Survey all of the speakers and accessories. A 5.1 surround sound system includes a left and right front speaker, a left and right back -- or surround -- speaker, a center-channel speaker and a subwoofer. You will also need relevant wires for each one and possibly speaker stands or mounts, as well.
Position the center speaker. It should be centered immediately above or below your television. If you set it on top, it should be equal with the front edge of the set. Its height should be close to that of the front left and right speakers.
Position the front speakers. The right and left front speakers are best placed at equivalent distances from the main listening area, including the center channel. The three speakers should all face the designated listening area and be the same distance from you, in an arced format. Use a measuring tape to determine the correct placement. The speakers should be set at the ear level of a seated listener.
Arrange the two surround-sound speakers. The left and right rear speakers should be either flush with, or behind, the listening area. Do not place them at the ear level of a seated listener. The exact positioning of these speakers can alter the overall sound significantly. Experiment with different locations to find what works best for your room.
Set the subwoofer in position. The ideal site can vary from home to home, depending on the amount of bass you like to hear. To find this location, place the subwoofer in your main listening area with music playing. Go around the room to determine the spot with the best sound. Once you have discovered this spot, position your subwoofer.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring Tape
- The ratio of hard-to-soft surfaces in your room will also affect your acoustics. If you're still not hearing the sound you want, experiment with adding and taking away elements such as pillows, heavy drapes and rugs.