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Big HT room, where should I put rear surrounds? (1 Viewer)


Apr 29, 2002
First the details, then my questions: I just remodeled my house and now have a very large main living area, approx 27 feet long and 15 feet wide. I am a total amateur in regards to HT setup. My couch sits exactly in the middle of this area, about 13 feet from the front JBL ND310s and PW10 sub and about 13 feet from the rear Polk bookshelf (not sure of model number)surrounds. Regardless of what my signature says, I think I am going to end up getting JBL N26 or 28s for my rear surrounds since 1) I listen to lots of music and 2) I am on a budget after the remodel and 3) I want all the speakers to timbre match.
So, am I nuts with this setup? Do I need really powerful rear surrounds to make up for the distance from the speakers to the couch? Or should I move the rear surrounds closer to the couch, along the side walls?
Problem number 2: In an attempt to not let my tv dominate my new room, I have put it to the immediate right of the right channel main ND310. When I get the center channel, should I put it on the tv, even though that means it will not be inbetween the L and R mains? Or should I put it between the mains, even though that means it won't be sound imaging dialogue from the area of the actual picture?
Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read all this, much less answer my newbie questions.

Frank Zimkas

Supporting Actor
Mar 10, 2002
No matter what speakers you end up using, you'll need to calibrate your system with an SPL meter to get the best possible sound from all of the speakers at your listening position. The delay feature on your receiver ( if so equipped) will help a lot!

Neil Joseph

Senior HTF Member
Jan 16, 1998
Real Name
Neil Joseph
Ditto that, regarding calibrating all of your speakers. Video essentials or AVIA are two decent calibration DVD's to use, long with a sound level meter available from Radio Shack. Otherwise there are a few DVD movies that have calibration setups on them like Terminator 2 UE, Fight Club and a few others.

The surrounds are just like your front speakers. If you have the space in behind, that is ideal in my opinion. You would never want to have your front speakers 1ft away from your couch right? So similarly, there is no need to place the surrounds this close either, especially considering you have the space for them the "breathe".

I always preferred surrounds to be at the rear of the room near the corners of the room because the onscreen action an panning matches the panning of the sounds better than having the speakers to the sides (unless you use dipole/bipole surrounds), but you will find that this is a highly subjective topic.

You should have the TV in the middle of your main L & R speakers and have the centre channel either on top of, or below the TV to get proper imaging, otherwise the onscreen action and the sound you hear will not match. You will see an object at the right of the screen but you will hear that object at the left of the TV. Your TV may have to dominate to get proper sound imaging.

Ted Lee

Senior HTF Member
May 8, 2001
they beat me to it...
once you calibrate your system, the rear speaker distance and volume will be correctly compensated when referenced by your listening position. you should be able to set the volume and delay via your receiver.
rear speaker placement is pretty subjective. you'll need to experiment with different positions and see what works best for you. click here for dolby speaker placement recommendations
as far as the center goes, my setup is similar to yours. my tv is closer to my left speaker than my right. i just put the center directly on top and center of the tv. i figure most dialoge comes from the center, so i want that centered "on" the picture. i haven't really noticed anything weird with this setup, but i haven't really tried it any other way.

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