Should Rear Speakers Be Louder Than Front Speakers?

There are a lot of factors to consider when setting up your Speakers. One question is whether the rear speakers should be louder than the front.

Your front speakers should be louder than the rear speakers. It will help you listen to the dialogues clearly, rather than hearing the background noises and experiencing an unnatural surround localized field. 

In this article, we will explore why and why not to have louder rear speakers and offer tips on how to set them up correctly.

The Purpose of Rear Speakers

Rear speakers or surround speakers are usually placed behind the listeners. But have you ever wondered why they are called surround speakers? That is because they are responsible for handling the sound effects and the movie’s atmosphere. 

Suppose a movie scene takes place in a wedding hall. We hear the couple taking vows and the priest standing behind them. But that is not all we hear in the movie scene. We hear the gossiping of the guest, the crying sound of the mother, clinking glasses, children laughing, coughing, and much more. Together, it all gives a realistic idea of the surroundings. 

A surround sound system produces realistic surround sound if it has rear speakers. A high-quality home theatre audio system requires rear speakers to sound genuinely immersive. Without rear or surround speakers, we will only hear the couple taking vows and the priest guiding them.

Why Should Front Speakers Be Louder Than the Rear?

The surround sound system works with the corresponding performance of front and rear speakers. Leveling the volume and setting the correct position helps get the most out of your speakers. 

A front speaker is a critical part of your home audio system as it alone handles 70% of the dialogues and other sounds. In short, a front speaker is dedicated to handling the dialogues. The front speaker adds special effects and gravitas to levitate the sound quality.

While setting up the surround sound system, users are often confused about whether to keep the front speaker loud or the rear. Always keep the front speaker louder than the rear speakers.

The reason to keep the front speaker loud is to hear the dialogue. If you keep the rear speakers loud, you won’t hear anything clearly except the background noises and music.

Why Should Rear Speakers be Quieter Than the Front?

Since front speakers control 70% of the dialogue of a movie or show, the task of handling the music, background noises, and other sounds is on the rear speaker’s shoulders.  

You will notice when something happens on the left side of the screen- the sound comes from the left surround speaker and vice versa for the right side of the screen.  

Since rear speakers handle the background noises and music, keeping the sound level lower than the front speakers is recommended. If not, the listeners will hear the music, not the dialogue. Keeping the rear speakers louder than the front weakens the sound balance.

In addition, many individuals are more likely to overdrive the rear speakers than the center or front speakers. It will give you an artificial surround field centered near the ear and an over-emphasis in the back. Always place the rear speakers lower than the front ones. 

How to Adjust the Relative Volume of the Front and Rear Speakers?

If you are a beginner, you must hustle around while adjusting the relative volume of the front and rear speakers. Some users prefer keeping the front speakers loud, while others keep the rear speakers. 

Keeping that in mind, here I’m sharing some tips to ensure the front and rear speakers are at the right volume and you enjoy the best audio experience. 

  • Sit on your viewing position, which must be your sofa. 
  • First, adjust the master volume of the receiver. Keep the sound at which you feel comfortable.
  • Now start the receiver test tone. One thing to ensure here is that the test tone sweeps all home audio system speakers. 
  • Now start adjusting the volume of the front and rear speakers.
  • Keep focus and observe which sound you hear more; the background noise, music, or the dialogue.
  • If you hear the background noises and music more, lower the rear speakers and keep the front speaker loud. 
  • If the dialogues sound clear to you and the background noises or music is not disturbing you, there is no need to change the volume settings.
  • You might need to adjust the volume- depending on what you are watching and the number of listeners.

Tips for getting the most from your home audio system

After investing a hefty amount in the home audio system, all you want is bone-shaking audio quality. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your home audio system.

Place Your Speakers Carefully:

If you are serious about setting up your home audio system and getting the most out of it, it will be better if you dedicate a separate space. Speakers’ placement is a crucial element that you can’t afford to ignore.

Home theater speakers have an automatic calibration that saves you from measuring the millimeters. Suppose you have three speakers (one front and two rear) and a TV.

Place the front speaker on the right above or below the TV. In contrast, the surround speakers will go on the right and left sides of the TV. 

Make Solid Wired Connections:

Getting sound better means you continuously have to struggle to eliminate the weak points. Poor-quality cables are the most common culprits that weaken the audio link under your nose. Ensure the cables you use to deliver the best sound quality instead of introducing noise. 

Download Quality Music:

You might ignore this factor, but it greatly influences your listening and viewing experience. Downloading music and movies from local streamers is as simple as clicking photos, but downloading from verified streamers will give you the quality you need. Prefer downloading 480p or 720p quality instead of 320p.

Try a DAC:

Online streaming or streaming from digital files downloaded on your PC is the most typical streaming mode. However, these files are often compressed, which results in losing their quality and resolution. 

A DAC (digital to analog converter) can help you restore the lost quality and have a cinematic experience at home. DAC comes in different sizes, shapes, and needs. You can find the best DAC depending on your needs.

Eliminate Vibration:

Vibration is another culprit that spoils the sound quality. Your choice of furniture will introduce the vibration. Ensure to place carpet spikes or place metal discs. It will help you reduce the vibration and noise. 


Should front or rear speakers be louder?

Experts recommend keeping the front speakers louder than the rear if you want to listen to the dialogues, not the background noises and music.

Should front and rear speakers match?

It is up to you. You are not restricted to having the same brand, type, and size of the front and rear speakers. Have one you feel comfortable using. 

Should front speakers be louder than center speakers?

Yes, the front speakers should be louder than the center speakers. Front speakers handle 70% of the movie audio. Keeping the center speaker loud will imbalance the surround audio system.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *