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Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by round — see water


  • 1 a (1) : to enclose on all sides : envelop <the crowd surrounded her> (2) : to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest
b : to form or be a member of the entourage of <flatterers who surround the king>
c : to constitute part of the environment of <surrounded by poverty>
d : to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle <a wall surrounds the old city>
  • 2 : to cause to be surrounded by something <surrounded himself with friends>

Surround Sound

Surround sound encompasses a range of techniques for enriching the sound reproduction quality of an audio source with audio channels reproduced via additional, discrete speakers. The three-dimensional (3D) sphere of human hearing can be virtually achieved with audio channels above and below the listener. To that end, the multichannel surround sound application encircles the audience with surround channels (left-surround, right-surround, back-surround), as opposed to "screen channels" (center, [front] left, and [front] right), i.e. ca. 360° horizontal plane (2D).

Surround sound technology used in cinema and home theater systems, video game consoles, personal computers and other platforms. Commercial surround sound media include videocassettes, DVDs, and HDTV broadcasts encoded as Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, or DTS. Other commercial formats include the competing DVD-Audio (DVD-A) and Super Audio CD (SACD) formats, and MP3 Surround. Cinema 5.1 surround formats include Dolby Digital and DTS. Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (SDDS) is a 7.1 Cinema configuration which features 5 independent audio channels across the front with two independent surround channels, and an LFE.

Most surround sound recordings are created by film production companies or video game producers; however some consumer camcorders have such capability either built-in or available separately. Surround sound technologies can also be used in music to enable new methods of artistic expression. After the failure of quadraphonic audio in the 1970s, multichannel music has slowly been reintroduced since 1999 with the help of SACD and DVD-Audio formats. Some AV receivers, stereophonic systems, and computer soundcards contain integral digital signal processors and/or digital audio processors to simulate surround sound from a stereophonic source.

In 1967 the rock group Pink Floyd performed the first-ever surround sound concert at “Games for May”, a lavish affair at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall where the band debuts its custom-made quadraphonic speaker system.[1]