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7.1 setup advice (Speaker Placement)


Established Member
Hi, just after a little advice on speaker placement in a 7.1 system. The system is nothing fancy, Ive got a Onkyo 515 receiver which does 7.2, had it since June last year as I upgraded my TV to a Sony 42W6 and needed extra HDMIs for all my items. Currently got 5.1 with some old Yamaha speakers from my old receiver.

Anyway as I am moving out of home and setting up a 1st home with my girlfriend I am able to use the smaller bedroom as a games room, the setup will be mainly used for gaming, as I will move Sky etc in to the living room, unlike now which I have connected to my TV in my room.

So ive actually decided to go 7.1 as ive got a blank canvas so to speak with the room and can run cables etc under carpet or where ever and set it up before we actually physcially move in. Im upgrading my speakers to the Tannoy TFX set, and Ive found the single speakers as well so have got the 5.1 set ordered and 2 invidiual speakers to match ordered as well.

Now the room is actually quite small its 2m by 2.7 I know alot of people will say 7.1 is not needed and it probably isnt but with the Xbox One and PS4 both having 7.1 output, and the PS4 being 7.1 all the time and no option that I can see to run 5.1 I thought I might as well give it a go, especially as the extra speakers werent too expensive.

Ive spent quite a long time thinking about speaker placement, TV placement etc and think ive got a good symetrical setup planned. The TV will be on 1 of the 2m walls and I will probably be sat about 1.8m away from the TV and about 0.9m away from the other 2m wall where the back speakers are. Then will be centred with 1m either side of me for the side speakers.

Ive looked at the THX website at placement of speakers and it mentions about having the rear and side speakers placed above the listener by about 2 feet. With my setup ive got a small window depth,but its quite wide, so only position for 1 side speaker is either about ear height once im sat in the chair or well above as it will need to go above the window. Backspeakers will have to be at least 70cm into the room each side due to a cupboard on one side of the wall and the fact the door opens to the right so cant have it too close to the corner of the wall otherwise the door wont open. But at 70cm in will leave about 50-60cm between both speakers and again from the THX website the rear speakers should be close to each other.

TV stand is about 60cm high as luckly my dad is a carpenter so hes making a custom unit for me. TV is about 60cm from unit to top total of 120cm, then I will have a shelf above the TV for the centre speaker, Kinect for the Xbox One and the PS4 camera. TV is 95cm wide, TV unit will be just over 1.4m wide

So thats the setup and the questions I have are.

Would I be best in putting the left and right fronts about half way on the screen height so about 90cm from the floor, or closer to the height of the centre speaker? And also at what width should I place them? Was thinking about putting them pretty much in line with where the TV stand finishes, so about 1.4m between left and right speaker.

Considering the size of the room, would the rear and side speakers be better at ear height or closer to the ceiling?

If the rear and side speakers are ear height would it be a good idea to match the front speakers also to that same height so all 6 surround speakers are same height, with only the center speaker being at a different height?

Any advice would be really appreciated.


Distinguished Member
A 7.1 AV receiver mixes down back channels into the rear surrounds when you've a 5.1 configuration and when the incoming audio is encoded as 7.1. Just because a source is 7.1 isn't to say that you have to have a 7.1 configuration.

I too would suggest it not worth shoehorning two additional speakers into a small listening space. 7.1 needs space to work and if the speakers do not have the required space then the results can be worse then 5.1 as opposed to being any better.

Rear and back speakers need to be 30 - 60 cm above your seated head height. Front speakers need to be at head height while seated and the centre needs to be as close to this as possible while being as near to the screeen as you can get it.

This may be of some assistance when it comes to the location of the speakers:
Home Theater Surround Sound Speaker Placement and Setup Guide


Established Member
Thanks dante01 for the reply. Yeah I have been to that website before and had a look.

I think for me I would have to put the side speakers about ear height, well I can only go so far up the wall due to the window so Ill go as far high as I can. Then I can match the rear speakers to the same height and also the fronts to get the same level all the way round.

I think for me I do want to give the 7.1 a go. Can always disconnect the 2 side speakrs and try it without and see whats better. If the side speakers dont work in the room I can always try using them as front highs inside.


Distinguished Member
You'd remove the back speakers and not the side rears if reverting back to 5.1 from a 7.1 configuration.

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