Hi-fi experts – room layout advice would be much appreciated
Having had hi-fi gear set up in lots of different places I know how much impact the room has. Years ago I lived in a flat with a huge living room and loads of space around the speakers and it sounded fantastic even with basic kit. My current place is better in nearly every way (kitchen bigger than a cupboard, bathroom with a window, garage) but i’ve not found a good way to set up the stereo.
If the link works this is a floor plan of my living room (a previous owner knocked the front and back rooms into one). Up to now I’ve had the speakers on the LH wall pointing across the front (top) half of the room with chairs opposite but I’m sure I’m not getting the best sound I could. Anyone got any suggestions that don’t involve buying a new house? I will soon be re-decorating and I’m due to buy a new stereo (probably UnitiQute, turntable on a shelf and speakers yet to be auditioned) so it’s a good opportunity to be creative.Posted 3 years agovorlichMember
I had good results using REW to fine tune my setup – I only had one viable option for placement, but this helped in analysing distances from back and side walls and subwoofer placement.
Have a look at Ethan Winer’s/Real Traps website for some good infoPosted 3 years agoMilkieMember
No TV, Sofa’s or coffee tables? I would think your furniture dictates where they go and the Hi-Fi follows second.
Couple of Rules
You don’t want a window right behind you. (treble reflection)
You don’t want a glass coffee table infront of you. (treble interference)
I’m sure there are a lot more rules, distance from walls, distance from each other and things.Posted 3 years ago
@cinnamon girl – there are lots of rules but they’re not always very practical unless you build a dedicated listening room
@rockhopper – speaker height and positioning chairs relative to the speakers is OK, it’s where I put that triangle in the room that’s the problem
@Milkie – currently planning redecoration and furniture – the tv is in a corner at the other end but could go on a wall – no glass coffee tables but I do have a pair of hyoooge 70s chairs which are probably totally wrong for serious listening as they curve round either side of your head.
I think my question is whether I should be trying to have the speakers pointing down the room instead of across it but I’m not sure how it would work in reality 😕
EDIT: maybe I should be shopping for quality headphonesPosted 3 years agojustinbieberSubscriber
Do you want to be able to play the TV audio through the hi-fi?
If so, unless you want to put the TV in the bay window, I’d say where you’ve got them is the best place.
If you put the speakers either side of the bay window, the best listening spot will be in the middle of the archway, thus defeating the point of the archway, unless you want to climb over a sofa or chairs every time you want to get in or outPosted 3 years agoRusty SpannerSubscriber
Supposedly down the room not across it.
If you want the best stereo image each speaker should be the same distance from back walls and side walls (the distance from the side walls should be approx 1.5 times the distance from the back walls as a startkng point, possibly a little more).
Completely depends on the speakers and the room, in my experience.
Rear ported speakers tend to get a bit boomy against a wall and benefit from a bit of free space.
Front ported too, but not so critical.
You might like it.
S’all personal taste at the end of the day.
I tend to ignore all that and just put them where I reckon they sound good and are convinient.
Currently firing across, not down.
Same distances from back and side walls though.
Opposite corners works well if you’re not arsed about imaging.Posted 3 years ago
@wwaswas – it might have been one of those “i think this is boring so I’ll snark at people” comments but what can you do? I can’t say I find it especially interesting per se but listening to music makes me happy and listening to music that doesn’t sound like half the band have been locked in a cupboard makes me more happy.Posted 3 years agoklumpyMember
@MrNice – How dare you!!! “Half The Band Have Been Locked in a Cupboard” is my favourite New York scene techno panpipe thrash fusion combo, I guess they’re not commercial enough for “Mr Hifi”. Anyone who listens to “The labels on the cans must face the front” and isn’t moved is a, err, zombie maggot..? Yeah, why not.Posted 3 years ago
MrNice – nope, not my style. Currently have a less than ideal set-up due to oblong shaped room but there’s nothing I can do, fortunately it’s temporary. Couldn’t live without my music!
wwaswas – there’s such good info on STW, I’ve put this into my pretty little head for future use. 🙂Posted 3 years ago
are you going to suggest I stick egg boxes all over the walls?
No, as they don’t do anything (well they do, but not a lot)
Proper acoustic absorption at the first reflection points on the walls and ceiling is a good idea, as is symmetry. This could point you to having the room laid out with the ‘speakers either side of the bay window firing down the room. That’s all about getting a good high frequency response and correct stereo imaging. Getting nice low frequency response can be a lot trickier………….. it depends how far you want to take it.Posted 3 years ago
edhornby – turning it up to 11 works great for the noisy stuff but less good for something quiet (think Grinderman vs Boatman’s Call).
dmorts – I was thinking I might get a suggestion of pointing the speakers down the room from the bay window. That will definitely be tried.
The links above seem to be telling me that acoustic absorption is putting panels on the walls at the reflection points. I’m open to giving that a go, depending on price (I know I’ve seen other threads on here on that topic).
While we’re here… what would be the step after that for low frequency response? it’s almost certainly further than I’d want to go since this is my house and not a recording studio but I’m interested to know what comes next.Posted 3 years ago
Adjusting the distance the loudspeakers are from the walls can help with the low frequency response, as can moving your preferred listening position. Start with the loudspeakers very close to the walls and move further away, auditioning back at your listening spot.
While there is good (and free) software that can measure the frequency response, you might want to avoid these as it could all get a bit too involved.
You can use a bit of EQ to help tweak the lows, but this should be used very sparingly.Posted 3 years agofootflapsSubscriber
For starters, burn all the furniture, brick up any windows / doors and stick RAM everywhere. When your living looks like this, come back and we can discuss speaker placement…
NB I used to work in one of these, very eery place, lack of any reflections or echoes plays with your brain and makes you feel quite odd….Posted 3 years agoTurnerGuyMember
Fire the speakers down the room – having a wall behind your head is prety much as bad as having a wall right behind the speakers, except that sometimes speakers are designed to work in that situation.
If your chair is backing on to the wall now just try moving your head backwards and notice the differences in the bass.
I have my speakers in the bay either side of the tv, which isn’t the greatest place because of the bay, but it seems OK.
If you have a 3 piece sofa try the sofa opposite the speakers and one chair to the side of each speaker – this damps reflections without looking to ‘staged’.
If you have a couple of amenable friends and decently long speaker cables then put the amp in the middle of the room and get them to move the speakers/stands to different locations in the room whilst you try different sitting positions – that’s a good way to experiment quickly.Posted 3 years ago
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