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Surrounds slightly in front of listening position

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a bit of a dilemma - just moved to a new place, and due to layout issues I have to place the surrounds (for a 5.1 setup) slightly in front of the listening position. This is because directly on the right side, I have a hallway and on the left side, I have a balcony door directly beside me. What are your opinions on placement of the surrounds slightly in front of me? I've included a pic of the layout to give you guys an idea of the situation I'm in. I can't move the couch any more forward as we're getting a 65 inch TV, and the viewing position is about 7.5 feet away as it is. Any closer and it'll be uncomfortable.



How do you think it'll sound? Will aiming the surrounds behind me help at all (see the 2nd pic for the bookshelf on the stand and ignore the mains as I haven't received the TV yet)?

*
Edited by dickydoo - 8/13/13 at 8:19pm
post #2 of 16
IMO, it's not a terrible compromise. My old setup had the surrounds in roughly the same position for similar reasons. At least it's not with all the speakers up front like some setups I've seen. smile.gif

Point them at you, not behind you.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickydoo View Post

What are your opinions on placement of the surrounds slightly in front of me?
I would do it ONLY if I have another pair of surrounds behind me (i.e., a 7.1 set-up). In fact, with a 7.1 set-up, I actually like having the side speakers slightly forward of me (widens the soundstage and yields greater spaciousness).

With a 5.1 set-up, I wouldn't put the surrounds forward of my listening position because it's not really surround sound if all the speakers are in front of me and there are no speakers surrounding me.

If you add a pair of rear speakers (in-ceiling/on-ceiling, way behind you), then the locations you currently have your surrounds in the pic would be my ideal spots.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses so far...I'll have to try it out once the tv and stand arrive next week. I'm pretty sure 7.1 is out of the question even though my receiver is capable, as the ceilings are concrete (I'm in a condo). There would be mounting issues, and it would be super hard to run wires in a WAF-friendly fashion since I have that hallway on the right. Even if I just put rears on stands in the back it would be hard to place them symmetrically. Looks like I'll have to live with the compromised situation unfortunately.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just thought of another option -- I could run flat speaker wire under the rug and couch out to the side tables...they wouldn't be high enough and it would be really close to the people at the ends of the couch. Which option would you pick, slightly in front but the right height/distance, or at the side but the wrong height/distance?



post #6 of 16
I vote slightly in front and proper height/distance. That being said you should experiment with both placements if you really want to make one of them work. I think after listening you still want them slightly in the front but you should do it anyway. Nothing wrong with experimentation.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

I would do it ONLY if I have another pair of surrounds behind me (i.e., a 7.1 set-up).

+1

If you are going with 5.1 only, what about wall mounting them high above the fridge on the one side and above the door / windows on the other and angle them down - does you ceiling height allow for that? Plus they wouldn't take any floor space. I have tried the "next to the couch" but have never liked it - you should experiment though.

I had some in-ceiling speakers slightly behind me and off to the sides in my first 5.1 system and I was very happy with the indirect sound I got at the listening position but that would require different speakers. Or what about ceiling mounts for your speakers?
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post

+1

If you are going with 5.1 only, what about wall mounting them high above the fridge on the one side and above the door / windows on the other and angle them down - does you ceiling height allow for that? Plus they wouldn't take any floor space. I have tried the "next to the couch" but have never liked it - you should experiment though.

I had some in-ceiling speakers slightly behind me and off to the sides in my first 5.1 system and I was very happy with the indirect sound I got at the listening position but that would require different speakers. Or what about ceiling mounts for your speakers?

I thought about that -- the ceiling is 8ft so it would work sound-wise. I would have to mount them on the ceiling on at least the window side, and from knocking on it, it feels and sounds like concrete. Also, I'm not sure how I would run wires to those locations other than on the ceiling, which would be pretty ugly. So even though that's the best choice for sound, it's a distant 3rd choice from a logistics point of view.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post

I have tried the "next to the couch" but have never liked it
Tried it as well, talk about distracting (people on either end of the couch had a speaker shouting into one of their ears from a few inches away).
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Tried it as well, talk about distracting (people on either end of the couch had a speaker shouting into one of their ears from a few inches away).
Ok, so that option is out of the question. The TV is arriving tomorrow so I'll ask the guy who's mounting it to see if ceiling mounts are feasible. Thanks for the input guys!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Got the TV in last week, and the installer said my surrounds were too heavy to mount on the ceilings so my only choice was to put the speakers slightly in front. Surprisingly, they sound pretty good for ambient sound effects, especially when both surrounds are active. They are slight off-putting when used for directional sounds as they are coming from wrong spot, but overall I can live with it as a compromise (I did get the TV I wanted!).

post #12 of 16
I had a pair of old towers in same position and found facing them to the rear with a +/-15 degree offset from the wall worked extremely well. In fact I found the coloration from the side of the towers added a new more pleasant sound effect.
I had never heard the coloration prior to this setup but I grew fond of it quickly.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll give it a shot later tonight...were you facing them 15 degrees towards or away from the wall?
post #14 of 16
The sides were square to the wall facing back then I spun them +/- 15 degrees.
I was surpised by the results.
These towers will never go up front again but I'll keep them just in case I decide to put them back in this position.
The 30" tall towers were sitting on 24" stands.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brwsaw View Post

The sides were square to the wall facing back then I spun them +/- 15 degrees.I was surpised by the results.These towers will never go up front again but I'll keep them just in case I decide to put them back in this position.The 30" tall towers were sitting on 24" stands.
Watch Prometheus on Netflix via Apple TV with DD 5.1 today with the suggested setup and I don't know if it really made a difference or it's in my head, but it sounded a bit more enveloping to me. Thanks for the suggestion.
post #16 of 16
I'm glad it helped.
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