The main components of a 5.1 surround sound system are five speakers and a subwoofer. Of the five speakers, two should be on the right side, two should be on the left and one at the center. The subwoofer delivers deep bass tones and other low-frequency sounds.
5.1 surround sound systems are considered the minimum systems for delivering true surround sound. The term "5.1" comes from the five speakers and the one subwoofer that the system contains. A 2.1 sound system, on the other hand, features two speakers and a subwoofer. Although 2.1 sound systems don't have surround sound, they deliver better quality sound than typical shelf speakers.
Of the five speakers of a 5.1 surround sound system, the center speaker is considered the most important. It typically contains more individual speaker cones than the other four satellite speakers. The center speaker is sometimes different from the satellite speakers in terms of design. It may also be larger than the rest of the speakers. With any type of surround sound system, you need to ensure that the speakers are balanced on each side of the room.
More examples of surround sound systems are 6.1 sound systems and 10.2 sound systems. 6.1 sound systems feature six speakers and a subwoofer, while 10.2 sound systems feature ten speakers and two subwoofers.