5.1 speaker set with 6.1 or 7.1 receiver

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by ChrisC, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. ChrisC

    ChrisC Extra

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    I'm starting to look at investing in a home theater, and I'm confused as to why most receivers are 6.1 or 7.1 nowadays, yet speakers are mostly sold as 5.1 systems.

    My question is, if I get a set of 5.1 speakers, but have a 6.1 or 7.1 system, will I miss any sound? (The room isn't big enough to justify 6.1 or 7.1 in my opinion.) If I have the extra speakers, what tracks come out of them if the sound is in 5.1? Or do these speakers stay silent?

    Thanks for clearing up this confusion.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    No missing sound. The processor / AVR will run with the speakers you define as being there.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    The size of the room really doesn't drive the choice between 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 setups. The shape and other physical characteristics of the room could affect your choice just based on whether you've got a place to put the extra speaker(s) at the back.

    The AVR will have lots of choices for what it does with any given input but it can use whatever speakers are there regardless of number of channels of input. Unless you did something special, with a 5 channel input it will process the surround channel to use the side/back speakers in a 7.1 setup to create a wide surround field. Similarly, if fed a 2 channel input and it can use just the front pair or spread it around all the speakers via various processing options.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    As mentioned, just make sure you turn on and off the respective speakers in the receiver to match the array you have and things should be correct. 7.1 is a nice improvement, but if budget is tight better to spend wisely on a good 5.1 system then degrade the fronts for instance to get rears. You can always buy another pair of speakers later on to move to a 7.1 system.
     

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