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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I recently purchased some bookshelf speakers to use as front heights as I've heard they can greatly increase the size of the front soundstage. I've done my best to research past threads, but have heard so many contradicting opinions that I wanted to ask your personal advice for my situation.

 

Here's a diagram of my current setup, with front heights both over the L/R channels and a little more inwards (I'm trying to decide where to put the front heights; there will only be 2):

 



 

One small error: the L/R speakers are elevated 1 foot off of the ground and I have a sub that I still have to properly place.

 

Here's the same setup but with all speakers pointed towards the sweet spot at the center the screen on the couch (sorry that the couch is a bit off center): 

 



 

And just for reference, a more head-on view (technically this camera is the one at standing height by the bar counter for what it's worth.)

 



 

Which location is better for the front heights? Above the monitors as some recommend or a little more inwards to lessen the sound gap? Should they face the "sweet spot" or is this unnecessary or too detrimental to listeners in other opinions?

 

Please feel free to give me any other feedback about my setup, and thanks for taking the time to read this.
 

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My first choice for height speakers would be between your fronts and surrounds. In fact, just rearward of the door on the right side would be a good spot, with the height speakers mounted as high up as possible.




This will give a better impression of sounds above you rather than merely a tall soundstage.


If you'd rather have the heights on the front wall, then I would place them as wide apart as possible, like in the front tri-corners of the room (where the front corners meet the ceiling).


This will also allow you to move the screen higher up so that the centre speaker can be closer to ear height. Where you have your centre speaker currently is not good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Thanks Sanjay, I'll follow this advice.

 

I'm aware that my center is too low. It is a little higher in reality than it appears to be here and is angled towards the listeners' ears, but that's still probably not good enough. My screen is currently suspended with rope from ceiling hooks and cannot go much higher, so I'll have to wall mount it first, but that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Welcome Matt. Down the road consider adding a pair of small bookshelf speakers well behind the listening area, for greater wrap-around envelopment and some side-vs-rear separation in the surround field. Good luck.
 

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Hey Matt -I have been using Height speakers for a long time. If you place them on the front wall, as far apart as possible, they will give a good effect IME, but they will make the front soundstage 'taller' as much as they will give an 'overhead' effect. I will be moving mine in the near future to a position much more like that shown in Sanjay's graphic and I believe that this will place the sounds more 'overhead'.

 

You will also need to give consideration to how you will extract the content for your Height channels. Currently you have three serious options: Audyssey DSX, Dolby PLIIz and DTS Neo:X.  I have extensively tried all three and this is what I personally have discovered:

 
  1. DSX gives a presentation that is way, way too front-centric. It creates a huge 'wall of sound' but it does so at the expense of the surround 'bubble' and envelopment. This is probably because DSX extracts the height information from the front R & L channels, and it also lowers the levels of the R & L channels by 3dB, and lowers the levels of the surrounds by 3dB as well as decorrelating them. To me, this seems like a really bad way to go about it.
  2. PLIIz is my favored method. I find PLIIz to give a good effect without altering the presentation from the other channels too much. The bubble is preserved. PLIIz extracts the Height information from the surround channels, not the R & L like DSX and maybe this is why it gives a better overall result IMO.
  3. Neo:X is also pretty good and I do use this on some movies where it seems to work better than PLIIz. Neo:X extracts the height information (I believe) from the Front L/Surround L and Front R/Surround R 'pairs'.

 

You may also want to consider the future prospect of Dolby Atmos in the home and if so, Sanjay's proposed speaker location would be good, with the addition of a further Height pair towards the rear of the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani  /t/1522697/front-height-speaker-placement#post_24488400


Welcome Matt. Down the road consider adding a pair of small bookshelf speakers well behind the listening area, for greater wrap-around envelopment and some side-vs-rear separation in the surround field. Good luck.
I actually already have a pair of bookshelves for the rear surrounds, they just did not fit in the picture. I agree that they're much more important than the front heights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701  /t/1522697/front-height-speaker-placement#post_24488736

 

Hey Matt -I have been using Height speakers for a long time. If you place them on the front wall, as far apart as possible, they will give a good effect IME, but they will make the front soundstage 'taller' as much as they will give an 'overhead' effect. I will be moving mine in the near future to a position much more like that shown in Sanjay's graphic and I believe that this will place the sounds more 'overhead'.

