Loudspeaker Placement & HT Layout - An Essential Guide

Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
There's a kind of precision about audio/video components, home theater and sound reproduction that's downright addictive, similar to the appeal of other technical hobbies like cameras, cars, boats and aviation. They all have their own vocabulary and jargon, of course, and it's easy to get bogged down or enraged by it. But lack of precision can be equally annoying. We take you through the Dolby Labs recommended guidelines for loudspeaker placement in various scenarios. Read the Article
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Takeereasy

Takeereasy

Audioholic General
Nice article Alan (if you ever get to read this). Very clear and concise and well written. provides a great starting point for most systems. Thanks for posting it Clint.
 
V

vinny

Audioholic Intern
thanks for the info as i'm renovating my apt and helpful
 
saurabh

saurabh

Audioholic
its a good article for beginners, but a word or two about the delay settings would definitely help, as it is part of the standard setup now and noone can escape it.
 
S

scobro

Enthusiast
My confusion is how far apart are the surrounds suppose to be from each other?
 
V

vinny

Audioholic Intern
Clint

Clint Hi,

I have two front standing speakers, one centre, and two shelf speakers on stands next to the couch. I am looking to get two more shelf speakers.

As I see in the diagram I see the rear back surround speakers are above the couch,,,as my apt is small can the rear back speakers be mounted on brackets above the main speakers facing the couch acting as presence speakers or suround???

Thanks in advance

Vinny :
 
D

dbarry

Audiophyte
Nice article: My new home theater wall splits a larger room and essentially creates a corner (re: layout 3 hi-fi configuration).

Question: Should the R/L main speakers be located the same distance away from walls that are behind the speakers. My thoughts are that there may be a difference in sound from identical speakers when one is located further away from a rear wall than another.

I have nearly selected Paradigm Studio 100 floorstand units for R/L mains. The technical support folks inform me that the back of their speakers should be a minimum of 8 inches away from a wall. My current home theater wall design has the left speaker standing in a location that is yards away from any wall behind the speaker while the right main speaker is standing in a location that is only 8” away from a wall. Will this disparity in rear wall distance create a problem with paired speaker sound reproduction?

PS: I guess I could build another wall behind the left speaker if I have to.
 
9

9f9c7z

Banned
12.1 Surround Sound

Any chance we can get an updated diagram for ideal speaker placement using the newer 12.1 surround?
:D
 
E

ExcessivePirate

Audiophyte
9f9c7z said:
Any chance we can get an updated diagram for ideal speaker placement using the newer 12.1 surround?
:D
Damn. :rolleyes: With a 12.1 system i suppose you could put the speakers just about anywhere hahaha :D
 
K

karsfri

Audiophyte
I think we have almost covered all the round. I think the next locical step is to have speakers in the ceiling and in the floor (that would give the words floorspeakers a new meaning :D )
 
M

mfabien

Senior Audioholic
saurabh said:
its a good article for beginners, but a word or two about the delay settings would definitely help, as it is part of the standard setup now and noone can escape it.
For DTS music, I find that placing all speakers at the same distance from sitting position results in no delay settings and placing the Fronts at 30 degrees from center and rears at 110 to 120 degrees provides the best DTS sound mix listening. The above placement also very good for DVD concerts with DTS surround sound.

For Movies or TV listening, you can back off to normal sitting position and swivel rear speakers to 90 degrees.
 
aukevin

aukevin

Audiophyte
I have a question about ceiling surround speakers if you don't mind. I am installing some ceiling speakers this weekend and I had a question about where they should go in relation to the seating area. Should the ceiling speakers be more behind the seating area or directly above it? Thanks a lot!
 
M

mfabien

Senior Audioholic
aukevin said:
I have a question about ceiling surround speakers if you don't mind. I am installing some ceiling speakers this weekend and I had a question about where they should go in relation to the seating area. Should the ceiling speakers be more behind the seating area or directly above it? Thanks a lot!
Normal surround position for DD 5.1 and movies in particular would be 90 degrees to seating position.

For DTS surround listening to such concerts as Eagles' "Hell Freezes Over" or "Farewell 1 Tour" or Steely Dan DTS concerts or other DTS fine sound engineered music, would be 110 degrees and same distance from listening position as there is for other speakers. And that makes ceiling placed speakers a problem unless the sitting position can be advanced nearly half ways for DTS listening and speaker volume adjusted to same dB level as others.
 
mike c

mike c

Audioholic Warlord
do we have illustrations of the side elevation for the rear speakers?
meaning the height of the LR surround and the LR back?
 
M

mfabien

Senior Audioholic
mike c said:
do we have illustrations of the side elevation for the rear speakers?
meaning the height of the LR surround and the LR back?
If they are placed at 90 degrees relevant to your listening location, height is most times dictated by your placement of wires. Normally I would say that the surround speakers should be higher than ear level. And at 90 degrees, they are closer to the audience and both distance and sound level adjustments should be entered in the receiver.
 
mike c

mike c

Audioholic Warlord
thanks mfabien,
i finally got the 90 degree thing ...

but as to the height of the speakers ...
assuming im sitting on a chair with a backrest of 1meter height. would it be ok to place the 4 speakers (LRsurround and LRback) behind me at a height of 2.4meters?

or should i stick to the 1 meter + 2 feet rule?
 
M

mfabien

Senior Audioholic
Frankly it will not make much of a difference, in my opinion. The important thing is to use a SPL meter and adjust volume so the surrounds are not producing higher sound volumes than your front speakers at your listening position.
 
O

Ohmage

Audioholic Intern
Is my assumption correct?

If your front L/R speakers are more than 22-30 degrees from your sitting position, you could compensate by toeing them in?

Ohmage.
 
M

mfabien

Senior Audioholic
Yes, you can toe them in such as I have them here :

 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top