How To Set Up Your Home Theater Speaker System

If you have just bought your new home theater system, you are most probably going to need some help getting it setup. If your home theater system has an auto-setup feature, don’t expect much from it. The auto-setup feature on your home theater is just to help keep the system in your home instead of in the return line. The settings of the auto-setup system are not accurate and don’t always make the proper equalizer adjustments. So much for the auto-setup system. Here are a few tips that can help you get your home theater system installed and performing at its best.

Setup the A/V Receiver

The A/V receiver has its own small LCD display, but it’s better to connect your TV to the receiver and view the A/V receiver’s display on the TV. You can get the display to appear on the TV via an HDMI cable. Make sure you also have an RCA cable handy just in case the display does not come up on the TV. In that case use the RCA (yellow) jack to the TV’s composite video input and you will have the receiver’s display appear on the TV.

Once the receiver’s menu appears on the TV, just browse through the various options to familiarize yourself with the settings. This will help when you have to start setting thing up.
Placing the Speakers

Placing the speakers in the room depends on the room itself. Some people have dedicated entertainment rooms while others might want to set up the home theater system in their living room. Whatever the case there are some basic rules when it comes to speaker placement.

  • Center Speaker – The center speaker should always be placed directly above or below your television. Most of the dialogue from anything you watch comes from this speaker, so it needs to be as close to the television as possible to give you the feeling that the sound is coming from the picture you are watching.
  • Left and Right Speakers – Place the left and right speakers on left and right of the television. The distance between the left speaker and the TV should be the same as from the TV to your seating position. Do the same for the right speaker. The placement of the left and right speaker and your seating position should form an invisible triangle. The height of the speakers should be around 42 inches off the ground, on the same level as your ears while you are seated.
  • Surround Speakers – Place the surround speakers behind your seating position at ear level. Just in case you have surround back speakers (sixth and seventh), they should be placed in the same position as your front speakers, preferably on the wall behind you.
  • Sub-woofer – Avoid placing the sub-woofer in the corner of a room or in a cabinet. Placing the sub-woofer a third of the way in the room is better. You can also place it at the back of the room at least three feet away from your head.

These are just some of the basics of setting up your home theater speaker system. When it comes to setting up your speakers, trial by error is what you will have to go by. No two rooms are the same and the acoustics of each room is different from the other. You will need to work with the placement of the speakers to find the best position so that you can enjoy its sound. Room furnishings and wall objects also play an important part in allowing the sound to pass freely. Taking these things into consideration will enable you to set up your home theater speaker system properly.

Haresh Shah, an entrepreneur at, has a strong passion for audio-visual equipments. If you’re from Battersea or Chelsea, you can find the latest updates in AV equipments at 1stStopAV’s Twitter page.