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Ideal Speaker Placement for your Home Entertainment System Part 1

This week's blog is the first in a series on Ideal Speaker Placement for your Home Entertainment System by EMERALD LIVING contributor Christopher Maughan.

We have all purchased or at least have experienced these "home-theatre-in-a-box" systems where you get a basic manual and you are pretty much on your own to put the speakers wherever space (and wifey) permits. This can be pretty detrimental to the sound of the system you have purchased because more likely than not, you have the speakers the wrong place and pointing them in the wrong direction.

These tips will help you either optimise your current setup or give you better preparation for that new system that you have been eyeing!

1. Everything Orbits the TV.

First on the list is TV placement. Generally, you want to put the Television set in the middle of any wall in a rectangular room once it is away from ambient light. This allows for equal space on either side of the TV which is the perfect setup for my next point.

2. Symmetry.

Speakers work best when their teammates are at the same distance from the source than they are. By teammates, I mean the left and right front speakers, these guys are a team because they tell you what is happening on the left, right and in some cases even straight ahead. So if one of these guys is closer to you than the other, not only would that channel be louder but you may get a false sense of reality because of the lop-sided stereo field and of course the same for the back speakers.

3. Think Photo Shoot.

If you think about the photographers, they always say that if you can't see them, they can't see you... well the camera at least. This is because something or someone might be in the line of sight and therefore you will not be in the photograph. Treat speakers the same way, if they are blocked by books, shelves, plants, curtains etc. These blockages cause the frequency response to change for the worse because the high frequencies are especially directional and could easily get lost bouncing around the room instead of shooting straight towards you.

In summary, make sure the TV is in a decent place in the middle of one of the walls (yes get the measuring tape); Make sure that the speakers are at equal distances from the TV so that you can get a perfect stereo field and avoid blocking the path between you and the speakers while pointing the speakers towards the main seating position so that the higher frequencies are not lost.

Next time, we will talk a bit about the components that make up the home theatre system.

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