Posted by & filed under Home Theater, Surround Sound / Home Audio.

San Francisco Home Theater Surround Sound

Your audio system is less than ideal. But what needs to change?

© Karbon Home Theaters-The home theater wiring system?
-The caliber of the equipment you’re using?
-The room’s acoustics?

Those elements can all matter, but your speaker placement may be your big constraint.

To create an immersive, enjoyable audio experience, you need to consider how sound waves interact with one another and with your body and your ears. A typical surround sound system will contain front, center, surround, and subwoofer speakers. How and where you station these speakers will make or break your entertainment experience.

Audio System Guide:

Center Speaker

The center speaker produces TV and movie dialogue as well as prominent sound effects. Place the speaker around the same level as your ears; or angle it up or down to be at ear level. Place it near the front of the monitor, to minimize interference from the TV/monitor.

Front Speaker

The front speaker is the source of many sound effects and music. Directionality matters, since many sound effects play in a “left to right” fashion.

Place it at ear level – just like you did with the center speaker. Consider “toeing in” the speakers, so that they’re slightly rotated in towards you. Do not center on one particular point (such as a chair). Instead, imagine the entire couch (or listening area) is like one big person. Aim the left speaker towards this “giant person’s” left ear, and aim the right speaker towards this “giant person’s” right ear. That way, anyone sitting in the listening zone will get the right sound.

Surround Speakers

Surround speakers are for indirect, more ambient types of sound. They create the feeling of true immersion. To that end, they should be slightly higher than the other speakers. They should be at the same height as your ears… if you watched/listened to the sound standing up.


The subwoofer delivers the sonorous, deep basso sounds that round out listening experience. Keep your subwoofer low to the ground, but be mindful! If you live in a building with other people, the subwoofer can shake the floor and cause “neighbor issues.”

For help designing the ideal home audio system for your needs, get in touch with Karbon Home Theater today.  Give us a call at 925-798-7600 for a free, thorough estimate and friendly answers to your questions.

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