Speaker setting examples

Here we describe a number of speaker settings for different purposes. Use these examples as guides to set up
your system according to the type of speakers used and the main usage purpose.

(1) Basic setting

Use this setting if your main purpose is to listen to movie music and when using one set (two speakers) of
regular single-way or two-way speakers as the surround speakers.


Surround speakers


Front speakers



Center speaker

As seen from above

• Set the front speakers with their front surfaces as

flush with the TV or monitor screen as possible.
Set the center speaker between the front left and
right speakers and no further from the listening
position than the front speakers.

• Consult the owner’s manual for your subwoofer

for advice on placing the subwoofer within the
listening room.

• If the surround speakers are direct-radiating

(monopolar) then place them slightly behind and at
an angle to the listening position and parallel to the
walls at a position 60 to 90 centimeters (2 to 3 feet)
above ear level at the prime listening position.

Surround speaker

Front speaker

60 to 90 cm

As seen from the side

(2) Using diffusion type speakers for the surround speakers

For the greatest sense of surround sound envelopment, diffuse radiation speakers such as bipolar types, or
dipolar types, provide a wider dispersion than is possible to obtain from a direct radiating speaker (monopolar).
Place these speakers at either side of the prime listening position, mounted above ear level.

As seen from above

Path of the surround sound from the
speakers to the listening position

• Set the front speakers, center speaker and subwoofer

in the same positions as in example (1).

• Set the surround speakers directly at the sides of

the listening position and 60 to 90 centimeters (2
to 3 feet) above ear level.

• The signals from the surround channels reflect off

the walls as shown on the diagram at the left,
creating an enveloping and realistic surround sound

Surround speaker

Front speaker

60 to 90 cm

As seen from the side


The AVR-1603 is equipped with a digital signal processing circuit that lets you play program sources in the surround
mode to achieve the same sense of presence as in a movie theater.

Dolby Surround

(1) Dolby Digital (Dolby Surround AC-3)

Dolby Digital is the multi-channel digital signal format developed by Dolby Laboratories. 
Dolby Digital consists of up to “5.1” channels - front left, front right, center, surround left, surround right,
and an additional channel exclusively reserved for additional deep bass sound effects (the Low Frequency
Effects – LFE – channel, also called the “.1” channel, containing bass frequencies of up to 120 Hz). 
Unlike the analog Dolby Pro Logic format, Dolby Digital’s main channels can all contain full range sound
information, from the lowest bass, up to the highest frequencies – 22 kHz. The signals within each channel
are distinct from the others, allowing pinpoint sound imaging, and Dolby Digital offers tremendous dynamic
range from the most powerful sound effects to the quietest, softest sounds, free from noise and distortion. 

2 Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic

Comparison of home surround systems

No. recorded channels (elements)

No. playback channels

Playback channels (max.)

Audio processing

High frequency playback limit of surround

Dolby Digital

5.1 ch

5.1 ch

L, R, C, SL, SR, SW

Digital discrete processing Dolby Digital
(AC-3) encoding/decoding

20 kHz

Dolby Pro Logic

2 ch

4 ch

L, R, C, S (SW - recommended)

Analog matrix processing Dolby Surround

7 kHz

2 Dolby Digital compatible media and playback methods

Marks indicating Dolby Digital compatibility: 



The following are general examples. Also refer to the player’s operating instructions.





(satellite broadcasts, CATV, etc.)

Dolby Digital output jacks

Coaxial Dolby Digital RF output jack


Optical or coaxial digital output 

(same as for PCM)


Optical or coaxial digital output 

(same as for PCM)

Playback method (reference page)

Set the input mode to “AUTO”.

(Page 16)

Set the input mode to “AUTO”.

(Page 16)

Set the input mode to “AUTO”.

(Page 16)

1 Please use a commercially available adapter when connecting the Dolby Digital RF (AC-3RF) output jack

of the LD player to the digital input jack.
Please refer to the instruction manual of the adapter when making connection.

2 Some DVD digital outputs have the function of switching the Dolby Digital signal output method between

“bit stream” and “(convert to) PCM”. When playing in Dolby Digital surround on the AVR-1603, switch
the DVD player’s output mode to “bit stream”. In some cases players are equipped with both “bit stream
+ PCM” and “PCM only” digital outputs. In this case connect the “bit stream + PCM” jacks to the AVR-

(2) Dolby Pro Logic 


• Dolby Pro Logic 


is a new multi-channel playback format developed by Dolby Laboratories using feedback

logic steering technology and offering improvements over conventional Dolby Pro Logic circuits.

• Dolby Pro Logic 


can be used to decode not only sources recorded in Dolby Surround (

) but also

regular stereo sources into five channels (front left, front right, center, surround left and surround right) to
achieve surround sound.

• Whereas with conventional Dolby Pro Logic the surround channel playback frequency band was limited,

Dolby Pro Logic 


offers a wider band range (20 Hz to 20 kHz or greater).  In addition, the surround

channels were monaural (the surround left and right channels were the same) with previous Dolby Pro
Logic, but Dolby Pro Logic 


they are played as stereo signals.

• Various parameters can be set according to the type of source and the contents, so it is possible to

achieve optimum decoding (see page 18).

Sources recorded in Dolby Surround
These are sources in which three or more channels of surround have been recorded as two channels of
signals using Dolby Surround encoding technology.
Dolby Surround is used for the sound tracks of movies recorded on DVDs, LDs and video cassettes to be
played on stereo VCRs, as well as for the stereo broadcast signals of FM radio, TV, satellite broadcasts
and cable TV.
Decoding these signals with Dolby Pro Logic makes it possible to achieve multi-channel surround
playback.  The signals can also be played on ordinary stereo equipment, in which case they provide
normal stereo sound.

There are two types of DVD Dolby surround recording signals.
q 2-channel PCM stereo signals
w 2-channel Dolby Digital signals

When either of these signals is input to the AVR-1603, the surround mode is automatically set to Dolby
Pro Logic II when the “DOLBY/DTS SURROUND” mode is selected.