The speakers will need to be positioned so that they sit symmetrically between the walls of the room, otherwise the stereo image will be distorted. Putting speakers too close to corners tends to emphasize the bass in an unpredictable way, so try to place your speakers away from the room boundaries and make sure the setup is symmetrical, with the tweeters pointing at your head in your normal monitoring position.
Relatively small changes in speaker position can affect the sound quite significantly, so experiment with moving your speakers forward or backwards while some known commercial material is playing and aim for a smooth response, especially at the low end. If some bass notes seem louder than others, move the speakers around until the problem is minimized. Mounting the speakers on solid stands makes quite a difference.
Start with a triangle
Try to use an equilateral triangle as your basis for listening, to provide the “ideal listening position”.
If you and the speakers are all the same distance from each other, it creates a starting point for where you want to be. Depending on the size and shape of your room, this might not be possible – so just try to get as close to it as you can.
Up against a wall?
Try to keep your speakers away from the walls if possible, as the reflections of soundwaves on nearby surfaces can affect the sound. Of course, if you’ve got pets or kids, you might be more concerned with keeping them out of the way of small hands or paws!
If you’ve got the flexibility, you could also consider rearranging your furniture as well as your speaker positions to really get the most out of your system.
Soft furnishings and other details
Most of us use rooms for multiple purposes – watching TV, spending time with friends and family, playing games, eating, listening to music… so your hi-fi system and speakers will need to work around these uses. It’s also worth considering what time of day you’re most often using your hi-fi – and positioning your speakers based on that.
See our MonitorStands page