surround speaker placement [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-27-2007, 01:13 PM
I am currently building a new home and am going to pre-wire my house for the speakers. I am having trouble deciding where to put my surround (in wall) speakers. The stairs come up along the back wall and in order for me to put the surrounds backer there one speaker would be around 3 feel farther back then the other. How bad would that be for the sound. My other option is to put the speaker into ceiling. Would the ceiling be a poor spot for surrond speakers. My last option would be to put the speakers on the side walls, however I do not think I could get my speakers in the wall on one of the sides and would have to use mounted surround speakers. Any advise or opionions would be great. Thank You

01-27-2007, 02:22 PM
If you could draw us a diagram it would be more helpful though you did a decent job of describing areas to choose from.
Ceiling speakers seem to be a hit or miss affair. If you do decide to use them make sure they are just a bit back from where the sitting area is. Some do not like the sound "coming down at them" and there may be problems with the sound dropping off as you move out of the signal area. If you decide to go with them buy the best you can afford and since it is a new build you may be able to "box" them in...use support from where you get them or perhaps here to box them properly. I am considering this as well due to placement limitations but am not yet willing hehehe.

In wall speakers would work better for surrounds opposed to in ceiling and again as a new build you would have the ability to box them in properly. Again buy the best you can afford.

Using the back wall you describe may not be too bad depending on the receiver/pre-amp/etc. ability to balance the sound. Use the varied noise signals, white/pink etc. on your receiver or a calibration cd and an spl meter to try it out. Worst case would be to wire it up for that use for a last resort as it will be impossible to calibrate until there are walls etc. lol. Three feet difference may not be bad as a last resort.

A diagram of some sort would help immensely.
Good luck and keep us informed.

Mr Peabody
01-27-2007, 06:26 PM
The back wall would be my last choice. Processors have time delay but I don't think they offer left/right independent settings. 3 feet is enough difference to make an audible difference, especially with one being back and sound going up the stairs. Oddly enough, the last time I went to Dolby's website they still show rear speakers firing at each other. So I'd go with the side wall, even if you had to mount, use a shelf, or just use speaker stands.

The Tahitijack
01-29-2007, 07:39 AM
Is it possible to hang small "box speakers" from the ceiling using a speaker mount? Angle them forward toward the screen and seating area.

01-29-2007, 09:09 AM
Yes that it totally an acceptable way of doing it. One of my buddies has a set up with his rear speakers hanging from ceiling mounts and still sound very good. Definately a better option than putting a sepaker over by the stair case.

01-29-2007, 09:53 AM
thanks for your help men. I allready have a really nice pair of in wall speakers, that is why I am trying to find a way to make them work. I do not really want to have to buy another pair of speakers if I do not have to.

01-29-2007, 07:37 PM
Forget about ceiling speakers. The dispersion pattern and the alignment create a total mismatch with the front speakers if you plan to use regular speakers up front. The tonal imbalances will be noticeable and it will mess up any imaging cues that might come from the surround channels. Ideally, you want the sound properties from the front speakers to match as closely as possible with the surrounds. Of all the ceiling speakers I've listened to, I've yet to hear a single pair that can stand up to a conventional bookshelf speaker of the same (or even considerably lower) price. So, if you use decent speakers up front, ceiling mounted speakers will never come close to giving you a decent match all around.

If you absolutely have to do the wall-mounted approach, I would suggest looking into ceiling brackets. Those will drop the speakers down so that they point towards the side walls rather than straight down.

The reference standard for surround speaker placement is 110 degrees off-center (see diagram below). Dolby also recommends pointing the surround speakers directly at one another (NOT pointing them towards the front wall from the back) and mounting them about 2' above ear level if the speakers will be used for both movies and multichannel music. This is the alignment that you should start with, and then tinker with it to fit with your preferences. Starting with ceiling speakers pointing straight down is not the way to go if you place any priority on audio performance.

01-29-2007, 08:13 PM
Hey Woo, how about the Axiom QS8 rears I love the design of those things.

02-11-2007, 09:28 PM
In creating a surround sound, it is important to place the speakers in all corners of the room.

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