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How to Position Floor Speakers

Learn how to position floor speakers from audio expert Jon Zimmer in this Howcast video.


My name is John Zimmer. I'm the owner of Sound Representation, which specializes in the sales of high end audio equipment. I really learned everything that I know about high end audio from working at this store that we're sitting in right now, Stereo Exchange. I'm gonna teach you what to look for when you wanna shop for a stereo. Positioning loudspeakers in a room is actually quite a feat. And it really is kind of an art form, because every room is different, and every speaker responds differently to different rooms. The main idea is that there's a bass suck out region, which is 12 to 24 inches from your back wall, where your speakers are placed. There's 2 ways to combat this. You can do what's called a near field placement, where you're gonna have a speaker very close to the back wall, before that suck out happens. Or you're gonna do a placement where the speaker is far enough out in the room where it clears that bass suck out. So play a song that you know really well, move the speaker back and forth. And you'll hear where the bass starts to drop out. So if you have a smaller speaker, and you're not getting the bass that you're looking for, putting them really close to the back wall, you're gonna get a lot of reinforcement, so you're gonna get more bass. So if you're looking at the speaker, and the speaker is turned to your left, that toe in. A speaker that is toed in is gonna sound warmer and richer. If it's turned to your right, that's toe out. Toed out is gonna sound more defined and more detailed. You wanna find the right balance. Rake angle is the vertical tilt of your speaker. Basically, what you're trying to do is get the tweeter to be firing right at your ear level. And getting that locked in is crucial to getting a really nice 3 dimensional soundstage. And that's what you're really going for with speaker placement.

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