What are Multi-channel Speaker Systems (2.0 , 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 speakers)?

Multi-channel audio systems are widely used in modern sound devices. The term “multi-channel audio” means that, the audio system can be capable of handling multiple audio channels (usually called audio tracks) to rebuild the sound on a multi-speaker setup.

Here in 2.0 , 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 audio systems’ first digit shows the number of primary speakers called satellite units (these speakers are capable for handling the frequency range from 100Hz to 22Khz), while the second (decimal digit) refers to the presence of LFE (Low Frequency Effect), which is reproduced on a subwoofer (produces lower frequencies 20Hz-200Hz).

 2.0 speakers
These types of speakers systems have two speakers one called left speaker and another one is right speaker. It is also called stereo speakers and compatible with all TV ,DVD players, mobile phones and laptops. It does not include a subwoofer. For positioning of speakers see the image (2.0 speakers positioning )

2.0 speakers - Top View

2.0 speakers

2.1 speakers
Beyond the left and right channels, there is the additional aspect of bass which normally requires a subwoofer. A 2.1 speaker has 3 speakers, two satellite and one base speaker. The only difference between 2.0 and 2.1 speakers is the addition of a subwoofer in 2.1 speaker system for lower frequencies and gives real time sound experience. It is compatible with all latest phones, DVD players and TV. It is important to place speakers at right position for better sound experience.

2.1 speakers - Top View

2.1 speakers

4.1 speakers
Surround sound systems are one of the widely used surround sound setup in home theater systems. For this 4.1 speakers are the first speaker configuration with four satellite speakers (Front Right ,Front Left, Rear Right and Rear Left) with one base speaker (subwoofer). These type of speakers  require audio source which has a minimum of four channel audio out for this if you want to connect these speakers to your laptop/desktop then you should have 4.1 channel sound card in your laptop/desktop or you can run this with DVD players.

4.1 speakers - Top View

4.1 speakers

5.1 speakers
Surround sound systems are one of the widely used surround sound setup in home theater systems. Usually- Dolby Digital and DTS encoded in a DVD are 5.1 channel audio formats. The main difference between 4.1 and 5.1 speakers is the addition of one more speaker called central speaker with this 5.1 speakers have five satellite speakers(Center, Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right and Rear Left ) and one subwoofer. These types of speakers are compatible with those laptops/desktops which have 5.1 sound card and with DVD players. The arrangements of a 5.1 surround sound setup shown in the picture below.

5.1 Speakers - Top View

5.1 speakers

 

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