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  1. #1
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    Audio Question Speaker Location in Regards to Height

    I have the exact same sound system in my bedroom as my living room, yet the sound in my "closed" in bedroom sounds alot better & more balanced then that of my open living room- obviously accoustics plays a role in this. What I was wondering though is, in my bedroom with the exception of the center speaker which for logistical purposes is 2 feet higher then the other 4 satellite speakers, the speakers are all roughly at the same height level while in my living room, the 3 front speakers are about 3' higher then the rear speakers. Listening from a couch, this translates to the rear speakers being about 1 foot lower then my ears & the front speakers being 2' higher then my ears. For various reasons which I don't wish to discuss here, SPL meters are no use to me whatsoever. Assuming the speakers were equal distance in actuality the front speakers are 9 feet away & the rear speakers 4 feet away), which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below? Should I decrease the DB's of the more dominent speakers or increase the db's of the less dominent ones? Will each produce the same result? Sorry if this sounds like a bad SAT question.

  2. #2
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    ...SPL meters are no use to me whatsoever.
    If that statement was even remotely true then you wouldn't be asking the question.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  3. #3
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I have the exact same sound system in my bedroom as my living room, yet the sound in my "closed" in bedroom sounds alot better & more balanced then that of my open living room- obviously accoustics plays a role in this. What I was wondering though is, in my bedroom with the exception of the center speaker which for logistical purposes is 2 feet higher then the other 4 satellite speakers, the speakers are all roughly at the same height level while in my living room, the 3 front speakers are about 3' higher then the rear speakers. Listening from a couch, this translates to the rear speakers being about 1 foot lower then my ears & the front speakers being 2' higher then my ears. For various reasons which I don't wish to discuss here, SPL meters are no use to me whatsoever. Assuming the speakers were equal distance in actuality the front speakers are 9 feet away & the rear speakers 4 feet away), which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below? Should I decrease the DB's of the more dominent speakers or increase the db's of the less dominent ones? Will each produce the same result? Sorry if this sounds like a bad SAT question.
    Your setup sounds off to me. Your front 3 should be as close to ear level as possible and your surrounds should be raised 12-18" or so above ear level. I had my surrounds at ear level for awhile and when I raised them about 18" above ear level it made a really big diff in sound.

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I have the exact same sound system in my bedroom as my living room, yet the sound in my "closed" in bedroom sounds alot better & more balanced then that of my open living room- obviously accoustics plays a role in this. What I was wondering though is, in my bedroom with the exception of the center speaker which for logistical purposes is 2 feet higher then the other 4 satellite speakers, the speakers are all roughly at the same height level while in my living room, the 3 front speakers are about 3' higher then the rear speakers. Listening from a couch, this translates to the rear speakers being about 1 foot lower then my ears & the front speakers being 2' higher then my ears. For various reasons which I don't wish to discuss here, SPL meters are no use to me whatsoever. Assuming the speakers were equal distance in actuality the front speakers are 9 feet away & the rear speakers 4 feet away), which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below? Should I decrease the DB's of the more dominent speakers or increase the db's of the less dominent ones? Will each produce the same result? Sorry if this sounds like a bad SAT question.
    They were setup with a SPL Meter right?
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I have the exact same sound system in my bedroom as my living room, yet the sound in my "closed" in bedroom sounds alot better & more balanced then that of my open living room- obviously accoustics plays a role in this. What I was wondering though is, in my bedroom with the exception of the center speaker which for logistical purposes is 2 feet higher then the other 4 satellite speakers, the speakers are all roughly at the same height level while in my living room, the 3 front speakers are about 3' higher then the rear speakers. Listening from a couch, this translates to the rear speakers being about 1 foot lower then my ears & the front speakers being 2' higher then my ears. For various reasons which I don't wish to discuss here, SPL meters are no use to me whatsoever. Assuming the speakers were equal distance in actuality the front speakers are 9 feet away & the rear speakers 4 feet away), which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below? Should I decrease the DB's of the more dominent speakers or increase the db's of the less dominent ones? Will each produce the same result? Sorry if this sounds like a bad SAT question.
    First, a SPL meter is essential in hometheater. Without it, this question is pretty useless.

