A quick guide to speaker placement (and a very quick guide to room acoustics)

Author: Toby  

Speaker placement and room acoustics 

  1. Don’t have speakers too close to the wall, especially if they have a rear positioned bass port. This will create bloated bass and even audible “chuffing” sounds from the bass port. Usually around 1m is good but play around as all rooms make speakers sound different. (People usually don’t want their speakers protruding out from the wall but it’s still good to know).
     
  2. Subwoofers should always be placed in a corner with as many surfaces to reflect from as possible. Think of an amphitheatre, they are designed to carry the sound from reflective surfaces. The more surfaces to reflect from, the better and louder the subwoofer will sound. Also don’t be afraid to place the subwoofer at the rear of the room if there are no suitable positions at the front. Bass is a more Omni-directional, room filling type frequency so rear placement is okay.
     
  3. Speakers can vibrate cabinets and entertainment units. This is bad. Place them isolated from other equipment if possible. Use big blobs of blue tack to reduce resonance for a quick fix solution.
     
  4. There is no one solution fits all with room placement. There is no miracle cure for all acoustic problems. All you can do is adjust placement of the product based on what the room is like and materials inside the room. If you really want a perfect acoustic environment you should consult staff and design the room based on what products you want to buy!

Overall TRUST YOUR EAR! Position things until they sound right, this may take a while however it is worth the time.

 

Common room types and their acoustic property.

  1. Glass & Tiles

Accentuates high frequency and can make equipment sound aggressive. Aggressive sound can become fatiguing over time so recommend “warm” sounding speakers and amplifiers if possible.

  1. Carpeted floors and heavy curtains

This is the ideal room type because you can get away with almost any type of system in these rooms. Heavy curtains and carpet will absorb higher frequencies so be careful not to purchase overly warm sounding equipment for this type of room as you might get a “mushy” result.

  1. Old raised wooden floors

They are just the worst. They really accentuate bass bloat so the best bet is to recommend they go and buy a thick rug and maybe even some rubber tiles for underneath their speakers.