Get Better Sound From Your Speakers With Better Room Set-Up
• Almost everybody sits way too far from their speakers, that is, 8' to 10' or more. Try a low chair (or floor pillow) 5' away. You’ll hear a phenomenal increase in clarity, bass impact, and soundstage—roughly like spending 100% more on your speakers. Sitting close (aka near-field listening) tremendously reduces all room acoustic problems and the need for expensive room treatments.
• Nearly everybody sits too high. The "tweeters at ear level" rule sounds logical but almost always fails when tested. Every speaker has a different optimum listening height; if you’re off the optimum ear height, you’re not getting your money’s worth. Test by sitting on one, then two, then three phone books on the floor at your normal listening spot. At the optimum height, you’ll hear an amazing new warmth and fullness in baritone voice, trombones, tenor sax, plucked bass—and a far more natural treble balance.
• If your listening room has a concrete or stone or tile or modern plywood floor (with or without carpet), then your speakers are suffering from a huge floor-caused sonic degradation that urgently needs to be addressed before you start dealing with true room-caused acoustic problems. Click here to understand and cure the floor problem. Many audiophiles waste years of time and thousands of dollars chasing mis-diagnosed “room problems” that are actually caused by their floor—simply because today’s conventional acoustic theory is so inadequate it doesn’t even recognize or deal with the floor’s dominant effect on the sound of a room.
• For much improved bass and huge soundstage, put your listening chair or sofa right against the wall behind you--preferably the longest wall of the room. Position your speakers 5' from your ear and 7' or more apart.
Cures most of the acoustic problems of both tiny rooms and cavernous rooms. No room treatments will yield this much bass improvement. Note: since this puts the speakers more or less out in the middle of the room, it works for dedicated listening rooms but may be a problem in living rooms or other multi-purpose rooms.
• For speaker placement, DO NOT use the rule of thirds or the equilateral triangle rule; they don’t work. To set speaker distance from the wall behind, start with the cabinet rear 18” away. Listen, move them 6” forward, repeat. As you move forward, imaging will improve but bass boost will decrease. Pick the distance that gives you the best balance.
• For speaker spacing, start with the speakers 1/3 further apart than your ear-to-speaker distance (which should be 5’, as above). Increase spacing 6” at a time until the center image collapses, then subtract 6”.