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Why only 2D if there could be 3D?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Well, I just thought about something - one of my more serious thoughts concerning surround - and I'd like to gather some more thoughts and opionions:

Of course, todays surround solutions being marketed as 3D sound is pure nonsense, because it's simply wrong: As mono translates to a single point, stereo doesn't deliver 2D, but 1D only - thus existing surround only translates into 2D, because it gives us a horizontal sound-plane.

But why is there no real 3D sound, yet? I mean, there is 7.1 surround, now (which might as well be represented by an 8.2 or even more complex speaker configuration). But wouldn't 8.0 surround (e.g. with a bookshelf size speaker in each corner of the room) be more attractive, because it could deliver real 3D sound? Of course, there is one drawback: Calibrating the speakers for 3D sound would be even more difficult to achieve with more than one listener. Nevertheless, it should work for one or two people even in a small room. Compatibility to stereo could also be an issue... So what do you think: Is there an evolutionary reason behind this? Or will companies wait to introduce 3D sound until we all have just upgraded (or additionally bought) at least to a 5.1 solution? I'm not sure, but during the last years I've developed a deep mistrust in the CE-industry... <sigh>

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / Lini
post #2 of 3
I don't know. I am afraid this could simply mean one more possibility to screw things up. And even "normal" surround sound is difficult to handle (although I have to admit, your latest approach for headphone surround sound is unsurpassed in its simplicity).

I just feel, this futile attempt to squeeze a holographic image of musical proceedings into one's living room is where a lot of present-day problems of the hifi-industry have started. This obsession about soundstage very often takes away from musical enjoyment and emotional involvement. Those qualities might not be contradictory per se, but they are rarely to be found in the same equipment. I mean: We are even listening with headphones and enjoying it, aren't we? You can do whatever you want: A symphonic orchestra just won't fit into your living room. Well, if it does - would you consider adopting me?
post #3 of 3
One reason why it hasn't been introduced is, that our hearing is far more accurate in the horizontal axis than in the vertical axis, around 2 degrees horizontal, around 15 vertical.

Another reason is that stereo is not truely 1 dimensional but forms some kind of arc, the mono image of a stereo system corrensponds more closely to a sound source at 0;15 degrees (horizontal;vertical) than to one at 0;0.

One more reason is that the recording technics for 5 channel surround are still not fully researched and are still in development.

Yet another reason is that it even more invokes room interaction, every speaker added makes room influences on the sound stronger.

Next reason: It is not necessary for classical music.

Tomcat, if your playback room has little enough influence on the playback even an orchestra playback will sound quite believeable.
But this means you have to do systematic acoustic room tuning. This is expensive and will change the look of your room.
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