7.1 Front vs Surround

Created by CableKid on March 15, 2012, 6:25 p.m.
  • I have been reading up recently on 7.1 Surround Sound and I keep coming across 7.1 front and 7.1 surround. Now for the life of me I can't seem to figure out what the difference is. One idea I have is that some of the 7.1 Surround systems seem to have more LFE channels then the other 7.1 Front systems, is this what I am missing or is it something else?
  • 7.1 designates how many speakers are used in the speaker configuration, so I can only guess that 7.1 Front and 7.1 Surround is... 
    a) the exact same thing 
    or  
    b) 7.1 front has a slightly different speaker arrangement, probably moving the back-left corner and back-rgith corner speaker to the front of the room.
  • @MAGZine: That is what I thought but then I started looking online and wasn't really able to find a straight answer. Wiki says one thing other sites say other things.

  • In 7.1 setup the 7 stands for the number of speakers (a center channel, two fronts, a left and right surround, and a left and right rear.) The 1 after the "." represents the subwoofer.  
     
    So, when someone has a 5.1 system they have 5 surround speakers (a center, two fronts, and two rear speakers) and a sub. 
     
    I've never heard of a "7.1 front" setup. Where are you reading this? It's not like anyone would create a 7.1 setup without two fronts, that would be fucking insanity. When someone talks about a 7.1 and mentions "The front," or "The fronts," they're talking about the two front speakers. The surrounds in a 7.1 setup are the two speakers that are directly off to the left and right sides of you, the rears are the two behind you.  Maybe that's what you're misreading.
     
    A 7 speaker setup with two LFE channels would be a 7.2 surround sound setup - the two being the number of subs.
     
     
  •  Yeah seven isn't exactly a number that's used to describe front speakers..to my knowledge that is and it just sounds redundant. Do you have any pictures of said speakers?Because they sound like some super high end stuff that I could never get even in my wildest dreams.
  • @CableKid said:

    " @MAGZine: That is what I thought but then I started looking online and wasn't really able to find a straight answer. Wiki says one thing other sites say other things. " 
     

  • maybe 7.1 front means those all in one surround bars with 7.1 channels?
  • @BiffMcBlumpkin:  
    Maybe it's a 7.1 but the "Fronts" could mean 2 separate satellite speakers that just have stereo, that is the set up I have on my 5.2 Sony receiver in my Bedroom, I have two satellite speakers coming out of a stereo only A+B connection, that way I have two "Front" speakers,  
     
    Or, maybe not.
  • @Red12b said:

    " @BiffMcBlumpkin:  Maybe it's a 7.1 but the "Fronts" could mean 2 separate satellite speakers that just have stereo, that is the set up I have on my 5.1 Sony receiver in my Bedroom, I have two satellite speakers coming out of a stereo only A+B connection, that way I have two "Front" speakers,   Or, maybe not. "

    @BiffMcBlumpkin:  
    This is what I mean, see those small satellite speakers, one of them is on the tower next to my Diary, 
        
     
    And the other one is next to my PS2,  
    They are hooked up to a separate connection labelled A+B but they still run on the same incoming channel. 
  • Seems like far too many speakers at the front of the room.
  • Ok so I spent a long time last night reading into it and here what I found. It seems that 7.1 Front and 7.1 Surround are both speaker setups and mixing options (I ended up emailing my sound design professor). When mixing in most cases sound designer are taught to prioritized front end speakers as dominate mix on the sound track (i.e. when you mix a sound file you attempt to ensure that largest concentration of sound is in the front of the viewer). However more advance audio designers tend to attempt to mix with all channels at equal priority in the mix. So 7.1 Surround indicates that all sound is on an equal channel base where as 7.1 Front indicate prioritization of the front speakers (also in most of the 7.1 front mixes my teacher ended up sending me there was more empathize was put on you LFE channel). While it seems odd that they would denote it as both a setup and an overall mix is beyond me but hey I didn't make the rules. 
     
    Thanks again to all that helped.

  • @CableKid:  
    Makes sense actually, I just choose to up the volume to separate speakers thus resulting in the same volume of sound hitting me at once,   
    But yeah, cheers.