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post #1 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, I am trying to determine the best setup for my surround sound system. I have been doing some research and reading about the suggested placement of each speaker, but I seem to have obstacles with each of these suggestions. I will list the recommendation and my obstacle, I was hoping someone could shed some light on the importance of these recommendations.

For starters, I have a 55 inch LED in a large entertainment center with glass cabinets on each side. I have the Energy Take Classic 5.0 and added the Energy SW10.3, and I use a Denon AVR-1612. I sit 12 feet away from the TV, but my wife and I always sit on the chaise which is off to the left, NOT directly in front of the center channel speaker. The left side of the room (the side we sit on) is wide open directly to the kitchen.

Recommendation 1: Optimize the sound for the center of the room.
Problem: Like I said, we don't sit in the center of the room, we are about 4 feet to the left. Will optimizing for the center cause the sound off to the left to be less than optimal? Or will it not be noticeable?

Recommendation 2: Left and Right front speakers should be placed at ear level and between 22 and 30 degrees from the viewing point, also 12 feet from viewing point.
Problem: 22 degrees at ear height would put my speakers at the very ends of my entertainment system and inside the glass cabinet, so I obviously cant do that. There is no unobstructed shelf at ear level, though if it's on the same stand as the TV, it could be within 12 inches. Unfortunately, putting them here gives only 11 degrees off the center. One other option is about 16 degrees, but they would be up high, about 6 feet, way above ear level when seated, and they would be in a position where they could not be angled. The last option is at the end and top of the entertainment center (which is actually still about 20 degrees, getting closer!), which could then be angled downward using a wedge of some kind. The problem here is the wife doesn't like how it looks. Hey, I gotta make some compromises. So my question here is, how important are these angles? How much of a problem would it be to place them at 11 or 16 degrees? How important is having them at ear level if I can angle them downward?

Recommendation 3: Center channel should be at ear level, above or below the TV. Left and Right fronts should be close in height (within 24").
Problem: Ear level is at the TV. Below the TV will be only about 15" high. Above the TV will be about 5 feet. Aesthetically, below would be the best, but that forces me to place the speakers at the 11 degree mark and really only about 60" between the left and right speakers. Above doesn't look as nice and is farther off from ear level, but I could angle it downward and the left and right speakers would be at the slightly better angles.

Here is a diagram. The center of the couch is the viewing point here. The angles on top are the 3 possible placements of the L/R. Surrounds are expected to be 110 degrees to the back. You can see the sub off to the right of the entertainment center.

Thanks in advance.

-Alex
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 05:39 AM
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Compromises must be made for just about every system. 

 

The angles are recommended, but not a 'do or die' type of situation.

 

Sound radiates out like ripples on a pond.  LCR(Left,Center,Right) speakers are no exception.  Eventually, every corner of the room will get the sound wave, however, it may not be before it is reflected off of another object causing distortion.

 

My recommendation is placing the center above the TV and the L&R speakers on either side of the cabinet. 

 

The Center above the TV, will give it sound the maximum desperation and let it have more room to radiate out before hitting any reflection points, and thus begin causing distortion.

 

If aesthetics is a big concern, as well as WAF(Wife Approval Factor), have her assist with finding the optimal way to mount the center channel.  I have found that floating shelves look good above and around the TV area. 

 

The CC(Center Channel) will be most valuable when watching movies, with music not so much.

 

The L&R speakers will be most important for listening to music.

 

Specs I found on the Energy Classics:


Manufacturer Specifications
■Satellite dimensions: 6.88" W x 4.13" H x 4.13" D, weight: 2.9 lbss each
■Center dimensions: 4.18" W x 10.25" H x 4.18" D, weight: 3.2 lbs

 

Both of these types of speakers are not heavy and would probably mount directly onto a wall with no problem.

 

I think that you should place all three(LCR) on top of the entertainment center and move them around until you find the best sound for where plan on listening.  Then decide on wall mounting, or placing on shelves, or just leaving them on top of the entertainment center.

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post #3 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 06:19 AM
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Hi there,

question is, how important is the sound for you?
There are plenty of recommendations for placing the speakers, some of them could be as imortant as the aforementioned. But in the end all of them are compromises.

The recommendation with major effect, isnt listed above. The optimal sitting position. As described from you, you didnt sit in front of the center.
When the angle of the stereo-base is wider (22°), the level difference between left and right is getting bigger and mostly uncomfortable.
Because of this I would make the angle smaller (11°) and the second important thing (after sitting position) in my opinion is the same height of the front and center. And if you have to decide above or below TV, I recommend above.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hertzy3 View Post

Hey everyone, I am trying to determine the best setup for my surround sound system.

I see a clear case of overthinking and possibly under-equipping a system.

In my book your system is not far enough off of the center line of the room to be a problem. A tiny bit of asymmetry like that is no big deal. It might even be a good idea.

Secondly, audio isn't a precise enough art that everything can be figured out in advance from a drawing no matter how precise or detailed.

Given their size and weight, it appears that you can attach these things to your walls with the larger 3M Command hooks, and if you think they'd sound better someplace else, just pull the tab and move on.

http://www.staples.com/3M-Command-Adhesive-Wall-Hooks-Large-White/product_395690



These speakers look like a great starter system, but if you are or get enthusiastic about sound, even the satellites are not going to please you for long. Glad you are not going B@$&!

