What is the difference between a 7.1 and 9.1 home theater set-up?

7.1 SETUP Seven speakers and one subwoofer produce a sound experience worthy of the cinema with Dolby 7.1 surround. Each speaker in the set has a distinct role. After you have acclimated yourself to those respective roles, you can decide how to position and angle your Dolby speakers, remembering to keep the speakers at or near ear level (when sitting down) no matter where you place them in the room. A clear path from the speakers to the listener should be created. If you position any speaker behind a piece of furniture, that clear path is occluded, and so is the sound. Adjust and reposition speakers in an effort to determine where you will experience maximum sound production. Keep in mind, too, that bare walls and floors can mess with the balance of sound coming from your 7.1 system. Putting speakers in a room with carpeted floors and covered walls can actually affect the balance in a positive way. 9.1 SETUP Nine speakers and one subwoofer result in a sound quality comparable to what you'd find in an actual cinema with Dolby 9.1 surround, which employs two front height channels. Every speaker has a different purpose in the set. After figuring out what each speaker's role is, decide on the angle and position you'd like to try for your Dolby 9.1 surround speakers. When the listener is seated, the speakers should be at or near an ear-level position. Create a clear path between the speakers and the listener. If you position any speaker behind a chair, table, desk or cabinet, that clear path is blocked, and the sound will be also. Adjust and reposition speakers so you can figure out how to maximize sound production. Bare walls and floors can adversely affect the balance of sound coming from the Dolby 9.1 surround system. Placing speakers in a room with carpeted floors and covered walls is a better option to achieve the desired balance.

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