5.2 vs 7.2 Home Theater

It’s hard to say which is better: 5.2 or 7.2. It’s the number of speakers that is the most noticeable difference. It will be a lot better if you have the right room set up for your 7.2 home theater system. It adds more depth to the sound of what you are watching, making it sound like you are in a movie theater. The object’s location is also thought to be more correct.

Whether you need a 5.2 or 7.2 depends on how you like your music and how big your room is. Many people think soundbars are the best way to build a home theater that is all in one. It’s also easy to look for speakers that don’t need a receiver. You can look for speakers that are active or have power. In that case, you don’t have to spend extra money on a 5.2 or 7.2 receiver.

Finally, choose a 5.2 or 7.2 surround sound system that needs a receiver. This is the last thing you need to do. Audiophiles or people who like listening to music often have a receiver in their sound system because it dramatically improves the sound quality. Make sure to calibrate your receivers and put your speakers in the right place. You can find home theaters in different price ranges so you can find the one that fits your needs.

5.2 vs 7.2: Compare and contrast

How different is 7.2 surround sound from 5.2? Let’s find out.

Table: Comparison of 5.2 vs 7.2 surround sound

Features
7.2
No of speakers
7
No. of sub
1
Overhead/height speaker
None
Audio quality
Better
Room size
Medium to large
Features
7.2
No of speakers
7
No. of sub
1
Overhead/height speaker
None
Audio quality
Better
Room size
Medium to large

5.2 surround sound systems have 5 speakers and two subwoofers. 5 speakers are: center, front left, front right, rear left and rear right speakers. Comparing 5.2 vs 7.2, the 7.2 sound system will have front left and right, center, rear left and right, and surround left and right. The number of subwoofers remain the same.

Why do you need two subwoofers?

Audio experts often encourage the use of two subwoofers instead of one. They suggest you to go two or four. The reasons are manifold. Two subwoofers eliminate the peaks and dips of the subwoofer, and, improve and broaden the sweet spot. This benefits multiple listener in different seating spots as they all will be able to hear the bass accurately.

Another advantage of a pair of subwoofers is even bass distribution throughout the room. Directivity of subwoofer while using one is poor. Evenness of low-end is much better which you can from two sub. The use of these will also minimize distortion, lower output compression, and deliver accurate bass. Two or four should be your goal. If four is ‘too much’ for the room size, then two subwoofers are best.

Home theater 5.2 vs 7.2:

Now that you already know the difference between 5.2 and 7.2, let’s check out some of the best home theaters.

Best 5.2 surround sound:

Here we have listed the best 5.2 home theater systems at different price range.

Table: Comparing different 5.2 home theater systems
Features
Sonos Arc
-
Powered by
Self/powered speakers
-
No. of speakers
1 soundbar, 2 rear speakers, 2 sub
-
Best for
Overall
-
Features
Sonos Arc
Powered by
Self/powered speakers
No. of speakers
1 soundbar, 2 rear speakers, 2 sub
Best for
Overall
Features
-
Powered by
-
No. of speakers
-
Best for
-

 Klipsch RP-280F 5.2 Home Theater System

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Klipsch RP-280 F 5.2 home theater includes two RP-280F bookshelf speakers, one RP-450C center channel, two RP-250S surround, two BIC Acoustech PL-200II subs. With 1” tweeter and 8” woofer, the RP-280F is the improved speaker of RP-28F speakers. Frequency response of 32-25k Hz and 98dB sensitivity ensures the performance is stable and precise.

These floorstanding speakers have a smoother and flatter frequency response. The sound profile is neutral, treble is bright but not too bright to sound harsh. Mids are clear, bass is punchy and overall, they are quite loud and powerful that can deliver room-filling audio. Klipsch recommends placing the speakers 9-23ft from the seating position. Gap between speakers should be within 6-15ft. In the front, there will be another center channel speaker.

RP-450C center speaker makes everything sweet and lively. It is one of the best center channel speakers that makes music or movies come to life. With 1” tweeter and 5.25” woofer, vocals are crystal clear and detailed. it has 150W RMS power and 97 dB sensitivity. It dramatically improves the overall listening experience.

RP-250S surround speakers use 2 1” LTS tweeter and 2 5.25” woofers. WDST feature ensures broader soundstage and disperses sound so that it covers the whole room and surrounds the listener. Place them on two sides of the user or on back walls. They should be at the ear level of the user and within 5-7, from the floor. The sonic details and ensures clarity and smooth audio.

