Surround sound is a system where multiple speakers surround the listener to give a more realistic sound effect while watching movies, videos, etc.
Having a surround sound system means you can hear sounds from above you, behind you, and from your sides as well. This just gives a rather exciting vibe and experience whether you’re watching a horror movie or an animated one.
To figure out how to get the most out of the surround sound system for a marvelous experience, we have covered several topics where you can calibrate your surround sound settings and choose the best ones.
What Is The Best Setting For Surround Sound?
Check which type of surround sound speaker you have and adjust settings according to the following:
2.1: Place the left and right speakers at 22-30 degrees angles, and put the subwoofer on the floor on either side of your screen (where there is more space).
3.1: Same placement of left, right speakers, and subwoofer as 2.1. Place the center speaker in front of the listener for clarity.
5.1: It has the same set-up as 3.1. except that the surround speakers should be placed behind the listener at 110-120 degrees. This setting gives a very realistic effect to the listener as sound comes from all directions.
7.1: place the left and right at 22-30 degrees, and put the center speaker right in front of the listener. Two surround speakers at 135-150 degrees behind the listener, and two speakers at the left and right side of the listener at 90-110 degrees.
9.1: After adjusting like the 7.1 system, place two wide speakers in front of the listener at 50-70 degrees. This boosts the home theater experience.
How Do I Get The Best Sound Quality From My Surround Sound?
If you have a home theater in a box where everything is purchased from a single manufacturer, then there usually aren’t many options available for tweaking the sound settings. However, you can still adjust the volume levels for this surround sound system.
An advanced system contains an AV receiver with five or more speakers, along with one-two subwoofer. To get the best sound quality, make sure there is enough space surrounding the speakers. If the TV is squeezed between, or there are things or walls near the speakers, then the sound may get muffled.
Placing the speakers near the ear level can produce significantly better results.
How Do I Balance My Surround Sound System?
Balancing your surround sound system means calibrating it or adjusting the levels. Once you are done with the setting of the surrounding speakers, now focus on the speaker levels. Make sure neither one of the speakers is extra louder or quieter than the others. Each speaker should complement the other one.
For the home theater in a box, use an SPL meter instead of using your ears to determine volume levels. Seat each speaker at the same level by using SPL by playing test tones on them one at a time. The most common level is 75db for each speaker.
For other advanced surrounding sound speakers, the manufacturers vary so they have different settings. Some manufacturers can visit to set up the settings for you, these include Denon, ARC, YPAO, etc. They work by setting up a microphone with a supplied receiver at your listening position. The receiver will then play test tunes on each speaker one at a time until they calibrate system levels and EQ the sound.
Make sure there are no other background noises like fans, windows, etc. for better calibration.
Should Your Center Channel Be Louder?
For excellent sound results, do not make the center channel louder than the fronts. Generally, the center sound system should be set between 70-80 dB level, depending on the front speakers. Place the center speaker at the front of the listener near the ear level for better sound.
How Can I Make My Home Subwoofer Sound Better?
You can place the subwoofer typically anywhere in the room. Try placing it at different corners and positions of the room and play a test tune to see if the subwoofer sound gets better. Generally, it sounds much better when placed against a wall or in a corner.
What Are The Best Settings For A Subwoofer?
Since the SPL meter does not detect the subwoofer accurately, you can boost it a little higher so it complements the rest of the speakers. Set the gain control to the middle of the dial, and the crossover frequency to a maximum for a better quality subwoofer.
Calibrate the subwoofer again by re-running the receiver and auto-calibrate the system to adjust the subwoofer settings. It does not always have to boost, sometimes the level needs to be cut down as well.
Best DB Settings For 5.1 Surround Sound
Too much loud sound can damage your ears, so setting them at the right level is important. The best dB sound level is 75 dB. With this level, you can hear all the details and won’t damage your hearing as well.
Best DB Settings For 7.1 Surround Sound
7.1 means you have multiple speakers placed at different positions in your surroundings. The best sound level is between 70 to 80 dB. You can hear the sound details, the acoustics, and different sound effects as well without damaging your ears in the long run.
Surround Sound Calibration App
If you don’t want to go for purchasing an AV receiver, the best option is to use your smartphone. You can try calibration using different apps on your smartphone to improve the overall home theater experience.
Following are some of the calibrations routine apps you can use to adjust your surround sound system settings.
Audyssey: by using the Audyssey MultEQ, you can manage the system to make the home theater experience worth it.
AccuEQ: it fine-tunes the speakers for enhancing your surrounding sound to create a harmonious sound system.
MCACC: it includes some advanced features including the time-axis feature. MCACC is introduced by Pioneer.