Best Sound Systems in Comparison.
Sound System Reviews & Buyer Guide.
The most popular sound systems are the 5.1 and the 7.1 sound system. The number in front describes the number of main channels through which the sound is generated. The more main channels are placed in the room, the more spatial the sound image. For example, footsteps are then reproduced very precisely from the correct direction.
But in order for the 5.1 sound system to have its full effect, the placement of the individual speakers and devices is very important. The central device is installed directly above or below the TV. The left and right output devices are placed at a maximum angle of 30 degrees. Between 90 and 110 degrees, i.e. next to the couch, the left and right surround sound is then set up.
Sound Systems Buying Guide:
How to choose the right product from the above 5.1 sound systems test or comparison
- 5.1 sound systems deliver sound through 5 main channels and a separate low-frequency effect channel, allowing for optimal surround sound.
- Components of 5.1 boxes are center, speakers and woofers.
- You can control a modern HiFi system via Bluetooth from your smartphone or also feed it with playback files via USB stick.
The development from the classic home theater system is strongly related to the development of motion pictures. Since 1979, cinemas have relied on the 5.1 system and the adaptation to the limited space in your own four walls began.
When buying a 5.1 sound system, the main thing to pay attention to is the sound quality. A good workmanship from the surround set as well as a good music performance are also important for the sound experience. In addition, you should position the speakers according to the manufacturer’s recommendation so that the all-round sound enjoyment in the home theater really becomes realistic.
Who doesn’t know the problem? The home theater with a nice big flat screen is set up. You turn on a Blu-Ray DVD and then you hear a slightly tinny sound. Even if the picture quality of the TV shines in the most beautiful HD, the sound of the devices harbors many a problem.
The solution for optimal hi-fi audio enjoyment is, of course, sound systems. You can now find them as 7.1 and 5.1 systems. The 5.1 sound system comparison 2021 here only refers to the speakers of 5.1. sound systems, for which a corresponding receiver is also required. Since the selection of items and manufacturers is relatively large, you should be well informed about the specifics before buying. A home theater provides surround sound and gets the best out of your DVD or Blu-Ray player. This guide will show what to consider when buying and how to find the best 5.1 sound system.
What does 5.1 sound system mean?
Surround Sound 5.1 is the name of a sound system in which there are 5 main channels and a separate low frequency effect channel. The purpose behind these sound systems is to create the most realistic soundscape possible. The user should no longer have the feeling that there are boxes next to the TV, giving him a stereo cinema sound from the front. He should have the possibility to experience the sound as it is played in the movie from a Blu-Ray, MP3 media or other media also from all sides of his environment. For this purpose, 3 speakers are usually placed in the front and 2 speakers in the back of a room. Various audio or video devices (Blu-Ray player, DVD player, MP3 player, etc.) are connected to a receiver (multi-channel Hi-Fi amplifier). This converts the signals into surround sound and sends them to the speakers. In a home theater system, all the elements are already integrated.
We have summarized the components of a system for you in our comparison of 5.1 sound systems:
- three main speakers on the left and right sides and in the center (LCR)
- two surround speakers on the right and left rear (LsRs)
- one woofer, also called subwoofer (LFE)
If you’re still unsure about buying a 5.1 sound system, our 5.1 sound system comparison below shows the advantages of the sound marvels:
- ideal for blockbuster movies, pay TV, sports broadcasts
- professional complete system comes ready tuned
- sound more room-filling than regular speakers or soundbars
- need a lot of space
The development of multi-channel sound systems comes from cinema technology. The main steps of the development were made in 1938-41 by the Disney company. For the film Fantasia, they experimented with different formats of multichannel sound systems. In the course of this development, multi-channel recordings were also invented, which today are called pan potting and overdubbing. Since this music was named “Fantasound” and Fantasia remained the only film for a long time that was optimized for sound systems, the audio technology did not enter the cinemas and fell into oblivion.
In the 1950s, when magnetic sound recordings also became possible, the first four-channel films appeared. They were developed by 20th Century Fox in conjunction with Cinemascope. The principle was that there should be 4 speakers in the front and a mono surround channel. Along the way, there were stereo recordings that caught on. The standard Dolby Stereo was created, which showed an improved dynamic.
It wasn’t until the movie “Star Wars” that the development in audio continued. The Dolby Personal Sound was developed. In addition to the normal boxes, there was an extra bass channel. The first real subwoofer appeared with the movie “Close Encounters”. With the 1st “Superman” movie, the Dolby Surround was split into two channels. With the shooting of “Apocalypse Now” in 1979, 5.1 sound was finally established in theaters.
In 1995, the format was also introduced in the home for television, as the development of the DVD provided for the construction of a home theater or home theater. The 6-channel sound from Dolby Digital, the successor to Dolby Surround, can also be enjoyed with
boxes can be enjoyed. A home theater with 5.1 sound differs in some respects from the real cinema systems, because the room is simply much smaller. A 5.1 sound system in the home consists of only 5 speakers, all of which should be the same distance from the user. Also, the speakers from a home theater system should be placed at a certain angle. You can find out how exactly you should position the sound system speakers for rich home entertainment below in our 5.1 sound system comparison 2021.
What should be considered when buying a 5.1 sound system?
Basically, the problem with 5.1 sound system speakers is that high-quality speakers are usually very large, but living rooms are relatively small. Therefore, you really have to make sure that the set with the speakers also fits into the room. For opponents of cable clutter, there are also some results for search queries for “5.1 sound system wireless”. However, this usually only refers to the transmission from the receiver to the speakers and the listening pleasure is not completely wireless.
