5.1 vs 7.1 THE FINAL BATTLE

5.1 vs 7.1


  • Total voters
    25
L

LGM

Enthusiast
Hello. I am trying to decide between a 5.1 or 7.1 system. I have not been able to find a definitive thread on what i thought would be a popular topic on this forum.

You're middle class with a huge basement soon to be rec room. You already have a projector(epson 2030) and receiver(denon s700w). Would you go for a 5.1 or 7.1?

My reasons for a 5.1: Easier installation, cost benefit, minus a few add ons by a director (creaking door) the majority of sound is from the front speakers, majority of films have this format

My reasons for a 7.1: 7.1 is a bigger number than 5.1, and bigger and more is better, and i will shame smaller men who sport a puny 5.1 unable to satisfy their wives

Im honestly leading towards a 5.1. I just want to see someone go to bat for a 7.1, cause i'm yet to really see it. I worry that a lot of people will already have invested into a 5.1, and that will bias their opinion. I understand technology is always developing and you will always be behind(720p,1080p,4k etc...) Using resolution as an example ive seen 4k basically denounced by the majority, the one dissenting voice i found argued the majority of people said the same with 720p vs 1080, and 1080 took over, and no self respecting person runs 720 anymore. is this the future of 5.1?

Please post your opinions! Ill try to make a poll as well, it may not work.

Moderators(do they exist?) please delete this thread if already created and link me to already created thread

Thank you
 
Ty Wayne

Ty Wayne

Audioholic
I've wondered about this myself. Personally, I don't want to hassle with adding even more speakers. Right now, if I can just get a few solid speakers and a solid sub, I'll be happy. I've wondered though, when I do get the funds to upgrade my receiver, should I buy a 7.1 instead of a 5.1, even though I don't necessarily plan on using the extra speakers? Can better quality be found in some 7.1's than 5.1's? I simply have much to learn. I've got a bunch of questions that Im seeking answers for. So far, this forum has been exactly what I needed. Im digging it!
 
T

Tom Grooms

Audiophyte
It's all about the room and budget. If you have less than 10 feet between your seat and the back wall, don't even consider them. In my room, the surround rear speakers really perform very well. They are 14 feet from the main listening position
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
There are literally thousands of threads on this and there have been ever since 6.1 and 7.1 became an option. That said, I agree with Tom, if the room isn't large enough to support a proper setup, then 7.1 doesn't buy you anything, especially if the money would be better spent on better speakers rather than more of them. Start with 5.1 and you can expand to 7.1 when you feel like it.
 
H

herbu

Audioholic Samurai
Start w/ 5.1. Then as you invariably begin upgrading your speakers, you can move 2 of your old ones to the back for 7.1. But by that time, it should be 7.2. ;)
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
My AVR supports 7.1 and I've upgraded to 6.1 over 5.1 only because I found a deal on a used speaker that matched my surrounds. The upgrade is subtle at best only because my room isn't quite big enough to take full advantage of 6.1. Going from 5.1 up requires a large enough room to support it if one is to notice any really appreciative results.
 
onlyme

onlyme

Enthusiast
I selected 7.1, only because that is what I have. That being said, if I didn't already have a spare set of bookshelves that matched the rest, wire, banana plugs, and space to put everything, I wouldn't have bothered. Now that it's all set up, I'm not noticing much (any..?) more "surround immersion" that I did with the 5.1 setup. I'd almost consider taking the rear two down, but uh, I'm lazy... and stuff... ;)
 
walter duque

walter duque

Audioholic Samurai
This was my 7.2 set up



So was this at one time (that did sound good) but I like to change now and then.



Now I am back to 5.2 removed the on walls and set up the surrounds a little different and it works. I do have a small room may 14x14 so 7.2 didn't make much sense. I would go with dual or maybe even 4 subs.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
This was my 7.2 set up



So was this at one time (that did sound good) but I like to change now and then.



Now I am back to 5.2 removed the on walls and set up the surrounds a little different and it works. I do have a small room may 14x14 so 7.2 didn't make much sense. I would go with dual or maybe even 4 subs.

Love the couch!!
 
walter duque

walter duque

Audioholic Samurai
Love the couch!!
I don't know what my wife is going to say when the two rear subs are moving in and the other pair of rear surrounds which are going to have to stay in the box.
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
- When restricted by budget, always get the best speakers you can afford, not the most
- A vast majority of source material tends towards 2.0 or 5.1 anyways, especially streaming / TV sources.
- Discrete 7.1 as in video games and DTS-HD Master BluRays is a notable upgrade over 5.1 IMO
 
R

Roger Ewing

Audioholic Intern
I have an Onkyo TX-NR818 that will support 11.1 (includes upper high, lower wide). I was in that mode of 'bigger is better' (but too big causes pain for some). I never added the uppers or wides.

So, I'd been at 7.1 for years. Never found much content that supports it. But the processing did make use of it some.

Just moved to a new house, and the WAF and room doesn't easily support 7.1. Just purchased new nicer speakers, and went with 5.1, with the rears in the ceiling (ALL recommendations were against in-ceiling).

I have to say, WOW, this sounds good. I credit the better speakers. No 7.1 needed for me.
 
T

tcarcio

Audioholic General
It's all about the room and budget. If you have less than 10 feet between your seat and the back wall, don't even consider them. In my room, the surround rear speakers really perform very well. They are 14 feet from the main listening position
I agree 100%. It really does matter about the size of the room. You said you have a huge basement so I would go with 7.1 or at least run wires for 7.1 then you can always expand. I have a smaller room 17x15x8 so I run 5.1 but my surrounds are full range speakers with a 10" woofer and a 90x90 waveguid compression tweeter and I love the way it sounds.
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
You're missing an option called "Depends".

When going new, virtually all units offer 7.1 as standard equipment so that pretty much rules cost an option for the receiver.

Now, the two rear speakers may or may not bust your budget but, since surrounds don't need to be up to quite the same standards of the front speakers you don't have to go crazy with them

As for source material, a 7.1 movie costs the same as a 5.1 movie.

To me, the only factor that dissuaded me from a 7.1 system is lack of room for those two rear speakers. I don't have the room behind my listening area to properly place them. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
I vote 7.1 mostly because PLIIx Music mode is a big improvement over regular PLII.

If your seats are too close to the back channels just turn them down lower or elevate them.
 
M

MOSHY25

Enthusiast
Be nice to bump this. Any more thoughts from anyone. I am in the same boat....sort of. Currently have a Marantz NR1603. While I do have 7.1 now, I need a 4k AVR. Xbox, Movies, and personal content.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Be nice to bump this. Any more thoughts from anyone. I am in the same boat....sort of. Currently have a Marantz NR1603. While I do have 7.1 now, I need a 4k AVR. Xbox, Movies, and personal content.
If you already have 7.1 what's your question?
 
M

MOSHY25

Enthusiast
Room size is about 25x25 but the back which I am not counting is open to a wet bar area. My question is whether to not I need to go 7.1. As mentioned I need 4k, if I can save and get a 5.1 4k AVR I may. Grabbed the 5 closest Blu-rays and 2 4k movies, only 1 had 7.1 listed as an option. 1 out of 7???? So if most movies, game content, and Netflix is only 5.1...what does the extra 2 channels get me?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
And no one ever listed room sizes. I personally wouldn't do 7.x of a Marantz NR series unless it's a small room and efficient speakers.
...or maybe just lower listening levels?
 

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