Stereo and Surround Speaker Placement

May 9, 2008

Blue Sky | "The Stand'

Proper placement and aiming of the speakers in your studio or home audio system, can greatly improve the audio experience.  Below are suggestions for placement of speakers for three general applications; stereo, 5.1 music and 5.1 film.  If at all possible, speaker placement should be symmetrical relative to the room boundaries and the listening position.

Suggested Guidelines For Stereo Monitoring Placement

The recommended position for the left and right speakers, in a stereo configuration, is at a 60 degree angle relative to the listener, forming an equilateral triangle (a triangle with equal sides) as shown in the Reference Monitoring Position diagram (click to view). Fortunately, this setup eliminates most of the math and is easily simplified to the following guidelines: If you want to sit 1 meter (39.37 inches) from the speakers, place the speakers 1 meter apart. If you want to sit 6 ft from the speakers, place the speakers 6 ft apart. Etc.

Ideally the speakers should be at seated ear height as show in the Monitoring Height Recommendation (click to view). If this is not possible, tilting the speaker cabinet at the listening area can improve high-frequency coverage.

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