– Focus on home cinema speakers
– Step 1: Position the center speaker
– Step 2: Place the front speakers
– Step 3: Optimize side speaker placement
– Step 4: Lay out the sub-woofer
To enjoy the most enjoyable and realistic sound possible when watching a movie, it is essential to properly position and orient your home theater speakers. This will depend on the type of speakers and the configuration of the room.
Here’s how to optimize the position of your home theater speakers.
Focus on home theater speakers
There are three types of home cinema speaker kits:
– The 2.1 consists of 2 front speakers and a sub-woofer.
– The 5.1 consists of a center speaker, 2 front speakers, 2 side speakers, and a sub-woofer.
– The 7.1 is composed of a central speaker, 2 front speakers, 4 side speakers (including 2 rear), and a sub-woofer.
The side speakers are commonly called “surround” speakers and the bass speaker is called “sub-woofer”.
The listening area is the place where the audience sits, usually the sofa in the living room. In the middle of this listening area is the reference listening position. This is used to define the arrangement and possibly the angle of the positioning of the speakers. This angle depends on the configuration of the room and therefore cannot be universal.
As a general rule, a loudspeaker should not be placed less than 10 cm from a wall. It should preferably be placed at the height of the listener’s ears. Ideally, therefore, they should be placed on height-adjustable stand legs.
Tip: To get the most out of your home cinema speakers, you should carry out an acoustic treatment of the room.
1. Positioning the center speaker
The central speaker gives priority to dialogue.
As its name suggests, it should be placed in the center, facing the listener. The best place is underneath the TV set, as TV cabinets now have a niche for this purpose.
Place the center speaker so that it is flush with the front of the cabinet. If you place it too far back, it may create a resonance that produces a hollow sound. The height of the center speaker does not determine the sound quality, so you can also place it above the TV set.
Note: If you have a micro-perforated projection screen, the center speaker can be placed behind the screen.
2. Placing the front speakers
The 2 front speakers are placed on each side of the TV, at an equal distance from the TV. If the room permits, keep a minimum distance of 1.5 m (5 feet) between the TV and the speaker.
Depending on the configuration of your room, the front speakers can be placed flat or facing the reference listening area. Determine the latter by testing.
3. Optimize the placement of the side speakers
The 2 side speakers, or surround speakers, are placed on each side of the listening area. They must be on the same line as the spectators.
However, there are two types of side speakers:
– Single-pole surround speakers: they transmit direct sound and must, therefore, be directed towards the spectators.
– Two-pole or two-pole surround speakers: they transmit indirect sound to the front and back, which will be reflected off the walls. They should therefore not be directed towards the listening area, but parallel to the spectators.
3.1. Arrange the rear side speakers
A 7.1 system includes 2 additional side speakers compared to a 5.1 system.
These 2 rear surround speakers are set back from the listening area, facing the spectators. They should be far enough from the side speakers so as not to interfere with the sound, especially if the side speakers are uni-polar.
4. Installing the sub-woofer
The sub-woofer transcribes the lowest sounds. It is useless if you use full-range speakers that already have bass reproduction.
The sub-woofer should be placed in front of the listening area. Its ideal position is in the center of the room. If you have high demands on the sound reproduction, get a coffee table with a niche to place the sub-woofer. If this is not possible, place your sub-woofer between one of the front speakers and the TV.
Tip: If you need to place your sub-woofer on the floor, install anti-vibration pads under its feet.
Having trouble making up your mind?
Contact a professional for your home audio installation. After that, all you have to do is settle in your cinema room and enjoy the best moments of the cinema.
Don’t forget to share your experience in the section below.