Sound bods will argue that speaker placement is largely subjective, like music and film in general. This however is rarely the case. Few film fanatics prefer to crank up their treble or boost their bass levels when watching a particular genre. A smooth, consistent sound is what home cinema owners should be after, so it's wise to rely on tricks of the trade when producing one of your own.
Mid-price sets from the likes of Marantz will commonly consist of six key elements, so here's a guide based on this particular model.
First, identify your central speaker and place it directly below or slightly to the side of your TV set. Its function is to deliver dialogue and other key sound channels, so you'll need to make sure that everything comes out loud and clear. Ensure that it isn't obstructing your view of the screen, but try to direct it towards where you're likely to be sitting.
Left and right
Your set should also include two front left and right speakers. These are designed to assist the central speaker during certain scenes, but they're mainly used to pan sound effects around your theatre. So, position the left and right speakers either side of your centre speaker around half a metre away from the screen itself. This formation should resemble an arc and give you all you need from the front.
Left and right surround
You might also have two miniature left and right speakers to place. These will provide you with surround, blocking you into four walls of effects. Surround speakers should be placed high enough to rebound off the room itself, rather than facing your ears (you'll understand why after a couple of loud action films!). So, through the use of a stand or wall mount, line your speakers up with your ears whilst standing — allowing the sound to fill the space. Both speakers should be facing the screen; positioned around a metre away from the left and right of your seats.
You can afford to be a little more carefree with a subwoofer. The reason for is that a powerful unit will have no problem dispersing its tones throughout the room. Placing it in a corner will enhance its booming qualities, positioning it away from a room boundary will reduce its output. The choice is yours, so you can afford to experiment a little.
On a final note, be sure to remove any coffee tables or solid objects likely to block sound waves. You've spent enough on your set; let it perform at optimum levels."
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