What is the difference between 2.1 channel and 5.1 channel?
The ".1" represents the subwoofer. In most package deals for 2.1 or 5.1 systems, this subwoofer will be passive, meaning it receives all power from the receiver. A 5.1 system is a bit more complex and will give you that true surround sound feeling. It will give you 4 bookshelf speakers and a center channel speaker.
Much of surround-sound terminology boils down into numbers such as 2.0, 5.1, and 7.1. The first number represents the number of speakers or main audio channels involved, and the 1 or 0 after the decimal point indicates whether the system has a subwoofer or supports a low-frequency effects channel.
- Yes, most home theater gadgets these days use HDMI, but that doesn't mean you necessarily need HDMI ports on your sound bar. Instead, you can connect all your home theater devices directly to your TV, then use the TV's audio output to connect to the sound bar. Check out CNET's list of best sound bars.
- 5.1 surround sound ("five-point one") is the common name for six channel surround sound audio systems. It uses five full bandwidth channels and one low-frequency effects channel (the "point one"). Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, SDDS, and THX are all common 5.1 systems.
- The first number (before the period) refers to the number of drivers, and the number after the period tells you whether there's a subwoofer (1) or not (0). Two channels means two drivers, left and right, while three means left, right, and center; five adds channels for rear or surround sound speakers.
Updated: 4th December 2019