Rear surround placement help [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-14-2006, 02:18 AM
I'm in the process of setting up my 5.1 system, and realized I don't have enough room to have the rear surround speakers more than a few inches or so behind the listening position. Will this adversely affect the sound, specifically for watching movies? As far as I am to understand, optimal rear surround placement is a few feet behind the listener and a few feet above the ground, to accurately reproduce 5.1 surround.

Any advice/experience would be appreciated. I don't have many options as far as space, the distance between the couch and the TV is very small, I could set the speakers high on the wall and angle downwards, the only other option would be to move the entire setup to a larger room in my house, which would be a last resort.

04-14-2006, 05:51 AM
That setup is fine as long as the rears are high enough.

04-14-2006, 06:03 AM
I don't see anything wrong with your setup. Your surrounds should be about 2' or so above ear level and slighty behind the sweet spot. Whether they are slightly toed in or facing each other is up your likes. You should experiment with placement. Here's a diagram for you:

In my bedroom system, my surrounds are about 2' above ear level and slightly behind the sweet spot pointing directly at each other.

Here's an article on placement:

04-14-2006, 10:48 AM
One more vote of confidence. Looks good, exactly like my set up, more or less. Experiment with pointing the rears a little toward the front of the room until you get the ambience and effects from the rears that you like best.

04-14-2006, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the info, I think I'll experiment with placing the rears a couple inches above and facing angled center, and also a couple feet above and more of a downward angle. My primary concern is accurately reproducing the surround effects as intended by the movie, so we'll see how it sounds after a couple films each way.



04-14-2006, 11:51 AM
There probably won't be any need to angle them downward. Just make sure they are at least ear level, if not a few inches above ear level.

04-14-2006, 12:29 PM
unfortunately one thing I forgot to add in the diagram was a door that is right next to the couch, so I am limited in where I can place the speaker:

1. place it high above the door
2. behind the door when it is closed
3. right above the couch, only a few inches from my ear.

04-14-2006, 12:29 PM

Your rears look fine,but there is a couple of things you can do.First make sure your surrounds are facing beach other directly and make sure your couch is at least a few inches from the back wall,this will aid with reflected sound from the back wall.Second your diagram does not show a center speaker and shows your fronts on either side of your television.Your front sound will improve if you pull the speakers a little bit out into the room and get them away from boundries.


04-14-2006, 12:31 PM
My rears are next to me,thats where BM/speaker setup comes in handy.

04-14-2006, 12:45 PM
Updated the diagram to show the center - thanks musicman.

pulling the couch far away from the wall isnt really an option, because there is only about 5 feet between my head and the TV (36") with the couch at its current position, and its uncomfortable to be much closer. I could probably do 3-4 inches away at max.

Is the height of the surrounds very important, ie if I have them a couple inches above the couch vs a couple feet?

04-14-2006, 01:03 PM

every little bit should help.Is there any way your room could be set up on the long axis?My surrounds are on stands at ear height and this has always worked well for me,but to be fair i have never had them up high as they weigh about 20 lbs each and i never wanted togo through the trouble.What do you have for front speakers?


04-14-2006, 01:17 PM
i can't set it up lengthwise due to the closet on one side of the room, and the door on the other. The couch and TV/speakers would block both of these doors. For the the front I am goin to use either a pair of Klipsch SF-1s of Infinity RS-4's, I have to listen a bit and see which matches better in the room, though the speakers are very closly matched in terms of size and music reproduction, with Klipsch having a little edge over the infinity in larger rooms.

My surrounds that I would likely use are Klipsch and are fairly light and wall mountable, so placing them high up wouldnt be a problem.

04-22-2006, 01:14 AM
I think anything will work with what you have with exception to facing the speakers towards each other, which I never understood why that would be recommended. Anyone who knows the basics of soundwaves knows that the sound cancels out.