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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
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2 height speakers let you hear left-vs-right movement overhead. 4 height speakers let you hear left-vs-right AND front-vs-back movement overhead. Big difference.
In the base layer, having 4 surrounds gives you wrap-around envelopment AND side-vs-rear separation in the surround field. So first choice would be option B (7.1.4 layout).
Down the road, if the budget allows, you can add a pair of Wides to fill the gap between the Fronts and Sides for a 9.1.4 layout. Speaking of budget, if you can do 2 subs, that would be very helpful in getting smoother bass (fewer/smaller peaks & dips) AND greater seat to seat consistency.