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Speaker placement for home theater

5.1, 7.1 and other surround sound setups


How you arrange your home theater speakers has a big impact on how your system sounds. Proper speaker placement can elevate an average-sounding system to an elite home theater experience.

In this article we’ll show you where to place your speakers to get the best performance. And we’ll tackle some common room challenges that often get in the way of lifelike sound. Whether you have a new speaker system or just want to get more out of your existing gear, we can help.

Front left and right speakers

You want your front left and right speakers to focus their sound field at your listening position. Angle your speakers slightly towards the seat that’s directly in front of the TV. The tweeters should be at ear level when you’re seated.

Have some fun with your listening! Play around with how far your speakers are from the wall. The closer they get, the more that bass is reinforced. That can be good to a degree. But your overall sonic performance can improve if your speakers are pulled away from the wall. Try a few different positions to see what delivers the best results.

Front speaker placement

Angling your front speakers towards you locks in tight, accurate sound at your seating position.

Center channel speaker

Place your center channel right above or below your TV, and line it up with the midpoint. If possible, tilt it to direct the sound to ear level. Here are some center channel shelves that go above your TV if you don’t have a shelf available.

Surround speakers

Your surround speakers can be placed on speaker stands, or you can mount them to the wall. To keep your wires and cables neat and clean, check out our room-friendly tips.

5.1 surround sound

In a 5.1 system, your surround speakers are best placed to the left and right of your listening position. Aim them directly towards you for the best sound. If side placement isn't practical, place your surround speakers a few feet behind your listening position and face them forward. You’ll want your surrounds one to two feet above ear level to get the best sound effects.

5.1 surround sound speaker placement

Place your surround speakers 1 to 2 feet above ear level for immersive special effects.

7.1 surround sound

In a 7.1 system, surround speakers are positioned beside and behind your seating area. Just like in a 5.1 setup, the side speakers are placed to the left and right of your seating position and face directly towards you. The rear speakers are positioned behind you, facing forward. Position both pairs of speakers one to two feet above ear level for best performance.


A 7.1 system utilizes side and rear surrounds. Direct each speaker towards you for wraparound sound.


Since bass frequencies are omnidirectional, you have flexibility where your subwoofer goes. Placing your subwoofer near a wall will generally result in more bass. Placement near a corner where three room boundaries come together will get you even more.

Most people put their sub in the front of the room, so that it’s easier to connect it to their home theater receiver. If running a cable to where your sub sounds the best is impractical, use a wireless subwoofer kit.

Subwoofer placement

Placing your subwoofer near a wall reinforces bass. Corner placement delivers even more low-end punch.

Add a second sub for better bass

Using two subs improves bass distribution by filling in gaps where bass response may be weak. A second sub also provides more impactful dynamics and greater system headroom.

The layout of your room will determine where the second sub should be placed. Some rooms get the best results by having a sub in each of the front corners of the room. Others get more even bass distribution from having one sub in the front of the room, and the other in the back. Try a few different arrangements to see where you get the best bass in your room.

Once you've got your subwoofer(s) in place, check out our home theater subwoofer setup article for tips on getting deep, room-filling bass.

A two subwoofer system

Add a second subwoofer for more evenly-distributed bass in your room.

Tips for odd-shaped rooms

Not every room will easily accommodate a surround sound system. Ideal speaker locations may be taken up by doors, windows, or furniture. And some floor plans are notoriously tricky. Use the system layouts shown below to get the best sound in these challenging rooms.

L-shaped room
TV in a corner
Open floor plan

If you have a room that doesn't naturally lend itself to surround sound, consider using a high-end sound bar or a 3.1 system. A 3.1 system uses a left, right, and center channel along with a powered subwoofer to create a dynamic front soundstage. These systems are often better options than putting surround speakers where they are in the way, or look strange.

Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X

You can set up a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system with in-ceiling speakers or Dolby Atmos enabled upward-firing speakers. An Atmos system starts with a conventional 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speaker setup. Then you add two or four speakers to project sound that rains down from above the listening position.

DTS:X works with any traditional surround system. Simply arrange your speakers to best fit your space. Then let your receiver’s auto-calibration and object-based surround processor sort out the details. It will determine where to best send dialogue and sound effects.

For specifics on where to place your Dolby Atmos speakers, check out Dolby's speaker setup guide. For tips on where to install your overhead speakers, check out our in-ceiling speaker placement guide.

Don’t worry about perfection

The good news is that you don’t need to find the “perfect spot” for each speaker. Many home theater receivers offer automatic speaker calibration that takes care of things for you.

An included microphone gets placed in your seating positions. It listens to test tones that are played through each speaker at different volume levels. The receiver is then able to compensate for less-than-perfect placement by automatically adjusting timing, output level, and equalization for each speaker.

Watch our short video to see how this works.

Let us help you get started

If you’re still choosing your equipment, check out our guide to home theater speakers.

Want friendly, one-on-one help choosing the best gear for your new system? Our expert Advisors can help you design a surround sound system for your home. Contact us for free, personalized advice. Free lifetime tech support is included with every Crutchfield purchase.

  • Saeed from Ada, Ohio

    Posted on 5/8/2021

    Dear Kramer Crane, We have Sonos Arc, Sub Gen 3, and One SL Pair and we are interested to install the Sonos Arc and the surround speakers One SL in the wall. May we know what the height standard is have to be Sonos Arc and Sonos One SL in the wall? Thank you very very and we are looking forward to hear from you soon. Sincerely, Saeed

  • Louis Piwowarski from CAPE CORAL

    Posted on 4/5/2021

    Hi Kramer, You carry the Klipsch RP-450C for roughly half the price of the RP-504C. They are very similar spec wise. Looks like the 450C is very slightly larger; it lists as heavier. The speakers have the rear ports and binding posts on opposite sides. What is the real difference with these two? Why are there two choices so very close together spec wise? Which one makes the most sense? 7.2.4; Yamaha 2080; RP-8060FA's fronts; R-625FA's rears/sides. Have a lot of trouble with dialogue with current RP-400C at the low volumes; its great for news and broadcast TV, but not for great movies/streaming/BD. Thanks, Lou Piwowarski

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 4/7/2021

    Hi Lou, thanks for reaching out. Those two center channels are quite similar in performance. The RP-504C is about three years newer (hence the currently discounted price on the older RP-450C). Both are excellent speakers and are ideal for getting clear dialogue in large rooms.

