Height of speakers behind AT screen - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-14-2017, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Height of speakers behind AT screen

I have searched and can't quite find the answer I'm looking for.

Everything I read says that the ideal placement of LCR speakers is such that the tweeters are at ear level. That is a given but if I do this the bottom of my in-wall vertical speakers will stick out below the bottom of my AT screen which I don't think looks so great.

My theater installer tells me that it won't sound right anyway because dialogue will sound like it's too low, he insists that it's always best to have the tweeter in the center of the screen. That sounds logical but I've never read it recommended that way.

When people say put the tweeters at ear high, are they implying that the screen should then be placed such that it is in line with the tweeters? If the center of the screen is above ear level, should the speakers ride up the wall with the screen or is it still best to have the tweeters line up with the listener's ear even if that means the tweeters will be in the lower half of the screen?

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-15-2017, 07:40 AM
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There are two factors going here. First, mid to high frequency sounds including the upper vocal frequency range tend to identify the direction from which the sound is coming. From that standpoint tweeters should be located in or slightly above the center height of the picture to identify the typical position of the dialogue source. But, second, most tweeters have a more limited vertical directionality of output than bass drivers. Some have better dispersion uniformity than others though. This means if they are very directional tweeters, high and pointed straight ahead well above ear level, the sound may not be as accurately reproduced to the listener. So I would think just point or tilt the speakers tweeters toward the listener's ear height and put the tweeters near or slightly above the screen midpoint. I would think though the sound of the voices is more important than the location near the screen center. To me, accurate reproduction of dialogue is more important than localization.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-15-2017, 09:55 AM
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In a nutshell, if you want the most accurate soundstage and surround sound placement and movement get your L/C/R high frequency drivers as close as possible to being on a single plane. I would have less/no concern regarding speakers being placed at/near center height of your display simply because the human brain will automatically associate the sounds you hear as coming from the source your eyes see. Go for the most accurate soundstage.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-15-2017, 11:01 AM
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Or lower the screen some?

You don't want the screen being too high, or close to the ceiling either.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-15-2017, 12:26 PM
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In my HT, the LCR JBL speaker cones are dead center of the screen height. The HF horns are mounted on top of the speaker cabinets.
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Projectors: 35mm Kinoton PK60D/Epson 5010
Processors: Dolby CP-650
Amps: QSC's (3), and EV (1)
Speakers: JBL 3678's L-C-R (3), JBL 4645C's 18" SUBS (2) JBL 8330's SURROUNDS (4)
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-16-2017, 11:14 AM
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Ideally, with one row the speaker's acoustic center should be at ear height not the tweeter. The acoustic center is usually between the drivers, in a simple 2 way it would be between the woofer and tweeter. If using two rows the acoustic center should be between the listening heights. If these can't be done you don't want to be more than 15 degrees off axis unless you can tilt the speaker. When the drivers are arranged vertically they don't typically have good vertical off axis once past about 15 degrees.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The tweeters on my LCR in-wall speakers can be aimed. So it sounds like I should center the speakers to the center of the screen and then aim the tweeters towards the primary listening position.

Correct?
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uscpsycho View Post
The tweeters on my LCR in-wall speakers can be aimed. So it sounds like I should center the speakers to the center of the screen and then aim the tweeters towards the primary listening position.

Correct?
No!

Tweeters that can be aimed are a bit of a gimmick. First the tweeter don't cover the vocal range so this is not going to help with dialogue intelligibility. Second, if you only angle the tweeter and not the other drivers you will lose some coherency of sound. I'm not sure which model speakers you are using but unless they are an MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange) design one possible solution could be to install them upside down to get the acoustical center more where it needs to be and not covered by the frame of the screen.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
No!

Tweeters that can be aimed are a bit of a gimmick. First the tweeter don't cover the vocal range so this is not going to help with dialogue intelligibility. Second, if you only angle the tweeter and not the other drivers you will lose some coherency of sound. I'm not sure which model speakers you are using but unless they are an MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange) design one possible solution could be to install them upside down to get the acoustical center more where it needs to be and not covered by the frame of the screen.
My speakers are Klipsh PRO-6602-W. The configuration is WTMW and both the 1" tweeter and 1.5" mid can be aimed. Will that solve the dialogue intelligibility issue you addressed? Installing these upside down won't help at all. This is the product info: http://images.klipsch.com/PRO-6602-W...4330774000.pdf
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question. I'm going to have two rows of seats. If the speakers are set up for the first row and in the lower half of the screen, what's that going to be like for the raised back row?

