Surround Sound - How many speakers needed? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: How many speakers do you think are needed for home surround sound?
5.1 - L,C,R,LS,RS - SUB 0 0%
7.1 - L,C,R,LS,RS,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
9.1 - L,C,R,LS1,RS1,LS2,RS2,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
11.1 - L,C,R,LW,RW,LH,RH,LS,RS,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
Voters: 0. You may not vote on this poll

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post #61 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 12:32 PM
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22 speakers? I need to start saving now for that!
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post #62 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 12:41 PM
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Come on guys, the future of surround sound will include the entire walls. Think about it...the dedicated theater design & construction section of this forum would be drastically different. Of course the next logical upgrade would be to include the entire ceiling.

Yes, I am joking. But now that I wrote that...it would be kind of cool.

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post #63 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 12:41 PM
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The poll needs a choice for what is really the only correct answer: "it depends on the room." 7.1 is wasted on rooms with no space behind the viewer. The number of subs is likewise mostly about room size and shape, the available options for placement (as well as the capabilities of the speakers in the system and of the system itself).

Height is a separate issue. It can be beneficial regardless of the number of surround or LFE channels, so it's simplistic to roll it in only with "11.1."

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post #64 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:07 PM
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Size and dimensional layout is very important, I have 5.1 and that's fine for my size room but if I were building a dedicated HT Room I'd certainly bump up the design to have two subwoofers.

If I were to add a second in my existing room the wife would kill me since mine can practically knock stuff off the walls with little trouble and the Master Bedroom resides behind my HT Room which was dumb not to factor the wife screaming to constantly turn it down and so my room is too small for two subs but I would do so were I custom designing my dedicated sound insulated basement HT.

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post #65 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:18 PM
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Voted 7.1, but in reality 5.1 is plenty... What we need from CE manufacturers is NOT more bells and whistles... tis all marketing gimmicks. We need manufacturers to build quality components that will last and provide a quality av experience.
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post #66 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterkit View Post

22 speakers? I need to start saving now for that!

Better start saving 'soon'; the start of recording in 22.2 audio is already 'old news'...
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"Japan’s NHK records international sports event in 22.2 surround with mc²56.

Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2009/2010 NHK Trophy broadcast with mc²66.

Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK), employing a Lawo mc²56 console, successfully recorded the competition held during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2009/2010 NHK Trophy with a 22.2 Multichannel Audio System and Super Hi-Vision. This famous international sports event was held in Nagano City, Japan, from 6th to 8th November 2009."


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post #67 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:32 PM
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Few movies are mixed to 6.1 and 7.1. I prefer that my receiver not try and invent new channels that are not included in the original mix. If sufficient material in DVD, Bluray and over the air was available with true "new" not invented information I would consider upgrading.

Home Theater is GREAT
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post #68 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:56 PM
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I lived quite nicely with a 3.1 setup (with center channel) for years. I only upped to 5.1 when I could find another pair of speakers (used) that exactly matched my fronts, which are out-of-production. I can't imagine I'll ever want more than 5.1, unless it's accomplished by some new technology that doesn't require sprinkling more speakers around the living room.
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post #69 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 01:59 PM
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I'm thinking I would go with an 11.8 setup.
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post #70 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiListener View Post

Voted 7.1, but in reality 5.1 is plenty... What we need from CE manufacturers is NOT more bells and whistles... tis all marketing gimmicks. We need manufacturers to build quality components that will last and provide a quality av experience.

I agree that 5.1 is plenty. But bells and whistles and marketing gimmicks are business necessities for the major manufacturers. A few niche players could succeed nicely, but if all the big guys did what you suggest, most of them would run out of customers in a few years because people would stop upgrading.
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post #71 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:08 PM
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I have 8.1, the usual 6.1 plus 2 DSX 'Wide' speakers. I did have 2 rear speakers (i.e., 9.1) but found that 1 rear was plenty fill out things since I've pushed the two surrounds back to +/- 110 deg to give the Wides their space. I run PLXII Music for most everything since it matrixes a 5.1 source to use all these speakers.
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post #72 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:08 PM
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Jeez...

I'm trying to imagine the physical size a 22 channel amplifier would have to be. But I haven't got there yet

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post #73 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:10 PM
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I voted 5.1. I have two setups; both 5.1. As a lot of people have stated, few movies are encoded with more channels (yet). I could upgrade to more channels in my home theater easily; the space behind my rear wall is unfinished, so I could wire for more rear speakers easily. I wired for bi-amping up front, so I could use those lines for a height channel.

