Near the ceiling was good back when Pro Logic was king.
With todays digital surround the rears should be slightly above ear level.
At ear level may work, but the back of you seating furniture might get in the way.
Hope this helps.
I like it higher on the wall so as to not get directional sound that is easily placed by ear. But this is one of those topics where you will get a few opinions.
To me I should not hear the output from the actual speaker, I want to hear it breathing in the room but not able to pinpoint its position, that happens for me when its close to my ear level.
You are 4ft away and I think this may happen for you aswell but its just a guess.
Sorry John but Toni Grimmani and Lucas Sound disagree!
The rears should always be placed close to the ceiling and never at the ear level. Rears are supposed to be diffusive even in a direct radiating system. The idea of surround sound is to mimic what you hear in reality, as you move further and further away from a sound source you loose exact placement and instead hear the sound as emanating from a destination location. Most surround sound effects are trying to duplicate spacial cues to mimic the reverb times of large spaces to pull you into the movie, or to recreate pans from side to side or front to back.
If you can pin point where the sound is coming from you are defeating the concept. Direction not location is what we are aiming for. In fact most professional theater designer still prefer di-poles radiators for the side locations whenever possible.
I believe 6 feet off the floor is about right. You're right, voice matching for rears is not that important. Even with DD and DTS rears still mainly serve as sound effects speakers.
Ideally, the rears are placed further apart than the main LR speakers. I've got my mains about 8 feet apart in a 15X13 room, with the rears in the back corners (so 14' apart), about 6 feet up, angled in 45 degrees. With the sofa on the rear wall, that keeps the rears well away from our ears, allowing for good ambient sound.
I guess you learn something every day.
I just measured the distance from our ears to the rear wall, and it's about 80".
I would still place ot high on wall but thats just me (well me audiofreakgeek) :)
Vocal and mains you want to hear it ofcourse anchored in its proper place relative to your ears as its intended to be directional and easy to hear the steering of the sound.
But surrounds are material driven in a way that it works best where its above and not near the ears........like life itself IMO. There are no "right" answers as rooms and personal taste often make the choice for you but there you have my take on it all,,,,,,,,,,,I just happen to be right lol.
. Get a couple ladders or something, and set em up temp wise, and move em about to see for yourself. Your ears! Your room! Your family. Do it how you hear it and like it best!
If the majority of opinions here is that the rears in your house should be on the ceiling, two and a quarter ft off each side wall and fifteen and three quarters off the display
Would you actually put them there?
So much of this what to get, and where to put it, business is common sense and compromise.
Unless youre into a full on no holds barred, HT deal, budget, da wife, esthetics, and the hardware & room itself will indicate what can and can not be done
Thank goodness for the Multi Eq, Auto sound gizmos now incorporated into so many receivers and processors
. If one doesnt care for fiddling with the setup personally.
For myself, I do like a more difuse rear sound stage, although the image itself directs sound effects too. Im not too keen on seeing a fella point his gun in one direction and the bullet suddenly zip off into some other one. Hes pointing it down and it winds up ricocheting off something above my head and behind me. Thats just weird! And wrong.
Its disconcerting too
like not having your channels aligned properly, and/or reversed! I would have to stop the film and redo the setup. I couldnt watch it like that.
My main system is a 5.1 setup. My Rears are about a foot or so above my head (or less) and just a bit off the side walls. Theyre also only a few feet (<5ft?) behind my listening position in a 14 x 20 x 8.3 closed in room. They face each other and are angled in towards my seat just slightly. Maybe 10 degrees. The display sets on the 14ft. wall.
Were I to add another speaker for 6.1 which I might do, Id elevate it a few inches more above the height of the current pr of rear speakers and Id aim for a difuse loud speaker at that position
and likely mount it to the rear wall. Placement otherwise would be problematic due to doors and entry ways
. (see above
For fly overs in either direction, its very cool sounding. As theyre close to ear level the bullets and bombs seemingly land appropriately too
well, believeably so any way.
My rear sound stage has yet to cause me to lose the suspend disbelief syndrome we enact during film viewing due to how the speakers are currently located.
I previously kept rears right at ear level
. I prefer them slightly elevated.
And thats the ticket for anyone anyhow
. What exactly do you like? Want? Get a couple step ladder, chairs, etc., and position the rears temporarily and play a movie!
Move em around to see for yourself, what you like, and where they can reside permanently
what distance, height, etc.
Or just pick a spot and live with it!
It doesnt matter what the prospectus is here
. Its all about your likes
and dems the true choices you have now, pardner! Enjoy!
I like them up high but if you're using a system with room eq it doesn't really matter as long as they are not blocked by anything.
I agree with your point about it being a matter of preference; I disagree that mounting speakers on a ladder and watching a film is sufficient. I suspect I'll have to live with a setup for awhile to develop a preference. Since I have no experience with rear speakers, just 5.1, I sought the opinions of those who do have such experience to use as a starting point. As with all things audio, it was easy to predict there would be diverse opinions, and, of course, there are.
I've moved my side speakers down from close to the ceiling to a bit above ear level, because multi-channel music is as important for me as films. I think I'll start with the rears a bit higher than the sides, and live with that awhile.
The orginal posters room size is not huge , its similar to mine. I would suggest just above ear level. Otherwise in a room that size the surround sound can completely go over your head. If we all had Lucas size Home Theater rooms that would be a different story . But this room is smaller , also we have no idea how high the ceiling is.
I would experimanet a bit before making anything permanent
I knew there were others that would agree with me.
Smaller rooms are more suited for above ear (high on wall) placement because as they are small they will be close and call attention to themselves, placing them high will be more ambient in a smaller room. You want ambient not direct.
Visit ASC(acoustic science corp) website.Speakers are placed 20% of height of ceiling to center of midrange driver and also a lower placement possible but forget the dimension.This is for dipoles I believe.I agree with Chadnliz you want ambient not direct.Search Paradigm speaker website article Dipole Confusion for more information also.
High near the ceiling seems to work well as most sounds from the rear are ambient. You can put them lower on stands but frankly it clutters the room.
I meant no disrespect... just thought to illuminate some way of acquiring a taste of differing locations, which might be useful.
Chairs and books... Plant stands... etc. Whatever allows one to elevate the height of the rears so one can ascertain for themselves better, what will be best for them and their room.
natually, my thoughts on the process were temporal... just to see.... See?
it's better than dreaming, or speculating.
Mine are ten feet off the floor, and they sound great.