    That said, in your shoes I would play around with your receiver's center channel output level (if you haven't already). I have to make changes to my center channel level frequently when switching between different sources. That's especially true with movie soundtracks like Tenet, which are mixed in a way that can make dialogue difficult to hear at lower output levels. Try raising the level of your center channel up a few db the next time you watch a movie and see if that helps.
  • Louis Piwowarski from CAPE CORAL

    Posted on 4/5/2021

    How far from the TV are the two mains on each side?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 4/7/2021

    Hi Louis, thanks for reaching out. The answer depends entirely on the layout of your room and how much space you have. Generally speaking you'll get the best sound if you place the left and right speakers as far apart from each other as they are from you (forming an equidistant triangle with them). This wide placement creates a large soundstage with excellent separation between the left, right, and center channels.
  • Michael Overholser from Riverside

    Posted on 3/18/2021

    Do you have any examples of a 3.1 system? All I can ever find are 2.x (0 or 1) or 5.1/7.1 setups. I currently am using a soundbar with a sub, and oftentimes I have severe issues hearing the actor's speaking, so I have to turn it up, and then when there's action noise, all of a sudden, I'm getting blown out of my chair because the audio level is so high! A reasonably priced setup would be great to see, as I don't have a lot to spend.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 3/25/2021

    Hi Michael, thanks for reaching out. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

    A 3.1-channel system is three speakers up front (left, center, right), and a powered subwoofer (the ".1"). A home theater receiver powers the front speakers, and sends signal to the sub. This can be a powerful arrangement, since you get the benefit of a wide soundstage where sound can transition from one side of the room to the other, plus much fuller sound than most sound bars can produce.

    A 3.1 system also gives you the ability of turning up the level of the center channel relative to the left and right speakers. That way dialogue is clear and crisp, but you don't get blasted when the action starts.

    I recommend giving one of our Advisors a shout, who can put together some system possibilities for you. Thanks again, and happy listening!
  • Charles Mistretta from Townsend

    Posted on 3/18/2021

    I have upward firing speakers placed on my Pioneer tower speakers. I'm setting up today and was curious I having a ceiling fan will disrupt the sound? We have a somewhat box shaped room with no back wall (open floor plan) where our sofa is. This is our listening area and faces the TV. The fan is centered in the room. I cannot place speakers in the ceiling so what are options if the fan disrupts it? I could mount the speakers to the left and right wall if I had to but I'd like to avoid that since it's very hard to fish wires through our wall AND I absolutely hate working with installing or patching drywall. Bane of my existence.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 3/25/2021

    Hi Charles, thanks for reaching out. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

    I don't believe that your ceiling fan will cause any sound issues for your upward-firing speakers. In yours shoes I'd run (or re-run) your receiver's audio calibration system, but otherwise wouldn't give it a thought. Atmos is a lot of fun — happy listening!
  • Chris Wilson from COSTA MESA

    Posted on 2/22/2021

    Hi, I have a Marantz SR7013 AVR . I am setting up a 5.2 system. Speakers: RP 280F for the main fronts, RP 450C for the center, and RP 250S for the surrounds I am mounting the RP 250S on the rear wall, 6-1/2' up, about 7' apart and about 3-1/2' behind from listening couch. So my question is do I connect the RP 250S to the surround L/R or the surround back L/R? Remember, I have no side surround speakers due to placement difficulty and not sure if the surround channel gets the same signal as rear surround channel. If they are the same, just use rear surround? If they send different signals, what is the best connection? Rear surround because they are rear or is it still better to connect to just surround because it will give more detail? Confused, please help, thank you

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 2/23/2021

    Hi Chris, thanks for reaching out. I'd connect your rear speakers to the Surround channels, and then run the Audyssey room calibration software. (As far as I know, I don't believe Audyssey offers an option for only Rear Surrounds without also having the Surround channels engaged.)

    That's some nice gear you have there. I expect your system is going to sound terrific!
  • Brad from Columbus

    Posted on 2/4/2021

    Kramer, holding off on the ds2's for the time being. Swapped the R-41M's and the R-51M's...I have the R-41M's as the surrounds and put the R-51M's as "front height". They are sitting on the floor-standing speakers and angled outward as the floor standing speakers are toed in to the mlp...I swear it has a better "above" effect this way than laying on their backs pointing toward the ceiling.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 2/4/2021

    Thanks for following up, Brad. I'm glad to hear there's been an improvement in performance!
  • Brad from Columbus

    Posted on 1/27/2021

    Thanks for your response Kramer...I'll let you know how it goes.

  • Brad from Columbus

    Posted on 1/26/2021

    Currently using a Denon S750 receiver, Klipsch R610 floor standing l/r speakers, Klipsch RP-500C Center, Klipsch R-51M Surrounds, Klipsch R-41M as upfiring atmos speakers sitting atop the R610 speakers. Two Dayton Audio subs. Everything sounds great except...

    Not getting much in the Atmos sounds...No overhead effect at all. Have angled the Klipsch R-41M's at approx 20 degrees 3 feet from ceiling atop the R610 speakers. However, they sit precariously atop the R610's...I'm looking at the Audioengine DS2 speaker stands to lay the R-41Ms down on for a more secure setting atop the R610's....Is this attempt at getting an Atmos environment a waste of time/money? I'm in an apartment so no ceiling installs or wall mounting is allowed. Using the R-41M's as back surrounds was useless and based on my room layout totally a wasted effort.

    Would the Audioengine stands give the proper angle? Again, the speakers won't be standing up on the stands...they will be laying down pointing forward toward the ceiling. No one is making angled Atmos speaker stands for up-firing speakers yet? thanks

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 1/26/2021

    Hey Brad, thanks for reaching out. It can't hurt to try the Audioengine DS2s. I would certainly give them a shot to see if they'll boost the performance even a little bit. I'm not aware of any better option — hopefully there will indeed be "Atmos stands" at some point that helps with this.

    Assuming you go with the DS2s, I recommend re-running Audyssey with the stands in place. Then manually increase the Atmos channel levels by a few dB to see if that makes them more noticeable.

