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Best speaker placement for my floor plan ?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Was hoping to get some feedback on optimal speaker placement on my 7 in-wall speakers ? I really don't wanna patch any sheet-rock if I happen to place them in the wrong spots or heights?

A few questions below...

1. Should my front L / R be at the same height and line up exactly with my rear surrounds as in the picture ?

2. Should all 7 speakers be at the same height (sitting ear level) ?? Or different between the front,rears,sides ?

3.What would a good distance from the screen to the left and right be for optimal sound with my dimensions?

4. Is it best as I have read to have the center ch just below the screen rather then above ?

5. And I would imagine things could change a bit with the front stage placement if I go with a projector and large screen ?

Thanks a bunch for any and all comments....

post #2 of 14
There are several guides on the internet. I would place them as you have shown in your picture, and experiment with the sub location in several spots. Rather than type everything, check out the links below.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/surround-sound-speaker-set-up/ <--- when they mention place at ear height, typically this means the tweeter being at ear height especially if you have tall towers or long in-wall's or such. I prefer center below the screen is most cases, unless the screen goes down to the floor, but be sure to angle it up or down toward your main listening position. The rest is explained in the link.

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/setup/connection-guide/home-theater-speaker-guide/index.html <--- a nice interactive method of placement suggestions
http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/Assets/US/Doc/Consumer/Dolby_HomeTheaterSetupGuide_7.1.pdf <--- the setup guide in the link above


http://www.the-home-cinema-guide.com/surround-speaker-placement.html#axzz2bdUZIJZD <--- good overview of placement

http://www.hometheater.com/content/acoustics-101 <--- a good review of acoustics, be mindful of first and second reflections areas, like windows, fireplace (wood and glass, etc). These reflections can change the sound dramatically and sometimes need to be tamed.

http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm <--- more good information about room acoustics
http://www.realtraps.com/rfz.htm <--- more about reflections



In the end, just experiment with the setup a little by placing the speakers in roughly the spots you think you want (held in place temporarily by some kind of support or even temporary box to simulate being mounted in-wall), then listen, and move them a little, then listen again. Pick whichever sounds best to you. Placement distances would then just need to be set in your receiver.

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch for the reply and links..a ton of great info..
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post

3.What would a good distance from the screen to the left and right be for optimal sound with my dimensions?

Thanks to TK for linking to the Room Setup articles on my company's web site. I'll add that you're sitting too far from the screen and speakers for both sound and video. In the old days of SD television and VHS tape, you didn't want to be too close to the TV. But with HD content you can be much closer. Moving closer will also give you much better sound, and put the speakers far enough apart for good imaging and width.

--Ethan
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ethan, I understand sitting closer would be best but my fireplace seat/hearth area limits me with furniture getting much closer then what's in my sketch...and also the fact if we did move the furniture up any further the fireplace would be directly to the side of the seating area, so not to many choices on that part that I can see other then going with a larger screen if need be and/or projector? That's still a big debate right now....

When you mention placing the front stage L/R far enough apart for good imaging is there an optimal distance or some type of measurement formula based on the room width or trial and error type of theory??
post #6 of 14
Ethan, thank you for providing such clear and concise documentation about Room Setup. And I'm glad you didn't mind me pasting links and pics of your articles in here. I was going to draw up something for the reflections, but I knew your site had good information already.

Roadking00, about sitting too close... Ethan's right, well at least for a 65" plasma. It sounds like you can't really move too much to optimize viewing, so I would look into optimized viewing distances for screen sizes, then opt for a larger screen : http://www.avsforum.com/t/1004723/chart-distance-x-screen-size-standards-smpte-and-thx

I personally just chose what I was comfortable and my preference. I base it on where I like to sit in a large theater (typically in the center axis and just behind half way back), then just scaled it down for my home theater. My rough guide is based on when I sit, my legs naturally rest at some angle apart. Basically I am 6'2", and when sitting, my knees are typically about 18" apart. Then I follow the straight line projection from my legs, and sit where the edges of the screen line up with those leg-lines. It turns out I am basically near the THX min viewing angle and near the max in the second row and first row respectively. Meeting THX standard was never my intention or target, but it just happens to be matching quite closely. Maybe I should name my method the TK Standard...

As far as speaker placement, there is an art to it, and every room and equipment setup can be different. Experimenting can be half the fun of it. There are some basic guidelines such as distance from front walls and side walls and angle toward listening position, but with your setup (the window and fireplace [reflections] and entrance up front [absence of reflections]), it's going to be just as good to just temporarily place them in several spots and listen to each one very carefully. If you can't hear any difference, then placement won't matter too much, but if you can, then choose the one that sounds best and add what absorption/diffusion you need, if you can.

