Flat Screen Television behind speakers

I have a large 75” flat screen TV in my living room and want to know how bad this can affect the sound. The speakers have to go right against wall pretty much and the TV is in between the speakers. I have large acoustic panels right behind the speakers  and then 2 subs on the outside of each speaker which also have acoustic panels behind them. Question is should I move the speakers to the outside further away from the the TV and swap the subs inward closer to the TV- or would the bass reflection from the subs be even worse? The television is mounted higher on the wall so maybe the subs are better positioned on the floor?

Aerial Acoustic 7T x 2 

Pass XA30.5

Rel 528 x2


The TV will cause more reflections that will make the sound both brighter and more smeared. I don’t think your speaker placement will matter too much based on what you are inquiring about. I prefer to keep my subs on the outside, which will result in a wider soundstage. 

One suggestion you may consider is to put a blanket over the TV while listening. That may improve your sonics quite a bit. 

The position of my flatscreen is set back and the height is even with the top of my speakers so the sound is affected by reflections. I cover the TV with a lightweight blanket. I don't want to create absorbion, only hide the reflective surface.

Kill is too strong a word but it causes reflections.  I have a grand plan to put curtains over mine this winter.


I have a 65" SONY flatscreen TV between my speakers. It is also slightly above the top of the speakers, which are placed about 20" in from the screen.

No doubt that the sound is better when I place a fabric cover over the TV. I had one custom made, so it’s easy to place on and remove. Pretty easy fix.

I helped out an individual with same problem by placing diffusors in front of tv. In that case we could stack RPG Skylines.

All the above suggestions are right on target.

If you can, an acoustically treated dedicated listening room gives even better results.

I have A/B tested a tv between my speakers and then nothing between them. Honestly it is really hard to hear the difference. Just try it for yourself and see. I personally hang a projector screen between mine about 3’ off the rear wall (pictured in my system). I have tested it both up and down and I can’t hear it at all. 

+1 light blanket or even try a sheet.  Too much absorption could suck the life out of the music.  Not sure why you have the speakers close to the wall as that’s not doing you any favors either — your speakers need some room to breathe.

Believe me, if I could have a dedicated listening room and pull those suckers off the wall 3-5 feet I would in a heartbeat.  My house is 1400 sq feet. It kills me to envision how this system could sound in a proper room. Regarding the comforter over the tv, I think my lady friend would go nuts. The custom cover could be a possibility. Thanks for all these responses. 

Just phrase it as a dust cover.  The ultimate would be a pull down screen that would provide an air gap between the cover and the screen.  

I agree with @blisshifi 

The TV will cause more reflections that will make the sound both brighter and more smeared.



Due to apartment life, my TV resides between my speakers and it does mess with the sound. Try throwing a wool blanket over the TV and you'll hear for yourself how much better your system will sound. 

Not all of us can eliminate the TV but, for me, mounting the TV on the wall moved it back enough to have a sizable improvement on the sound. I wouldn't fret over it if I were you.

All the best,

What ever sound better. If it is too difficult to experiment, don't worryaboudit.

I like the idea of theatrical stage curtains in front of the TV that can be opened and closed with a remote. The sound bouncing off the screen won't come directly back toward you but will glance sideways, hit the side walls, and then make it to you ears. Absorption can be placed on those side wall early reflection points, or in the path between the speakers and the screen to acoustically shadow the screen from being directly hit with sound from the speakers. Front to back room reflections might also be a problem and that can be dealt with by adding diffusion and absorption to the back wall. 

I have a similar sized TV but mine sits off to the right as I face the speakers (room is multi-purpose). When I listen to the 2-channel, I place a sheet over the TV to stop reflections and at the same time not absorb, I don't need that.

I tried different varieties of coverings (sheet, blanket, comforter) and the sheet was the best solution for me.

In my 2nd system (living room) the reflections off the tv and coffee table were noticeable. For listening sessions I would put a blanket over the tv and move the coffee table off to the side. I'm not like some of the guys here that can hear a gnat take a crap on a piece of sand paper because they switched to a different brand of ethernet cable. But covering the tv and coffee table made a noticeable difference.

I would place the speakers roughly the same distance apart as they are from your sitting position. Some people like to be inside the triangle, other outside of it. If I had $12k speakers I would want to squeeze every ounce of performance I could from them It's shame they have to go flat against the back wall. 

My condolences on the compromises you have had to make. With speaker placement as well as the TV. 

I would go for the “dust cover”… make it absorbent. I use a very heavy tightly woven wool carpet behind my speakers (see my UserID). Makes a big difference as did getting the equipment racks out.

If I was confronted with this compromise, if I had a study or smaller room I would get room appropriate sized speakers and build my system with higher quality (but lower power) equipment. If carefully built the sound quality could far exceed a larger system in a compromised setting. 

Yep, I have a quilt on mine. Pull it off when we want to watch a movie and back on when I want to listen to music.

All the best.

 a sheet over the TV to stop reflections and at the same time not absorb, I don't need that

+1,  stop reflections yet not add absorbion.

I have a 65 inch plasma hanging on front wall behind my speakers. I put a colorful light blanket/throw over the TV when 2 channel listening. I bought a couple plastic clamps from the dollar store to hold it up at top corners. Works quite well so far. Happy listening. Your system is awesome 👍. Greg 

You can try these sliders from Herbie’s that’d allow you to easily slide your speakers out from the wall for serious listening and push them back after.  They also are reported to have sonic benefits so might be a win win.  Just a thought. 