I'll wait to see what the future brings.
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post #74 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:14 PM
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Needed - 5.1

Anything less is not acceptable.
anything more is showing off

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post #75 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:34 PM
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11.1 > 3D - no glasses required.

It does require more speakers (4 more in my case), that should (in a perfect world) be vocally matched. I think it's a great idea, especially with the majority of speakers in front of you (where your ears are pointing to).

I won't upgrade until I buy a new house, and have an opportunity to wire it well (that's going to be a lot of 14 awg speaker wire). I'll also wait for some content for the 11.1, but would like some videogames to support this.
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post #76 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:41 PM
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I currently have 7.1 Velodyne speakers. Unfortunately for now I have to settle with 6.1 sound since my reciever isn't HD audio capable, though I could connect 7.1 analog.

The cool thing is when I ordered my speakers I accidently ordered an extra pair of matching satellites so when, in the near future, I'll probably upgrade to a 9.1 reciever, I'll be ready speakerwise.
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post #77 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:44 PM
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Back in the late 70's when I bought my Quadraphonic system, I use to tell people that one day our sound systems will have a small speaker for every instrument and everything will sound "live".
I guess I was a visionary back then.

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post #78 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiListener View Post

Voted 7.1, but in reality 5.1 is plenty... What we need from CE manufacturers is NOT more bells and whistles... tis all marketing gimmicks. We need manufacturers to build quality components that will last and provide a quality av experience.

Yeah thats what i think, to me the best part of the 5.1 is the center and the sub. The others sound good too but if i cant hear what they say i dont know whats going on. The .1 is the best part that low rumble at times is the best.

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post #79 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:54 PM
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I still use just 5.1 as my living room/theater area isn't large enough to benefit from 7.1. Now, if I ever have a chance to build a dedicated theater room then I'll move to 7.1 no questions (I'd even consider something like 9 or 11.1 if it would suit the room). Just adding speakers to add speakers will not always create a better experience, just like louder is not always better (something local movie theater owners don't understand).

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post #80 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:56 PM
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My room size is 30 X 14 and I'm currently using 7.2 .
F-left-low Center-low F-right-low 2 Subs up front
L-side-high r-side-high
L-Back-ear level R-back-ear level.

I only have one row of seating, so I find 7.2 to be more than adequate. I imagine if you have multiple rows of seating I could see using 11.1, otherwise I think it's overkill.
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post #81 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 02:58 PM
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I have 7.1 and could see 9.1 being beneficial. It would seem to me that the front height and width speakers could be combined and just use 2 front speakers placed high and wide. That's what I'd probably do if I went with a 9.1 format. Then the decision would be which decoding format to use - height or wide?
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post #82 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

The poll needs a choice for what is really the only correct answer: "it depends on the room."

That's what I was going to say. Or even more coarsely, do you have (a) a true dedicated HT like you see in the magazines, or (b) a room you've adapted to contain a TV and surround system?

I voted 7.1 because it seems quite sufficient to me. But my current room features and geometry can only support 5.1, which is what I have. 7.1 would be better for the size of the room, but it's not physically possible without a structural remodel.

Because it's a room and not a theater, all the speakers are visible, especially the Thiel CS2.2s serving as L and R fronts. More than 6 speakers would be overkill in my room.

But if I ever move into or build a house with a true dedicated HT, my response to this question would be "as many as is supported by current state of the art media and equipment; bring it on!"
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post #83 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 03:50 PM
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Voted 7.1 but only because seven channels are needed for 5.1 plus wides. There's just not enough material for 9.2, much less 11.2 but if the idle amplification could be used on the front arrays......well that's another poll.

Mike
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post #84 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobrigavitch View Post

I have 7.1 and could see 9.1 being beneficial. It would seem to me that the front height and width speakers could be combined and just use 2 front speakers placed high and wide. That's what I'd probably do if I went with a 9.1 format. Then the decision would be which decoding format to use - height or wide?

It seems likely that with judicious application of a some [new] "high + wide" coefficients derived from the SMPTE speaker placement rules [codified in SMPTE 428-3-2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master Audio Channel Mapping and Channel Labeling] a CEM could create a "non standard" [playback only!] "high + wide" speaker pair location for use with high resolution audio (along the lines that DTS followed with DTS-HD Speaker Remapping). [Yamaha's long existing Front Presence speakers appeared to be 'ideally' placed for such a 'retasking'.]

