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How to place your speakers to maximize your home theater experience

Listening to music has never been easier. In the age of ubiquitous data and devices, anyone with a phone, a Spotify account and a Bluetooth speaker can get the party started. But it doesn’t take an audiophile to appreciate the difference between an ad hoc speaker setup, and a properly-appointed home stereo system. We’re not talking about remodeling entire rooms or splurging for the most high-end, high-fidelity gear, but making a few thoughtful purchases, and paying attention to the way sound travels in confined spaces. For all the serious music lovers out there, here are some quick tips for transforming a room into a dedicated listening environment.

1. DON’T BOTHER WITH SURROUND SOUND.

Let’s start with what not to do, which is to buy too many speakers. Specifically, you only need two or three for listening to music—a right and left channel to deliver stereo sound, and possibly a subwoofer to crank up the bass. That’s 2 channel or 2.1-channel, in home audio speak, whereas a full surround sound set might be 5.1 or 7.1-channel. Music is typically recorded and mixed with stereo output in mind, so there’s no advantage to adding additional speakers. That’s not to say that you can’t play tunes on a surround sound layout, but if music is your priority, then focus on getting and placing the best 2 or 2.1-channel gear you can swing.

2. SKIP THE SOUNDBAR, TOO.

Soundbars, which squeeze multiple speakers into a compact cabinet, are a popular alternative to the more traditional, multi-speaker setup. But they’re designed as home theater products, optimized for TV and film-based audio, rather than music. And they have superfluous features, too, with most models including a center channel dedicated to outputting clear speech—not vocals, but lines of dialogue. Most importantly, though, is the fact that soundbars don’t let you physically separate the left and right audio channels, which brings us to our next tip.

3. TRIANGULATE YOUR SEATING.

Whether it’s a concert hall, a rock club, or your living room, every space has an acoustic sweet spot, where listeners can enjoy the full benefit of distinct, directional audio sources. For home stereo setups, the easiest rule is to create an equilateral triangle. In other words, set your left and right-channel speakers at an equal distance from each other, and from you. This will maximize the stereo effect, and avoid any delay or overlap in oncoming sound waves.

4. ANGLE YOUR SPEAKERS.

This might sound obvious, but remember that, while sound radiates outward in waves, most speakers are directional devices, and their cleanest audio comes from waves aimed directly at you. Aiming speakers at your preferred seat will also reduce the amount of audio reflections that you experience (more on that later). This rule only applies to those two primary channels, though. If your system includes a subwoofer, that speaker’s placement is less about direction, and more about where in the room its bass sounds best. For subwoofers, trial and error is the more relevant strategy.

5. AMPLIFY YOUR SPEAKERS.

At their most basic, amplifiers are volume boosters, allowing those without neighbors nearby, or else neighbors they despise, to pour extra power through existing speakers. Amplifiers can work in relative isolation, upgrading the power of speakers, or they can be part of a larger configuration that includes a pre-amp, which can clean up signals before they hit the amp. It’s easy to tumble down the hi-fiВ rabbit hole, however, so consider adding an integrated amplifier to your system, and skipping the pre-amps, receivers, and other arcane gear.

6. PUT BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS ON STANDS.

They’re called bookshelf speakers, but don’t believe the hype. Actual bookshelves can trap and redirect sound, and they can vibrate, creating everything from unseemly buzzing to more subtle audio distortions. If you can’t spring for standing loudspeakers, or don’t have the space, mount compact bookshelf speakers on stands.

7. CHECK YOUR STREAMING SETTINGS.

Streaming music services like Apple Music and Spotify don’t generally offer the highest quality files, unless you make the effort to change the settings. Their rationale makes sense—the better the quality, the more data is being transferred per second, which can take a toll on your cellular data plan. But there’s usually no reason to throttle your data when listening to music over a Wi-Fi connection, so pick the maximum bit-rate available.

8. DRAW THE CURTAINS.

Sound waves change as they move through a space, absorbing into some materials and bouncing or splashing off of others. The latter can pose the bigger problem, especially when it comes to audio’s interaction with glass. Bizarre as it sounds, you can avoid many unwanted reflections by simply pulling the curtains, or reconsidering that new glass-top coffee table you’ve been eyeballing. If this seems extreme, know that true hi-fi purists have been known to hang fabric on walls, or else position special, purpose-built audio traps around a listening space. They’re the weirdos, not you!

November 6, 2004

Instructions on getting good bass from a subwoofer in any given room usually begin by suggesting corner placement of the subwoofer. And it’s true: placing the subwoofer in a corner will equally energize all the room’s resonances and maximize the subwoofer’s output. However, one of the more bizarre aspects of how subwoofers couple with the specific dimensions of a room — is that to hear all the bass energy from the subwoofer in the corner of your room, you would have to sit in the corner diagonally opposite the subwoofer!

