davidme
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May 23, 2021

Using surround speakers for general left-right

 

Hi, I have a SoundTouch 300 sound bar. I have a somewhat unusual room config, in that the soundbar is on the west wall, but my TV is in the south-west corner and the seating faces south. Assuming the Surround 700 speakers come back in stock, when not watching 5.1 sources (which I don't really care about; AdaptiQ does a good enough job for the media I watch), do the surrounds act as stereo left and right speaker augmentation? I know many other 5.1 systems work this way. If I hook them up, will AdaptiQ use them to provide sound across the east-west plane? Or do they only respond to rear 5.1 signals.

 

Thanks!

 

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rickatk
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Nov 12, 2015

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

Author Accepted Answer selected by davidme

@Xyz987 wrote:

My experience is the rear surrounds will not carry the full left/right stereo signal, nor will they play at anything near an acceptable volume for that.   Your experience might be different from mine.


Agreed: Bose doesn’t provide decoding for discrete 5.x and 7.x stereo. The best you can hope for is down mixing to 2.x stereo or indeed source stereo. Any sound you hear from the rear speakers is down mixing artifact.

 

Many AV receivers like higher priced Yamaha’s provide discrete 5.x and 7.x stereo which spreads a stereo or 5.1 source over all the speakers. Audiophiles and listeners like me prefer music coming from the front speakers in true speakers.

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Xyz987
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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

A Bose Soundtouch 300 soundbar is a 5.1 system.  It carries 6 discrete channels.  The sound bar itself carries front left, center, and right.  The Bose Acoustimass module, if you have one, carries the non-directional bass signal.  The two rear surround speakers carry the rear left and right signals.  If I am playing a stereo music source, I sometimes get some sound out of the rears and not at other times.  I think it mostly depends on the music source, the format of that music, and the receiver you are using.  Personally, I would only purchase the rear surrounds for a 5.1 signal.

davidme
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May 23, 2021

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

Thanks, I'm aware it will distribute 5.1 channel sources, but can it be determined what the "sometimes" is where it will transmit to left-right surrounds in stereo mode? I listen to music from several positions, mainly using Bluetooth, that could solve my problem of music distribution across the east-west plane. The main listening position is basically in the centre of the room, but directly in front is a large window, so I can't do much else about positioning. I really like the design and sound quality of the Bose setup using the soundbar, and don't want to go to a more complex amp + speakers setup.

rickatk
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Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right


@davidme wrote:

Thanks, I'm aware it will distribute 5.1 channel sources, but can it be determined what the "sometimes" is where it will transmit to left-right surrounds in stereo mode? I listen to music from several positions, mainly using Bluetooth, that could solve my problem of music distribution across the east-west plane. The main listening position is basically in the centre of the room, but directly in front is a large window, so I can't do much else about positioning. I really like the design and sound quality of the Bose setup using the soundbar, and don't want to go to a more complex amp + speakers setup.


@davidme I suggest trying to get the sound bar under the TV, placing the sub at the front of the room near the TV and adding the rear speakers. Let adapt iq figure out your room shape and speaker level requirements.

 

As @Xyz987 suggests if you are receiving a stereo source, your gear will figure it out. Likewise 5.1. I have a SoundTouch 130 with a console. Every time I depress the volume the console displays the codec it is processing. Unfortunately the 300 doesn’t do that. 

 

Don’t second guess this gear, it does a great job on its own. Many of us live in rooms that are not ideal for sound, but adapt iq does a pretty good job. 

 

davidme
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May 23, 2021

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

@rickatk thanks for that suggestion, but I really can't put the soundbar under the TV. There is no "front of the room," it's on a fold-out mount, normally flat against the wall in the south west corner. It serves its purpose well and is unobtrustive, but would look weird and would have to be tuned for the two positions to put the sound bar underneath.

 

@xyz987 could only say "sometimes," I'd need to know absolutely whether the rears will be treated as left-right stereo in that mode. If they aren't, I have no use for them. I have used AdaptiQ in all five positions, but it doesn't provide any presence from the south east at all. I'm just not sure if I hook up the rears in the south-west and south-east (or maybe south west and north east) it would use them to compensate for the lack for stereo "width," or if it only programs for 5.1 "special effects."

 

It may be that my use case, mostly music in stereo, occasional av in whatever mode as long as it sounds decent and speech is clear, are not what this system was designed for. Which would be a shame, since for music it sounds great, I just want a wider sound stage facing south.

 

I had ordered the smaller surrounds weeks ago and they unexpectedly shipped, I guess I will find out this weekend.

 

Xyz987
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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

My experience is the rear surrounds will not carry the full left/right stereo signal, nor will they play at anything near an acceptable volume for that.   Your experience might be different from mine.

rickatk
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Nov 12, 2015

Re: Using surround speakers for general left-right

Author Accepted Answer selected by davidme

@Xyz987 wrote:

My experience is the rear surrounds will not carry the full left/right stereo signal, nor will they play at anything near an acceptable volume for that.   Your experience might be different from mine.


Agreed: Bose doesn’t provide decoding for discrete 5.x and 7.x stereo. The best you can hope for is down mixing to 2.x stereo or indeed source stereo. Any sound you hear from the rear speakers is down mixing artifact.

 

Many AV receivers like higher priced Yamaha’s provide discrete 5.x and 7.x stereo which spreads a stereo or 5.1 source over all the speakers. Audiophiles and listeners like me prefer music coming from the front speakers in true speakers.

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