Home Theater Speaker Placement and Optimizing the Best Speaker Replacement according to your Room Acoustics

Home theater speaker placement is a common issue in any home theater. If you are considering your options on this topic we have some helpful tips to help bring you to a decision.

Home Theater picture 2010

Speaker placement is a somewhat subjective topic, but it is not rocket science. When making a decision on speaker placement it is important to know the facts.

1. You cannot make a fool out of physics and science in the home theater listening room. Certain room positioning of speakers will yield better results than others. Sometimes major increases in realism are realized with very small movements of the loudspeakers.

2. Room placement is subjective only because your ears are the only ears that matter.(or your families ears) No one cares about the sound in your room like you do… Not the salesman, or the installer. So, ultimately it will be up to you to get the best speaker placement for your room.

3. Room measurements are very useful, but will not be the major determining factor to set the final speaker locations. You the customer always set the final locations.

Room modes can be measured so that you are aware of where they are and can work around them as much as possible.

Questions about Speaker installation and Speaker Placement Home Theatre:

Visual Appeal- pick which description best explains how you feel about Home Theater and the overall visual impact you wish to experience.

Which of the following Statements Describe Your thoughts about Speaker Installation?

1. Do not want to see loudspeakers, cabling, or equipment at all while watching a movie in the room. All I want to see is the screen the movie is playing on. While the lights are on I want it to look like a well decorated room with a large screen in it. No other equipment visible.

2. I want the absolute highest quality audio and video experience. I can turn off the lights if I don’t want to see the gear. I do not mind having lots of nice equipment in my room if it means the audio experience will be better.

3. I would like a balanced between the two options above. I don’t mind seeing some equipment in my room. However, I would like to keep the cabling and some of the ugly components out of sight.

Audio Attributes or What Home Theater Acoustics will be affected by the Locations I Choose?

Decide what is most important to you concerning the audio of your system.

If you are thinking “I want it to sound good.” These may not be the right descriptions for us to assist you on the best home theater speaker placement.

1. Imaging

2. Sound-stage width

3. Sound-stage depth

4. Dynamics

5. Slam

6. Definition

7. Musical

What Audio Qualities will Suffer the Most?

1. It is an unfortunate fact that in-wall and on-wall speaker systems CANNOT imitate an excellent set of floor standing speakers in all areas.

2. Imaging, sound-stage depth, width, and height all depend partially on (air) space around the loudspeaker. There are other factors as well discussed in this article. If you put the speakers in a wall or flush with the wall these qualities of sound WILL suffer.

3. A limited degree of imaging and sound-staging can be achieved with in wall speakers and on wall speakers – Stereo Speakers page.

These qualities will be truncated without proper home theater speaker placement though.

This is not to say that a theater experience cannot be pleasing if built this way. I am only saying it CANNOT be as good in those areas.

What Sound Qualities will On Wall Speakers and In Wall Speakers Maintain?

1.  Dynamics

2. Slam

3. Definition

4. To some extent they can also be musical. Tonal quality can exist accurately.

What Qualities will be sacrificed by Using On Wall and In Wall Speakers?

1.  Imaging

2. Sound-stage width

3. Sound-stage depth



Getting the right home theater speaker placement is vital to the overall performance in your home theater. In addition, where and how your equipment is installed can affect the performance as well.

You need to know what your goals are and the compromises you are willing to make to achieve satisfactory performance.

Many decisions regarding Speaker Placement can have a negative affect on the performance. Know the ‘how and why’ you locate your gear in a specific place in your theater or stereo speakers listening room.

You should expect exceptional results IF you take the time to install your equipment so that it can operate most efficiently and effectively.

Looking for more articles about audio and home theater speaker placement? click here for Home Theater Acoustics.

Other Related Articles:

Speaker Placement Part 2: Home Theater Speaker Setup
Speaker Placement Part 3: Home Theater Speaker Locations
Speaker Placement Part 4: Center Channels and home theater speaker setup

The Best Speaker Placement Home Theatre Locations for your Home Theater Speakers

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