Clearly, such social isolation won’t endear you to family and friends, so compromise is in order. And given the understanding that no room is ideal (not even a room with asymmetrical dimensions), the trick is to combine careful subwoofer and furniture placement (with the possibility of using two subwoofers) to more evenly distribute the deep bass frequencies throughout the room. Then every listener will hear the powerful bass frequencies that bring impact to home theater and music.

As you might suppose, a subwoofer and your particular room work together. It’s not just the location of the subwoofer that matters: where you place the sofa and chairs is just as important. What follows are some subwoofer room-placement basics:

  • The worst place for a subwoofer is in the middle of a room.
  • The most difficult room shape is square, so if you have the flexibility to choose which room you’ll use for home theater or you are building a new home and designating a space for home theater, avoid rooms with equal dimensions.
  • As you move the subwoofer closer to a wall, the bass output will become stronger.
  • Bass output will be maximized as you push the subwoofer into a corner.
  • The closer you sit to a wall, the more pressure your ear will pick up and the greater the bass intensity will be, but it may become uneven– alternately boomy or anemic as you move in either direction.
  • Adjusting the distance of the couch or chairs relative to the walls and/or the subwoofer relative to the corner will almost always be beneficial in helping smooth out the deep bass heard at several listening locations in the room.
  • Adding a second subwoofer won’t cure the problem of standing waves or uneven bass, but it will result in a greater number of listeners hearing smoother overall bass in more locations. Try placing the second subwoofer in a location near the wall opposite the first subwoofer.
  • Avoid rooms with concrete floors and walls. Walls where the wallboard flexes are more absorptive and produce fewer problems with “bass boom.” If you can’t avoid concrete walls, add studs and one layer of wallboard to the walls of the room to further aid absorption.

Video: How to do the Subwoofer Crawl

Move your subwoofer as close as you can to where you sit. If it’s a chair, move the chair aside and place the sub in the spot where the chair was. If it’s a couch, slide the couch temporarily out of the way and put the sub about where you usually sit.

Play a DVD with lots of low-frequency effects or a CD with plenty of deep bass, the kind that really kicks your sub into serious bass output. Get out the kneepads and crawl about the room in the general area where you were thinking of locating the sub.

Go several yards in each direction–near the wall, out from the wall, towards a corner, away from the corner, and so on–while you listen for smooth and extended deep bass response, free of exaggeration and “one-note” boom. Mark the spot, then move the subwoofer into that position. Now put the furniture back. If you are using two subwoofers, mark two locations and place the subs in those two positions.

The Tech Talk

All subwoofers produce acoustical pressure, and that is what your ear responds to. The only place where you will hear the bass output that your subwoofer produces exclusively is out of doors (or in an anechoic chamber). But soon as you put a subwoofer into a room, the sound waves bounce back and forth between the parallel surfaces of the room, some combining or “adding,” which will emphasize those sounds, and others canceling each other out, which results in a null. If you are sitting in a null, you won’t hear any deep bass at all. Conversely, if your chair is in a location where standing waves peak, you will likely hear boomy, one-note bass (you won’t be able to follow the tuneful bass line of a recording, for example). Sometimes, by just moving a foot or two, the deep bass will “magically” reappear.

Location, location, location. No matter what audio equipment you have, proper speaker placement can significantly improve your listening experience. Here are 7 quick tips to help you get the most out of your stereo speakers:

  1. Initial placement. Decide roughly where you will be positioned when listening, then place your speakers so that they form an equilateral triangle with your listening position.
  2. Speaker separation. Try to get about 4 feet of separation for bookshelf speakers or 8 feet for floorstanding speakers. If your speakers are too close, sounds will blend together and become muddy. If they are too far apart, there will be a gap between the two halves of the stereo image (more on this later).
  3. Speaker height. Position your speakers so that the tweeters are at roughly the same height as your ears. (Tweeters are the small drivers on your speakers. They are responsible for handling the high-frequency treble range.)
  4. Wall proximity. Move your speakers at least 2-3 feet away from the nearest wall. This will minimize sound reflections, which can negatively impact playback clarity.
  5. Adjust speaker angle (toe-in). Angle your speakers inward so they’re pointed towards the listener – more specifically, at a point directly behind the listener’s head. If you want good sound across a wider listening area, then decrease toe-in. Increase or decrease the angle of your speakers a few degrees at a time until you hit that sweet spot!
  6. Room arrangement. Make sure no objects stand between your speakers and your ears. Strive for symmetry in speaker and furniture arrangement. The goal here is to minimize sound reflections as much as possible.
  7. Isolate your turntable. Your turntable should always be isolated from speaker vibrations. It’s best practice to keep your turntable on a different surface than your speakers (though some desktop speaker stands let you cheat on this a bit).

