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2.0, 5.1 and 7.1 what's the difference?

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Topic

Ragingboar 5 days ago

What's the difference between these channels?

Comments Sorted by:

hellfire19981 2 points 5 days ago

2.0 literally means stereo sound/ two speaker output. 5.1 and 7.1 refer to surround sound. in headphones, it usually refers to a sort of 'spoofed' surround sound. in my experience, stereo headphones have generally sounded better than the "surround sound" headphones. obviously, this doesn't apply to speaker systems, which would indeed be much better in a surround sound setup. I am no audio nut and only know the most basic stuff about it. I can tell the difference between good sound quality and bad and know a few terms, but that is the extent of my knowledge in this area. 2.0 is two normal speakers. 5.1 is one center, two front-sides, two back-sides, and a subwoofer. 7.1 is the same, but with the addition of two more completely side speakers. here is a diagram of 7.1: https://www.google.com/search?q=surround+sound+diagram&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS817US817&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=Uac6uJfZZB2Z2M%253A%252C61YV_mbcdRzsaM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kT_8ISFKXlHLcXATsmyc84RyuRXBA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiLlK_okv3dAhXpHjQIHWiTBo4Q9QEwDnoECAYQIA#imgrc=Uac6uJfZZB2Z2M:

Shakaron 4 Builds -3 points 5 days ago

in my experience, stereo headphones have generally sounded better than the "surround sound" headphones.

One thing that's important to mention is that with "surround sound" headphones you can have directional sounds that has a huge impact on the game experience compared to just a simple stereo sound.

You can actually hear where various noises come from. I would never go back to play first-person games with stereo headphones.

Cicero_ 4 Builds 2 points 4 days ago

In general, the directional audio you get from software-implemented surround sound is actually worse than the directional audio you get from a good pair of stereo cans. I would suggest reading into imaging and sound stage, which are what actually matters when it comes to gaming.

Edit: just to clarify, you can get a good pair of stereo cans with good imaging (sound placement) for around the same price as gaming-branded “7.1” headphones.

Shakaron 4 Builds 1 point 4 days ago

In general, the directional audio you get from software-implemented surround sound is actually worse than the directional audio you get from a good pair of stereo cans.

I have no doubt about that.

just to clarify, you can get a good pair of stereo cans with good imaging (sound placement) for around the same price as gaming-branded “7.1” headphones.

I don't doubt that either.

But for my use, I am better off with closed earphones with simulated 7.1 sound than the actual thing for multiple reasons (other noises bother me less and I produce less noise pollution for others).

I was talking about the ability to get a better direction of the sounds via the "surround sound" vs just a plain and simple surround sound.

I never claimed anything about sound quality, my comment was about directions. Nothing less. Nothing more.

cheezmeister 1 Build 1 point 4 days ago

However, it's up to the headphone software where the sounds are coming from. Since a lot of games support 2.0 channel output with a mix of both left and right simulating where the sound is (similar to virtual surround), I can't really see why you need virtual surround.

hellfire19981 1 point 4 days ago

I use both and my stereo headphones are still far better. I think its probably because my stereos are $300 and the surrounds are $70, but IDK.

Shakaron 4 Builds 1 point 4 days ago

lol. I might notice a slight price difference. :D

Evil_Paroxysm 5 Builds 1 point 4 days ago

There are few headsets with true 5.1/7.1 but there are many that use virtual surround sound. I am not against virtual surround (love my GSX-1000 for gaming). However I feel headsets with multiple tiny speakers per ear cup reduces overall quality and muddies up the sound significantly.

vagabond139 5 Builds 2 points 4 days ago

For headphones it is all the same, its impossible to have surround sound in headphones given that there are only two "speakers" on you. 5.1 and 7.1 just means that it comes with software to emulate sound surround which sounds like may be a selling point but its not since Razer has virtual surround sound software that works with any headphones.

https://www.razer.com/surround