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[Guide] How to place your Home Theater Speakers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
This is a general outline that iv got together a couple of days ago that explains how to place your Home Theater Speakers.
Good luck!


Center speaker
Try to have the center speaker at the same height as the left and right speakers and as close as possible to the screen.

The front of the center speaker should also be aligned with, or slightly behind, the left and right speakers. Avoid having it forward of the left and right speakers, as that could adversely affect sound perspective for listeners seated off center.

The center speaker tweeter should be at ear level when seated, and If possible, the height of the speaker's tweeter should be close to the height of your front speakers' tweeters ideally, within about 24".



The center speaker should be precisely the same distance from your listening position as your front left and front right main speakers.

Aim your center speaker directly at your primary listening area.

Front speakers
The left and right speakers should be within a 22 to 30 degree angle to each side, they should form an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the listening position.



The main front left and front right speakers should be placed equally distant on either side of your TV. For best performance, these speakers should be at least 6 feet apart.

Measure the number of feet from your centered seated position to the center point of the TV - 2/3 of that number is the distance your speakers should be apart. The center of this measurement should originate from the center of the TV.



Your main speaker's tweeter should be at your seated ear level position.

Together with your center channel speaker, the front speakers should form a slight arc, so that all three speakers are exactly the same distance from where you sit, with the tweeters from all three front speakers aimed at your ears. We recommend measuring the distances precisely just an inch or two can actually make a noticeable difference in the way your system sounds.
For the best possible sound, the tweeters should be at ear level when you're seated.



If on the other hand, you are planning your home theater speaker placement mostly for group viewing, all three front speakers should be positioned in a straight line parallel with your front row of seats.

Having your main speakers face forward and not angled or "toed" in toward the listener really opens up the wideness of the soundstage. "Toeing" in the speakers can improve the centering of the soundstage, but can result in a loss of spaciousness. If you need to place your speakers farther apart than this guide suggests, you may need to toe them in a little so that a soundstage can be made.

As with the main speakers, direct surrounds sound best when pulled away from the walls about 1 ft with the distance to the side walls being a different measurement. Try to avoid wall mounting the direct surrounds as this can ruin the spaciousness of the sound.

Rear speakers
The rear speakers should be placed behind the listening area, directed towards the listening area. If space permits, install surrounds 2-3 feet above viewers. This helps to minimize localization effects. Aiming - the rear speakers should be aimed straight across the room, not down at viewers, this will help to cr-eate a more open, spacious surround sound field.

speakers should be placed to the left and right of your listening position either in line with it, or just behind it. They should form a 90°-110° angle with respect to your television.

should be placed high enough so that the drivers do not fire directly at your ears when you're sitting down one rule of thumb is to place them at ear level while standing.

If your surrounds are mounted on the side walls on adjustab-le brackets, experiment with aiming them. You may get good results from pointing them at the ceiling or toward the rear corners of the room.

Subwoofer
Because subwoofers reproduce only non-directional low bass, subwoofers do not contribute to sound localization, and therefore need not be in line of sight to the viewer. The accuracy and smothness with which they reproduce low bass, however, does depend on their placement.

Placing your subwoofer near a wall will generally result in more bass, and placement near a corner where three room boundaries come together will get you even more. Keep in mind that even though the bass increases as you place the sub near a wall or corner, the quality of bass may be slightly "boomier" and less controlled. Aim for a spot where you get a compromise between quality and quantity of bass.



Sources:
http://www.zinszer.com/ht-speakers001.htm
http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-...placement.html
http://www.practical-home-theater-gu...Channel_Speake
http://www.htadvice.com/on_setup/spe...placement.html

Peter.
post #2 of 18
nice
post #3 of 18
I am setting up a game/theater room, my room is 19' wide, however my screen and furniture will not be centered, it will be all the way to one side. My question is how should I set up my rear speakers? To one side we are right up against the wall, on the other side I have 10' from my couch to the wall. Not sure where to place the speakers to get optimum sound. Any help is much appreciated!!

Shane
post #4 of 18
great post, thanks for summarizing all of that data.

I'm in the process of renovating my living room (running new electrical, hanging drywall, etc..) and was looking for some online guides for speaker placement and height since I pretty much have a blank slate.

Can you add or give some insight as to the placement/height of middle speakers in a 7.1 system?

Thanks
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Im glad to see the u guys liked it.
i used this info to place my home theater speakers and i figured that it can be useful for some other guys over here.

As for the 7.1 speaker placement,



"Surround speakers should be placed high enough so that the drivers do not fire directly at your ears when you're sitting down — one rule of thumb is to place them at ear level while standing. (If your surround speakers fire directly at your ears, they can overpower your front speakers.)"
post #6 of 18
I never toe.
post #7 of 18
One thing to keep in mind is that the diagrams are "in an ideal world". Room configuration and dimensions, and furniture placement within that room, will dictate how to setup your system. For example, how many folks will sit in the center of a sofa for a "sweet spot" in terms of viewing and listening. Comfort comes first, and that diagram should probably best show a theater seat or a comfy chair! One of the tougher placement issues is with the panel over the fireplace. Where to place the center channel, where to place the left/right speakers, etc. We've had many threads regarding these issues, and they really need to be worked out on a case by case basis. The diagrams are quite good for planning, but need to be tweaked for each case.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Peter B View Post

The left and right speakers should be within a 22 to 30 degree angle to each side, they should form an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the listening position.

Measure the number of feet from your centered seated position to the center point of the TV - 2/3 of that number is the distance your speakers should be apart.

Very helpful info and diagrams. The only problem I see is that the above two pieces of info are contradictory.

The first paragraph and its associated diagram have the front L/R speakers spread 44 to 60 degrees apart (22 to 30 degrees from the centre line).

