I know the feels when you first pull a shiny new sound system from its packaging, and you want nothing more than to place the speaker right to enjoy every explosion thoroughly, musical note and whisper from the movies, music and games you like best.
Here are some of my best suggestions for doing just that.
Speakers: The lifeblood of any Hi-Fi system
The speakers and the way they are arranged is the single most crucial factor in getting the highest-quality sound in your space. Far too often a consumer chooses the location for the speakers they ordered before they even arrive. When the audio quality isn’t what they hoped for, they decide to upgrade with a new DAC, a more potent amplifier or even a brand-new set of speakers altogether.
A much simpler solution would be to consider the acoustic of the room and how the sound will be conveyed to your ears. The slightest alterations can significantly improve their functionality and may prove every bit as valuable as an expensive upgrade.
With this in mind, there are a few things to consider when setting up your speakers and we will take a look at some of the goals you hope to accomplish below. Do remember that this is only a point of reference and there will be many variables in each location that will need to be considered. Furthermore, individual experts have their preferences on the best execution in this pursuit, but here are some things most of us agree on.
Don’t worry if your particular room doesn’t ring like anechoic chamber when you are through. There are variables from room shape, structural materials and more that affect the outcome. Unless you have vibrant resources and can afford to construct your improved cinema style set up, your results will be limited to the space you have, which may not have been designed for acoustic performance.
A few of my suggestions for the optimal positioning speakers:
- Think Lengthwise – you will want to position your speakers, so the sound travels best down the length of the room. If your home entertainment centre is set up with a surround-sound system and speakers, you will want to place the audience seating towards the middle of the room, rather than further to the back walls.
- this may seem obvious… but, anything you pace in front of your speakers will be messing with the acoustics of your sound. Many people have a carefully located ethanol burner or towering stack of CDs directly in the path of the audio or speakers neatly tucked away on a pretty shelf that does nothing to improve the sound quality.
- Whether you are using stand-mounted speakers or the type that sits on a shelf, you will get the best sound from a speaker that is set on a level with the ears.
- Make sure you leave a space between the wall behind the speakers and the speaker itself, this will significantly enhance the mid-range and mid-bass.
- If you will be using a surround sound system to your room, consider locating the sub-woofer at about 30 cm from a corner, this way the vibrations and echo will be reduced.
- If you have your speakers placed on the desk or a shelf, it is a good idea to stand them of little foam or felt pads. This will reduce the noise that is conducted to the desk or shelf and allows the sound you want to hear to be audible.
Setting Yp Your Speaker Stands
Some of the speakers you will find on the market today are made so that the “toe-in” is not necessary, so you will want to check your user’s manual with each one. If you are still not sure, you can contact the dealer and ask there.
The following section will detail a process for getting the best sound from your speakers from most domestic environments. You will want to fine-tune your hearing and practice this technique to get the most from it.
- Begin with your speakers right up against the wall, and a reasonable distance apart. Between 1.5 and 2.5 meters id the best range depending on the seating of the audience and the length of the room.
- turn on a track you are quite familiar with, and that has some complexity in tones and notes. Play about 30 seconds for each adjustment. The more familiar you are with the track, the better you will be able to gauge the quality of what you hear.
- ow move the speakers from the wall no more than an inch and play the same track again. The sound should be considerably better. This will provide the direction for further adjustments.
- Move it again, and it will probably sound even better – but listen carefully to what got better as you repeat the process.
- After about five tries or so, the sound will begin to get worse rather than better as the distance becomes further. Return the speakers to their former position or the position before that one depending on which you believe sounds best.
- You will then repeat the same process on gradual degrees of toe in. As the speakers are toed inward, they will gradually sound better and better. Then they will begin to sound worse, return the speakers to the prior position and you have found the best spot for your speakers.
Final Notes on Speaker Positioning
The advice and suggestions mentioned here were only that, and there are no rules carved stone for positioning the speakers and sub-woofers in your room. Remember that many other variables will affect the acoustics of your room and you may need to rethink the advice you just found. Remember that these are set up for your use and what sounds best to you is what’s most important, so feel free to experiment.