 

You will also need to give consideration to how you will extract the content for your Height channels. Currently you have three serious options: Audyssey DSX, Dolby PLIIz and DTS Neo:X.  I have extensively tried all three and this is what I personally have discovered:

 
  1. DSX gives a presentation that is way, way too front-centric. It creates a huge 'wall of sound' but it does so at the expense of the surround 'bubble' and envelopment. This is probably because DSX extracts the height information from the front R & L channels, and it also lowers the levels of the R & L channels by 3dB, and lowers the levels of the surrounds by 3dB as well as decorrelating them. To me, this seems like a really bad way to go about it.
  2. PLIIz is my favored method. I find PLIIz to give a good effect without altering the presentation from the other channels too much. The bubble is preserved. PLIIz extracts the Height information from the surround channels, not the R & L like DSX and maybe this is why it gives a better overall result IMO.
  3. Neo:X is also pretty good and I do use this on some movies where it seems to work better than PLIIz. Neo:X extracts the height information (I believe) from the Front L/Surround L and Front R/Surround R 'pairs'.

 

You may also want to consider the future prospect of Dolby Atmos in the home and if so, Sanjay's proposed speaker location would be good, with the addition of a further Height pair towards the rear of the room.
Thanks for all this information, it's been hard to find enough solid opinions on front-heights. My current receiver is an SC-65 which supports PLIIz and Neo:X so I'm glad to hear that you prefer those formats. I'll definitely put the speakers at a wider angle than I had originally planned, but I may have to try out a few places and see what works best for me. I think it might help if my soundstage a bit taller, as the sounds and the screen feel a bit disconnected right now. Perhaps this will be largely remedied by raising the center a bit more, though.
 

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I'm getting ready to add" Front Presence" height spkrs x2 in a couple days. I've got to pull a couple new wires through the ceiling and down to my receiver...this should be fun LOL. Yamaha sugests one to appx three feet wider than the left and right front main spkrs and about 5.9' high, as an example. Personally I think that it depends on several things: actual ceiling height, and room size, and how far you sit back from the front wall. I would think going wider would give the beter effect.
 

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Hey Matt -I have been using Height speakers for a long time. If you place them on the front wall, as far apart as possible, they will give a good effect IME, but they will make the front soundstage 'taller' as much as they will give an 'overhead' effect. I will be moving mine in the near future to a position much more like that shown in Sanjay's graphic and I believe that this will place the sounds more 'overhead'.
 
You will also need to give consideration to how you will extract the content for your Height channels. Currently you have three serious options: Audyssey DSX, Dolby PLIIz and DTS Neo:X.  I have extensively tried all three and this is what I personally have discovered:
 
  1. DSX gives a presentation that is way, way too front-centric. It creates a huge 'wall of sound' but it does so at the expense of the surround 'bubble' and envelopment. This is probably because DSX extracts the height information from the front R & L channels, and it also lowers the levels of the R & L channels by 3dB, and lowers the levels of the surrounds by 3dB as well as decorrelating them. To me, this seems like a really bad way to go about it.
  2. PLIIz is my favored method. I find PLIIz to give a good effect without altering the presentation from the other channels too much. The bubble is preserved. PLIIz extracts the Height information from the surround channels, not the R & L like DSX and maybe this is why it gives a better overall result IMO.
  3. Neo:X is also pretty good and I do use this on some movies where it seems to work better than PLIIz. Neo:X extracts the height information (I believe) from the Front L/Surround L and Front R/Surround R 'pairs'.
 
