Return of the Stereo vs Surround strikes back

Return of  the Stereo vs Surround strikes back

The portfolio of leading electronics manufacturers is finally start filling up with stereo components. In recent years, the business has been drove by home theater systems, but now the trend is reversing. Why is this so?

In the past few years we have witnessed tremendous spread of multi-channel home theater systems in our living rooms. Watching movies with impressive surround sound has become a fashion wave, and active trend. Many of us have changed our old stereo systems for new home cinemas. An average time spent by listening to music can be described as minor compared to watching movies. Although all home cinema systems are able to play music, the quality of is it reproduction is much worse.

The idea is that “when is it playing surround sound, than music in stereo  has got to play it either” has show up as a false and the disappointment often in not long in coming.

surround sound vs stereo

For the same money: do you want more parts or quality?

Home cinema is technically much more complicated than a stereo set and this fact is reflected in the price of these devices.

This is an easy example:

Our budget is for example £ 1000 (approx. $ 1500). In case of stereo we may buy :

CD player reading mechanics, audio circuits
Amplifier 2 channel pre and power amplifier
Speakers 2
Cables 2 speaker cables, 1 signal cable

But home cinema is totally different story, we need to buy much more.

DVD player reading mechanics, audio circuits, video circuits
AV receiver multichannel amplifier, decoder for surround formats. 5 – 7 channel pre and power amplifier, video circuits
Speakers at least 5 + subwoofer
Cables 5 speaker cables, digital and analog signal cable, video cables

Now it is obvious, that you are buying much more electronic parts for the same money, therefore they need to be cheaper. And in this case cheaper could be translated as a less quality one.

Cheap stereo system plays better music than more expensive home cinema.

The point is that for the same price you get a stereo system in significantly better quality (plays better) than the system of home cinema. So if your budget is limited and consider the relative frequency of watching movies and listening to music, far much suppose to be stereo based system.

You must not forget the fact, that the stereo system can be connected to DVD player, so  you can watch the films with great sound. But you have to get over the absence of surround sound (apart from the virtual surround function DVD player – which is not even close to the true 5.1 surround system).

Return of  the Stereo: Surround system strikes back

Of course this fact was noticed by manufactures of electronics appliances, therefore stereo system are coming back. Most of the important manufactures having at least one stereo system to their portfolios. The whole idea is, that they are not trying to push out the systems with surround sound, only they will co-exist in parallel. Both, surround even stereo systems are coming in all price categories, so everyone can pick their own, then it is on everyones priorities which system will pick up.

Only future will show us if the pure stereo is only vintage past or bright future. In the end of the day, we mustn’t forget that even more speakers systems are coming and virtual surround start to be very attractive commodity – what else can you make better on stereo?
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