Surround sound speakers (Rear channel) importance?


Standard Member
I am currently looking for buying a 5.1 setup. I am getting a good deal on PSB speakers however I have nearly exhausted my budget buying a Yamaha Amp and the front 3.1 set up (no rear channel speakers yet).


Center Piece:-


The speakers will be delivered soon, but am thinking should I buy the rear speakers as well? They would cost me like 250-300$ more here and frankly my budgets gone too far with the existing set up already :zonked:

So my question is do rear speakers add much to the overall experience? My main purpose is gaming and music... The guy at the shop told me that the rear speaker just fire up for only about 10-15% of the entire movie length... So am guessing it ain't that important what do you think?

Also, I have 2 existing rear speakers from my previous set up however the sound coming from them is kind a crap so should I use them although I fear that the yamaha amp will blow the cone out of them....


Standard Member
Nice choice of speakers!

I myself have PSB Image T5's and a C5 and B5's.

Certainly plan at some stage to get say the B5's for the surrounds even if you can't afford them now. It will really complete your system and give you a great setup.

I actually enjoy listening to 2ch stereo music in 5.1 with my Yamaha receiver. Its '7ch Stereo' option gives far more flexibility for setup than 'PLII Music' or 'Neo:6 Music' offers. Being able to control how much of the sound field is distributed to the center or surrounds from 0 to 100% in 1% increments means you can create a soundstage as deep or as subtle as you choose. Don't let anybody tell you that the surrounds don't get used much.

Having the full lineup of Image speakers will create a seamless sound field that blends together perfectly.
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Distinguished Member
Although the rears only take around 10-15% of the total sound output they are the speakers that create the surround sound experience. So if you are looking for surround sound then they are fairly important. But if you are just looking for a sound quality improvement then you could leave them out. Personally I would stretch and get the full 5.1 system.


Distinguished Member
What PSM1 said, you can't be surrounded by sound unless you are surrounded by speakers, that why they call it Surround Sound.

However, that doesn't mean what you have can't sound very very very good, it is just not surround sound.

I would not worry about this right now. Get what you have already bought, set up and working properly, then see how desperate you are for the surround speakers.

I'm guess, while you will certainl want the rear speakers, you can get by just fine until you finally feel it is necessary to spend the money.

Also, keep in mind that it is the front three (Left/Center/Right) that are most critically matched. The Subwoofer and the rear speakers are far less critical, and I'm taking strictly about tonal match and voice now.

You could put almost anything in the rear as a stop-gap until you can afford the speakers you want.

Something like the Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 for about £60 ( would do an excellent job, and certainly would extent the time until you feel you need matching speakers.

Just one point of confusion, your profile says you are in the UK, but the PSB is more common in the USA and you are quoting in DOLLARS. If you are in the USA, Canada, or Australia, it is harder for us to recommend alternate speakers for the rear. Though I keep up on prices in the USA, so I could point you at some 'get by' speakers if you are interested.

By the way, excellent speakers; I'm envious.

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Standard Member
Thnx dude actually I live in India, I moved back here from London and I quoted the price in Dollars just for convenience for the readers..

I'll just make do with the one's I have now from my previous system and then just get the remaining 2 rear later on if I feel it's necessary. Truth to be told my existing system has been there for like 6-7 years and anything I buy will be a massive upgrade. I could have bought the entire 5.1 set up for a lower grade model, but I thought that sacrificing on Rear speakers and getting an upgraded front 2 speakers was a better idea so I went that way.

Anyways thank you all for helping me out :)

I love this forum... Helped me a lot while picking out an amplifier..

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