Difference Between 5.1 and 7.2 Surround Sound (With Table)

Technology has amazed all of us, and it is advancing more and more. Over the past few decades, technology has not only advanced in the field of visuals, such as extremely realistic graphics to multidimensional images and videos, but it has also advanced in the field of sound as well. Now, we can not just experience sound in one dimension but multiple dimensions as well.

5.1 vs 7.2 Surround Sound

The main difference between 5.1 surround sound and 7.2 surround sound is that the 5.1 surround sound system consists of 5 main speakers and then 1 additional subwoofer. While on the other hand, the 7.2 surround sound system consists of 7 main speakers and then adds 2 subwoofers.

5.1 vs 7.2 Surround Sound

5.1 surround sound system is also known as a five-point surround sound system. The 5.1 surround sound system is a type of multi-channel audio technology that makes the audio sound much more realistic and multidimensional than the other several types of prevailing sound systems.

The 7.2 surround sound system is also known as the seven-point two surround sound system. It can be said that the 7.2 surround sound system is an upgraded version of the 5.1 surround sound system. With higher audio quality and clearer sound effects, the 7.2 surround sound system is ideal for home theaters.

Comparison Table Between 5.1 and 7.2 Surround System

Parameters of comparison5.1 surround sound7.2 surround sound
Total number of channels6 channels (5 main speakers and 1 additional subwoofer).9 channels (7 main speakers and 2 additional subwoofers).
First theatrical use for5.1 surround sound was used for the first time for the theatrical purposes for Batman Returns.7.2 surround sound was used for the first time for the theatrical purposes of Toy Story 3
First theatrical use in5.1 surround sound was used for the first time for theatrical purposes in 1992.7.2 surround sound was used for the first time for theatrical purposes in 2010.
Achieved using5.1 surround sound can be operated using Dolby Digital or by using DTS.7.2 surround sound can be operated by using Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master audio.
Sound qualityRelatively poor.Relatively good.

What is a 5.1 Surround Sound System?

The major characteristic of the 5.1 surround sound system is that it has a total number of 6 channels. That is to say, the 5.1 surround sound system feeds into 6 different speakers, among which 1 of the speakers is a subwoofer while the others are the sound speakers.

Moreover, apart from the audio quality that the 5.1 surround sound system offers, this multi-channel audio technology also has multiple features. The 5.1 surround sound system has a total number of 6 bandwidth channels. Among the 6 bandwidth channels, one channel is a low-frequency bandwidth channel. 

In most general cases, the 5 main speakers of the 5.1 surround sound system are arranged in a room in such a way that one speaker is kept at the front at a height, the second speaker is kept at the left corner of the room, and the third speaker is kept at the right corner of the room. The last two speakers are kept on either two side of the room.

When the speakers are arranged in such a way, the front 3 speakers, that are the speaker that is kept at the center, and the two speakers which are kept at each front corner of the room, that is, the left front corner of the room and right front corner of the room, they create a stereo sound effect.

On the other hand, the two speakers, which are kept at each back corner, that is, the left and right back corners, create a surround sound effect.

What is a 7.2 Surround Sound System?

The major characteristic of the 7.2 surround sound system is that it has a total number of 9 channels. That is to say, the 7.2 surround sound system feeds into 9 different speakers, among which 2 speakers are a subwoofer while others are the sound speakers.

The sound quality of the 7.2 surround sound system is better than the sound quality of the 5.1 surround sound system because this surround sound system not only gives sound effects from different directions but also higher bass effects and the sound perception of depth. 

Many other versions of the 7.2 surround sound system exist, such as the 7.1 surround sound system. This surround system can also manage sound with medium-level frequency and high-level frequency, making the 7.2 surround sound system one of the best sound systems among the rest.

Main Differences Between 5.1 and 7.2 Surround Sound

  1. The total number of channels on the 5.1 surround sound system is 6, which includes 5 main speakers and one additional subwoofer. While on the other hand, the 7.2 surround sound system has a total number of 9 channels, which includes 7 main speakers and 2 additional subwoofers.
  2. The 5.1 surround sound system gives a standard stereo sound effect covering all four directions. Whereas the 7.2 surround sound system not only provides the surround sound effect for all four directions but also depth as well.
  3. The 5.1 surround sound system majorly supports all sorts of video games and DVDs. The 7.2 surround sound system supports Bluray, PS3, PS4, PS5, and Xbox.
  4. The 5.1 surround sound system is ideal for small spaces such as rooms and cabins. The 7.2 surround sound system is ideal for larger spaces such as halls.
  5. The sound quality of a 5.1 surround sound system is relatively less. The sound quality of the 7.2 surround sound system is higher than the 5.1 surround sound system.

Conclusion

Both two types of surround sound systems have their benefits. But comparing the two, the 7.2 surround sound system is better because of its multiple features and great sound quality.

References

  1. https://intothesoundfield.music.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/intothesoundfield/documents/media/surround_sound_psychoacoustics.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0qDcAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=surround+sound&ots=rDh7E-HZfK&sig=9cESbjEWp_Pr2G_QnAFu-MYSD_A
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