Several reviews complain about the satellite's woofers bottoming and the tweeters sounding shrill. Not saying "don't go there", just saying "don't be surprised". When you move on these speakers will still be good for a lesser system elsewhere in your life.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses.

underminded999 - If I place everything up above the TV, should I angle it downward toward the focal point?

Poison Nuke - I am confused about how a smaller angle would be better here. I would think a larger angle would give more time for the sound to hit other parts of the room (ie 4 feet to the left of the focal point).

arnyk - I don't doubt or deny that I am overthinking this. This is my first non HTIB surround sound system, and I had to do it on a budget. But that said, now that I have these products, I don't want to just put them anywhere, I want to try to get the best sound I can. Creating this diagram is the best most precise way for me to layout the room and get accurate placement options and corresponding angles to see if they fall in the recommended range.

I bought some mounts for the rear speakers because I never intended to mount the fronts, but I am starting to wonder if I should figure a way to mount them. However, if you see the diagram, my mounting points would be in the corners behind entertainment center, which actually sets them about 2 and half feet farther away from the focal point. This would have them place at 24 degrees, nicely within range. However, now I would worry about some of the sound being blocked by the side of the entertainment center.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-19-2012, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an updated view of the room. By mounting the front speakers on the wall, I can get them at 24 degrees. The rear speakers, however, are becoming more of an obstacle. Unfortunately, we have some stuff on the wall the my wife doesn't really want to move, so I am going out a little farther. The rears will still fall in the recommended angles, but will be off center from each other. Is this okay? As you can see from this picture, the surround left will be 98 degrees and over 15 feet from the center of the room (although really only about 13 feet from where we usually sit). The surround right will be only 100 degrees and 11 feet from the center of the room (and also 13 feet from where we normally sit). Is this okay to arrange off center like this? I know arnyk you said that this asymmetry could actually be good. If I use the Denon's AudioHQ self-calibration, shouldn't that account for the differences in distances? And is 13 to 15 feet an okay distance for surround speakers?

Thanks,

Alex
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hertzy3 View Post

Here is an updated view of the room. By mounting the front speakers on the wall, I can get them at 24 degrees. The rear speakers, however, are becoming more of an obstacle. Unfortunately, we have some stuff on the wall the my wife doesn't really want to move, so I am going out a little farther. The rears will still fall in the recommended angles, but will be off center from each other. Is this okay? As you can see from this picture, the surround left will be 98 degrees and over 15 feet from the center of the room (although really only about 13 feet from where we usually sit). The surround right will be only 100 degrees and 11 feet from the center of the room (and also 13 feet from where we normally sit). Is this okay to arrange off center like this? I know arnyk you said that this asymmetry could actually be good. If I use the Denon's AudioHQ self-calibration, shouldn't that account for the differences in distances? And is 13 to 15 feet an okay distance for surround speakers?
Thanks,
Alex

Going out that much further with the rears has its moments. By moving them further away, you are tending make the distances to the outer seating positions closer, percentage-wise.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hertzy3 View Post

I sit 12 feet away from the TV, but my wife and I always sit on the chaise which is off to the left, NOT directly in front of the center channel speaker.
Problem: Like I said, we don't sit in the center of the room, we are about 4 feet to the left. Will optimizing for the center cause the sound off to the left to be less than optimal? Or will it not be noticeable?
I don't understand... you mean you sit on the left side of the seating and you have to turn your head almost 90 degrees to see the display? Isn't that uncomfortable? You could improve the sound and your comfort index by simply moving to the main part of the seating. confused.gif Seems like a no-brainer.

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #9 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 10:27 AM
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As far as compromises go, yours are actually quite reasonable compared to the majority of living room settings. I don't have any problems with any of the decisions you've made - the only suggestion I have is when you run the Audyssey calibration, make sure to select a few sample points in and around the left seating position you mentioned that you and your wife typically sit at.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I don't understand... you mean you sit on the left side of the seating and you have to turn your head almost 90 degrees to see the display? Isn't that uncomfortable? You could improve the sound and your comfort index by simply moving to the main part of the seating. confused.gif Seems like a no-brainer.
Craig

Craig, I see how you would think that from the diagram because I just grabbed 3 couch shapes and put them together to make the shape of my couch. the left seating position is not actually a couch facing inward, but a chaise that faces the TV smile.gif
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input. Tezster, that is something I read about on the Audyssey site as well, so I will definitely do that. I think I am running the cable tonight so it looks like this is the final setup.

Thanks again!
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hertzy3 View Post

Craig, I see how you would think that from the diagram because I just grabbed 3 couch shapes and put them together to make the shape of my couch. the left seating position is not actually a couch facing inward, but a chaise that faces the TV smile.gif
Ahhh... OK. I guess two people on a chaise is cozy... and cozy can be a higher priority than SQ. Can you slide the seating over so the chaise is in the sweet spot? That would be cozy AND sweet. smile.gif

Craig

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post #13 of 13 Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish I could, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. Oh well, we started running the wire under the carpet last night, should be finishing up this evening.
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