AV Surround Sound Packages
AV speaker packages are designed primarily for home cinema surround sound and comprise a front left, right speakers, centre channel speaker, left and right rear surround speakers (5) and an active subwoofer (0.1) - together as a system they are known as a 5.1 surround sound speaker system.
The centre channel speaker handles the dialogue (speach) channel, and therefore, together with the subwoofer, is critical in it's performance, as 90% of movie sound tracks are dialogue. The front and rear left/ right speakers provide panning effects such as cars moving across the screen, bullets flying over head, and helicopter noise. The subwoofer usually has it's own on-board power amplifier and reproduces bass frequencies only, and provides impact and dynamics to cinematic sound effects.
With five speakers and a subwoofer entering your living room, space saving surround sound AV packages have come onto the market, such as satellite/ subwoofer 5.1 surround speaker systems where there are five small satellite speakers designed to handle midrange and high frequencies only, leaving the bass frequencies for reproduction by the subwoofer, normally crossing over at about 120Hz. As the ear is not sensitive to bass frequency direction, the subwoofer can usually be placed anywhere in the room that is convenient. The satellite speakers usually offer both wall mounting via speaker brackets or speaker stand floor mounting.
Remember to allocate roughly 10% of your budget to good quality speaker cables and banana plugs which will ensure you get the most from your 5.1 surround speaker system. Pick an 5.1 channel AV receiver with automatic sound level and distance calibration using the supplied microphone and you will be up and running in less than 1 hour. For more guidance on purchasing the best AV Surround speakers for your system, see our How to choose AV Surround speakers article on our blog.