AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
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A couple of things you can do to make the Wides less distracting: lower their volume level and/or point them to the person at the opposite end of the couch (e.g., point the Left Wide to the person on the right side of the couch).
If you decide to change them to Heights, I would keep the same ±60° location but mount them as high up as possible. I prefer this to mounting them high above the Front L/R speakers because it gives a sense of sound above you rather than just a taller soundstage.
My first choice would be to use those speakers as Rears, placed behind you and spread at least 60° apart. However, in order get proper rear-vs-side separation in the surround field, you'll need to place the Side speakers directly to your sides (±90°). With 10 feet of space behind you for the Rear speakers, you're an ideal candidate for the traditional 7.1-speaker layout. There's also a lot of movies mixed for that speaker configuration.