Home Theater Acoustics & Ambient Light Control

Answers for your Home Theater questions.


Home Theater viewing Layout

Acoustics and Soundproofing

In designing a dedicated home theater, speaker placement is extremely important. By far, the most important track in a film is the dialogue track. This is produced through the center channel speaker. If you cannot understand dialogue, the impact of the movie is greatly reduced. In theater rooms with multiple rows of seats, hearing dialogue clearly can be a challenge. Many magazines and web sites can give you ideas for the architectural look of your theater. Sierra Integrated Systems also has decorators and designers we work with on theater appointments. We cannot stress enough how big a difference the proper acoustics approach will make in the enjoyment of your theater. Please read our acoustics blog for more information.

Not only should your family and guests be able to see the entire screen, they need to hear all of the speakers. No speaker is more important than the center channel. It’s fairly easy to get sound right when there is only one row of home theater seating, but with two or more rows, the location of the center channel becomes critical. Our experts will help you with your design to optimize the center speaker position.

There is a good rule to follow for the best separation of the left and right speakers. We like to see them at about a 45 to 60-degree angle with the main seating position. Use a 45-degree position if the main use of the room is movies; spread the speakers further apart if you will also be enjoying concert videos or audio. Our staff can help you plot this out.

Subwoofer Placement

The subwoofer (the speaker providing deep bass effects) can usually be hidden under the screen. Again, we can help with design options. We believe that each room should be analyzed, especially for low frequency response, since the wavelengths can be several feet long. Additionally, we find that the more subs, the better the sound – four is ideal!

Surround Speakers Placement

Finally, surround speakers can be positioned to your sides and on the rear wall. You should have one or more pairs of side speakers and one pair of rear speakers. Their placement will be related to how your seating arrangement works out.

Home Theater Panel Moldinghome theater or media room layout