Lastly, for punchier low ends, connect a pair of subwoofers. Even if you are an audio geek and purchased several subs before, the BIC Acoustech PL-200 II will blow you away. Although it boasts of 1000W peak power, its RMS power is 250W. it has 12” long-throw front firing woofer driver and two flared ports also on the front side.

The ports work to reduce and eliminate any turbulence or noise. With a frequency response of 21Hz – 200Hz (+/- 3db), the floor and walls will rumble while playing bass-heavy content. It has a sensitivity of 110dB and uses BASH amplifier. You will hear clear and articulate bass and movies, or music will jump back to life. Most Klipsch speakers are made of MDF, which is strong and promises longer lifetime. The sub is also made of MDF.

On the rear panel, you will see crossover and phase controls. Make sure to place the subwoofer at correct position, alter and change and then play for music for testing purpose. The image above will give you a rough idea of multiple subwoofer placement. It’s not necessary to use this 5.2 home theater package, you can also choose bookshelf speaker or other floorstanding models.

Also, for perfect integration, you can connect Klipsch subwoofers because they have excellent quality and performance. Bookshelf speakers can work as rear speakers but surround speakers are better. Klipsch RP-280F 5.2 home theater system is costly, but performance of this 5.2 home theater system compensates the high cost.

Sonos Arc  + Sonos One (Gen 2)Sonos Sub (Gen 3) 

Sonos Arc has three angled silk-dome tweeter and eight elliptical woofers. You can use this soundbar for the front area of the room, then pair two Sonos One for rear and two Sonos Sub to create a 5.2 home theater. Since the Arc also has up-firing speakers, that means you get the two height channels as a bonus. Side-firing drivers create a broader soundstage and impactful surround sound.

Use the Sonos S2 app to control and adjust EQ settings. Trueplay room feature adjusts the sound based on your room layout. It has a thin and slim design and will perfect sit under your TV. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa. Soundstage, vocals, and surround sound is clear and detailed. However, it might have a bit bright audio profile. While watching movies, you can use the dialogue enhancement feature.

The bar supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus. It effectively creates a 3D soundfield with decent overhead effects. Sonos One uses 1 tweeter and 1 midwoofer. The Gen 2 model has an improved processor. The speakers have touch-sensitive controls on the top. It supports multiroom audio go without creating 5.2. You also have the option to play audio throughout the room. Support of voice assistant makes it versatile.

The mids are clear, and highs are boosted. It can get louder and performs ‘bigger’ than its size. Class D amplifier in the speakers ensure rich and pleasant sound. The speakers sit on rubber fit. You can place them on table, kitchen tops or stands, but make sure they are at the listener’s ear level. Compact size of Sonos One and streaming from different sources make it versatile.

With the latest upgrade of 12.2.2 on Sonos S2, you can pair two Sonos Sub (one of them must me Gen 3) with the soundbar. Explosions, crashes, or low-end movie effects will have great effect with this sub. It delivers clean, clear, and articulate bass. It uses Class D amplifier, two force-cancelling speakers, and they are placed in front of each other. This is designed intentionally to reduce vibration.

As a result, there will be no ‘rattle or buzz’ and no energy will be lost on it. The unique design of the subwoofer is exceptional and eye-catching. This Gen 3 model has improved processing power and supports BLE and NFC. It can reproduce low-ends as low as 25Hz. Chest thumping bass is much appreciated by music lovers. The update of 12.2.2 in Sonos S2 application allows connection of two sub.

If your setup already has a sub, then power the 2nd sub, then go to Sonos app. It will show ‘Add a sub’ option. Go to the instructions and the 2nd sub will be connected to the network. Run Trueplay again once the 5.2 home theater with 2 overhead drivers is installed.

Since there are two subs in a room, in some cases, it might become too punchy, in that case, Trueplay will maintain a balance. Pairing the soundbar with Sonos One and Sub delivers a punchier low-end and true surround sound.

Jamo Studio Series S 803 HCS-BLK Black Home Cinema System with Polk PSW 10

Till now, you might think it is ridiculously expensive to build a 5.2 home theater and you simply can’t afford it. Well, it is not the case, if you dig deeper, you will come across it affordable Jamo S 803 home theater that has 2 S 803 bookshelf speaker, 2 S801 surround speakers and a S 81 center. So, for a ‘.2’ we opted for two Polk PSW 10 subs.

