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  1. #1
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    Where do you have your rear speakers set up by your ears

    This is probably more applicable to satellite speakers but maybe bookshelf & biggers speakers are relevant to this too. Out of curiosity, where are your rear speakers set up in relation to your ears from your sitting listening position (my front speakers are set up around 6" above ear level) . My 2 satellite rears are to the left & right of couch on end tables & are both on a 3" art deco object, I use as stands for purely cosmetic reasons. The speakers are about a foot under my ears (they are above my sofas arms). I realise ideally they should be parallel to my ears, but am I sacrificing anything really in Cd sound, DVD sound or TV sound? The reason I'm asking the question is as I said previously I'm moving & I packed my end tables I was watching TV with the speakers on the top of couch- are ear level. I noticed for at least one TV program I watched, the sound dialogue was more immediate at the ear level then when I as an experiment put the speakers on the sofas arms- a foot or so below my ears, where the dialogue sounded more muffled. Curious to see what you people prefer, I may follow your advice. Thanks

  2. #2
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    I don't really adhear to any of the old hifi tales in many regards. I put the speakers where i can in a room design, but I tend to focus them like you would a light with horizontal and vertical angle, same as I'd do in a recording control room or a HiQ PA system; works for me. Keep all the driver allignments at optimum, and on axis if possible. any variance for me would have to be for some other reason.

    I don't have the space or desire to go for ear level. My speakers are over 5' up, but angled toward my listening position, just like any studio I've ever been in. My subs are optimally placed together on the floor in the center between the LR. I find focus is key to really hone in on the sweet spot. I must also say that in my case form follows function. My room won't be in better homes and gardens anytime soon, but it makes a fantastic noise.
    Last edited by mixadude; 07-09-2005 at 10:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    After much experimentation I settled on 6" behind and 18" above ear level in the primary listening position for my bookshelf surrounds. This is the only position I could use that combined sound quality with WAF favorably. The result is quite pleasant. Plenty of time spent with Avia and other sources and SPL meter and tape measure getting things dialed in.

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Ear level,same height as the fronts. Left is 6ft from me and the right is 7ft and both just past my head, less then a foot.


    LF C RF sub
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    LS me RS
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  5. #5
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixadude
    I don't really adhear to any of the old hifi tales in many regards. I put the speakers where i can in a room design, but I tend to focus them like you would a light with horizontal and vertical angle, same as I'd do in a recording control room or a HiQ PA system; works for me. Keep all the driver allignments at optimum, and on axis if possible. any variance for me would have to be for some other reason.
    Unfortunately the job of the rear speakers in a hometheater are not the same as the front speakers in a control room. In the control room you have to position the speakers where you get the flattest response at the ears. That would mean that the speakers center axis would have to be right at ear level. This assures that you hear every nuance and detail in the mix. For the rear speakers of a surround system, you do not want this kind of directional accuity. The rear speakers of a surround sound system should NOT be as directional sounding as the front speakers of a recording studio, which means they should not be aimed downwards at the listening position. This can cause the "stereo in the head" phenomina that is the antithesis to a good surroundfield. For optimum listening the surrounds should be set at 110 degrees from center, 2-3ft above the listening position, and facing each other. This setup is conducive to getting good phantom images between channels, and good sidewall imaging between the fronts and rears.

    I don't have the space or desire to go for ear level. My speakers are over 5' up, but angled toward my listening position, just like any studio I've ever been in. My subs are optimally placed together on the floor in the center between the LR. I find focus is key to really hone in on the sweet spot. I must also say that in my case form follows function. My room won't be in better homes and gardens anytime soon, but it makes a fantastic noise.
    The worst place in the world to locate a sub is in the center of the room which is the lowest pressure zone in the room. Generally subs measure poorly in this position without the benefit of eq, and require considerably more power to achieve X volume level. Every good acoustitian would tell you to locate your sub(s) in a high pressure zone, which means in the corners of the room, or close to any wall if that position is unavailable.

    The only time I ever position the subs in the center of the room is when I use multiple big driver systems behind large baffles, with a huge amounts of power, and eq to flatten their response.
    Sir Terrence

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  6. #6
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    Sorry, didn't mean to give the impression my subs ( 2 Rythmik Audio DirectServos in 2.2 cu ft sealed boxes of 1" mdf ) were in the middle of the room. They're against the wall in the middle of the wall on the concrete carpeted floor, basically in 1/4 space, and I use a BFD for parametric EQ applied using Smaart Live 4.5 for FFT analysis. a couple of large heavy wood desks with computers occupy the corners. They do quite nicely in my 13.5' x 17.5' room.

    I agree and actually would state it as fact that in the middle of a room would be a horrible placemant for subs, btw. One would need some serious baffling or a steerable array or just a huge frontal with lotsa drivers to achieve anywhere close to 20 Hz. Kinda like at outdoor venues

    Also interestingly, my surrounds (AR-3a) are focused slightly away from the listening position, probably could have been clearer here as well. Actually I'm considering a second pair of AR-3as for a more dispersed surround field. Any thoughts on that?
    Last edited by mixadude; 07-10-2005 at 07:51 PM.

