Adding Speakers Makes System Sound Worse?

You’ve found yourself in possession of some additional speakers. Maybe they were a gift, maybe you treated yourself. Either way, it’s time for an upgrade! You were pretty happy with how your system sounded, so adding more speakers should just make everything better, right? Wrong! You added more speakers to your system and now it sounds worse! What happened? Did something break? What should you do? Let’s discuss!

Adding Speakers Is More Than Just Adding Speakers

Many people set up a home theater system only once or twice in their lives. It definitely isn’t something they do regularly. This means that they often forget all the steps they went through to get everything up and running. When adding speakers to their system, they often look through the menus. They find the speaker configuration and see that they can simply tell their receiver that they are connecting more speakers. Seems like a pretty straightforward process.

Change that “Layout” to 7.1 and BOOM! Two more speakers!

If only it were that easy.

The first time you set up your system, you likely ran your room correction program. This set up your speakers’ trim and distance settings and EQ’ed your system. At the end of that process, you ended up with an audio experience that you found satisfactory. That’s great.

Adding a couple of speakers to your system can make it sound worse simply because you skipped the above step. If you went into the menus and changed the number of speakers in your system, your AV receiver would have disabled your room correction. If your system sounds worse after adding more speakers, then re-run your room correction. That will likely fix your problem.

But I Did Run My Room Correction!

It is certainly possible that you did run your room correction after adding more speakers and your system still sounds worse. The first thing we’d suggest is running it again. Preferably after reading our article on how to get the best results from your room correction. When you end up with poor results after running your room correction, we often suspect that something affected the measurements. Run it again and see if that makes a difference.

The second thing you should look at is your speaker placement. To add speakers to your system, did you have to move other speakers? When you moved (or added) your speakers, did you place them in non-optimal locations? Poor speaker placement can have a very detrimental effect on your system. If your system sounds worse after adding speakers, it could be because those new speakers are poorly placed. Sometimes more isn’t necessarily better.

Lastly, if you ran your room correction, did you remember to go back and double-check the speaker settings? Oftentimes, your room correction will set your speakers to large or the crossovers too low. There are reasons for this but we always recommend you set your speakers to small and to double-check the crossover settings. And, yes, you can change these settings (unlike the number of speakers) without disabling your room correction.

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