5.1 vs 7.1 THE FINAL BATTLE

5.1 vs 7.1


  • Total voters
    25
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
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?
Yes indeed, we all do have compromises to make. I’m fortunate to have 7.3.4 in my LR but it’s also not perfect. Some things I won’t concede to, but others I have made agreements with my wife for. We usually work it out.
Yes, there are definitely dedicated 5.1 builds out there. I have two other 5.1 systems in my house but they’re definitely NOT dedicated lol. However, people are still doing them. Another thing I’ve noticed is that Atmos tracks played back in 5.1 systems still benefit from the newer mixing techniques. Can’t say exactly why, but I notice better “movement” and imaging with at
Is tracks even on 5.1 systems.
 
T

Trebdp83

Junior Audioholic
Funny you mention the mixing techniques. I thought something would be lost without atmos speakers or a new receiver with height virtualizer. I recently watched “Doctor Sleep” on blu-ray and it was one of the most immersive and lively soundtracks I have ever heard. Even non atmos DTHD soundtracks benefit. I popped in “Star Trek VI” the other day. It is still my favorite one of all, mostly because the entire cast decided to overact in that one. Why should Shatner have all of the fun? I had not played it on my newer receiver and speakers yet and it was a blast. “taH pagh tbHe!”
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
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.
Which upmixer do you recommend?
 
M

Macca

Audiophyte
Additionally.... I have a 7.1 system which doesn't work well with the majority of 5.1 files/input as most people will find.. fact! Conned fact!
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
My current system was put together in 1999. It's a 5.1 system, which has satisfied me in all manner with one exception, no means to enjoy multi-channel SACDs. I resolved that problem 2 years ago with the purchase of an OPPO-205 Universal Player. At any rate, a recent trip to Best Buy's to look into an iMac gave me an opportunity to hear a Dolby Atmos demonstration. I was so impressed with it I am now in the market for it; and, it appears, I can integrate it into my present system with the purchase of a Marantz Pre-Pro, an additional two channel power amp and a pair of Klipsch speakers. The new Pre-Pro will also get me Airplay, HDMI, and a few other conveniences too. Thing is the expense for Atmos pleasure I figure will cost me about $4000 and that's the rub.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
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?
I'm not sure if I do actually. If I understand you correctly, you have a 7.1 setup and when you play 5.1 content what happens?

What should happen is the decoder will recognize the content and you shouldn't get any sound at all from the rear surrounds...only the side surrounds...regardless of how you have it set up.
 
T

Trebdp83

Junior Audioholic
Added channels were the result of new decoding techniques and soundtracks in DD and DTS formats these days are not as simple as 2 channel stereo. They are designed to contract or expand so that the optimal output can be achieved by the speaker setup in use. Are you watching a DD 2.0 track from a streaming app on a 3.1 setup? No problem, dialog will be steered to the center channel, enjoy it. Are you playing a Dolby Atmos track on a 5.1 setup? No problem, it will process the DD+ or DTHD core accordingly. Are you watching a disc with DTHD 7.1 on a 7.1 setup? No problem, enjoy it! Are you watching an old DTS encoded DVD on a 7.2.4 system? No problem, switch to DTS Neural:X and make use of all of those speakers and enjoy it! Do you want simulated height channels for Atmos or X on a 5.1 setup? No problem, get a new virtualizing model and enjoy it! Do you want to match channel encodes with channel decodes? Simply turn off or on those channels that need to be adjusted and enjoy it!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Which upmixer do you recommend?
for me it depends. For music DSU is more natural sounding, but I use stereo for music too. Depends on what I’m listening to. Dtsnx is what I use when I’m watching satellite material and some BD’s. In short, it depends. Both are better than PLIIX which I did enjoy for music as well. I’m fact, I used to listen to 5.1 tracks on my 7.1 system IN 5.1 just because I disliked how PLIIx handled the surrounds. The matrixed rear surrounds took away the precise imaging. Real 7.1 content was different of course.

Additionally.... I have a 7.1 system which doesn't work well with the majority of 5.1 files/input as most people will find.. fact! Conned fact!
Conned fact? I’d like to see you prove that. You might not like how some things work, but I find that has little to do with certain formats, or playback capabilities.
Again. If I follow you, you want to play 5.1 content on your 7.1 system, BUT use the rear surround speakers instead of the side surround speakers. That’s not a con, it’s just how it works. What receiver do you have? You should be able to listen to 5.1 content on your rig but it will use the sides, not rears. Maybe you should just go back to 5.1 and use the rear surround speakers as your “regular” surrounds. Again, your experience has been different than mine, but I’d hardly say you were conned.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
I'm not sure if I do actually. If I understand you correctly, you have a 7.1 setup and when you play 5.1 content what happens?

What should happen is the decoder will recognize the content and you shouldn't get any sound at all from the rear surrounds...only the side surrounds...regardless of how you have it set up.
I believe he wants to play 5.1 on his 7.1, BUT have the rear surrounds active instead of the sides. IIRC the original claim was that it was more immersive, on a Samsung HTIB. This has not been my experience with surrounds located on the rear wall. I THINK that’s his intention.
At first I thought it was a setup issue, but I now think it’s one of expectation.
Not sure of the AVR, but it can be set to upmix 5.1 OR play 5.1 on 7.1. It just won’t use the speakers he wants.
 
T

Trebdp83

Junior Audioholic
Yeah, that would be a whole new set of features: Reassignment of channels. "Say, how would it sound if I assigned the center channel info to the left surround speaker until this ear infection clears up?" The possibilities are endless. While we are still on the topic of channels, didn't I see a video around here of a guy running a Frankensystem with height AND low(underseat) channels? I'm sure he is enjoying it. Good on him. Dolby will be wanting a piece of that action. I can see it now. "Opening Friday is Marvel's Secret Wars of Plot Hole Madness in Stinkorama(4D) and Dolby Utmost !" That's mine, but you can all use it. ;)
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
I believe he wants to play 5.1 on his 7.1, BUT have the rear surrounds active instead of the sides. IIRC the original claim was that it was more immersive, on a Samsung HTIB. This has not been my experience with surrounds located on the rear wall. I THINK that’s his intention.
At first I thought it was a setup issue, but I now think it’s one of expectation.
Not sure of the AVR, but it can be set to upmix 5.1 OR play 5.1 on 7.1. It just won’t use the speakers he wants.
Oh...okay. I see what you mean now. He's trying to get the AVR to play side content via the rears...I wonder what's the draw to the rear speakers?
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top