Achieving great sound with your speakers involves some trial-and-error. If you make an adjustment and notice that a song’s parts have suddenly “locked” into place, then you’ve probably found your sweet spot.

Why do these steps matter? It all comes down to controlling stereo imaging and sound reflections.

Accurate stereo imaging gives the impression that each sound is coming from a different place. Imagine the sound of an entire band coming from a single point in space, with each instrument stacked on top of each other. This would be a poor stereo image. Now imagine unpacking those sounds so that each instrument is spread out from left to right – as if the musicians were standing on a stage in front of you. This is a good stereo image.

Next time you’re listening to your speakers, ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Is there an empty space in the middle of the sound?
2. Do the instruments seem to overlap and blend together?

If you answered yes to either of these, then there’s a good chance you can improve the stereo image by adjusting the toe-in or location of your speakers.

When you listen to music, you are hearing more than just the sound waves that travel directly from the speakers to your ears. You are also hearing reflected sound that bounce off your walls, furniture, cats, etc. Reflected sound waves will reach your ears slightly later than direct waves, which results in a type of distortion called “time smearing.” This can make your music sound muddy and unclear, and can also destroy your delicate stereo image.

Once you’ve figured out the best place to put your speakers, consider their height. Both speakers should face toward the listener, with the tweeters at roughly ear level. To achieve optimal listening height, we generally suggest using speaker stands. But placing your speakers on furniture instead of dedicated stands is usually fine – just keep the reflection principle in mind and make sure that the speaker cones are flush with (or protruding from) the front edge of the furniture. If your speaker is near the back of a shelf, sound will reflect from any and all surfaces in front of the cone.

Remember that walls reflect sound, too. Speakers should be at least 2-3 feet away from the nearest wall (especially if your speaker is in a corner). Many speakers have rear-facing bass ports. Positioning a rear bass port too close to the wall will reflect sound waves, resulting in time smearing. If your speakers have front-facing bass ports, then you should be able to get away with having them a little closer to the wall.

Do your speakers have rear-facing bass port like our Ethos Powered Speakers do? Speakers with rear-facing port should be slightly distanced from nearby walls to prevent reflection.

By Jackson K | Submitted On October 05, 2009

After buying your first set of home theater speakers wouldn’t you want to learn about the proper home theater speaker placement for your investment? If so you definitely want to read this article. Without overwhelming you we’ll discuss the importance of speaker placement, actual tips about how to place them, and experimenting with the whole science. After reading this article without a doubt you will be well on your way to fully enjoying your home theater speakers.

The importance of speaker placement can drastically improve the whole sound experience for the user. Quality will be more evident and even a cheaper speaker can outperform a more expensive speaker when placed correctly. The experience from watching a movie with the high quality sound is a huge increase in enjoyment even for the amateur audiophiles. At the end of the day, having invested in such a speaker system wouldn’t you want to make the most out of it? The importance of speaker placement gives you the best sound quality at the price point you paid for, and as rhetorical as the question is, why wouldn’t you want to do that?

So when it comes to placement, you are looking at 3 sections of your speakers. The front line, the surround sound speakers and the subwoofer. The front line consists of your center speakers and the right and left ones. These are the ones usually in charge of the voice and music found in a movie. For the center speaker you have 2 choices, either on top of the TV (of course if it fits and make sure it is sturdy!) or on the bottom of the TV. The key here is that it is at the center of the TV facing the listening area. As for the right and left speakers, you want to place them the same distance from each other as they are from you. Ideally create a “triangle” between you and the 2 speakers with them slightly angled towards you. You would want the tweeters to be at around ear level when sitting down to have the optimal sound. The surround speakers is where the movie theater experience is simulated in your own home. You place these behind you and around ear level when standing up to get the best surround sound experience. Finally the subwoofers is where it is most flexible, in my case i usually place it where I can find space within the whole setup.

The point is, these are tips to get you well on your way to optimal speaker placement, but this science comes down to a lot of experimentation. Because of the nature of sound it can be changed due to room size, room furniture of even simple the material of the floor. The important thing is to experiment to find the optimal placement. The bigger the room, the more powerful your system will likely have to be. So be sure to try different things especially with things like subwoofer placement because there is no definitive science.

So there you have some tips on speaker placement for your home theater. Remember why it is important to be concern about speaker placement, how to place it and the fun of experimenting. So now you have this new found knowledge, start trying it out on your home theater speakers!

Exactly where you place speakers in a room can make a dramatic difference in their sound. That includes iPod, hi-fi, and home theater speakers.

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.

Think about it: when you’re listening to music or movies most of the sound that reaches your ears doesn’t directly come from the speakers. You’re hearing a lot of sound reflecting off the floor, ceiling, walls, and other objects in the room. Speakers “play” the room. It’s an analogous to way light illuminates a room, the source of the light may be the light fixture, but most of the light you see is reflecting off the surfaces of the room. With speakers we’re trying to reduce reflections where we can to maximize the amount of direct sound we hear.