I'm honestly not tooooo concerned with the back row because I don't think it will get much use. But at the same time, I don't want it to be really weird for people back there. Should I just design for the middle of the two rows? I believe the second row is raised 17" so if I split the difference and install the speakers 8" above/below ear level is it going to be a perceptible difference?

I know we wall want to follow every rule and do everything by the book. But sometimes we end up bending over backwards to follow a guideline that doesn't make too much difference. Is this one of those things I shouldn't sweat?

I mean, most people with projection screens have to be making some kind of compromise, right? Does anyone really have a projection screen with the vertical center at eye level to someone sitting in a chair on the floor? That would be a really low screen and would restrict the size of the screen before the bottom hits the floor. Im guessing close to 100% of people have the screen center above eye level. So what are you doing, putting the speakers in the middle of the screen or putting them at ear level or putting them somewhere in between?
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 09:49 PM
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How big is your screen? Here is how I calculate everything. From experience I find average eye height is about 38" when seated. Adjust my measurements as needed for your situation. So if you have a relatively small 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, the screen area not counting the frame is 49" in height for a 16:9 screen. I would recommend the screen be mounted so that eye height of the first row is from 1/4 to 1/3 up from the bottom of the screen when you have two rows. I would only consider 1/2 of the height if you only had one row and weren't reclined. 1/4 up is ~12" and 1/3 is ~16" from the bottom of the screen material. So the bottom of the SCREEN MATERIAL would be 26" from the floor to be at 1/4 position or 22" if you use 1/3. If your frame is 3" wide then the bottom would be mounted at 23" and 19" respectively.

Your speakers are 22" tall and the acoustical center is pretty close to the middle, so 11". If you mount the speakers so the middle of them is at eye height plus 8" to split the difference in rows the bottom of the speaker would be 37" from the floor and it would be behind the screen as the top of it would be at 59". That should be within the screen area whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 from the bottom of the screen for viewing. BTW, 8" is fine. Usually anything under a foot difference is fine unless you sit very close.

Is there any placement restrictions for height of the screen or speakers? This looks like it will work fine. If your screen is smaller than 100" diagonal you might run into a problem with the speakers not being behind the screen material. I haven't installed any screens under 100" for a while.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-23-2017, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
Ideally, with one row the speaker's acoustic center should be at ear height not the tweeter. The acoustic center is usually between the drivers, in a simple 2 way it would be between the woofer and tweeter. If using two rows the acoustic center should be between the listening heights. If these can't be done you don't want to be more than 15 degrees off axis unless you can tilt the speaker. When the drivers are arranged vertically they don't typically have good vertical off axis once past about 15 degrees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
How big is your screen? Here is how I calculate everything. From experience I find average eye height is about 38" when seated. Adjust my measurements as needed for your situation. So if you have a relatively small 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, the screen area not counting the frame is 49" in height for a 16:9 screen. I would recommend the screen be mounted so that eye height of the first row is from 1/4 to 1/3 up from the bottom of the screen when you have two rows. I would only consider 1/2 of the height if you only had one row and weren't reclined. 1/4 up is ~12" and 1/3 is ~16" from the bottom of the screen material. So the bottom of the SCREEN MATERIAL would be 26" from the floor to be at 1/4 position or 22" if you use 1/3. If your frame is 3" wide then the bottom would be mounted at 23" and 19" respectively.

Your speakers are 22" tall and the acoustical center is pretty close to the middle, so 11". If you mount the speakers so the middle of them is at eye height plus 8" to split the difference in rows the bottom of the speaker would be 37" from the floor and it would be behind the screen as the top of it would be at 59". That should be within the screen area whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 from the bottom of the screen for viewing. BTW, 8" is fine. Usually anything under a foot difference is fine unless you sit very close.

Is there any placement restrictions for height of the screen or speakers? This looks like it will work fine. If your screen is smaller than 100" diagonal you might run into a problem with the speakers not being behind the screen material. I haven't installed any screens under 100" for a while.
Thank you so much for breaking that down for me! My screen will be right around 151" diagonal so I'm going to do as you suggest and have the center of the speaker 46" from the ground and they will be fully concealed by the screen. I will align the screen so that 1/3 from the bottom is at eye level.

I don't know why the heck I thought the speakers would stick out below the screen because when I do the math as you laid it out, it won't even come close to sticking out. I guess eyeballing it in the room without the screen gave me the idea this would be a problem. I didn't have anything to worry about. But I did learn something about localization and dispersion. Thanks everyone.
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