    I'm curious to know how things go, so please be in touch!
  • Craig from Milwaukee

    Posted on 1/20/2021

    If you have a smaller room, and don't have seating off to the sides, and you're sitting directly in front of the viewing display, you don't need a center channel speaker. In fact a phantom center, relying on the front R/L speakers, will create a phenomenal experience for the front audio.

    We just watched JJ Abrams Star Trek with only a pair of Revel M16 speakers in our unfinished 12' x 14'w viewing room - and the audio was outstanding. We sat in the sweet spot, and the audio engulfed us. We're heard audio details in the movie we never heard before from our Polk LSi15 fronts and LSiC center channel speakers.

    Was the bass lacking with just the Revel M16 bookshelf speakers? Possibly. The audio quality was so good, we're not sure. LOL

    If you have smaller room, and/or you will be sitting directly in front of the display, take the money you'd spend on the Center, and move up to better front L/R speakers. I promise you, you won't be missing a thing without the center channel, and your audio experience will go up significantly.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 1/25/2021

    Hi Craig, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I recently watched Star Trek on 4K Blu-ray, and marveled at how good the audio was. In fact, it was one of the best-sounding movie soundtracks I've experienced lately!

    You're right, a pair of well-placed stereo speakers can offer a terrific listening experience — dialogue and center-stage effects blended into the front left and right channels can sound excellent. I also believe that all things being equal, adding a matching center channel to your system should only enhance what you hear.

    As much as 70% of a movie's soundtrack is designed to come through the center channel, while the score and most sound effects come through the left and right speakers. A three-speaker front soundstage provides this separation. It also provides lifelike transition of sound as action moves from one side of the screen to the other.

    One other benefit of using a dedicated center channel is the ability to change the levels of each channel independently. On a recent viewing of Tenet I had to boost the center channel up quite a bit to clearly hear what the characters were saying. Not all movies require this of course, but it's a nice feature to have when needed.

    Thanks again for your questions, and happy listening!
  • John from Los Angeles

    Posted on 11/15/2020

    I'm using the Denon AVR S960H for my setup. Due to the way my room is, I can't put surround speakers to the side of or the back of the listener. Will the sound be ok with the surround speakers mounted in front closer to the ceiling angled towards the listener? I will be using Klipsch R51-M for surround. I will also have Klipsch R-41-SA atmos speakers on top of my FL & FR.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 11/17/2020

    Hi John, thanks for reaching out. You can put the surround speakers where you described — the downside is that you won't hear sound move from the front of the room to the back (you'll hear special effects, but they won't help you locate where in space the action is coming from).

    I do recommend using a pair of on-wall brackets like the Metra Helios AS-SPKR-26 to angle the R-51Ms. These special mounts allow you to safely tilt your bookshelf speakers so that you can aim the sound toward your seats.

    By the way, the Klipsch Reference R-41SA Atmos speakers are a fantastic way to get overhead sound effects — great choice!
  • Brian from Oklahoma City

    Posted on 9/24/2020

    In a 5.1 system: 1) Should surround speakers be tilted down to direct sound to ear level or be pointed straight to shoot sound over ear level? 2) How do you calculate the angles of front and surround speakers? How do you know if front speakers are within the 22-30 degree range and surround speakers are within the 90-110 degree range?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/6/2020

    Hi Brian, thanks for your questions. My apologies for the delay in responding.

    Some of this is room dependent, but generally speaking you'll get the best sound effects by having your surround speakers' tweeters aimed toward you (or at least in your general direction). High frequencies are directional, so having them fire too far above or beside you will dilute what you hear. For example, I have in-wall speakers behind my couch that are about seven feet high. I installed them upside down to bring the tweeters closer to ear level, and then aimed the tweeters down and in toward my seats.

    As for speaker angling, it really comes down to what sounds best in your room, and to your ears. I'd argue that speaker positioning is more important than angling. In fact, many folks don't end up angling their their speakers at all (pointing them straight ahead).

    The good news is that as long as you're "close," your receiver's room calibration system will smooth out any distance and leveling issues. Don't be afraid to experiment with different placement arrangements to see what gives you the best sound!
  • Vinay from Mumbai

    Posted on 9/20/2020

    Need help, with setting up yamaha htr 6090 and bose AM 16 series speaker..during calibration it detects all the speaker but receiver do not show all the speaker active when I play 7.1 audio

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/21/2020

    Hi Vinay, if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call tech support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield tech support — 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Joel from Denton

    Posted on 9/18/2020

    I have a DefTech ProSub 800. My media room has wood floors. My sub does dance around a bit at times. Any suggestions for stability and best sound on wood floors?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/18/2020

    Hi Joel, I too have hardwood floors and have faced similar issues. I bought an Auralex SubDude-HT for my living room, and it completely transformed my listening experience. It goes under your sub, and decouples it from the floor. The reduction in vibration was astonishing in my room, and I can't recommend it enough.
  • Bryan Almonte-acevedo from Waterford Township

    Posted on 9/15/2020

    I am currently upgrading my setup with 2 KEF ceiling speakers and 2 KEF elevation speakers. As my system is now I have a Polk s35 as center, pair of Polk s55's as fronts, and 2 Polk s15's as rear surround. Where should I fit in the new speakers once they come in? Also should I change the rear surrounds to something else or are they okay where they are?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/17/2020

    Hi Bryan, thanks for your questions. It's hard to know exactly where to advise placing your new speakers without seeing your room. That said, Dolby's setup guide has great instructions for a variety of different arrangements. I'd check that out if you haven't already seen it.

    Be sure to re-run your home theater receiver's calibration system once you've installed the new speakers. I bet your system is going to sound amazing!
  • Richard Hernandez from PORTAGE

    Posted on 8/24/2020

    I saw a article a while back about furniture placement for best sound quality. I can only remember it saying to place your couch a foot off the wall, but I can't find the article anywhere.

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 8/27/2020

    Hi Richard, pulling your couch away from the rear wall will indeed reduce the reflected sound that you hear. I don't know that we have an article that addresses this in detail, but our room acoustics and speaker placement guides may be worth a look.
  • Mb from Midwest USA

    Posted on 7/30/2020

    Very useful information on home speaker setups! Well written, you guys know your stuff!

