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5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

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  • 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

    Does anyone have any experience with a 7.1 channel speaker system for PC gaming vs. a 5.1? I'm thinking about upgrading my speakers to surround sound. There are several 5.1 systems on the market, but it looks like Creative Labs makes one of the only 7.1 channel systems available. Does anyone know if a 7.1 system is worth the extra mess of cables? Does it give you a better experience for gaming over 5.1 or is it hard to tell the difference? Will games commonly support 7.1?

  • #2
    Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

    IME 7.1 isn't worth it, as it's two more speakers to try and place properly to get it to sound right.

    That and I think that current 7.1 isn't true 7.1, just a modified 5.1 with 2 extra speakers, but I could be mistaken as it's been half a year since I looked into it.
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    • #3
      Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

      I'm fairly sure most games only support 5.1, maybe, and only a few support 7.1, of which I don't know, it should make some difference but probably not enough to really notice. If you are building a home theater, than yea, I love my 7.1 system it really positions blue rays nicely.
      Last edited by machowner; 11-07-2009, 12:37 AM.



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      • #4
        Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

        I have creative 7.1 hooked up to titanium card, to get direct sound from the speakers I had to buy 4 male to male stereo leads(3 pole), so instead of the back speakers being "upmixed" they now play "direct", the default cables that come with the creative inspire T7900 are 4:3, 4 plugs from the bass box, 3 plugs to the card, the cable should be 4:4, 4 plugs from the bass box and 4 plugs to the card.

        If you watch Bluray/HD on the pc it is quite an experience to be truly surrounded by the sound that comes from a HD movie that supports 7.1, I also feel that the industry will more than likely adopt 7.1 as the next gen, more so than 6.1, as 7.1 gives more range at the back than 6.1.
        So unless you are an audiophile and need the best of sound you could just get a 5.1 set, but if 7.1 does take hold in the near future, it would be nice to already have them.

        If I could I would have my speakers shaking the walls of the house, and use the most expensive noise cancelling microphone money could buy and just tear shreds out of anyone that dare try to sneak up behind me! :)

        I used to have a set of 5.1 speakers from creative that came with a decoder, it was called "Cambridge soundworks" or something like that, but anyway, I could hook these speakers up to a DVD player to experience the surround from the DVD and it was Awesome, it was so Awesome that a person I used to live with turned it off while watching an action movie becuase everytime he heard sirens or dogs barking he thought it was coming from outside the house and would go to the window or front door of the house to make sure everything was ok, only to realise it was the Sound from the DVD projecting the sound, it disturbed him so much he turned off the speakers and watched the DVD in glorious Stereo, and that is a true story! :)
        Games also sounded great.
        The speakers done an excellent job at producing surround sound, but they were crap at reproducing any "Vocals" due to lack of "tweeters" in the speakers to play the high range stuff.
        Last edited by MrMojay; 11-06-2009, 10:53 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

          I've been using a 5.1 Logitech set for years. I don't think it's worth it. Most of the time I simply don't have the space or stands to properly place the rear two speakers behind me. On top of that, most games don't have positional audio and instead splits the stereo only audio across the 3 main channels (left, center, right). So then front-left and back-left actually plays back to same sounds as if you had a 2.1 speaker system.

          Besides gaming, I run into the same problems with movies and music. I don't have enough movies that support 5.1 audio and practically have no albums that make use of more than stereo audio.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
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          • #6
            Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

            Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
            I've been using a 5.1 Logitech set for years. I don't think it's worth it. Most of the time I simply don't have the space or stands to properly place the rear two speakers behind me. On top of that, most games don't have positional audio and instead splits the stereo only audio across the 3 main channels (left, center, right). So then front-left and back-left actually plays back to same sounds as if you had a 2.1 speaker system.

            Besides gaming, I run into the same problems with movies and music. I don't have enough movies that support 5.1 audio and practically have no albums that make use of more than stereo audio.
            To add on to the last bit there, the general advice from a music standpoint is to just run stereo with some really nice speakers. Surround often actually hurts the listening of music, instead of improving it.

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            • #7
              Re: 5.1 vs 7.1 surround for gaming

              Forgot to say: just get a nice headset. It'll improve your game overall in that you can hear softer sounds (like footsteps from behind) and you won't disturb those around you.

              Surround sound systems are overrated unless you have sources that support the systems. Most sources are still only stereo.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

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