Alongside these general problems is the problem of buying and choosing. Several speaker sets were compared in our comparison of 5.1 sound systems, and not all of them had good sound quality. Also, it cannot be said that the price has an impact on the sound results. In home theater, an expensive speaker can sound just as bad or just as good as an inexpensive unit.
The same rules apply to the purchase, which are crucial for any speaker purchase. It’s best to try out the products before you buy them to make sure the sound quality fits your needs. In addition, one should pay attention to connections, performance and ease of use.
In terms of performance, there are different designations that you should know. Sometimes you get the feeling that the manufacturers deliberately want to confuse the customers.
What is important in the 5.1 sound system speaker comparison?
We compared items from different categories on various criteria in our 5.1 sound system comparison. Besides the sound quality and the workmanship of the materials, the speaker control, the power and the subwoofer characteristics are also crucial for true sound enjoyment.
In terms of sound quality, for example, the Teufel Consono 35 Mk3 “5.1 Set” and the Logitech Z906 can convince, as they have a large sound volume and good bass. You can also get products with good workmanship and rich sound from Teufel and Bose.
You can find a good performance in the best 5.1. speaker system, if the devices have a very good RMS power with at least 100 watts (Teufel Consono 35 Mk3 “5.1-Set” or Canton Movie 125 MX) With some products you can see how the measurement methods are used for advertising purposes. The Logitech Z906 has 500 watts of music power, but only 67 watts of RMS power.
Speaker sound systems are usually controlled by the output device, which is the AV receiver. Some models offer additional convenience through a remote control, (Philips HTB3550G/12 or Logitech Z906), other types have an extra woofer control.
In terms of woofer type, you can distinguish between downfire and frontfire. The former is placed on the floor and creates an earthquake in the basement. Frontfire subwoofers are placed at a normal height. For this reason, they are much friendlier to the surroundings. Therefore, systems such as the Logitech Z906 are recommended for rented apartments.
For whom is a 5.1 sound system worthwhile?
Who needs a 5.1 sound system at all, and can the full potential of such a system even be exploited? Well, first of all, you should of course have a decent TV at home, so that the grandiose sound is also a suitable and quality image is offered. Furthermore, you need a lot of space in your living room. The individual speaker elements also take up a certain amount of space (especially the subwoofer) and the living room should therefore be relatively free to place the elements as intended.
In general, a 5.1 sound system, as you can also find them in various tests, is suitable for anyone who likes to watch a lot of TV or movies at home. Instead of going to the cinema regularly and spending a lot of money there in the long run, today’s modern 5.1 Dolby Surround systems provide real cinema feeling at home for a relatively low price, without being disturbed by popcorn crunching and chattering neighbors, as it is often the case in the cinema. If you choose one of the home theater systems or 5.1 sound systems with AV receiver from our comparison, we guarantee you great movie moments at home in your living room. A sound system in the 5.1 version is worthwhile in any case, provided you are a film and television lover with high demands and bring enough money. Here’s to our top 3
What do I need everything – you should pay attention before buying!
Many people ask themselves before buying a 5.1 sound system always the question of what exactly you actually need, so that the expensive speaker hodgepodge later also works as it should. We would like to finally provide clarity to all doubters and bring structure to the speaker clutter and accessories. But before you can answer this question reasonably, we have to clarify what you already have at home. 5.1 sound systems cannot be connected directly to the TV and usually require an additional AV receiver. An AV receiver is a kind of amplifier that is connected to the TV and serves as a distributor for the speakers – so that the sound afterwards also sounds as it should. In addition, good AV receivers benefit from many useful features, such as Bluetooth connection with the smartphone or similar. 5.1 home theater systems have such an AV receiver including DVD or Blu-Ray player already included, but are also correspondingly expensive. However, if you already have a DVD/Blu-Ray player or an AV receiver at home that supports 5.1 sound systems, the purchase of a complete home theater system would be pointless. In this case, you only need a conventional 5.1 sound system without an AV receiver, which can be found in our 5.1 sound system comparison in addition to the home theater systems.
With or without cables? – That is the question here
If you’ve thought about it, you’ve probably noticed that all the speakers in a 5.1 system that are placed around you have to get their power from somewhere. Normally, such sound systems are wired, so the boxes are all connected by cable to the AV receiver, but there are now also systems that allow wireless transmission. These are usually a bit more expensive and you don’t have a very large selection yet, but you save yourself the cable mess and benefit from a very simple installation. Since the rear speakers no longer require cables to the AV receiver, you can place them exactly where you want them and no longer have annoying cables that you have to worry about laying.
Which version you ultimately choose depends entirely on your personal preferences, but the following generally applies: If you don’t have the option of laying or hiding the cables of your 5.1 sound system sensibly in your living room, or they are annoying and just get in the way, then we clearly advise a wireless home theater system. We also have wireless models in our 5.1 sound system comparison that still offer very high quality.
To enable an optimal three-dimensional surround sound, all speakers must of course be placed as well as possible. Many people make the mistake of placing the individual speaker elements completely wrong and are disappointed afterwards because the system doesn’t sound as they imagined. It’s no use buying the most expensive and best 5.1 system if you don’t know how to set it up correctly.
The following suggested setups are optimal for a perfect 5.1 multi-channel reproduction in your living room and can be realized with all systems from our 5.1 sound system comparison. Should you not be able to arrange the speakers exactly as described, modern AV receivers can be used to compensate for any compromises in the setup.
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