While this 5.2 home theater installation, create an equilateral triangle with the user and S 803 of a minimum length of 6ft. Place the surround speakers at ear level, around 6 ft above floor. Center channel should be above of below TV. Jamo S 803 bookshelf speaker contains 1” soft dome tweeter and 5” Polyfiber woofer. These are Dolby Atmos ready and supports S 8 ATM Dolby Atmos elevation speaker.

Compact speaker size makes it easier to make in tight spaces. The treble is powerful and precise. Front firing port ensures decent bass. Soundstage and separation are pretty good. Jamo S 801 has 85dB sensitivity, 1” soft dome tweeter and 4” Polyfiber woofer. It has a neutral sound profile and successfully produces crisp and clear audio. Use of WaveGuide makes the treble region sound realistic and accurate. These speakers have firing port on the back.

You can use them as front speakers or stereo system as well. Despite its small size, the sound is rich and detailed. it is one of the best affordable speakers for 5.2 theater system. The design gives a clean and sleek look and blends well into any environment. Simply place them on tabletop, shelf or stand and you are good to go. Now, the S 81 center has 1” soft dome tweeter and two 4” polyfiber woofer. It sits on two wooden legs.

The design is standard, and it has a magnetic grille just like other Jamos speakers. It has a rear-firing port and deals with dialogues smoothly delivering crisp-clear vocals. Movie vocals become prominent with this. Both S 801 and S 81 has power range up to 60W. S 81 has sensitivity of 86dB. Lastly, there are two Polk SW10 subs. It uses 10” Dynamic Balance polymer composite cone.

It has a front flared port and frequency response of 40Hz – 200Hz. Klippel distortion analyzer ensures smooth and optimum performance. This sub, along with the 5.2 home theater system is ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. Medium-sized rooms with a good layout will be best as there are two subs. It can deliver powerful rattling bass, resulting in musical sound. It is one of the best value subwoofers.

Now, although the overall cost is quite affordable, if you don’t have a 5.2 channel receiver at your home, you need to spend extra to buy one. Let’s have a look at the receiver and how well it performs.

5.2 channel receiver

To connect 5.2 surround sound system, you need a 5.2 or higher channel receiver.

Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR393 is one of the best affordable 5.2 channel receivers that supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It has 80W per channel. The installation is simple, and the user manual gives you detailed information. With this receiver, you can also install height speakers. The following image shows a 5.1 connection setup. This receiver supports up to 2 subs. Simply add the 2nd sub in similar way to the first one.

For room calibration, it uses AccuEQ speaker calibration software. once 5.2 system is connected, the receiver is capable of delivering room-filling and immersive audio while minimizing distortion. If you are streaming a compressed file or via Bluetooth, Music optimizer will ensure better performance. It has DAC for clearer audio from digital sources. You can connect TVs via HDMI. In case the TV doesn’t support HDMI, you can use optical.

Support for DV, HLG, and HDR 10 ensure detailed and vibrant images. Other than Music Optimizer, there are several audio enhancements like CinemaFilter, Late Night and Vocal Mode. With Zone B preamp output, you can create multiroom audio system. You can connect two speakers in another room or connect an amplifier and then power the speakers.

There are several DSP modes to improve the sound or add powerful surround effects. Like the Theater-Dimensional (T-D) allows you to enjoy virtual surround sound even with two speakers.

Best 7.2 sur7round sound:

Upgrading to 7.2 from 5.2 is worth it, lets find out how.

Table: Comparing different 7.2 home theater systems

Features
Acoustic Audio by Goldwood HD728 7.2
Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2
Fluance Elite 7.2
Powered by
Sub amp, receiver
Self
Receiver
No of speakers
4 bookshelf speakers, 2 round speaker, 1 center, 2 sub
1 soundbar, 2 rear, 1 center
2 floorstanding, 2 surround, 2 rear, 1 center, 2 sub
Best for
Movies
Overall
Overall
Features
Acoustic Audio by Goldwood HD728 7.2
Powered by
Sub amp, receiver
No of speakers
4 bookshelf speakers, 2 round speaker, 1 center, 2 sub
Best for
Movies
Features
Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2
Powered by
Self
No of speakers
1 soundbar, 2 rear, 1 center
Best for
Overall
Features
Fluance Elite 7.2
Powered by
Receiver
No of speakers
2 floorstanding, 2 surround, 2 rear, 1 center, 2 sub
Best for
Overall

Acoustic Audio by Goldwood HD728 

Often we prefer in-wall or in-ceiling speaker setups. This is to avoid wasting space by placing several speakers. It gives rooms a clean look. This 7.2 home theater consists of 9 speakers and an amp: four HD-800 Rectangular In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers, two HD-8 Round In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers, one HD-6c Dual 6.5″ Center Channel, two HD-S10 10″ Passive In Wall Subwoofers.

