Setting Your Surround Sound Speaker Levels
How do you adjust surround sound speakers for optimal sound? If you want to get the best sound, you should make sure that the speakers are as evenly positioned around the room as possible. You can then begin adjusting the sound levels. When changing the levels, you can either use your ears or a decibel meter to assess the levels and get each speaker to the same volume from your seating area.
Ensure That Your Speakers Are Properly Positioned
Before adjusting the sound levels of the speakers, you need to ensure that they are placed correctly in your room. The distance between speakers and the distance from your seating area all impact the way that sound reaches your ears.
If possible, try to keep the left and right speakers evenly spaced from your seating area. Do not worry if the speakers are not perfectly spaced. The purpose of adjusting the sound levels is to make the speakers sound the same from your seating position even if one speaker is slightly further away.
Manually Adjust the Levels for Each Speaker
Some receivers include an automatic setup to help set the sound levels for your surround sound speakers. However, these features rarely account for the positioning of the speakers and may not create the best results.
If you want to find a surround sound system with an advanced equalizer and automatic sound level adjustments, check out a surround sound buyer’s guide.
Luckily, you do not need to use an automated feature to set the sound levels. You can use your ears to listen to the output from each speaker and set the levels.
Before you start setting the sound levels, set the volume to a comfortable level. You will then need to enter the equalizer settings on your receiver to begin adjusting the sound levels for each speaker.
As the speakers may not be precisely equal distance from your seating area, the speakers on one side of the room may need to be set higher than the speakers on the other side.
Start with the central speaker. Listen to the sound produced when the speaker is set at the average level. Next, play audio from the left speaker. Adjust the sound levels until the output equals the output from the central speaker. Repeat this process with the right speaker, making sure that right speaker output matches the left speaker output.
With the central, left, and right speakers set, you can begin adjusting the surround sound speakers. If one speaker is further away than the other, it may need to be set higher.
You also may need to go back and forth between the speakers to ensure that they sound the same. Take your time to get it right so that you only need to set the levels once.
Use a Decibel Meter to Adjust the Speaker Levels
Trusting your ears to evaluate the sound levels may not provide accurate feedback. If you want assistance setting the sound levels of your surround sound speakers, you may need to use a decibel meter. If you do not want to buy new equipment, there are also mobile apps that provide a tone meter or a decibel meter.
A decibel meter is a simple piece of equipment that detects the decibel level of sounds in the area. When adjusting the sound levels of your speakers, you can use the meter to accurately calibrate all the speakers so that the levels sound the same from your seating position.
Use the same process as described, starting with the central speaker and working your way through each of the other speakers.
Conclusion: What Is the Best Way to Adjust Speaker Levels?
Setting up the ultimate home sound system can be complicated. For best results, you need first to ensure that the speakers are evenly distributed through your room. All speakers should point toward your seating area. You should also place them an equal distance from the seats. Do your best with the available layout of your room to place the speakers properly.
After positioning the speakers, you have three options for setting the speaker levels. You can rely on the automatic settings included in your receiver. However, these settings are not always accurate. You can also manually adjust the sound levels.
Adjust one speaker at a time, using your ear to judge the volume coming from each speaker. Each speaker should sound the same as the previous speaker. If you do not trust your hearing, you can also use a decibel meter when manually adjusting the sound levels.