Yes, you can use 5.1 speakers on a 7.2 receiver. The 7.2 receiver will simply ignore the extra speaker outputs, and the 5.1 setup will work without any issues.
Shopping for a home theater system will present you with many numbers, each representing how many speakers and subwoofers will work with a specific receiver. You might hear mention of 5.1 and 7.2 surround sound systems – what do these mean exactly? In this article we explore this further as well as examine whether you can use 5.1 speakers with a 7.2 receiver setup system.
5.1 Surround Sound 5.1 surround sound systems are one of the most widely-used speaker configurations for immersive surround sound experiences, featuring five audio channels and one subwoofer channel (the “1” in 5.1). Dolby Digital, DTS, and THX all support this format of surround sound encoding technology.
A 5.1 surround sound system is great for smaller rooms as it delivers immersive surround sound using only five speakers. However, for large spaces you might benefit from adding two rear speakers and subwoofer to the mix for even better surround sound experience.
7.1 surround sound provides a more immersive and realistic audio experience, creating the impression that sounds are coming from every direction. Furthermore, more realistic dialogue can be enjoyed as well as improved voice separation. Although not as widely utilized as its 5.1 counterpart, 7.1 is an excellent option for those searching for an expansive audio experience.
A major drawback of 7.1 systems is that they’re more expensive than their 5.1 counterparts; adding two additional rear speakers and subwoofer can quickly add up when using high-quality speakers. Another downside: some users find 7.1 recordings less clear.
Can You Use 7.1 Speakers on a 5.1 Receiver
While it is technically possible to use 5.1 speakers with most 7.1 receivers, it isn’t advised as these receivers feature two extra outputs for rear right and left speakers responsible for low frequency effects; using two extra outputs with multiple rear right/left speaker outputs can lead to distortion and decrease in audio quality due to acoustic cancellation between rear right/left outputs, potentially leading to distortion and reduction of quality audio reproduction.
As well, you must ensure your 7.1 receiver can accommodate two channels of low-frequency audio. Most AV receivers support Dolby TrueHD, an advanced HD lossless audio codec designed to ensure optimal reproduction of music and movies. However, if you intend on using the 7.1 outputs for rear speakers, be sure to select a receiver compatible with Dolby Atmos – an advanced format providing immersive 3-D sound with object-based audio. Note that not all 7.1 receivers are Dolby Atmos compatible; therefore it’s essential that you confirm this before purchasing one. Should you decide to go with one of these systems, however, we suggest investing in high quality speakers and acoustic treatment in order to get the most out of it. Furthermore, humidifying your living space regularly in order to prolong speaker lifespan and avoid issues caused by dry environments.