Best Speaker Placement with your Couch against the Wall
(Last Updated On: September 24, 2020)

In home audio systems, speaker placement can have a significant impact on the quality of sound you get. In fact, speaker positioning is among the biggest issues for most people, especially when furniture is a hindrance.

Proper speaker placement can transform an average sounding surround sound system to give you the experience of an elite home theatre.

However, proper positioning can be tricky, considering that the acoustics of every media room is different. As such, you might not be getting the audio experience that you desire from your system due to poor placement.

Why Is Speaker Positioning Important?

This guide will help you position your 5.1, 7.1, and 7.2 speaker systems for the best audio experience when your couch is set against the wall.

Keep in mind that placing your speakers in the wrong position messes up with the sound waves and affects the sound quality. However, every room is different so you’ll have to experience to get the best effect. For example, one of the best placement for hard-hitting bass is placing your subwoofer behind your couch and one of the worst placements is placing your subwoofer under the couch. That said, let’s see the best way to position your speakers.

5.1 Speaker Placement Couch Against Wall

After buying a 5.1 speaker system, most people hardly go through the user manual to learn more about placement.

While the user manual won’t teach you everything about your room’s acoustics or the entire placement options available, it’s important to read it before you set up your system. That ensures that you don’t mess up things and have to redo the connection as it can be a little frustrating.5.1 speaker placement couch against wall

Before you start the set-up, it’s also crucial to learn a little about 5.1 speaker systems. These are the most common surround sound systems on the market, offering five channels with a single subwoofer.

That means your surround sound system comes with a center speaker and a pair of back and front speakers.

  • Positioning Your Subwoofer

The subwoofer puts out all the bass frequencies in your sound system. These bass frequencies are omnidirectional, giving you a lot of flexibility when it comes to positioning.

subwoofer position 5.1 system

Nonetheless, you’ll want to place the subwoofer in an open space to ensure that the low frequencies aren’t squeezed through one area.

This is why you shouldn’t place your subwoofer under your coach for example. Additionally, the subwoofer comes in a ported enclosure, so you don’t want to suffocate the sound.

Here are some important points for subwoofer positioning:

  1. Generally, placing the subwoofer next to a wall increases the bass.
  2. Positioning it in a corner also has the same effect, though it might not be as clean or tight as you’d like it. Even worse, you might end up having sound issues with your neighbors and people in other rooms, as sound can travel through walls. Of course, you can soundproof your home theater walls to prevent this issue.

For the best audio performance, you’ll want to place your subwoofer next to your front speakers. Some people consider placing the subwoofer on the sides, though that might not work out very well. That’s because the overall sound performance will be affected.

If you have an issue connecting your subwoofer with the surround speakers in your wired system, you should consider buying a wireless subwoofer conversion kit.

That will allow you to set up your subwoofer where it sounds best and eliminate tangled wires in your system without sacrificing the audio experience.

  • Surround Speakers Placement

When connecting your system, you can position your surround speakers using speaker stands or mount them on a wall.

surround sound position 5.1 system

However, you need to keep the cables neat around your house to avoid messing up your interior décor and aesthetic appeal.

  • Placing the Front Speakers

If you’re looking to enjoy a complete surround sound experience, we recommend having the speakers at a listening level.

You’ll also want to start by connecting the front speakers to the right posts. After doing that, you’ll need to ensure that the right and left speakers are angled 30-degrees towards your couch.speaker position 5.1 system couch against wallFor the best audio performance, ensure that your couch is at a central position from where your TV is located. The speakers will also need to be at an equal distance on each side of your TV’s position.

While most speakers work best in this type of set-up, others produce better sound better when set perpendicularly against the rear wall. As such, it’s essential to try out both positioning and see what works best with the acoustics of your media room.

  • Center Speaker Placement

Unless your system is missing a center speaker, you’ll hardly notice the surround sound effect that it creates.center speaker position 5.1 system couch against wall

Fortunately, you can easily set-up the speaker opposite your listening area for maximum impact.

This speaker is dominant in creating mid-range frequencies, unlike the front speakers, which mainly deal with the vocals and low frequencies.

In terms of performance, the center speaker has minimal effect, but it’s essential in a surround sound system. After all, every little detail matters when it comes to enjoying the quality sound.

  • Positioning the Rear

While setting up the front speakers can be easy, we can’t say that’s the same experience you’ll have when connecting the rear speakers.

Even worse, having a couch in the room can significantly limit your space.

surround sound position 5.1 system

For most people, it takes a while before they can figure things out, though the hassle is worth it once they finally do it. If your couch is set against the wall, you might not have the freedom to set the rear speakers at an angle.

Where a side-by-side placement is possible, the best way to position the speaker is to put them on each end facing the couch from an equal distance.

You can also try to hang them on a wall behind your couch at an angle of 110-degrees from the centre of your chair if a side-by-side placement isn’t logical.

7.1 Speaker Placement Couch Against Wall

In a 7.1 channel sound system, you’ll be working with a total of seven speakers connected to a single subwoofer.

