Do you want your surround sound and speaker positioning to be just right? Having your speakers in the correct positions and settings set up correctly is a MUST for optimal quality of sound. We apologize if some of this information is a little 'too basic' for you but we have to start out with and spell out the basics for some. Bare with us, the good bits are at the end. 

Getting the best audio quality from your equipment comes down to the quality and range of your gear. But a big, big factor is correct speaker positioning/placement and the settings of your speaker system. 

A surround sound system is popularly known as a 5.1 system. 5.1 stands for 5x speakers plus your sub-woofer (0.1). 5 x speakers are only useful if they are positioned in a circle around the listening position. Otherwise, you're best off to just have stereo speakers (2x speakers) and perhaps a subwoofer. This system would be known as 2.1 and is not what is typically referred to as a home theatre system. 

Speaker placement of a 2.1 system does not really matter as the art of speaker placement is for 5.1 systems or higher and takes into consideration room acoustics & correct placement of speakers. 




The speakers that need correct placement of a 5.1 system are:

  • The front left speaker
  • The front right speaker
  • The centre speaker
  • The rear left speaker
  • The rear right speaker
Note that the sub-woofer has no real requirement to be in any particular position. The positioning of a sub-woofer really can be where-ever you choose and can creatively put it. Some ideas include, beside the tv cabinet, in the tv cabinet itself, in rear corner behind the lounge, under/in/built-in the coffee table & under or built-in the lounge/seating. 
The sub-woofer's job is the low sound frequencies (the bass), the thumping noises. The properties of low bass frequencies is that it travels very, very well and is not very directional that's why sub woofer positioning is of very low priority compared with the other speakers. 

The speakers that need positioning on a 7.1 system are:

  • The front left speaker
  • The front right speaker
  • The rear right speaker
  • The rear left speaker
  • Centre Speaker
  • The surround back left speaker
  • The surround back right speaker
In a 6.1 system, The surround back left & right speakers are replaced with just one - the 'surround back centre speaker'. 
Left & right is the most critical and often confused positioning of speaker positioning. And, despite Chinese manuals and instruction books - (have it around the wrong way!)
  • Left speakers go on the left
  • Right speakers go on the right 
If this is around the wrong way - your audio quality is going to suffer. 



How many speakers should I setup if I don't intend on having speakers at the back?

We would suggest that if you are going to have all your speakers at the front position, you only need your centre, left, right and subwoofer. (leave the surround speakers unplugged). 

But won't that not give me the full spetrum of sound I hear you asking? 

Not if you have the amplifier on "Stereo", or "Direct" (which it might as well be by having all your speakers at the front anyway). 

HINT: If you are not having speakers at the back, having surround sound is useless!

What settings should you have for your amplifier? 

This one is a big question. To simplify and generalise hundreds of different models and brands your basics are as follows:

You will get the best sound by having the correct settings as follows: Unfortunately we cannot give you instructions on each and every single brand and model number of amplifier on the market. Look up your manual and have a go; otherwise you can always call us but here is what you're looking for. 

CHANNEL ADJUST - set the volume of each individual speaker to improve your audio quality - more often than not the surround sound speakers are TOO LOW - perform what's known as a TEST TONE to see just how soft/loud each speaker is

Surround Sound Setting - set to DOLBY / PLII / Pro Logic  - this will ensure the correct sounds are coming out of each speaker. You do not want to hear everything coming from each and every speaker. You want to hear the talking (dialogue) from your centre speaker ONLY. The clapping and background noises e.g from your surround speakers ONLY etc

Speaker Size and distance - is of next importance. Set this as accurate as you can . 

Do not use AUTO CALIBRATION MICs! - If you have no clue what-so-ever it can at times be best to leave your amplifier's settings at factory default. Those cheap chinese made mics often do more harm than good in terms of improvement of the audio quality. 


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