In most cases, a 5.1 home theater system is adequate, then why do you need a Guide to 7.2.6 Home Theater upgrade? While movie are often limited to 5.1 soundtracks, the 7.2 system will give you a broader and powerful surrounding sound.
7.1 or 7.2.6 receivers use digital audio processing features to fill the rear two speakers with 5.1 soundtracks. The end result is, you will have room-filling, uniform and immersive sound. More importantly, viewers sitting beside MLP will get the best possible sound.
However, not everyone can continue with a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade. You need to have a spacious room with multiple seating rows and only then will this system be justified. Otherwise, getting too many speakers will only cause the sound to be muddy.
7.2.6 Home theater upgrade: Complete setup and Guideline
This section will be your ultimate guide to the 7.2.6 home theater upgrade. Before diving down directly to speakers, some other crucial factors need to be discussed.
Right shape and room size
It is best if you can redesign your own home theater while building a house. But this is impossible in most cases. For 7.2.6 home theater upgrade, you need to have a large room. Experts suggest a 20ft by 15ft long room that has high ceiling.
The reason why you should be concerned is because if you have a bad room shape like a square room, or you want to build 7.2 systems in a small room, the sound will not be precise. Rectangular rooms will deliver better acoustics.
The room should have space for a large TV screen or a projector. A 2000 cubic feet room with a ceiling height of 8 ft. is also good. Another crucial factor is seating arrangement.
You can build two rows of seating arrangement in your home theater for 5 or 6 people but not more than that. Between 5.1.2 vs 5.1.4 vs 7.1.2, you can opt for 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 for tight spaces.
Ideal speaker placement
The following diagram gives you an idea of Dolby Atmos 7.1.6 speaker placement. Here all 6 speakers have height channels that deliver sound towards the ceiling to create Atmos effect.
The 7.2.6 placement will be similar to this diagram with the addition of a sub. If you use 6 in-ceiling speakers, then make sure the speakers create 45°, 90° and 145° with the listener.
Between 7.1.4 vs 7.1.6 speakers, the 7.1 speaker placement remains same. The difference is only with overhead speakers. If you think, 7.2.6 system is large for your room then you can also choose the 7.1.4 system. The image below shows Dolby Atmos 7.1 4 speaker placement.
Speaker placement plays huge role in a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade. The front speakers should make a triangle with you and make sure to place them at an angle. This is known as ‘toe-in’. They should make 45°-60° with your seating position.
The surround speakers should be placed beside you and the rear surround speakers should be behind you. You can also try to create an angle of 45° with the rear speakers.
Speaker placement depends a lot on your room size, distance between speakers and seating position and seating arrangement. The following diagram gives a rough sketch on 7.2.6 speaker placement.
Since you are doing a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade, room acoustics must be taken into account to achieve original sound. Heavy curtain, diffusers are some of the products used to improve it.
Home theater speaker type
If you want a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade, you will have 7 speakers, 2 subwoofers and 6 height speakers.
The front 2.0 stereo system will play crucial role in a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade. You can choose between bookshelf speakers or floorstanding speaker. Powerful floorstanding speakers will be an ideal choice in a large room.
The placement of these speakers along with center channel should be handled with care. If you place them too close, you will receive a small soundstage. All speakers, both front or surround should be at your ear level.
If you choose bookshelf speakers, place them on speaker stands. If you don’t have space or don’t like speakers to pop out, then you can choose in-wall speakers.
Elac Debut 2.0 F6.2
Best affordable floor standing speaker
Elac Debut 2.0 F6.2 is a high-end floorstanding speaker but you can look at alternatives like Polk S50.
Features and Benefits
- 3-way speaker: 1 tweeter and 6.5” woofer with its own rear port. Then there is two more 6.5” woofer with two independent bass ports.
- Well-designed drivers: ‘wide-dispersion waveguide’ tweeter results in detailed highs and better frequency response.
- Cone shaped aramid woofers are better than polypropene or paper material. It adds flexibility and good low-frequency response along with tight bass.
- Great design: MDF cabinet along with internal bracing ensures stiffness and minimizes coloration
- Performance: excellent stereo separation and imaging along with room shaking bass
- Ideal for movies or music. You can enjoy melodious songs and clear vocals of movies even at moderate volume.
- Four spike feet stay firm on the carpet
- Room filling sound
- Can get as low as 50Hz
- Sleek and simplistic design
- Aramid fiber ensures ‘stiffness and damping’
Center channel is needed for vocals and dialogues. It is very important to have a good center channel speaker and then placement should be directly below the TV but you can also place it above.
It is best to choose center channel speaker but you can also buy a soundbar. However, for large rooms, we recommend using center channel speakers.
Best center channel speaker for movies
Features and Benefits
- Sleek design with magnetic grille. MDF material reduces unwanted vibration and the design goes with any room décor.
- Tweeter produces undistorted and cleanest sound. It produces natural and lifelike sound. The horn technology improves details and dynamics.
