Surround speaker placement when seating is at the back wall - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-23-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My 5.1 HT System is in my living room, and my couch is pressed against the back wall. What should I do about my surround speakers? Should they be pointed at me from the side walls? Should they be parallel with the seating or slightly forward to avoid being in corners? Advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-23-2009, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

My 5.1 HT System is in my living room, and my couch is pressed against the back wall. What should I do about my surround speakers? Should they be pointed at me from the side walls? Should they be parallel with the seating or slightly forward to avoid being in corners? Advice would be appreciated.

They should never be in front of you. Place them on the sides as to the back as possible. I understand in your position you can't do better than 90 degrees but try to make at least 90. They should be 2-3 feet higher than ear level and they should be facing eachother. Do not point them towards the listening position.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-23-2009, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

My 5.1 HT System is in my living room, and my couch is pressed against the back wall. What should I do about my surround speakers? Should they be pointed at me from the side walls? Should they be parallel with the seating or slightly forward to avoid being in corners? Advice would be appreciated.

You're going to get a multitude of answers on this one. You should have stated the make and model number of the surrounds. Are they dipole, bi-pole or standard monopole? I am in the same situation as you, with the sofa on the back wall. I have a pair of bi-pole surrounds mounted on the side walls, two to three feet above ear level. After a little bit of experimenting, I moved them slightly forward as you suggest to keep them out of the corners. I listen to a lot of live music concerts on DVD, so I'll use one that I am very familiar with while positioning them,(lots of ambient crowd noise). There is some confusion because in some situations you want to avoid localization (knowing where the sound is coming from), So you don't want the spkrs pointed directly at the listener. Quick example, in a movie, a distant dog bark in the night. However, for SACD listening you may want to achieve more pinpoint imaging by pointing the spkrs directly at the listening area. As an example, the dispersion pattern on a "Revel" surround speaker can be switched between monopole to dipole.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-24-2009, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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They are monopole, Piega S-3. Right now they are pointed right at me because I didn't feel they were making enough of an impact when they were faced towards the front wall.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-24-2009, 07:53 AM
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I had this situation. My couch was right up against the back wall with about a 9 foot throw to the front speakers/display. On either side of the couch I had tall shelves with surrounds on top. I tried a couple placements for the 2 surrounds which worked. My favorite was aiming the 2 surrounds so that they were firing diagonally forwards. In other words, the right surround faced the left front and vice versa. This sounded the best to me. Firing them both at me from the sides called too much attention to the surrounds.

Also, I used a sound panel behind the couch to minimize reflection - this helped but may not be practical to everyone. The surround set up I had worked without the panel though. The trick is to have the front 3 speakers at EAR level! This means that no speaker is really above the top of the couch, which means, minimal reflection from the rear wall. Again, surrounds worked best in the diagonal-forwards position. The weren't firing straight at me, but instead sounded more diffused. Firing them back at rear wall as some sugest just didn't work for me.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-24-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

They are monopole, Piega S-3. Right now they are pointed right at me because I didn't feel they were making enough of an impact when they were faced towards the front wall.

You should never point monopoles towards you. It will localize the sound, which is not desirable for sound effects. You should also make sure surround volumes are not too high, if your receiver is capable to do so. High volume in surrounds will also cause localization. Also hang them high.

All that said, your environment sounds like one where it would benefit from dipoles.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-24-2009, 07:34 PM
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I have the same situation as you. I went from small bookshelf speakers on the sides to bipoles on the rear wall. The bipoles on the rear wall are MUCH BETTER. Your other choice would be to use dipoles directly to the sides of your ears, when seated. I couldn't use dipoles on the sides because of my room.
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