Two speakers and a subwoofer comprise the 2.1 setup of Dolby speakers. For an optimum listening experience with a pair of speakers and a single subwoofer, balance and symmetry are important guidelines. The subwoofer offers omnidirectional, low frequency sound, so its location in a room is more flexible than other components. Wherever it fits and is easily linked to the receiver should be a suitable spot for the subwoofer, as long as it is not inside a cabinet or too close to a wall.
Other than the low frequency effects emanating from the subwoofer, the rest of the sound in a 2.1 system will come from the right and left speakers. If the screen is 8 to 12 feet in front of the viewer, each speaker should be placed 3 to 4 feet from the center of the screen, one on one side and one on the other. They should be placed at about the same height as the seated listener's ears. Angle the speakers slightly inward toward the listener/viewer. An advisable angle is between 22 and 30 degrees inward. This will create a cone effect of sound directed at the listener.