Loudspeaker Placement & HT Layout - An Essential Guide



Audioholic Overlord
When speaking of speaker placement I always wonder if there is ideal distance that one need to space the left and right front channels from the tv or screen? I often see pictures where the person have a lot of space on left and right of the tv and yet the front left and right ate right next to the screen!!
You can get into a conversation about diffraction effect of the TV screen and how audible it is… I’ve seen pros say that it is and may not be a problem. ;)
Common recommendation for best practice is to have a minimum of 1’ from the baffle to the screen. Further would be better.
Truthfully, Center placement seems more the concern in that case than Mains, but for those trying to shoehorn a whole system into a tight space….
more commonly than worrying about the Screen, it is other furniture like a console or built in that also can provide serious obstacles to proper set up. Tucking any speaker into a cubby or in a shelf can be just as much a flaw to proper setup and radiation patterns as the question you ask.

Regardless, for Mains, especially Towers, getting them placed and properly spaced is key: this includes distance to front wall, side walls, from each other and the main Listening Position.
Every room poses its own unique challenges in terms of acoustics, and that is before we put our own stamp the room and begin discussing aesthetics! Sadly, proper set up doesn’t always look good… (seldom looks good)… or play nicely with the sensibilities of interior design.

In the end, worrying about potential diffraction effects ends up being pretty low on the list. It’s not that you shouldn’t think about it, but it is likely the least important part of the equation after making certain all other aspects of proper setup are met. (After the spacing concerns above, you still have to set tweeter height and toe-in angles for best sound, too.) of course, once you do get everything else adjusted, and if you do have the luxury of spacing your speakers from the screen after getting everything else, then do so! ;)

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