Does anyone use 6.1 surround sound anymore? (instead of 5.1 or 7.1)?

Landmonster

Landmonster

Audioholic
Hi guys.

Just a quick noob question.

I am in the process of building my home theater, and I have to come to terms with the fact that my room cannot support a 7 speaker setup. I can have 3 up front, and either 2 in the rear, or possibly 3 in the rear. I don't have space on the sides of my room for a true 7.1 system.

Given that limitation... should I aim for a traditional 5.1 setup? or should I even consider a 6.1?

For some reason, I recall hearing about 7 or 8 years back that 6.1 speaker setups were a "thing", where people used a rear center channel. Is this viable anymore? Just wondering.

3 Questions:
  1. Is a 6.1 setup even worth considering, or am I wasting my time?
  2. If so... I am using a Denon X4500h. I don't see any connection for a rear center channel. How would I go about this?
  3. If I stick with a traditional 5.1 setup, would I connect my surrounds to "Surround" or "Surround back" on the receiver? or does it matter? The speakers physiclaly would be a few feet behind and to the sides of the listening position.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Hi guys.

Just a quick noob question.

I am in the process of building my home theater, and I have to come to terms with the fact that my room cannot support a 7 speaker setup. I can have 3 up front, and either 2 in the rear, or possibly 3 in the rear. I don't have space on the sides of my room for a true 7.1 system.

Given that limitation... should I aim for a traditional 5.1 setup? or should I even consider a 6.1?

For some reason, I recall hearing about 7 or 8 years back that 6.1 speaker setups were a "thing", where people used a rear center channel. Is this viable anymore? Just wondering.

3 Questions:
  1. Is a 6.1 setup even worth considering, or am I wasting my time?
  2. If so... I am using a Denon X4500h. I don't see any connection for a rear center channel. How would I go about this?
  3. If I stick with a traditional 5.1 setup, would I connect my surrounds to "Surround" or "Surround back" on the receiver? or does it matter? The speakers physiclaly would be a few feet behind and to the sides of the listening position.
I’ve considered experimenting with this; I’m in a small room too. I will say that I have heard enough 7.1 to know that the Rears do work in stereo and it’s nice to have. I also know that DTS surround was encoded for a rear center, not a front... at some point this may have changed, but I do have DTS 5.1 audio media that sends a mono signal to my Rears and does not use my Center (Front).

On my Marantz, when I cycled through all the settings for speaker placement, they did have a single rear option. I do not recall which posts supported that. The only thing that has kept de from trying it out is that I haven’t set up Atmos yet, but when I do, I would want the option of running 6 channels up top rather than the 4 my Marantz supports.

For 5.1, you use the Surround connection and forego the Rears. There is more info coded to that channel than the Rears.

Like myself, the only way to know if it’s worth your time is to experiment with it. :)
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Audioholic Chief
My 1st ever AVR was a Sony ES it could do 6.1 but back than i was new to the AVR thing. Was strictly two channel guy it took me convincing my wife at the time why we needed this new AVR thing. It could be worth trying out.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Short answer? No. No studios support it, and for atmos, speakers need to be added in pairs. I’ve been into this since Dolby surround, and 6.1, I hardly can remember seemed like blip.
In a small room, I would absolutely focus on a solid 5.1, and if possible at least 5.1.2(..4 if you can get the rear tops back a little ways.
I started with 5.1 then 7.1 to 7.3.4. Adding rear surrounds was incremental and more academic than anything. However since I already have them installed, and I have the space, I’ll never go back.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Seems from what I've read the last few years support for 6.1 is disappearing, some avrs would have you connect a particular rear surround speaker if you only had one, think each of my (pre Atmos) avrs have that but I've never used it, think it has you connect to the left rear/back surround terminal to use. What avr are you using?
 
B

B SUBASCHANDRA BOS

Enthusiast
Just stick to 5.1.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
V

virtualdanger

Audioholic Intern
Due to limitations in my room, I was being suggested a rear center channel, so 6.2.4, as 7.2.4 has logistical constraints.

