You’ve purchased the latest home theater system and can’t wait to check out the terrific surround sound. You hook it up but to your surprise and worry, it somehow just doesn’t sound as great as the demo in the store. Have you been stiffed? Not likely. You just probably haven’t set it up well. |
Like any audio system, home theaters rely on proper placement of speakers and subwoofers. It’s all about acoustics. Concrete rooms tend to carry sound better than those built of wood, for instance, so it’s a matter of understanding how sound travels in different environments.
Professional services can make quick work of installation but if you’d rather do it yourself, here’s how you can set up speakers to promise great acoustics with a 7.1 system.
Center channel speaker
This is the component that channels most of the dialogue. Wherever you choose to set up the television, the center channel speaker should be positioned near it (top or bottom) but angled towards your ears. How far or close the TV and the center speaker should be placed away from you depends on how large the room is, how loud you want the sound to be and how well sound travels in the room.
Where center channel speakers carry dialogue, front speakers channel background music and sound effects. Like the name suggests, the speakers should be set in front but angled to your ears. Since the center speaker will undoubtedly be placed in a central location, you need to cover the adjacent areas. This means setting them up to create a 3-point arc with the center speaker in the middle.
Avoid placing front speakers in the corners of the room. That would leave too much gap and ruin the surround sound effect. Set them up about 30 or 35 degrees away from the center speaker. Adjustments can be made once you install the subwoofer and the surround sound speakers.
Surround sound speakers
Now that three speakers have been installed, it’s time to place the other four. Contrary to what most believe, they should not be installed behind but rather to the left and right of your seated position at least five inches above. You can even go a foot or two above the seated position. Place the two surround sound (not the rear speakers) about two feet away to your left and right at 90-degree angles.
The two rear surround speakers should be placed at the back but at an angle or adjacent to your head when seated. That would be around 135 to 150 degrees, almost perpendicular to the front speakers which were set at 30-35 degrees away from the center speaker.
The subwoofer, referred to as the .1, is unidirectional which means it can be installed almost anywhere in the room. However, corners are a no-no because the bass generated will eclipse the other sounds. A rule of thumb is to set it near the TV at a 20-22-degree angle away. This will allow it to complement the other speakers and add to the beauty of surround sound technology.
The set-up guide given here is for a distance of six to eight feet from TV, subwoofer and front speakers to the seating area. Adjustments may have to be made if the room’s acoustics are lacking so experiment till you get the sound you desire.
Home theaters thrive on acoustic physics and it’s a common error for new users to misplace their speakers and sub-woofers when setting it up. To get value for your money get your home theater installed in Sydney by professionals. Click on this link for more information.
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