Sound is the most important part of home theater but positioning these speakers slightly wrong will give you a dull movie experience. The sound of all the speakers combined should hit you at the same time and there should be no delay in the sound of any speaker in the layout. So, how to place them and distance them to have the best experience?
Each set of channel speakers should be the same distance apart from each other like they are from you. If you are 8ft away then they must be 8ft away from each other as well. It should be placed in a distance that creates a virtual triangle with your seating area and among themselves.
For surround side speakers you should break this virtual triangle rule and place them 8ft from your seating area.
Stick to the article as well will identify the sweet spots and angles for each speaker’s channel in the theater room.
Home Theater Speaker Placement Chart
|Speaker Channel||Distance From Seating & Between Them||Angle With Seating|
|Center Channel Speaker||8ft||As straight as possible|
|Front Left and Right Speakers||8ft||30°|
|Surround Sides Speakers||8ft||110°|
|Rear left and right speakers||8ft||120°|
|Atmos speakers||8ft or according to ceiling||90°|
Each speaker’s channel should be equidistance from your seating area. If your center channel speaker is 8ft away from you then each speaker’s channel should be 8ft away from you. But each speaker’s angle should be varied from the other. Also, the distance between them should be 8ft.
Because if you place the LCR speakers in a row then the sound experience will be not great. That’s why follow my diagram below to have the best speaker placement possible.
Keep reading to know why I believe in these values and what change they can bring to your home theater.
Speaker Placement Diagram
The speakers should be placed in a circle and every speaker should have the same angle as described in the diagram above. If you place the center speaker at an 8ft distance then you must arrange all the speakers 8ft from you.
Center Speaker Placement and Distance
The center speaker should be placed right below the screen and should be very close to it. It should be straight on the line with your head position. You should not keep it very low or high. The reason I keep it close to it is that I want to feel the sound straight from the screen and not from a floor or a wall.
Let’s suppose you want to keep the center speaker at an 8ft distance from you then you will have to arrange all other speakers in the layout accordingly.
The tweeter of the center speaker should be at your ear level. If it doesn’t then place a cloth or rubber feet below it to tilt it up.
For optimal results, you must calibrate the sound with spl. I have reviewed the best 3 in this guide.
Front Left and Right Speakers Placement and Distance
They should be at 8ft distance from you and the distance between them should also be 8ft. But the angle should be 30 degrees with your listening area. They should be creating a perfect virtual triangle with your listening area.
In this way, you will feel no delay in sound when the dialogues are transitioning from the center speakers to the left and right or any other object on the screen moves from left and right.
You will hear the dialogue clearly and will feel the sound effects perfectly.
Know the best frequency response and frequency crossover for your home theater speakers. I have this easy guide for you to follow.
Surround Left and Right Speakers Placement and Distance
The surround left and right speakers should also be at 8ft distance from your listening area but they should be at 110 degrees. But if there is another person on the couch with me then I try to adjust this 110 angle to a little 100 or 115.
In this way, we will not block the other side speaker’s sound from each other. The sound effects from the sides will not damage the dialogue experience of the center speakers and the sound effect from the front left and right will match the tone perfectly.
Rear Left and Right Speakers Placement and Distance
The rear left and right should also create the virtual triangle with you and with themselves. If they are 8ft away from you then they must be 8ft away from each other and this will create a nice sound shape.
This will give the sound effects from behind without any delay respective to other speakers in the layout.
Another general rule for the rear speakers is that you must align them with the front left and right speakers. You can follow this rule too and check for yourself which one better suits your needs.
You should also soundproof your home theater. Read my this guide to know how to soundproof it.
Atmos Speakers Placement and Distance
The atmos speakers’ best placement will be when they are aligned with the front left and right speakers. Also, they should be at 90 degrees spread from each other respective to your listening area.
They should comply with the front left and right distance placement among them and that is 8ft in my case.
This will help the atmos sound to not interfere with the front left and right and center speaker sound but will improve the overall sound of the home theater.
The helicopter sounds, birds flying, and bullets traveling will give a real touch to the movie experience.
Subwoofer Placement and Distance
The subwoofer should be at equidistance as well as all other speakers but it must be in the middle of the front left or right speaker and the center channel. The subwoofer should be facing right at you and should be 3ft away from the wall.
In this way, the bass will hit in harmony with the overall sound.
How Far Away The Speakers Should Be From The Wall?
Each speaker should be 3-4ft away from the wall. The sound of the speaker will not reflect from the wall behind it.
Apart from that many speakers have a backfiring port and that will create a mess if a sound from the port directly hits the wall and reflects continuously.
How To Erase The Dely as all the speakers are at equidistance?
Now all the speakers are at equidistance from your listening area but if you still experiencing any sound delay then I will recommend installing soft surfaces products around the room.
When there are hard surfaces in the theater room and the sound when hit it. It will create a sound reverberation and that will create confusion in your brain. Because the sound will hit each surface several times in the room and will bounce back to your ears with delay.
You will hear the same dialogue twice or thrice. That’s why follow my this guide to install acoustic panels and kill the sound reverberation.
How close is too close for surround speakers?
As a general rule of thumb, you should not keep the speakers closer than 7ft of your listening area. This will keep your ears safe and you will not suffer from hearing loss. Also, the sound experience will be optimal too.
How do I organize my surround sound speakers?
The surround sound speakers should be equidistance to you and should be arranged in a circle. Their angle with your seating area will be different for each speaker’s channels.
Like center should be straightly facing you the front left and right should have a 30-degree angle with you and the surround left and right should have a 110-degree angle and the rear should have a 120-degree angle with your seating area.
Can surround speakers be placed in front?
You should not keep the surround speakers in the front. This will not create a virtual sound bubble around you.
Each speaker in the surround sound should be placed in its respective place and not all in one single spot.
There are new av receivers that can give surround sound vibes from the speakers at the front but still, I will not recommend placing all the speakers at the front.
You can utilize this feature of the receiver when you don’t have the budget to buy all the speakers for your surround sound.
Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More
- Know more about it on Avsforum. (Resource for the first answer)
- Read more about it from this discussion on Quora. (Resource for the third answer)