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Should you buy a 2.1 or 5.1 Home Cinema System?


If you’re looking to buy an all in one home cinema system, then you’re already choosing an easy to set up system. But deciding between a 2.1 or 5.1 is a decision that needs to be considered carefully.

Sony BDV-F500 2.1 Blu-ray Home Cinema SystemFirstly, a 2.1 home cinema system is probably the easiest way to get home cinema there is. All you have to do is to connect the speaker and subwoofer to the main Blu-ray or DVD amplifier unit and you’re away. Where to position the two front speakers and the subwoofer is the only real consideration you need to make – apart from price, features and looks of course! What you lack with a 2.1 system though is the complete surround experience, although the virtual surround effects on modern systems do an admirable job.

Samsung HT-C6500 5.1 Blu-ray Home Cinema SystemIf you want the full surround sound effect, then the best way to go is a 5.1 home cinema system. The obvious difference here is with the positioning of the additonal three speakers. Whilst the flatter wider centre speaker is normally straightforward to place, the two rear surround speakers will need consideration. Can you mount them to the wall? Will you need stands or brackets? Where will the wires go? If you can position the speakers, then a 5.1 system (which is often similar in price, or only little more) is the better option from a performance point of view.

The choice therefore comes down to looks and ease of set up versus audio performance. A 2.1 system is often better looking, and are much easier to set up, but a 5.1 system offers that little bit extra. The choice, as they say, is yours!

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