In-Wall Speaker Placement

With In-Wall/In-Ceiling speakers, placement is a doubly important consideration. Here are three guidelines to follow:

  • You should install your new In-Wall speakers where they’ll deliver the best sound to the area you’ve chosen.
  • You should install In-Wall speakers where they’ll have minimum impact on your d├ęcor.
  • You must install In-Wall speakers where they won’t impinge on existing wiring, plumbing, or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts. If you’re not sure, Find out!

If you’re concerned that you might not be able to select a good location and install the speakers to your satisfaction, call a carpenter or someone with drywall experience to help. However, if you’re handy and aren’t intimidated by drywall or what may be behind it, you’ll need just ordinary coordination and a few tools to do the job well.

In-wall speaker placement

Sound Issues

Acoustically, In-wall speakers are similar to bookshelf or floor-standing speakers. They’re subject to the same conditions rooms impose on all speakers. With that in mind, here are some suggestions.

Main Speakers: Try to put the main speakers (Left and Right for stereo; Left, Center, and Right for home theater) in the same wall of your listening/viewing room. If you can place your speakers in the long wall, so much the better.

Use the “Rule of Thirds” whenever possible. This suggests that the best placement for your Left speaker is approximately 1/3 of the way along the wall in which you’re going to mount the speakers. Similarly, the best place for the Right speaker is usually 2/3 of the way across the same wall.


Make sure that the speaker-to-listening/viewing position distance is the same for each speaker.

Remember that the “Rule of Thirds” is a guideline only. Some professionals recommend placing the main (Left and Right) speakers so that they form an equilateral triangle with the prime listening/viewing position

and from each speaker to listening/viewing position.

Caption: Speaker rule of thirds

If your room won’t allow this, don’t be overly concerned.

Just place your speakers as close to this ideal as possible and enjoy the sound.

Reflections from side walls have a major impact on your sound so try not to place your main speakers close to them. Remember that the “Rule of Thirds” is a guideline only. Try not to place your main speakers so they’re exactly the same distance from the closest side wall. A bit of asymmetry here is actually preferable.

When you take the time to place your Main speakers, you’ll enjoy better “imaging” (the apparent placement of individual instruments or voices), and more depth.

Also, remember that the tweeters in your In-wall speakers can usually (check your manual) be positioned so that they aim directly at your listening/viewing position.

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