The formula in the second paragraph will result in the front L/R speakers being 37 degrees apart (18.5 degrees from the centre line). That's a very narrow soundstage.

Personally, I would stick to an equilateral triangle with the front L/R speakers 60 degrees apart (possibly wider when using a centre speaker).

Sanjay
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post

One thing to keep in mind is that the diagrams are "in an ideal world". Room configuration and dimensions, and furniture placement within that room, will dictate how to setup your system. For example, how many folks will sit in the center of a sofa for a "sweet spot" in terms of viewing and listening. Comfort comes first, and that diagram should probably best show a theater seat or a comfy chair! One of the tougher placement issues is with the panel over the fireplace. Where to place the center channel, where to place the left/right speakers, etc. We've had many threads regarding these issues, and they really need to be worked out on a case by case basis. The diagrams are quite good for planning, but need to be tweaked for each case.

yeah, I agree but since this is my first system I was looking for exactly what he posted, how it is setup in an "ideal world". My living room definitely wont look exactly like that as its not a perfect square or rectangle. But if I know where to start, I can avoid moving speakers way too far out of ideal placement.
post #10 of 18
I can't seem to find a diagram for what I want to do. Anyone know which one of these or similar....

example1
example2
example3
example4
example5
example6
example7

would best resemble something closest to this except for it not being two discrete sub-woofers and rear channels? I need it to be similar to a 5.1 Dolby Mix setup but with 2 sub-woofers instead of one. If not I can always just try each of them but that is allot of speaker moving. Thanks.



image was from this site http://www.wendycarlos.com/surround/surround2.html
post #11 of 18
I have pretty much this set up. However where the couch is (in the below picture), that sits against my back wall. Therefore, where the picture labels the back speakers as 'surrounds', these two are my back speakers in a 5.1 set-up.

The speakers are placed at ear level (when sitting) on stands, so I wondered whether I should face them at the couch or whether I should slightly toe them towards the front a little so that they don't overpower the listener...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Peter B View Post

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Peter B View Post

"Surround speakers should be placed high enough so that the drivers do not fire directly at your ears when you're sitting down one rule of thumb is to place them at ear level while standing. (If your surround speakers fire directly at your ears, they can overpower your front speakers.)"

fine.


LL
post #13 of 18
I moved them higher to the ceiling. Same thing for the rear left and rear right surrounds that are on some plastic crates on the back platforms firing towards each-other. Works wonders. I should have tried this a long time ago. Thanks Peter.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Youre welcome
post #15 of 18
Regarding my situation noted above, is someone able to confirm that if I raise the back speakers up by a couple of feet, then I could have them facing towards the couch? I assume that having them above ear level, it shouldn't overpower the listener?

As I say, the back speakers are currently about 2 feet either side of the couch. I currently have them slightly toed forward so as not to overpower, but now I see this information, I wonder if I should perhaps raise them higher (by sitting the stands on top of something)?
post #16 of 18
I am thinking of doing front high instead of 4 rear surrounds as music is important, But movies are good too. Where should I mount my front high speakers?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlpowell84 View Post

I am thinking of doing front high instead of 4 rear surrounds as music is important, But movies are good too. Where should I mount my front high speakers?
wow, old thread alert,
So you will NOT have any side or rear surrounds??
Why not?

here is info for the various surround sound scheme layouts.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435778/moving-past-7-1-5-1-into-9-1-11-2-upgrading-your-ht-room-via-audyssey-dsx-or-dolby-pl-iiz
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

I'm sure many here have built their Dedicated Home Theater to 7.1 (or 5.1) surround sound, did nice job pre-routing the speaker wire's in wall for integrated look, and lived with it for a few years.

And now with Audyssey DSX and its competition Dolby Pro Logic IIz / DTS Neo:X™ in the market for a few years, some of you are like me and considering "upgrade" time.

Audyssey visual:
dsx_480x335.jpg

This visual from my Denon 4520CI manual, makes it easier to grasp all the 7.1/9.1/11.1 speaker layout.
11.x%2520speaker%2520layout%2520via%2520Denon%2520Manual.JPG

Here is the DTS Neo:X™ visual:
DTS_NeoX_.JPG

Therefore this thread is for those that have already upgraded to Audyssey DSX or Dolby PL IIz / DTS Neo:X™, or plan to upgrade, and to post what they did or will do;

Edited by mtbdudex - 1/1/13 at 5:05am
post #18 of 18
Hello,
I'm in the process of trying to improve my surround sound by going from 5.1 to 7.1. I've been doing research on speakers and their ideal placement. I'm trying my best to get the surround speakers in the proper place, but have hit a snag. My room appears to be too long, or not wide enough. I have attached a fairly accurate depiction of the room layout. I found this thread and since it is tailored specifically on speaker placement, I thought it would be the most likely place to get some suggestions.



The issue:
Per the suggested locations of speakers, as seen in the picture, my fronts are too narrow, but can't be made to go any wider, and my rears would have to go on the side walls.

Which is better: Place the rears in their "sweet spot" on the side walls, or place them as wide as possible on the rear wall? From the first row perspective, the side walls would probably be fine, but from the rear row perspective, the sound wouldn't be produced behind them.

The receiver I have has Audyssey and I was thinking that could somehow compensate for the imperfect placement of the rear surrounds.

This room was this way when I bought the house and it works fairly well for having a group of friends over to watch movies. At the moment, I don't have a lot of desire to begin a remodeling project.

A short background in what I have to work with:
Onkyo TX-NR809 receiver
Front - Custom
Center - Cadence C-15
Side and Rear Surround - BIC PL-66
Sub - BIC PL-200

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
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