Do You Really Need Rear Surround Speakers?

Ever thought about getting a pair of rear surround speakers? Having the right pair of rear surround speakers can make or break your home theater.

This guide was made to help you understand how they work and why they’re a great addition to your home. By the end, you’ll learn how you can use them to take your home system to the next level.



What Are Rear Surround Speakers?

Rear surround speakers are used to create an ambient effect. They are also called surround speakers because the sound is heard throughout the room. Like front speakers, it has a left and right-hand side.

Most special effects and background sounds are directly channeled to a rear surround speaker. They work by producing a full range of sounds at a higher amplitude than center-facing speakers. That way, you can immerse yourself in high-quality sound.



Rear Surround Speakers vs. Front Speakers

Front speakers are positioned to your home theater system; they provide high and mid-range frequencies. Rear surround speakers are placed behind the listener and use a full range of frequencies to add layers of depth and ambiance to your audio. Most rear surround speakers are smaller or have a similar size to the front speaker.

Front speakers concentrate on sound coming from the foreground when movie characters engage in dialogue. On the other hand, rear surround speakers to aid in amplifying the background noise, such as the loud conversations in a coffee shop or the sounds of a car traveling in the background.

Rear surround speakers are used for video game sound effects. The front speakers are used to relay the main dialogue of the original sound source. Now, soundtracks are mixed to create stereo sound effects, and rear surround speakers are used to playback these sounds.

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Do I Need a Rear Surround Speaker?

Rear speakers are useful because they aid in creating a surround sound effect. They amplify and add depth to the sound because it comes from 4 speakers instead of 2. As a result, the listener will experience a more immersive and directed sound.

Having rear surround speakers is good if you have a large room. Using two front speakers won’t have the same effect and reach as adding a pair of rear speakers.

Of course, the debate on whether rear speakers are necessary is up to personal preference. If you want to have greater sound clarity, rear speakers are essential equipment for home theaters.

Even if it’s not necessary to use rear surround speakers for your home sound system, it helps create an engaging and aural experience.



Things to Consider When Getting Rear Surround Speakers

To have a full sound system, you’ll have to invest in rear surround speakers. This is not a question about the number of speakers you’ll need, but also the proper positioning of the speakers. Here are some things you should look for when getting your first rear speakers.


5.1 Channel Systems

There are 7.1 and 3.1 channel surround systems, but they are rarely used on a day-to-day basis. The rear speakers in a 5.1 channel system should be placed to the side or behind the listening positions. When in use, the speakers create an area of space in your room.

Certain companies recommend placing the rear speakers at 110° to 120° away from the audience. If positioning is an issue, you can place them 90° from the listening audience. The rear surround speakers have to be placed above the front speakers to create an ambient sound in your room.


Number of Rear Surround Speakers

When it comes to speakers, you can have as much as you want. Ideally, two rear surround speakers will work in a small-sized room.

A full sound setup will have five different speakers: a subwoofer, two front speakers, and two rear surround speakers. This is the minimum amount of speakers needed. The rear speakers need to be placed behind the audience, behind the sofa to improve the audio immersion in the room.


Room Configuration

Think about the size of your room before getting rear surround speakers. Think about how much sound your area can handle, and get speakers based on that. For instance, if you have a small room, having excessive speakers will result in a muddy, unclear sound.

Larger rooms need more speakers because they have more space. In this scenario, rear surround speakers will give you the best sound quality while taking up space.

Depending on the room’s interior design and how the windows, furniture, or walls are placed, you’ll need a workaround if the 90° or 110° position is unavailable. You have to place the speakers in a place that’s as close to these angles as possible. Ultimately, experiment with the speaker positioning and decide which position works best.


Speaker Usage

What is the purpose of your rear speakers? This is the last thing to consider when buying rear surround speakers. Most people use them for visual media and home theaters, but plenty of audio enthusiasts use them for audio media.

TV and film are produced in surround sound and stereo formats, while music is made in stereo. Thus, if you plan on listening to vinyl and other hi-res music formats, it makes sense to invest in a pair of rear surround speakers.

When it comes to TV and film, you can select either surround or stereo sound. As we stated earlier, TV speakers are stereo, making it a great idea to get surround sound if you create a home theater to showcase visual media. Otherwise, there’s a minimal difference from normal.

Make sure to consider these four factors when you’re planning on buying speakers. That said, rear surround speakers make a noticeable difference. There are few scenarios where it is not beneficial to add them to your current setup.

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While they only aid in ambient sound, rear surround speakers are still used today. Once positioned correctly, they will aid the other speakers in the room.

Conclusively, get rear surround speakers if you want to simulate a movie theater in the comfort of your own home.


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Music is the lifeblood of my veins. I love to listen, play and write music. Being a music band manager is what I love to do mostly because I love working with artists on their personal branding and brand building while helping them find the next level of success.

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