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How to Place Your New Wall Speakers for the Best Sound Quality

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How to Place Your New Wall Speakers for the Best Sound Quality
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How to Place Your New Wall Speakers for the Best Sound Quality

Home theatre surround sound systems can come in many variations. The speakers vary by their number and size. There are speaker settings that include only two, or up to eight, speakers. The largest speakers belong to the floor-standing category. However, not all speakers are as conspicuous as tall floor-standing models. Speakers can be in a small satellite-style that are mounted on walls and made to be almost invisible. Wall speakers can also be mounted into crevices in walls so that they are hidden. Installing wall speakers can require some workmanship and skill, but the final result can enhance the overall interior design of a room. Wall speakers provide good surround sound. When considering how to place new wall speakers for the best sound quality, it is useful to consider the features of speakers, where they are placed, and how they are mounted. Wall speakers are available from high street electronics shops or online at eBay.

Types of Speaker System

The number of speakers that are included in a surround sound system can be as few as two or up to eight for larger rooms. Speaker systems are described by the number of speakers in the system. For example, a 2.1 speaker system has two speakers, and the ".1" refers to a subwoofer, so this system provides better overall bass than the 2.0 speaker system, which consists of only two speakers that have a subwoofer built-in. These speakers may save space, but they are not the best option for larger rooms.

The most common system for home audio is the 5.1 speaker system, which consists of two front, two rear, and one centre channel speaker, as well as a subwoofer. The 5.1 system creates a true surround sound experience. The 7.1 speaker system is a further advance from the 5.1 system and has two additional side speakers.

Functions of Speakers

Each speaker in a system has a separate function that is closely connected with its recommended placement. The centre channel speaker reproduces the majority of the dialogue in a television programme or film and is therefore wider than the side speakers. The front left and right speakers reproduce most of the sound effects and music of any given soundtrack, so have to be able to deliver a wide range of frequencies. The rear speakers, also known as surround speakers, deliver the surround sound effects and music and are used less often than the front speakers. The more speakers the system has, the more are put behind the listener in order to create the surround sound effect. The subwoofer reproduces the low bass sounds, so it is bigger than other speakers.

Features of Wall Speakers

Wall speakers can be classified into two types: satellite and in-wall. Satellite speakers are mounted on the wall so that they are clearly visible. In-wall speakers are hidden in crevices in walls. The overall features of each type tends to be the same, and they have similar features to other types of speaker. However, their installation does have some effect on the sound quality.

Satellite Speakers

Satellite speakers are small and compact, and they are often included in a home surround sound system package. They are mainly available as a part of the 5.1 and 7.1 speaker systems, but can also be bought separately. In these packages, they can be used as the front or rear speakers, or both. Sometimes the centre channel speaker is also a satellite speaker, although it is usually larger. Satellite speakers in the system may struggle with low frequencies, such as bass sounds, mainly because of their small size. However, if the subwoofer in the system is powerful enough, this should balance out the sound quality. Satellite speakers work well if the surround sound system is used for television and movies, but they may not be sufficient for listening to music.

In-Wall Speakers

In general, the front left and right speakers can be fitted into walls. The rear and centre speakers may also be hidden in walls and may be revealed by a mechanism that makes them protrude from the walls when a is pressed. They can be brought out when the sound system is in use in order to provide the best sound quality, and then returned into the wall later. This kind of wall speaker is great for small rooms and creates a real cinema feel due to its professional look. As these speakers are specialised, they may be more expensive than the more common models.

Placement of Wall Speakers

The placement of wall speakers is similar for both satellite and in-wall speakers. The only difference is their mounting type.

Placing the Subwoofer

Subwoofers are the most flexible components of home audio systems because their low bass frequencies are not as directional as higher frequencies. This means that the subwoofer can go anywhere in the room. However, corners should be avoided because this location can lower the sound quality by making the bass too overpowering.

