How do you maximise your home theater experience with surround sound? A customer sent over a great web application that helps with speaker placement in a theater set up directly from Dolby Labs. The main thing is the concept of 45.
The concept of 45 is a practical system of measurement that uses your arms in order to identify spots where you can place the different theater speaker units. Let’s see how you can do that by using the 5.1 Speaker setup.
FRONT LEFT AND RIGHT SPEAKERS PLACEMENT
Sit down in the best seat in the house in front of the TV. That’s exactly how far your TV will allow for the best viewing of the size of the screen. Now, be ready to do some math with your arms serving as a protractor. Take your arms and point them directly at the screen. That’s zero degrees in-between your arms. Oppositely, if you point your arms directly to your side walls next to you, that’s 180 degrees. Now, spread your arms with about 45 degrees in between. Where your hands are pointed are generally the ideal location for the left and the right speakers.
CENTER CHANNEL PLACEMENT
Put the center channel directly centered above or below the TV. There might be an ideal location for you, but it’s not a disaster with either location. Just don’t put it where it might be blocked by furniture.
REAR LEFT AND RIGHT SPEAKERS
They should be basically on the same width as the front speakers or a bit wider. They should be at least to the side of you and a little behind you. Start at a 4-6 feet distance. Still, it depends on your room.
MID SIDES FOR 71. SETUPS
If you’ve chosen this setup, the rears definitely go behind you and these will be directly beside you. They should be at least as wide as the front left and right or slightly wider. If they’re in the side walls, keep them pointing right at your couch/sofa/best listening spot.
Placing the inwall/ceiling speakers into a theater setup is never perfect. You always have to compromise because you want to hide the speakers inside the walls or ceiling. The theater receivers available today do an amazing job of correcting for those placement challenges with their sound setup functions. They actually time align the sounds before they hit the speakers, giving great imaging in the correct places in your rooms.
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