Positioning speakers

Your listening room is full of sound, you are not only hearing the sound coming directly from your speakers, but also the sound reflected from walls, floors, and ceilings. The path of this reflected sound is longer than the direct one. It will be time delayed. However, when sound waves of the same frequency arrive at your ears at different times, they will cancel each other out to some degree. Since the reflected sound travels longer, it also loses some of its initial energy. The longer the distance between the speaker and the side wall, the less audible the reflected sound will be. Positioning your loudspeakers further from, or closer to, the walls of your listening room will change the bass response, as well as the stereo image.

Small, compact speakers often deliver better low-frequency sound when placed relatively close to the rear wall. Large floor-standers that deliver plenty of bass, should be positioned further away from the rear wall. Do not position a bookshelf speaker on a bookshelf, instead, invest in a good set of speaker stands. Leaving space between your speaker and the wall will result in a noticeable improvement in the mid-range and bass response.

Try to avoid corner placement. When placed close to a wall, rear-ported speakers become highly subject to adverse sound quality, this effect is not as dominant in front-facing ported speakers. Speakers tend to sound best when firing down the longer length of a room but avoid having your sitting position too close to the back wall. Most speakers do sound better when positioned at ear level while sitting and angled inward.

Quick Tip: to minimize unwanted resonance and feedback, do not place your turntable too close to your speakers.
It is important for speakers to be “broken in”, so play them for a couple of days at low to medium volume before doing any critical listening. Try different positions and angles until you achieve a credible soundstage, one that will give you depth as well as side-to-side imaging. These recommendations are just general rules of thumb, different speaker types and wall construction may require different approaches. Ceiling height and shape, floor coverings, and room size will all play a role in your personal sound delivery. Have fun setting up your space, after all, isn’t it the whole idea?