Along with 7.2, you also need two WS1005 Passive Subwoofer Amp for each sub and a 7.2 channel receiver. HD-800 has pivoting titanium tweeter and 8” woven fiber woofer cone. It has a frequency response of 32Hz-22kHz and a high sensitivity of 98dB. It uses Wide Sound Dispersion technology and can deliver powerful sound.

The speakers have ABS housing and raw speaker connection, so amp or receiver with raw speaker output will fit. HD6c center speaker has 12mm soft dome tweeter and 6.5” woven fiber cone woofer. This flush mount in-wall center speaker is easy to install and ensures dialogue clarity. HD-8 flush mount in-ceiling speakers have a two-way configuration of tweeter and woofer. The drivers are similar to HD-800.

It has a frequency response of 38Hz-22kHz and sensitivity of 98dB. Lastly HD-S10 subwoofer has 10” woofer driver. It has a frequency response of 28-200Hz, and sensitivity is similar to others. It produces a decent amount of bass but might rattle a bit. Based on how cheap it is, the performance is quite better. Installation procedures are straightforward with detailed measurements of the Hole Cutout and Frame dimension.

Templates for cutouts in dry walls come with the speakers. Acoustic Audio by Goldwood user manual suggests using jacketed cable inside walls to avoid any fire hazard. It’s not over yet, we still need a receiver to power them all, which we have discussed in the ‘Receiver section’. Overall, the sound quality is decent, and the cost makes it affordable for users with tight budget.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2.4

Nakamichi Shockwafe 7.2 home theater uses Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) technology. This means the home theater system will surround you from sideways, delivering 360 surround sound and overhead effects. So, along with 7.2, you will get Atmos effects as well. It can produce spacious sound, with better directionality.

The 45” soundbar has six 2.5” Full Range Driver and two 1” Tweeter. There are two surround speakers for placing behind the user that have one 3” Full Range Driver and one 1” Tweeter. There are two wireless subwoofers that have 8” down-firing woofer drivers. Total power for this system is 800W, and it has a loudness of 106dB.

Easily connect TV with HDMI or optical. You can stream content via Bluetooth 4.1. You can choose from several Sound modes: Movie, Music, Game, Sports, News, Clear Voice, Night, Clear Voice, DSP Off. You can adjust bass, treble and center channel level. Along with placing them on shelves or stands, you can also install them on the wall. Although there are basic control buttons on the soundbar, the remote makes it easier.

Remote control makes it easier to set modes, SSE or inputs. For speaker placement, have a look at the image below. This $1000 7.2 home theater has a slim and sleek look. Surround sound is immersive, and the low ends are clear and punchy. Although there is no upfiring drivers, you can install the soundbar horizontally or vertically and the support for Atmos allows overhead effects.

Connect the surround speakers via RCA to the subwoofer. The subwoofer will connect to the soundbar wirelessly. The backlit remote control has Pure Direct Mode, EQ mode and several Audio controls. Place the rear speakers vertically or horizontally for signature or elevation room sound. The images below will help you understand what it means.

Since they are powered speakers, you don’t need sub amp, AV receiver or amplifier. This means there is no additional cost. The system can produce 35% wider soundstage. Dual subs ensure broader sweet spots throughout the room.

Fluance Elite Surround Sound Home Theater 7.1 SX71WHR +
Fluance DB10  + receiver

Fluance center channel and surround speaker specs include 1” Neodymium Balanced Dome Ferrofluid Cooled tweeter, two 4” Poly-coated midrange drivers. They have sensitivity of 86dB. The floorstanding speakers have 1” Silk Dome Ferrofluid Cooled tweeter and two 6.5” Poly-coated Drivers with Butyl Rubber Surrounds and sensitivity of 89dB.

