Home Theatre

Transform your home into a state-ofthe-art home theater today. Experience a full surround sound experience, improve the audio ambience of 3D, enjoy the advantage of adding front height speakers and much more. Wondering how to experience audio quality like never before? We have it all covered for you.

To create an ideal sound system, it is important to understand the role and position of each speaker. Here is a guide to get you started.

5.1 Systems

Basic surround sound home theater setup consists of 5.1 channels. The “5” stands for speakers in the Front Left (FR), Center (C), Front Right (FR), Surround Left (SL), Surround Right (SR) positions, while the “.1” belongs to a subwoofer that produces the bass for explosions and other low-end effects. For better bass response across a wider listening area, two subwoofers can be used, it is called a 5.2 setup.

When we listen to 5.1 content, the Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel (.1 channel) provide the audio signal for subwoofer. When bass management is enabled in the setup, lower frequencies below the crossover frequency is redirected to Subwoofer. This reduce the load on 5 discrete speakers as they don’t have to produce very low frequencies. Typically the subwoofers are active subwoofers having its own amplifier that reduce the load on the AV Receiver as the AVR need not supply power to the subwoofer and use available power to drive speakers.

Angles:  *1:  22°-30°        *2:  120°

 Figure 1: Home Theater setup with 5.1 channels

It is highly recommended to use speakers from the same manufacturer and same series to have timbre matching of speakers, for producing even surround panning effects. Some brands produce speakers in different series which are timbre matched, in that case speakers can be mixed and matched. The Front Left/Right speakers can be tower speakers or bookshelf speakers. Tower speakers typically produce lower frequencies and are better than bookshelf speakers and doesn’t require a speaker stand or table.

Recommended speaker configurations:

Speaker Type Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Front L/R SVS Prime Bookshelf SVS Prime Tower SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Center SVS Prime Center SVS Prime Center SVS Ultra Center
Surrounds L/R SVS Prime Satellite SVS Prime Bookshelf SVS Ultra Surrounds
Subwoofer SVS PB-1000 SVS SB-2000 SVS PB-2000

Speaker combinations can be fine-tuned based on room size, listening preferences, budget etc.

7.1 Systems

By adding Surround Back Left (SBL) and Surround Back Right (SBR) speakers to a 5.1 setup, a 7.1 setup is formed. If we add one more subwoofer, it will become 7.2 setup. To experience your system at its best for a cinematic experience, place higher number of surround speakers around the listening position.

Angles:  *1:  22°-30°        *2: 90°-110°      *3: 135°-150°

 Figure 2: 7.1 Home Theater setup

Surround speakers can be mounted on a speaker stand or can be wall mounted using speaker wall mount, some speakers can be mounted on a strong nail on the wall. It is better to angle them towards the listener if the preference is to get direct sounds from them. If the preference is to have diffused effect from the surrounds Bi-pole or Di-Pole surrounds can be considered. There are some surround speakers which can operate in Duet mode in which we can connect Surround Left/Right and Surround back Left/Right signal to single speaker. It will operate as two speakers and provides 7.1 effect from 5 speakers + subwoofer configuration.

Recommended speaker configurations:

Speaker Type Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Front L/R SVS Prime Tower SVS Ultra Bookshelf SVS Ultra Towers
Center SVS Prime Center SVS Ultra Center SVS Ultra Center
Surrounds L/R SVS Prime Bookshelf SVS Ultra Surrounds SVS Ultra Surrounds
Surround Back L/R SVS Prime Bookshelf SVS Ultra Bookshelf SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Subwoofer SVS SB-2000 SVS PB-2000 SVS PB-4000

Speaker combinations can be fine-tuned based on room size, listening preferences, budget etc. It is recommended to use dual subwoofers for better even bass across listening positions.

9.1 Systems

A home theater setup with 9.1 channel uses Front Wide Left (FWL) and Front Wide Right (FWR) speakers in addition to speakers in 7.1 setup. Wide channels improves the panning effect further and sound effects moving from front speakers to surround will be smooth when it is passing through wide speakers, overall it providers better enveloping effects. When second subwoofer is added it becomes 9.2 setup.

Typically this 9.2 configurations are used in dedicated home theater rooms which has got enough width to have optimum placement of wide speakers. It is important to note that, not all AV receivers support Front Wide speakers, if you are planning to use wider speakers check whether your AV Receiver supports wide speakers.

Angles: ∗1 22°-30°      ∗2 50°-70°     ∗3  90°-110°     ∗4 135°-150°

Figure 2: 9.1 Home Theater setup

Recommended speaker configurations:

Bookshelf or tower speakers can be added as wide speakers to the 9.1 configuration options mentioned above.

