The audio format commonly found for CD's (and older LP's as well) is the classic stereo (two channels: left & right).

For the video, the standards was stereo in the begining (perhaps mono even) and after came the home cinema which create a demand for more channels (usually 5.1). The film industry adapt very quickly to create such new standard and their production made the mixing for supporting that with a good effect.

The question I am wondering is: Is there any CD's (or another support) which are mixed in 5.1 (or more, as there is 7.1, 8.1 and 9.1 amplifiers now)? I mean only music support and not a DVD of a live concert including video.

I heard about SACD, but it looks not very well common. Why is this format not so common and do we need a special player (other than the DVD player on a 5.1 combo)?

  • 3
    One question at a time, please. Also, please do some research, you don't even seem to have read the wiki page on SACD.
    – BCdotWEB
    Apr 9, 2015 at 11:08
  • 3
    I did search and saw the SACD wiki... but I cannot say it is very well documented. Should I browse the whole Internet before asking question here? After how many hours/days/weeks of research I can ask? After I agree many questions came to my mind when I was writing the question, but they are very close and can be answered at once.
    – рüффп
    Apr 9, 2015 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


5.1 never got real traction in music, it's purely a home theater thing now.

But, Cinemas worldwide recently started to adopt 3D audio formats like DTS-X and Dolby-Atmos and Auro3D. That lead to enthusiasts and early adopters having the same setup now in the living room, all major receiver manufacturers sell those amplifiers. Downside is you have to have height speakers, but that's no problem in the car and using headphones- and here is your answer.

Mix your Music for any 3D audio format, use a decent binauralisation, and distribute on two-channels like stereo and listen on headphones.

and deliver multichannel using web&streaming - no restrictions to legacy hardware.

You're a first provider in an evolving market.


There is also DVD-A, which takes advantage of 5.1. However, there's a deeper issue here.

First of all, the proliferation of Hip-Hop, which (let's face it) doesn't really utilize instruments the way, say, Jazz or Progressive Rock does. It's a beat, more often than not in a live setting it's a DJ spinning while singers lay down vocals. There's really no need to take full advantage of SACD or DVD-A in the way that, say, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon did. There really isn't even much channel separation in Hip-Hop, save for maybe some overlayed vocals.

Couple that with today's music trend (or trend of the general teen). Everyone is on their own island. Kids plug in their Beats by Dre, listen to music and text their friends. There isn't the whole experience of calling up your buddy and saying, "Dood! I just got the new Rush record! Come over and let's listen to it!". And that's a fact. High-end stereo receiver sales are dead. It's all about the personal experience, which can only be had on 2 speakers planted in your ears.

So, if you were a band struggling to make sales in a new digital distribution environment, would you spend the money mixing in 5.1 for the few thousand fans that might actually have systems to appreciate it, or would you take that money and buy a Ferrari?

Are there CDs out there that take advantage of it? Yes. They're not hard to find if you search Amazon, and the list is too long to be of use here. But they're usually re-issues of proven sellers, designed specifically for the audiophiles.

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