The positioning of speakers can often be a topic of hot debate. Here are a few suggestions to get the best out of your system.
Speakers: The lifeblood of any Hi-Fi system
A very dramatic statement indeed, but a true one at that! Many people assume that the only way to improve the sound they hear from their speakers is to change something around in your system. A new DAC? Sure, that might work. A better amplifier? If you can afford one, why not? Perhaps a new pair of speakers altogether? Possibly, but there could be a much simpler solution to this problem. An often overlooked fact is that aside from the technology inside a pair of speakers, slight alterations to their positioning within a room can make dramatic improvements to the overall sound. And save you an absolute fortune!
There a few things to consider when positioning your speakers which we will look at below. However, note that everyone has their own preferences, so there is no definitive answer as to where your speakers should be.
Every room is different – don’t panic if your living room isn’t set up like an anechoic chamber!
At Cambridge Audio we develop and test the equipment we make in a great variety of ways: measurements, blind listening and of course the most important (and obviously most fun) taking home products to listen to in our own homes.
Acoustics will differ in every room and unless you have the luxury of designing your own personal cinema, it probably wasn’t designed to give you the best audio experience man can encounter. This is why we test our equipment in real homes and in realistic situations, giving us an idea of what they can sound like and what is possible.
A few of our suggestions for positioning speakers:
Some manufacturers develop their speakers so that toe-in is not required, so the following will also vary depending on speaker brand. It’s best to speak to your local dealer if you’re interested in learning more about what suits your system.
While the below advice is generally accepted as helping set up speakers effectively in most environments it does require practice as differences are subtle. Also note that it is best to do this once the speakers are fully ‘run in’ so that the sound characteristics from the speakers will not change and require re-positioning after they are run-in.
While the above is a list of some of our recommendations, remember that there is no hard and fast rule for speaker or subwoofer placement. There are countless variables that will have influence the sound such as furnishings, room size/shape and the most important of all listener preference. Don’t forget that you’re setting them up for YOUR use, so experiment and see what works best for you.