Dolby Atmos setups (5.1.2 / 5.1.4 / 7.1.2 / 7.1.4)

Dolby Atmos layouts parallel the traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups and add ceiling speakers. Adding two ceiling channels creates a 5.1.2 or a 7.1.2 system. Dolby Atmos systems with four ceiling channels are designated 5.1.4 or 7.1.4. Dolby Atmos systems with six ceiling channels are designated 5.1.6 or 7.1.6. For using a 7.1.6 speaker setup the AV Receiver should have the capability to process 13 speaker channels (e.g. 13.2 AV Receiver)

Ideal way to get Atmos ceiling speaker experience is to install ceiling speakers, which can be in-ceiling speakers or box speakers which can be mounted on ceiling (using ceiling mount brackets). Box speakers generally provide better sound compared to in-ceiling flush mounted speakers without box.

If it is difficult to install ceiling speakers, Dolby Atmos enabled speakers which are mounted on top of bookshelf or floor standing speakers can be considered. It uses the ceiling reflection to redirect sound to the listener. Though it won’t be as good as speakers installed on the ceiling, it can provide some sound effect from the ceiling, depending on the type of reflective ceiling distance between speaker and listener, reflection angle etc.

Dolby Atmos 5.1-channel layout with Top Front (TF) / Top Middle (TM) / Top Rear (TR) speakers

Dolby Atmos is an Object Audio format in which content is mixed as audio objects instead of traditional channels. This means the content is not tied to any specific playback configuration. Further, the technology automatically adapts the object audio to take full advantage of the number and placement of your speakers, from systems with five speakers on the floor and two speakers producing overhead sound up to a Dolby Atmos system with as many as 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead speakers (24.4.10).

Recommended speaker configurations:

In addition to speaker configuration options mentioned for 7.1 setup, SVS Prime Elevation speakers can be installed on the ceiling with Multi-Angle Wall/Ceiling mounting brackets coming along with speakers.

Speaker setup with Height Speakers

Before Dolby introducing Atmos technology for ceiling speakers, there were some attempts to support height channels through technologies like Dolby ProLogic IIz, Audyssey DSX, DTS Neo:X etc.

Input audio signals in the movies typically doesn’t have any sound encoded for these heights channels, these technologies up-mix the content for these heights channels. Exception to this is movies like Expendables-2 Blu-ray Disc which came encoded with DTS Neo:X 11.1 surround audio


Channels supported by these formats are given below

Dolby Prologic IIz – Front Height Left (FHL), Front Height Right (FHR)

Audyssey DSX – Front Wide Left (FWL) , Front Wide Right (FWR), Front Height Left (FHL), Front Height Right (FHR)

DTS Neo: X – Front Wide Left (FWL) , Front Wide Right (FWR), Front Height Left (FHL), Front Height Right (FHR), Rear Height Left (RHL), Rear Height Right (RHR)

Combination of 5.1-channel layout and Front Height and Rear Height speakers.


Recommended speaker configurations:

In addition to speaker configuration options mentioned for 5.1 or 7.1 setup, SVS Prime Elevation speakers can be installed on the wall using Multi-Angle Wall/Ceiling mounting brackets that come along with the speakers.


DTS:X came after Dolby Atmos and uses object-based audio format. As per DTS, there is no need for any specific speaker layout for DTS:X, but many official DTS:X demo setup seen with height speakers in addition to traditional 7.1 setup. Since it is object based audio ceiling speakers also can be used. DTS:X will adapt to the speaker layout in the home theater and reproduce object based audio as much as possible using the available speakers in the setup.

DTS:X includes a dialog control option, which allows the listener to increase the volume level for dialogues in the center channel without increasing the volume of other sounds, through center channel.

Speaker layout showing horizontal, Height, Ceiling speakers.

IMAX along with DTD launched IMAX Enhanced, a new licensing and certification home entertainment program provides certification for AV Receivers and other components which meets carefully prescribed performance requirements. IMAX and DTS also partnering with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of its DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience. The recommended speaker configuration for IMAX enhanced audio experience is 7.2.4, in which four heights speakers are used.

Auro 3D Speaker setup

The Auro-3D concept and formats were developed in 2005. Auro-3D is a three-dimensional audio standard, which uses 3 layers of speaker configuration – Lower layer, Height layer and Top layer. By fully immersing the listener in a cocoon of life-like sound, Auro-3D creates the sensation of actually ‘being there’. Thanks to a unique ‘Height’ channel configuration, recorded acoustic reflections are reproduced by these speakers and are heard naturally, as sounds originate from around as well as above the listener.

Auro 3D for home uses 5.1 channel speaker layout at level 1 and height speakers in the front and rear at level 2 (height layer) and one ceiling mounted speaker on top of listening position at level 3 (top layer) to make it a 10.1 setup. The top speaker on top of listening position is referred to as Voice of God (VoG) channel.

In 11.1 configuration of Auro 3D a Center Height (CH) channel is used. If the level 1 setup is 7.1 speakers, after adding heights and top layers it becomes 13.1 channel setup. With a second subwoofer it becomes 13.2 setup

Speaker Layouts Images Courtesy: Denon

All trademarks belongs to the respective owners.