What You Need to Know About Surround Sound Setup

Surround sound is the dream of every film and television enthusiast, and is one of the final pieces of equipment needed to transform living rooms, dens, man caves and she sheds into the pinnacle of home theater bliss. Once you get your hands on it, all those speakers and wires can make anyone feel nervous. Here are a few tips to help you with proper placement so you’ll get the best sound every time.

Size Matters

It seems obvious that larger speakers provide a bigger sound. The key to a good Surround Sound arrangement is knowing where to place them. A typical setup includes a number of speakers in different sizes.

  • Front: Usually the largest conventional speakers, come in pairs
  • Surround/rear: Smaller for easier placement, 5.1 systems use 2 while 7.1 arrangements use 4
  • Subwoofer: Provides bass levels, can have a single or multiple units
  • Center channel: Smaller, front speaker sitting directly under or above the TV
  • Wireless: Can be any of the above, but very useful for surround speakers

Front speakers need to be larger because viewing occurs at a good distance from the TV and these need more projection. Surround speakers can be smaller smaller since their placement is closer to seating areas and doesn’t need to travel as far.

Perfect Placement

The best way to arrange a home theater setup is to have every speaker pointed towards the main seating area. Sit front speakers next to the television angled towards your couch, while the main subwoofer and center channel equipment should face straight ahead.

Surround speakers should be located to the left and right of the couch, and slightly behind if possible. Place these at an angle as well to maximize sound convergence.

When setting up a Surround Sound system, remember that speaker size and location will determine how much you enjoy the experience. Taking that extra time to make sure the sound from your speakers all converge on the couch will ensure viewers really feel like part of the show!

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