Unlike in a 5.1 surround sound system, a 7.1 audio system comes with seven standard speakers, giving you greater precision and depth when set-up correctly.7.1 speaker system with couch against wall

  1. Seating position
  2. Left and right speakers
  3. Center speaker
  4. Subwoofer
  5. Left and right surround speakers
  6. Left and right rear surround speakers
  7. Left and right top middle overhead speak

When it comes to positioning the speakers, the set-up process is pretty similar to the 5.1 system, with only a few more speakers to factor in.

The front speakers should sit at each side of your TV set, looking towards your couch at an angle of 30 degrees.

The center speaker is best placed in the middle, or right next to your TV set, facing straight towards the center of your couch.

For the surround right and left speakers, you’ll want them positioned on each side of your couch, facing toward it. On the other hand, you can use the wall behind your sofa to mount the back/ rear speakers at an angle of 135 or 150 degrees towards your couch.

7.2 Speaker Placement Couch Against Wall

With a 7.2 surround sound system, you’ll get everything you have in a 7.1 system plus an additional subwoofer.

The second subwoofer is very useful in leveling out the bass in your media room, especially in the areas where people sit.

7.2 Speaker Placement Couch Against Wall

  1. Seating position
  2. Left and right speakers
  3. Center speaker
  4. Subwoofers
  5. Left and right surround speakers
  6. Left and right rear surround speakers
  7. Left and right top middle overhead speak

For the best audio performance with a 7.2 surround sound system, you need to move around a little as you test different positions in the room.

That means you’ll need to have a keen ear to notice any changes in the bass levels. Choose a position where the bass level is consistent all over the room.

Though there isn’t a perfect position for placing the second subwoofer, there a few tricks you use to know what suits your room.

For starters, you can have a person sit in the listening area, while the other moves the subwoofer around. You’ll be surprised the difference that a few inches can have on your audio experience

As might have noted, setting up a 7.2 surround sound system can be tricky as you have two subwoofers in a single room.

That’s because the low-frequency sound waves will be starting at two different places, and they can begin to canceling each other out if you make a mistake while positioning them. As a result, your bass might end up being worse than before.

If you’re stuck with the positioning and the subwoofers start to cancel each other out, it might time to call in a sound expert.

Though you’ll be incurring extra costs, the expert will have a sound meter that will allow him to test your room and place the subwoofers in the right position. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to try using your ears to listen and try to set up before calling an expert.

5 Useful Points To Remember When Positioning Your Speakers

Now that we’ve looked at the placement of different surround sound system speakers, there are few points worth remembering when connecting your system. That includes:

1. Every room is different

As earlier mentioned, every room has different acoustics. Additionally, your media room might also not be the perfect place to house a surround sound system.

Positioning Your Speakers in different rooms

As such, it might be challenging to find the perfect position to set up your speakers. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean trying to get the best audio performance from your speakers, and the subwoofer is an exercise in futility.

Though it might take time before you can get everything right, you’ll still make the best out of your available space. However, most people are forced to compromise in the location of some speaker.

That’s still fine, considering that you will balance the audio settings after choosing the right placement for your speaker.

Modern AV receivers come with automatic room correction, helping to compensate for the speaker placement in your room. That can be very effective, especially if you’re not very experienced with sound settings, though you can tweak it manually.

2. Avoid corners

Corners are where your ceiling, walls and the floor meet. As such, most speakers and subwoofers tend to sound louder in corners, though the audio quality is not excellent.

In most cases, the bass will sound “muddy” if the speakers are set in the corners, though that can boost the boom coming from your subwoofer if it’s not very powerful.

3. Try a listening test

To know whether your speaker placement is working to give you the best audio performance, you must do a listening test.

To do that, consistently play a familiar sound while sitting on your normal position on the couch and listen carefully. You can try moving the speakers a few inches or point them in a different angle and note how that affects the sound.

It’s easier to conduct the listening test with another person, as one can sit down and listen while the other moves the speakers around. The test can be instrumental, especially when trying to position a subwoofer or set up a 7.2 home theater system.

4. Avoid obstructions

Always make sure that nothing can hinder the sound from reaching your ears. That’s because your audio experience will be affected if curtains or furniture are obstructing the sound from reaching to where you are.speaker placement obstacles

Obstructions make the sound waves bounce in your media room before reaching your ears. However, you want the sound to go directly to your ears from your speakers for the best sonic experience.

As such, you might have to move your speakers forward a little, even if they’re sitting on a shelf.  Ideally, you want to ensure the speaker is pushing the sound directly to your listening position.

5. Create some space from the walls

If you have a huge room, it’s essential to position the speakers away from your walls to ensure the sound waves don’t bounce off the walls.

Additionally, putting your subwoofer next to the wall can lead to noise leakage in the other rooms. However, you can use your wall to boost the amount of bass that your subwoofer produces.

6. Type of speakers

The type of speakers that you choose to use is also very important when considering speaker placement. For example, are they front ported or rearported speakers? This will decide if you can place the speakers against the wall or not.

Bottom Line

Following the guidelines about, you’ll be able to find the best speaker placement for any surround sound system. Remember that these are just guidelines, so it’s essential to consider the features of your media room as you follow them while positioning your speakers.

Nonetheless, these guidelines will ensure that you realize the full potential of your surround sound system with the right positioning.