Recommended height for Side speakers in my case ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-21-2015, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Recommended height for Side speakers in my case ?

Hi guys ... So following up on my thread from yesterday, I now have a similar but different question. After much searching, I've concluded that it's generally recommended to have side and rear speakers 'just above ear/head level', sometimes recommended that they be about 2 or 3 feet above ear level for side and rear speakers respectively.

As my room is shaped a bit weird, I need suggestions on where to hang my Side speakers from. To have a look at my HT room's floor plan and some pictures, please see this post.

There are three different heights at which I can mount, as shown in the pictures below. Personally, I like the first option where the distance between my ear level and the bottom of the side speaker is about 2'7" - but this might be a bit too high up. However, I think this placement looks the cleanest and it also allows me to use the rest of the beam wall below for hanging some small home theater signs and whatnot. However having said this, I don't want to compromise on the audio quality if it will be affected by placing the speakers a little high up.

In all 3 pictures below, I've made markings to show the distances.

So please suggest which would be the best, A, B or C.

Option A:

Spoiler!


Option B:

Spoiler!


Option C:

Spoiler!

Last edited by ahmadka; 02-21-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-21-2015, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post
Hi guys ... So following up on my thread from yesterday, I now have a similar but different question. After much searching, I've concluded that it's generally recommended to have side and rear speakers 'just above ear/head level', sometimes recommended that they be about 2 or 3 feet above ear level for side and rear speakers respectively.

As my room is shaped a bit weird, I need suggestions on where to hang my Side speakers from. To have a look at my HT room's floor plan and some pictures, please see this post.

There are three different heights at which I can mount, as shown in the pictures below. Personally, I like the first option where the distance between my ear level and the bottom of the side speaker is about 2'7" - but this might be a bit too high up. However, I think this placement looks the cleanest and it also allows me to use the rest of the beam wall below for hanging some small home theater signs and whatnot. However having said this, I don't want to compromise on the audio quality if it will be affected by placing the speakers a little high up.

In all 3 pictures below, I've made markings to show the distances.

So please suggest which would be the best, A, B or C.

Option A:

Spoiler!


Option B:

Spoiler!


Option C:

Spoiler!
If you mount them higher up, just put a spacer behind the top of the speaker so they are aimed down somewhat toward ear level.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2015, 01:46 PM
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Option A is a cleaner install but I think Option B works as good compromise as they are two feet above ear level.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-21-2015, 01:51 PM
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This is very situation dependent. As a general rule, for wall mounted Surround speakers, the front speakers are head height when sitting. The Surround speakers are head height when standing.

But the real determining factor is circumstances. You are there in the room, only you can determine what best serves that room.

Tweeters are most likely to beam or send out sound in a narrow cone. But you can get a fair approximation of that cone by mulitplying the distance to the speakers by 0.3. So at 10 ft the sound has spread out 3 feet.

This is actually the TAN of the angle times the distance, the TAN of 15° is 0.27, but for our purpose 0.3 is close enough. Typically tweeters are tested at ±15°, so my example above is ±7.5° or 15°.

I'm using half that is my example. If we want a still very workable range, we could use ±15° or 30°. The TAN of 30° is 0.58. So at 10 feet, using these numbers, the sound has spread out into a cone that is 5.8 feet in diameter. At ±15° there is a slight compromise in the treble, but very slight.

For simply math, you can use 0.3 for 15° and 0.6 for 30°.

If you are in that cone of sound, you are in the working range of the speaker.

You can use this to determine if the speaker is sufficiently pointed at you, and to determine if the sound is spread wide enough to reasonably cover the listening area.

Though don't get too fanatic about it. It is just to help you get a general idea. Even outside the cones defined by these formulas you still hear sound.

Mid and Bass spread much wider than the above, and are typically not a concern. They will most likely cover the are nicely.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-21-2015, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, my perpendicular distance to the speaker is about 67", so the 0.3 multiplier gives me a cone radius of about 20" at the primary seating location, which is roughly 1.68 feet. I assume this should be the vertical distance between ear level and the vertical center of the speaker, which thus requires me to place the speaker at a point halfway between those seen in options B and C (not a good placement aesthetically!). If I instead intend to follow the 0.6 multiplier, that allows me to barely stay within the vertical range for option A.