- Highly efficient woofers that are lightweight produce tight bass. Tractrix port allows rapid air transfer and delivers clean low end.
- Produces clear vocals and dialogues. It improves the home theater and can get loud with 97dB sensitivity.
- Overall the sound is sharp, clear, detailed and focuses on movies sounds mostly. Specially designed tweeter with moulded rubber reduces harshness.
- Horn loaded technology
- Pronounced and clear vocals
- Good low end
- Sleek design with polymer veneer finish
- Can get very loud
- Some users don’t prefer the ‘horn’ technology
There are two types of surround speakers and rear speakers or surround back speakers. In a 5.1 system, you should not place the surround speakers behind you; you should place them on both of your sides.
On the other hand, for 7.2.6 surround sound, you need two speakers beside you and two behind you. This is needed in case you have a large room with multiple seating rows.
The best 7.2.6 surround sound speakers should be non-directional and as a result, should produce sound throughout the listening area. This will create a broader acoustic illusion for the user.
Surround speakers are often called satellite speakers. It is best to place them on speaker stands. In case if you don’t have space, you can install in-wall rear speakers.
Definitive Technology SR-9080 Surround Bipolar Speaker
Best for deep, atmospheric soundfield
Features and Benefits
- Bipolar design: bipolar speakers produce less directional sound. It delivers broader surround sound dispersed throughout the area in an omni-directional manner.
- Place anywhere: you can wall mount this speaker, use speaker stand or place it on tabletop. You can place them on rear or sides.
- Specially designed drivers: tweeter has heated crystal structure with silk surround delivers précises highs which focuses on details of soundtrack.
- BDSS: allows drivers to produce high bass output.it focuses on specific movie sounds and make them detailed.
- Produces sound within a wide area which creates powerful atmospheric sound. This helps users sitting in back row or beside main listening position.
- Cabinet design: the bracing in cabinet improves rigidity. The inert cabinet produces clean sound without coloration.
- Enhanced dynamic range due to bipolar design
- Immersive surround sound benefits users in each siting position
- Acoustically transparent grille doesn’t affect sound even with the grille.
- BDSS improves bass and minute details of movies
- Powerful and room-filling sound
- Unauthorized sales may result in distortion with use.
If you have a 5.1 or 7.1 system and want 7.2.6 home theater upgrade, then you need to use two subwoofers. For dual subwoofer placement, you can place them in four different ways:
- You should place them diagonally, one on the front corner and another at the back
- Place them on the mid-point of the two side walls
- You should place them on the front area beside your speakers
- Place them between the area of the two front speakers.
You can also use subwoofer crawl technique which uses a SPL meter to determine the ideal position of a sub. Also, avoid placing subwoofers at corners.
For large rooms a 12” or larger subwoofer driver will produce tight and room shaking bass. You also need to decide which one you want between sealed vs ported sub.
Sealed subwoofer has a ‘shallow roll-off’. It usually has lower dynamic outputs. Ported subwoofer has much higher dynamic output than sealed ones. You can use them in large rooms and if you want chest thumbing bass.
You can also choose between wired or wireless subwoofer. With wireless subwoofer, you will not face messy wireless and placement will be flexible.
SVS PB-2000 Pro 12″ Ported Subwoofer
Best premium subwoofer
The SVS PB-2000 Pro is a high-end subwoofer. You can also check other alternatives like the Klipsch subwoofer.
Features and Benefits
- Subwoofer Control app. The app lets to adjust more than volume. You can control bandwidth (Q), center frequency controls, and three EQ presets.
- 12” high-excursion driver delivers deep and solid bass. Also, it can get very loud and in most scenes, the bass is satisfying.
- The inert cabinet is made is such a way that it will minimize coloration, resonance or any vibration. It also has resonant-free ABS grille.
- You can easily use this sub or pair it with 2 or 4 subwoofers to enjoy sound in a 5000 cubic feet room.
- Driver is made of aluminum vented cone. This makes it lightweight and increases rigidity. It also works like heatsink in case the temperature increases.
- Accurate frequency response
- Easy to tweak with the app
- Clean and solid bass
- Wireless option with SVS’s SoundPath adapter
- Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) has push button controls
- Cabinet material should be improved
Height channels are denoted by the last number in 7.2.6. The .6 is the height channel. The purpose of 7.2.6 over head speakers is to produce a 3D soundfield. It makes things like explosions or plane crash sound real and lifelike. This is very important in movies.
You can choose from in-ceiling speakers, Atmos Elevation speakers or height effect speakers from SVS. For small room, you can go with 5.1.6 Dolby Atmos system where you focus on overhead sound.
Since the major issue with building a large home theater is space, you might wonder, 7.2.4 vs 5.2.4 for small room? The answer is, if your seating arrangement is not against the wall, then you can try for in-wall rear speakers for a 7.2.4 system.
How to choose height speakers?
In-ceiling speakers are great for minimalist design and clean look. These are the best choice but can be expensive. You can use the RBH Sound SI-615 in wall speakers.
