Jensen in wall speakers

If you’re using — or considering — in-wall speakers for your home theatre surround sound, this guide will tell you the right height to install them.


  • In-Wall Surround Sound Speaker Height
  • The Biggest Priority When Placing Your In-Wall Surround Sound Speakers

In-Wall Surround Sound Speaker Height

surround sound speaker placement guide

In-wall speakers are an excellent way to add a surround sound system to a room, while keeping a tidy look. You have a lot more freedom to play around with the interior design. Plus, there won’t be any boxes or cables in the room to collect dust.

The ideal in-wall surround sound speakers, that also give performance audio quality, are the Jensen ELITE-203 speakers.

There’s a simple guideline you should follow when planning and installing these in-wall speakers for home theater surround sound…

How high to install your in-wall surrounds

In 5.1 there are two surround sound speakers. In 7.1 there are four. Regardless of which you’re setting up, your surround rear and surround side speakers will follow this same guideline.

When you go to trace the install template for your ELITE-203 in-wall speakers, make sure they are level. Also make sure the top of the cutout is 0.5 to 1.0 metres above ear level at your listening position.

That’s it!

Now here are a few important notes…

You’ll have to estimate what ear-level will be in your listening position.

This could range from 0.9 metres to 1.3 metres depending on the seating height — THEN you add the 0.5 to 1.0 metres to the top of the cutout.

The tweeters of the ELITE-203 in-wall speakers are directional.

This means you can point them wherever you want after they’re installed. You’ll want to point all tweeters towards your ear position, which should be slightly down and inward.

Note that this is a guideline and not a “rule.”

You should aim to have the in-wall surrounds at the height suggested above — but this is actually a flexible guideline. In the next section we’ll look at why that is.

in ceiling speakers

The Biggest Priority When Placing Your In-Wall Surround Sound Speakers

in-wall surround sound speaker look

The distance rule above is a helpful guideline but the truth is, the look of your room should be your priority.

Get as close to following “0.5 to 1.0 metres above ear level” as you can, while adjusting things to make them look good in your room.

This could mean moving them down a little bit so they match the height of a wall feature you can’t change. Or moving them UP to clear a bookshelf you can’t put anywhere else. Or moving both LEFT and RIGHT surround rear speakers outward… or inward… etc.

Getting the surround sound speaker positions right is one way to change how they look. Another is choosing the right colour for the speaker grills so they suit your room. Yet another is getting the in-ceiling ATMOS speakers in the right places.

What if you care about sound quality and don’t want to compromise?

It’s okay — you can still be mindful of how your in-wall surrounds look.

The reason for this is your ears cannot pick the location of a sound from behind you and off to the sides as accurately as in front.

So when you make 10% or even 20% adjustments to placement, you end up getting the same quality sound stage with your surrounds.

This convenient “flexibility” to placing in-wall speakers is why I recommend only three things to focus on with speaker placement:

Room Design… Sound Performance… & Installability!

venn diagram for in-wall and in-ceiling speaker placement

These three things must be considered. Room design and sound performance are not mutually exclusive either. You can adjust one without spoiling the other. Then there’s installability, which is “how hard will it be to install each speaker?” and “will there be obstructions preventing install?

(We also have excellent guides on installing in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.)

When you (1) make sure the location is suitable for install, (2) have the placement guidelines you need to get the best sound stage and performance, and (3) adjust everything to suit your interior design vision…

…you end up with the performance home theatre system of your wildest dreams!

rich surround sound