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 7/30/2020

    We appreciate the kind words. I'm glad we were able to help!
  • Ryan P Casey from North Richland Hills

    Posted on 7/14/2020

    If I bought a 2 way speaker (Infinity Reference RS152 @ 20-125 watts) that you say is a rear speaker and I already have a regular infinity (tall standing @ 15-150 watts) speakers for rears, would you suggest moving my regular rear speakers to the side speakers and use the 2 way as rear speakers?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 7/15/2020

    Hi Ryan, thanks for your question. I quite like the the Infinity RS152s as side surround speakers, since the off-axis tweeters create a nice "aura" of sound effects, which I think are most noticeable when placed to the left and right of your seats. I'd try them out there first — let me know how they sound!
  • Jonathan

    Posted on 6/17/2020

    I just installed a Yamaha RX-V681 that was gifted to me. I have 5 ceiling speakers that do the job (pre-installed from previous owners). Because ATMOS should come from above, what/where should my next speakers be? On the RX-V681 I have open terminals for surround back and presence. Thank you

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 6/17/2020

    Hi Jonathan, thanks for reaching out. Since you already have plenty of overhead sound, I'd focus on adding rear surround speakers around ear level if possible. That way, not all of the movie's soundtrack will feel like it's coming from the same plane.

    Be sure to re-run your Yamaha's YPAO room calibration system once the additional speakers are installed to get the best sound for your configuration.
  • Rosie Moffat from Saint Paul

    Posted on 1/9/2020

    I have a 9.1 setup. My side speakers are bipole surrounds. My question is I keep hearing from companies who sell speakers you should use monopole speakers for your back speaker layout and not dipole or bipole. They say if a sound comes out from your left or right back that's where you'll hear it from. The other two types will just diffuse the sound. Opinion?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 1/17/2020

    Hi Rosie, thanks for your questions. In a nine-speaker setup, I do recommend using traditional forward-firing speakers for your rear channels. That's because with today's object-based surround sound formats, sound effects coming from those speakers are meant to be directionally identifiable — you want to be able to visualize in space where the breaking window or bullet is coming from, rather than hearing just a general ambiance of sound.

    Your bipoles make excellent side surround speakers because they provide a wider, more wraparound soundfield that's ideal for connecting the front and rear speakers together.

    I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions, and happy listening!
  • Ed from Fredericksburg

    Posted on 6/16/2019

    See that 5.1 setup? For the back speakers, pointing them towards you may be fine depending on your room, but in our family room - where there's no wall behind where we sit - we point the rear speakers somewhat to the rear of us. We then run the audio setup program with them in that position. We found it does two nice things. It makes the rear sound seem to be coming from behind a lot more than if they're facing the couch where we sit. And, if we're at the kitchen dining area, or cooking int he kitchen, it makes a nice large "arena" of sound in the family room. We discovered this trick by accident; had a cleaning crew come to get us ready for a party, and we didn't notice they'd changed where the rears pointed until both my wife and I noticed that the sound was different, and better. I'd also encourage you to experiment with the front speaker toe-in. My current speakers are toed in the way the manufacturer suggests, which is WAY more than I've ever toed speakers. But interestingly, the sound stage is BIGGER with them toed in. I have another set of speakers where they sound best with almost no toe in. Room characteristics have a lot of impact on what works best.

  • JP from Mount Marion

    Posted on 4/9/2019

    A nice original article, and very helpful in the responses to questions. As a tuba player and someone who worked in high-end audio, I insist that bass is not "omnidirectional." Yes, room acoustics make an enormous difference. It's useful to consider that sound travels in waves. High frequencies are low-amplitude and quick, low frequencies high amplitude and long. An entire wave at 40 Hz takes 28 feet to develop. So, waves start somewhere, and tend to reflect off hard surfaces like walls (or floors). Using two subs helps create a less "directional" feel to bass, and allows for using two smaller subs to do the work of a larger one. Smaller subs are less expensive, are faster, and two 8 inch woofers will move as much air as one 10, two tens make a 12, two twelve a 15. Considering that most rooms won't get much bass below 40 Hz that is even within 6 dB of main, smaller subs can save money while giving great performance. The lizard part of our brains associates low frequencies with dread. (Why so many horror/suspense films use bass at low levels to creep us out.) In any .2 system, splitting one sub output to the two in front and using another behind the listening position can make the most of this. If done, the volume on this "rear" sub can be quite low and still effective.

  • Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/9/2018

    Hi Mark, yeah the placement definitely sounds like a challenge. I do think angling the speakers downward would help some.

    Given your tight quarters, I would focus on trying to get five speakers optimally placed instead of trying to squeeze seven into your space. I know it's tempting to have as many speakers as your receiver will support, but as you're finding without proper separation the side and rear channels sort of blur together instead of providing a clear, well-defined sonic space.

    I'd try to get one pair of surrounds as well-placed as possible, disconnect the other pair, and re-run your receiver's auto-calibration system. My hunch is that will produce the best results for your room.

  • Mark from Champaign, IL

    Posted on 5/9/2018

    my room is shallow and i can't place any speakers to the left, or rear, anywhere near ear height or even 1 to 2 feet above. My concern is primarily the side surround speakers in my 7.2 setup. They are presently facing each other, about a foot from the ceiling (one is above an open window area, so can't go lower). Am I best to remount these with a "45 degree downward" angle? or will that even help? I presently don't feel like they or my rear (about 2 feet behind me, mounted on swivel brackets from ceiling) are adding a lot to my sound, and I fear it's my placement that is causing this.

  • Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/2/2018

    Hi Chris, the sub will probably sound the best in the front of the room next to the TV. But if it's wireless (can receive its signal without needing a cable), you might want to try it out in all of the available spots in your room to see where it sounds the best.

    Bass reproduction has a lot to do with your room's acoustics, and sometimes you can get surprisingly good bass from a spot that you may not have expected. Thanks for the question, and happy listening!

