I wear them instead of a necklace when I go out to a nice restaurant. Actually, I don’t really, but I should. Okay, I do. Not. Write complete. Sentences.
If echoes delight you
Previously, we passively enjoyed audio at home by listening to it from a single direction. Now, we can actively enjoy audio in our living rooms by placing speakers all around us. This creates a process called unmasking – a way to take advantage of reverberations during the recording process. This technique essentially recreates how we hear sound in the real world – from all directions, bouncing off every and any surface, creating a soundscape that envelops us (as opposed to a soundscape that’s projected at us, the way a two speaker stereo does).
If your listening area is in a large room, you can actually use its scope to enhance the illusion of live sound. Much like attending a live concert, speakers can be placed to purposely maximize your space’s audio qualities – much like a cathedral can enhance a choir of monks. A high-powered system like the Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV would best emphasize such qualities. It includes five reflecting cube speaker arrays that are ideal for filling up your living room with breathing, living sound. Low-end frequencies rings pure and true out of Bose’s powered Acoustimass module, allowing you to hear every subtle noise and nuance in all of your favorite recordings. Usually priced at $949.99, this system is currently available for $899.99 – but only if you act before September 13th.
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