Regardless of how much you spend on your hi fi system, the placement of your speakers is the key to getting the most out of it. Here's a quick guide to placing your speakers for maximum effect.
Where to site your speakers in relation to your seating position
The best place to put your front two speakers is about 1.5m to 2.5m apart in front of the wall where your TV is situated. Make sure that they face out into the room and are placed flat, not angled (toed-in). You should aim to place the speakers so that they are at a height that is the same as your ears when you are seated. Floor-standing speakers are designed with this in mind, but smaller speakers will need to be placed on a shelf or on stands.
If you have surround-sound speakers, you should place them slightly behind the main seating position, facing directly into the room, rather than toed-in. Surround sound is designed to be used in a home cinema environment where the seating is placed near to the centre of the room or at least a couple of metres away from the walls.
How to position your speakers in your room
It's not a good idea to have your speakers set flush against a wall. This can muddy the sound quality, especially in the mid-bass and mid-range and can cause echoing if you have sub-woofers.
To find the best spot, start with the speakers against the wall, listen to the sound for a few minutes, and then move them forward a few centimetres. Compare the sound quality, and then move the speakers forward a little more. Repeat the process until you find the perfect spot where the sound quality is best.
If you have corner-mounted speakers, they should be angled slightly into the room to give the best sound. Experiment with the angle, listening to the sound as you do so, until you find the perfect spot.
Speakers that are placed on shelves or wooden tables will produce better sound quality if you put a piece of foam underneath them. This prevents echoing and sound distortion. Wherever you place your speakers, be careful that you don't put boxes or any other obstruction in front of them, as this will distort or muffle the sound.
You can improve the sound quality of your hi fi system simply by making sure that your speakers are sited correctly. For further information and advice on how to get the most out of your hi fi set-up, have a chat with an audio visual supplier like Tivoli Hi-Fi Pty Ltd.