  • Chris from Indy

    Posted on 3/31/2018

    I appreciate seeing you guys providing great feedback on all of these nuanced questions! Where is the best location for my subwoofer? Room: wide with 3 walls, no corners near the TV or couch, wall directly behind TV, wall directly behind the couch Distance from TV to couch: 9ft LG SJ9 Atmos soundbar: front / below the TV and centered on the couch 2 potential locations for the subwoofer that came with the LG SJ9 Atmos soundbar: (1) up front & next to the TV (2) either side of the couch (9ft from TV and soundbar

  • Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/17/2017

    Hi James, with nice big floor-standing speakers like you have, I'd opt for placing them farther back from the couch. You can always adjust the output levels of the side and rear channels to make them sound their best.

    As for the ideal distances, that's totally up to personal preference. It will likely be a balance between how the speakers look in the room, and how spacious you want the sound field to be. If you can, try them out at a few different distances and see which sounds the best to you (I'd run the auto calibration each time).

  • James from San Antonio

    Posted on 12/16/2017

    Hi, in my 7.1 system, I have the sony STRZA3100ES with auto calib., along with 6 of the floor standing Sony SSCS3 speakers im using to go all around. now my question is, I can get the front and side speakers in position as illustrated, but on the rear I can only put on two different locations, either 2 feet away from the couch (very close) or 11 feet back from the couch. I can do both but would prefer the furthest. So how many feet would be ideal in the furthest from the couch for my rears, and what would be the shortest? Thanks

  • MM from Gilbert

    Posted on 11/21/2017

    Dolby's diagram shows the 5.1 surrounds are at 100-110 degrees.

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/8/2017

    MM, yep — you're right on the money. Generally speaking, the side speakers would be in about the same locations for each system. There's definitely wiggle room though, depending on your room layout, the direction the speakers are facing, etc. I'm a big proponent on testing your speakers out in a few different positions/angles to see what sounds the best in your room.

  • MM from Gilbert

    Posted on 11/8/2017

    Are the side surrounds in 7.1 located in the same spot as 5.1? Therefore, 7.1 setup is identical to 5.1 with the addition of 2 rear speakers?

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/13/2017

    Hi Bobby, I think upgrading to a more capable sound bar is your best bet. There are quite a few available that will provide a wide, powerful front soundstage with the option of expanding to 5.1-channel surround sound with wireless rear speakers.

    Check out my article on wireless surround sound to get started. As always, feel free to give us a call with any questions — we're happy to help.

  • Bobby from ATL

    Posted on 9/13/2017

    Have 2.0 sound bar for low-frills basement set up. Whole area abt 25' x 27' space but viewing area around 10' x 8' more or less (sofa abt 8 ft from screen, 4ft from rt side of sofa and wall and 10+ ft btwn lf side and rear of sofa and walls. Want to go 5.1 but w/o receiver hardly any good options plus worried abt sound 'enclosure'. Think ive answered my own question but best bet based on this info is upgrading soundbar? Would like some sort of rear satellite configuration if doable...

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/20/2017

    Hi Nat, the placement guidelines are about the same for wall-mounted speakers — try to keep them as close to ear level or slightly above when seated. Feel free to give us a shout with specific questions or with a room diagram, we're happy to help!

  • nat from saint petersburg

    Posted on 7/20/2017

    it appears that placement only covers if one has floor standing speakers, not if ALL (bookshelf) are wall mounted. would have liked it to include what i will be creating.

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/30/2017

    Einv, great observation — you're absolutely right. We'll work on making the illustrations more clear.

  • einv from Rochester

    Posted on 5/30/2017

    There is an obvious error in all of the figures in which the angle is shown as 22-30 degrees. The angle is shown to be that subtended by the speaker at the listening location. It should be shown as the angle subtwnded by the speaker with the centerline instead.

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/10/2017

    Hi John, page 4 of your receiver's manual details a "7.1-Channel System with Surround Back Speakers" configuration. I think that is the best setting for your 'NR656.

    If this is a dedicated system for TV and movies, it's worth lowering your existing rear surrounds if you can. Having them closer to ear level will give you more balanced sound. Feel free to give us a shout if you have any questions!

  • John

    Posted on 1/9/2017

    I currently have a 5.1 setup with Onkyo TX-NR656 receiver. My current rear surround speakers are mounted on the wall near the ceiling beside the sofa. I will be adding 2 more speakers soon and want to expand to 7.1. I will place the 2 new surround speakers at ear height on both sides of the sofa. So now I will have 4 rear surround speakers at ear height and ceiling height. Is this the ideal placement? Also on my receiver should I setup as 7.1 configuration or 7.1 with rear Height Speakers? The wall mounted ceiling heights speakers I will designate as speakers 7/8 on the receiver.

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/19/2016

    Hi Brian, generally speaking the Dolby Atmos® add-on speakers go on top of your existing bookshelf or floor-standing speakers. So they'll typically have the same position and orientation. What make and model speakers are you using?

  • Brian

    Posted on 12/18/2016

    I am adding 2 Top Middle speakers to my existing 5.1 setup to create a 5.1.2 Atmos. I am wondering how far in front of the listing position I should place the Top Middle speakers. I have read it should be 80 degrees, but I am looking for a rough estimates in feet. The ceiling is 8 feet high. Also how far from the front wall should Top Front speakers be?

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    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/1/2016

    Hi Devin, you have a few different ways to set up your gear to get great sound in your open room. Without knowing what type of speakers you have (floor-standing, in-ceiling, etc.) it's hard to say what will work the best.

    I recommend you give one of our Advisors a call for a personalized recommendation. They will walk you through all of your options to get the most out of your surround system.

  • Devin from Madison Heights

    Posted on 10/31/2016

    I have a open floor plan with a see through fireplace in the middle of the space separating the family room from the dining room. Ceilings are slanted, from 9 ft to 15 ft high, TV is mounted on fireplace. Whats the best speaker placement for this layout.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/25/2016

    Thanks, Zoom. I'm glad you find my comments helpful. If the "height" speakers you are referring to are of the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X variety (which, of course, would require a new receiver), then I would consider that a worthwhile upgrade. Otherwise, I'm not sure it's really necessary if you are enjoying what you already have.

  • Zoom from MCT

    Posted on 5/25/2016

    Hi Dave, thanks a lot for responding to these comments really helpful, am using Harman Kardon AVR 171 and am using 5.2-channel right now and planning to upgrade to 7.2, my problem is not have enough space for surround-back speakers and planning to go for front height speakers, so i wonder if it's worthy to go for it or stay with 5.2-channel??

