5.1 vs 7.1 THE FINAL BATTLE

5.1 vs 7.1


  • Total voters
    25
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
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????
Most movies are 5.1 still.....and avrs have gone away from 5.1 for quite a while (maybe 5.1.2 etc, tho)
 
M

MOSHY25

Enthusiast
Exactly my point, so what is the point of 7.1 if most content doesn't use it? Using a similar but new model of Marantz (not tied to them just an example) $750 for base 7.1, $550 for base 5.1? Granted the 7 gives you component and 2 more HDMI inputs, but that isn't a big deal to me nor warrants the extra $200.
 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Exactly my point, so what is the point of 7.1 if most content doesn't use it? Using a similar but new model of Marantz (not tied to them just an example) $750 for base 7.1, $550 for base 5.1? Granted the 7 gives you component and 2 more HDMI inputs, but that isn't a big deal to me nor warrants the extra $200.
Well, many avrs aren't simply 7.1 or 5.1 now, they now have overhead/immersion technology. Which particular models are you looking at that are only 7.1 or 5.1? You can expand 5.1 content to 7.1 easily enough with sound modes like Dolby PLIIx/z or on newer avrs with Dolby Surround (or the equivalent DTS sound modes). More about your speaker/room setup than the specific format recorded too....

If you can get what you want with a "5.1" avr then go for it.
 
M

MOSHY25

Enthusiast
I have no models specifically in mind. I do like my Marantz but seems a bit under powered. Mainly like it for the slim factor. Finishing off our basement and need to spec out what I want. Wife hates speakers and loud movies so trying to get what I can. All 3 kids and myself like it loud like a theater. Previous location was smaller and used Energy RC Micro. Was thinking to upgrade the front speakers and use the Energy for side and rear only. Just not sure what to do without breaking the bank. I am a video guy, not an audio guy.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Do you want ceiling speakers to justify the newer immersion tech (like Atmos/DTS:X/Auro3D)? If you want to make the most out of your current avr I'd look at high sensitivity speakers....
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Exactly my point, so what is the point of 7.1 if most content doesn't use it? Using a similar but new model of Marantz (not tied to them just an example) $750 for base 7.1, $550 for base 5.1? Granted the 7 gives you component and 2 more HDMI inputs, but that isn't a big deal to me nor warrants the extra $200.
A lot of times, the point is not much. I personally don’t like upscaling from 5.1 to 7.1(PLIIx).However I like to plan for having the capability and not always using it, vs not having the capability if I want.

But as HD said, we have moved beyond basic 5/7.1 into immersive technologies. So the 7.1ch avr can now be used as 5.1.2. Or a 9ch avr can do 5.1.4 etc. so if there’s an inclination to do atmos, I would go 7ch minimum or even something with at least 9ch of processing with the capability to add an external amp for 5.1.4.

If you’re not interested in atmos, try looking here for an older refurb that still does 4K.
https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/avreceiver/home-audio/receivers-amps/home-theater-receivers/1.html
 
F

Foxrox

Junior Audioholic
If you’re finishing the basement, and don’t yet have drywall up, do yourself a favor and wire for everything. 7.2.4. Maybe even 7.4.4. Decent speaker wire is cheap. You can still start with 5.1 with the best possible speakers, but you might want those extra channels or sub placement options someday.

I don’t understand the talk about lack of content. DTS Master HD was apparently king for years. Most of my Blu Ray collection has that. Most big movies from the last few years have Atmos tracks, especially if you’re buying UHD discs. Even new streaming content has a lot of it. If you’re subscribed to 4K Netflix, you’ll see several newer shows with Atmos.
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Exactly my point, so what is the point of 7.1 if most content doesn't use it? Using a similar but new model of Marantz (not tied to them just an example) $750 for base 7.1, $550 for base 5.1? Granted the 7 gives you component and 2 more HDMI inputs, but that isn't a big deal to me nor warrants the extra $200.
Atmos, and a very large amount of new releases use it. Even when it doesn't, the upmixers do a great job with legacy content.

