Installing Car Surround Sound: Speaker Placement

closeup of a speaker

With more DVD players being installed in cars these days it is natural that car owners want car surround sound. They want to get the experience they get at the movies or in their own home theater. Music lovers are installing these systems too to enjoy their tunes to the fullest. When purchasing your surround sound system you'll have to decide what kind of speakers you want and where you will put them.

Planning the Speaker Placement

When you are installing a surround sound system in your car you want to pay particular attention to the placement of the speakers. Speakers should be positioned in all four corners of the car. Some cars have factory speaker locations that work well for surround sound. If your car does not, you will have to decide where you want to place them. You might want to put the tweeter around ear height and the mid-range speaker in the door where the factory speakers are located.

Factory Locations

The most common factory speaker locations are in the doors, the dash, and the rear deck. For many car owners, those locations will produce a good surround sound experience. Many manufacturers offer surround sound as an option so they design the car to accommodate a surround sound system. If you decide the factory locations work for you then the current speakers can be removed and the new surround sound speakers can be dropped into place. You may have to do some refitting and some rewiring to make sure they work well and you are getting the maximum sound from them.

Center Speakers

Where to place the left and right speakers is an important decision. But the placement of the center and surround speakers is crucial. You don’t want a surround sound speaker that is too close to the listener. If you don’t want to make a speaker-sized hole in the dash, you can mount the center speaker just below or above an in-dash DVD player. You will need an installation kit to mount it properly. The placement of the outboard amplifier is less critical. If you do decide to install the speaker in your dash go to a professional. Ask to see pictures of other installs he has done similar to the one you are requesting. You don’t want to lower the value of your car with a badly done installation. Remember that you will have to look at that dash every time you drive the car.

Once the speakers are in place it is important to fine tune the controls so that you get the right balance. Be sure to test it from different seats in the car so that you know what your passengers hear as well. It may take some time to tweak the system and get it perfect for you. But when you get the speaker placement just right and everything tuned to your liking you can enjoy a real music experience.