7.1 or 5.1 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #1 of 4 Old 08-16-2014, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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7.1 or 5.1

Please see the attached room layout which is roughly to scale/proportion. The room is roughly 11' wide by 20' long.

I am debating whether I should go 7.1 to benefit the primary seating position (the front row). It would seem that the rear two speakers would not benefit the rear row since there will be very little room between the seat and the rear wall.

Would optimizing for the front row with 7.1 ruin the listening experience for those in the rear row when there's a full house?

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Last edited by ILLCOMM; 08-16-2014 at 10:59 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-16-2014, 01:33 PM
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Place the rear speakers a foot or so above the head of the back row viewers so you don't blast them, but your room certainly can use the 7.1 setup, especially as the front row is your primary viewing location.

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post #3 of 4 Old 08-17-2014, 04:36 AM
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I agree with jautor. 7.1 seems perfectly doable. As long as the speakers are positioned above ear level - as recommended - it should work. The back row won't get perfect audio, but the alternative (just the 5.1) isn't much better.

I wouldn't place the back row so near the back wall, though. 20' is quite reasonable, you can easily move those seats 1 or 2 feet forward, and everyone can have great audio, regardless of where they seat.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-17-2014, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ILLCOMM View Post
Would optimizing for the front row with 7.1 ruin the listening experience for those in the rear row when there's a full house?
You have a choice between one row optimized + one row compromised vs both rows compromised. I would pick the former (since the back row is going to be compromised anyway, might as well optimize the front row).

Your room length and main listening position (away from the back wall) make you an ideal candidate for a 7.1 layout. Listeners in the main row should end up with excellent side-vs-rear separation and wrap-around envelopment in the surround field.

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