This article compares the front height speakers in 5.1 to the surround back speakers in 7.1. It provides information about which is better and why.
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Many people ask us about the differences between height and surround speaker systems. Let’s suppose you’re upgrading your surround system from 5.1 to 7.1 and want to add front height speakers, surround back, or rear surrounds. Is it possible to combine the two? Should you, for example, add surrounds before adding two ATMOS speakers? Which choice is the best one?
We’re going to concentrate on the distinctions between front height speakers and surround rear speakers today to help you get the most out of your surround sound system.
In a 7.1 home theater system, utilizing both front height and surround rear speakers is not a problem. If you have to pick, rear surrounds will enhance the experience more, particularly in terms of ambience, directional effects, and panning effects. Even with Atmos/DTS:X, front height speakers will simply provide ambience since you already have three channels in the front (left, right, and center).
Let’s dig a little deeper.
What Is a Surround System and How Does It Work?
This helps us understand why front height speakers and surround rear speakers vary and how they work together to enhance your experience. Now let’s talk about surround sound systems from 2.0 to 13.1 systems.
Surround sound is the primary feature that distinguishes home theaters from standard TV and stereo systems.
Surround sound systems enable you to have an immersive cinematic experience in your living room by placing various speakers around the room to handle different audio channels such as left, right, center, and rear. Of course, there’s also a subwoofer.
You’ll need between two and three speakers in front of you to have a good surround sound system. Behind your listening location, you’ll need almost the same amount of speakers. The front height speakers and the surround rear speakers, respectively.
The audio stream will be divided into several channels by the home theater. As a result, various audio grades will be produced by each speaker to improve your entertainment experience.
Speakers at the front
The better and direct sound comes from the right and left front height speakers.
They should be directed towards the person who is listening. They may usually be placed immediately over the primary front speakers. They may also be placed far apart to bridge the gap between the room’s edges and the primary center speakers.
Speakers in the Center
For the greatest experience, you’ll need a center speaker. Your center speaker may be placed above or below your TV screen.
What is the speaker’s function? It aids in the anchoring of sound coming from the front height speakers as well as the production of any audio dialog.
The speaker is usually used to assist in the playback of the same sound effects and conversation as the front speakers are unable to do so.
To put it another way, the center speaker improves the soundstage by making it seem as though the sound is coming straight from the TV.
The cinematic experience is completed by surround-back speakers. The speakers will be seated behind you in this scenario.
They carry out the following tasks:
- Fill up the blanks with sounds like flowing river, children playing, dogs barking, and more.
- Complements speakers in the front row.
The Differences Between Front Height and Back Surrounding Speakers
|Speakers at the front||Surround Back|
|Make the loudest sound possible.||Fill in the blanks with background sounds|
|The sound of the center speaker is anchored.||Complements speakers in the front row.|
|Located just in front of the listening location||Behind the listening position was discovered|
|Recreates the speech and major action of the program.||The precise placement of the speakers is determined by the surround setup.|
Front-height speakers or surround-back speakers: which should be louder?
You’ve seen how front height speakers and surround rear speakers are distinct from one another yet work well together. They also rely on the central speaker to provide the overall sound quality you want. Which of them, though, is the loudest?
The front height speakers are usually louder than the surround rear speakers. They have bigger drives that generate higher-pitched sound. Some individuals may like to have them turned up louder than the primary front speakers, which may create issues.
As the speakers get louder, part of your show’s dialogue and major action will be lost, which is undesired. As a result, it’s better to let the surround back concentrate on reducing background sounds.
Check read our post on why certain surround sound speakers aren’t functioning if both of these kinds of speakers aren’t working.
Where Should Front-Height Speakers Be Placed?
Front-height speakers should ideally be positioned in the top left and right corners of the stage.
The positioning of the primary front and center speakers is the first and most important phase. The location of the front height speakers and surround rear speakers will be mainly determined by the location of the center speaker.
Because your primary front speakers are in charge of the majority of the music, sound effects, and speech, you should concentrate on balancing the sound field across the screen.
The goal is for the front right and left speakers, as well as the center, to compliment each other. You should perform the following to accomplish this:
Make an equilateral triangle balance by placing the left and right speakers at the same distance from the television. They should also be at a similar distance from the listening location. Consider constructing an equilateral triangle with the front left, front right, and main listening position as its corners.
Slightly offset the speakers from the central speaker: Imagine constructing a circle that touches all four corners of your triangle to place the center speaker in the proper location. Attempt to place the center speaker above the circle. This is nearly equal to the distance between the front and left front height speakers.
From a seated posture, the front left and right speakers should create a 22-to-30-degree angle.
Toe-in the speakers: The speakers may be tilted slightly to point towards the listening location.
This will result in a sound that is narrower and more concentrated. You’ll get a broader soundstage if you don’t.
Give the speakers a modest angle: 45-to-60 degree angles are acceptable to many audiophiles. Nonetheless, 30 degrees on either side of the central speaker is a good place to start.
If you still don’t like it, try bringing the front speakers closer to the screen. While you’re doing this, pay attention. If you find that the sound quality isn’t improving, separate the front height speakers.
The front height speakers should be placed approximately 60 degrees from the main sitting position.
Near-ear level: As much as feasible, place the speakers as close to your hearing level as possible. Consider increasing the height of your floor-standing speakers a little.
Where Should Surround Back Speakers Be Placed?
The placement of surround rear speakers is determined by your surround setup.
5.1 Surround Sound Setup
In a 5.1 setup, surround back speakers should be positioned behind your listening position.
Surround rear speakers are not available in 5.1 setups. Nonetheless, the left and right surrounds may be used as the surround back, depending on your requirements.
Dolby recommends a listening angle of between 110 and 120 degrees. However, owing to space constraints, this is often difficult if you have a tiny room. A 90-degree angle on either side is usually the best choice.
THX, on the other hand, recommends a temperature range of 90 to 110 degrees. We shouldn’t talk about “back” at 90 degrees since the surround speakers are also at a right angle. We can locate the speakers in the rear of the listening position if you work with 110 or 120 degrees. Compromises are always possible.
Ascertain that the surround speakers are somewhat higher than the front speakers. The standard is 1 to 2 feet above your head height when seated.
Keep in mind that the surround back’s function is to produce an ambient sound in your listening area. As a result, gently angling them away from your ears will assist you in doing this.
However, as previously said, do not attempt to get straight up-front sound from them. This is a reserve for the speakers in the front row.
7.1 Surround Sound Setup
The 7.1 surround arrangement has almost identical speaker layout.
The major distinction between 7.1 channel surrounds and 5.1 channel surrounds is that 7.1 channel surrounds feature genuine surround back speakers that do not need to be angled at 90 degrees to the sitting position. Background sound is produced by these speakers.
These speakers should be angled at approximately 135 to 150 degrees from the back of the seat.
You follow the identical steps as before, but make sure the surround rear speakers are angled between 135 and 150 degrees. To understand more, see our article on surround versus surround back speakers.
A surround-sound system enables you to experience movies, television programs, and music in a more immersive manner.
It will be easier to get that unique cinematic experience if you have front height and surround rear speakers.
If you had to pick between the two, surround back speakers will give you a better overall experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What height should rear surround speakers be?
Rear Surround Speakers should be placed at a height of between 2.5 and 3 feet from the ground, depending on the size of your room.
Do front height speakers make a difference?
Front height speakers are not necessary for Beat Saber, but they do make a difference.
Should surround speakers be same size as front?
Surround speakers should be twice the size of your front speakers.