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Where Should I Set Up My Surround Sound Speakers


Placing speakers correctly in your home theater makes the difference between watching a movie and really “being there!” Place your speakers just right and you will enjoy an enveloping sound that helps create a realistic, immersive viewing experience.

It takes a little experimentation to get your speakers just right. But there are basic procedures and concepts that will get you started on the right path to home theater speaker placement.

The Basics of Home Theater Speaker Placement

Surround sound is the atmosphere that envelops you while watching home theater, creating an immersive experience. That requires at least five speakers, three in front and two surrounds, with an optional subwoofer. Placement of these speakers is key to getting your true surround sound experience.

There are some hard and fast rules to speaker placement in your home theater, but there are variables too. Different speakers have different characteristics, and each room has its own acoustics. Experimentation will help, and check the advice of your speaker manufacturer.

Start with the Center Channel Speaker

The center channel speaker will anchor dialog and on-screen sounds to the screen, so it must be near the screen. Center it on top or just below the TV screen at ear level. Align the speaker’s front edge with the front edge of the TV to avoid sound reflections.

Next Up: Main Front Left and Right Speakers

These speakers carry most sound effects and music. Set them carefully for a wide, realistic soundstage. Placement of the left and right front speakers will depend on the location of the center channel speaker.

  • Place main left and right front speakers the same distance from listeners as the center channel speaker, at ear level.

  • They should be set an equal distance from the TV, 6 feet apart or more.

  • For best results, set front speakers at a 45-degree angle to the center viewer. This replicates the soundtrack creation system. But listen to see if this is optimal for your speakers. Listen with speakers facing forward, toed in toward the center, and repeat until you get the best sound.

Best Surround Speaker Placement for the Home Theater

Surround speakers will help create a cloud of sound that envelops listeners to create an immersive experience. There is some trial and error with placing these speakers too.

  • Place surround speakers to the side of your seats, at the rear. But use care not to put them too close to listeners in back, or too far away. You don’t want the speakers blasting in your ears, but you don’t want to have to strain to hear them, either.

  • Position speakers 2 to 3 feet above ear level.

Not sure about what speakers to buy or where to put them? Connected Home staff is happy to help you with decisions on speaker purchases and setup. We’re experts in home theater installation in new and existing homes, and we know just what it takes to get the best surround sound setup.

Visit our Leland showroom to see examples and get ideas for great installations. And call Connected Home today at (910) 317-0876 to discuss all your home theater needs.

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Connected Home in Leland NC has 8 Cedia Certified AV Technicians