If you are in the market for a brand new surround sound system I'm pretty sure you've been a little baffled by all the options, bells, whistles, gadgets, gizmos, and price tags on the market today. Trust me, you are not alone. One of the most baffling things to many potential surround sound system consumers is where on earth should you put all the speakers. I intend to answer that question and a few more over the course of the next few paragraphs and hope that you will read along.
The first thing you need to understand is that there are several different types of surround sound systems. The industry standard and most common is the 5.1 channel surround sound system. This set up calls for the use of five speakers plus one subwoofer in addition to the receiver. The five speakers are the front speakers which include a left, right, and center speaker and the left and right surround speakers that are located to the left and right from the rear. You should also have a subwoofer located behind you in order to create the 'bass notes' of sound. The next two types of surround sound systems include the 6.1 channel and 7.1 channel system. The primary differences in these are the addition of one additional speaker for each.
You will be glad to know that most receivers will accommodate the 8 total speakers of a 7.1 channel surround sound system but you may want to check in order to be certain you can upgrade if you chose to buy a 5.1 channel system for the time being. The addition of speakers when you upgrade change the layout of the speakers in your home. The more speakers you have, the greater sound you will enjoy, however, the better the quality of your speakers, the better quality your sound will have. In other words don't go with lower quality speakers in the beginning in order to have more speakers, as you will be shooting the quality of sound you can experience in the foot. It is better to buy fewer speakers in the beginning and add to your system over time in order to receive better quality.
When it comes to the placement of the additional speakers if you upgrade to a 6.1 channel surround sound system you will move the speakers currently in the left and right rear to the left and right side and place the new speaker in the center back. If you then upgrade to the 7.1 channel surround sound system you will move the speaker that is in the center to the rear left and place the new speaker to the rear right. This allows you to be literally surrounded by the sound in order to maximize your listening experience.
Of course this is only a recommendation and it is entirely up to you what will work best within your home and according to your tastes and wants in a surround sound system. Not everyone hears music or sound the same and the experience for each will vary greatly from one person to the next. For this reasons it is also a good idea to be sure you have listened to the system in a store before deciding on one and bringing it home. This is a wise decision regardless. I also recommend taking more than one CD or DVD for the listening process in order to make sure the quality is consistent through different mediums.
While the setup of your system is very important to the sound experience it is quite difficult provided you follow the directions (you didn't forget to read those did you?). Whether this is your first home theater or surround sound system or one of many upgrades you've made along the way I'm sure you will agree that the sound is far superior to the two speaker systems of days not that long ago.