Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to properly set up speakers for a surround sound system

Once you have connected all of the audio and video cables to the surround sound receiver, you will need to run speaker wire to the spots where the speakers are going to go.

The center speaker should go either above or below the television directly in front of you. If you are using a projector I recommend putting the center speaker behind the screen, but make sure you have a screen that does not block sound.

The left and right front speakers should be placed in between 22 and 30 degrees from your listening center (where you will be sitting) on each side.

If you have a 7.1 or 9.1 surround sound system you will need to set up your front height speakers, they should be at the same angle as the front left and right speakers only higher up on your wall, to make the sound seem like it is coming from the ceiling.

The surround sound speakers in the back are placed differently depending on the system you have. If you have a 5.1 channel surround sound system the rear left and right speakers should be placed behind you in between 135 and 150 degrees.
If you have a 7.1 or 9.1 channel system there are four rear speakers to place. The surround right and left speakers should be placed at a 90 degree angle on both sides of you, and the surround back left and right speakers should be placed behind you between 135 and 150 degrees.

The sub-woofer can be place anywhere in the room, if set up properly you should not be able to tell where the sub-woofer is located. The sub-woofer should not produce too much bass to the point where it sounds like there is an earthquake in one corner of your room. For placement ideas here are some things you can try: set it next to the T.V., if it is not giving the sound you want put it up against a wall, if you still need a difference in sound place it in a corner. Each position can give you different levels of bass. Another good idea is to purchase a better sub-woofer cable than the one that came with your system, this will greatly improve the sub-woofers sound.


  1. How do you match a good audio box to speakers?

  2. By audio box, I assume you mean receiver or amplifier.

    The speakers you choose should have the correct ohms that the receiver can handle, typically 4, 6, or 8 ohms. Never put lower ohms than the receiver is designed for, lower ohms will ruin your amplifier. higher is ok, but is inefficient.

    If you put 8 ohm speakers on a 4 ohm amplifier you will need to turn the volume up twice as much to get the same sound output as if using a 4 ohm speaker, its the opposite with using lower ohm speakers, but again will ruin your amplifier.

    To get the correct power to drive the speakers you must look at the RMS wattage output on the receiver. The speakers you choose should have a lower RMS rating than the receiver to power them properly, but a higher max wattage so not to over power them.

    I always recommend staying with a well rated name brand or check the reviews on a speaker you are interested in after making sure the specs match up.

    Frequency also plays a big part when choosing speakers. Typically most surround sound speakers can recreate mid to high frequency ranges, but how much bass the speakers can recreate is based on the lower frequencies. A sub-woofer will take care of the lower frequency range but its best to get a speaker that can perform down to the cut off frequency or the lowest frequency that is sent to the speaker before it is cut off and sent to the sub-woofer.

  3. Ok, Thanks that makes sense. I was able to find a receiver that fits my speakers.

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