Surround History 101
First there was monaural recording (mono for short) with its single speaker playing the sounds of our world. By 1877, Edison’s crude cylinder-based phonograph was a huge leap forward for both recording and reproducing sound. A decade later, the Gramophone introduced shellac disks that could be mass-duplicated and distributed. It wasn’t until 1948 that 45s and LPs emerged on vinyl.
Bell Labs experimented with stereo recording and playback in the 1930s. These early attempts routed two microphones to two separate speakers. Initial stereo radio broadcasts occurred sporadically during the 1950s. However, it took until the 1960s for stereo recordings to be released on vinyl LPs. Stereo TV arrived in the late 1970s. That ...