Stereo vs Surround: What’s The Difference?

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Those people, that listen to a lot of music, always know the difference between good sound quality and a bad one. Anyways, when listening to anything, let it be just music, movies, or gaming, the audio setup and the speakers, in general, are one of the most important things that any listener should think of, we all want good sound quality. They basically are in charge of everything that you are listening to.

There are two things that make people think about the speakers in general. You may have heard about stereo sound and surround sound systems, but perhaps you don’t quite know what is the difference between them, and which one is better. Indeed sometimes it is a bit confusing. Well, I am here for those who don’t know what these terms are in the “world of sound”

In this article, you will be able to find a deep comparison between stereo sound and surround sound. Is any of them better than the other? If so, why? You can stick until the end of this article in order to find more information!

Now, without further ado, and without losing your time too much, let’s get directly to the main point: What is the deal between the Stereo system and the Surround sound system

Surround Sound vs Stereo Sound: Introduction

Below, I will be explaining in a detailed manner on what is the difference between surround sound vs stereo, so let’s hit it off with stereo sound and then move on to the surround speakers system.

Stereo Sound

Stereo sound is one of the most used types of sound systems that are found almost everywhere. Even though many of you may already know what stereo sound is, I would like to explain the primary definition for those who don’t know!

Stereo sound is a system that is made out of two speakers only. Both of the stereo speakers are connected to a particular device. When it comes to the placement, they are usually found one on the left side of the device while the other one is on the right side, simply put left and right speakers.

Another way of positioning stereo speakers would be while placing them in a way in which there will be a triangle formed based on the location of the speakers and the person in the middle. Basically, you are in between both of them but at a distance.

What is important to be mentioned about stereo sound, is that most recorded music nowadays is recorded while using this type of sound, and it is the simplest sound system that many people use in their homes.

Who Should Use Stereo Sound?
The stereo sound is one of the most fantastic options if the person is more into music, and wants to purchase stereo speakers for listening to music only. It is a great purchase when it comes to using them in small rooms that only include a basic and one main device.

In the video below you can find how do the two speakers, in stereo sound system, work:

Surround Sound

Surround sound is another system that is found in the world of speakers, but there are some major differences when it comes to comparing it with the stereo sound.

A surround system, hence the name, fully encircles a person and makes him or her listen to any particular thing in different directions. A surround sound system includes more than three channels meaning that there are included more speakers.

There’s not a specific position as long as you notice that the sound comes in all directions. There are different ways of placing a surround sound system because you have in hand different speakers and the location is totally up to you.

There are some important things that should be mentioned about a surround sound system. For instance, people who just wish to disperse sound in a large space, such as for parties, can benefit from surround sound speakers. Just make sure you make the right calculations for the surround sound setup.

A surround sound comes in different ways. What do I mean by different ways? Well, as I mentioned above, there are more than three speakers included and it is totally based on that. You can find different types but still, there are three main types of surround sound, that are used by different people all around the globe. They are as follows:

5.1 Surround Sound

A 5.1 surround sound system includes in total six components which take place five speakers and one main subwoofer. That’s basically the way in which is named this type of surround sound: 5.1.

I would like to relate this part to another article in which you can find out more about 5.1 surround sound, compared to another one which is 5.2. Check the article regarding 5.1 vs 5.2 Surround Sound!

6.1 Surround Sound

The second important part of surround sound, in general, is the 6.1 surround sound. Hence the name, it includes seven main parts which take place six speakers and a subwoofer.

7.1 Surround Sound

Last but not least, a very famous surround sound is the 7.1. Based on 7.1, this system includes 8 elements, which play a huge role. There’s one subwoofer and eight speakers.

Since I added a video regarding stereo sound, here goes a video that tells how a surround sound system works and brings sound to you:

Who Should Use Surround Sound?
As you can notice, a surround sound owns much more pieces than a stereo sound. That’s why it would be better to be used by those people that own bigger places and also those that want to create a home theater system in their houses.

Final Words, Which one is better?

Here we came at the end of this article. In a conclusion, I would like to say that both these sound systems are some of the greatest ones that can be used, even though they have some main differences that are definitely huge ones.

In this article, I tried to explain the differences while dividing them into sections, that way you can choose better between them. Basically, if you are a fan of music, stereo sound systems would be the best choice, meanwhile, if you are more into movies or gaming, the surround sound system will definitely do a better job since it makes you enter that particular world of what you are watching.

Is any of them better? Not really! Both of them do a great job once purchased for specific things.

I don’t think there’s more to say besides I hope you liked this article, and I hope it helps you distinguish easier between stereo sound and surround sound.

Further Reading

Things can easily go wrong with cables and the need to replace them is obligated. First knowing the difference between TS and TRS is the thumb rule. If you own a pair of JBL speaker and struggle to connect it with an iPhone, check out the article.

Want to combine stereo mix and microphone, I’ve got you, check out budget price mics under $200.  

GoPro users this is your last chance, there are great GoPro microphones for any budget.


Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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