Does 7.1 Surround Sound make a Difference? Here’s How

You would wonder, “does 7.1 surround sound make a difference?” And like you, other sound enthusiasts have their preferences and reasons. Of course, there would be noticeable benefits of 7.1 over other setups, perhaps, not so much in headphones.

7.1 surround sound makes a difference. 7.1 suits larger rooms that consume sound, and provides deeper and more immersive surround sound. The listening experience is cinematic, clearer and you hear farther footsteps and even the speaker’s breath.

When placed perfectly, a phase-coherent, 7.1 surround sound audio system spots no parallel, not even Dolby Atmos rig would be ideal for immersion. However, setting up a 7.1 rig perfectly requires a ton of time, expensive DSP, and speakers.

Does 7.1 surround sound do anything?

7.1 surround sound does a lot and is a common name for an 8-channel surround system. A 7.1 surround sound is an audio system that recreates sounds at different distances and angles. It allows you (the listener) to visualize the position of an object using sound.

Most enthusiasts use 7.1 in home theatre configs, and some headsets claim to offer it too to immerse users with a complete audio experience.

When setting up a 7.1 surround sound home theatre, you place the surround speakers at the side of the listener. You place the rear speakers just behind the listener.

With the introduction of DTS Neo:X and Dolby Pro Logic Liz, 7.1 surround sound is also a surround configuration with 2 front wide channels placed between the surround channels and front or 2 additional front height channels placed above the front channels.

Should I use 7.1 surround sound music?

You can use 7.1 surround sound music but stereo is preferable if music is all you care about. If you need surround sound to see movies, have 7.1 around, especially if you would be gaming with it as well with a headset.

Surround sound is simulated in some headphones, so some brands do it better than others. Stereo music listening without a surround sound setup requires the right and left speakers. You go beyond 5.1 with 7.1, which adds rear surround speakers.

Does 7.1 surround sound make a difference in gaming?

7.1 surround sound is better as it has slightly better sound quality, creating greater depth and precision in the sound. Of course, though, 7.1 channel headsets tend to be more expensive. I’d recommend a good 7.1 surround sound headset for gaming or audio but a 5.1 headset will suffice for general tasks

Most 7.1 headsets are a joke and require software tricks to make things sound like they are in different locations. For a headset, 2 speakers to match your 2 ears still work good.

Does Netflix support 7.1 surround sound?

One advantage of 7.1 surround sound over 5.1 is a side channel. Some new movies support 7.1 surround playback, so you get to enjoy an immersive experience. However, there is currently no 7.1 content on Netflix.

There is Atmos, which is 7.1.4 though. Experts say that 7.1 is not Atmos, which is the third number like 5.1.2 or 5.1.4.

Netflix supports Atmos and up to 5 channels at a floor level. You cannot get 7.1 from Netflix through any setup, irrespective of how you configure your speaker system. No changes or upgrades will get you the additional channels for 7.1 not included in the movie data as long as Netflix supports 5.1.

How big of a room do you need for 7.1 surround sound?

You need a room larger than about 350 square feet to set up a 7.1 surround sound speaker. A 7.1 surround sound system is the ideal choice for a bigger room that consumes the sound you throw at it. With 7.1 audio, you get a more immersive and deeper surround sound experience.

Theatrical media built for a 7.1 system comes even clearer than it would on a 5.1 system, which suits only a smaller room.

What is better than 7.1 surround sound?

9.1 surround sound is better, even though enthusiasts root for 5.1 as a conventionally proper surround sound setup. With a 9.1 surround, you get an additional 2 speakers over 7.1 in your setup. The additional speakers are positioned on the side of your forwards and seat.

Unfortunately, there is nearly zero content with audio tracks that require the extra speakers. Many audio receivers do not support 9.1 surround sound.

A majority of systems offer a 7.1 surround sound, which may be just all you need for an immersive sound in your large room.

If you listen to a lot of live music shows on Blu-ray, it is okay to consider a 9.1 surround sound system. You would also need a 9.1 you are already preparing for futuristic content that may feature the 9.1 channels.

People who watch lots of movies and audiophiles tend to prefer the 9.1 surround sound. Of course, 9.1 will bring a cinematic experience to your home, which is perfect for you.

Ensure to meticulously position the speakers in the system according to the room acoustics and other critical factors. You want a professional to set up the systems for the best listening experience.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 better?

The 7.1 surround sound system adds 2 additional speakers to the conventional 6-channel 5.1 audio configuration. Similar to 5.1, the positional audio of 7.1 surround sound uses the standard front right and left-center, and subwoofer (LFE) speaker configurations.

Unlike 7.1, the 5.1 surround sound system combines both the rear and surround channel effects into 2 channels. This is configured in a typical home theatre setup as 2 rear surround speakers.

On the other hand, a 7.1 surround audio setup splits the rear and surround channel information into 4 different channels. This setup directs sound effects to left and right surround channels, including 2 rear surround channels.