  7. #7
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    Rears

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    This is probably more applicable to satellite speakers but maybe bookshelf & biggers speakers are relevant to this too. Out of curiosity, where are your rear speakers set up in relation to your ears from your sitting listening position (my front speakers are set up around 6" above ear level) . My 2 satellite rears are to the left & right of couch on end tables & are both on a 3" art deco object, I use as stands for purely cosmetic reasons. The speakers are about a foot under my ears (they are above my sofas arms). I realise ideally they should be parallel to my ears, but am I sacrificing anything really in Cd sound, DVD sound or TV sound? The reason I'm asking the question is as I said previously I'm moving & I packed my end tables I was watching TV with the speakers on the top of couch- are ear level. I noticed for at least one TV program I watched, the sound dialogue was more immediate at the ear level then when I as an experiment put the speakers on the sofas arms- a foot or so below my ears, where the dialogue sounded more muffled. Curious to see what you people prefer, I may follow your advice. Thanks
    Mine are on each side of my main viewing seat about 3ft above my ears when seated. The rear surround is also 3ft above ears and is in the middle of the back wall about 5ft behind me, sounds great

  8. #8
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Unfortunately the job of the rear speakers in a hometheater are not the same as the front speakers in a control room. In the control room you have to position the speakers where you get the flattest response at the ears. That would mean that the speakers center axis would have to be right at ear level. This assures that you hear every nuance and detail in the mix. For the rear speakers of a surround system, you do not want this kind of directional accuity. The rear speakers of a surround sound system should NOT be as directional sounding as the front speakers of a recording studio, which means they should not be aimed downwards at the listening position. This can cause the "stereo in the head" phenomina that is the antithesis to a good surroundfield. For optimum listening the surrounds should be set at 110 degrees from center, 2-3ft above the listening position, and facing each other. This setup is conducive to getting good phantom images between channels, and good sidewall imaging between the fronts and rears.




    The worst place in the world to locate a sub is in the center of the room which is the lowest pressure zone in the room. Generally subs measure poorly in this position without the benefit of eq, and require considerably more power to achieve X volume level. Every good acoustitian would tell you to locate your sub(s) in a high pressure zone, which means in the corners of the room, or close to any wall if that position is unavailable.

    The only time I ever position the subs in the center of the room is when I use multiple big driver systems behind large baffles, with a huge amounts of power, and eq to flatten their response.
    Not to question Terrence's response, cause I know he is more qualifiled than I in this area. But I still feel it is up to each person personal taste on the placement of the rear speackers. I have had mine mounted on the side facing each other and mounted on the rear wall 7' up angled about 20 degree down and 35 degree towards the middle listening area. I perfer the rear location for my taste and have read that this position is a option according to Dolby. As in theaters they also have speakers mounted on the sides and rear position.

    In closing I would say try each position and judge for yourself. I may add that I use Direct firing speakers compared to Terrence's bipolar rears. That adds a whole other element to the placement of your rears also.
    HT
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  9. #9
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    Oh my, it seems as I didn't read the original question carefully enough. The question was about rear speakers in the first place! Sorry, my bad.

    Now that I botched that all up, I don't notice much if any appreciable dialog out of the rears. Mostly music and FX, ambiance and such. Like i believe Sir Terrance alluded to, I think the rears should more be creating the ambient space most of the time. I usually find myself turning them down just enough so that in a nicely laid bed they're almost noticeable. Then when a guitar solo or something kicks in, it's readily apparent in the rears (if mixed that way) along with late verb and such from other instruments. I'm seriously considering using 2 pairs of matched surrounds, with the pair farther back on a separate delay. Might prove interesting in expanding the apparent size of my small room.

    As for dialog, I like most of it coming from the center channel (where I believe most of it is meant to come from), and I have made considerable effort to ensure that my Infinity Beta C360 and my subs are coherent in achieving a huge mono image. I actually marvel at the impressive depth that that system achieves when playing mono source material.

    I have also taken considerable steps to ensure that my L/R mains (old Pioneer DSS-9s)match the center in timbre, presence, and response. It's not easy to match a different LCR combination.

    Anyhow, sorry for the confusion. Hope maybe a little of this epistle helps.

    Gene
    Last edited by mixadude; 07-10-2005 at 09:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    My surrounds are at ear level. The surrounds back are ~12" above ear level.

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone
    Not to question Terrence's response, cause I know he is more qualifiled than I in this area. But I still feel it is up to each person personal taste on the placement of the rear speackers. I have had mine mounted on the side facing each other and mounted on the rear wall 7' up angled about 20 degree down and 35 degree towards the middle listening area. I perfer the rear location for my taste and have read that this position is a option according to Dolby. As in theaters they also have speakers mounted on the sides and rear position.

    In closing I would say try each position and judge for yourself. I may add that I use Direct firing speakers compared to Terrence's bipolar rears. That adds a whole other element to the placement of your rears also.
    Recoveryone,

    When someone asks what the correct placement, or where do you place your surrounds, my first answer would be the industry accepted position, not what my personal taste would be. My personal taste may not be appropriate for all, but the correct placement is.

    I would not have ever recommended back wall placement, because I know it doesn't work as well with the ears as side placement does. While theaters have speakers on the side AND rear walls, the dominate sound comes from the side wall. While this may be an option that Dolby lists on their website, that list is for people who must make compromises in their setup.

    Whether you use bipolar, dipolar, or direct radiators, the side wall is the preferred position. Dipoles should be placed to the sides of the listening area Bipoles and direct radiators should be placed to the sides and slightly behind the listening position. That is what is recommended and how I would respond to this question.

    In the end, you are right, it is a matter of taste.
    Sir Terrence

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  12. #12
    DIYaudiophilehack
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    Amen to the "stereo in the head" comment by SirT. When I first tried doing surrounds in a 5.1 system I had them at ear level directly to the sides of the primary position aimed right at the head equidistant from me. What a horrible soundfield this creates. It completely destroys any of the original intent of the surround content and creates an annoying sensation in the ears like sudden pressure drop/increase.

    Due to the nature of the design that my Polk Rti6's employ, they are mounted to the sidewalls and fire directly at each other above and behind my head. This creates a phantom rear center image that allows some effects to pass right through the listener when panned from front to rear. Miles ahead of my first attempts.

  13. #13
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    My rears are the way you had yours and i've never had that problem. Odd.
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