5.1 vs 7.1 vs 9.1: Which is Best for You?

So you've made the decision to go with a set of high quality JENSEN floor-standing speakers, in-ceiling speakers or in wall speakers - congratulations! You've just taken a bold first step into a world where the term "cinema" more accurately describes the most enjoyable room in your own home than it does the local multiplex in your area. The next question you need to answer, however, is how many speakers do you actually purchase? As with most home theater system decisions you'll make, this one requires you to keep a few key things in mind.

What Do The Numbers Mean?

Home theater systems come in a few different configurations as far as the numbers of speakers you're working with are concerned. The three most common are 5.1, 7.1 and 9.1. Don't worry - there is no actual math involved and there won't be a quiz. These numbers refer to the total number of speakers in a home theater system along with the total number of subwoofers. A 5.1 system means that there are five separate speakers and one dedicated subwoofer channel, for example.

Choosing the Right Size System

One of the biggest deciding factors for choosing the correct sized home theater system involves the size of the room that you're actually working with. In a 5.1 system, there are three speakers up front and two in-wall speakers behind you. A 7.1 system, on the other hand, adds two in-wall speakers on the sides to the equation, creating a much more immersive experience. However, if you're working with a small room or a room that doubles as an entertainment area for guests, you may not have that additional room on either side to work with.

Likewise, there isn't a great deal of content out there right now that takes full advantage of 9.1 home theater system capabilities. If you're a movie lover and want to make sure you hear every discrete audio channel on your favorite Blu-ray disc, a 7.1 system would be the way to go - if you have the room for it.

None of this is to say that a 5.1 system sounds bad - it really doesn't. 5.1 surround sound system was the standard audio format on DVDs for over a decade and ask anyone with a properly configured system and they'll all say the same thing: it's a great way to feel like you're right in the middle of the action at all times.

Future Proof with JENSEN

A 9.1 system in 2017 would be a great option for someone who loves music, watches a lot of live concerts or generally has a large enough room to support this many speakers. If you ask the question again in ten years the answer may change, but for right now, both a 5.1 system and a 7.1 system are more than high quality options for all your needs if you just want to watch your favorite movies and little else.

If you’re circumstances are right (finances, available room, desire) and you are creating a JENSEN home theater system from scratch, you may want to build the best speaker system you can to future proof your investment. Select from a range of awesome JENSEN speaker package deals to ensure not only the best price, but also a combination of components, including Elite in-wall or in-ceiling speakers that will blow you away and ensure you are buying the correct speakers for your environment.