Where should I place ceiling speakers in my room?

Please note that this response pertains to speaker placement of two speakers in a room.  If you are interested in speaker placement for surround sound, please return to the section titled, "Setting Up Home Theater Speakers".


With stereo (or mono) in-ceiling speaker placement, you need to determine if the primary purpose of audio in the room is 1) creating a soundstage at one end that is optimal for a primary listening position at the opposite end, or 2) uniform coverage for background music.


In most ceiling installations, the purpose tends to be more about coverage than creating a soundstage.  With that in mind, you are usually better off putting the speakers along a line that extends down the center of the room along the room’s longest length.  Then, position the speakers so that they divide the room into three equal parts as long as the distance between the speakers is not more than the height of the ceiling (rarely an issue).  Example: A room that is 18 feet x 12 feet would have the two speakers placed along the 18 foot length such that they are each 6 feet from the wall and 6 feet from each other.  A 30 foot x 18 foot room would have the two speakers placed on a center line along the 30 foot length such that they are each 10 feet from the wall and 10 feet from each other.  If the ceiling height is 9 feet, then the speakers should be placed 9 feet from each other and 10.5 feet from each wall.


If, instead, you have a defined listening position within the room, you’ll want to follow the same general guidelines with the exception that the speakers do not have to be along the longest length or along the center line.  It is better to position the speakers opposite the listening position.  Example: speakers in a home office are usually located opposite the desk.  It is also a good idea to aim the tweeters (which produce the highest, most directional frequencies) toward the listening position.  With the exception of our single-point stereo speaker (model MP-S65), all HTD in-wall/ceiling speakers have aimable tweeters.


These suggestions are, of course, only a rough guideline but keep in mind that if the two speakers in the room are playing stereo (Left and Right), you do not want them too far apart or you will tend to hear one side of the recording more than the other depending on where you are standing in the room.  Also, for best performance you want to avoid placing a speaker closer than 1 foot to any wall.

See Also:What is the difference between the HD and MP lines of in-wall and ceiling speakers?
 I only have room for one ceiling speaker, what should I do?
 What are the steps for installing in-wall/ceiling speakers?
 Should I use a rectangular or round in-wall/ceiling speaker?