Ambisonic sound for the masses


  • J.S. Bamford Dept. of Phys., Waterloo Univ., Ont., Canada


audio acoustics, audio systems, loudspeaker systems, multispeaker arrays, three channel systems, multichannel systems, ambisonic system, reproduction


In the past decade, television broadcasts have increasingly been available in stereo. The availability of stereo video cassette recorders has also increased interest in home theatre. Films have used multi-speaker arrays to create better imaging and this has filtered down into videotapes of those films by using Dolby Surround encoding. When a recording is made using Dolby Surround, four signals are encoded into two channels for storage. Upon playback, a Surround Sound decoder is required. Dolby Surround certainly sounds different from stereo but offers little imaging for rear sounds. An ambisonic system uses three or more channels to encode the sound for reproduction. By using more channels of information, a better reproduction of the image is obtained. Ambisonic systems also easily allow for the addition of more speakers. At the minimum, there must be as many speakers as channels. Adding more speakers will improve imaging




How to Cite

Bamford J. Ambisonic sound for the masses. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1994 Sep. 1 [cited 2021 Dec. 9];22(3):63-4. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada