surround Speaker Setup: Ideal Ear Height vs. The Couch - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a quick surround speaker question. My room is not super narrow, however there is a doorway just to the right (if you are looking at it) or the couch. It looks, well, like this:



Unfortunately, there are two problems here.

First, this is a high-traffic area and I do not want the speakers to get knocked over. So I am unable to really put them further out to the sides and considering putting them angled a bit behind the couch.

Second, with the couch being kind if high and full of pillows, there is the problem with the driver shooting into the fabric (arms a/o pillows) of the couch.

In effect, I am wondering if it pays to move the couch forward a bit and put the speakers at the rear edge of the couch on higher stands and just turn them down a bit with the receiver so they are more ambient and do not overpower the LCR speakers. My only concerns are that the speakers will still be pretty close to the listeners, and this will probably mean the tweeters will be above ear level with the drivers aiming right at the ears (when we sit in the couch our heads sit just above the back of the couch/pillows). Any advice?

-Cheers
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Kind of a bump. However, how far above ear height can tweeters be and still be effective? Is it a very sensitive thing, or should I just get higher stands, put the surrounds in the rear corners of the couch, and forget about it?

-Cheers
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 02:23 PM
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Buy wall mounting bipolar speakers and mount them on the wall behind you about 2-3 ft above your head on either side of the couch so the sound is even.. JMO
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LowTech1 View Post

Buy wall mounting bipolar speakers and mount them on the wall behind you about 2-3 ft above your head on either side of the couch so the sound is even.. JMO

+1. Will give you more room too.
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LowTech1 View Post

Buy wall mounting bipolar speakers and mount them on the wall behind you about 2-3 ft above your head on either side of the couch so the sound is even.. JMO

+2 Move the couch forward too.

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post #6 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LowTech1 View Post

Buy wall mounting bipolar speakers and mount them on the wall behind you about 2-3 ft above your head on either side of the couch so the sound is even.. JMO

Wouldn't the problem be getting one to match the sound of my mains? Boston Acoustics VS 260's & VS 325's if it makes a difference.

-Cheers
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

+2 Move the couch forward too.

How much should I move the couch forward?

-Cheers
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 12:56 PM
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Your not going to notice a sound diff with surrounds. They play sporadically.. You could go with Mirage OMD 5's which are omnipolar,or any bipolar surround.. Don't go dipole..
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

Wouldn't the problem be getting one to match the sound of my mains? Boston Acoustics VS 260's & VS 325's if it makes a difference.

-Cheers

Your present surround speakers are too close to the listener and the above recommendations will give you a much better sound quality.
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

How much should I move the couch forward?

-Cheers

If you can move it to 38% of the room, that would be ideal:
http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm

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post #11 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

If you can move it to 38% of the room, that would be ideal:
http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm

Craig

My wife is not going to agree to "ideal" in this case. Ideally, as close to the back wall a/o with something to go behind it and mask that it is not flush with the back wall is probably what she would like. The ~7'+ away from the back wall that would be ideal is flat out not going to happen.

-Cheers
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

My wife is not going to agree to "ideal" in this case. Ideally, as close to the back wall a/o with something to go behind it and mask that it is not flush with the back wall is probably what she would like. The ~7'+ away from the back wall that would be ideal is flat out not going to happen.

-Cheers

Well, anything you can do to get the surrounds further from the LP will be beneficial. The ideal placement for the surrounds is above ear level at 90 to 110 degrees to the LP. If you can move the sofa forward even 2 feet and get the surrounds up on the wall, you would be much better off.



Then add a thick panel on the rear wall at ear level.

Craig
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

I have a quick surround speaker question. My room is not super narrow, however there is a doorway just to the right (if you are looking at it) or the couch. It looks, well, like this:



Unfortunately, there are two problems here.

First, this is a high-traffic area and I do not want the speakers to get knocked over. So I am unable to really put them further out to the sides and considering putting them angled a bit behind the couch.

Second, with the couch being kind if high and full of pillows, there is the problem with the driver shooting into the fabric (arms a/o pillows) of the couch.

In effect, I am wondering if it pays to move the couch forward a bit and put the speakers at the rear edge of the couch on higher stands and just turn them down a bit with the receiver so they are more ambient and do not overpower the LCR speakers. My only concerns are that the speakers will still be pretty close to the listeners, and this will probably mean the tweeters will be above ear level with the drivers aiming right at the ears (when we sit in the couch our heads sit just above the back of the couch/pillows). Any advice?

-Cheers

Okay, if the authority doesn't want the sofa moved forward, see if you can get agreement to raise and mount them two to three feet above your seated listening ears, pretty much in the same area the photo shows, but mounted higher. IMO, the surround sound I hear on movies and concerts are sounds that the producer does not want localized.(aimed at listeners ears). They want you to hear reflected sound off of near by walls, so that one cannot detect exactly where the surround sound is coming from...like being fooled as to where the sounds are coming from...making the experience more convincible.
In some settings aiming the surrounds away from the listener is the best way to accomplish this. The front three speakers are different and often need to have the sound localized (know precisely where the sound is coming from and ending up.)

Espo77
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post #14 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Well, anything you can do to get the surrounds further from the LP will be beneficial. The ideal placement for the surrounds is above ear level at 90 to 110 degrees to the LP. If you can move the sofa forward even 2 feet and get the surrounds up on the wall, you would be much better off.

[snip]

Then add a thick panel on the rear wall at ear level.

Craig

I think I can move the couch up a couple of feet. I also think a panel on the rear wall might help break it up so there is not just some real obvious space with nothing going on between the couch and the wall. And, well, help with the sound.

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Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Okay, if the authority doesn't want the sofa moved forward, see if you can get agreement to raise and mount them two to three feet above your seated listening ears, pretty much in the same area the photo shows, but mounted higher. IMO, the surround sound I hear on movies and concerts are sounds that the producer does not want localized.(aimed at listeners ears). They want you to hear reflected sound off of near by walls, so that one cannot detect exactly where the surround sound is coming from...like being fooled as to where the sounds are coming from...making the experience more convincible.
In some settings aiming the surrounds away from the listener is the best way to accomplish this. The front three speakers are different and often need to have the sound localized (know precisely where the sound is coming from and ending up.)

Let's presume I can talk "the authority" into moving the couch forward a bit. Not too much, it will seem weird if it is right in front of the fire place, but a couple of feet is probably pretty reasonable. In that case, I think I have two options:

1) Try to Talk my Wife into Wall-mounting The Speakers. She does not want them wall-mounted. That said, I can give it a shot. It sounds like 2-3' higher is optimal.

2) Higher Speaker Stands: This might go over better. If this is the best I can do (go with the highest reputable/sturdy speaker stands I can get), and putting the couch forward a couple of feet or so, would it be advisable to aim the speakers somewhat away from the main listening area to keep them from overpowering the LCR mains and maybe get the rest of the area somewhat in on the surround sound?

Thanks for the advice so far.

-Cheers
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

I think I can move the couch up a couple of feet. I also think a panel on the rear wall might help break it up so there is not just some real obvious space with nothing going on between the couch and the wall. And, well, help with the sound.



Let's presume I can talk "the authority" into moving the couch forward a bit. Not too much, it will seem weird if it is right in front of the fire place, but a couple of feet is probably pretty reasonable. In that case, I think I have two options:

1) Try to Talk my Wife into Wall-mounting The Speakers. She does not want them wall-mounted. That said, I can give it a shot. It sounds like 2-3' higher is optimal.

2) Higher Speaker Stands: This might go over better. If this is the best I can do (go with the highest reputable/sturdy speaker stands I can get), and putting the couch forward a couple of feet or so, would it be advisable to aim the speakers somewhat away from the main listening area to keep them from overpowering the LCR mains and maybe get the rest of the area somewhat in on the surround sound?

Thanks for the advice so far.

-Cheers

Surround sound speakers pointed at the listener do not produce a convincable effect IMO. You want every seat to get the best surround effect if possible. As stated, sometimes the best effect is reflected surround sound.

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post #16 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Surround sound speakers pointed at the listener do not produce a convincable effect IMO. You want every seat to get the best surround effect if possible. As stated, sometimes the best effect is reflected surround sound.

For now, would I be better off aiming it at a greater angle toward the middle of the room? I am thinking it would get the speakers from blasting so directly at the main listening area (especially until I get things set up better), and get anybody on our love seat along the side wall more immersed.

-Cheers
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

For now, would I be better off aiming it at a greater angle toward the middle of the room? I am thinking it would get the speakers from blasting so directly at the main listening area (especially until I get things set up better), and get anybody on our love seat along the side wall more immersed.

-Cheers

Put your favorite scene in that has lots of surround action, and experiment with different angles. I think you'll be most impressed when the surround spkrs are pointed away from the general listening area. You'll be hearing more reflected surround sound, which is a good thing, IMO. Try it and post what you think, after moving around from seat to seat.

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post #18 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Put your favorite scene in that has lots of surround action, and experiment with different angles. I think you'll be most impressed when the surround spkrs are pointed away from the general listening area. You'll be hearing more reflected surround sound, which is a good thing, IMO. Try it and post what you think, after moving around from seat to seat.

Maybe I'm dense, but where would you suggest I place/point the surround speakers to start out with? Also, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely give it a try.

-Cheers
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post #19 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_I View Post

Maybe I'm dense, but where would you suggest I place/point the surround speakers to start out with? Also, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely give it a try.

