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meerkt
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Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:12 pm

What do you think is a good mounting height for side/back surround speakers, specifically for gaming?
For movies I see recommendations such as 2 feet above ear height, but perhaps games use it more directionally.

PS: Not much activity in the sound and gaming subforums here. Any recommendations for good busier gaming forums to also ask in?
 
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:56 pm

I think the game is less important, more important are the dynamics of elevation on hearing. Id start my research there.
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ChicagoDave
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:21 pm

I suppose the main question is whether you can aim the speakers up or down. If you can point them down towards your ear, then I don't see why you couldn't mount them 20ft above your head. However if they have to face straight ahead I'd limit the distance to probably that quoted 2ft for movies. I think most people who have wall mounted surround speakers that aren't aimed down limit them to 10-12ft off the ground. My dad has wall mounted speakers that are about 16 feet off the ground, but they are aiming down to compensate.

Also if you're using a receiver, some can direct the output sound based on speaker location. Yamaha's YPAO does an amazing job shaping the sound based on the setup microphone's location. I believe most other audio receiver manufacturers have similar tech these days.
 
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:14 pm

Doesn't matter much, really. The human ear doesn't read heights very well when the sound is coming from behind. For example, I have my home server on the top of some shelves behind me, about ~4m away from me. Very rarely when there's a lot of disk chatter, it sounds like it's coming from my side.

Just try elevating or lowering your front speakers and turning around. You'll barely notice a difference except maybe if you're really close to them.

If we're talking a significant height difference, I'd just try keeping them at an angle just so that you're not missing out on the treble frequencies, but that's about as much care as I'd have.
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:17 pm

ChicagoDave wrote:
Also if you're using a receiver, some can direct the output sound based on speaker location. Yamaha's YPAO does an amazing job shaping the sound based on the setup microphone's location. I believe most other audio receiver manufacturers have similar tech these days.

I have a Sony receiver that does the same sort of thing. The difference between before- and after-calibration settings looked subtle (everything was less than a 3db adjustment) but it feels very balanced.
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meerkt
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:13 am

The issue, so to speak, is not how to get high speakers to sound like ear-level, because that beats the point. If I understand right, the high elevation recommendation for movies is primarily to make sound less localizable and more ambient. A secondary reason is to have the sound projection plane unblocked when there are multiple viewers.

I don't know it, but it seems to me that games may use it the opposite way: to have sound sources exactly localizable. If so, ear-level might be better.

Yeah, supposedly humans aren't as good at localizing sounds that come from the back. But I guess it depends on how far back and how much distant things are. Also, maybe part of the elevated-for-movies recommendation is due to the way sound interacts with the room.

In my specific cramped case, the surrounds are more to the sides rather than back (still within 90-110 degrees, the commonly recommended range for 5.1 surrounds). They're also quite close: one side is close, the other even closer.

TL;DR: Do you think games use surrounds more for ambience or for pinpoint-localized sounds?
Last edited by meerkt on Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
morphine
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:37 am

FPSs, racing games, etc = localized. The rest = mostly ambience.

I do insist that you make a blind test, even if the speakers are set to the side. You may still be surprised at the results. :)
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:09 pm

I think you should follow what Dolby recommends as that's what likely designed/recorded against in the game/movie studios.

Surround Sound Speaker Setup

I have no idea were you got two feet above ear height, ever since 5.1 came about, decades ago, its always been recommended about ear height.

If you will put it in non-standard location, route your sound through a receiver that has an auto-tune w/microphone feature. Made huge difference for movies for us. Most setups arent exactly perfect(walls, furniture and speaker placement). Also, the receiver learns the characteristics of your specific speakers. Never get another receiver without that feature after seeing it in action in living room. FYI, non-optimal, both rear are on ground and one is even behind couch because door... After auto-tune, everything sounds just fine in action movies. Good speakers/bad living room.

Ive never looked into it, but if you can get some sort of auto-tune software for your PC once your speakers are setup (you place microphone where your head would be) and save that sound profile.. Maybe that's why folks get sound cards still.
 
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:45 pm

morphine wrote:
Doesn't matter much, really. The human ear doesn't read heights very well when the sound is coming from behind. For example, I have my home server on the top of some shelves behind me, about ~4m away from me. Very rarely when there's a lot of disk chatter, it sounds like it's coming from my side.

Just try elevating or lowering your front speakers and turning around. You'll barely notice a difference except maybe if you're really close to them.

If we're talking a significant height difference, I'd just try keeping them at an angle just so that you're not missing out on the treble frequencies, but that's about as much care as I'd have.


For back speakers, however you can mount them. I've seen multiple setups where the back/rear speakers are attached to the ceiling so that the speakers and associated cabling are out of the way.
 
meerkt
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Re: Side/back surrounds height for gaming?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:05 pm

I have no idea were you got two feet above ear height, ever since 5.1 came about, decades ago, its always been recommended about ear height.

It's not always stated, but here are some examples for 2-3 feet above ear:
http://www.klipsch.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-7-1-system
https://www.svsound.com/blogs/svs/74790 ... -placement
http://www.thx.com/faq/
http://www.monitoraudio.co.uk/support/faqs
http://www.polkhome.com.au/blogs/review ... erformance

1-6 feet above here:
http://www.axiomaudio.com/faqs

blahsaysblah wrote:
I think you should follow what Dolby recommends as that's what likely designed/recorded against in the game/movie studios.

Their site contains less and less info as time goes by. I don't remember if nowadays Dolby or DTS state ear-height explicitly or it's just inferred from their drawings, but they used to say otherwise:
https://web.archive.org/web/20040209214 ... .html#s3.2


if you can get some sort of auto-tune software for your PC

I don't know of any such software. But I wouldn't be surprised if room correction is too taxing for pure software. Maybe GPU accelerated? :)

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