If you have been shopping for a home-theater system and figuring out what surround configuration will work for your space, you have probably come across a lot of pages of advice about how to install your speakers and where they should be located.

But have you noticed, like we have, that a good number of the instructions you read are not terribly specific? Like, they are vague in terms of location of speakers, height, etc., as if there is an assumption that you will have professional installers in your home? 

Well, we'd like to help out with some tips that are a little more specific - because we believe it is possible for you to install your own home theater system. You might need some help if your space requires some in-wall speaker installation, but for the most part you should have little problem setting up your system if you have the right guidance. What we'll cover here is a basic 5.1 system, which is five surround speakers and one subwoofer (there are 7.1, 9.1 and 7.2 options out there as well).
  • For the best experience, don't install your system in a square room. And put your TV on one of the narrow walls so the center, left and right speakers will send out sound along the longer walls. 
  • Your TV should be placed on your wall at a height where your eyes, from your regular viewing position, are in the middle of the screen - both vertically and horizontally.
  • Your center speaker should be placed directly above or below your TV, with the middle of the speaker aligned with the middle of the TV set. 
  • Your left and right speakers should be at a height where the tweeters are lined up with your ears from your viewing position. Ideally, the speakers should be at about a 20-degree angle from the center of the TV set - which means they may need to be on some kind of stands or mounts.
  • Two surround speakers should be placed on either side of your regular viewing position, about a 90- to 110-degree angle  from the middle of the TV set. Generally, they should be put on stands about five to six feet high, or installed in the walls.
  • The rear surround speakers should be placed at the same height as the side surrounds, on the back wall behind the viewing position, about two feet apart or about 150-165 degrees from the center of the TV set.
  • Your subwoofer, by the way, is usually placed separate from the other speakers - a corner of a room is usually best, but you can do trial-and-error until you find the right spot where the low bass doesn't rumble or boom too much. If you have a large room (275 square feet or larger), it may make sense to have a second subwoofer placed opposite the first.