How is a 5.1 Different from a 7.1 Surround Sound?

After saving up for months, you’re now ready to purchase a surround system. But have you thought of which home theater system to buy? Will you choose a 5.1 or a 7.1? Find out the differences between these two here. 

Your dream of setting up a home theater system has come to reality. All you need to do is find the best surround system.

As you browse through stores, you’ll notice that surround systems vary in kind. Among these choices, the most popular are 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. Chances are you have read reviews and comparisons about these options at online sources. If not, you can check them here at Home Cinema Effect.

As a beginner, it is important to familiarize yourself with these sound system categories. Below are the basic details you must learn about a 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.

What is a 5.1 Home Theater System? 

The number ‘5’ represents the number of speakers the sound system has. Meanwhile, the number ‘1’ indicates the subwoofer. Thus, a 5.1 home theater system comes with a front left, front right, front center, surround right, and surround left speakers together with one subwoofer.

A 5.1 sound system is a more common and popular choice for standard-sized homes. Also, it is a basic option for beginners since it is more affordable and easier to troubleshoot.

Though a top-of-the-line 5.1 sound system has excellent sonic performance, it is not the best choice for large spaces. It will fail to deliver clear sounds, which negates your purpose of buying a home theater system. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a sound system, always take into account the size of the room. If you have a large area, a 7.1 is a better choice.

What is a 7.1 Home Theater System?

A 7.1 surround sound system consists of the same speakers as a 5.1 plus a subwoofer, but with an additional set of rear sound speakers.

The additional rear sound speakers enhance the audio quality of the sound system. The rear speakers add depth and power to the audio quality, thereby creating a better listening experience. It mimics the feeling you get when watching a movie at a cinema house.

A 7.1 surround sound is the best choice for larger rooms. The seven speakers can envelop the room with a clear sound. However, make sure to position the speakers in the right placement. Wrong positioning gravely affects the audio performance of the speakers. Thus, consult the equipment’s manual when setting up to ensure correct placement.

A 7.1 home theater system is also more difficult to troubleshoot. If you are unsure of how to fix the system, it is best to ask assistance from a professional rather than doing DIY repairs.

Which is a Better Choice? 

The answer is it depends on the situation. If you have a smaller space, a 7.1 surround sound is never a good idea regardless of the equipment came from a well-respected brand name. The sound will reverberate throughout the room and hurt your ears instead of providing you good entertainment. On the other hand, a 5.1 can’t envelop a large room with satisfying sounds. Therefore, when it comes to picking out a speaker system it is important to consider the factors that might affect its performance.