Home Forums Aperion Forums Aperion Owners Room size/How much difference is there between 5.1 and 7.1 surround?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jeffrey 7 years, 3 months ago.

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    I'm a noob, so bear with me. I'm trying to figure out how much difference in sound there really is between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound? The room I'd be setting it up in is 14.5 feet by 24 feet, and I'd be sitting pretty much dead center in the room with the TV along one of the short walls. The system would be primarily for movies (Blue Ray DVDs)(to be honest, they're mostly cheesy action flicks, but I do like my explosions to sound like "real" explosions!). If I understand the speaker placement requirements correctly, part of the problem with a 7.1 system is that there are large floor-to-ceiling windows along the center section of one of the long walls (directly to the left of where I sit), so I there doesn't apper to be a good way to put in the center/side speakers. (There are actually two large windows and a door, and they take up about nine feet along the centor of the wall. There is about 15 inches between the top of the windows and the ceiling)

    I don't think I'll be living in this house for more than a couple years, but I'd like to buy a good system that will work in quite few rooms in whatever house I buy in the future. (I'd prefer to buy a system that's a bit of overkill for this room if need be, rather than buy something now and then start over in a couple years after I move)

    My thinking right now is that it might make sense to buy 4 of the 6T towers with the 12D subwoofer and 6C center speaker, and get a decent receiver (it appears to me $800 – $1000 should do it for the receiver?), set it up for 5.1 for now, then upgrade to 7.1 at future date if/when I can set it up in room that's more suitable for mounting the 7.1 speakers.

    Are there any major disadvantages to going this route? In the real world, does 7.1 really make that much difference? (i.e. is it worth it to try to figure out a way to mount the 7.1 speakers in my existing room?) Also, would the 6T speakers actually be too much for this room and cause problems in some way?

    One last question: besides space and/or appearance, are there any disadvantages to using towers for the rear speakers?

    Once again, bear with me, I'm a noob at this!  



    Hello Publis1776-  I have a room size of around 18'x25'x8' and I put a ceiling mount for my plasma in to match my 3 fronts exactly.  I have the 6Ts upfront.  I watch 70% High Def movies and 30% music.  IMO having Towers for surrounds would be overkill unless you listen to a lot of 7 channel stereo for music listening.  For movies your back surrounds do not have a signal sent all the time, unlike your 3 fronts that carry the most sound (especially the center for dialogue).  If you have 8 feet or more for your back surrounds you would enjoy 7 speaker surround for movies-myself and family love 7.1 movie night:).  As far as your 2 surrounds to the side of you, if you cannot put on the wall (I have my 5 series on a bracket around 6' off the floor and angled down-to aim the sound over our heads) you could always purchase stands and place on those…but IMO it sounds better just above head level.  My receiver is a Denon 3808 and I would purchase again if needed to.  Hope this helps.  Browninggold



    I agree with Browninggold that four towers would be overkill. Heck, the 6Ts are probably overkill for a room your size but if you think your next place will be bigger then go for it. Personally, I wouldn't bother with 7.1 just yet; there's not a lot of content out there so you can wait on the speakers. But, given your receiver budget, you can easily get an AVR that will handle 7.1 down the road. When that happens, you can just add the extra speakers.

    For now, you can go with either 5B or 6B rears, with the 6Ts and 6C up front. If you get the 5Bs and don't find those adequate in a few years you can always use those as your 7.1 speakers and get 6Bs in the rear or put the 5Bs in another room.


    Jason Hicks

    Yeah I like joetag's suggestion, 6Ts and 6C up front, 12D and 5Bs for rears.  Since we have the trade up program and 30 day trial if the 5Bs really aren't doing it for you then you can always swap them out, but I bet you'll be really happy with them.  Another option would be to go with the 4BPs as they will give you a more dramatic surround effect, even if you mount them on the rear wall. 

    I also agree that I would start with 5.1 and then you can add the sixth and seventh channels down the road.  

    Hope that helps, thanks!



    Thanks for the responses, that helped quite a bit.

     One more question: In terms of trying to set up a 7.1 system in my room, if I had 6Ts and 6Cs up front, a 12D, and 5Bs in the rear, would there be any benefit to putting 6-IC (in-ceiling) speakers in the ceiling? The room has a cathedral ceiling, so the ceiling speakers would be pointed almost directly at me while I'm watching TV. I'm guessing this is less than ideal, but would the in-ceiling speakers have at least some benefit? The cost is not all that much, so I'd probably put them in if there was some benefit, even if the benefit is modest, only with a few movies, etc. (I can't figure out any way to mount larger speakers without blocking my window, etc.)



    Hey Publis.  I'll throw out my experience with surrounds for you to chew on.  I started with a 5.1 setup that had a pair of small bookshelf speakers located in the back (behind the couch).  Even though the surrounds in a 5.1 setup are supposed to be on the sides, my setup actually sounded pretty decent.  Eventually, I added two in-ceiling speakers (Aperion 632-ICs, since replaced by the 6-ICs) as my side surrounds, and (using my receiver's setup menu) configured the bookshelf speakers to be my rear surrounds.  There was a noticeable, albeit subtle, difference in the depth of the surround field in switching from my hokey 5.1 setup to a more traditional 7.1 setup.  Also, our home theater is in our "great room", which has 10-foot high ceilings (although non-cathedral).  If you have the money to burn, I say go for it.


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