What is the difference between the 5.1 6.1 and 7.1? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : What is the difference between the 5.1 6.1 and 7.1?

09-14-2004, 01:10 PM
Hi all, I am newly registered to this forum, and like to greet to all people.

I plan to make a home theater system for my bedroom, which is about 12 x 12 ft, I have owned a Panasonic AV control stereo SA-HT260, it is a package type system, which has 5 speakers and a subwoofer. It is an old system, I can hardly notice any "surround sound", I know, it's time for a new one, well, here I am, please be my adviser, I thank you all.

1) what is the difference between 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1? which one is right for a small room?

2) Which receiver should I pick, I have $300 now, I want good deal stuff, but must have "theater" sound quality?

3) No more package system, build one myself? How? Where to start?

thank you

N. Abstentia
09-14-2004, 03:38 PM
5.1 is 2 fronts, 2 rears, 1 center.

6.1 is the same as 5.1 with a rear center.

7.1 is the same as 5.1 but with side surrounds instead of the rear center.

I've heard no real reason to go more than 5.1, but I think I would like 7.1 if I had to choose.

I wouldn't bother right now. If I were you, I'd go 5.1 and take that extra saved money and get better equipment. If you want 'theater quality' sound, start saving. Your $300 would be a good down payment on a subwoofer! If you truly want theater quality, be ready to spend at least around $3000.

09-15-2004, 05:01 AM
In a bedroom 6.1 and 7.1 might not work too well. You really need the surrounds to be equally spaced around the watching/listening position. This means that you won't be very satisfied with the effect while sitiing/laying in bed. You could invest in the 6.1/7.1 capable receiver now and just buy the extra speakers later if you ever think you will put it in another room someday.

09-15-2004, 06:30 AM
I agree with earlier posts that a 5.1 is definitely sufficient in your bedroom and you probably will not even be able to effectively utilize a 6.1 or 7.1. However, if you think you might use a 7.1 receiver down the road (like moving it into your living room), you can always buy a 7.1 receiver and bi-wire your two front speakers in the bedroom. But N. Abstentia is right, if you decide to go the 6.1 or 7.1 route, then be expected to spend quite a bit more money.

09-15-2004, 07:09 AM
If you want a new 5.1 System for around $300-$400, and want a good quality system... Check out add #9546 in the Classifieds. www.onkyousa.com

Sir Terrence the Terrible
09-15-2004, 10:54 AM
There is no such thing as 7.1 for the home. 7.1 stands for 7 discrete channels, and LFE. There is no such format that support this setup. There are however matrix driven DSP that manufacture 7 matrixed channels from 2 stereo channels, but that is not the same as 7 discretely encoded channels.

I agree with most here. There is no reason to get into anything more than 5.1 if your room is not very large or wide. The EX signal can plainly be heard if you sit equidistantly between the surround speakers. That is if they are properly calibrated.