Difference Between 7.1 Surround Sound and 7.2 Surround Sound

Surround sound systems are used to make audio more realistic and add depth. It improves the sound quality of the subject. The applications of surround systems are in music concerts, cinemas, theatres, movies, video games, and other playback performances. The two classifications of listening experience under surround sound systems are 7.1 and 7.2 surround sound systems.

7.1 Surround Sound vs 7.2 Surround Sound

The main difference between 7.1 surround sound and 7.2 surround sound is that the 7.1 surround sound setup adds realism in films by adding depth to music while the 7.2 surround sound setup produces LFEs (Low-Frequency Effects).

7.1 vs 7.2 Surround Sound

The 7.1 surround sound system has high sound quality but provides an uneven base. It is ideal for small to medium rooms. The 7 stands for the number of speakers while the 1 stands for the number of subwoofers. 7.1 is ideal for small to medium-sized rooms and spaces.

On the other hand, 7.2 surround sound has high sound quality as well as even and clear bass sound quality. The peaks and dips of low frequency are sharp. In 7.2, 7 stands for the number of and 2 stands for the number of subwoofers. It is ideal for large rooms, giving the waves enough space to bounce back.

Comparison Table Between 7.1 Surround Sound and 7.2 Surround Sound

Parameters of Comparison7.1 Surround Sound7.2 Surround Sound
Number of channels Eight Seven
Number of speakers 7 speakers and 1 subwoofer 7 speakers and 2 subwoofers
AdvantagesIt has multiple channels for audio output and produces an overall clear sound It has multiple channels with an extra subwoofer for audio output and is ideal for large spaces
DisadvantagesThe woofer can be localized and may generate uneven low-frequency responses The configuration is supported only on few sources and require large space for best user experience
ApplicationIn-home entertainment and infotainment systems, and movies for audio tracks Gaming, theatres, in live concerts, in-floor standing towers, and other playback setups

What is 7.1 Surround Sound?

7.1 surround sound system refers to the eight-channel sound system. Such audio systems are generally used in home theatres. The sound system has two additional speakers apart from the six-channel configuration.

7.1 surround sound can split the sound and the rear channel into four other channels. The audio in the distinct channels is then directed towards the right and left channels as well as the other two rear surround channels. The positioning of the 7.1 surrounds is to the side of the listener while the rear speakers are kept behind the listener.

The first application of 7.1 surround sound on a large scale was in Boston in a show is Chris Botti in the year 2009. The application in home entertainment systems was first in Blue-ray Disc and HD DVD. The eight channels provide audio at a range of about 96/48 kHz and a bit range of 24/16 bit. A few games support 7.1 channels.

There are various applications of 7.1 surround systems like in-home entertainment systems, in movies for audio tracks, live concerts, and other playback setups. The entire evolution of electronic music revolves around the 7.1 formats. 7.1 surround systems are even used to comprehend the psychoacoustic effects and study the source and imaging.

What is 7.2 Surround Sound?

7.2 surround sound system refers to the seven-channel sound system. The seven channels are placed in the front left, front right, side left, side right, center, rear left, and rear right. There are even two subwoofer pre-amp outs in a 7.2 surround sound system which impact the room acoustics based on bass frequencies.

The positioning of the 7.2 surround system is two front speakers and two back speakers of the listener. Then there is an additional set of back/side speakers and a center speaker. This makes up a total of seven speakers in the audio system. There is even a subwoofer along with the seven speakers.

7.2 surround sound system supports formats like Dolby True HD, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD, and Dolby Digital Plus. The devices that are supported in 7.2 surround sound are Xbox One, PS3, PS4, HD DVDs, and other gaming platforms.

7.2 allows the user to be aware of the audio handling ability of the receiver. The two optimized outputs not only provide mid and high-frequency but also low-frequency effects. The 7.2 is Ideal for large space so that the waves can bounce back effectively and the audio appears realistic and overall cater to an excellent listening experience.

Main Differences Between 7.1 Surround Sound and 7.2 Surround Sound

  1. 7.1 surround sound brings character in sound while 7.2 surround sound brings clarity in base.
  2. 7.1 has one additional subwoofer while 7.2 has two additional subwoofers.
  3. 7.1 is less expensive than 7.2 while 7.2 has additional charges for two subwoofers.
  4. 7.1 offers moderate levels of peaks and dips in frequency while 7.2 offers high peaks and dips even in responses of low-frequency.
  5. The sound quality in the 7.1 surround system is high but the base response is uneven while the sound quality in 7.2 is even and fuller in terms of the bass sound.


Surround sound is a technique to enrich the quality and depth of sound. It uses multiple audio channels. It was invented by Ray Dolby. Due to its ability to provide rich tone, bass customization, and treble settings, it is first used in the movie theatre.

Currently, surround sound systems have become a common element of the entertainment experience. Most of the audio systems have the inculcation of surround sound in them. While choosing audio systems, the best surround system are 7.1 and 7.2.

Both the types of surround sound systems may seem similar but have distinct differences and utility areas. The major difference is the number of subwoofers which in turn affects the audio produced. They have their respective adjustments in positioning and aim at providing clarity in the sound. The setup is a bit complicated and requires a large space to have the best experience. Evaluation and comprehension of all the parameters, advantages and disadvantages of the surround sound types is essential before making any choice.


  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780080490564/broadcast-engineer-reference-book-epj-tozer
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