For screen reader problems with this website, please call815-729-10508 1 5 7 2 9 1 0 5 0Standard carrier rates apply to texts.

What is 7.1 Surround Sound?

by Ronald Elias

1. 7.1 Surround Sound Explained

Most people are somewhat familiar with surround sound speaker systems, or at least have heard about surround sound before. But once us tech heads and audiophiles start throwing in numbers and shortcuts and all of our own lingo, things can feel a little confusing. 

That’s what we’re here for, though! Today we’ll take a look at some of your frequently asked surround sound questions -- starting with 7.1 surround sound. 

A typical surround sound system is 5.1. The 5 corresponds with the number of channels -- a center channel, two left and right channels, and then two rear channels.

A 7.1 surround sound system, then, adds two more channels to that: It adds two additional read speakers. This gives you seven full channels of sound and a total of eight speakers, which is really going to make your home theater roar. 

2. What About The .1?

This is another common question -- what is that hanging .1 doing at the end of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound? How did we go from seven speakers to eight in the section above?

Well, the .1 is the part of your system that is most likely to upset your neighbors: the subwoofer. And yes, you can see systems that are 5.2 or 7.2 -- that just means they have multiple subwoofers!

3. What About 7.1.1?

Just to make things even more confusing, with the advancement of surround sound, somebody decided to go ahead and add even more numbers to the nomenclature, making things look even more complicated.

The good news is that they aren’t actually anymore confusing. The extra number refers to Dolby Atmos. Atmos uses either ceiling speakers or upward facing speakers to create sound above you -- it makes it actually sound like you are sitting in the middle of the movie with sound now fully happening all around you. 

4. Does X/Y/Z support surround sound?

This one gets a little tricky, because it depends what you are asking about.

Blu-Ray player? It totally does. Video game consoles:? Them too! The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch all support surround sound. 

As for everything else? You’ll probably want to check the manufacturer's website or any information that came with whatever you are asking about.

5. Is Surround Sound Worth It?

This is a question that we get asked a lot, and of course the answer is entirely subjective. But if you were to ask us, the answer is always a resounding yes!

Whether you are looking for a way to add theater-quality sound to your home theater -- or you’re just looking for speakers that are louder and better quality than the ones that came with your TV -- surround sound is a must have. It can really transform your movie watching experience -- even if you are streaming! Streaming services do offer surround sound options, as well, so if you want the best out of your Netflix binges, surround sound is the way to go.

And there you have it! All your basic surround questions, all nice and answered and in one place for you. The only question left now is how soon are you going to come give us a visit to check one out for yourself? Whether you are looking for a new sound system, a new TV, or maybe some smart technology, we’re right around the corner -- come on down today or give us a call!