Sent from my LM-X210(G) using Tapatalk
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Sure the discipline route could potentially work :D
That's no fun! Even listening at about -15dB, which would put the dialogue at around 60dB LUFS still calls for 90dB peaks. That's about 25wpc at 10' with a speaker rated 85dB 1w1m.

The problem with low listening levels (below - 5dB) is that many quiet sounds such as ambience etc. are lost to the noise floor of most people's rooms, which is usually an average of 40dB in a very quiet room or as much as 50dB with hvac noise. That's also not taking into account the change in spectral balance due to the equal loudness contour, which can be solved partly via dynamic eq, if one uses audyssey. Dynamic eq will also increase power requirements, about an 8dB shelving of the low end beginning around 250hz, where speakers generally present their lowest impedance.

Sent from my LM-X210(G) using Tapatalk
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
Is it possible we are all being conned.... my receiver is 7.1 and I hear no sound effects from the rear speakers, there is sound but no isolated effects only from the side speakers. I recently spent time at a home with a Samsung theatre in a box 5.1 set up and it was far more immersive than my expensive gear.... the separation was brilliant! when home I decided to change my receiver settings to 5.1 but the receiver will not allow an option for surround rear speakers just the surround side speakers.... very annoying! I have also read recently that most movies are created in 5.1 so what is the amp supposed to do with that.... I assumed through AI create the extra channels but its appears not.... or at least not the separation you would expect or hope for! Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe we've been hoodwinked. Perhaps Atmos or DTS-X is better.... older movies wont have either and do all new movies have it?
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Is it possible we are all being conned.... my receiver is 7.1 and I hear no sound effects from the rear speakers, there is sound but no isolated effects only from the side speakers. I recently spent time at a home with a Samsung theatre in a box 5.1 set up and it was far more immersive than my expensive gear.... the separation was brilliant! when home I decided to change my receiver settings to 5.1 but the receiver will not allow an option for surround rear speakers just the surround side speakers.... very annoying! I have also read recently that most movies are created in 5.1 so what is the amp supposed to do with that.... I assumed through AI create the extra channels but its appears not.... or at least not the separation you would expect or hope for! Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe we've been hoodwinked. Perhaps Atmos or DTS-X is better.... older movies wont have either and do all new movies have it?
You're correct about you rear surrounds, they play a limited role based on content and in a majority of rooms are neccessary. Object based is more beneficial to the immersive experience than rear surrounds. That being said the upmixers will help in a 7.x setup. Maybe you have a setup issue? Can't imagine a HTiB setup sounded better than a proper system.
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
You're correct about you rear surrounds, they play a limited role based on content and in a majority of rooms are neccessary. Object based is more beneficial to the immersive experience than rear surrounds. That being said the upmixers will help in a 7.x setup. Maybe you have a setup issue? Can't imagine a HTiB setup sounded better than a proper system.
everettT
Don't believe I have a setup issue... as stated I tried to switch to 5.1 to compare apples with apples but the system only has the option to switch to side speakers and not the rears.... I will need to manually change the speaker connections to compare as I believe the rears give a more immersive sound, as in the HTiB, rather than persisting with 7.1? Everyone is rushing out to purchase 7.1+ but I've a feeling they will be disappointed! Happy to be proved wrong!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
everettT
Don't believe I have a setup issue... as stated I tried to switch to 5.1 to compare apples with apples but the system only has the option to switch to side speakers and not the rears.... I will need to manually change the speaker connections to compare as I believe the rears give a more immersive sound, as in the HTiB, rather than persisting with 7.1? Everyone is rushing out to purchase 7.1+ but I've a feeling they will be disappointed! Happy to be proved wrong!
I’m trying to follow but not sure...
Are you saying you wanted to try 5.1 but use the rear surrounds instead of the sides? The reason you can’t is because it’s not an actual option. You would actually have to leave the rear speakers in place, and then connect them to the surround(side) speaker outputs. I originally agreed with Everett that you had a setup/setting issue, and still think it’s possible. I have, and have had a number of 5.1 systems and found surround speakers placed at about 110° to be much better than behind, and have even had plenty of sounds come “from behind” in this configuration.
My main system started as 5.1, then 7.1 and now 7.1.4(I do use three subs). I will agree that when I added rear surrounds and went to 7.x it was NOT groundbreaking. BUT, adding the .4 in my ceiling was transformative. I take certain considerations when recommending people to add rear surrounds, like if they have enough room etc since if they are too close can be more distractive than immersive. I never felt conned at all. I know no matter how many channels a soundtrack has, it’s how the mixer uses them that makes the difference. And also, fwiw, “most” movies I don’t necessarily find to be in 5.1. I have many in 7.1, and pretty much all
Atmos and dts-x tracks have a 7 layer bed. Literally hundreds of Atmos tracks out there. And like “Dolby surround”, the original one from 30 some years ago all the way to current soundtracks, it really depends on the mix.
Not to mention DSU(Dolby surround upmixer) and DTS nueralX(dts’ upmixer). These can upmix from 2.0 through 7.1 into very immersive tracks that can easily rival authentic Atmos and dtsx, and in some cases become better.
Curious to know if the HTIB was level matched, and what sound modes were used in testing of all soundtracks. Sorry if this gets a TL;DR, I got a little windy...
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
Yes William I thought I explained that... its not an option which I think is weird.... and I use 2 subs! Its a big theater room 6m x 6m.

