Before shopping for speakers, try to imagine where you're going to put them in your room. Speakers can be placed on floor stands, hung on wall brackets, or placed on furniture. Subwoofers typically sound best in room corners or near the left- or right-front speakers.
The front three--left, center, and right--speakers usually sound best when positioned with their tweeters elevated to the same height as a seated listener's ears. In any case, try to keep the center speaker near the same height as the left and right speakers.
You can place speakers on shelves or on/in a low cabinet or entertainment center. Some speakers are better suited to this arrangement than others. "Acoustic suspension" sealed satellites are the most appropriate. Next best are ported speakers--as long as the ports are located on the front of the cabinet. However, speakers with rear-mounted ports won't perform at their peak when placed inside a piece of furniture.
As for the rear-channel surround speakers, they usually sound best when positioned three or more feet higher than the front speakers. However, high-fidelity DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD music will sound best when surround speakers are placed at the same height (ear level) as the front speakers.
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