How to Position Left and Right Speakers

Norvan Martin

How you set up your left and right speakers can make or break your home theater system. They handle much of the music and sound effects in the movie and can reproduce dialogue. Read on to set up these speakers in the right way.

Before we get into the general setup, people often ask:

When Connecting Left And Right Speakers:

1. Is It Left and Right When Facing The TV?

Your left speaker should be on the left when you are facing the TV, and the right speaker should be on the right when you are facing the TV.

2. Is It My Left and Right Looking At The Speakers?

Your left speaker should be on the left when you are facing the speakers, and your right speaker should be on the right when you are facing the speakers.

Which speaker is left and which is right when facing the TV

3. Is It The TV’s Left and Right From Behind?

Your left speaker should be on the TV’s right when viewed from behind, and the right speaker should be on the TV’s left when viewed from behind.

Which speaker is left and which is right from behind the TV

How do you Set Up Left and Right Speakers?

To set up the right and left speakers, ensure these front speakers and the center speaker complement each other. They should be at an equal distance from the TV. Furthermore, these speakers should be at an equal distance from the listening position.

  • If the listening room is too small or doesn’t suit the ideal position, let one speaker be closer to the TV than the other. Modern AV receivers can adjust output levels for minor differences whenever necessary.
  • However, it would be best if the distances were as equal as possible, and the listening position is as central as possible. You should try as much as possible to have the speakers’ tweeters at the listeners’ ear height.
  • The ideal range of the right and left speakers from the listening position should be between 22 to 30 degrees.

Left and Right Speakers Facing You

Most audiophiles like to have their left and right speakers angled. To achieve this, they ‘toe-in’ the speakers. Thus, they get a narrower, more focused sound. Those who don’t do that get a wider soundstage.

Do Left and Right Speakers Matter?

Absolutely! Left and right speakers are pivotal as they equate to the stereo pair you use with your Hi-Fi system.

  • They are responsible for a significant portion of the music and sound effects.
  • These speakers have the capability to produce dialogue.
  • Key tip: Ensure the tweeters are at ear level for your left and right speakers to optimize your listening experience.

Can You Switch Left and Right Speakers?

Yes, in certain situations, you can interchange left and right speakers. If both speakers have identical wiring, switching them around won’t make any difference. Otherwise:

  • There is a designated right and left.
  • Audio meant for the left should ideally come from the left speaker.

Left and Right Speaker Test

The left and right speaker listening test is your best tool for identifying and rectifying issues that impede their performance.

How can you test the speakers?

  1. Play your go-to music and occupy your regular listening spot.
  2. Relocate the left and right speakers by a few inches to notice any change in sound.
  3. Experiment by adjusting the angle of the speakers and observing the impact.

Additional tips:

  • Consider swapping the speakers and their connections.
  • Collaborate with someone. While one person listens, the other can adjust the speakers.

Surround Left and Right Speaker Placement

The positioning of surround left and right speakers plays a significant role in determining your audio quality.

  • They instill a spatial feel in your listening environment.
  • These speakers collaborate with the main left and right speakers to create a three-dimensional sound effect.

Surround right and left speakers typically have compact designs. Audiophiles tend to lean towards:

It’s uncommon to find floor-standing models used as surrounds due to their bulkiness.

Left and right speaker placement in a home theater

For a 5.1 surround setup:

  • Position surround speakers either behind or beside your listening area.
  • Dolby recommendation: Maintain an angle between 110° and 120° from your listening spot. For smaller rooms, a 90° angle is preferred.
  • THX recommendation: Ranges from 90° to 110°.

Tips for positioning:

  • Surround speakers should be elevated above the front ones. Ideally, 1-2 feet above your seated head height is best.
  • Aim your surround speakers at your listening spot for optimal sound.

Overall, the primary objective should be to angle the speakers toward your listening spot. The speaker’s design and the flexibility of brackets or stands play a role in achieving this.

For a 7.1 setup, the speaker arrangement remains similar. The only difference is:

  • Angles should be between 90° and 110°.
  • Additional rear speakers should be placed behind the listener, angled at 135° and 150°.

Difference Between Front Speakers and Surround Speakers

Type of Speaker


Front Speakers

Front speakers are positioned in front of the listening room on the left and right sides of the TV. They handle much of the music and soundtrack effects. So, if you want quality music, buy quality front speakers.

Surround Speakers

Surround speakers are often positioned beside the listening area. Some people move them behind this location because of space limitations. These speakers produce realistic 3D surround sound effects. So, they work with the front speakers to produce rich content.

Hi-Fi Left and Right

If you focus on near-perfect audio recording, a Hi-Fi system suits you. The system requires a 2.0 arrangement with two Hi-Fi left-and-right speakers opposite each other. You also need an amplifier, CD player, and a high-quality record player. You may also require a high-quality cassette player.


The right and left speakers should receive most of your attention because they are crucial to your surround sound system. However, don’t forget about the surround right and left and the other components of a surround system if you want the best entertainment experience.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin