5.1 and 7.1 surround sound are systems having 3 or more than 3 speakers for stereophony sounds for the listener to have a realistic effect. It gives you a home theatre audio experience in the comfort of your home. You can hear different sounds coming from other places. Now let us look at 5.1 vs. 7.1 surround sound:
5.1 surround sound
- In this five stands for the no. of speakers and one stands for the no. of subwoofers.
- One speaker is right in front in the center, two on the left and right approx. 30 degrees apart from the center, one in the same radius.
- Two in the surround approx. 110 degrees apart from the center, one in the same radius.
- And the subwoofer near the television.
7.1 surround sound
- It has 7 speakers and 1 subwoofer.
- The five speakers and the subwoofer are arranged in the same manner as the 5.1
- Along with two speakers in the back left and right approx. 330 degrees apart from the center, one in the same radius.
- It has more channels for sound to bifurcate and travel to have a realistic effect.
As for Dolby Atmos, 5.1 vs. 7.1 is concerned. A minimum of 2 is required till a maximum of 4 with both of them. If it's 2, it should be right above the listener in the same spherical radius as the speakers. If it's 4, then 2 should be in the front left and right, and 2 in the back left and right in the same spherical radius as the speakers. The 7.1.2 and the 7.1.4 give you the most realistic audio effect possible.
It's recommended to take Dolby Atmos in the shape of a quadrangle as the sound doesn’t hit the ceiling that often and doesn’t decrease its quality.
It depends on the shape, setting, and size of the room and which one is the best for your needs. Remember that if the room is not of adequate size, the sound will echo a lot by hitting the walls closer. The no. of listeners in the room can also hinder the audio effect as if a person is sitting on your right, he/she can become a hindrance between you and the sound coming from the right. In that case, you can just adjust the positioning of the speakers a bit, and you are good to go.