Help needed with placement of 5.1 speakers

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Hi,

I have just bought a set of 5.1 surround sound speakers. I am going to be moving house next week and would like some help on how to place them.

I currently have the front left and right at either end of the tv unit - about 50 cm away from the tv. The centre is directly below the tv, the tv is a lcd so I cant put the centre above it.

The rear speaker placement is where Im struggling...... the speakers could be slightly behind the sofa or at the sides, roughly 105cm away from the edge of the sofa. Which direction is it best to place the rear speakers? directly at your ears? at the tv? somewhere in between?

This is a pic of how it is currently setup. Thanks for any help.

 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Been reading a lot of conflicting information about where to point the rears.

Some examples -
1, straight at your ears from the side
2, straight at your ears from behind
3, firing towards the tv
4, firing behind your head

Another question - should the rears be as far away from your seating position as poss or just at the edge of the sofa??

:thumbsup:
 

Dave

Distinguished Member
It all depends on your listening position.

Judging by your diagram, have the rears pointing at your ears where you have indicated them. If your sofa was in the middle of the room you could have them pointing towards the tv but it's against the back wall. Too close to put them behind so put them at the sides pointing at you should give the best results but not too close if you can help it.:smashin:
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
Hi there.
Experiment with shifting the fronts round slightly so they face slightly more towards the listening position. Some speakers prefer facing directly forwards and some prefer being toed in slightly, it's all preference but have a listen to either position.
There's a Dolby Digital / DTS official diagram that's been posted a lot on this forum. I'll have a search and try to provide a copy on this thread if I see it. It;s how Dolby etc advise the perfect 5.1 setup is positioned..
brb.

Dan.
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Cheers for that :clap:

When I am playing on the 360 I will probably sit halfway between where the tv and sofa is on the diagram. I dont want to have to move the speakers at all - will I be able to tell what position in the rear the sound is coming from when they are facing the sofa?

The room is fairly big (TV 32inch) so to play split screen FPS with me girlie I kind of have to sit on top of the tv to see enough detail. :rolleyes:
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
Try a small adjustment facing the rears slightly forward from []---- position say about 15 or 20 degrees and sit down watch a film, have a blast on the 360 and see what you think.

My setup is in my room has rear speakers against wall and I listen in 2 positions, head between rear speakers laying on bed and also sitting on the end of bed whilst using laptop etc so my requirements aren't far off what yours are.


You'll have to think about your priorities on this. If it's 50/50 sofa to gaming on floor, consider shifting those rears round more a little towards the front. If films more important then try 15/20 degrees.

aha... diagrams in all their glory available at
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/home_entertainment/roomlayout.html

bear in mind your average listening position is somewhere between sofa and in front of tv.

Dan

stud said:
Cheers for that :clap:

When I am playing on the 360 I will probably sit halfway between where the tv and sofa is on the diagram. I dont want to have to move the speakers at all - will I be able to tell what position in the rear the sound is coming from when they are facing the sofa?

The room is fairly big (TV 32inch) so to play split screen FPS with me girlie I kind of have to sit on top of the tv to see enough detail. :rolleyes:
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Would you have the speakers on the back wall if you are going to face them slightly forwards? as oppose to at the side of the sofa.

Will I be making a big sacrifice on overall surround sound by making an adjustment for the 360 - would I be better just positioning them straight in for DVD's and just making the most of it for the 360 playing?
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Been thinking about this more and more, in the house when i move i will spend the majority of my time playing games on the 360. Most things i watch are not encoded in 5.1, they are usually 2.0 stereo, now i do use pro logic II but its not 5.1.

I was thinking that i would have my rear speakers facing towards the TV, as its never going to be an exact science on where i sit when playing the 360. Other than i hope to be half way between the TV and the Sofa.

So when i watch DVD's or the TV i will still get the affects of the 5.1 but it wont be ideally placed. I think as long as the rears are equally placed apart then i should still be able to get the effect.

This is how i am thinking of having the speakers

At the moment i am unsure whether to have the speakers behind the sofa now or still at the sides ? ?



I wont be toeing in the front speakers as they wouldnt be right when i wanted to watch a dvd or what have you.