This 7.2 system will have 2 floorstanding, 2 bookshelf, 2 surround, 1 center and 2 sub. And lastly you will need a receiver. Bookshelf speakers have 1” Soft Dome Ferrofluid Cooled tweeter and 5” Polymer Treated Driver with Butyl Rubber Surround woofer. These are designed to place on the front of the room.

Lastly, the subwoofer has a frequency range of 38-180Hz. With 10” woofer driver, it will work well in small to medium-sized rooms. It has vented port on the front panel. The low ends are clean, not overpowering, but just accurate. Adjust the settings of the sub and allow some hours of break-in to let it shine. Fluance suggests 10 hours of break-in period. Now the question remains, how does the system sound?

Well, the cost and performance are outstanding. The price isn’t too cheap to be confused nor too high for average consumers. Make the 7.1 to 7.2 by simply purchasing another subwoofer. With all speakers from the same brand, this home theater delivers room-filling, pleasing and immersive sound. Movies are engaging with bold yet subtle vocals. Simply choose a 7.2 receiver to power the system.

The system is powerful enough to place in the living room or bedrooms. Music and movies are reproduced with clarity. The silk dome tweeters assure the treble region is clear and accurate. MDF speaker cabinets minimize resonance.

7.2 channel receiver

We have chosen the Sony 7.2 receiver for Acoustic Audio by Goldwood home theater and Onkyo 7.2 receiver for Fluance Elite 7.2 home theater system.

Sony STRDH750 7.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver

Sony STRDH750 is an affordable 7.2 channel receiver. It has Bluetooth, supports HDMI (HDMI 2.0), Dolby and DTS surround sound codecs. Once all the speakers are connected, you will receiver powerful immersive home theater sound. Connections include optical, coax or USB but phono input is missing. Use the auto calibration DCAC for analyzing the room and speaker distance and optimizing the sound.

There are several modes for movies (dynamic, theater, studio) and music (jazz club, stadium, live concert, sports, portable audio). Choose the one which is best suited for your criteria. Advanced audio settings like EQ, DRC, Night mode will improve the sound further. Remote control makes it easier to set and adjust different settings.

Onkyo TX-NR5100 7.2 receiver

With this 7.2 receiver, you can create 7.2 or 5.1.2 home theater systems. The power rating is 80wpc at 8 ohms. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X™ are used for overhead and surround sound. Similar to DCAC, in Onkyo you will get AccuEQ room calibration software. It is quite versatile with support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 and built-in Chromecast.

Along with 4k and 8k passthrough, for better picture quality, it supports HDR 10+, HLG and DV. Not only is this receiver for home theater use, but you can also easily use it for gaming as it supports HDMI 2.1, VRR, ALLM and QFT. Use different setting options like audio enhancement, dialogue improvement and Bass management.

Onkyo works seamless with Sonos as well. So, if you have Sonos speaker systems lying around, you can make use of it. Remote control and apps are readily available for control.

Parting words

In 5.2 vs. 7.2, which is better? Well, when you compare 7.2 to 5.2, you’ll get a more immersive surround sound experience. This is because there are more speakers in the area. The 7.2 home theater system will be more powerful and immersive, and it will also have a good soundstage if you have the right room layout and room size for it.

There are always two or four subwoofers instead of just one. This makes the bass sound more even. It’s important to choose a receiver that will be able to power all of the speakers. Make sure it can meet their power needs and impedance. Klipsch’s RP-280F 5.2 home theater is a little pricey, but it’s strong and powerful when it comes to sound. These two home theaters are good. Nakamichi or Fluance 7.2 are two of the best.

If you don’t want to deal with a receiver, then you need to look for powered home theater systems instead. Choose a 5.0 from one brand, then two subs and a receiver from two different brands. Because of how well they work together, it’s usually best to get speakers from the same brand.

FAQs

This FAQ is here to solve some of your questions regarding 5.2 vs 7.2 Home Theater. let’s find out more!

How can I create 5.2 setup in tight spaces?

If you have a congested space, then you can go for soundbar and two rear speakers. Soundbars in home theaters are common and not ‘weak’. Latest soundbar models incorporate different design and technologies to become more powerful.

Floorstanding speakers or bookshelf speakers, for large room?

Well, if you are building 7.2 or 5.2 home theater, we recommend floorstanding speakers for large room. Larger drivers and cabinet will deliver better audio than bookshelf speakers. This is highly needed for large spaces.