Speaker Placement Tips for Real Sound

One of the most frequently asked questions from consumers is, where is the best place to put my PSB speakers, and how should I position them? The positioning of the left and right speaker can play a major role in their acoustic performance, so we highly suggest reading through this short list of tips and guidelines that will help you achieve real sound, in any room or setting, with PSB Speakers.

Starting with Basics…

a) The optimum placement height for main speakers should typically be set with the tweeters at about the same height as your ears when seated.

b) Generally, you will receive the best imaging and other spatial qualities if your speakers and your listening position form an equilateral triangle, with the speakers not quite as far apart from each other as your position from the speakers.

c) The best high-frequency dispersion, producing the widest “sweet spot” in listeners can sit and enjoy optimum high-frequency definition, will result when speakers enclosures are positioned vertically rather than horizontally.

d) If your favourite listening position is equally distant from both speakers, angling or “toeing” the speakers inward about 5 to 10° usually produces the best convergence of high frequencies for that listening position. Different listening positions may require different angling.

Speakers in Relation to Room Boundaries…

a) The position of speakers in relation to the walls, floor, and ceiling of your listening room will often affect their sound in several ways.

b) The closer speakers are placed to the perimeter and boundaries of a room, the greater the proportion of bass in their overall performance and sound, this is in result of enclosing reflections of nearby surfaces. Positioning speakers near adjoining surfaces (wall and wall, wall and floor, or wall and ceiling) will produce more apparent bass than placing speakers near a single surface.

c) For the greatest bass response and feel, place the speakers near three adjoining surfaces – in a corner of a room near the floor or ceiling – where the convergence of the two walls and floor/ceiling produces an amplifying effect that resembles megaphone-like sound.

d) Placing a speaker away from all room boundaries will produce the least amount of bass, however your own listening preferences should decide what proportion of bass response is ideal for each room setting and space.

e) The combination of three dimensions in a room will generally produce at least three points in a room where frequency response will either drastically increase, or almost completely disappear. The most common effects are on low frequencies, while mid-frequency effects are usually subtler, they’re also most often present.

f) The distance from the speakers to the walls can make a great difference in the number, strength and particular frequency of secondary reflections – changing frequency-balance, sonic spaciousness and definition. Keep in mind, that very small changes in your listening position or speaker placement can greatly impact your listening experience.

Speakers in Relation to Listening Position…

a) Obviously, your listening position also makes a great difference in the level of acoustic performance you’ll hear.

b) As you get further from the speakers, more sound will be reflected from your room’s surfaces as it reaches your ears, and the original spatial relationships in a recording are changed as your room “takes over”.

c) It might require you to drive more power to distant speakers to compensate for one speaker being further from your listening position than another speaker, as once again, the particular dimensions of your room play a major part in the overall performance.

d) Keep in mind proper “toeing-in”, correct speaker height, and a reasonably symmetrical distance from the speakers all tend to work together to deliver the best high-frequency definition and imaging.

Room Boundaries in Relation to Listening Position…

a) Changing your own listening position in respect to room boundaries will also bring a big effect to the overall listening experience, getting further from a wall behind you might make sound more precise and localized while getting closer, might make sound more mellow and integrated.

b) Remember too, with respect to your own listening position, it might be (or might not be) easier to change your own seating location than to move your speakers. Most importantly, one certain rule applies here: don’t fix what isn’t broken.

As you’ve considered what we’ve outlined here, the real idea is to manipulate whatever variable is easiest and most productive for improving your listening experience. Be sure to base judgements on listening to a good variety of vocal and instrumental recordings, as well as motion pictures to easily recognize tonal balance shifts.

Now go enjoy real sound with PSB Speakers!