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Rear speaker wall mount height

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mike*Williams, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    Hello,

    Just wondering people's thoughts on the best height for speaker mounting on the wall for rears. This is a pretty standard living room setup with a couch and a couple of armchairs (nothing with realy high backs). I've always "heard" that the rears are best just above ear level (ear level when seated), but I'm wondering what people's experiences are. I'm thinking around 6' up but even considering up to 7' so that people don't bump their head if they walk by/under it. I don't want to go much higher than 7' as then the speakers will have to angled so far down I think it'll ruin things.

    TIA,
    Mike W.
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Well-Known Member

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  3. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    Thanks for the link!

    Mike W.
     
  4. John Doh

    John Doh Well-Known Member

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    Dolby Surround says 2-3 feet above your head, it has a diagram that shows it.
     
  5. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    Yeah.... I'm assuming that's 2-3 feet above ear height when sitting.

    I think I'm all setup...... now I just have to get the wiring people to come and run the wires for the rears (I would do myself, but it's a long story)

    Mike W.
     
  6. John Doh

    John Doh Well-Known Member

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    Yea, it's sitting. I just used this guide to install my JBL surrounds two nights ago. They really sound great up there. I have the JBL S36II's which are roughly 10" tall, and I mounted the bottom of the speaker exactly 70" off the floor, so they centerline of the speaker is right at 75".
     
  7. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    Did you mount your speakers on the rear wall or on the side walls as the Dolby link above shows? I'm in a position where I have to mount them on the rear wall. If you mounted yours on the rear wall, did you rotate/tilt your speakers towards the sweet spot or did you leave them facing straight out (perpendicular to the rear wall) or pointing at each other?

    Mike W.
     
  8. John Doh

    John Doh Well-Known Member

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    I actually have mine on the side walls facing each other with no angle. If you have to mount to the rear wall and depending on what size the speakers are, I would go to Radio Shack and pickup a pair of the wall mounts. I had these in my old house and they were large enough for the surround speakers to make a 90 degree angle to where they were facing each other. However, my surrounds back then were from an RCA HTIB system and were much smaller than these JBL's. Hope this helps!
     
  9. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    I actually have a pair of B-Tech BT33 wall mounts. They'll allow up to 90 degrees as (from perpendicular), so I could aim the speakers at each other. I'm going to try that as well as some other things and see what I think sounds best.

    Mike W.
     
  10. John Doh

    John Doh Well-Known Member

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    Cool beans. Until I read the dolby guide, I didn't know to face the speakers at each other. Since I have, I can definitely tell a difference in sound quality. At my old house, I had the rears on the rear wall with the brackets I mentioned making the speaker somewhat face each other but with a downward angle to the couch. With this setup, you could definitely tell where the sound was coming from opposed to that equal sound field thing where you shouldn't be able to point at the speaker sitting in the optimal location. Good luck!
     
  11. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    One thing that confuses me is: Why is it a bad thing for the sound from the rears to be somewhat positional? Isn't that the point of having distinct L/R rears in the 5.1 scheme? So you can hear a difference between something on the left or right?

    (just like you) Until I'd read the Dolby recommendations, I was under the impression that you would have your rears pointed at the sweet spot just like the fronts. I'm still puzzles how they expect sound to sound like it's "behind" you when it's just barely (according to their placement recommendations) behind the viewer(s) at all.

    I'd like to hear more people's thoughts on the effect of the speaker placement (i.e. rears pointed at the listeners -vs- pointed at each other) on the resulting surround sound (i.e. positional/directional -vs- more nebulous, etc). Luckily, I'm in a position where I can easily change the direction of the speaker while mounted, so I can try both approaches and see the difference.

    Thanks!
    Mike W.
     
  12. John Doh

    John Doh Well-Known Member

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    I'm no audiophile, but this is the best way I can describe the effect.

    With speakers pointed directly at you, or your sitting location, the sound is directional and is easily located. With the speaker not pointed at you, the sound image is more spacious and not so linear. Yes there are left and right channels to depict positional audio, and all of this is accomplished with either setup, it is just more realistic sounding with the speakers not pointed at the listeners. I don't know if that makes any sense but I have tried both and strongly prefer the speakers pointing towards each other.

    Now what I have noticed is that music (CD's, MP3's) played on all speakers (to include the surrounds) don't do the same thing as far as spaciousness of sound goes that movies replicate. Music is programmed to be direct on certain channels/positions and are easily recognized regardless of speaker position. However, movies are different in the sense that on a 5.1 system, the movie director would want that birdie chirping to come directly behind the listening position opposed to you hearing a strong, easily identified sound from your left or right speaker. Movies do more for this effect Dolby speaks of in their speaker arrangements, where-is there is little to no difference for typical music. Now for 5.1 SACD's, this may not be true, but typical music it is.
     
  13. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    Just to butt in....

    In my experience, for film, the Dolby recommendations are fine, but if you are getting into 5.1 music (DVD-A, SACD) I do not like the rears to be high up on the wall.

    I actually have the rears on stands with the tweeters at about ear height.

    For me, films sound fine with this set up, probably because the visual component takes your attention away from the sound somewhat. And for music, its great.

    However, having speakers high up always sounds weird with 5.1 music.

    Of course, YMMV.

    BGL
     
  14. Steve_AS

    Steve_AS Well-Known Member

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  15. Mike*Williams

    Mike*Williams Active Member

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    As far as the Dolby Digital trying to mimic the movie theater experience, I can't speak on that (I have no reason to doubt you are true). I have noticed that the theater has speakers on the walls higher up pointing "across" the listeners, however, I always assumed it was simply because the viewing space is so deep (from front to back) so the only way to get "surround" sounds to users in the front was to have speakers just behind them, etc...... (which it seems would then throw off the "surround" effect to viewers further back, etc).

    IMHO, I've always thought that home theaters with surrounds behind the listener gave a BETTER (better = more convincingly "coming from behind") sound than theaters (and I've been in some of the top-of-the-line theaters).

    Anway, as I said, I'll try both arrangements..... I'd love to sit down and try to model the sound physics of theaters and rooms and get deeper into what Dolby is trying to accomplish (personally I think the next step past surround will be true 360 degree 3D positional audio in which sounds are positional when they should be (i.e. a gun going off) and other "envionment" sounds (like crowd noise, etc) are "environmental" and cannot be "pinpointed" at a certain point in space).

    Fun fun.........

    Mike W.
     
  16. Scott-o

    Scott-o New Member

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    Upon searching for information about correct speaker heights I came across this thread. The link to dolby above no longer works and, because I'm a new user to the forum, I cannot post the corrected link until my post count hits 15. So, I'll split it up line by line and hopefully someone can edit my post and put it all back together correctly.

    www
    dolby
    com
    /Consumer
    /HomeEntertainment
    /Setup/

    Hope that was that the same link as was mentioned before.

    Thanks,

    Scott
     

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