Dolby offers detailed recommendations for home theater speaker placement. Dolby

Stereo speakers should be placed with their tweeters at your ears’ height when you’re sitting down. The left and right speakers should be exactly the same distance from your prime seating position. Keep them 18 or more inches away from room corners or large pieces of furniture.

Placing stereo speakers up against or close to the wall behind them will “reinforce” their bass output, but some speakers produce boomy or overly thick bass when placed too close to the wall. Moving them further out into the room may help smooth their bass response. Experiment with speaker-to-wall distance while playing bass-heavy music; having a friend move the speakers while you’re listening will speed the process. Beyond bass quantity, the overall sound quality will be affected by proximity to walls and large pieces of furniture. Try listening to well-recorded music with the speakers directly up against the wall, then one foot out from the wall, then two feet out from the wall. You may be surprised by how much the sound changes with each speaker move.

Satellite or bookshelf speakers can be placed on floor stands, mounted on wall brackets, or placed on furniture. If your room has a lot of uncovered windows (or mirrors) and hardwood or tiled floors, it probably sounds too reverberant. Large, sparsely furnished rooms (more than 300 square feet) with exposed floors and lots of glass are the toughest challenges, but adding thick rugs and heavy drapes may work wonders.

The optimum listening distance for iPod speakers varies from model to model, but most sound best when the listener is between three and five feet away from the speaker. Some manufacturers reveal the optimum distance in the speaker owner’s manual. If not, experiment for yourself.

Home theater systems’ front three–left, center, and right–speakers will also sound best with their tweeters elevated to the same height as a seated listener’s ears. If possible, try to keep the center speaker near the same height as the left and right front speakers. Surround speakers should be positioned a little higher than the seated listeners’ ears. For more info check out Dolby’s Web site, which offers very specific placement recommendations for 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 channel home theater systems.

Today’s receivers are jam-packed with features, the one thing they lack is power. Emotiva Audio’s XPA power amplifier can boost your home theater’s sound.

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.

Today’s receivers are jam-packed with features, but the one thing they lack is power.

In fact, most $500 receivers never come close to delivering their rated power into all channels.

Some can barely manage a third of their claimed wattage. Right now, your 100 watt per channel receiver might be pumping out only 30 something watts.

People ask me about this stuff all the time–“Steve, Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony and Yamaha receivers all boast up to the nanosecond surround processing modes, connectivity options up the whazoo, and fancy shamncy remotes–so what exactly would a brawny multichannel amplifier get me?” My answer to these queries is always the same: “Just two things, the power and the glory.”

The problem: Receivers, even big ticket, $2,000+ models can’t spare enough internal real estate to house humongous transformers and hefty power supply capacitors–the compromises inevitably start there. Separate power amplifiers have room for all of that good stuff.

Enter Emotiva Audio’s XPA 200 watt, five-channel amplifier ($799), 1,000 watts total. It’s actually a lot more powerful than just double your average 100 watt per channel receiver; the XPA amplifier can deliver up to 350 watts to each of its five channels with four-ohm speaker loads . You’ll look far and wide to find a receiver that can drive low-impedance speakers like a separate power amp can. And it’ll cost a whole lot more than the Emotiva XPA will.

Oh, and please don’t worry that the XPA is too powerful for your speakers. Too much power doesn’t harm speakers, playing them too loud with an underpowered receiver is far more likely to do your speakers in.

And it’s not just power, you’re likely to hear an overall improvement in sound quality. Here’s how to do it.

Look for the pre-out jacks before you buy a separate power amplifier.

First, make sure your receiver has “pre-out” jacks on its rear panel (if yours doesn’t have one, you won’t be able to hook up a separate power amp like the XPA). Then it’s just a matter of hooking up your speaker wires to the XPA.

After the XPA is hooked up your receiver’s internal amplifiers will still be on, but since they’re no longer connected to your speakers, they don’t contribute to the sound you hear.

Of course, there a many other separate power amplifiers on the market, but most are far more expensive than the Emotiva XPA.

The Emotiva Audio XPA measures 17 inches wide by 7.75 high by 19 deep and it weighs 70 pounds.

Emotiva Audio sells direct from its Web site.

Get the most out of your audio setup

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What to Know

  • Avoid placing speakers too close to a wall. Angle so they focus on the listening spot. Unless floor-standing, place on stands. Don’t block.
  • Golden rectangle rule: A speaker’s distance to the nearest side wall should be at least 1.6 times its distance from the front wall.
  • Position the speakers so that the distance between the front wall is 1/3 to 1/5 the length of the room.

In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a sound system to get the best results. Instructions apply to pairs of speakers and multi-channel setups.

Common Mistakes in Audio Setups

Here’s a quick list of what not to do when setting up your speakers. Also, be sure to review the sound system’s manual for tips specific to your model.