A 7.1 surround system advantage over a 5.1 is the side channel. Some new movies use 7.1 surround playback, so setting up a 7.1 brings in this immersive experience when seeing the movies.

A 7.1 surround side channel speaker remains closer to the position where you seat, immersing you in the action. You would typically hear the approach (from the front) beside you and then the rear decays the sound. The speaker’s breath is not also left out.

Your speaker’s built-in subwoofer, plus your subwoofers provide the left and right deep bass for a more immersive experience. In essence, you get to hear the sound how the director intends.

What is the best 7.1 surround sound system?

This section of the publication recommends the 7.1 surround sound system you need for your apartment. The selected products are pocket-friendly, suitable for your music experience, and solve the misery behind the popping sound you have been experiencing recently.

Logitech G560 PC gaming speaker system with 7.1 DTS:X Ultra surround sound

For around $240, you can acquire the Logitech G560 PC gaming speaker system. It features the much-needed 7.1 DTS:X Ultra surround sound that lets you hear the speaker’s breath and enemy footsteps. If you listened closely, you would hear enemies murmuring over the wall.

Other features you would get from this surround sound include the following:

Peak power

With an explosive 240-Watt peak power, you know what you are investing in, an immersive sound. It uses a unique driver design that provides the needed soundscape to enhance your gaming experience.


Speaking of design, there is a lot to write home about on this Logitech G560 PC gaming speaker system. An example is its built-in LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting blasting colors alongside your favorite game.

You can also customize four-speaker lighting zones for the rear and front light projection using the 16.8 million available colors.


Welcome to the DTS:X Ultra surround sound that delivers 3D positional audio. This opens your ears to the gaming environment from all angles.


This surround sound system works well with Bluetooth-enabled devices such as your mobile phone, tablet, and computer. However, according to Logitech, DTS:X is not supported on Mac OS X. You can as well use this surround system for your Windows computer.

Yamaha TSR-700 7.1 channel AV receiver with 8K HDMI and Music Cast

Yamaha TSR-700 offers even more than its value. This is a 7.1 channel AV receiver with MusicCast and 8K HDMI that allows your ears access to cinematic sound.

Other features to enhance your music experience include:

Improved immersion

The DTS:X immersive audio formatting is built to render sound naturally. This is the audio format that produces lively and life-like multi-dimensional audio for heightened realism in your favorite games and movies.


This sound system is a 7.1-channel and 100-Watt surround sound that lets you feel all the dimensions. It is thoughtfully built to deliver deep immersive and dramatic overhead effects that envelop any large room.


Yamaha uses a special proprietary sound field creation technology for this surround sound system. This, according to Yamaha, is achieved by “combining measured sound field data with digital signal processing”.

The result is enhanced media for your favorite movies and games for smoother and more seamless motion and transitions.

Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.1-channel surround sound home theater AV receiver

It takes around $500 off your pocket to envelop your room in high-quality 4K sound. Of course, Sony is not just a big name but also known for quality in what they do. This speaker offers the following:

7.1 channel surround sound

An optimally performing 7.1 channel surround speaker system that closes up all gaps in any large room. It accommodates the room with not just sound but detail.

Naturalistic sound

A surround sound system with DTS:X and Dolby Atmos for the life-like sound you need in a large room.

With Dolby Atmos, your speakers can deliver breathtaking realism and an accurate 360 surround sound from all the room angles. The result of this configuration is rich optimal audio that makes you part of the action.

Easy setup

You do not need a professional to set up this 7.1 surround sound system. Simply, plug it in and press ‘Play’.

It allows 4 HDMI inputs and 1 output, analog audio connections, and coaxial/optical digital to connect to the much-needed sound experience. You can also connect your TV, game console, and UHD Blu-ray Disc player.


The design also factors in your setup to give your big room the needed contemporary appearance. This surround sound audio system uses a streamlined and slim design built to save space. It fits well into the media unit, and its rigid chassis reduces vibration to enhance the signal.

How does 7.1 surround sound work in headphones?

Even though you have two ears, manufacturers claim to offer a 7.1 surround sound, which experts call a gimmick.

A headphone that supports 7.1 surround sound does so in a couple of ways. A headphone with multiple pin connectors uses 7 individual drivers. The drivers are placed in front, by the side, and behind the ears to recreate an actual 7.1 speaker system positioning.

Secondly, a traditional stereo headphone with a 7.1 audio system typically uses a decoder. This decoder welcomes individual channel inputs matrixed into stereo.

This is achieved by producing signals in the ears by combining front channel sound in-phase, side channel sound out-of-phase, and rear channel sound out-of-phase.

The signal from the subwoofer is typically ported evenly to both channels. Low-pass filters of different degrees are also employed all except the front channels, which simulates your ears with the experience of typical surround speakers.

The simulation occurs to a degree according to the distance between the pairs of speakers and the frequency of the signal.

Manufacturers’ move

Manufacturers make the 7.1 surround sound a selling point. And audiophiles actively invest in these headphones to enjoy the experience without having to buy a full set of the audio receiver.

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