Why are people using surround sound systems nowadays? Why do blockbuster movies give extraordinary audio quality in cinema? The main secret thing is that surround sound systems can transform your entertainment to a professional level. If you ever want to make a home theater, surround sound systems are magic to your ears.
After purchasing the surround sound systems, ensure to test them. It is a tuning of the sound system for the delivery of the best audio experience. In this article, we will explore the importance and working of surround sound tests to enjoy good music.
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The surround sound system used multiple channels to provide three-dimensional audio quality. It means if you are setting the sound system in your room, sound will come from every corner of the room. It makes you feel that you are in the action. Let's have a recap of traditional stereo, where only two speakers were used. Surround sound systems are placed to create a 3D audio experience, while the traditional stereo gives a 2D experience with two speakers.
Let's have a look at the key components of surround sound systems:
The speaker set contains Left and right speakers, center speakers, surround speakers, and subwoofer. Front speakers play a crucial role in playing voices and musical instruments. They are usually placed in the front of the room. The Center speaker ensures that you can listen to all the conversations and dialogues. Surround speakers create a feeling around you to feel the movie. The Subwoofer controls powerful sounds like thunder, blast, and bass music.
A path from which sounds travel can be traveled in different directions. Some channel setups consist of 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1. The first number before the point contains the number of speakers, and the second part denotes the number of subwoofer for bass.
3. Audio formats
Some audio formats in the market tell the sound system to make sound. Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, etc.,.. are popular audio formats. Dolby Digital created six various channels which are often used to watch movies. Dolby True HD supports more than eight channels.
Instead of hearing sound from only one side, surround sound helps to create a 360 audio environment. Game lovers are using the surround sound to enjoy the game in real. These systems add realism to the movie, songs, games, dialogues, etc.
As we all know, surround sound is like magic, but we have to ensure that magic is working right. It means that a surround sound test is necessary to elevate the potential of the audio setup. In this part, we are going to explore four methods to test surround sound.
1. Sound Pressure Level (SPL) Meters
Mostly all the professionals and advanced users use SPL meters for surround tests. SPL meters check whether speakers are delivering the sound at the same level. Surround sound consists of multiple speakers that play various parts of audio. SPL ensures that all speakers are equally loud. If you feel any speaker is lesser than other speakers. Go to the audio settings to adjust the volume at the same level.
All you need is to find a sweet spot where you have to put the SPL meter. The sound pressure level meter contains a microphone that has to be placed towards the roof to capture the sound. SPL meter displays the volume level of all speakers in decibels. Keep adjusting the speaker's volume if they are imbalanced until the meter shows equal numbers.
Check the digital display of the SPL meter to see if it shows the exact amount of volume. The measurement range should cover the sound level of the audio setup. Ensure that you have placed the SPL meter where you sit to enjoy the sound.
2. Audiophile-Grade Equipment
Audiophile-Grade is a high-quality audio gear designed to improve the sound and remove distortions from it. Imagine you have multiple tiny microphones to listen to the sound in depth it is called a microphone array. It ensures that sound is moving around the specific place.
This equipment ensures a high level of audio, fidelity, and accuracy as compared to other audio equipment. It is the best thing for discerning listeners who always prefer the highest quality of audio setup. It not only enhances the audio but also removes all the distortion from the audio. It has an accurate frequency response without boosting it artificially.
3. Online Surround Sound Tests
People who do not want to waste their time on manual testing can try online surround test tools. They are more accessible and convenient to those who want quick evaluation. These tools are easily accessible to everyone with the help of an internet connection. They are mostly compatible with every device and provides instant result. Let’s have a look at some websites that test the audio online.
Device Tests is a website that tests surround sound online and for free. The best thing is it is user-friendly and compatible with various OS. It checks the working of multiple devices without installing the software. You have to attach the speakers and microphone to check whether they are working. Firstly record the audio to the software and playback it for verification.
It is an online audio test used to check the working of audio equipment. First, check your microphone by recording audio. If you see the waveform while recording, it means your microphone is working accurately. To check the audio of the speakers, go to the headphones tab.
Click on the right icon of the speaker to hear the sound and do the same with the left speaker. This tool provides a playback to your audio and allows you to increase the volume while listening to the audio.
Vidnoz is an online web-based and user-friendly tool that helps users optimize the sound easily. It also allows you to adjust the volume, edit the audio, mute the audio, etc. This is also an option for beginners to elevate the audio setup. Check both icons of stereo to verify the working of the audio. Always maintain your speakers and microphone to avoid any sound issues.
4. Audio Testing App
Audio testing applications are popular among casual users and professionals to fine-tune the performance of audio. They include a variety of features like generating test tones, white noise, and audio sweeps to boost the surround sound performance. Let's check out the list of audio-testing applications for iOS and Android.
- Subwoofer Bass Test
This application is for Android users and offers three settings. These settings are used to test the bass frequencies of the audio. In the first setting, check what is the limitation of the bass. In the second setting, it sends one frequency to the subwoofer for tuning the speakers, and the last setting is to send more than one frequency to check the acoustic beat.
TestHifi is available for Android and iOS users. It allows users to test the HiFi capability by placing it from the distance of speakers. After measuring the frequency, it prepares a comprehensive report with various audio criteria.
STIPA is one of the most expensive audio testing applications for iOS. It works for large systems such as announcement messages. But you can also enjoy the basic features of the STIPA on your iPhone. You have to upgrade your plan to unlock other unique features.
1. Why is my surround sound not working?
You might face these problems due to some factors that's why your surround sound is not working:
- Check if all the speakers are connected to the system.
- Check if any cable is damaged. It can disrupt the signals to play audio.
- Check the configuration settings of your system.
2. What is a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system?
5.1 surround system consists of six speakers that are front left, front right, center, rear left, rear right, and subwoofer. The 7.1 surround system has additional two speakers than 5.1 which are: front right, front left, center, rear left, rear right, side left, side right, and a subwoofer.
3. Where can I find surround sound test videos?
You can find out the surround sound test videos from various social media platforms like YouTube. The video will provide you with each detail about how to perform a surround test and calibrate the system.
4. Do Windows system computers have a built-in test for surround sound test?
Yes, Windows 10 has built-in tests for surround tests. You can do this test in a few steps:
- Go to the taskbar and right-click on the speaker. Click on the sound button.
- A dialogue box will appear, from which you have to select the playback option. You will see the name of the surround sound device.
- Select your device and configure the device. You will see a list of channels from the speaker setup window. Click on the test button at the bottom of the channels.
Surround sound provides the realism and immersion to the audio that transforms the experience of watching movies, playing games, listening to music, etc. We have explored the four methods to conduct the surround sound test. Professionals use it to fine-tune their audio setups.
We have also looked at the three websites that provide interactive audio tests to assess speaker placement. We aim to provide you with every guide about surround sound systems that make your audio adventure more amazing.