If you really like movies or want to enjoy Netflix or HBO series properly, it is very possible that you have considered installing a Home Cinema in your home. And with Home Cinema we don’t just mean a dedicated room like the one you can see in the image above.
In reality, the vast majority of us do not have the space or the necessary budget to set up this type of room. But we can equip our living room or recreation room with a speaker system and an AV receiver.
Once you have chosen the speakers and the AV receiver (a difficult decision and for which we recommend you read a lot in forums and specialized sites), it is time to place them at home.
But do you know exactly how the speakers should be placed to have a good home theater? We are going to tell you how to correctly place the speakers of our Home Cinema.
We will do it according to the instructions given by Dolby laboratories, which know about this for a while. In addition, we are not going to limit ourselves to the usual 5.1, since there are currently many who want to enjoy Dolby Atmos technology .
5.1 Speaker System
We start with the classic system, made up of 5.1 channels. That is, we have two front speakers, a center speaker and two rear speakers. We also have a subwoofer.
With the center speaker there is no doubt, it should be right in the center of the listening point. The left and right speakers should be equidistant from both the screen and the listening point.
In addition, they must be oriented towards the listening point, which will mean that we must put them slightly askew.
As for the rear speakers , we must place them behind the viewer, at an angle of between 90 and 110 degrees . Always orienting them towards the main listening area.
Finally we have the subwoofer or bass speaker. Since the bass moves in all directions, the angle and placement of the subwoofer is much more flexible. The only thing we should avoid is placing it in a corner, as this can spoil the acoustics.
7.1 Speaker System
Although less common, many are already opting for a 7.1 speaker system. That is, to the usual 5.1 we are going to add two more surround speakers.
The correct placement of the speakers in a Home Theater with 7.1 channels is as follows. On the front we will have the same arrangement mentioned before. However, at the rear we will have changes.
On one side we will put two speakers that, ideally, will be horizontal (at 90 degrees) to the listening position. This angle can increase up to 110 degrees, but not more. We will also have two speakers located behind the listening position, between 135º and 150º.
5.1.2 Speaker System
If you want to expand your system and try the Dolby Atmos sound system, you will need height speakers. Although there are more “comfortable” options, such as placing height speakers on the front ones, the effect that we will achieve will not be the best.
The ideal is to put at least one pair of speakers on the ceiling. Thus, the simplest system that we can mount for Dolby Atmos is 5.1.2.
The location of the speakers of the 5.1 system will be the same as we have seen before. But we will add two speakers placed on the ceiling. These should be in line with the front speakers and slightly forward of the listening position (1).
5.1.4 Speaker System
Although with two height speakers we will be able to have Dolby Atmos sound, all experts assure that the ideal way to enjoy this new system is to place four units on the ceiling.
It is not a Home Cinema installation that many can do, but if this is your case, we will tell you how to place the speakers.
The center trio and surround speakers will remain in the same position. We will place two of the Atmos speakers as we have commented in the previous section, but slightly more separated. And the two additional Atmos speakers must be placed in line with the other two and behind the listening position.
If possible with the same separation that we put in the Atmos speakers in the front position.
7.1.2 Speaker System
From here, and as long as we have the budget for a very high-end AV receiver and room for speakers, we can pretty much build any system we can think of. For example, one of the most complete Home Cinemas would be the one made up of 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 channels .
That is, we would combine a 7.1-channel system, with side surround speakers, with the height speakers . But beware, because to mount a 7.1.2 system we are going to need a receiver capable of amplifying 9 channels. Or, a 7.1 receiver to which we will add a second amplifier.
The Atmos speakers will be placed in the same position as we have discussed with the 5.1.2 and 5.1.4 systems.
9.1.4 Speaker System
If we have a dedicated room, a very large room or a very high budget to invest in our Home Cinema, you can set up a system with 9.1.4 channels . As you can imagine, the way to achieve this will be to place more surround speakers around the listening position.
To the 7.1.4 system we will add two speakers located between 50 and 70 degrees from the main listening position . That is, we will surround the viewer with speakers. But beware, because we are going to need a system capable of amplifying no less than 13 channels.
To all the commented sets we can add a second subwoofer . For example, the 5.1.4 system will become a 5.2.4 if we add other subwoofers.
The combinations that we have discussed are not, far from it, the only ones available. We can use configurations with two speakers, three speakers (2 front and one center) and practically any configuration that comes to mind.
If you have an “atypical” configuration, we recommend you go to the Dolby website and take a look at the correct arrangement of the speakers of your Home Cinema. There you can find almost any combination you can think of.