Rear Surround Placement (5.1)


New member
Username: Jastaylor

Post Number: 8
Registered: Aug-04
Just mounted my BOSE (hold chuckles please) on the wall for rear surrounds and wanted to check on best alignment. The couch is against the wall
(X's) and the speakers are on the side walls (*'s) see below
my question is that there is a door on the left side of the picture so the speaker is above the door and fairly close to the ceiling - lets say 3 inches of clearance. Is that too high for them to work properly? They are probably 3 1.2 ft above ear level as the door limited my options with going lower and the ceiling is acoustical tile that wouldn't take the weight of a ceiling mount. Should I leave them and angle the speakers down slightly? or should I move them
to the back wall somehow (there's a big window there with large thick curtains so I wasn't sure that would be a good idea) to bring them closer to ear level?

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 52
Registered: Apr-04
Generally, the tweeters should be at ear level, if at all possible. That will give you the best and most natural sound.

You can angle them downward, and that is preferable to just having them shoot out in space. Use your SPL meter to help set the right angle/direction so that you maximize the sound.

What Bose speakers are you putting on the wall, and what size is the room. My concern would be if you are using those little cubes that they will not have the range/output to fill the space, especially mounted so high in the air.

Good luck

Bronze Member
Username: Sinkdrain

Post Number: 28
Registered: Aug-04
I thought the rear speakers should not be aimed directly at the listener so that you get more of a "surround" sound coming from the rear and a more direct sound coming from the front. Is this wrong?

New member
Username: Jastaylor

Post Number: 9
Registered: Aug-04
The Bose are AM6-III and the room is 14'x12'2" where the long wall has the couch against it. The door on the left wall (as per the diagram) prevents me from going exactly ear level.

I've heard the same re: not pointing at you with the surrounds but I've heard just as many folks say to do so... hence why I'm confused!

Bronze Member
Username: Mitchbd

Post Number: 52
Registered: Feb-04

No - you are not wrong. There are combating theories about the merits of direct-firing surrounds, and non-direct ones (bi-poles / di-poles / or monopoles not aimed at listener). Not having the speakers fire directly at you does create a more 'ambient' surround - which is desireable. All THX specs point to using surrounds that are not direct firing as well. They want that more diffuse enveloping sound instead.

BUT - this is another area that comes down to personal opinion.

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 54
Registered: Apr-04
Hi Jason;

that is a fairly moderate sized room and those cubes should fill it well. As Brad just wrote, where to aim the surrounds is somewhat of a matter of opinion, preference....

Take a look at and see what they recommend for DD 5.1

I have over time seen setups calling for the surrounds to be on the side of you, above you, at ear level, behind you, slightly back and above ear level to the sides... you get the idea. Some people like the surrounds to directly radiate at them, others find that distracting and prefer more ambient diffuse surround better.

Since they are already mounted, why not start messing with them. Use a small piece of tape on the brackets for a reference (so you can see where you started from) and start moving them slightly a *tiny* bit at a time and then listen to the same sounds each time to see how it sounds. With time and patience, you will find what sounds best to you.

God luck.
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