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When setting up a home theater, most people make the mistake of buying a 'one size fits all' surround sound system before taking into account the type of environment it will eventually play in.
• Does your home theater have wall to wall carpeting, or hardwood floors?
• Are there any windows, artwork, or drapes to affect the sound dispersion from your speakers?
• What shape is your room?
• How tall are the ceilings?
These are questions you need to explore before buying your surround sound speakers. Hard surfaces (like ceramic tile, wood floors and bare walls) tend to reflect sound. Soft surfaces such as carpeting and drapes absorb sound. There are surround sound speaker designs to fit any need. Ideally, the sound produced from your surround speakers should offer the same fidelity as your main and center speakers but generate a diffuse sound field. In other words, you should not be able to 'place' the source of the surround program material.