  • Don’t place stereo speakers near the front wall (the wall behind the speakers). Instead, give them about two to three feet of space. In general, when speakers sit too close to walls, especially corners, they can reflect sound off of surfaces or affect the subwoofer’s performance.
  • Don’t orient the speakers so that they’re completely parallel to each other. While this layout may look good, it won’t let your system sound its best. In most cases, you’ll want to angle the speakers so that they focus towards the listening spot. This way, you can experience the sharpest possible sound.
  • Don’t place speakers directly on the floor unless they’re floor-standing tower speakers. Smaller speakers should sit on stands or shelves at approximately head and ear height. Many stands also help absorb reverberations and prevent the inclusion of noise.
  • Don’t put anything in front of the speakers. Any objects in front of the speakers will reflect sound, causing distortion or blurring.

Apply the Golden Rectangle Rule

The distances from the side walls are also significant. The golden rectangle rule states that a speaker’s distance to the nearest side wall should be at least 1.6 times its distance from the front wall. For example, if the distance from the front wall is 3 feet, the distance to the nearest side wall should be at least 4.8 feet for each speaker.

Once the speakers are in the ideal spot, angle them in by 30 degrees to face the listening spot unless the manual says not to do so. Essentially, you want the two speakers and the listener to create an equilateral triangle. If you want perfection, a protractor and measuring tape will help immensely. Keep in mind that you don’t want the listener’s head to be exactly at the corner of the triangle. Sit several inches closer so that the point rests behind the head. This way, your ears will pick up the left and right stereo channels correctly.

Apply the One-Third to One-Fifth Rule

Position the speakers so that the distance between the front wall is 1/3 to 1/5 the length of the room. Doing so will prevent the speakers from creating standing waves and exciting room resonances (the peak and valley/null nodes when reflected frequency responses are in or out of phase with each other). Angle the speakers towards the listening position, like the golden rectangle rule above. Your listening position is as important as the speaker position to achieve the best sound quality.

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Optimizing Front LCR Speaker Placement, Configuration and Performance

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Protecting Your Home Theater from Everything

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How to Make Surround Sound Work in an Apartment

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Connecting Up a Sound Bar to Enhance Your Flat Panel TV’s Audio

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AV Tip: How to Avoid Blowing Out Your Speakers

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AV Tip: Avoid Short Circuits, Save your Amplifier or AV Receiver

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AV Tip: Power Off Equipment When Making Connections

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AV Tip: Finding Online Owners Manuals

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For the picky ears, sound quality coming from most karaoke machines is not always enough. Connecting it to an external system will give you more flexibility in controlling the sound output. In this article, you will learn how to setup a karaoke system with home theater in no time at all.

You don’t need to be all technical to actually do this. However, you need to know what karaoke system you should be looking for in the first place. Not all of them have the capability to be hooked up to a home theater.

Read on as we also discuss what you should not expect from a home theater. For instance, it is not always the best choice to output vocals. By the end of this article, you should be able to have a clear knowledge of how to turn your home karaoke into a professional karaoke setup.

Planning to upgrade your karaoke system?

Check our list of recommendations for the best karaoke models to choose from. Be sure to select the model that will allow you to hook it up to a home theater.

How To Setup A Karaoke System With Home Theater

Similar to our format with our how-to series, we have created two easy-to-read sections for you. There’s a section on what tools or gears you will need, and how to actually connect them.

What You Will Need

Karaoke Machine

There are different ways to classify a karaoke machine, but in this article, we’ll divide them into those with built-in speakers and those with none.

Karaoke with no built-in speakers is usually those which have songs included. They can be loaded through USB, cartridges, or CD+G discs. They are specifically designed to be connected to a home theater or any external speaker system.

On the other hand, karaoke machines with built-in speakers are becoming quite a trend these days because it’s already a complete system in itself. Not all of these sing-along systems have an audio out, which allows it to be hooked up to a home theater.

What you will actually need is a karaoke unit which has an RCA connection for audio output. Specifically, that would be the white and red-colored jacks.

Home Theater System

All home theaters are designed to receive audio from a variety of sources. First and foremost, you will need to have an available audio input to accommodate your karaoke. It will be quite a chore having to unplug your audio in from your TV or gaming console every time you’re planning to sing.

Did you know that professional karaoke machines have PA speakers which outputs great vocal quality? Hooking them up to a home theater will actually make the entire sound a lot better. That is because the music, or instrumentals, will sound great as well.

RCA cables

These are your standard audio in/out cables. Sometimes it comes with the yellow plug for the video. If you don’t have these cables included with your karaoke purchase, you should be able to buy them online. Make sure that the cord has an appropriate length.

How To Actually Connect Them

STEP 1
Locate the audio out plugs from your karaoke machine. This is the color-coded as red and white. The audio input and output are usually placed side by side. You need to be sure that you plug it into the one labeled as “Out”.