Placing the Centre and Front Speakers

The centre and front speakers are the most important because they reproduce the dialogue and most of the music. The centre channel speaker works best if it is located just below or above the centre of the television, but not too far away from the screen. Ideally, the centre channel speaker should be at the ear level of a seated person and aligned with the left and right front speakers. The front speakers should be equidistant from the television and the seating, at both sides of the screen. The suggested angle for these speakers is between 26 and 30 degrees, while the centre channel is at 0 degrees.

Placing the Rear Speakers

Rear speakers are part of 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound speaker systems. Their best location is at the sides and just behind the seated listener. For the 5.1 speaker system, the recommended angle from the seating position is between 100 and 110 degrees. It is best if the rear speakers are higher than the front speakers, so they should be placed slightly above head height. In a 7.1 speaker system, two rear speakers should be at the angle between 90 and 100 degrees, while the two additional rear speakers are best located behind the seating position at an angle between 135 and 150 degrees.

Summary of Speaker Placement

The following table summarises the speaker locations for the most common speaker setups. The angles at which the speakers should be located are also included for the different surround sound systems.

Speaker Type

Location

Angle in a 2.0 or 2.1 System (degrees)

Angle in a 5.1 System (degrees)

Angle in a 7.1 System (degrees)

Centre channel

Just below or above television

N/A

0

0

Front

On both sides of the television

26 - 30

26 - 30

26 - 30

Rear

At the sides just behind the listener

N/A

100 - 110

90 - 100

Additional rear

Behind the listener

N/A

N/A

135 - 150

The table gives the ideal locations for speakers. However, windows or furniture should also be considered when placing speakers for the best sound quality.

Mounting Wall Speakers

Satellite and in-wall speakers are mounted differently because of their different types. Satellite speakers are easier to install because there is no need for DIY skills.

Mounting Satellite Speakers

Satellite speakers are easier to mount on a wall. First, install wall brackets or mounts to the wall with screws; all of these accessories can be purchased separately. The satellite speakers are then attached to the brackets or mounts.

Mounting In-Wall Speakers

Before drilling holes in the walls, check the location of pipes and electrical cables in order not to cause any damage. Cables for the speakers can be hidden, especially when the speakers are mounted into new buildings. For example, the cables could be put inside the ceiling joists. Note the size of the speaker, so that it can be fitted into the wall correctly. Mark the desired location of the speaker and the associated holes on the wall and check that they are symmetrical. The sections of the wall can be cut away with a padsaw. Once the hole has been made, it is necessary to route the cables, either from inside the wall or from the ceiling, and then connect the speaker.

Buying Wall Speakers on eBay

When considering how to place new wall speakers for the best sound quality, it may be a good idea to consider buying the wall speakers on eBay. First decide which variation you want, either satellite or in-wall. Then, you can type your keywords into the search box that you can find at the top of every eBay page. After receiving the initial results, you can click on related searches if they contain the details that you need. You may also narrow down your choices by sorting the results by price. It is possible to search for the wall speaker's by brand, as well as by a particular condition. For brand new speakers, select the "New" condition. If you are purchasing in-wall speakers, make sure that you have all of the necessary tools required to install them. If you need to obtain some technical equipment for the mounting process, then you can find the necessary items using the eBay search function.

Conclusion

Speakers used in a home audio system do not have be very large in order to provide the best sound quality. Smaller speakers, such as satellite or in-wall, can be placed so that they not only contribute to the overall surround sound, but to the look and feel of the interior design of a room. The most common system for true surround sound is the 5.1 speaker system, although 2.1 and 7.1 are also used.

Within a speaker system, each speaker has a function. The placement of a speaker depends on this function and the particular speaker system. The front speakers reproduce the music and sound effects, and are placed on both sides of the television, while the centre channel speaker delivers the dialogue and is placed in the centre. The rear speakers are placed just behind the listener. The subwoofer can be almost anywhere in the room, but it is better to avoid corners. In these systems, the front and rear speakers can be wall speakers. To place the in-wall speakers for the best sound quality, they should be mounted in crevices in the wall, while the satellite speakers can be positioned on wall mounts or brackets. eBay sellers offer a range of wall speakers.

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