How do you tell if a speaker puts out 5.1 sounds?

Apr 27, 2018
I need an intermediary device because apparently the TV I got my daughter doesn't do 5.1 sounds. Netflix won't work. So instead of the frilly bullsh** of "surround sound", can someone please tell me if there is any numbers on the back of a speaker to tell if it is 2.1 or 5.1? I'm just a frustrated mom wanting specs on speakers and all I'm getting is flowery useless words.
Just count boxes.

If you want 5.1 "speakers", you'll need 5 (or six) separate speakers, and (probably) a box where all these speakers connect to. To get surround sound (this is what "5.1" most refers to), you will also need a source producing this sound, and digital connection between said source and "speakers".


Oct 11, 2013
A speaker is a speaker for the most part, though some are specifically designed as mains, centers, and surrounds. What are you outputting to the TV? There's no reason whatsoever that the TV cannot play stereo sound if the source is mixed for surround. My Panasonic plasma gets Netflix played to it and outputs the sound just fine.

What kind of connections do you have going to the TV? Does the TV itself have built in Netflix or is it being sent to the TV from another source (such as an Xbox, DVD or Blu-Ray, etc)?

Also, the first number in any speaker setup is the number of dedicated, full range sound channels. The . X refers to a dedicated subwoofer/LFE channel; so, 5.1 or 7.1 refers to five or seven full range channels respectively and one sub/LFE channel.


Feb 12, 2006
Should not need any 5.1 the Stereo left and right in the TV should work fine. What is netflix doing or any error? Is it muted? Might need to reload the Netflix app. Is it streaming from a phone like air play or chrome cast?

2 channel stereo left and right
2.1 left right and a subwoofer
4.1 left right sub and rear left rear right
5.1 left right sub and rear left rear right with center channel
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