TVs & Home Theaters forum


5.1 or 7.1 surround? Is it worth it?

by ibuyalot / December 5, 2011 4:02 AM PST

I'm redoing my family room and have the walls open so I want to run proper wiring for surround sound. Curious what opinions are on 5.1 Vs 7.1 setups, and if the 7.1 is worth the extra costs?

I don't watch a ton of TV, but when I do watch I want it to sound good.

My room layout forces the main couch to be against the back wall, so I'm not sure if the extra 2 rear 7.1 speakers are going to really help that much since the side/rear 5.1 speakers will be directly to the left of the viewer.

Looking for some opinions if 5.1 is good enough, or if I should just go 7.1.

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Clarification Request
what 3course didn't say/ask
by Pepe7 / December 6, 2011 12:51 AM PST

Keep in mind most cable/satellite tv audio content is at best DD5.1, never 7.1. If you are truly going for the best sound quality, save up and spend more of your money on higher quality speakers instead of worrying about 5.1 vs 7.1, which is not as significant of a difference. Good speakers vs bad can truly rock your world once you get it right.

All Answers

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5.1 or 7.1 surround? Is it worth it?
by 3coursedinner / December 5, 2011 4:20 AM PST

If you don't have now or plan to watch blu ray disks the 7.1 may be overkill. You didn't say how to receive tv signals but I can tell you that with a proper receiver and speakers digital tv audio can be excellent in 5.1.
If you want to be future proof you can always wire for 7.1 and have the speaker wire available through a wall outlet with the opporunity you have now. By the way -- side/rear speakers to the left of the viewer? No speakers to the right or behind for 5.1?

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5.1 and 7.1
by ibuyalot / December 6, 2011 1:27 AM PST

Thanks for the replies Pepe7 and 3coursedinner.
So it sounds like it might be smart to wire for 7.1, but plan to run 5.1 for now since I am not an audio freak and don't watch a ton of TV/Movies.

Yes, there will be speakers to the right side, I was just saying directly to the left as a comparison to where the viewer, and the couch are positioned.

Anyone suggest in-wall speakers for the rear's? I've seen some decent Polk's that had good reviews and didn't break the bank.

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I am a bit puzzle of this statement:
by ahtoi / December 6, 2011 2:01 AM PST

"By the way -- side/rear speakers to the left of the viewer? No speakers to the right or behind for 5.1?"

Never heard this before. What's the logic behind this? Just curious.

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