The AVR will likely be a Denon X3600H, with the backup option being the Marantz 6013.

What's the groups thoughts on this? Since 7.2.4 is not possible, will 6.2.4 be better than 5.2.4?

In terms of the sound mix, is my understanding correct:
  • With a 5.1 source mix the receiver would up-mix to 6.1
  • While with a 7.1 source mix, the rear 2 channels will be down-mixed to mono and sent to the rear center
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi guys.

Just a quick noob question.

I am in the process of building my home theater, and I have to come to terms with the fact that my room cannot support a 7 speaker setup. I can have 3 up front, and either 2 in the rear, or possibly 3 in the rear. I don't have space on the sides of my room for a true 7.1 system.

Given that limitation... should I aim for a traditional 5.1 setup? or should I even consider a 6.1?

For some reason, I recall hearing about 7 or 8 years back that 6.1 speaker setups were a "thing", where people used a rear center channel. Is this viable anymore? Just wondering.

3 Questions:
  1. Is a 6.1 setup even worth considering, or am I wasting my time?
  2. If so... I am using a Denon X4500h. I don't see any connection for a rear center channel. How would I go about this?
  3. If I stick with a traditional 5.1 setup, would I connect my surrounds to "Surround" or "Surround back" on the receiver? or does it matter? The speakers physiclaly would be a few feet behind and to the sides of the listening position.
I think you have to face the fact, that if you can not place the surrounds on the side, then your theater is a 3.1 room, which actually works fine. So in a 5.1 set up the surrounds are not at the back. It is the rear speakers that are optional.

I think there are far too many rooms that have 5.1 and 7.1 systems that should not have, and be far better 3.1 or even 2.1. Spend the money saved on better front speakers. You will be much further ahead that way.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Due to limitations in my room, I was being suggested a rear center channel, so 6.2.4, as 7.2.4 has logistical constraints.

The AVR will likely be a Denon X3600H, with the backup option being the Marantz 6013.

What's the groups thoughts on this? Since 7.2.4 is not possible, will 6.2.4 be better than 5.2.4?

In terms of the sound mix, is my understanding correct:
  • With a 5.1 source mix the receiver would up-mix to 6.1
  • While with a 7.1 source mix, the rear 2 channels will be down-mixed to mono and sent to the rear center
For my answer see post #4
IMO I depends on the compromises for the surround speakers. In 5.1 they should be back a little bit, but definitely not on the back wall. I have three rooms in my house with 5.1 as a minimum so I can’t recommend 3.1, “simply because I don’t like it”. You might like it very much.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
The only reason to consider a Rear Center instead of Rear Surround is Content. If you are a DTS 5.1 Music junky, then sure it makes sense: It's encoded for that rear Center Channel, not Front Center.
Other than that, focus your efforts on a proper layout where the speakers can be placed where they are supposed to in order to perform the way they are intended. :)
 
V

virtualdanger

Audioholic Intern
Thanks for the input; that helps close the matter. Will stick with my 5.2.4 plan.

And no, I'm not a DTS 5.1 music enthusiast.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The only reason to consider a Rear Center instead of Rear Surround is Content. If you are a DTS 5.1 Music junky, then sure it makes sense: It's encoded for that rear Center Channel, not Front Center.
Other than that, focus your efforts on a proper layout where the speakers can be placed where they are supposed to in order to perform the way they are intended. :)
What rear center channel for DTS 5.1? Got something you can point me at on that?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Due to limitations in my room, I was being suggested a rear center channel, so 6.2.4, as 7.2.4 has logistical constraints.

The AVR will likely be a Denon X3600H, with the backup option being the Marantz 6013.

What's the groups thoughts on this? Since 7.2.4 is not possible, will 6.2.4 be better than 5.2.4?