Another possible alternative would be to use option A, but hang the speakers at an angle so that they face a little downwards towards the audience. Hanging the speakers with this angle will be harder to mount, but it might allow me to place the speaker higher up and simultaneously remain within the 0.3 multiplier dictated range. Would this be a good idea ?
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 07:27 PM
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Let me explain where I got those angles from.

When tweeters are tested, and occassionally when speaker systems are tested, they are test on the center line and at 15° and 30° off the center line. Most tweeter beam or, as the frequency rises, sends out an ever narrower beam of sound.

When tweeters are tested at 15° off the center line, it determine dispersion across the working frequency range, typically off the center line, as the frequency increase, the output decrease, meaning the beam of sound is getting narrower.

Typically at 15° (or ±7.5°) there is a very slight loss. At a wider ±30°, there can be a significant loss, especially as the frequencies go higher.

In my example, I used ±7.5° and ±15°, both should be well within the working range of the tweeter with only the slightest beaming, and only the slightest loss in output. If you are in this spread of arc, then you are for all intend and purpose, sitting on the center line.

So, even the wider ±15° is still in the relatively good range. This represents a trace of a drop, but not significantly so. In fact, many people prefer to be off the center line when listening to a given speaker.

±7.5° = 15°
±15° = 30°

If you go outside the 30° arc or cone, likely, the sound is going to drop off quickly and this is going to be less than ideal. But again, anything within the ±15° arc is going to be fine, not perfect, but pretty much fine.

Just to illustrate the point, here is a frequency response graph of a VIFA tweeter showing ±30° and ±60° -

http://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/...ifications.pdf

Likely at 10khz, the 15° off center response would be barely noticeable.

Now, this only relates to the current thread as it tells us something about the dispersion of sound from a tweeter. If you are sitting in the ±7.5 or 15° arc, you are in the best working range of the speaker. If you are sitting in the ±15° or 30° arc you are still in the good working range of the speaker. But it drops fast outside the 30° arc. Keeping in mind for a vast majority of speakers, the sound fan out in a cone.

From midrange and mid-bass and bass driver, the beaming characteristic is pretty small. Most designer make sure the crossovers are away from the point where the speaker starts to bean. So, you can generally count on very wide dispersion of sound from Mid and Bass drivers.

So, the cone of sound from a speaker in a full 15° arc (±7.5°) is 0.3 times the distance.

The cone of sound from a speaker at in a full 30° arc (±15°) is 0.6 times the distance.

This is the narrowest arc or cone of sound coming from the speaker. Mid and Bass are substantially wider.

Both of these are very workable. Anything outside of a full 30° arc is probably going to drop off pretty quickly.

Again, this merely helps you estimate if your seating position is with in the best arc of sound coming from the tweeter.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 02-22-2015 at 07:34 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your answer bluewizard, that surely helps !

I'd definitely want to stay within the ±7.5° range, but I also want the speakers to be placed at the top (position A).

If I hung the speakers at an angle so that they tilted downwards towards the primary location, would that be a good solution which meets both aforementioned requirements ?
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-24-2015, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Can someone please suggest if tilting the speakers downwards will be a good alternative to address both issues ?
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-25-2015, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Where is everyone ? :/
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-25-2015, 12:31 PM
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Hanging the sides higher than ear level helps to compensate for most of the seats in the room being outside the center line of the room. Being outside the cone of the closer speaker's dispersion and inside the cone of the further helps to make them sound more even.

I have mine at least 2' over ear level. I hung them just high enough that my shoulder passes under the enclosure when I walk past (I'm quite tall). It works for me, but it is something you may want to experiment with to see what you like best.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-02-2015, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Still doesn't answer my question ... Will tilting the speakers downwards help me remain with the cone, while also allowing me to place the speaker relatively higher ? .... Any downsides to this plan ?
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-02-2015, 10:48 AM
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Yes, tilting down will allow you to mount higher.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-02-2015, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nograveconcern View Post
Yes, tilting down will allow you to mount higher.
Thanks ...

Any disadvantages for doing this, as opposed to hanging it lower down but without any tilt ?
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