Sometimes in the haste to unpack and set up new home theater speakers and a new projector or big flat-screen TV, careful home theater speaker placement gets swept aside in the excitement of actually seeing and hearing what your hard-earned dollars have bought.
It’s too bad, really, because often a little thought and care given to your room and the home theater speaker placement within it may produce remarkable sonic benefits.
Of course, we don’t all inhabit nice rectangular rooms with symmetrically laid out furniture. To that end, Axiom’s graphic artist reworked some Dolby Labs diagrams of suggested home theater speaker placement, which you can view at this link: http://axiomaudio.com/home_theater_layout.html
(Incidentally, sharp-eyed viewers may chortle at the ancient big ol cathode-ray tube picture-tube TVs shown in the illustrations.)
Keep the center-channel speaker close to the video display, above it or below it.
Don’t put any of your speakers (except, perhaps, the subwoofer) in corners of the room, unless you want big, fat “booming” deep bass rather than smooth accurate bass.
The two main “surround” speaker are not “rears” as they are mistakenly referred to by big-box store sales staff, and in a 5.1-channel setup go on the rooms side walls, roughly even with or a little back of the seating area. If four surround speakers are used, the two back surrounds do go on the rear wall, separated by about 5 to 9 feet.
Of course, these are best practices. But sometimes real life gets in the way. Have you faced any home theater speaker placement issues that forced you to get inventive? Share a story or a pic! – A.L.