Positioning within the room, proper viewing/listening angles, distances and sightlines can be calculated and determined in you’re A/V RoomService design package. Optimum positioning results in superior audio fidelity in; soundstage, image size, detail, bass articulation, etc. and video fidelity in; color uniformity, geometry, resolution, contrast, etc.
In addition to the above, positioning within the seats themselves play an important role in the final fulfillment. The seats you choose must meet your individual needs for comfort and style, yet they must not obstruct or distract viewing or listening. A few guidelines are listed here.
- Seats should recline 12-15° (with you in it). This is optimum for a comfortably seated sightline while also keeping you inside the color discrimination angle limit.
- Seats that extend over the shoulders will interfere with the frequency response of both the front and surround speakers. They will reflect sound from the front, and block the sound from the rear. The sacrifice for good audio fidelity may be that you do not have a support rest for your head.
- Consider the fabric from three points of view; comfort, color (black is best as it doesn’t illuminate from screen light output, causing a visual distraction), and acoustics (for example; some leather seats make noise when you move around in them. Leather will absorb less mid and high frequencies than cloth, which may or may not be desirable depending on the other material noise reduction coefficients that make up the room).
- Try out the chair yourself. Make sure it is comfortable, functional and quiet. See if you can try it out at home – you want to know if it’s comfortable enough for a long movie, yet not so comfortable that it puts you to sleep.
- Consider that if more than one row is to have fully reclinable seats in a theater with three or more rows, that the front row(s) may be pushed closer to the screen and front speakers than is desirable, and/or the rear row(s) may be pushed too far away from the screen and front speakers than is desirable, unless the room size and associated A/V equipment is big enough to accommodate them.
- Just as placing speakers close to a wall results in poor sound quality, so does placing listeners. This can be calculated, but in general a distance of at least a few feet should be adequate.