    Secondly the fronts ideally should be at ear level, and the rears 2-3ft above the head at a seated position. Another school of thought advocates all speakers at ear level. If the fronts are higher than the rears, pans from front to back will drop in height as the pan moves rearward. This will completely jar your suspension of belief when watching a movie. Having the center speaker higher than the left/right speakers (without some tilt compensation) will cause pans the traverse across the front soundstage to jump as it passes through the center speaker.

    Your front speakers are your dominant speakers, as such they should not be firing over your head. Positioning them this way will alter not only the direct to reflect ratio, but will alter the tonal balance of the speaker as well.

    If your rear speakers are closer to the listening seat than the fronts, without compensation (delay) they will dominate the soundfield, even if volume is identical. Its closer distance will cause the signals to arrive at the ear first (precedent effect)
    Sir Terrence

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  6. #6
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    Duh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    If that statement was even remotely true then you wouldn't be asking the question. jc
    Let's see, that makes perfect sense, not, If a person feels that something isn't of use to them, then it must be true for them. I think, therefore I am, except for you. Are you trying to reinvent reality? Once again, instead of getting an answer to a question, I get a comment by a heathen that is both insulting & makes no sense. But since you asked, as I said before people do not have perfect hearing. Thus if someone hears more out of one ear then another, SPL readings will not reflect the correct balance for someone who's ears aren't perfectly balanced. I bet alot of people on this board, if they had their ears tested, would show different % of hearing losses/hearing unbalances, that they were not aware of & SPL readings therefore do not factor this in. Deal with it. Duh.

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    Sir Terrance Clarification Please

    The delay part is set on my receivers, no problem. My question for you based on your statement is, is there anything I can do to compensate for the front speakers being higher, like making the DB's higher or lower? If so, should the fronts be made higher DB's or decreased or should the rears be higher dbs or decreased or will this not make any difference in regards to what your saying? Thanks

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    Shokhead

    Originally I did use an SPL meter for my living room set up. Someone on this board actually helped me with this too. I did not like the results however, and after writing the SPL settings down, got better results for my ears, just using trial and error. Since then, I added the same Denon receiver for my bedroom. I set those levels up independently, again by trial and error.
    I noticed after a few months, that the sound was more balanced in the bedroom then the living room & am trying to make some adjustments for my living room set up. SPL readings will not help because, my hearing is stronger in one ear then another (which I learned from hearing tests) & therefore while these levels might be perfect to someone who's hears equally with both ears, they're not applicable to people with hearing unbalances. Alot of people have hearing unbalances but are not aware of this. SPL readings do not factor this in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Your setup sounds off to me. Your front 3 should be as close to ear level as possible and your surrounds should be raised 12-18" or so above ear level. I had my surrounds at ear level for awhile and when I raised them about 18" above ear level it made a really big diff in sound.
    Thanks for the info.

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Originally I did use an SPL meter for my living room set up. Someone on this board actually helped me with this too. I did not like the results however, and after writing the SPL settings down, got better results for my ears, just using trial and error. Since then, I added the same Denon receiver for my bedroom. I set those levels up independently, again by trial and error.
    I noticed after a few months, that the sound was more balanced in the bedroom then the living room & am trying to make some adjustments for my living room set up. SPL readings will not help because, my hearing is stronger in one ear then another (which I learned from hearing tests) & therefore while these levels might be perfect to someone who's hears equally with both ears, they're not applicable to people with hearing unbalances. Alot of people have hearing unbalances but are not aware of this. SPL readings do not factor this in.
    I would use the meter for the setup and then adjust accordingly.
    Look & Listen

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    The delay part is set on my receivers, no problem. My question for you based on your statement is, is there anything I can do to compensate for the front speakers being higher, like making the DB's higher or lower? If so, should the fronts be made higher DB's or decreased or should the rears be higher dbs or decreased or will this not make any difference in regards to what your saying? Thanks
    No there is nothing you can do except relocate the speakers at ear height. Having your front speakers above your head creates a longer, non direct path to the ear canal. This will caused the signal to be a little diffused and lacking in image clarity.
    Sir Terrence