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/2/2016

    Sounds like a neat idea, Eric. You may want to check out this page on the Parts Express website. Just filter for the 4" drivers. My best guess is that any of the smaller drivers pictured should work just fine. I'd stick with 8 ohm models just to be on the safe side. Good luck. I hope your project turns out great!

  • Eric from Austin, TX

    Posted on 4/30/2016

    I have a Samsung HWD7000 (you sold it to me) and it's operating in 5.1 right now, but it's able to support 7.1. My wife found some really cool drive-in theater speakers at an estate sale. I'm looking to replace the busted paper 4" speakers with something that'll fit in the same enclosure, but able to handle a bit more power and fit in with this system. Even Radio Shack doesn't sell components like this anymore. Can you recommend a speaker that's got a fairly square mounting bracket with a not-too-tall magnet that might be a good fit for my speaker boxes? We're going to hang them on the wall using a little V hook so it hangs just like it would off the car window. I figure if I can find some speakers that fit, and fill the boxes with pillow stuffing to artificially increase the cubic footage of my enclosures and they may sound halfway decent. Have I got a chance?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/2/2016

    Thanks, Rick. I'm always happy to help out, especially for a good cause like better sound. In my experience, I have found that aiming the surround speakers as closely as possible towards your ears results in the best overall effects (this applies primarily to point source speakers, not bi-pole/di-pole, or omni-directional models). I suspect you may lose some surround sound performance by placing your speakers where they are, but I'm not sure how dramatic that loss will be. My recommendation would be to run your system's auto calibration setup (maybe a couple of times), play a movie with plenty of surround content, and see how it sounds. If you feel that you are losing major surround performance, it may be time to re-evaluate your speakers' mounting angle or location.

  • Rick

    Posted on 3/1/2016

    Hello Dave, thank you for responding to these comments. This information has been extremely helpful, and your responsiveness is very polite. I just dropped wiring through the walls of my home to finally hide the wires to my 5.1 surround speakers and mounted them on the wall just behind my couch. Both of the surround speakers are facing directly forward. The couch is set 6 inches off of the wall, but when the seats recline, your ears will be almost directly beneath the surround speakers, maybe a couple inches ahead. The speakers are 2 feet above listening level when sitting, 3 feet when reclined. My question is, in your experience, will the fact that my speakers are facing directly forward given their position relative to the couch dramatically take away from their effect, or should I really look for some way to mount them so they point inward, and possibly downward? If you really recommend angling them inward some, about what angle left/right and up/down relative to the listener should they be?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/25/2016

    Nick, While two feet is a bit close to place your right and left speakers from the center channel speaker (no doubt you'll lose some sonic depth, separation, and sound effects), I see no reason why it shouldn't work just fine. When it comes to our listening rooms, sometimes we just have to play the cards we're dealt.

  • Nick from Newington, CT

    Posted on 2/23/2016

    I have micro center channel and front side speakers but don't have too much space on the right side because of some built in shelving. Is it ok if the side speakers are only 2 ft away from the center channel or is it recommended they are further away from the center? Would that be too narrow a span? Thanks

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/4/2016

    Joe, we are still treading in relatively new territory here. My instincts tell me that your current setup will probably function well (though perhaps not optimally) with Atmos/DTS:X. My advice, give yourself some time to acclimate to the sound (say, a month or two). If you find that you need to change things to get what you're looking for, I believe that in-ceiling speakers could work well without losing much if any performance in standard 7.1 surround mode.

  • Joe from kansas city

    Posted on 2/4/2016

    I currently have 7.1 setup. with 6,7 being side height placement top of wall near ceiling angled down toward listener . I just upgraded my receiver that includes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X . in your opinion can I stay with my current configuration or should i switch the 2 side height channels to ceiling mount speakers to take advantage of the new technology. I am just little concerned if I change to ceiling speakers something will be lost during playback of 7.1 Dolby Digital which is much more main stream.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/26/2016

    Hi Steve, Since back surround speakers usually have less information sent to them, I would be inclined to place the smaller SR-8040BP speakers in that location. The larger, more robust SR-8080BPs can better handle the task of being your side surround speakers, so I would place them there.

  • Steve Denkov from Naperville, IL

    Posted on 1/26/2016

    Hi, I have a pair of sr8080 bp and another one of sr8040 bp. Which pair would you recommend to be for surround (sides), and which for the surround back (behind the listening position)? Thank you Steve

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/20/2016

    Hi Nick. As I read your comment, I thought I was beginning to understand your situation, but then when you said "I can't hear much from the surround speakers since they are blasting right into my seating position", you sort of lost me. So here's my take on what I think you could do. If your surround speakers sound too loud because of their close proximity to your listening position, you can simply go into your receiver's menu system, find the speaker level settings, and turn the surrounds down until they sound more in balance with your front speakers. Auto calibration systems are helpful, but not always totally accurate or in-line with the preferences of the listener. And as you mentioned, you can also try aiming your surround speakers away from your ears to reduce their level. My suggestion, relax, experiment, and enjoy.

  • Nick from Pittsburgh

    Posted on 1/19/2016

    Hello! This is my first time setting up a surround system and everything is great except one small problem. I currently have a 5.1 surround system with 5 satellite speakers and a subwoofer. It is a fairly entry level setup with the pioneer VSX-830-K as my reciver. Everything works great except for the fact that my two back surround speakers can only be placed at ear level while sitting and they are directly to the sides of my seating area, after auto calibration to me this creates a fairly stereo experience where I can't hear much from the surround speakers since they are blasting right into my seating position. Is there a way I could compensate for this by pointing the speakers either slightly ahead or behind me since that is all the room I have ? Any help would be appreciated!

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    Ven, I use wall-mounted bookshelf speakers for my surrounds. They too, are approximately 6-7 feet from my listening position, and placed about 2 feet above ear level. This works well for me, and I've had it set up this way for quite some time. But every room and system is different, so your mileage may vary. Since you said you have just recently set this system up, I would suggest giving yourself time to acclimate to the way it sounds before making big changes.

    Voice matching with like speakers and brands is still considered the gold standard for surround sound. I expect you would get excellent results by switching out your current center with the Infinity Primus PC351.