I read the Jim Smith book and followed his recommendation

of nothing between your speakers and honestly it was like 

upgrading a component. Really big improvement.  Like said above less reflections the better

Good luck Willy-T

It depends a bit if your speakers are front firing or rear transmitting like electrostatics.  Putting regular speakers against the back wall causes reflections to the sides and off the ceiling and floor, not so much off the back wall which the TV would affect, but there might be minor effects on soundstage.  I like the suggestion to just pull the TV and try it both ways. Use YOUR ears, not internet advice.

Put a wool blanket over the lady friend, then do what you want.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Been there done that. Went from a 24 inch CRT in the middle to a 50 inch plasma 2 feet off the back wall. Destroyed the sound stage. Finally, with the last upgrade/change mounted  the plasma on the wall behind. Better, but still not the best. The blankets and such sound like a good idea, but I'm too lazy to do that. I know it's heresy, but I watch muted TV while listening to music Trying to find a good compromise with speaker positioning and amplifier gain/crossover settings. 

Good luck. Jim S.

One of my fellows audiophile, who invested in his listening room close to $80K (equipment excluded) told me that TV installed on a certain level behind his speakers in his room actually enhances mids and makes stage wider and more holographic. 

....+ points for an automatic curtain that plays an HBO-esc fanfare on opening or closing when switching from screen to system or the reverse....defeated if curtain is open when the HT mode is engaged...

Double points if the curtains make the *ssshhh* sound heard at the local moviehaus... ;)

(Oh, c'mon....you've already spent more on 'just ICs'...*G*)

Speakers near back wall is not good either.  Simply putting big absorbing panels behnd them will null the reflections that would arise if the speakers were further from the wall.  But as a needs must, compromise solution that is the best you can do

Position the screen between the speakers, not behind.  This will affect the sound least as there is little output from the sides of the speakers.  But covered with cloth absorbents or not, the large flat area of the screen will block sound transmission around the room, with unpredictable results.

Incidentally, the sub-optimal speaker placement suggests you may have a smallish room.  If this is the case your screen may be too large.  The width of the speaker should not subtend an angle of more than 35º at your head.  This is the maximum width of the high-resolving central area of our retinas.

Having your screen between the speakers is a very good thing: films and TV will sound spectacular. I have a high end system (Vitus Dac/amp plus top of the range Boenicke speakers) and films sounds better than any cinema room I have ever heard.    
The screen makes no difference to my sound - I tried covering it but really it made zero difference. 
Just enjoy the music, and the films! 

My experience is that that the TV is reflective and will smear the sound.  As others have mentioned a blanket over the TV is a good idea but I would recommend this:  Get a custom blanket with a picture of your significant other on it.  Bank the good will gained for future upgrades!  Cheers

When the glass of my flatscreen is exposed, the mids to highs sound a bit thin. Music lacks body and fullness in those areas.

Here’s another idea: a curved piece of clear plexiglass in front of the TV. It should have minimal degradation of the image quality but will get rid of the big flat sound reflection surface problem. Ooh, this could be a kit that clips on to the sides of the TV. The plexiglass can flex a bit as needed for a perfect fit. It probably should have an absorptive black surface top and bottom to prevent sound from bouncing around inside, and would act as a light hood for the screen!

Here’s another idea: a curved piece of clear plexiglass in front of the TV

Soooo, a contact lens for the TV?  Pretty sure my wife would prefer using a sheet.  Very creative and interesting thought though!

@danager @rick_n 
Yes it’s a “dust cover”- Like that idea. Will wrap it up with a card and put it under the tree for my S.O.  Yours truly…

I have a 55” in the middle of my speakers. I used to throw a blanket over it and then stack pillows in front of it. I found that that was too much. There was too much absorption. I took away the pillows and left the blanket. I’m in the Goldilocks zone now.

I have an 85" TV placed at the back wall in between my speakers.

The speakers however are about 8’ out from that wall and are front ported. There are also 4 subs in the corners along with ASC tube traps.

At first and second reflection points I have Stillpoint Apertures. In front of the TV, I built a stand for 2 more Stillpoint Apertures. The top Aperture has a bracket that slides into the bottom Aperture that can be removed for watching TV, video etc.

Check out my system page, you can see it.

I do think you need to pull your speakers out more into the room so that they are not in the same plane as the TV. Can’t you just pull them out when you listen to music?


I have found that fulling my speaker a good distance out from the wall that the TV is on works well. I do not have to cover the TV. I am guessing I hit a good measurement in terms of distance out so that there is enough of a time lag before the sound wave hits the TV and reflects back into the room.

I will not be able to keep the speakers out due to the room use however after pulling them out about 3 feet for a test  I noticed the imaging was much more clear and succinct.   As a compromise I then put he subs on the inside and the speakers on the outside (toed in)  which brought the speakers about 9 feet apart. This  9 feet happens to be the distance from my listening position to both speakers  (creating the “triangle”).  I also lowered the acoustic sound board panels so they are in line with the rear port (which is low on those speakers). The tweeters are now a good 2 + feet away from the screen from a horizontal perspective. I can also pull them out about another foot while toed in without them getting in the way too much. While I like the subs on the outside, the system sounds much more coherent with the changes. At times & for certain songs it did seem like the music was coming from behind the speakers and from the center which I never noticed before.  Thanks for all the helpful comments. Might be on the right track.