Re the 5.1 and not many movies in 7.1.... that info came from an article not my observation.... perhaps it was incorrect?

Maybe there are better Atmos receivers out there but I thought I'd be happy with my Denon 7.1!
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Yes William I thought I explained that... its not an option which I think is weird.... and I use 2 subs! Its a big theater room 6m x 6m.

Re the 5.1 and not many movies in 7.1.... that info came from an article not my observation.... perhaps it was incorrect?

Maybe there are better Atmos receivers out there but I thought I'd be happy with my Denon 7.1!
5.1 is the gold standard...if you intend to stream movie content...I think it will continue to be the gold standard for quite some time.

Blu-ray...there are a healthy amount of titles in 7.1
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
5.1 is the gold standard...if you intend to stream movie content...I think it will continue to be the gold standard for quite some time.

Blu-ray...there are a healthy amount of titles in 7.1
Yes mate.... I think that puts it into perspective.... so if streaming, as most of us do these days, 7.1+ is not that important.... or even detrimental to your enjoyment if your system is set to 7.1.... as in my case! When streaming receivers should have the ability to switch to 5.1 using rear speakers.... can you see where I'm coming from?
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic
Many systems are installed in living rooms, family rooms or basements and have to contend with challenging room dimensions, budgets and spouses. For those reasons, my current setup is 5.1(2 subs) and was once a 7.1 setup as well as a 5.1.2 setup. Up firing atmos speakers were not working for me. If I had a big rumpus room and an even bigger budget, I would be sportin’ 7.2.4. Is there a dedicated theater build out there with only 5.1?
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
Many systems are installed in living rooms, family rooms or basements and have to contend with challenging room dimensions, budgets and spouses. For those reasons, my current setup is 5.1(2 subs) and was once a 7.1 setup as well as a 5.1.2 setup. Up firing atmos speakers were not working for me. If I had a big rumpus room and an even bigger budget, I would be sportin’ 7.2.4. Is there a dedicated theater build out there with only 5.1?
Basically the message is the only way a 7.2.4 would work or be satisfactory is if you have the correct channels inputed.... most streaming is 5.1 so until that changes or unless you hire or buy discs recorded with atmos etc why bother?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Basically the message is the only way a 7.2.4 would work or be satisfactory is if you have the correct channels inputed.... most streaming is 5.1 so until that changes or unless you hire or buy discs recorded with atmos etc why bother?
Well actually because some streaming actually contains native Atmos material. AppleTv, Netflix Prime, Vudu and I think Hulu offer Atmos. Also the new upmixers are very good and expand to use all available speakers, and do it much better than PLiix ever did.
So no, I don’t feel like that is the message at all. To the contrary actually. Plus, many of us have physical collections to play, so if you don’t mind physical media, there’s plenty of content. And again, the upmixers now are better than ever and can expand a 5.1 track to 7.1.4 and can be almost the same if not better than some Atmos or dtsx tracks. I’m still not totally sure what your 7.1 woes are, but I can say my experience has been much different than yours.
 

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