STEP 2
Lay down the cable neatly and connect it to your home theater’s RCA “In”. Some home theaters have an additional label on groupings, like “AUX 1” or “AUX 2”. Take note of the grouping label where you connected plugged your RCA cable in.

STEP 3
Turn on your karaoke machine and your home theater. Change the source input in your home theater to the grouping label you took note earlier. If it doesn’t have one, you can just cycle through all available options until you hear the music playing.

STEP 4
Make the necessary adjustments to your karaoke and home theater for the mic volume and music volume, respectively. If you have pre-defined settings on your home theater, it i is recommended to set it to “Music” or “Stereo” for best results.

These are the basic steps you need to do to get everything up and running. Consult with your system manuals to be sure you can maximize the setup.

Your karaoke machine acts as both a mic receiver and your CD or music player, where you stream your songs from your device. The home theater acts as an external speaker with an amplifier and mixer, all rolled into one.

Professional Karaoke Setup

A great professional karaoke setup can be achieved easily nowadays. However, if you’re going to go big and are planning to make this part of your business you’re going to need to consult with a sound engineer.

The instructions here should be very much appropriate for a personal or home use, though. Basically, you’ll need to have the lyrics going out to your TV, the vocals to your PA speaker, and the music through your home theater speakers.

If you’re hosting a party, connecting your laptop to the karaoke system makes the ambiance more like a karaoke bar. Just add some lights and you’ll have a memorable karaoke party all the time.

Wrapping It Up

We do hope that this article has helped you in improving your karaoke’s sound quality. Even if you are already a great singer, it is just as important to have power and clear sound output from the speakers while singing. With your knowledge of how to setup a karaoke system with home theater, you’ll sure be enjoying your sing-alongs even more.

2 Comments

Thank you for this great info. I’m not a techie but I find your instructions easy to understand. Can’t wait for the weekend.

From your buyer’s guide to this setting up guide, this site continues to amaze me. Thank you!

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    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

    Klipsch delivers a true home theater experience Klipsch has put together an incredible speaker package for movie lovers. This 5.1.2 system includes two floor-standing speakers with Atmos modules , a center channel , two surround speakers , and a powered subwoofer – all the speakers you need for a truly fantastic surround sound experience. This system also sounds great with music, sports, and video game soundtracks. All the speakers you need for a killer surround sound experience in your home. Give your speakers the power they deserve This high-octane speaker system needs seven channels of high-quality amplification. Pair it with a matching Dolby Atmos home theater receiver for thrilling home theater sound. The receiver’s calibration microphone will intelligently detect each speaker’s placement to maximize performance, and to tailor the sound to your space. Atmos effects add a layer of sound above you The two RP-8060FA tower speakers feature upward-firing Atmos modules. These reflect sound off of your ceiling for lifelike three-dimensional sound effects from above. Round out your system with the proper wiring These speakers do not include any wire. You’ll need speaker wire for the front, center, and rear speakers, and a subwoofer cable to connect your receiver to the sub.

    Listening to music has never been easier. In the age of ubiquitous data and devices, anyone with a phone, a Spotify account and a Bluetooth speaker can get the party started. But it doesn’t take an audiophile to appreciate the difference between an ad hoc speaker setup, and a properly-appointed home stereo system. We’re not talking about remodeling entire rooms or splurging for the most high-end, high-fidelity gear, but making a few thoughtful purchases, and paying attention to the way sound travels in confined spaces. For all the serious music lovers out there, here are some quick tips for transforming a room into a dedicated listening environment.

    1. DON’T BOTHER WITH SURROUND SOUND.

    Let’s start with what not to do, which is to buy too many speakers. Specifically, you only need two or three for listening to music—a right and left channel to deliver stereo sound, and possibly a subwoofer to crank up the bass. That’s 2 channel or 2.1-channel, in home audio speak, whereas a full surround sound set might be 5.1 or 7.1-channel. Music is typically recorded and mixed with stereo output in mind, so there’s no advantage to adding additional speakers. That’s not to say that you can’t play tunes on a surround sound layout, but if music is your priority, then focus on getting and placing the best 2 or 2.1-channel gear you can swing.

    2. SKIP THE SOUNDBAR, TOO.

    Soundbars, which squeeze multiple speakers into a compact cabinet, are a popular alternative to the more traditional, multi-speaker setup. But they’re designed as home theater products, optimized for TV and film-based audio, rather than music. And they have superfluous features, too, with most models including a center channel dedicated to outputting clear speech—not vocals, but lines of dialogue. Most importantly, though, is the fact that soundbars don’t let you physically separate the left and right audio channels, which brings us to our next tip.

