Set Up a Surround Sound Home Theater System

Home theater system

A surround sound home theater system is a great way to add a full sonic experience to your favorite movies or TV shows. However, it needs to be set up properly so you can maximize the speaker system. If it is not set up properly, you will not be able to get the best sound out of your home entertainment system, and the surround sound effects will be substandard. Here are some ways to maximize your surround sound home theater system.

Steps in setting up an ideal home theater audio system:

  • The first thing you need to do is to buy either a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 surround sound system. The first number refers to the number of speakers in the system while the second refers to the subwoofer, where the low end bass sound comes from. You can choose from different brand names of speaker systems (Dolby, THX, etc.). You also need to buy high quality connection wires to connect the components (television, cable box or satellite box, DVD or Blu-Ray disc player, receiver and/or computer), and some speaker wires, which are at least 16 to 18 gauge, to connect the speakers to your receiver.
  • Place your television about 8 feet from where you will be sitting while watching it. Also, make sure there will be no reflections on your television screen.
  • Set your receiver either on a wall unit, on a stereo cabinet, or beside the television. Remember to hook all of the wires for your speakers to your receiver for easy access. You can use either HDMI connectors, if your television is equipped for it, or you can use S-Video cable for your television and a fiber-optic cable for your audio.
  • Set up the front speakers first. Make sure that they are at least 3 feet from the central speaker. Adjust the angle of the middle speaker so that it is directed towards the place where you are sitting. Angle the speakers on each side so that they are aimed at your head when you are sitting for a better sound. If speakers are to be mounted, they should be placed in a straight line below the screen.
  • For the back speakers, you need to arrange them depending on the type of surround sound system you are using. For a 5.1 audio system, place the 2 back speakers in the back of the room near the side walls. For a 6.1 audio system, use the same position except for the additional speaker, which you should place in the middle of the room by the back wall. For a 7.1 audio system, you should place 2 speakers on the back by the side walls and the other 2 back speakers should be spread across the side wall. Make sure that the sound is proportional, by making sure that the distances between the speakers are equal.
  • For the subwoofer, you should place it on either side of your front speaker for a smooth, crisp sound. For those who have large speakers and large subwoofers, it is advisable to look for a place to put the subwoofer by putting it in your seat and judging the sound by walking around the room. Whichever place has the best sounding low end bass should be the place where you should put the subwoofer.


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