A feature of home theatre audio equipment in which there are at least four speakers spaced at more-or-less even intervals around the listener. This can make movies like Aliens sound much cooler because you hear the aliens creeping up behind you. Also, in Star Wars, you hear starfighters going behind you. It heightens the experience of the movie. There are several different types of surround sound encoding: Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital aka AC3, and THX. These at least are the most recognized ones.

"I went down to Neil Young's ranch, and he rowed me out to the middle of the lake. Then he waved at someone invisible, and music started to play from the countryside. I realized Neil had his house wired as the left speaker and his barn wired as the right speaker. And from the shore, Elliot Mazer, his sound engineer shouted, How is it? And Neil shouted back,"

More Barn!

-Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, 1991.
Quoted in Visions of Technology (NY : Simon & Schuster, 1999) p352.

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