5.1 speaker placement couch against wall : DIY Guide 2021

5.1 speaker placement couch against wall

One of the most frequently asked questions as far as home sound systems are concerned is speaker placement where furniture may be a hindrance. At the end of the day, we all want to have a better audio experience, right? Well as it turns out, the reason for this not happening is poor speaker placement.

Unfortunately, as much as most people may have the best surround system, they might not be getting the expected experience. Because of this, I put together this guide on 5.1 speaker placement couch against wall.

You’ve got to understand that having the speaker at the wrong position or a compromised angle will mess up the sound waves. That being said, let’s dive in and see how you can best position your speakers.

5.1 speaker placement couch against wall

Before we dig in deeper, here’s something I’d like to shed some light on:

When it comes to speaker placement, most people hardly read the user manual. Though this will not give you all the options available, it’s important to go through it either way. It allows you to know what goes where and by doing so, it prevents you from messing up or having to redo the connection which can be quite hectic.

I’d also like to talk a little about what 5.1 speakers are…

There are lots of different kinds of surround systems but 5.1 are the most common variants. These basically mean that you get a sound system with 5 channels and a single subwoofer. The “1” in 5.1 implies that the sound system has a subwoofer whereas the “5” refers to the center speaker and a pair of front and back speakers.

In such a configuration, getting a genuine surround experience can be a little difficult with furniture being an obstacle. This being so, here’s how you can best set things up.

Subwoofer placement

The subwoofer is responsible for putting out the low frequencies (the bass). Because of this, you will want the subwoofer in an open space. The reason for this is for the bass to be unidirectional rather than being suffocated. Additionally, the subwoofer is in a ported enclosure so suffocating the sound is the last thing you want.

For the best audio experience for watching movies or listening to music, you’d be better off if it were next to either of the front speakers.

Why not place the subwoofer on the sides?

Besides the obvious reason that the connection wire isn’t always long enough to allow for this, placing the sub anywhere other than the front basically distorts the overall sound output.

Front speaker placement

5.1 speaker placement

My recommendation to anyone looking to have a complete surround experience is to have the speakers at the listening level. This ensures that

The first thing you’ll want to do when setting things up on the front is to connect them to the right ports. Once this is done, ensure that both the right and left speakers are at a 30-degree angle to the couch.
The best way to ensure this is to set the couch dead center with the TV. Thereafter, position the front speakers at an equal distance on either side of the TV.

However, …

Whereas most speakers will work best when set up like this, others give a better sound stage when setting perpendicular to the rear wall. It is therefore important that you try out either configuration to see what works best

Center speaker placement

Unless it’s missing, you won’t notice the surround effect of the center speaker but trust me, it’s amazing. This speaker is easily placed right opposite of the listening area. It’s normally dominant on the mid-range frequencies, unlike the front side speakers that major on the lows and vocals.

Though it’s got a very little effect, it contributes greatly to the overall surround. After all, quality sound comes down to the tiniest details, right?

The rear speakers.

Now here’s today’s highlight. You may have very little trouble setting up the front speakers since the area is already cleared out for the TV. The same, however, cannot be said for the back speakers especially if you are limited on space and have a couch in the room.

Considering I have the same setup, it took me a while to figure things out but thankfully, I finally did. With the couch against the wall, placing the rear speakers at an angle wasn’t an option. Having them face forwards, on the other hand, drowned the sound coming from them.

At the end of the day, I had them positioned at a distance that is a few inches wider than the distance of the front speakers. Secondly, rather than having them at an angle, I had them face the couch directly.

Let me explain why:

When angled, I could hardly hear the sound coming from them. When facing forwards, on the other hand, I could hardly hear anything. Upon turning them to face the couch directly however, the sound coming from either of them could clearly be heard.

As a matter of fact, the rear left sound and the rear right sound were well isolated with zero interference. The interesting part is that even when moving to different parts of the couch, I could still be able to make out the sound coming from the rear right and rear left speakers.

Final verdict

I believe that 5.1 speaker placement couch against wall is easier than ever before. One thing I’d like to emphasize is that you pay the utmost attention to where you connect each speaker. Before using the set up recommended above, it would also be wise to read the manual first.

Resources & References

About gearsloft.com

Hi, I’m Adam Vachon, an avid learner and working in the product marketing niche for the last few years. The problem I faced when marketing products for manufacturers made me interested in starting GearsLoft.

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