How to Set Up Surround Sound Speakers

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

The following is a how to for setting up your home theater surround sound speaker system for a soul-shattering effect. The article is set up specifically for optimizing your living room, den or entertainment room and does not deal with specific installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Speakers, sound system, sub woofer
  • Television
  • DVD player

Step 1

Place the left and right front speakers in an equilateral triangle with your viewing seat, closer to the viewing seat than the television is, unless you have no center channel speaker. Toe in (angle) the left and right front speakers up to 30 degrees so that most sound seems to be coming from the television.

Step 2

If you don't have a center channel speaker, place the front speakers next to the television.

Step 3

Place the center channel speaker close to the television - on top or in the same cabinet if possible.

Step 4

Set up the subwoofer anywhere you have room.

Step 5

Set up the rear speakers behind and to the sides of the viewing seat. Place them higher than the front speakers.

Step 6

Aim the rear speakers at each other.

Tips & Warnings

  • For accurate bass reproduction, move speakers far from the back wall and several feet from side walls. Place the subwoofer away from walls, too.
  • For best sound fidelity, set up the center speaker so it's at the same height as the tweeters in the front speaker cabinets.
  • Experiment with subwoofer placement. Look for a location that results in clean, tight bass. Ideally, you shouldn't notice that sound is coming from the subwoofer.
  • Experiment with speakers placed near side and rear walls.
  • "Home theater" is really just the combination of a good television with a good sound system.
  • Speakers placed on or near a television must be magnetically shielded.