When it comes to your home theater, sound is just as important as the visuals on screen. Ensuring you have quality sound in your home theater involves more than buying the biggest, loudest speakers on the market; speaker placement and calibration is just as vital to creating an immersive viewing experience. Today we’ll take a look at what homeowners in The Woodlands area of Texas can do to create an optimal sonic landscape in your home theater.
If you’re looking to create the ideal sound system in your home theater, the place to begin is speaker layout. You want multiple speakers as part of your system to create a multi-channel, surround sound environment. Start by placing your center-channel speaker directly below or behind your display, since the center channel is primarily responsible for transmitting dialogue.
From there, you’ll want to place the left- and right-channel speakers so that they create an equilateral triangle, meaning the speakers are about as far apart from each other as they are from where you’ll be watching the action on-screen.
If you’re going for a 5.1.2 or 7.1.4 surround sound approach (that is, either five speakers or seven, with a subwoofer for extra oomph), you’ll want any speakers beyond the center, left and right channels to be placed behind or to the side or you, preferably at ear height. For latest Dolby Atmos layouts, you’ll also need at least two overhead speakers.
Finally, there’s the subwoofer. Bass frequencies are omnidirectional, which gives you a bit more flexibility when it comes to placing the subwoofer. Still, to get the best results you’ll want to place the subwoofer near a wall. If you can place it near a corner where three room boundaries come together, even better.
Though there are best practices when it comes to placing your speakers, the fact is no two home theaters are exactly alike; different shaped rooms and different materials within the room result in different acoustic challenges. This is why you want to make sure your speakers are properly calibrated, ideally by going with a professional installation.
So what’s involved in calibrating speakers? The first step is to measure the distance between your different speakers and the main viewing area of your home theater. You’ll want to be sure the sound signal from each speaker reaches the viewing area at the same time.
The next step is to test the decibel levels of the speakers; this ensures you’re getting the same volume output from each speaker so you’re not overwhelmed by any particular channel. Lastly, you’ll want to play around with your subwoofer settings to make sure the bass signal is also reaching your ear at the same time as the signal from all the other speakers.
The latest and greatest innovation in calibration technology is Anthem Room Correction. This new approach from Anthem uses signal processing software and a special microphone to “read” the unique sound characteristics of a room and adjust all the speakers accordingly to give you optimal results.
Anthem’s patented tech is the result of their research into creating audio lab-standard sound environments in non-lab settings. Considering the variety of different surfaces and materials found in different home theaters, ARC is a simple way to give the audio in your home theater a boost without having to buy any new equipment.
If you’ve invested the time, energy and resources into creating a home theater, it’d be silly to not make sure your speakers are working as well as possible. To learn more about how iconic.systems can give your home theater’s sound system an upgrade, give us a call at (713) 933-0606 or visit us online.