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I've been told that the best position for attached-to-wall speakers is approximately the ear height of the listener in each corner of the room plus center for the center piece for 5+sub systems.

However, I am dealing with a simpler 2-speaker system for a bedroom and want to use them with the TV on the wall facing the bed. My problem is that the room door makes it difficult to position one of the speakers at ear height and still keep them reasonably spread apart so I was thinking to position them near the ceiling in top corners of the wall facing the bed, so that it not be in the way of the door swinging.

Can anybody throw their two cents on how much difference in sound quality that will make? E.g. if I angled the speakers to point downwards. The ceilings are pretty high, cca. 100" but I was thinking to put them at about 90" (or 10" below the ceiling).

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I'll politely suggest that you should strongly consider if the minor improvement in sound quality that might be gained by putting them at ear height would be lost to your significant other's complaining about the "ugly speakers in the middle of the wall". –  gregmac Jun 3 '13 at 16:15

2 Answers 2

I just setup a 5.1 system and obsessed a LOT about this. The room has 8 foot ceilings but has 4 foot knee walls on two sides (with a 45 degree run of sheet rock up to the ceiling). Placement in the corners was the "proper" location for speaker separation as well as aesthetics (and to keep kids from bumping into them). However, I was worried if I put the speakers in the corners I'd get a lot of harsh echos from the walls. In my case, yes I do get echos at some frequencies and it's obvious if a test blip is played from that speaker alone, BUT when I'm watching a movie I don't notice it at all (the speakers were the rears).

What I'd suggest is to try out the speakers on temporary mounts near the ceiling if feasible (command strips or the like depending on how heavy they are). If the "voices from heaven" effect isn't a problem, then you're good.

In my setup the fronts are essentially right next to the TV and I find I still get enough stereo separation for me. So keeping them nearer the TV but closer together likely wouldn't be a problem either (especially if having them high is distracting)

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Before I go into my setup, because it doesn’t match yours, let me just cut to it: experiment before drilling and mounting anything. Any advice you get will be subjective and cannot possibly factor in all the specifics of your room’s current configuration. Rig some stands out of whatever you can to temporarily hold the speakers in place or get two helpers to hold the speakers in position and then turn on a good movie action sequence and also compare that to a normal dialog sequence with little background noise and see what position works best.

My setup:
I have a 5.1 system with a decent receiver that everything runs through. My two rear speakers are mounted on the vaulted portion of the ceiling angled down to point at our heads in the bed. Very few movies use the correct audio format and channel isolation necessary to produce noticeable sound out of the rear speakers. IMO, anything but DTS sucks and even then when a studio attempts to use DTS they rarely get it right but when they do it is mind blowing. Even better than the theatre. So for a 5.1 or higher speaker system I don’t see an issue with the speakers being higher than your head and angled down. This is what the theatre is doing anyway.

This pertains to your setup:
My receiver has a bunch of audio “modes” that can make the sound reverberate like in a theatre, stadium and so forth. What I can say after all these years is that if the voices don’t seem to be coming straight out of the TV I can’t stand it and I only use the audio mode that has ensures voices are coming only out of the center speaker. Since you have only two speakers this may be tough to achieve if you mount them on the walls next to your head. The only advice I can give is to re-iterate that you should experiment.

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The "voices from heaven" effect isn't natural and makes me feel like I'm in a store listening to a high definition intercom. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 2 '13 at 15:00

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