  • Ven

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    For optimal movie experience, Should one really consider raising the side and rear surround speakers 2-3 ft "above" the ear level instead of having the tweeters just at the ear level? How about listening to music? I recently got Infinity Primus p363 towers for fronts and side surrounds as a part of a 5.1 system. The tweeters are just at ear level (as expected from floorstanders). The room is big enough that I am 6 to 7 ft from the surrounds in my prime listening position. I tried raising the p363 'side' towers 2ft above the ground to see if I can improve the 'surround feel', but I felt the listening experinece in fact is worse. I am wondering if I am better off having Primus p163 bookshelves instead of the 363s on the side so that I can raise the surround speakers to a more optimum level (much higher ?). But then I have to find the right stands or wall-mount the bookshelves at the same time sacrificing the quality of sound provided by p363s. Is the effort worth it? Also, is it a good idea to 'voice match' the center with Infinity Primus pc351 instead of the Polk CS10 I currently have? Thanks.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/4/2016

    Niles, you may lose some accuracy by going outside the recommended range (how much exactly is hard to say because of room anomalies), but it's still worthwhile to install those SRB speakers. If I had to choose locations, I'd likely go to the 150+ degree zone. I've heard a number of systems with the surround back speakers directly behind the main listening position, and they worked just fine.

  • Niles from Middlebor, MA

    Posted on 12/31/2015

    I have a Denon AVR-X5200W currently configured with 5.1. I am looking to expand to 7.1 and then 11.1 in the future. For the 7.1 setup most recommend that the two SRB speaker be with 135 - 150 degrees of the listening position. Unfortunately one of the SRB speakers is going to land dead middle in a door way at 150 degrees. 135 degrees is not much better as it lands right on the edge of that same door way. If I was to move the SRB speakers outside of the recommended range of 135 - 150 degrees am I losing anything by doing so? If not, on which side of this range is better? Niles

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/27/2015

    Hi Travis, While placing your back surround and surround speakers at the same height is usually preferred, I don't think it would be a deal breaker to have one in-ceiling set and one stand-mounted set in a 7.2 system. Same goes for positioning the surrounds forward of the main listening area. You may want to play with the toe-in angle of your surrounds to balance out the sound between them and your front speakers. Otherwise, the DSP calibration and room correction on your receiver or preamp/processor should help compensate for the less-than-ideal placement.

  • Travis from Houston

    Posted on 10/26/2015

    Hello Dave, I am putting together a home theater currently. The front and back speakers are pre-wired for surround sound but in the ceiling. I plan on utilizing towers and a center channel for the front setup and the back ceiling speakers for the LRS/RRS in a 7.2 setup I was thinking of putting the L/R surround sounds on stands. My theater seats will take up the width of the room nearly (and be close to the rear wall), so the only option would be to place them in front of the seating and angled towards the seated position. Would the difference in height between the side and rears be an issue and more importantly, would the side surround sounds lose the surround functionality if placed in front of the seated position?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/2/2015

    Indy, Almost no one has a room that allows a "perfect" setup. Your receiver's calibration/room correction processing will compensate to a great extent for less than ideal surround speaker placement. I think you should be just fine. If your surrounds are a point source design, such as bookshelf or small satellite speakers, I recommend aiming them towards your main listening position.

  • Indy Cheuk from Hong Kong

    Posted on 10/2/2015

    I am planning to upgrade my system to Atmos 5.1.2. Front and in-ceiling speakers are total fine in placement, the problem comes from my surround speakers. According to Dolby's recommended placement, surround speakers should be placed just behind the listening position and range from 90 to 110 degree (from the center line). But I can only place them a bit further in the back and creating an angle of 135 degree. Will it be a big issue? And should I point the surround speakers directly pointing to the listening position OR else? Thanks!!! PS. I will place both Front Left / Right and Surround Left / Right at ear level to cope with Atmos setup.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/27/2015

    Michael, Even though the long-wavelength, low frequencies coming from subwoofers tend to "bend" around obstacles such as furniture, I still prefer to place them out in the open to avoid any possible interference with their sound (especially smaller subs like yours, which tend to reproduce higher frequencies that are more adversely affected by such obstructions).

    My recommendation? Trust your ears, and just keep doing what you're doing. Experiment with placement until it sounds right to you. You may also want to try something like the Auralex subwoofer isolation platform to help tighten up the sound.

  • Michael

    Posted on 9/27/2015

    Dave, What are your thoughts on subs under couches, or behind furniture? I originally put the sub (5.75" down-facing driver) between the couch and the love chair across the room from the TV, but it sounded boomy. I blame this on my room set up - one long, skinny urban loft with cement floors and ceilings. So, I placed the sub midway between the satellite speakers under the couch. Actually, it's a futon so it has a more open back and air behind it against the wall. I put some rugs against the wall and floor around it, and it's tightened up the sound. However, I'm not sure if this placement is one that results in muddier sound. Any suggestions? (Note: the sub must be placed on the listener's side of the room with the satellite speakers as those 3 all hook up together)

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/25/2015

    John, Although placing the speakers where you describe may be less than ideal, as long as you or your receiver's auto room calibration system take into account their distances and angles from your listening position when setting up your system, I imagine it should sound pretty good. The closer you can get your center channel speaker to the screen, the better. But once again, if you must move it closer to the listening position, be sure the distance is correctly dialed into your surround processor to avoid sync issues and other sonic weirdness.

  • John from Burlington

    Posted on 9/24/2015

    Awesome article, with some great information, thank you! I currently have an L-Shaped room with an almost identical layout to what you have shown in the example above. To avoid intrusive drywall work (fully finished space) it would be easiest for me to place my Right speaker at the inside corner of the "L" (closer to the seating) with the Left directly across from it (above where you currently show the Sub). I would likely still keep the Center speaker below my projection screen, although it would be easier again if I could pull that closer to the seating. Reason being, there is a bulkhead running across the room from that "elbow" where the Right speaker would go, so it makes fishing cable easier. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the location of these R and L speakers. Thanks for maintaining such an informative site!

