Is 5.1 better than 7.1 for Gaming? (Compared, Pros & Cons)

Speaker setup for your gaming PC is very crucial. Because it is important to have an immersive experience while gaming. There are many ways to set up a speaker for your gaming PC. But which one can be the best?

Although soundbars are more popular, if you want to get a surround sound experience, you should go for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround speaker system. While both can give a surround sound experience, which one is better? Let us discuss it right away.

Is 5.1 better than 7.1 for Gaming? (Compared, Pros & Cons)

Is 5.1 better than 7.1 for gaming?

Both 5.1 and 7.1 speaker systems can be great for gaming. But the 7.1 speaker system can be a bit more immersive than 5.1 at a higher price point. There are many affordable speaker options in a 5.1 system, and you can get the best audio experience if you calibrate it properly according to your room.

We know that the 5.1 system has 5 speakers along with a subwoofer and the 7.1 speaker has 7 speakers with a subwoofer. The extra two speakers in the rear (rear surround left and right) cover extra space and provide a better surround sound experience. But it comes with an additional price according to the brand you have chosen.

On the other hand, 5.1 can also be good, especially if you have a compact room. If you had set up your PC in a relatively small area, the 5.1 channel can be more efficient than a 7.1 setup.

Usually, many gamers use the headset for their gameplay. But having a surround system audio can be a good choice if you choose the right setup with your speaker system.

A 7.1 system is best for a large room. And if you are into competitive games, the additional rear spatial sound can help you get an immersive experience with the gameplay. You can get a proper auditory treat with the 7.1 system which makes your gameplay more effective.

If you are skipping between speakers and headset, then a 5.1 can be more than enough since you are not mainly depending on a single audio system.

Therefore, according to the budget, requirement, and size of your room, you can choose between 5.1 and 7.1. Both can be good for a gaming PC. But if you are aiming for the best surround sound setup, 7.1 is the ultimate choice.

Let us look at the differences between a 5.1 system and a 7.1 system in detail so that you can make the correct choice for your gaming PC.

5.1 vs 7.1: Speakers for PC Gaming

Feature 5.1 Surround Sound Setup 7.1 Surround Sound Setup
Speaker Configuration Five main speakers, one subwoofer Seven main speakers, one subwoofer
Sound Channels Supported 5.1 (Left, Center, Right, Surround Left, Surround Right, Subwoofer) 7.1 (Left, Center, Right, Surround Left, Surround Right, Rear Surround Left, Rear Surround Right, Subwoofer)
Immersion Good surround sound experience Enhanced surround sound experience
Sound Accuracy Precise sound placement Improved sound localization
Soundstage Expansion Limited expansion due to fewer channels Wider soundstage due to additional channels
Surround Effects Decent spatial effects with rear speakers Enhanced spatial effects with rear surround speakers
PC Gaming Experience Suitable for most PC gaming setups Enhanced immersion and accuracy for surround effects while gaming

If you look at the difference between these two systems, the only change that arises in the 7.1 is its extra speakers at the rear side. Due to these extra speakers, it can provide more immersive listening and can cover a large space than 5.1.

But when it comes to PC gaming, you can go for a 5.1 most of the time since many gamers don’t always go for speaker setup. We can see many gamers stream a lot and it is not a great experience to stream with a surround system.

So, the use of headphones is prevalent with gamers, and very rarely do they go for a speaker setup. Having a speaker system solely for PC gaming is uncommon. Therefore, for occasional enjoyment, you can go for a simple 5.1 setup and get a good gaming experience with better audio.

If you have multiple needs with your gaming PC, then a 7.1 can do more. For example, if you want to enjoy some movies or series, a 7.1 channel can be the ultimate. It provides stunning surround audio for your media consumption, and you can also play immersive gaming with it.

Therefore, in such cases, you can blindly go for a 7.1 speaker system and enjoy multiple benefits from it. On the other hand, if your sole purpose is just gaming, then you can choose a 5.1 setup.

5.1 speaker system has many affordable options and choices. You can have a lot of varieties and brands supplying 5.1 speakers. Therefore, you can get the best one at a far more affordable rate than a 7.1.

Pros and Cons of 5.1 Surround Speaker Setup


  • Cost-effective compared to a 7.1 setup.
  • Offers a balanced surround sound experience suitable for most PC games.
  • Works well in most gaming setups.
  • Easier to setup and doesn’t require additional space
  • A wide number of options to choose from
  • Compatible with a wide range of games


  • Limited immersion depth due to fewer channels.
  • Less expansive soundstage.
  • Surround effects may be less pronounced.
  • Only effective in a small space
  • May require soundproof rooms for better immersion
  • Not suitable for large room spaces

Pros and Cons of 7.1 Surround Speaker Setup:


  • Improved spatial accuracy and precise sound placement.
  • Wider soundstage for an immersive experience.
  • Enhanced surround effects and audio localization.
  • Enables immersive listening experience with extra rear speaker setup
  • Can provide louder sound than 5.1 channel
  • Highly suitable for large room spaces
  • Better for media consumption
  • Excellent surround sound for competitive games


  • Higher cost compared to a 5.1 setup.
  • Requires more physical space for additional speakers.
  • May not provide significant benefits in all games, depending on their audio design and implementation.
  • Can be overkill for many games
  • May require a sophisticated PC setup for better audio output

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Final thoughts

Having a surround speaker system for your gaming PC is a great choice. But it may not be the best way to enjoy all kinds of games. Some games require headphones for more accuracy while some can be enjoyable with surround sound. Therefore, according to your budget, the size of the room, and your gaming requirements, you can choose the best system.

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