I have a 17' x 21' room, with the screen just about 12" away from the front wall. My L/R speakers (8.25" W by 17" D) are placed so their rears are about 12" to 14" away from the front wall. I have them toed in so the axis of each speaker meets just behind my head at my main listening position center of second row, which is about 11' from the screen. They are placed a few inches away from the edges of my 100" diagonal 16:9 screen. I played with the placement, a lot before settling on the arrangement just described. I had them against the wall, much farther out from the front wall, straight, toed in, really wide, closer to the center, any combination of these. I had a friend over listening to some music about a year ago after I had optimized for my liking, and he kept asking if my center channel was on. Of course I knew it wasn't because that amp wasn't even turned on. However, by his repeated questioning, I took it as a compliment that my placement and angles had been just right.



Obviously you are more limited by using in-wall speakers, so you will have to just live with some compromise, but you can make it sound the best that it can by the things suggested above.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post

if we did move the furniture up any further the fireplace would be directly to the side of the seating area

That's not a problem acoustically. The side-wall reflection points are forward of the seating.
Quote:
When you mention placing the front stage L/R far enough apart for good imaging is there an optimal distance or some type of measurement formula based on the room width or trial and error type of theory??

It's not trial and error. This short article that TK already linked to explains that the best arrangement is an equal triangle:

How To Set Up A Room

--Ethan
post #8 of 14
So did you figure out what do do for your setup?
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicTK View Post

So did you figure out what do do for your setup?

Not yet, just got all my speakers delivered last week, still in the planning stages but plan on getting as close as I can to an equal triangle with my seating setup and with the in-walls..not really in a huge rush to get the actual work done right now, tons of other things on the to do list as of right now....but plenty of time at work for planning,reading through threads and purchasing what's needed :-)
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok folks, I'm just about ready to start cutting my in-walls into the sheetrock and was hoping to get some feedback before hand? Being they are "in-walls" keep in mind I have no ability to turn any on slight angles toward the center of the seating area so I gravitated toward the center of the room a little with the L/R fronts http://www.sonance.com/products/speakers/detail/475 and lined up the L/R rears the same but higher....Also all four of my surrounds have dual tweeters angled slightly http://www.sonance.com/products/speakers/detail/511

My center CH will also be the same as my L/R fronts mounted just below the TV horizontally, 2 foot down from center of L/R's to the center of the speaker. Any advice on my locations are much appreciated, I have some room to move my L/R's fronts and rears out a little with some stud cooperation but estectically thought its not to bad?? Not much room to move the rear sides though due to the window at the left side.

All of this was figured on a 65" Panny VT60 , I realize my room and seating position may be a bit large and quite a distance for just a 65" but its larger then the existing 51" box that I have there now, but I may end up deciding on a 70-80" LCD ??


TV template is at 51" to the center of the screen, read it should have been around my viewing height (36") but seemed way to low ??
L/R are also at 51" OC and 6' 8" apart from each other, and like I said above the center would be cut in just below by a few inches.



Rear L/R are also 6' 8" apart from each other (center to center) but at 5' 6" on center high



Left / Right side surr are also at 5' 6" OC and roughly right at the side of the main seating area.





Any help/input is much appreciated
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bump...Anyone ??
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, looks like I'm going to bump my TV down 9" along with the L/R in walls to make them 42" OC, looks a little better not as high and closer to eye/ear height...may bump the L/R speakers out to 8' or so apart to make sure I hear the L from the R and everything doesn't sound like one big speaker and horrible imaging....
Also, bringing the side/rear surrounds down 6" to have them at the minimum recommended height of 5' OC in the manual, and the WAF a little with pictures going back on the wall....
All in all ready to start cutting some drywall out soon....
post #13 of 14
Yeah, definitely keep the fronts close to ear height, regardless of the alignment or placement of the TV.

Did you try to mock up any of them, even if just two of your buddies hold the L/R in place while you give a rough listen to them. Then have your buddies move them in or out slightly to see which sounds best?

Other than that, I think the other adjustments should work (rears moved down, etc...)
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicTK View Post

Yeah, definitely keep the fronts close to ear height, regardless of the alignment or placement of the TV.

Did you try to mock up any of them, even if just two of your buddies hold the L/R in place while you give a rough listen to them. Then have your buddies move them in or out slightly to see which sounds best?

Other than that, I think the other adjustments should work (rears moved down, etc...)

Thanks for the reply Magic, I really couldn't mock anything up with any of the speakers, the wires are in the walls and waiting for me to cut into the walls to wire them. My media room closet isn't really ready neither, been doing this LR remodel/upgrade in slooww phases as I get the time and cash.I think putting them a little further apart should be fine and dropping it down to 42" OC makes it all look much better....
Can't wait to finally get it all done...eventually...
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