Sound or audio is essential everywhere, either for communication purposes or entertainment. Various sounds such as stereo audio exist and are recorded by different channels based on the type. Sound channels are the independent audio signals that playback when recording a sound or when in different positions. The channels are usually one or more, thus influencing the sound produced and the number of microphones and speakers used. We expound on the types of sound channels below.
Types of Sound Channels
Below are some of the common sound channels you should know about.
1. Mono or Monophonic sound
Mono means one, so the audio is recorded in a single channel. Also, the playback is done using one audio channel. You may use different instruments during the recording; however, the sound will still be mono due to the single microphone used.
The sound is perceived to be coming from one location, even if several speakers are used to pass information. Monophonic sound has some significant advantages, but it’s outdated because its recording method lacks an actual location. Its slowly being replaced, but it remains the standard sound for applications like telephone networks, radiotelephone communications, and audio induction loops.
2. Stereo or Stereophonic sound
It is sound recorded using two or more microphones or channels and played back using multiple speakers. You can hear different sounds coming from varying directions creating an imaginative yet deep connection with the sounds and direction they are coming from. This is particularly true for music lovers during a concert. Stereo sound is meant to replace mono audio and has developed a wide application, especially with audio cards. It has become a standard sound preferred when listening to music, music-oriented radio stations, Digital Audio Broadcasting, and FM broadcasting.
3. Prospective stereo sound channel
This technology incorporates both mono and stereo audio during reproduction. The sound is in mono audio when recording, but the sound heard after reproducing can still be mono or converted to stereo. The prospective stereo audio card was in the market for some time, but its use dwindled over time.
4. 5.1 surround sound
The system uses more channels than the mono or stereo sound. It has a total of 6 channels whereby five are standard, and one is a subwoofer. The subwoofer produces low-frequency effects and works with all speakers that are the center, left, and right front and rear speakers. The 5.1 surround sound comes with few speakers making it easier to set up. It is also the perfect type for small-sized rooms since it’s less bulky.
5. 4.0 surround sound
The number ‘4’ indicates the number of channels it has. Speakers are placed in corners of the four channels and produce independent sound signals. Sound comes from different directions depending on the positioning of the channels. The 4.0 surround sound technology has grown immensely and has been integrated into various designs.
The different sound channels create an opportunity to experience audio in various forms. Some of them are still relevant and are applicable in multiple divides, but others are not in use. The number of channels present indicates the sources of sound during recording or playback. Each type has an advantage over the other, but they all work to give off the sound in mono or stereo.