Surround Sound 

What is surround sound?

Surround sound is a listening experience that is quickly gaining popularity in home theater systems. Radio broadcasters are beginning to adopt it, as well. The surround sound experience is impressively realistic, because multiple speakers around the room surround you with sound that has been specially mixed for this technology. 

What is the difference between surround sound and stereo?

Stereo uses two different channels (commonly called "left" and "right") to produce a more realistic image than is possible with a single (mono) channel. Surround sound uses at least six speakers to create a 3-dimensional sound image that can be far more realistic than a traditional stereo listening experience.

What is the center channel, and why is it important to surround sound?

With a traditional stereo system, the center channel is an auditory illusion that generally contains the most important audio, such as the vocalist or soloist. The center channel is created by putting that audio on both the left and the right channels. The sound then mixes in the room so that, if you are standing in the right spot, this sound will appear to be coming from a spot between the two speakers. With surround sound, one speaker is dedicated to the center channel, so no matter where you stand in a room, you will hear the center channel coming from the center of the room.

How is surround sound transmitted?

Colorado Public Radio is working with Neural Audio Corporation to develop surround sound technology for radio. With the Neural 5.1 system, we can "piggy-back" the surround sound information on top of our regular stereo transmissions. This allows listeners listening in mono or stereo to maintain an optimal listening experience.

How do I receive surround sound in my home?

In order to receive surround sound broadcasts, you will need to invest in a surround sound system. ListenUp, Colorado Public Radio’s retail partner, can offer consultation, sales, and support for these systems. To make sure that you can receive the widest variety of surround sound broadcasts, be sure your receiver is equipped to receive Neural 5.1 surround sound. When KVOD is broadcasting programming in surround sound, we will announce this on the air (particularly on Colorado Spotlight with Charley Samson). Just tune to KVOD (88.1 FM in Denver) or to the KVOD frequency in your community. Most home theater receivers can receive FM radio.

Can I listen to surround sound over the Internet?

Yes. KVOD will soon have a demonstration broadcast available on demand over the Internet. This broadcast will feature performances recorded in the KVOD Performance Studio mixed especially for Neural 5.1 surround sound. Simply connect the audio from your computer to the input of your home theater receiver. Keep checking this website for more information on this upcoming broadcast.

How do I set my receiver for surround sound?

  • If your receiver is Neural-equipped, set the surround mode to Neural Surround to enjoy pure 5.1 surround sound.
  • If your receiver is not Neural-equipped, it can deliver an excellent surround effect. Set your receiver’s surround mode to either Dolby Pro Logic, or DTS Neo: 6. You can also try one of the music-specific versions on these surround modes, if your receiver offers them: Dolby Pro Logic II Music, Dolby Pro Logic IIx Music, or DTS Neo: 6 Music.

Can I listen to surround sound in my car?

In many ways, automobiles provide an ideal surround sound environment: think of your car as a miniature recording studio. According to research conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, surround sound is now the most desired entertainment feature consumers want in their next car. Automobile companies have taken notice, with some predicting that surround sound options will be widely available as soon as the 2008 model year.

Where can I get more information about the Neural Surround Sound System?