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Side Speaker Placement Problem! Help! :-)

403 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Larry Fine
Allo again...

I am trying to find the optimal location for my SIDE speakers in a 7.1 arrangement. Unfortunately, the room is being a *******.

To make a long stolry short, here are the two choices Im faced with:

A) Place the side speakers about 16-20 inches towards the front of the room (ie- not exactly at my side, but more forward) but at optimal height

B) Place the side speakers exactly at my sides, but mount them on the ceiling (ie- perfect placement but quite high ~8ft)

the bottom line is: Lateral placement vs Height. Which would you do?


-Chris Rex
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Placing them forward of the listening position will ruin the sound field.

- Rick
It has been recommended many a times to actually place the sides slightly forward when adding rears as well. I think this would only work with dipoles.

If you are working with monopoles or bipoles I would go ahead and mount them on the ceiling and calibrate the sound. How far are your front and rear speakers from sitting? Can you use stands for the sides, prob not, but should clarify anyways.

It clearly depends on the type of side speaker you are using. I believe you would get much more help by better describing the room clearer via placement and room dynamics.
Ill try to add as much as I can...

The room is about 12 x 17... unfortunately we are forced to use it in the short way (12 ft to screen) due to room design.

The front wall will have the center, l and r all wall mounted.

We will have the chairs very close if not flush to the back wall. (about 1 foot away)

The 4 surround speakers are all Gallo micros.

There will be two back surrounds mounted to the back wall about 2 feet+ above our seated heads, about 4 feet apart.

now, to the main problem: the side surrounds:

Due to room circumstances, stands are not usable.


The closest wall to our seated left side (that we could use to place a side surround speaker) starts at about 48 inches from our back wall (due to a stairwell). This would place the left side speaker roughly 23+ inches AHEAD of where we would like.

The wall on our left side starts SLIGHTLY closer, with our left surround being about 20+ inches ahead of where we'd like.

Mounted on the walls, we could position them at any height we wished.

Mounted on the walls, they would not line up EXACTLY across from each other, but close (within like 5 inches)


If we were to mount them on the ceiling pointing slightly downward, it would be possible to line them up exactly at our sides, but they would be about 8' in the air obviously.

Either way, the two side surrounds would be roughly 7' each from the central listening position, and about 2.5 feet from the closest person to them, and 17' apart in total. Im mainly worried about the main listening seats.

With all this extra info, can anyone please help make this decision for me? :-D
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If you are sitting 12ft from the screen and you are working with monopoles I would offset the difference in side surrounds by moving the seats forward a 1 ft to 1 1/2 ft forward into the room. You would still have over 10 ft to the screen which is more than you need for anything under a 53". I sit about 12ft from my 53" and feel I could go to 10ft without losing the clarity of SDTV. DVD would be a whole different story.....

By moving the chairs forward it would also compliment the rears as well. You really do not want the speakers right next to you unless they are on the sides in back.

So in theory, try moving the couch forward 1 1/2ft, mount the side speakers on the wall, leave the rears alone, calibrate your system, and pop in your fav dvd-v or dvd-a badboy.

Also, you said the rear speakers are 4 ft apart. using the rule of 1/3 for spacing I derive a spacing of 6ft. How come the rear speakers are so close? How far apart are your front speakers? It seems having the sides on the walls and the rears well inside the measurements and possibly the fronts between those two your sound may really need to be calibrated to get a seamless diffusion. You should always calibrate, no matter how perfect your system is mounted, however with so many variables and speakers, you need to pick up AVIA and a SPL.

Good Luck
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One more option: place the rears either on or above the floor, behind the sofa, pointing at the ceiling.
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