Having them this way, hopefully i will still retain good positional audio which is what i need, if i left them facing in at each other i would probably lose volume or position.

There is no real point putting in the distances from me to the speakers or sound levels due to the two seating areas. :(

Let me know what you think ? any improvments or suggestions :)
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
stud said:
Been thinking about this more and more, in the house when i move i will spend the majority of my time playing games on the 360. Most things i watch are not encoded in 5.1, they are usually 2.0 stereo, now i do use pro logic II but its not 5.1.

I was thinking that i would have my rear speakers facing towards the TV, as its never going to be an exact science on where i sit when playing the 360. Other than i hope to be half way between the TV and the Sofa.

So when i watch DVD's or the TV i will still get the affects of the 5.1 but it wont be ideally placed. I think as long as the rears are equally placed apart then i should still be able to get the effect.

This is how i am thinking of having the speakers

At the moment i am unsure whether to have the speakers behind the sofa now or still at the sides ? ?



I wont be toeing in the front speakers as they wouldnt be right when i wanted to watch a dvd or what have you.

Having them this way, hopefully i will still retain good positional audio which is what i need, if i left them facing in at each other i would probably lose volume or position.

There is no real point putting in the distances from me to the speakers or sound levels due to the two seating areas. :(

Let me know what you think ? any improvments or suggestions :)
Hi Stud:hiya: , I think the rear positions in the new diagram have the rear speakers facing waaay too far forward.

When you sit down on sofa to watch a dvd, then you'll be lacking sound as the sound from rears won't be facing you at all.

Try turning the rears round so they face halfway between the sofa and that new black oval indicating gaming position. This'll probably be spot on for both positions and you'll have no need to put speakers behind the sofa etc.:lesson:

This would be optimal position from the best of my knowledge for your setup.

Normal speakers tend to send the best quality sound straight ahead, and gradually sound tails off (esp treble) as you move round to the side.

With the current diagram you've posted, not even gaming position is optimal and dvd watching position is more of an acute angle to that.

Hope this helps. The new posted diagram is likely to give you slightly dulled out sound for gaming and very dulled-out rears on dvds.

Dan.

First Diagram - Shows direction speakers laid out


Second diagram - Illustrates black line from each speaker as being optimal sound going to lighter blue then turquoise for lesser sound (normally where treble starts tailing off etc as you're not in front of speaker). The amount of tail-off on the treble varies depending on what speakers you have etc and their design.
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Wow,

Thanks alot Dan that is a great help :) :thumbsup:

After looking at your diagram mine looks shocking :)

I wish i had a 60" LCD so i dont have to sit so close but 32" is all i can muster so when its 360 time i need to be closer :(

I have one final question if i may, on these new speakers i have bought it has a Auto calibration utility with a microphone so it sets the speakers distance, speaker sound level and other such things.

Therefore the amp has inputs for speaker distance and speaker level, now i have just put all the speakers to level 0, which is default. However the speaker distances all have different number in already, what should i do about this as there will be two different seating positions and i can only enter one set of numbers in here ? ?
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
Hi Stud,
:lesson: Best solution I can think of is to lay the speakers out like in the new diagram, then to put the calibration microphone halfwat between the sofa and your gaming position. I'd suggest putting it on top of something so it's raised off the floor say 2foot high so matches ear-height average between both positions.

If your system is quite expensive and you want to set volumes up just right, you can pick up an SPL meter for about £20 if want to do it accurately:devil: , otherwise the calibration microphone should be good enough.

Remember, it's all about preference in terms of settings. Once the Auto-calibration is done, note the volume settings and have a mess around with settings. If the rears etc aren't loud enough, boost the rear channel volumes a touch etc. At least you can set the volumes back after

Hope this helps there.

Dan
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Thanks Dan,

Couldnt have asked for more, i will give all this a try and hopefully i should be loving it. At the moment i have the Center speaker turned down a little and the rears turned up a little, just trying to set the speakers up how they will be in there new home :)

Lastly though, would you move the speakers to the back wall or leave them at the sides of the seating position, would it improve any if the speakers were a little further behind.