Atmos enabled speakers is another great addition. Manufacturers like Pioneer produces Atmos enabled bookshelf or floor standing speakers. These speakers have front channels on the front part and height channel at the top.
The sound gets reflected on the ceiling and bounces back to come to you. However, using this reflection method requires you to have an ideal room shape and ceiling design. So with an ordinary room, you might have to deal with compromised sound.
You can also choose direct radiating height effect speaker which you need to mount up high on the wall near the ceiling. With speaker cabinet, the sound will be more precise. Also, the sound will be directed towards the user.
SVS Prime Elevation Speaker is a good choice. You can choose the Sony SSCS8 3-driver, 2-way center channel loudspeaker or the Pioneer ELITE Dolby atmos-enabled speakers
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II ceiling speakers
Best in-ceiling speaker for bass
Features and Benefits
- CDT: Controlled Dispersion Technology allows both tweeter and woofer to direct audio towards the MLP. The tweeter spins and woofer can revolve 360° and can make 15°.
- Tweeter use horn loaded technology which improves acoustic output. Along with phasing plug, the tweeter ensures smooth and detailed high-frequency directed towards user.
- Aluminum diagram provides stiffness and damping. This delivers clean and tight bass. It produces real-to-life sound with details and voice clarity
- Attenuation options: Treble and bass attenuation switches help to adjust high or low frequency. This helps if you place them in bright rooms or in a corner.
- Easy to install. You can paint the speaker and it has magnetic grille. With sensitivity of 94dB, the speaker can get very loud.
- High sensitivity means more loud
- CDT ensures precise sound directivity
- Large woofer size produces deep bass
- LTS tweeter focuses on high-frequency precision
- Crisp, detailed sound with tight bass
- None at this price point
All-in-one 7.2.6 home theater upgrade
Focal Chora 7.2.6 Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater System
Best for High-Fidelity at an accessible price point
Focal Chora 7.2.6 home theater is a high-end system which is very costly. You can choose the Klipsch RP-8000F 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos Home Theater System and add addition sub and extra height channels with it.
Features and Benefits
- Focal Chora has 6 4-way Chora 826-D speaker that has Atmos enabled driver. This driver is placed at the top which acts as a height channel.
- The powerful floorstading speaker has 1” TNF tweeter, 6.5” mid and 2 6.5” woofers. The TNF tweeter specializes in ‘sound spatialization’.
- Slatefiber cone is made of featherweight carbon fiber and thermoplastic polymer. This enhances acoustic nature of woofer.
- The center channel has 2 6.5” Slatefiber Mid-bass and 1″ TNF inverted dome tweeter. This produces clearer vocal or any movie sound like whispers, humming or fluttering of wings.
- The 12” subwoofer can get as low as 28Hz. It has Class D 600-watt amplifier. With closed cabinet, it can minimize noise interference.
- The Polyflex cone delivers deep and tight bass. The height drivers produce 3D surround sound without the hassle of buying more height speakers.
- Powerful sound from 6 floorstanding speaker
- No hassle of installing 6 ceiling speakers
- 12” sealed subwoofer delivers room shaking bass
- Can get loud with 91dB sensitivity
- Classy design
- Very expensive
Some users love to create their own 7.2.6 home theater upgrade with mix and match from different brands. The best way is to continue with a single brand for each speaker. Otherwise, you need to pay extra caution in terms of sensitivity or dynamic ranges.
The best option is to look for 7.1 or 7.1.2 systems, then simply adding an extra sub, or shopping for height speakers. Klipsch, Acoustic Audio, Fluance and Sony are some of the brands that have 7.1 home theaters. You can look for those and then select the height channel from Klipsch easily.
If you follow the placement rules mentioned here, and you have a decent room size and shape, the 7.2.6 will deliver powerful audio. You have the option to choose from different speaker types like bookshelf speaker, floor standing, in-wall, in-ceiling, soundbar and etc.
Overall, a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade will enhance your listening experience. The fighting, sword cutting, and explosions in a movie will feel real and with deep bass the scenes will become alive.
Don’t worry, if you are wandering around while having questions in your mind. This section is all about solving those problems. let’s find out what’s new this part is going to bring!
Which receiver is suitable for a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade?
There are some receivers that support 7.2.6 home theater system. Some of the 7.2.6 receivers are:
- Denon AVR-X6700H 11.2 : This receiver can support up to 13.2 channels so you can use it for a 7.2.6 setup.
- Denon AVR-X8500H
- Marantz AV8805
Is a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade worth it?
For most people 7.1.4 or 5.1.4 is an ideal setup. This is because users often lack a large room or a well-shaped room. A 7.1 or 5.1 surround system is capable of producing immersive surround sound needed to enjoy music or movies.
However, if you have a very large room that you want to dedicate as your personal home theater, a 7.2.6 home theater upgrade is worth it. With multiple seating rows and an ample budget, you can work to create a 7.2.6 system.