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Place your speakers perfectly to hit the right note

Ronda Cochroche Ronda Cochroche
Lotus pond Modern media room by NA ARCHITECTS Modern
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It's movie night and the whole family is gathering together to watch the latest film sensation. Almost everyone loves spending a few hours comfortably nestled in a sofa watching a good movie or a favourite television show. For that experience to work seamlessly, there must be a television and a good sound system that delivers a clear sound that is loud enough to reach all corners of the room. Sound is primordial for a media room because every electronic device will be connected to the sound system. There must be a sound associated to a film or to show that is watched because a film without sound is like a tree without roots: it doesn't make sense. Even silent films had music playing in the background! 

To get the perfect sound, a few elements should be considered such as the distance, the height, the power available, the strength of the speakers and more. The following ideas can help those wanting to get the best sound out of their speakers.

Speaker type

The purchase of new speakers has been agreed upon and now comes the time to shop for them. Unfortunately, there are thousands of different brands, types and sizes for speakers which can seem problematic at first. However, fortunately, there is a way to differentiate the different speaker types.

There are some speakers that are meant solely for listening to music which are calibrated accordingly with high sound quality. Other kinds that are for music studio productions where the range of decibels is much higher than any other, may not be the ideal choice and they are usually very expensive. Then comes home theatre speakers that are meant for watching movies and casual music listening. There is also computer speakers that are much smaller than any other and they are made for computer usage and not for a prolonged period of movie watching. 

This design has been made possible by Depanache Interior Architects.

Surround sound

Lotus pond Modern media room by NA ARCHITECTS Modern

Lotus pond


Whether the speakers are installed to watch movies or to solely listen to music, the listening experience will be hightened if the speakers are designed for surround sound and placed around the room accordingly. The advantage of the surround sound is that it has been been especially designed for films. For example, a person is watching a movie where the actor is walking through a forest. As the actor advances in the forest different ambiant sounds will travel from the front speakers to the back speakers as the actor makes his way through the forest. This means that if a bird is singing in the background, the front speakers will project the bird song at first and as the actor walks past the bird and moves further, the singing bird will then be heard in the back speakers. In a surround sound system every speaker has its own purpose and is meant to deliver the most realistic sound possible. Surround sound is meant to plunge the person watching a movie right into the action of the film.

The layout

Depending on the type and size of the speakers, they should be placed in the room in a particular manner. Firstly, if the speakers are part of a surround sound system they should placed around the living room as mentioned earlier. There should be one speaker placed directly under the television and all other four speakers in every corner of the room. If the room is not made in a square or rectangular shape, it is important to visualise where the sound will travel. This means that the person watching a movie should be in the middle of all speakers or in a location that is sure to receive all transmitted sounds. 

Secondly, if the sound system consists only of two small side speakers they should be hung on either side of the telivision as shown in the current picture. If the speakers are large free-standing they should be placed on each side of the television and at least one meter away from it. This means that they can be hung from the ceiling or left standing in two corners of the room. Naturally the sound must be directed towards the couch where people will sit to listen.

Click here for more speaker inspirations.

Different placement for a different use

The direction where the sound is headed is of the utmost importance. The reason for this is to have the best listening experience and to not have the sound hindered by any object  or structure. 

The image here is of a music room where people come to practice their favourite instrument. In short, the speakers must be of high quality to render the best possible sound for the musician to hear every note and every glitch. The speakers have been placed in a way that faces away from the wall and toward the centre of the room. No window has been placed in this room in order to not be bothered by outside noises.  True sound can be heard with adequate placement of the speakers that will project the music in a specified direction as shown here.

Soundproofing for a clearer sound

It is a known fact that sound travels through things and bounces off others; that is what acousticians think about on a daily base. Their job is usually focused around sound travel, ambiant noise and room acoustics. Soundproofing a room can take its toll on the wallet, however the benefits are many and over time it becomes a good investment. 

In an urban area, sound pollution is defined as unavoidable noises that are predominant I a metropolis such as police, ambulance and fire truck sirens, construction site noises, trains, planes and everything else that is very loud. For those who live in the city where there is sound pollution every minute of the day, soundproofing can resolve many headaches since it will offer a completely quiet room undisturbed by the outside world. Soundproofing is also recommended for those who like to watch movies and listen to music at a very high volume because it will keep the high pitched music within the room and stop it from travelling through the walls for all the neighbours to hear.


When having a setup like the one shown in this image, an idea should be kept in mind. It is to remember to triangulate the sound. Triangulating means that the speakers will be placed in a way that will make the sound travel towards one focal point. To illustrate this, having a closer look at this image will clarify the idea. One must imagine an invisible line that travels from a speaker to the black leather seat. This makes a triangle which signifies that all sounds coming out of the speakers will go directly toward the person sitting in the chair, therefore instantly providing the truest and clearest sound for the seated person. 

In short, triangulating means placing the speakers on a side opposite from each other and turning them at an angle that is headed where people will be sitting to listen.

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