How to position speakers

May 30, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

10 comments on “How to position speakers”

  1. There are a very few exceptions from moving away from the wall. Some speakers, such as Audio Note, are designed to be used against the wall.

  2. In my experience, Paul is correct for 3-way tower speakers. But there are significant exceptions. Some manufacturers (both vintage and recent) design their speakers to be placed against the front wall (Allison 1 & 2, Ohm Walsh, Vandersteen, Larsen, Snell, Dutch & Dutch 8c, Scansonic) or even in a corner (Allison 3, Klipschorn). I finally gave up chasing 3-way tower speakers because they are too hard to position properly and they never sounded good to me (e.g., B&W, Focal, ML). So, I took a chance on dual concentric, front-ported speakers (Tannoy, KEF). Dual concentrics sound much better to my ears and they are simple to place properly — closer to the front wall is fine. They also tend to be more sensitive and have wider dispersion. Also check out Klipsch Heritage series, Fern & Roby Ravens, Raven II. And Zu Audio speakers. My view is that matching speakers to your room is as important as matching your electronics. Don’t be a slave to speakers in the middle of the room and a tiny, head-in-a-vice sweet spot.

    1. Indeed, optimizing room acoustics & speaker position is absolutely mandatory for getting an acceptable sound quality. But then you have still to fight the unwanted but stereo-inherent problem of inter-speaker crosstalk creating annoying comb-filter effects.

  3. I read about a company that’s called, SPS in Sound And Vision.
    SPS just came out with this 5.1channel speaker system that’s designed to be mounted on the walls.
    And also, they have a subwoofer that’s also designed to be mounted on the wall.
    But however, the company’s website, says that you can hide the subwoofer under a couch
    It’s a good thing that the power amp is not built in to the subwoofer’s cabinet.
    Other wise, you would run in to some over heating problems with the amp itself.
    Even if the amp is class D.
    My question is, how do you get a good to grate sound stage from speaker designs like that one?

  4. If only we all had dedicated music rooms. Unfortunately most of us have to fit our gear into our family rooms or living rooms along with the furniture that is there. Which is why I’m happy my speakers were designed to use the front wall for bass reinforcement of the side firing subs that are positioned to the rear of the very deep and narrow cabinets and I can put them close to the front wall and they are also designed to have a great soundstage being close to the wall. Being that the cabinets are narrow and deep it can accomplish both the reinforcement of the bass while bringing the front baffle of the speaker out into the room on a narrow mini monitor type baffle. Magical NHT 2.9 sound stage fed by my integrated Creek. Both the tonal balance of the speakers and the soundstage are very good.

  5. I reckon )from experience) you can get the main virtues of depth by moving them out only half a metre from the wall. Front of the speakers that is.

  6. Compared with hard against the wall: I reckon (from a whimsical experiment) that you can get the main virtues of depth by moving them out only half a metre from the wall. Front of the speakers that is.

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