Speaker Placement for real life - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-09-2009, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I have read and re-read almost every thread on Speaker placement for 5.1 setup (I have the Energy Take Classic 5.1). I am likely going to place my surrounds either 2 ft above ear level or up hanging from the ceiling next to the wall 90-110 degrees to the listening position like suggested. I would like to place my fronts 22-28 degrees from the listening position at 39" (ear level) and pointing at the ideal listening position.

Here's the problem, having never set up a surround system, I am making some real life realizations. Like who watches movies by themselves? I will likely be watching TV with my wife, or watching a game with the guys, and I don't want ONE seat in the house to have GREAT sound, while the rest have sub-par sound where they can't hear the dialogue well or they don't hear the Left, Right or Surrounds well because they are too far out to the side from the ideal listening position.

So all that to say, the question I am asking is... Is what Dolby and THX set as preferred setup for a 5.1 system the best for group listening, not necessarily one optimal seat. I have attached a diagram (sad I know) of my room. I have listed what I thought would be 3 possible positions for front L/R speaker placement.

What do you all think would be best for enjoyment from both the left end of the couch and the right love seat as well as my seat in front of the tv? Answer for the L/R speakers as well as for the height on the wall for the surround speakers to make sure the other listeners can hear them.

Thanks in advance for the help!
LL
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-09-2009, 03:31 PM
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Welcome to the real world, one that is filled with compromise.

Unless you are building a custom home theater, not everyone in the room will hear great sound, but there is no reason the people on the fringe will not hear good sound.

If you can, apply some room treatment to reduce reflections and standing waves in the room. Place the speakers as you show in #2 (#1 is too close together and will reduce the stereo image and #3 is too too far apart which will do the same thing. #2 looks just right.) and the surrounds as you said. Experiement with the subwoffer location if you have one. Balance everything very carefully. If you are lucky enough to have an AVR with Audyssey or plan to upgrade soon, set up the system very carefully. Audyssey makes a tremendous difference in the sound throughout the room. Versions of it are available in inexpensive (about $500.00) AVRs.

Oh, and I watch a lot of movies by myself. My wife usually sleeps through them.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-09-2009, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I was really wondering if the physics of sound waves would show that if I compromised the sound from a centralized listening point, and changed speaker positioning to decentralize as well, then while that one spot would suffer, but everyone else's listening experience would get better.

Like for instance, what if I pointed the L/R fronts so that instead of pointing directly at the optimal seat, they pointed just to the opposite sides of it? The sound from both speakers would still get to that seat, but the sound waves would cross in front, making it more likely that the side seats would hear the opposite side fronts better. I don't know if that makes any sense. Again, I am not an audiophile, but I'd prefer better listening for the entire room than for a single seat. It just seems like every one talking about optimizing their HT is optimizing it for a very acute listening area. No one is talking about optimizing it for the entire listening area.

Oh, and about the AVR, it's a HK 254, so it doesn't have Audyssey, but something similar. And I for sure will run it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-09-2009, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilly7 View Post

Thanks for the input. I was really wondering if the physics of sound waves would show that if I compromised the sound from a centralized listening point, and changed speaker positioning to decentralize as well, then while that one spot would suffer, but everyone else's listening experience would get better.

Like for instance, what if I pointed the L/R fronts so that instead of pointing directly at the optimal seat, they pointed just to the opposite sides of it? The sound from both speakers would still get to that seat, but the sound waves would cross in front, making it more likely that the side seats would hear the opposite side fronts better. I don't know if that makes any sense. Again, I am not an audiophile, but I'd prefer better listening for the entire room than for a single seat. It just seems like every one talking about optimizing their HT is optimizing it for a very acute listening area. No one is talking about optimizing it for the entire listening area.

Oh, and about the AVR, it's a HK 254, so it doesn't have Audyssey, but something similar. And I for sure will run it.

It all depends on the in-room frequency response and directivity characteristics of your speakers. Try it and find out.

Yes, you can optimize the sound over a large area. I told you how in my first response. But there may still be spots that are better than others.

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-09-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, maybe I didn't understand. It sounded like in your first post you recommended the speaker placement and directions that Dolby and THX suggest with the L/R's at 22-28 degrees and surrounds at 90-110 degrees. So is that setup the best locations and angles to optimize the sound for the whole area? I guess that was always my question... is the typical setup the best for getting quality sound (or maybe I should say "equal" quality sound) across a large area like across the 5 seats on a couch and love seat?
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-10-2009, 02:30 PM
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Twilly,
I feel your pain!
You seem interested, so I'll recommend reading an INTRODUCTORY article:
http://www.infinitysystems.com/home/...nf-rooms_3.pdf
Then, calculate your room modes, and you'll have a better idea what to expect:
http://www.harman.com/about_harman/t...eadership.aspx
(click calculators)

I have the HK 347 in a similarly sized room (a bit deeper though). One seat is close to the side wall and surround speaker. It's not an ideal location, but it's ok. I've found the biggest determinant of sound in that seat is what DSP mode I use. Logic 7 (which you have) doesn't pound the surrounds as much as Dolby IIx, but even with Dolby my "bad" seat benefits from a wide front soundstage. That's the beauthy of properly placed fronts and center.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-10-2009, 04:30 PM
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Your room is far better than most that are being used for home theatre! I would use position 2 for the L/R, just because your room is so much wider than the display. People near the wall will hear the surrounds first and loudest, so you may want to consider that when balancing the system. Real theatres have an array of surrounds to reduce/diffuse the effect and make the "sweet spot" larger.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-10-2009, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilly7 View Post

Ok, maybe I didn't understand. It sounded like in your first post you recommended the speaker placement and directions that Dolby and THX suggest with the L/R's at 22-28 degrees and surrounds at 90-110 degrees. So is that setup the best locations and angles to optimize the sound for the whole area? I guess that was always my question... is the typical setup the best for getting quality sound (or maybe I should say "equal" quality sound) across a large area like across the 5 seats on a couch and love seat?

Yes.

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