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/16/2015

    Paul, I can't recall seeing anything in the Dolby or DTS playbook about the use of dipole/bipole speakers in an Atmos or DTS:X system. But since the height-channel speakers for either of these two formats operate independently from the "base" 5.1- or 7.1-channel speakers (and your receiver's processor and room calibration system have already taken into account that you are using dipoles), I don't believe you should have any issues using them for Atmos or DTS:X.

  • paul from tahoe, CA

    Posted on 9/15/2015

    I'd like to see more information/recommended use on dipole speakers. I currently use dipole for surrounds on sides and rear, 7' off the ground. 25' x 25' room. with listening area a little off center but not too bad. Am upgrading to 7.1.2 for dts:X and Atmos and wondering about the dipoles.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/24/2015

    Thanks, Jason. In general, most movie soundtracks tend to output more sound from the surround (or, side surround) channels than they do from the back surround (or, rear surround channels). For best results, I like using identical surround and back surround speakers whenever possible. But, if I found myself with a larger and smaller pair, I would probably put the larger pair in the side surround position since they could likely handle more output more easily.

  • Jason from Graham

    Posted on 8/22/2015

    Hi, great guide! I recently upgraded my 7.1 speaker setup (thanks Crutchfield!) except the side surrounds. Those are next but if I don't get the same size as the rear surrounds, would I benefit more from having larger speakers for the rear or side surrounds? Would it make any difference? Do movies tend to output more to the rear or side surrounds? Thanks!

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2015

    Dean, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help setting up your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Dean from Bel Air

    Posted on 8/7/2015

    I have a 7.1 channel surround system and my surrounds (4) are all ceiling type. Two of these four ceiling speakers are slightly larger than the other two. My question is, where do the larger ones go? Should they be placed in the front/side position or more in the back? Up until recently, in a 7.1 system I was under the impression the "5" speakers were on the front/side and the "7" would be behind but I was recently told otherwise. Now I'm not sure where I should place the larger speakers; behind me or in front/side (all overhead of course). Thanks in advance.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/24/2015

    Thanks, John! We appreciate your business. I'm sure your speakers will come with some mounting instructions and recommendations. And as soon as you receive your invoice number, just give our Tech Department a call for some specific one-on-one advice.

  • john youmans from HOWELL NJ

    Posted on 7/23/2015

    I just purchased in-wall speakers from you guys for my home theater. What height should I set them at in the wall?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2015

    Jason, We carry quite a few in-ceiling speakers with pivoting tweeters/midranges that would work just fine as a center channel. In terms of overall sonic performance, a conventional boxed center channel speaker placed under the TV will probably be more effective at anchoring dialogue and sound effects to the screen.

    January, I'm afraid this a case of having your cake and eating it, too. In other words, you can't really have it both ways. Most speakers provide a relatively small window of optimum sound, and the farther outside that window you are, the less ideal the sound becomes. One thing I have observed, however, is the farther away you are from your speakers, the larger that window becomes. Placing your speakers as far away as possible from your room's multiple listening positions may help some. Also, if you have a receiver with auto calibration that measures sound from multiple listening positions in your room, be sure to place the calibration microphone at different points on the couch, as well as on your recliner.

  • January from Bremen IN

    Posted on 7/14/2015

    I have a reclining chair and a corner couch against the back and side walls of my living room and I primarily sit in the reclining chair against a side wall but I have no idea where to position my speakers so that i get great sound without my guests that are sitting on the couch getting bad sound. Any tips?

  • Jason from United States

    Posted on 7/14/2015

    I want to put a 5.1 system in my open floor plan den...4 surround speakers, one center channel, one sub...the 4 surrounds will definitely go in-ceiling, but if at all possible, can I put the center channel in the ceiling too? I am unable (wife won't let me) to in-wall mount a center speaker under the TV, so my only 2 options are getting a boxed center channel speaker that will sit on the TV console below the wall mounted TV or put the center channel speaker in the ceiling and point the tweeter towards the listener. Would the center channel speaker in the ceiling work well?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/18/2015

    Michael, I'm not sure I would recommend moving your surround sound speakers to the front of your room since doing that will compromise your system's ability to play surround effects. But if you must, I suppose you could still use your receiver's "Surround" speaker outputs. The Denon offers a number of listening mode options that you could experiment with to see what works best for you.

    Charlie, I'm not aware of any hard and fast rule that states a subwoofer must be elevated or planted on the floor for optimum performance. Of course, common sense would dictate that down-firing subs are generally designed to be placed directly on the floor, and elevated sufficiently by their footers or spikes for the driver to operate properly. But other than that, I believe optimum sub location is dictated more by the room, and varies according to circumstances. We do carry a couple of interesting products by Auralex, the SubDude-HT, and the the SubDude-II isolation platforms, that are designed to slightly elevate and isolate you sub. You may want to give one of those a try if you're curious to experiment with your sub's placement.

  • Charlie Baltz from Hawaii

    Posted on 6/17/2015

    Which is correct? Subwoofers elevated off the floor for optimum performance or on the floor???????

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/1/2015

    Michael, if you're receiver allows for only one measurement location with its auto-calibration microphone, then I would place it at the midpoint between the two sofas. Or, if you're likely to be the only viewer much of the time, then I would place the mic in your favorite primary listening spot.

    If your receiver's auto-calibration system allows for multiple measurement locations, then I would take advantage of that feature by placing the mic in all possible listening positions for the best overall performance. Remember, auto calibration is not foolproof. Sometimes tweaking the settings by ear can still result in a more pleasing overall effect. Go with what sounds best to you.

  • Michael from UK

    Posted on 5/1/2015

    I will have a corner TV setup so your guide has been really helpful. One question, I will have 2 sofas at right angles to each other so, when I come to do calibration should I base it on a middle point between them to get a balanced setup?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/27/2015

    Having one of your surround sound speakers 3 feet further away from your primary listening position than the other shouldn't be a big problem. If you manually calibrate your receiver with the distance that will take care of the timing/sound delay. But you'll also need to use an SPL meter to compensate for volume. If your system has auto calibration, I'd just go ahead and run the setup and be done with it.

  • Jason from Calgary

    Posted on 4/26/2015

    Unless I mount the surround speakers (5.1 setup) on the ceiling, I would have to have about one 3 more feet away from the prime seating area than the other. Is this a big deal? Or do I just tell the amp the distance and it can adjust OR let the auto calibration figure it out? Thx.