Setting up speakers in a small room

July 19, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “Setting up speakers in a small room”

  1. Hi Paul. In the video, you mention a (new?) book, “The Audiophile’s Guide: The Loudspeaker”. I could not find this book on your site or on Amazon. I do see the previous book, “The Audiophile’s Guide: The Stereo”

    Please let me know if you have a new book out that I’ve missed. Of course, I already have the first volume of “Audiophile’s Guide”. Thanks.

    1. Yes, sorry for the premature mention of the new book. Its launch got delayed. I got a good case of CoViD and that set everything back. Better now (thank goodness for vaccinations reducing severity) and finishing it up. Hope to launch now August.

      1. Cat’s out of the bag, but it’s no surprise that there will be more books in this series. I’m looking forward to reading the second one and sharing my impressions.

  2. Hey Paul, I’ve always know that a pair of stereo speakers should form an equilateral triangle with the listener to each individual speaker. In this video, you measured from the center point between the two speakers to the listening position. Which is theoretically more correct?

    1. Indeed, the height (the listening distance (?) as marked by Paul’s „foot-steps“) of an equilateral triangle whose sides are 7 feet long is smaller than 7 feet. But as Paul admitted, there is a genuine problem with maths and so with geometry/trigonometry. And if Paul addresses the importance of set-up he forgets to mention the importance of room treatment as the most important aspect of a good set-up. However he totally misses the posed question concerning small rooms meaning with loudspeaker-design/driver arrangement is required for very small listening distances below 1.5 m/5 feet. I strongly doubt that the FR30s allow such small listening distances.

  3. Since it appears to be “Pick On Paul Day”.
    Let me ask: I’ve never heard the sound of dog doo?”
    Can you explain it in more technical terminology?


  4. Generally a good starting point is an equalactial triangle (speakers equal distance to the distance from a speaker to the listener) if you sit in your listening position and point at each speaker your arms make a 60deg angle. What Paul did was distance from centre same as distance apart which makes 53deg (isosceles triangle) and then said the seat was even further back so even smaller angle for his room and speaker combo.

    Start at 60deg, then move back and forth it’s all a compromise, especially in a small room. Closer you get the more nearfield (dominately direct sound only) it becomes, which means less unwanted room accoustics but a more direct sound, also the sound changes a lot more as you move left to right and the sweet spot becomes smaller. Further away more reflections you here, creating livelier sound, but the clarity drops. All while trying to avoid standing wave nodes.

    Based on the room in question I’d be looking at treating the problems around 320Hz, the issues around 160Hz try and avoid by seat position, and live with problems below that frequency. Also I’d be careful of overpowering the bass end, go for subwoofer something small (8″-10″ driver) with a fast response and a good reputation, and allow the room gain to help out for the deepest notes rather than becoming a problem.

  5. Then there is the revolutionary. “Gerhard at the focus of an ellipse”. Google it / susskind audio.
    Strong central image, nullifies a room problem.
    Look it up and try it.
    (Paul don’t ever attempt the maths it’ll turn your brain into doggy do)

    Anyone here tried it? Ken Kessler did once and was stunned.

    +1. Audiophile Guide loudspeakers. Google never heard of it. Or is it a section in the big book …guide; Stereo ?
    A phantom image perhaps.

  6. Doesn’t equal lateral triangle positioning assume the acoustics of the room are the same or close on each side? But if one side is walled and the other is open, then it would seem that a different method is called for. The speakers will not be the same distance from the listening position. For example, I’ve seen positioning one speaker at a time for optimal sound..

Leave a Reply

Stop by for a tour:
Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm MST

4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

Stop by for a tour:
4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram