3 Things to Know for Stellar Surround Sound in Your Home Theater

A home theater with a large screen, comfortable sofa seating in modern red and gray colors

Great Home Cinema Sound is More than the Equipment

Should great home theater surround sound be easy to attain? Unfortunately, many systems promise mind-blowing sound from a soundbar or packaged home theater speaker systems. They might give you a good sense of surround, but none are likely to blow you away.

If you want that truly immersive, memorable sound experience you’ve always enjoyed at the best commercial cinemas, you’re going to need a component-based, high-fidelity home theater installation. It’s more than just the equipment, too. Keep reading to learn about what you need to know for great home theater surround sound in your Henrico, VA home.

SEE ALSO: What Do You Need to Know About Installing a Home Theater?

Speaker Positions

Speaker positioning is critical to performance in any audio setup, but even more so for home theater audio. Consider how many speakers are involved in a home cinema surround system. You have front right and left, center, side surround, back surround, and overhead speakers for today’s full Dolby Atmos setups.

Speaker placement is highly dependent on the seating arrangements; professional home theater designers use it as one of the starting points for the sound system. If you go with freestanding speakers, they might need some separation from the wall to sound their best, as well as proper angling toward the seating area. Mounting height, positioning, and even wall thickness will affect the sound of the built-in speakers used in most custom theaters. Height speakers for Dolby Atmos overhead 3D effects do best with a ceiling height of 10-12 feet. Higher elevations can work, but they might require more amplifier power and more powerful speakers.


Subwoofers are a critical part of the sound equation for home theaters. Bass adds impact to action movie explosions and effects and richness and fullness to musical scores. Subwoofer placement is surprisingly tricky to get right, often requiring experimentation and listening in multiple positions. Multiple subwoofers are better but also require proper setup. Finally, acoustic treatment may be necessary to get even, powerful bass at all seating positions.


Even with the best components and speakers, surround sound doesn’t sound perfect out of the box. Every system needs proper calibration for speaker levels and equalization. The calibration is often built into the audio receivers and processors, but even the best room correction software benefits from a professional’s manual adjustments. It’s important to note that even the best calibration techniques can’t overcome physics like improper speaker positioning, too many hard surfaces, and challenging room layouts. These issues can be addressed with the application of acoustic treatment. More importantly, good home theater designers already know these issues at the start and will make the right design choices to accommodate your preferences for seating, aesthetics, performance, convenience, and other considerations.

Want to get the best sound from your home theater installation? Give us a call at (804) 741-5816, or fill out our online form to get started today. We would love to work with you!

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Richmond, VA 23229
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