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In 5.1 Setup, is Center speaker blocked by Displays?
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Maniac

In 5.1 Setup, is Center speaker blocked by Displays?

I haven't set up my room, but I was just thinking about the Center Speaker. How do people set up their Center Speaker in a 5.1 surround setup when they have a dual computer monitors in the middle of their mixing desk?
Do people move the center speaker above their computer monitors and point it down?
I have (2) 27" monitors, so they would block the center speaker if I keep it on a normal 36" stand.
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Maniac

I guess this is what I must do. Keep displays as low as possible. Put speakers just above display and have larger TV mounted just above line of sight of speakers.
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Addict
Leverson's Avatar
If you have two monitors, why not put the center speaker in between the two monitors?
Or you can mount it like the photo above.
Or you can mount it below or above your monitors and angle it.
There are many solutions, just don't block the speaker with the screen obviously

In my setup I've got my primary screen below, the center speaker is between my two upper screens, and then the TV is above that. I like it because everything is a clear line of sight straight up and down, and I don't have to look to the far ends of the desk or anything to see the screens like I have to on some dub stages.
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Maniac

That might actually work for me. Thanks.
I started thinking about this and just couldn't wrap my head around it. But I guess it's a tight fit but it can be done.

Do you ever worry about reflections with so many flat surfaces? Specially that big screen above. I have a 65" that I was thinking about using.
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Addict
Leverson's Avatar
No I don't, but I have a lot of acoustic treatment in that room, including all the front and back walls, sides, corners, etc. The photo compresses the space a bit but the desk sits in the middle of the room a fair bit away from the side walls and about 2/3 of the way in the room from the back wall.

But that's also one of the reasons why I like having the big flat screen up and behind my desk and speakers. It's a couple feet behind the LCR speakers and raised up. The photo is a few years old by now, pictured there is my old 50", I now have a 70" which to me at least feels more cinematic but without being too big or causing neck strain. There are many many much nicer spaces in the world, but for a personal studio the room feels nice and neutral and has been treating me well for all my work done in it the past bunch of years. And I like having a bunch of monitors, I've got 2 iPads in that picture I use daily too. I can never get enough screens haha
Old 1st June 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by siniarch View Post
Do you ever worry about reflections with so many flat surfaces? Specially that big screen above. I have a 65" that I was thinking about using.
I know you weren't asking me but, I agree with Leverson that with a properly treated room it's not a big deal to have a few screens up.

What I will say however is that the placement definitely can be an issue. I've been in one room where a new iMac all of a sudden created a big issue. It's quite a bit taller than the preceding Dell 24-inch monitor, and all of a sudden the center channel sounded... 'weird'. Standing up made the issue go away. So it wasn't really a matter of reflections in front of it but rather how it obscured direct sound as well as then built-up between speaker and wall. So raising the speaker / lowering the iMac would solve that (the is TV above all of that).

I'd also worry about placing monitors between speakers to be honest. My experiences with that haven't been great as any flat surface is a potential issue with reflections. Speakers that are meant to be freestanding could mean that having a flat surface right next to them would be a potential issue. My friend had a setup with NS10s right next to his nice big speakers (Adam I think, can't remember... mTm design), and I asked him if it wasn't a problem. "No" he said, but a couple of weeks later he tried removing the NS10s and all of a sudden the Adams (?) sounded a lot better with better imaging.

So there's that too...

In my home setup I have my 24-inch monitor pretty low (like the top is about 3 1/4 foot from the floor, and then my front LCR are above that starting about 2-3 inches above. My TV screen for video is further back, against a wall, about another foot or so above. So all speakers are unobstructed, are free standing with nothing immediately around them for about a foot in each direction minimum.

Just some food for thought.
Old 1st June 2019
Gear Maniac

Thanks Mattiasnyc. And I'm kind of asking anyone, so thanks for chiming in. My displays are 27" so that is a little bigger. I guess once I set it all up, I can play with heights better and see what works. But it's good to hear and see what others are doing. If you had a picture of your space, I'd love to see that.
Thank you.
Old 1st June 2019
Lives for gear

My personal home studio is just like Leverson's, just subtract the two monitors between the speakers.

No pictures. My room is a bit messy at the moment...
Old 2nd June 2019
Lives for gear

27" monitors here positioned low (bottom edge is about 29.5" from the floor)
Speakers are 6.5 ft away, acoustic center about 50" from floor.
65" TV is above the center speaker, bottom edge 62.5" from floor, 7.5 ft from listening position (a foot further back than the front baffle of the speakers.)

Everything is clear between the speakers and myself. No obstructions. (and acoustic axis of speakers are lined up with my hearing)

So if you have the room to put the speakers further away and your LCD monitors lower, you should be fine.
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