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  12. #12
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    I think Terrence's answer is what you are looking for: volume and speaker placement are two different dynamics. Therefore, upping the volume won't correct the placement problem, nor would placement correct a volume problem. Ideally, you want all speakers on the same plane, but that is not always possible given room and furniture arrangements. If you've done all you can do as far as placement goes, then all that's left is to live with the effects of it. Altering volume won't fix a perceived or real imbalance in the soundfield.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, He's Right I'm going to buy 2 24" Stands Today at Circuit City

    Yeah, he's totally right & my stupidity is going to cost me $100. I previously had 2 excellent
    Omnimount 24" Speaker Stands but at the time when I bought them, don't ask, I only need to use 1 of them. So like a total idiot, instead of hilding on to the extra one, I sold it on Ebay for around $30 including shipping. I considered this found money at the time. Since then, I didn't need the other stand & kept it in my storage closet. Well, after reading Terrance's & other peoples reply, I put one of the front speakers on this stand (the rears are about 24" off the ground as well) & the sound was alot better & more balanced. So as I need one more stand & they only sell these at Circuit City in pairs for $100, I'm buying them this afternoon. At least I'm willing to spend money to correct a mistake not suffer out of principle. Thanks for everyones advice.

  14. #14
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Let's see, that makes perfect sense, not, If a person feels that something isn't of use to them, then it must be true for them. I think, therefore I am, except for you. Are you trying to reinvent reality? Once again, instead of getting an answer to a question, I get a comment by a heathen that is both insulting & makes no sense. But since you asked, as I said before people do not have perfect hearing. Thus if someone hears more out of one ear then another, SPL readings will not reflect the correct balance for someone who's ears aren't perfectly balanced. I bet alot of people on this board, if they had their ears tested, would show different % of hearing losses/hearing unbalances, that they were not aware of & SPL readings therefore do not factor this in. Deal with it. Duh.
    Hey Eddie! Remember writing "which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below?" ???

    If you had an SPL meter you wouldn't have had to ask the question would you??? Therefore, in the real world, you did have use for one. You remind me of an acquaintance who always says "I have no use for a car", and then he continually hits up everyone else for a ride. You see, in reality he does have a use for a car but prefers not have one. The irony hasn't caught up with him any faster than it has with you.

    Heathen??? Tell you what, find me someone else who says an SPL meter is useless to set up a theater. Until then you might want to check out the definition of heathen because I'm pretty sure you have no idea what it means.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Hey Eddie! Remember writing "which volume would be more dominent to the average persons ears, the speakers 2 feet above the ear level or 1 foot below?" ???

    If you had an SPL meter you wouldn't have had to ask the question would you??? Therefore, in the real world, you did have use for one. You remind me of an acquaintance who always says "I have no use for a car", and then he continually hits up everyone else for a ride. You see, in reality he does have a use for a car but prefers not have one. The irony hasn't caught up with him any faster than it has with you.

    Heathen??? Tell you what, find me someone else who says an SPL meter is useless to set up a theater. Until then you might want to check out the definition of heathen because I'm pretty sure you have no idea what it means.

    Regards,
    jc
    well said!

  16. #16
    I love beans orgasmdonor's Avatar
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    all i know is that i am hung like a bull-gnat. I do know that your front speakers r/l should be at ear level. Center channel does not need to be placed at ear level. The center speakers need to be pointed at your face. So if the center is placed too high to can put a book or something underneath it to angle the speaker towards you. The rears are supposed to be 3-4 feet above your ears. my rears speakers are at different levels. One is about three feet above me to my left and the right side is about two feet above my ear level..A guy has to experiment with the way he wants it..I used the mic setup for my receiver and had to tweek from there. Crossovers can be a pain to deal with also. with my room being 25ftx25ft ...My tv and stereo system is in one side of the room because I have a fireplace right in the middle so I have a hard time trying to perfect the system to my ears. It seeems like I adjust things everytime I put in a different cd because the recording varialbes are so different from one to another......rambling....time for another busch light

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