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What Does 5.1 or 7.1 Mean for My Surround Sound System?

home theater space featuring floorstanding speakers as part of a surround sound system.

We Explain the Basics of Home Theater Speaker Setups

Though we could dive deep into the concept of surround sound systems, we find it best to give a general overview of what the numbers mean since our clients ask about this detail frequently. 

5.1, 7.1, or 7.1.4 - What the heck do those numbers mean? Which is best for your Prosper, TX, home theater or media room space? Keep reading below to find out!

SEE ALSO: Whole-Home Audio Delivers Music & Media to Every Corner of Your Property

Surround Sound

Two of the most common home theater surround sound system setups include 5.1 and 7.1. A 5.1 system includes one center speaker, a right and a left speaker, and two rear speakers, totaling five speakers. The “.1” of the system is the subwoofer. 

A 7.1 system adds two additional speakers, splitting the rear surrounds into four discrete channels of right, left, and two back surrounds for a more immersive soundscape coming from every direction. For Dolby Atmos content, adding four upward-firing or in-ceiling speakers would change your setup from a 7.1 to a 7.1.4 system. As you add more speakers, the number changes, and your sound experience goes from good to fantastic!

Our AV team will design, install, and calibrate your surround sound system, so you’re fully immersed in the action of movies, TV shows, sports, and more!

An Integrated Home

And the best part? You can integrate your speakers, TV, lighting, and other smart home devices into one intuitive Control4 system. Press the Movie Night smart scene, and the AV system fires up, the shades lower, and the lighting dims to the perfect setting. All you need to do is bring along the popcorn for an evening of riveting film entertainment!


Connect with our team here to start a conversation about the possibilities.

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