If you have spent a lot of money on a home theatre system with front and rear satellite speakers, surround amp and sub woofer, you need to make sure that the speakers are properly placed. Many people reduce the effectiveness of their system simply by mounting their speakers in the wrong place. This article will help you to avoid these mistakes and will show you how to get the most of your surround speaker system.
The ideal set-up
In an ideal world, surround systems should be set up in a rectangular room with your television or projector mounted on the front wall, and your speakers spread out around you. Although odd-shaped rooms often prevent this, it is worth understanding the theory so that you can adapt your set-up to match your room shape. The two easiest speakers to place are the centre channel and the sub woofer. The centre channel should be placed as near to the centre of the screen as possible and ideally below the picture. The sub woofer delivers bass frequencies. These are omnidirectional and as a result, the sub woofer can be placed anywhere within the room. The next most important speakers are the left and right speakers. If possible, use good-quality satellite speaker stands to support all of your speakers as this will reduce unwanted vibrations. Your front speakers are responsible for delivering music when listening in stereo and therefore, placement is essential. If you sit in your usual listening position, the speakers should be placed at either side of the picture at an angle of 30 degrees from it. This will give you perfect stereo imaging for music and films. Rear surround speakers should be placed either side of your listening position with the speakers facing towards your head. All speakers should be as close to ear height as possible.
Odd shaped rooms
Not everyone has the perfect room for surround sound. If you have an l-shaped room or other strange design, you may need to position some speakers closer to your ears. If this is the case, the sound from these speakers will hit your ears and this will distort the surround sound effect. To prevent this, try adjusting the delay setting on your amplifier.
A final word The final option for speaker placement is to use wall mounts. This prevents you from having to use large stands in small spaces. This may be just what you need for your unorthodox room shape.