Even the most advanced AV Receiver won’t do any good if one doesn’t have a proper speaker setup. Unfortunately, way too often, I saw people who bought high-end receivers but didn’t pay much attention to speaker setups. In this article, I want to answer how vital rear surround speakers are and why one should pay attention to speaker setups at all.
So, are rear speakers for the home theater a must for quality sounds? Well, you can watch movies without them, but having them indeed improves immersion. Thus, watching movies without rear speakers is possible, but without the level of immersion you may expect from a top AV receiver.
Surround sound setups with rear speakers
Rear speakers are used for surround sound. As it goes from the name, they are placed behind the listener and can also be called surround speakers. In movies, they deliver additional sound effects and sounds from behind the character. For example, it can be steps coming from behind, sounds of the ocean, bird songs, distinct voices, or echoes. So, the main question is whether you want to have access to surrounding sound or not. However, other aspects should be considered before buying a set of rear speakers.
Factors that affect the installation and necessity of rear speakers
Some may not see a problem buying additional equipment for their home cinemas, while others must measure every step and plan the budget carefully. Consider several more factors before making the final decision.
- Use case scenarios
Cramped rooms simply can’t handle much sound. Therefore, if you are somewhat restricted in terms of room size, placing rear speakers won’t offer any sound enhancements and instead will fill your home cinema setup with “mud” due to sound wave interference.
Good speakers can be expensive, and buying cheap analogs often makes no sense. Hence, budget is another essential aspect to consider. When building from scratch, you should better consider buying a 5.1 system.
Finally, ask yourself how you plan to use it. For example, is listening to music your primary goal? In this case, rear speakers are of no use to you. On the other hand, if you’re a movie buff or like to play video games, then you definitely need rear speakers! But keep in mind enough space in the room and prepare your budget for the next expense.
5.1 vs 7.1 systems
I have recently mentioned that buying a 5.1 system may be a great option, and now the time has come to discuss why. The 5.1 system already allows the creation of surround sound systems, which are enough for entry-level home cinemas in relatively small rooms. In turn, the 7.1 system adds rear speakers, enhancing the surrounding feeling by supplementing the surround speakers. 7.1 system works the finest in oversized rooms, especially with two subwoofers, but it also comes at a price.
Dipoles vs. Direct sound transducers
These two types of speakers are most frequently used as rear ones in home theaters, and here is the difference between them.
Direct sound speakers are widely popular around the market. All commonly used speakers in soundbars, cheap home cinemas, and Bluetooth speakers are direct. As those are cheap, reliable, and deliver quality sound.
In turn, dipole speakers can simultaneously deliver sound in two directions. Such speakers are placed to radiate sound to walls instead of radiating to the listeners. It allows filling the room with a beautiful and soft surround sound but sets pretty high room requirements.