How to get better audiovisual performance from a small office or living room

Great entertainment setups aren’t exclusively for living rooms or Home Theaters packed to the gills with the most potent THX® Certified speakers. With a little bit of know-how, a measuring tape, and the right speakers,  you can upgrade a small office, dorm room, or Manhattan studio apartment into an entertainment powerhouse.

It’s straightforward so let’s tuck in and improve your small spaces following the advice found in the THX Home Theater Room Size Guide!

How to set up a PC monitor the THX way

The THX Certified Razer Raptor 27″

For a  PC monitor, like the THX Certified Razer Raptor 27” with a 1440×2560 resolution, THX recommends a viewing distance of 28 inches from your seat. We also advise putting the monitor on an articulated monitor arm for more effortless adjustment and better ergonomics.

Now, let’s talk about positioning; this is where that monitor arm comes in handy. The THX ideal seating position is within 15 degrees above the center of the screen. It’ll be easier to maintain this position throughout the workday or long gaming sessions if the screen can move with you, thus the monitor arm!

To find the exact viewing distance of your monitor, take its diagonal screen size in inches and divide it by .835. The closer you sit to the monitor, the more you’ll see the individual pixels and the faster your eyes will fatigue.

Remember to swap your viewing modes when changing between work, video games, and movies. Depending on the monitor, you should have options that are better suited for video games, with faster response times and accurate color settings, or movies, like in the THX Certified Raptor 27″ monitor.

How to set up speakers for a home office the THX way

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX Certified speaker system

Let’s start with a 2.1 multimedia system like the tried-and-true THX Certified Klipsch 2.1 Pro Media system.

The left and right speakers should sit on their corresponding side with the subwoofer on the floor. Ideally,  the left and right speakers should be 28 inches away from your seat position, and all the speakers should be angled toward you and pointed at your face, head, and ears.

If you have a more extensive 5.1 system, like the superb THX Certified Logitech Z906 system,  the setup is similar for the front-left and -right channels and subwoofer. The center channel should go underneath or above the computer monitor. The rear-left and -right surround channel speakers should be 56-inches away from your seat.

How to set up a small living room the THX way

TCL 6-series TVs
TCL 6-series TVs featuring THX Certified Game Mode

Let’s talk about small living rooms. Your inner gadget-head AV enthusiast is probably shouting, “get the biggest TV possible.” But that’s not a great idea – unless you’re one of those people who love sitting in the front of a movie theater.

To find the correct TV size for your seating arrangement (or sleeping arrangement if you’re setting up a bedroom), measure the distance between your seat and where you will place the center of the TV and multiply the distance (in inches) by .835. For a 5 ½-foot viewing distance (66 inches), you’d need a 55” TV, like the TCL 6-Series with THX Certified Game Mode.

Our golden rule for vertical viewing angle is to center the screen no more than 15 degrees above your head for the most comfortable viewing, and it’ll help minimize off-axis artifacts as well.

If you’re using a speaker bar for this setup size, position it below the TV without tilting it and have the bar centered under the screen. The primary seats should be centered on the soundbar and the screen.

 Additionally, make sure your soundbar comes with a subwoofer. It’ll provide the low rumbles that give your new setup more depth, boom, and cinematic feel.

And that’s it! If you’re looking for a few gadgets to improve your office, dorm room, or studio apartment’s audio-visual experience, head over to our THX Product Finder to search for equipment that’ll fit your space. And don’t forget to sign up for the THX Newsletter to stay up to date on all things THX