However, the speaker environment codified in SMPTE 2036-2-2008 Ultra High Definition Television - Audio Characteristics and Audio Channel Mapping for Program Production looks like it might contemplate future speaker remapping and channel mixdown rules which are more akin to "replay device independence", and it explicitly includes a "high + wide" speaker pair Top Front Left (TpFL) and Top Front Right (TpFR). So if you just wait 'a little longer', you might not have to choose between two 'slightly inappropriate' upmix algorithms...?!

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post #85 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 03:55 PM
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7.1 is plenty IMO. I doubt the vast majority of rooms would see ANY significant benefit from 9.1 or 11.1. Having said that, I would be curious to hear a 11.1 vs 7.1 comparison to see how much/little difference there actually would be with something that is discrete 11.1 mixed.

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post #86 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 04:42 PM
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I hear an occasional gap with my 5.1 system that could easily be rectified when I add 2 more speakers, but that's it for me.
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post #87 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 04:46 PM
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Well, how many DVds and BDs have been released with 7.1?

Since the rears rarely have that much sound, doesn't the extra 2 speakers on the side or the rear just make the rears louder? I've never heard 7.1 and my new HT isn'r going to have the extra 2.

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post #88 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 04:47 PM
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I answered 7.1 mainly because it said home environment. I agree with many posters on the "it depends on the room" category. Most home environments I have seen would require the 7.1 speakers to define the back edge of there theater. In my own room however there is no space for another set of rear speakers, my couch is against the back wall.
More importantly than extra speakers beyond the usual 5.1 and the two varieties of 7.1 (presence speakers and rear surrounds), extra sub woofer crossover control and processing would help more in filling a space. In my own perfect room, I would have a 7.2 or 7.4 system with flat base response down to 15hz. If I had a projection screen a 9.2 or 9.4 system would be great to level the dialog with the mouths on the screen.
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post #89 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Other way 'round. Dolby PLII was designed by Jim Fosgate. L7 was invented by Dr. David Griesinger.

I stand corrected sdrani. I also don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this poll. High end Audio and HT Video is all about experimenting, and tweaking. One person's 5.1 nirvana is another's 22.2. I prefer the 2 sub setup. So IMHO 5.2 and and 7.2 is plenty of discrete steering logic to achieve a totally realistic soundspace as long as the low speaker array is duplicated up high. I do not subscribe to adding additional and complex 5.2 or 7.2 steering logic circuitry to create 100% discrete 9.2, 11.2, 12.2 or 14.2 sound patterns. Only the main (low) array need this IMHO. Careful attention to the High speaker placements will naturally add the proper space, ambiance, depth and delays based on calibrated output from the original 5.2 or 7.2 signals.

The natural, up high delays will lock in images and signals unlike anything one has ever experienced before without adding any additional steering logic artifacts. As I stated earlier, my dual, high/low 7.2 setup (14.2 speakers) literally melt the walls, ceiling, and floors away in the listening room. Sound images emerge in the room eerily consistent with where they belong on the screen. And sometimes, planes, spaceships, rockets, trains, cars actually seem to move beyond or emerge from boundaries past the walls. If a scene in a movie occurs whereby a person is yelling in an apartment below, beside or above the one depicted on screen; the sound literally appears to emerge from below the floor, beyond the wall or through the ceiling. It is completely lifelike. As someone suggested, the high speakers do not have to be big. But they should be rugged. By that I mean, capable of handling high power and current to approximate the low speakers. The mic calibration should be done on the low speakers to achieve the accurate and natural High speaker delays.
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post #90 of 494 Old 06-15-2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpsuxx View Post

I answered 7.1 mainly because it said home environment. I agree with many posters on the "it depends on the room" category. Most home environments I have seen would require the 7.1 speakers to define the back edge of there theater. In my own room however there is no space for another set of rear speakers, my couch is against the back wall.
More importantly than extra speakers beyond the usual 5.1 and the two varieties of 7.1 (presence speakers and rear surrounds), extra sub woofer crossover control and processing would help more in filling a space. In my own perfect room, I would have a 7.2 or 7.4 system with flat base response down to 15hz. If I had a projection screen a 9.2 or 9.4 system would be great to level the dialog with the mouths on the screen.

the trick is to make that back wall with the couch disappear. By adding a high left back and high right back above your low speakers (near ceiling height), you will be shocked at what happens. The back wall will disappear when a scene dictates it in a movie.
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