-Cheers

Can you repeat what the make and model of your surrounds are...monopole,dipole or bi-pole? At first glance, the spkrs in the photo don't look like the typical surround spkr. (I may be wrong).
Once the surrounds are placed 2 to 3 feet above ear level, they won't be pointing directly at any particular seat...kind of spraying the sound around the room to different places making it difficult to determine where those sounds are coming from-a good thing for surrounds. Then you can tweak the positioning of them to your liking. You want to try to follow Dolby and THX placement suggestions, but most of our living rooms- including mine are not the ideal listening environment, so getting good sound in these rooms is a challenge, and sometimes you have to deviate from the norm and make the best of it by self experimenting. Again this effect is different for the front sound stage, where sound staging and localization is desired.
Experiment and let us know what you like.

Espo77
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post #20 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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+1. Will give you more room too.

+2 because think about one of you seated will be listening to compromise rather than having it equally spread around with uniformity.

Mount them on the wall with brackets and tilt them down for equal angle. That is how it is in the cinema.
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post #21 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 05:41 PM
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+2 because think about one of you seated will be listening to compromise rather than having it equally spread around with uniformity.

Mount them on the wall with brackets and tilt them down for equal angle. That is how it is in the cinema.

I have 260s and the 325. I used BA HS40s before I got the VS 240. Wall mounting 6-8 foot high on the side walls is fine. That's how I have mine and the 5.1 sound is great and 6.1 sounds like I have a rear channel they image so well. Look through the Boston Acoustics owners thread and you can see some picks.

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I have 260s and the 325. I used BA HS40s before I got the VS 240. Wall mounting 6-8 foot high on the side walls is fine. That's how I have mine and the 5.1 sound is great and 6.1 sounds like I have a rear channel they image so well. Look through the Boston Acoustics owners thread and you can see some picks.

I took some quick shots with my iPad to show you what I was talking about.
LL
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Can you repeat what the make and model of your surrounds are...monopole,dipole or bi-pole? At first glance, the spkrs in the photo don't look like the typical surround spkr. (I may be wrong).

Sorry, old pics. Those are my old Infinity's which are no longer there. I have new Boston Acoustics in my living room with VS 260's for the LR and surrounds and a VS 325c is in the middle. They are all monopole.

-Cheers
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post #24 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowellG View Post

I took some quick shots with my iPad to show you what I was talking about.

Thanks. Where did you get the brackets? My VS 325c came with one, my VS 260's did not. If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.

-Cheers
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post #25 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 06:06 PM
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I have a setup similar to yours, except with two end tables rather than speaker stands. I had the speakers pointed at the primary listening position for a while, but I recently aligned them so they're facing toward the center of the room. This arrangement provides a much better surround effect, especially since I can't mount on the wall.

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post #26 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 06:08 PM
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Thanks. Where did you get the brackets? My VS 325c came with one, my VS 260's did not. If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.

-Cheers

The 260s are on stands. The ones mounted are the 240s. They are slightly larger than the HS40s

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My fronts was near almost ready for five screen matrix built into to baffle wall that was almost finished I had the extra Dolby matrix decoders for it and I only needed the a two more amps and another Behringer DCX2496 to finalize it.








The surrounds are arranged at equal height simple easy to fit up in less than 10mins for each one. The panorama picture was a little hard to see on dinky sized screen when editing the image plus I should have used a tripod. The left side is missing one surround they are all in-line with one another on each sidewall. Between the rear back is the LCD projector with a towel covering it to keep it dust of it when not in use.

Then I come across some of what I been after for 20 years some cool JBL Control 12SR going at low price. So I've had to start over again with fronts



And yes I use the CRT for regular viewing there is a bed sheet placed above out of view cameras framing that I only drop down for guests never for myself now for wasting lamp life on the projector its used when guest or friends pop over.

So if I can fit 12 surrounds around the room in tight small room so can the next person and the person beside him 1 the surrounds are out of the way, 2 your not climbing over them when walking around the room 3 it looks cool 4 it surrounds me like I'm listening to the same film in the cinema again only in far smaller room.
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post #28 of 29 Old 03-23-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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So I found a speaker mount that should work and I believe my wife has come to terms with the notion. So I have two options:

1) Side Wall: I can place the speakers on the sides. If you are looking at the couch, you can see the doorway to the right; that leads into our kitchen. However, I can place the speakers as high as possible and angle them down. It would not be terribly high, probably ~8' high or ~7' high at the bottom depending how you look at it, which should be enough to keep them more-or-less out of the way and although not perfect I think it should be functional.

2) Back Wall: This would keep them where they are now, only higher. I can only get approval to move my couch 1-to-2 feet away from the back wall at most, which may or may not be a problem with this setup. The advantage to me is the speakers would be totally out of the way (as opposed to mostly out of the way with the side wall setup). I'm not sure how high to go if I choose this setup, however height-wise I have a lot more wiggle room.

Any thoughts between Option 1 & Option 2? If you choose Option 2, I'd appreciate any height recommendations.

-Cheers
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post #29 of 29 Old 03-29-2012, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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1) Side Wall: I can place the speakers on the side [walls].

2) Back Wall: This would keep them where they are now, only higher.

Will one of these options be significantly better than the other?

-Cheers
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