Sound that surrounds

A home theatre without surround sound is like a jacuzzi without the bubbly hot water. We show you how to pick a set of surround sound speakers that’s up to the job.

The other night my daughters started ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, a disaster blockbuster distinguished by appalling science but unparalleled special effects. “Not here”, I told them, referring to my living room’s regular TV set-up. I brought them out to my office, not for the bigger screen, but for the sound. The movie’s opening credits are backed by a huge Antarctic vista. Did you know that this is accompanied by extremely deep and hugely powerful bass noises, evoking a sense of grinding ice plates? How much are you missing out on in this movie without the doom-laden premonition that tone offers? Yet anyone who has relied on their TV set’s speakers when watching this movie would not even know it was there.

In the middle of Michael Mann’s 1995 cops-and-robbers flick ‘Heat’ there’s a lengthy shootout. On a TV it’s just a bit better than any number of shootouts on TV cop shows. But with surround sound in place, it becomes the best, by far, of any shootout ever filmed. Here we’re going to reveal what you need to realise the full impact of the surround soundtracks provided with most movies. Once you’ve experienced them, you’ll never want to experience the movie with anything less.