    3. TRIANGULATE YOUR SEATING.

    Whether it’s a concert hall, a rock club, or your living room, every space has an acoustic sweet spot, where listeners can enjoy the full benefit of distinct, directional audio sources. For home stereo setups, the easiest rule is to create an equilateral triangle. In other words, set your left and right-channel speakers at an equal distance from each other, and from you. This will maximize the stereo effect, and avoid any delay or overlap in oncoming sound waves.

    4. ANGLE YOUR SPEAKERS.

    This might sound obvious, but remember that, while sound radiates outward in waves, most speakers are directional devices, and their cleanest audio comes from waves aimed directly at you. Aiming speakers at your preferred seat will also reduce the amount of audio reflections that you experience (more on that later). This rule only applies to those two primary channels, though. If your system includes a subwoofer, that speaker’s placement is less about direction, and more about where in the room its bass sounds best. For subwoofers, trial and error is the more relevant strategy.

    5. AMPLIFY YOUR SPEAKERS.

    At their most basic, amplifiers are volume boosters, allowing those without neighbors nearby, or else neighbors they despise, to pour extra power through existing speakers. Amplifiers can work in relative isolation, upgrading the power of speakers, or they can be part of a larger configuration that includes a pre-amp, which can clean up signals before they hit the amp. It’s easy to tumble down the hi-fiВ rabbit hole, however, so consider adding an integrated amplifier to your system, and skipping the pre-amps, receivers, and other arcane gear.

    6. PUT BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS ON STANDS.

    They’re called bookshelf speakers, but don’t believe the hype. Actual bookshelves can trap and redirect sound, and they can vibrate, creating everything from unseemly buzzing to more subtle audio distortions. If you can’t spring for standing loudspeakers, or don’t have the space, mount compact bookshelf speakers on stands.

    7. CHECK YOUR STREAMING SETTINGS.

    Streaming music services like Apple Music and Spotify don’t generally offer the highest quality files, unless you make the effort to change the settings. Their rationale makes sense—the better the quality, the more data is being transferred per second, which can take a toll on your cellular data plan. But there’s usually no reason to throttle your data when listening to music over a Wi-Fi connection, so pick the maximum bit-rate available.

    8. DRAW THE CURTAINS.

    Sound waves change as they move through a space, absorbing into some materials and bouncing or splashing off of others. The latter can pose the bigger problem, especially when it comes to audio’s interaction with glass. Bizarre as it sounds, you can avoid many unwanted reflections by simply pulling the curtains, or reconsidering that new glass-top coffee table you’ve been eyeballing. If this seems extreme, know that true hi-fi purists have been known to hang fabric on walls, or else position special, purpose-built audio traps around a listening space. They’re the weirdos, not you!

    Whether you have a home theater, a man cave, or just a TV in your living room, installing a surround sound system will elevate any movie you watch. You TV’s built-in speakers just can’t handle the deep bass of an explosion or the soft footsteps that a speaker system provides. But, if you’ve been shopping around for speakers, you might not know whether to get a 5.1 surround sound system or a 7.1 surround sound system. Here’s everything you need to know about what surround sound is and how to properly set up your surround sound system.

    What is Surround Sound?

    Surround sound is a term used for audio systems that have multiple speakers placed around a listener to achieve a more immersive audio effect. With a surround sound system, you will be able to hear sounds coming from multiple directions.

    There are several types of speaker setups systems. You can tell how many speakers or audio channels and subwoofers that a particular system has by the number in its name. The first number tells you how many speakers are in the system, while the second number tells you how many subwoofers the system has. For example, a 5.1 system comes with 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer.

    If you see a sound system that has a 2 at the end, like a 7.2 system, that means it comes with two subwoofers. Adding a subwoofer helps even out the bass, which might be louder on one side with only one subwoofer. If you do get a sound system with two subwoofers, they should be placed on opposite sides of your screen.

    Each speaker in a surround sound system has its own purpose, and each speaker should be placed in a specific location for the best audio experience. Here are the different kinds of surround sound setups, what each speaker does, and how to set each of them up.

    What is 2.1 Surround Sound?

    A 2.1 surround sound setup has two front speakers that give you stereo sound and a subwoofer that adds deep bass. You should place the front left and right speakers at a 22-30-degree angle, and the subwoofer should go on the floor on either side of your screen.

    Ideally, you want the two front stereo channels to be at ear-level and about two to three feet away from the wall. You should also avoid placing the subwoofer in the corner, so you don’t get an echo.

    While this is the most basic setup, it can be a big improvement over your TV’s built-in speakers.

    What is 3.1 Surround Sound?

    A 3.1 surround sound setup has two front speakers, a subwoofer, and a center speaker. You should place the center channel speaker directly in front of the listener. This center channel adds more depth and clarity, especially to dialogue.

    This is the ideal setup for anyone who wants to elevate their home theater on a budget, but doesn’t have enough room for a full surround sound system.

