Stereo Speaker Placement


Basic Two-Channel Stereo


Placement is a very important determinant of loudspeaker performance. No matter how well designed your loudspeakers are, you will not realize their performance capabilities if they are not properly placed in the listening area.  Optimal stereophonic placement is treated in considerable detail in the section "Stereo Loudspeaker Setup," by Leo Massi. For those of you who have a dedicated listening room please refer to that section.

stereo speaker placement

Basic Two-Channel Stereo Loudspeaker Placement

Most people however do not have the luxury of a room that they can dedicate strictly to listening to music. They cannot rearrange the room around the music system. Listening to music must co-exist with the other pursuits that occur in the living room among the furniture and other fixtures. For these situations the best compromise is a basic setup where the loudspeakers are placed fairly close to the wall and a couch or chair that is opposite to them is the listening position.

Variations in placement can produce dramatic differences in the way music sounds. And no two listening rooms are the same. Therefore you are encouraged to spend some time experimenting with which placements work best in your listening room. Trust your ears and be willing to experiment freely. Start with our basic recommendations.

For flattest frequency response, position the loudspeakers to ensure the tweeters are close to the height of the ears of the seated listener as possible (if necessary use loudspeaker stands to achieve the desired height). A height of thirty five inches for the tweeter will generally match the height of the ear of a person of average height who is seated on a couch. Place the loudspeakers six to eight feet apart and eighteen inches or more from the rear wall. For greater bass response place the loudspeakers closer to the rear wall. If you cannot realize this basic setup, moving the loudspeakers even six to twelve inches from the rear wall will significantly improve the depth of the stereophonic soundstage. Consult the section on "Stereo Loudspeaker Setup" for techniques to improve on this basic placement.

What About Placement on Bookshelves and in Wall Cabinets?

Because bookshelves and wall cabinets are usually located close to the wall, placement on book shelves and in wall cabinets will generally reduce the soundstaging and imaging performance of loudspeakers, while it can often provides a richer, more full-bodied sound. This type of placement is very commonplace and because our designs are acoustic suspension designs they are the most well suited type of loudspeakers for it. Our small loudspeakers are widely used in custom installations where the loudspeakers are fitted into custom wall units, with excellent results.

Remember, for any placement, try to maximize the performance of the loudspeakers. Moving them just a few inches and changing the angle of the loudspeaker can provide noticeable improvements in performance.