I’ve been to plenty of homes where people have fancy TVs and home theatre setups. But you know what? Half of them have no clue how to set up a home theatre system properly. I’ve seen setups that are so haphazard that it would make an audiophile cry tears of rage. Now, you don’t want that to happen, do you?
A nice, clean looking setup. Image courtesy Thecondobar.com
When you’re setting up a home theatre system, you have two choices – you can hire someone to do this for you, or you can be a little adventurous and attempt it yourself. The latter is obviously no piece of cake, especially if you don’t have much technical knowledge. So here’s a little something that’ll help.
Place front left and right speakers at ear height, producing a 45° angle as viewed from the main seat.
Place the center channel speaker either above or below the display, then aim the speaker either up or down to point directly at the listener
Surround left & surround right speakers between 90° to 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener
Surround back left & surround back right speakers should be the direct firing type and placed together on the back wall.
If you have four subs, place one in the middle of each wall. If you have two, put them in the middle of opposing walls. If you have one, place it in the middle of the front wall.
- The first step is to dilute your ego and read the manual. It’s there for a reason, and not just to add a little extra weight to the box your home theatre system came in. Follow the instructions, as the manufacturers know what they’re talking about (well, most of the time anyway).
- If you want the sound from your DVD or Blu-ray to be reproduced well, you have to make sure that your speakers are correctly positioned. I’ve seen people who have randomly placed their surround speakers, and it really irritates me! The front speakers need to be placed evenly across the room and the surround speakers usually go a little higher and directly behind the listener.
- You may need to get stands made for your speakers, especially the rear ones, as fitting them to the ceiling is not something everyone wants to do.
- A lot of people make the common mistake of placing the subwoofer in the corner. Although this makes it louder (every side of the corner adds 3 decibels of sound), the sound will be muffled.
- Make sure that there’s nothing coming between you and the speakers, as sound is easily dispersed, as it travels in waves. Additionally, you may need to angle your front left and right speakers for optimal sound so that the sound comes directly to your ears. But do not ignore the centre speaker, as most of the dialogues come from here.
- Here’s what THX has to say about positioning speakers: