When selecting and setting up surround sound it is important to realize that many key features do not work as advertised in a large number of products. Common faults in many receivers, preprocessors and players include the following.
- Bass management drops bass that should be redirected to subwoofer causing the system to lack punch.
- Bass management does not properly filter transfer of bass to subwoofer causing a boomy bass.
- Incorrect surround and back channel processing causing a loss of surround effect.
- Low LFE level causing the low frequency effect to be very muted.
- Improper level matching between LFE and bass management.
- Automatic setup fails to balance channel levels causing the system to present an unconvincing surround experience.
- Automatic setup fails to detect common polarity errors in subwoofers and speakers causing the bass to be weak.
- Automatic setup fails to properly adjust the timber of the system causing it to be harsh, boomy and/or hard to understand.