Most of the audio stuff that has been listed here on this blog, is usually related to some amateur to expert audiophiles. They no longer need to spend a lot of time because of their past experience and how well they understand the technical stuff.
But if you only listen occasionally or not very often, you may still find some things strange, which is why you came to this page.
After buying a good TV for movies and streaming, the next challenge might be getting a good surround sound system or the best home theater system for your needs.
There are different kinds of soundbars for home theaters, but you need to know what you want and how each one works to know if that particular soundbar will make you happy. Are they strong enough to play a good piece of music, or do they have more power than you need?
Well, there are three big players on the market, and they are called 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1, and they are used all over the world. Each one is best at one thing and maybe the worst at something else, which we’ll talk about in the 2.1 vs. 5.1 vs. 7.1 SoundBar comparison section below.
We want you to know everything about it so that you can make the right choice when you buy your next set of speakers. We have done everything we could to make things as easy as possible.
So stay tuned & hold your beer!
2.1 SoundBar vs. 5.1 SoundBar vs. 7.1 SoundBar | Best Home Theater Sound Bar
Before we go any further, let’s have a cup of tea and talk about some of the terms in these names. If you look at the name of the soundbar, you’ll see that there is a “.1” at the end of each system. This stands for the subwoofer in that system. This is the number of subwoofers that a system has in total.
Next, you’ll see terms like 2, 5, and 7 before the numbers of the subwoofer. This shows how many speakers are being used by the system as a whole. If it’s 2.1, there are only two speakers, if it’s 5.1, there are five, and if it’s 7.1, there are seven. You may also hear the word “channel,” which is just a technical name for speakers and has nothing to do with music.
Now, some of you might think that the more speakers there are, the better the sound. But wait a minute! Because speakers don’t always say what they mean. Sometimes, a 2.1 sound bar may sound better than a 7.1 sound bar. There is also a chance that a 7.1 system could work better than a 5.1 system.
To give you a better idea of what’s going on, let’s compare and explain each one to clear up any confusion.
2.1 Sound System
A 2.1 soundbar or speaker system isn’t that different from the speakers that come with your TV. You just added a subwoofer to it, which will do all of the TV box’s sound work. But sometimes, just adding a subwoofer can make the whole performance better or worse.
Because you are still listening to stereo sound instead of surround sound. A 2.1 system is a good place to start if you are just an average listener who wants to improve his home theater.
Even if you don’t have a surround sound system, the Subwoofer gives you a better bass sound. This takes your listening experience to the next level.
The 2.1 channel system only has speakers for the right and left channels and a subwoofer in the middle. For a “2.1 soundbar,” you mostly have two parts: a separate subwoofer and a soundbar that has both channels built into it (left & right speakers are embedded).
Most of the time, new fans choose these guys because they are affordable, easy to set up, and have good bass compatibility for music. If you like to play games, this is a good place to start. Even if you don’t have surround sound, you can still hear gunshots, rocket launchers, and steps.
A soundbar can be found for as little as $50, so this is a great way to start. You can get a good 2.1 soundbar for between $100 and $200, which is a good start if you want to improve your music and streaming experience. They’re also easier to use with Bookshelf speakers.
- Most budget-friendly option Easy to set up and takes up little room Some extra-bass playback Better than the usual TV sound
- Not a good choice for music lovers. Lack of Surround Sound system
5.1 Sound System
Here comes the first group of systems with surround sound. This is an entry-level channel system that can also be changed in a lot of other ways. These could be front-firing, top-firing, or down-firing, which has a huge impact on how they sound.
With a front-firing speaker, the sound waves coming out of the front of the speaker hit you right in the face. In the top-and-bottom-firing case, the sound hits your ears at the top and bottom, which is a cool effect. All of these sound right and appealing.
This is a little complicated and takes some work to set up, but it’s best to follow the instructions. A 5.1 system is made up of five different speakers that can be put in five different places. These speakers are often called “satellite speakers.”
In this case, you have a speaker on the left and right of the front and a speaker in the middle. You also have a speaker on the left and right of the back and a subwoofer. So, you basically have six house members, a subwoofer, and five channels that play different sounds.
For 5.1 soundbars, you don’t need four actual people, which saves space. While the left and right surround channels and the subwoofer are each their own thing.
Here, all of the non-surround front speakers (left, right, and center) are built into a soundbar, which you can put right next to your TV. This also makes them cheap because it saves money on materials.
Except for the 5.1 soundbars, the whole 5.1 channel system is made up of different speakers. This is a common way for studios and audiophiles to fill a room with music.
Most of the time, these 5.1 systems are a little more expensive because they need more materials to make the extra speakers. However, we have also linked to some cheap 5.1 speakers that you might want to check out.
Overall, a 5.1 soundbar system is more diverse than a 2.1 channel system when it comes to streaming. They can also make a Dolby environment by adding front-firing or any other type of direct firing. This also helps make a surround sound system that is more immersive, which is a big downside of a 2.1 channel.
- Many different kinds of audio formats The market has a lot to offer. Getting the best surround sound The best for home theaters Bluetooth, and some are simple to use
- needs a large space to be set up. Not good for music.
7.1 Sound System
Here comes the list’s leader, along with all of the channel systems on this list. This is the most advanced and most popular home theater system in both the US and Europe. Even though this is expensive, it’s worth every single penny in the end.
The 7.1 system has two more speakers than a 5.1 system, which doesn’t need to be placed in a certain way to work better. You can always choose where you want to go. Whether it’s on the floor, the ceiling, or somewhere else.
This system is even more complicated than a 5.1 system because there are a lot more wires and a lot more space needed to set up these two speakers (right and left). You have to hire a professional installation service because one mistake can ruin your setup.
Obviously, this sound system makes streaming movies and TV shows more detailed and immersive to listen to. If you have one of the best 7.1 home theater systems, you wouldn’t need anything else to stream.
The best place to put these systems is in a large rectangular or square room, like a TV lounge. This is a great way to get the most out of it. Because there isn’t much space, the sound in a small room will be messed up.
- Detail-rich and large soundstage. Best for large and wide rooms. Smooth Ultra-HD audio files. Supports stereo and 5.1 files.
- The most expensive soundbars A complicated and large installation