You may also want to consider the future prospect of Dolby Atmos in the home and if so, Sanjay's proposed speaker location would be good, with the addition of a further Height pair towards the rear of the room.
Hi Keith could you tell me how you have your height speakers angled ? I have front heights in an Atmos setup with top middle speakers like you know but i seem to be reading in the forums different opinions on speaker angles, i have mine with the driver firing directly at my position but i am also reading that you should have speakers firing just over mlp ? have you experimented with fh speaker angles and what do you feel is best ? thanks
 

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Hi Keith could you tell me how you have your height speakers angled ? I have front heights in an Atmos setup with top middle speakers like you know but i seem to be reading in the forums different opinions on speaker angles, i have mine with the driver firing directly at my position but i am also reading that you should have speakers firing just over mlp ? have you experimented with fh speaker angles and what do you feel is best ? thanks
I don't have front Height speakers any more - I now have four on-ceiling speakers arranged for Atmos. They just happen to be called FH+TM but the front pair are in the position that TF could occupy if we were allowed to specify TF+TM. When I used PLIIz to extract height content, my front height speakers were at the wall-ceiling junction, toed in and angled towards MLP.

My current ceiling speakers are Tannoy Di5DC which have very wide dispersion so it doesn't really matter much where they point, within reason. As it happens I do point them towards MLP. I intend to go back to having them point straight down, where they started, at some point so I can evaluate the difference. I have a suspicion that when pointed directly down, the overhead sound was more 'diffuse' but this could be my imagination. I am only put off doing it because it means doing a new calibration.

If I were you I would experiment. Move the speakers a little and then play content for a week, getting a feel for the overhead effect. Then reorientate them, listen for another week and see if you prefer the sounds from overhead that way. I say leave it a week because IME if you move them and then try to evaluate them immediately, the very fact that they may sound different can influence you, whereas different does not always mean better.
 

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Hi Keith could you tell me how you have your height speakers angled ? I have front heights in an Atmos setup with top middle speakers like you know but i seem to be reading in the forums different opinions on speaker angles, i have mine with the driver firing directly at my position but i am also reading that you should have speakers firing just over mlp ? have you experimented with fh speaker angles and what do you feel is best ? thanks
I don't have front Height speakers any more - I now have four on-ceiling speakers arranged for Atmos. They just happen to be called FH+TM but the front pair are in the position that TF could occupy if we were allowed to specify TF+TM. When I used PLIIz to extract height content, my front height speakers were at the wall-ceiling junction, toed in and angled towards MLP.

My current ceiling speakers are Tannoy Di5DC which have very wide dispersion so it doesn't really matter much where they point, within reason. As it happens I do point them towards MLP. I intend to go back to having them point straight down, where they started, at some point so I can evaluate the difference. I have a suspicion that when pointed directly down, the overhead sound was more 'diffuse' but this could be my imagination. I am only put off doing it because it means doing a new calibration.

If I were you I would experiment. Move the speakers a little and then play content for a week, getting a feel for the overhead effect. Then reorientate them, listen for another week and see if you prefer the sounds from overhead that way. I say leave it a week because IME if you move them and then try to evaluate them immediately, the very fact that they may sound different can influence you, whereas different does not always mean better.
Thanks i shall try them slightly over mlp for a while like you say to see if i like the way it sounds that way, can i ask why you didnt leave the front heights as they were with pLllz for atmos ?Did you find much of a difference having the atmos speakers as top fronts instead of front heights ?
 

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this is an interesting question. I have kept a pair of BS reserve for front heights and i am thinking if it would be a good idea to place them on top slightly behind the listening position instead of placing them in front, i.e. on top of the front speakers (note my AVR is not an atmos capable)
 

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What's different better audyssey height and DSU? I couldn't tell the difference.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

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I just use two floor standing speakers on top of each other facing inward from the corner of the room.. SOUNDS AMAZING Dolby pl2z sounds the best!
 
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