The Audience Is Listening

The newest home-theater-in-a-box kits fill an audio gap you probably didn’t even know existed. DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX formats add a sixth channel (rear center) to traditional five-speaker surround sound, letting you hear conversations and explosions directly behind you. And while many current DVDs don’t take advantage of this boost, it’s the future of cinema, both at home and at the multiplex. When choosing your rig, remember it must handle video smoothly while emphasizing what you want most in audio: theater-style impact, high-quality music, or something in between.

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