Once I Pick My Speakers Where Do I Put Them?


Speaker placement is one of the fastest ways to take a sound system from sounding great to you have to be kidding. Selecting the right speaker is only the first part of the job, getting it positioned to maximize its efficacy is just as important. Where should you start? Let AtlasIED help out.

There are many different speaker types available today and they all have the perfect form and function for most jobs. In fact, AtlasIED has hundreds of speaker options, click here to see for yourself, that are designed to address almost any installation need or requirement with many that are great in multiple installations. Where should an integrator start? Well the first place to start is the specfication, if one exists. A written specification is put together by an architect or acoustic engineer to ensure the space is properly coverered with the required sound. The specification will almost always call out the specific specifications required for the installation and it is up to the integrator or sub-contractor to select a speaker that meets those specifications when submitting their bid. Failure to meet the specification will lead to your bid getting rejected or worse, your bid wins, you do the install, and then it is rejected upon inspection resulting in lost time, money, and credibility for your business.

If the job is not based on a specification, the integrator is left to design the system themselves and they have to account for what the system will sound like at all times of the day including the slowest and busiest times when ambient noise levels can fluctuate. Are the occupants going to be sitting or standing? How high are the ceilings? What materials are in the space including the walls and ceilings and how will they affect the sound? All of these are important questions and answering as many as possible will result in selecting the best speaker for the job. However some of these may not be possible to predict without an advanced degree in acoustically engineering so an integrator has to use their best judgement and whatever tools are available to them to make the best choice.

AtlasIED has developed two online tools that are designed to make this process easier. The first, our Speaker Selector allows the user to select from several common filters that allow our huge assortment of speakers to be narrowed down to a few selections based on the options selected. Using this tool helps narrow the amount of options so they can then be used in the second online tool, the Speaker Placement Tool. The speaker placement tool is designed to assist AtlasIED integrators to determine the number of speakers that will be needed for the installation based on estimated speaker taps, ceiling height, room size, and listener level. Using the narrowed list of models from the speaker selector, an integrator can use the placement tool to see how many of each model will be required to achieve the proper volume level of the space to determine the exact speaker that is best for the job.

Once a speaker is selected, the integrator can use the information at the bottom of the placement tool to see where the speakers should be placed in relation to the walls, how many rows and columns are required, and what the expected volume level will be at the listening level. For stores where the speakers will be mainly used for background music the level will remain relatively constant no matter what is happening in the store but for something like a bar or restaurant where the level will rise and fall with the amount of people talking in the space, it may be better to use speakers with higher wattage taps and local volume controls to make sure the level of the music or pages can be heard no matter what is going on in the space. As always, AtlasIED's team of professional system designers is available to help anytime with speaker selection and layout. Visit atlasied.com/design-assistance to submit a design request.