An audio recording can be played in many ways. The simplest method and the one that was used in the first soundtracks is called MONO. This means that all sounds are recorded on a single audio channel and are usually played back with only one speaker.
2-channel recordings, which play the sound through 2 speakers on one side and the other on a listener, are often called STEREO.
Introduction to Surround Sound
There can be no equivalence between stereo and stereophonic since the latter refers to a larger series of multi-channel recordings. Double-channel sound has become standard in FM radio broadcasts and most TV broadcasts, as well as home audio equipment. The simplest stereo recordings are made using a microphone that records the sound that comes in two directions, like the two ears of a man.
Surround sounds bring the idea of music a little further, bringing more audio channels, so the sound starts from several directions. The term “surround sound” from the multichannel sound systems developed by Dolby Laboratories is more used as a generic term for cinema sound systems and home cinemas. Continue reading Understanding and Choosing Surround Sound System