Angle of surround speakers.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Bradcny, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Jul 9, 2011 #1 of 23
    Bradcny

    Bradcny AllStar

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    I have a 5.1 setup that, for now, uses speaker stands. I'm having the surround speakers wall mounted on Monday. I've read that the angle for surround speakers can be from 90 to 110 degrees. I've attached a photo of one side of my sofa because the 90 degree mark is a door. It appears to me that the wall that is slightly behind the sofa is well within the degree parameters. Does it look ok?
     

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  2. Jul 9, 2011 #2 of 23
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    That would work fine. Will the other side be the same?

    You'll want them about 2' higher than your head, and angled slightly toward the listening area.
     
  3. Jul 9, 2011 #3 of 23
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Direct them to your ears.
    Those channels are complimentary and suppose to deliver limited sound measuring by power and frequencies.
     
  4. Jul 9, 2011 #4 of 23
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    I'm more in favor of spartanstew's idea. I like it when I can't localize the surround speakers and their sound is bouncing around before I can hear them. I wouldn't have them pointing right at you.

    But none of us can know. Only you can. Try them different ways. Mount them the way they sound the best. Play a movie tomorrow night. Try them in three or four different positions during the movie. Use the one that sounds the best.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2011 #5 of 23
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    That's killing all work of sound engineer ! Distorting background sound your way mean blur intended sound picture. :(
     
  6. Jul 9, 2011 #6 of 23
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    I guess this depends on what you mean.

    They should be angled slightly forward, but they should not be angled down unless they're 4' or more above the ears. Put them 2' above and don't angle them down.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2011 #7 of 23
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    At least do not create direct line between those side speakers' axes. I mean don't point them to each other.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2011 #8 of 23
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Actually, the optimum placement for SIDE speakers in a 5.1 setup (there are no rears) is directly to the side of the listener with the speakers facing each other, but the OP doesn't have that option.
     
  9. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    OK, side speakers ... The sound picture in part of sides' sources shouldn't based on confronting waves from parallel diffusers directed to each other. They should be angled slightly. That position what you pushing is just dictating by walls, not optimal placements.
    Little behind, slightly upper, angled down and to head's of listeners - that would be proper setup for side speakers..
     
  10. FarmerBob

    FarmerBob Godfather

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    These are pages from the AV receiver owners manual that I install a lot that has a really good explanation of speaker placement for their new owners. They are quite informative. Click on the image below and then again to open it in a widow of its own and then again to max resolution for better reading. Right click to save to your computer. If you have any problems, post back. Page 2 upper right hand column is the most detailed.

    Hope these pages work for you. They sure have made my life easier when trying to explain why what goes where.

    . . . fb
     

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  11. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    I have seen many side surround speakers that shoot the sound out of their sides, rather than at the listener, these Polks for example:

    [​IMG]

    Highlighting the work of the sound engineer is not my primary concern. While I want him to do his job well, motion pictures remain primarily a visual experience. When I hear the surround speakers too directly, it takes my mind off the screen. The sound should compliment the action on the screen, not distract from it.
     
  12. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Side speakers facing each other will not have confronting waves before reaching the listener, so that really doesn't come into play.

    You can have them directly to the side facing each other or slightly behind and angled a bit forward, but they should not be angled down (unless they're very high). The human ear has a harder time locating sound sources that are above the head, so ideally they should be about 2' above head level allowing for the sound to travel above the listeners ear. This is not true of front speakers where directionality and sound identification is important, but for sides and/or rears the sounds you should not be able to localize the sound, as it's intended to be ambient, or atmospheric.

    Here's a good diagram from Crutchfield:

    [​IMG]

    and some good accompanying text:

    Ideally, your primary pair of surround speakers should be placed to the left and right of your listening position

    Surround speakers should be placed high enough so that the drivers do not fire directly at your ears when you're sitting down — one rule of thumb is to place them at ear level while standing. (If your surround speakers fire directly at your ears, they can overpower your front speakers.)
     
  13. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    That's my preferred speaker type for surrounds and backs Carl. I actually have Axiom (quad-poles) in my theater for sides and rears and they do a great job of complementing the action and creating atmosphere.
     
  14. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Here's a video on an Atlantic Technology THX Select Certified surround speaker that's set up a lot like the Polk I pictured above. In it, they make the argument that a speaker with this arrangement can simulate the multiple surround speakers you'd get in a movie theater.

    video

    website
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I would recommend you take a look into PDF in post#10.
    Actually, Crutchfield diagram demonstrate possible (flat on a wall) location as on edge of recommended - still shown best positions: slightly behind listeners.
     
  16. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    I've looked at just about every speaker placement PDF ever made over the years, so there's no need for me to look at that one.

    The point is that you said you should not point side speakers directly at each other. That is false. There is nothing wrong with doing that, and it's usually the preferred application. In almost every diagram you'll find, placing them to the side (90 degrees) and directly at each other is one of the preferred set-ups, if not the preferred (including THX standards and Dobly standards).

    Yes, they can go slightly behind and angled forward as well, as in the OP's case. They should not however, be angled down, which you also stated (assuming their at the proper height).

    There's many ways to place them and it often depends upon the room, but if given the choice, in a 5.1 set-up (7.1 would be different) and with no other parameters, I would place them directly to the side of the listening area, 2' above head height and pointed at each other.
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    From acoustics wave propagation it would be worst position;
    it's pictured on those diagrams because 99% ppl will not bother with acoustics,
    but it will show convenient way to place side speakers therefore they will buy more complicated 5.1 or 7.1 systems.
    My side speakers mounted on special mounts what allow to tilt/pan those for better acoustic picture.
     
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I want to add one more aspect of positioning side speakers: in 5.1 scheme those channels carry not just side but rear sounds too, that's why many diagrams (in favor sound picture, not your room configuration) put side speakers behind listeners. That would be more prone if you are watching contemporary movies.
     
  19. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Whatever you say.
     
  20. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Whatever you could say (as hypothetical example): front wheels should be installed in parallel for many reasons,
    but all cars set them angled to important purpose - stability and self centering.
    Just another example of something to argue for nothing...
     

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