In terms of the sound mix, is my understanding correct:
  • With a 5.1 source mix the receiver would up-mix to 6.1
  • While with a 7.1 source mix, the rear 2 channels will be down-mixed to mono and sent to the rear center
I don't think your room is that limited. In fact you have a couple of different options that would both work. I think you're way verthinking this.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
When I play my DTS 5.1 Audio Discs my Center (front) gets no info. My Rears do.
Not all, but some use the Rear Center and not Center Front.
If you get your hands on a Pete Namlook DTS 5.1 disc, you will experience this exactly. :)
There really was no center "rear". Maybe a single "rear surround". I did just play my only DTS disc, Allman Brothers Fillmore East....and while there is content in the center channel, it is way below L/R. Many recordings are based on old quad/4.0 stuff, too.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
The Namlook (Peter Kuhlman, Fax +49-69/450464 Records, or simply Fax) stuff I have already is mostly the Labyrinth series recorded with Lorenzo Montana, 2010-2012.
That is just the Stereo version of Lab1. I don't think you can stream the DTS.
At first I couldn't figure out why things weren't working right when I was playing the Disc. I tried a few different formats before I realized I needed my Rears activated. My Center(Front) never once came on (until I switched to Multi-Channel Stereo). Once I realized it was matrixed out to the Surround Rears, I was golden. :)

This set of Discs is definitely a favorite. It was difficult to put together the complete set. Lorenzo sold me one of his archived copies of Lab 1 to finish me off! ;) (For which I am supremely grateful.)
I picked up a different one of Pete's DTS discs, too: Namlook XXV: Permutations.

Hmmm...
I think I need to spin one of these, now. :D

Thanks, Lovin'!!!

(Hope you check some of it out!) :)
 
P

Paul Mohr

Audioholic Intern
I have played with it in the past and my findings were that it really wasn't worth effort. With a properly set up 5.1 system the extra speaker will add nothing. I feel the same way about 7.1 (non atmos) systems in small rooms. For large rooms, yes it can help but for a small room you really don't need the extra two speakers. These are only my opinions though, I am sure many won't agree. Now when you are talking about dolby atmos or the DTS equivalent with ceiling mounted speakers then yes, it makes a difference. If you think adding a single a speaker in the back will emulate the effect of dolby atmos I think you will be disappointed. I am normally not overly impressed with new surround technologies but Atmos and Neural X actually impressed me. It can actually place sounds in a specific spot in the room quite realistically. And Neural X works really well on 2 channel music too.
 
V

virtualdanger

Audioholic Intern
I have played with it in the past and my findings were that it really wasn't worth effort. With a properly set up 5.1 system the extra speaker will add nothing. I feel the same way about 7.1 (non atmos) systems in small rooms. For large rooms, yes it can help but for a small room you really don't need the extra two speakers. These are only my opinions though, I am sure many won't agree. Now when you are talking about dolby atmos or the DTS equivalent with ceiling mounted speakers then yes, it makes a difference. If you think adding a single a speaker in the back will emulate the effect of dolby atmos I think you will be disappointed. I am normally not overly impressed with new surround technologies but Atmos and Neural X actually impressed me. It can actually place sounds in a specific spot in the room quite realistically. And Neural X works really well on 2 channel music too.
Thanks Paul. That was my feeling too, that the 1 extra rear speaker wouldn't add much over the 5.1 setup.

And yes, I am quite looking forward to experiencing Atmos.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Im running a 6.1 setup in my main system in the basement powered by a Yamaha RX-A3060. The room is not ideal and therefore the surround peaker positions not ideal. I still like it and have no complaints.
 
V

virtualdanger

Audioholic Intern
Im running a 6.1 setup in my main system in the basement powered by a Yamaha RX-A3060. The room is not ideal and therefore the surround peaker positions not ideal. I still like it and have no complaints.
Thanks for the input 3db. Yeah, sounds like there are one-off 6.1 implementations, all owing to room limitations. I'm probably gonna hold off on it for now though.
 

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