Buying a new home theater system can be a rewarding experience. From planning exactly what gear you need to play back every media format under the sun on your high def screen, to actually hitting the stores and bargaining for the best deal you can, it’s all good. But when you finally get it home, and styrofoam is littering your lounge room, the real fun starts. There are lots of components, and all need to be tweaked and set up just right before they really produce the results.
Setting up surround sound speakers correctly can be one of the more important factors in this equation. You will need to position them carefully, to create the perfect envelope of surround sound. For best results, front speakers should be around 3 feet to the left and right of your TV screen, to widen the apparent source of the sound. The center speaker should be placed as close as possible to the actual TV screen; for most people this means underneath or on top. Subwoofers are a little less critical, but roughly near the front and center will produce the best results. And finally, rear speakers need to be facing inwards, and are best if wall mounted a bit above seated ear level. Note though that some speakers are designed specifically to produce a broader sound. For example, Bose’s Acoustimass 6 speakers project some of the sound away from the front of the speaker enclosure to produce a wider range of sound.
Once the speakers are set up right, adjusting your seating position relative to your TV screen is also important. Your TV screen will have an optimum viewing angle, and for best results you will want to be seated straight on. If you have to allow for multiple viewers, arrange your home theater furniture so that all viewers can see the TV without craning their heads as much as possible. This usually calls for a semi-circular arrangement, which also helps keep all viewers in the best position to get the benefits of your perfectly set up surround speakers!