How High Should Speakers Be Off The Ground?

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Speaker placement might have never bothered you, but you might want to know, various audio speakers need specific placement so that you can hear quality, clear sound.

How high should speakers be off the ground has become the order of the day in those speaker and audio systems’ forums. 

Ideally, it’d be best to place your speaker tweeters at the level of your ears. The position ensures you get direct sound waves. If you were to put them too high or too low, the quality of the audio produced would reduce. What you get is a duller, distorted sound.

If you want it in numbers, place the speaker 1.2 meters above the ground. That way, the sound waves leave the speaker directly to your ears. 

But remember, there’s more to speaker placement than deciding the position. You might want to read more to know what we discovered during our research. 

Speaker Placement Guide – How High to Place Speakers off the Ground

person watching on monitor

 2-channel Stereo Systems

When it comes to the placement of 2-channel stereo systems, both the listener and the two speakers should form an equilateral triangle. The distance between each speaker and the listener’s head will determine the listening position. It is essential to know where to place the speakers, especially in a small room. 

It will help optimize stereo sound quality so that you can get the best sound possible. After setting the speakers in an equilateral triangle position, angle it slightly to form a listening position. You can do that by listening, and when you do it correctly, you will be able to determine the best place to place the speakers.

5.1 And 7.1 Sound Systems

When it comes to the placement of 5.1 and 7.1 speakers, the main speakers are placed in a primary seating position at 25-30 degrees off-axis. When you are seated, the tweeters should be at ear length. If it is a tower speaker, you don’t have to worry about it because it will do that naturally. You should also ensure that the speakers are not close to the wall to improve imaging and decrease boundary reflections.

When it comes to the center speaker, ensure that it is on-axis relative to the seating position. The front speakers should be at head level, but that is not always possible, especially when it comes to video display placement. If you have to place the center speaker below head level, then make sure it is tilted upwards to increase frequency response.

When dealing with side speakers, locate them 90-110 degrees off-axis. You should also make sure that they are 2 feet above ear level. For 7.1 rear speakers, place the speakers behind where you sit for increased rear panning effects. Put the rear speakers 135-150 degrees off-axis with the side speakers 2 feet above your head.

9.1 And 11.1 speaker placement

Speaker placement for 9.1 and 11.1 systems requires height and width considerations. That is the only way that you can be able to increase immersion and spaciousness. With wide speaker channels, place them between the side and front speakers. 

The wide speaker is placed there to reduce imaging and planning between the main front and side speakers. They are also placed in between so that a sense of envelopment is increased. To be exact, the wide speakers are to be placed 60 degrees off-axis in proportion to where you sit. Place them at the head level by measuring when you are seated down. 

If you are wondering about height speakers, then you should place them in the upper right/left corner at the front stage. That means they will be off-axis by 40-45 degrees and eight feet high.

Tilting it downwards will also help increase frequency response, and reflections from the ceiling will reduce. Height speakers, when placed correctly, will create sound effects that will give you total immersion giving you the best sound experience.

Dolby Atmos speakers

These speakers were first introduced in theaters as they add ceiling speakers to give the viewer special effects from above. In recent years, some of them have expanded their options giving you highly effective speakers. 

black flat screen computer monitor turned on beside black computer keyboard

If you buy Dolby as a home theater, then you will probably mount it on the side. They rely on boundary reflection that makes you think that the effects are coming from above.

Mistakes people make in speaker placements.

There are big mistakes that most people make when it comes to speaker placements. Below are some of them and how to fix them.

Not placing center speakers at ear level

The center speaker is the one responsible for dialogue and one of the most influential speakers. Most people who own home theaters know that they should place the center speaker at the center or above the TV. 

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However, most of them put the center speaker on the ground, which might be the problem. Center speakers are known for dialogue, and when you place them below ear level, the sound may become boxy; it will produce sounds of a very high frequency.

To fix the problem, you should place the center speaker at the right level when seated, which is the ear level. It is usually around thirty to fifty inches off the ground.

If there is no way you can place the speaker too high, then the only way to improve the sound is by tilting it upwards. That way, the sound can get to ear level.

Placing speakers in furniture

Placing speakers in cabinets or furniture does not make any logic at all. It will obstruct sound waves, and the noise will be muddled.

The sound will not be natural at all; hence you should avoid placing speakers inside furniture if you want more precise sound. If you have to put your speakers inside furniture, then pull it until it is on the front edge of the furniture.

Placing front speakers against the wall

It is recommended not to place the front speakers against the wall. When front speakers are placed against the wall decreases the detail and accuracy of noise since the speakers are not near the viewers.

Another reason is that more reflected sound waves will be reflected because the speaker’s face is fronting instead of tilts. 

To fix this problem, you have to move the speakers 2 feet away from the wall towards the center. You can also toe around with the speakers but change the angle until you get the best quality sound according to the room.

Placing surround speakers too low

Surround speakers have different rules when compared to front speakers. They think that they all should be placed at an ear level like the other speakers. Placing surround speakers at the ear level will distract your experience when watching movies. 

Surround sound speakers produce ambient noise in movies, so you will only hear distracting noises when you place them at ear level. The noises can be overwhelming and make you not enjoy watching the movie.

Related Questions

Is it better to mount speakers?

Mounting speakers have many advantages starting with saving on space. They will look great, and the sound will be directed to where it is optimal. It makes it also convenient, especially when you don’t want kids to reach them. 

Not only kids but also curious pets. However, there are some specifications you have to keep in mind. All surround speakers can be mounted, but it depends on orientation. As you know, there are three types of speakers, surround, front, and center.

Technically, all surround-sound speakers can be mounted. However, specific considerations might change depending on the orientation of the speaker.

There are essentially three types of speakers-center, front, and surround. It would be best to consider when mounting center speakers should be placed a minimum of 40 cm above ground; place them above or below the TV.

When it comes to front speakers, you can place them off the ground, but you won’t experience their full benefits.

Mounting them is easy, but you have to ensure that they are at ear level. You have to make sure that all front speakers are at the same distance from the TV. Please make sure they are one meter away from the wall.

That way, there will be more bass flow, and you don’t have to follow all measurements. You can approximate and get the best position to place them. Surround speakers are compact and are great for wall-mounting. One rule to follow is putting them at 1.40 m from the ground. There are many factors to consider when you are mounting speakers as it requires many adjustments, and you have to do it right.

Should you Place Speakers on the Floor?

Placing a speaker on the Floor is done by many, but it is not a good idea because it can compromise the quality of the sound. Don’t compromise quality sound for a beautiful space. Placing your speaker on the Floor means it is below ear level, and most of the sound will fade away before you hear it. 

If the speakers are small, place them on the desk, stand, or mount them. Another thing to avoid is speaker spikes, and they destroy the Floor by scratching and denting it. Observing the back of the speaker will also give you an idea of how to place them.

Should I Angle my speakers?

Position your speakers at a 60-degree angle apart to get the best alignment or the best image. Keep them aligned towards the listener to get a clear, direct sound. To achieve a wide listening area like having guests, decrease the angle, adjust until you find the best spot. 

Keep speakers away from corners so that sound can adequately flow in the room and avoid echoes. It is recommended to place speakers 30cm from room joints. With subwoofers, you can place them at any place as they are known as omnidirectional.

Conclusion

Having speakers at the ear level is the most crucial factor that you should follow. They should be at the status of your ears while seated.

If you have mounted them, then angle those to face your ears to get a clear sound. It will take careful testing and lots of planning to achieve the best angle, but it will be worth it in the end.

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