Thanks again Dan, great advise :smashin: :smashin: :smashin:
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
stud said:
Thanks Dan,

Couldnt have asked for more, i will give all this a try and hopefully i should be loving it. At the moment i have the Center speaker turned down a little and the rears turned up a little, just trying to set the speakers up how they will be in there new home :)

Lastly though, would you move the speakers to the back wall or leave them at the sides of the seating position, would it improve any if the speakers were a little further behind.

Thanks again Dan, great advise :smashin: :smashin: :smashin:
Stud, if the speaker can go slightly behind the sofa it would help things, but bear in mind if you haven't got stands higher than the sofa back I wouldn't bother as you'd be blocking sound gooing to your ears, especially in the gaming position.

Don't forget it'd be terrible not to plug the optical from the 360 into the reciever. If not doing this already, you're really missing out but I'm figuring at this point the console's probably set up with 5.1 optical output into your reciever.

What's your fave games btw?

That Oblivion is just amazing and I've never been an RPG fan.

Dan.
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Just finished Prey today, that was a good game, had faults but i enjoyed the experience. The only problem being the horrible net code that the doom engine has making for a bad online experience.

Big fan of oblivion though, been playing that alot, the game i have probably put the most time into would have to be GRAW, just love that game and cannot get enough of it :)

Thanks for the reply, the speakers system that i use is the Sony HT-SF1000 basically becuase it had the power, future proofing with the HDMI, connections and i didnt want a DVD player.

Yeah i think going with the side of the sofa approach will be the best one because i dont want to lose any coverage.

Its going to be a learning curve and will probably take quite a while to get the speakers setup properly, i mean the easiest thing to do would be to put the mic at half the height and half the distance and do the compromise as you suggested.

Then turn up the speakers and such, i dont know however, how much of an impact the speaker distance measurement readings make, on the overall sound.

So i will probably have to mess around with that, according to the manual getting this right can have a big affect on the sound as it is delaying it and what not ?
 

huntere

Well-known Member
I have exactly the same set up room wise.

On advice here - plus the DOlby diagram, I have the rears poitning towards the sofa NOT back toward the screen as I have no gap behind the sofa.

Works fine but I am a movie person not a gamer.

Oh and my rears are abut 1m from the sofa
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Not 100% sure what you mean there, a diagram of your setup would be ideal, paint is the future :)
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
Oh right i see found it a little hard to read at first, get it now though, i'm glad it is going to work. If it works well for movies then all the better.

In the test i am currently trying out i have them firing into the back of the sofa.

Just got to keep testing
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
I agree with Huntere's diagram too. Having speakers right next to sofa won't be as good I expect as putting a small distance away.

Remember, there are logical guidelines but at end of day do what sounds best to you, as it'll be your good self and other half who'll be the ones who'll be listening to this most of time.

Dan.
 

Carnagerover

Well-known Member
I have it set up this way at the moment and it sounds good. I have tried both Xbox 360 and dvds and i am getting good placement results.

I have the rears set up at +2 the front at default and the center at -4.

I probably dont need the rears at +2 but i like to hear them.

But at this stage i am just testing, i will do it properly when i move.

I mean when i watch a dvd on the sofa i dont want to just hear the rears, but i also want to be able to hear the rears when playing on the 360. It has to be harder to hear sound coming from behind you ?

:)
 

petertown

Standard Member
Sorry to hi-Jack this thread, but I am in a dnot too dissimilar quandry.

I can position the rear surrounds at the correct angle, as per Dolby specs, but they have to be almost touching the ceiling... Should I angle the speakers DOWN to the centre of the sofa?

Cheers
Pete
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
petertown said:
Sorry to hi-Jack this thread, but I am in a dnot too dissimilar quandry.

I can position the rear surrounds at the correct angle, as per Dolby specs, but they have to be almost touching the ceiling... Should I angle the speakers DOWN to the centre of the sofa?

Cheers
Pete

Yes Pete.
Speakers should be facing the listening position as a general rule.

Dan.
 

r21442

Active Member
Stud,

Did someone mention CEILING? Could that be your solution to install ceiling speakers above the sofa and the sound will radiate nicely to both positions?

Reckoned with you just moving in might be doing some decoration / renovation anyway?
 

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