    What is 5.1 Surround Sound?

    A 5.1 surround sound setup has two front speakers, a subwoofer, a center channel, and two surround speakers. With a 5.1 setup, you should place the surround speakers behind the listener at a 110-120-degree angle.

    This is the first “true” surround sound setup because it actually envelops the listener in sound from all directions. It is also the most common setup because it isn’t too complex, and most DVDs, broadcast TV, and media streaming sources use 5.1 surround sound. Dolby Digital and Dolby DTS also work with a 5.1 setup.

    The two surround speakers create a much more immersive effect, which can instantly improve your home theater experience. But, if you do not have room to place your surround speakers at an angle behind you, they can also be placed on either side of your seating area at a 90-110-degree angle.

    What is 7.1 Surround Sound?

    A 7.1 surround sound setup has two front speakers, a subwoofer, a center channel, two surround speakers, and two rear speakers. With this setup, you should place rear speakers behind the listener at a 135-150-degree angle.

    Unlike a 5.1 speaker setup, a 7.1 surround sound system gives you audio from the both sides, as well as behind you. Since all of the audio that is meant to come from behind is now handled by the rear speakers, you can move your surround speakers to either side of your seating area at a 90-110-degree angle.

    With so many speakers surrounding you, this setup is usually reserved for home theater rooms.

    What is 9.1 Surround Sound?

    A 9.1 surround sound setup has two front speakers, a subwoofer, a center channel, two surround speakers, two rear speakers, and two wide speakers. The two wide speakers should be placed in front of the listener at a 50-70-degree angle.

    With a 9.1 setup, the addition of the wide speakers will bridge the gap between the front and surround speakers. That means you will have sound coming at you from almost every angle. Since this is such a complicated setup, however, it is generally reserved for larger home theater rooms. However, it might be hard to find an inexpensive AV receiver that works with a 9.1 setup.

    If you’re in the market for a new speaker system, check out our list of the best budget-friendly surround sound systems.

    How to Set Up a Surround Sound System

    To set up a surround sound system, you will need an AV (audio/video) receiver. This device allows you to hook up and control multiple speakers. It then processes, separates, and amplifies your audio to drive your speakers.

    An AV Receiver also lets you switch between different audio and video sources, so you can easily switch between your CD player, Xbox, or TV audio with the push of a button.

    Depending on what kind of AV receiver you have, all you need to do to set up your system is to run wires from your speakers to the AV receiver. You should see the name of each speaker next to a connection on the back of your AV receiver.

    If you don’t want to see lots of unsightly speaker wires running through your home theater, you can either conceal them in the walls or buy a wireless setup. However, even wireless speakers need to be powered, so you will still have some wires to deal with.

    If you’re in the market for a new AV receiver, check out our list of the best budget AV receivers.

    By Amy M. Miller | Submitted On April 23, 2010

    Home theaters allow the cinema experience to reach individual families and movie-goers, all in the comfort of their homes. Traditionally, home theaters have been thought of as expensive and generally, out of the price range of most people. However, proper planning and bargain shopping can make this luxury possible.

    While many components go into a theater system, one of the most important is the seating arrangement. Home theater seating can make or break the experience. Uncomfortable home theater seats can wrestle the enjoyment away from the system. Likewise, an awkward layout can detract from the viewing and audio effects of the TV and speakers. To combat this, price-conscious consumers can find affordable discount theater seating. All while planning an effective and comfortable layout.

    What makes home theater seats affordable? It is entirely up to the preferences of the user. The most popular tend to be recliner theater seats, leather sofas, or sectionals. Leather make for a comfortable feel while also absorbing sound – which enhances the quality of the sound system. Many furniture manufacturers offer theater seating collections, varying in size, arrangement, material and price.

    Consider looking through online postings, weekend sale specials at furniture retailers or even designing your own home theater seating from sofas, recliners, etc. Remember, the key is not just creating comfortable seating, but also focusing on the audio and visual parts of the system.

    Below are some tips for maximizing your seating arrangement:

    • Place furniture at a comfortable, yet engaging, distance from the TV and speakers.
    • Make changes! You may find the perfect arrangement takes two, three or even eight different experiments to maximize the sound and picture
    • Try to arrange the seating in a rectangular shape, this will maximize the sound and picture
    • Attempt to layout the furniture so light sources are behind the seating arrangement. This will help prevent unwanted glare obstructing the television’s view.

    The internet can be your best friend when gathering ideas for a seating arrangement. Popular search engines can help you find diverse layout schemes to maximize your furniture seating, TV placement, speaker layout and lighting.

    With careful planning and experimentation, a comfortable and functional theater seating arrangement can provide years of enjoyable in-home cinema viewing. Be creative, experiment with different patterns and enjoy creating an at-home cinema!

    Amy Miller is a free-lance writing. She writes extensively on interior design and home theater seats.