Step by Step: How to Position Your Home Theater Speakers Page 3

Step 5: Position the Back Surround Speaker Positioning the single back surround speaker in a 6.1-channel system is a no-brainer - put it in the back of the room, directly behind you and opposite the center speaker. It should go above seated ear level but at a different height from the L/R surrounds.

If you're using two back surround speakers to create a 7.1-channel setup, things get a little more complicated. Dolby Labs and THX - the co-creators of Surround EX - have differing opinions on the best place for these speakers. THX suggests having them close together - no more than 3 feet apart - when using its Ultra 2 processing, while Dolby recommends spacing them the same distance apart as the front L/R speakers. Since the back-surround channel in EX and DTS-ES soundtracks is mono, THX's approach has merit. But the new Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD formats found on Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs can carry discrete signals for up to 7.1 channels, so if and when studios begin supplying true 7.1-channel soundtracks, Dolby's location will deliver greater separation. It may also work better with non-THX pseudo-7.1 processes, such as Dolby Pro Logic IIx.

Step 6: Position the Subwoofer A single subwoofer usually sounds best in a corner. For more tips on installing your sub, take a look at Subwoofer Setup Secrets. And for information on multiple-subwoofer setups, see Why You Need Four Subwoofers and Setting Up Dual Subwoofers.

Properly placing your speakers might be the best thing you ever do for your home theater, because following these steps will make good speakers sound even better.

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