Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsHome Theatre · 2 months ago

How does 3.1ch work?

How do 3.1ch systems/soundbars work exactly? I know that the dialog comes from the center and everything else comes from the left and right, but what happens to the rear audio? I know with 2.1ch everything comes through the left and right, is it the same with 3.1ch? Or do you lose the rear audio entirely with 3.1ch?

Also, when using a PS4 on a 3.1ch system, do you select 5.1 or 2.1? If you select 2.1, wouldn't that make the center speaker useless? But if you select 5.1, wouldn't you lose the rear audio?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    3.1 would be a gimmick to sell an oddball stereo with a center channel and bass cube to people looking for a TV solution somewhat better than a soundbar. It is not a surround sound solution at all, and there is NO rear ambience. Its a stereo solution.

    Point one, indicates that there is no built in amplifier for the bass cube within the receiver, just a preamp level output. The bass cube would need to be self amplified (have a power chord, plug into the wall outlet,etc) - be independently powered.

    Surround systems have a minimum of 5.1 nomenclature, indicating they have rear channel amplification for speakers as well as amplification for the front speakers.There are pre-amp only "head" units that require separate four to seven channel amplifiers to be connected, but these are component level audiophile parts for system assemblers.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Why aren't people in the government viewed as being grandpa and grandma (since most are grandparents)

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  • 2 months ago

    The .1 channel is all low frequency effects,

    contained mostly in the one octave at the bottom of the range we can hear.

    Since we can hear up to ten octaves,

    someone decided to denote that octave, accordingly, as "one tenth".


    When you use a three-channel system,

    it mixes the rear channel signals into the front mains (left and right).

    Normally, it doesn't mix anything into the center channel,

    which carries mostly dialog. 


    Of course, when you use a two-channel system,

    the center channel signal has to be mixed into the left and right channels.

    It should be equal in both so that it seems to come from exactly the middle

    of the space between the left and right speakers.  

    As with the three-channel system, the rear channels are mixed into the front.  


    For the video game, use whichever setting works better for you. 

    • YKhan
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Really good answer, I was about to answer this myself, but you stated everything I would've said.

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