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Old 08-26-2005, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 5.1 channels and 7.1 channels

I just got a 5.1 channel PCI sound card. I was wondering, what difference do the amount of channels make? Why would someone want to upgrade to 5.1 channels from 2, or to 7.1 channels from 5.1? In what ways is the sound improved?

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Old 08-26-2005, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thats how many speakers it can support.

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Old 08-26-2005, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The difference is the number of channels. For example, 2 channels means that you can use 2 speakers. 5.1 sound means you can use 5 speakers, e.g. center, front, and rear, and a subwoofer for the bass frequencies. That means you get the effect of surround sound, which is very good for games and movies.

7.1 will give you center, front middle and rear.

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Old 08-26-2005, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, that was really simple, thanks guys. If you could answer one more question, how do you know which sound cards will produce better quality sound? Like, a 5.1 channel sound card for $20 is obviously inferior to another 5.1 channel sound card for $100.
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Old 08-26-2005, 04:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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7.1 is a a marketing thing. There aren't any movies or games that support 7.1 audio. The only movies that do are cinema theater movies and IMAX movies. And I highly doubt that any of us have that kinda entertainment set-ups in our homes. So go with 5.1! It's as good as you'll need...
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Old 08-27-2005, 12:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My friend, who's in no way good with hardware "heard" that a high-quality 2-channels audio card is like a low quality 5.1 channel card. If the amount of channels means the amount of speakers, then shouldn't the high-quality 2 be called a 5.1?
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i don't see how a 2.1 channel can be the same as a 5.1.

2.1 means 2 speakers infront of you + sub

5.1 means 3 speakers infront (3rd a center channel used for vocal), 2 behind + sub

i'm sure even a low quality 5.1 will make those foot steps behind you sound more realistic becaue...they are for a fact.....being broadcasted behind you.

2.1 can make that effect by muffling and stuff...
like, my headphones while playing counter strike....a lot of times i can tell if the footsteps are behind me..but i do get screwed...
my 5.1......if that footstep is behind me...that speaker is makin' the noice and i know where to turn.
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I see. So, if I got it right, theres no way a 5.1 can be a 2.1 or vice versa, no matter what the quality is.

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