Arranging Furniture and Speakers for Optimum Surround Sound

Optimum Surround Sound
The shape of your room, location of your surround sound speakers and the size and quantity of your furniture help determine how to arrange your seating. Surround sound speakers must be in specific positions to offer the best sound experience. Since speaker placement matters, it’s important to orient your furniture in a way that allows you to enjoy the true quality of your sound equipment while still having a clear view of your television.

For L-shaped, square and open floor plans, place the furniture facing toward the television. Make sure the television and the seating area are separated by a distance of no more than five to eight times the height of the television screen. For instance, if your television screen is 36 inches high, arrange your seating no more than 15 to 24 feet from the television.

Center your furniture between the surround sound speakers. Ensure the speakers are located to the left and right of your seating area on the rear wall, on the ceiling or in the corners. Mount speakers on adjustable brackets to position them for the best sound experience.

Leave enough room on the nearest wall between the television and your furniture for a subwoofer. Place the subwoofer about halfway along the wall between your television and your seating area. Position it away from the wall — approximately 4 to 6 inches — to achieve the best sound. Place the subwoofer behind a piece of furniture if necessary.
When your television is located in the corner of the room, place your sofa or other furniture in front of the wall that allows you the best view of the television. Center the furniture in front of the television at a comfortable viewing distance.

Position your seating in a way that allows the surround speakers to be on each side. For instance, the seating could be oriented where one surround speaker is on the rear wall to the right or left of your furniture. Then, the other surround speaker could be on the side wall to the right or left of your furniture — whichever position places the speaker the greatest distance from the speaker on the rear wall.

Move the furniture away from the wall if you need to place the subwoofer behind your furniture. If you have open wall space, place the subwoofer a few inches from the corner of the room that’s directly to the left or right of the television. Choose the corner closest to the television for optimal sound.

Remember, these are only suggestions. The shape of your room and its acoustics can make a dramatic difference in the results of the surround sound delivery. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture positions and speaker placement to achieve the best possible surround sound and viewing experience.

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