5 Tips Speaker Placement
So you’ve decided to add speakers to your space and even feel ready to install them. Where should they go? Well, that depends on your priorities. Do you want the best sound reproduction or do you care more about aesthetics? Lucky for you, we can do both and we’re here to help. You can read all the reviews in the world, but unless you know how to properly place the speakers, you won’t maximise their effectiveness.
We realise that this is a common problem. You want to install a sweet sound system, but you don’t have the space for large speakers. Or maybe you want to install a stylish sound system, but don’t want to sink a lot of money into it. Hidden or slim speakers seem like the perfect solution, but where should you put them? There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding where to place your speakers. It’s not something you can decide without careful consideration and a little trial and error. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to maximise their effectiveness. Let’s walk through our 5 tips for speaker placement so you can get the most out of them.
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Assess room acoustics and noise
Noise is the bane of all audiophiles. Fortunately, you can reduce it with some basic acoustic modifications. Noise reduction is essential for a good-sounding system, but it’s often overlooked by interior designers and architects. While the term “acoustics” may conjure up images of concert halls and symphony orchestras, it’s also applicable to your living room, office, and even retail space. In fact, room acoustics can have a profound effect on your listening experience. The next thing to look out for is the noise level in the room. If you’re playing music or other audio in a place that doesn’t have good acoustics, you’ll probably hear a lot of noise from outside venues and from nearby rooms. The more background noise you have, the harder it will be for you, your patrons, or your audience to hear what you’re playing in your space.
Take the time to figure out the source of the surrounding noise and remedy it accordingly before thinking about your speaker placement(s). A highly reflective or absorptive room can drastically affect the quality of the music being played. If you cannot hire a professional to help you, there are easy DIY solutions that you can try to reduce the room acoustics. For example, if you have hardwood floors, consider placing rubber pads under the feet of the speaker stands to deaden their impact. If you have cushioned carpeting, consider covering both floors and walls with sound-absorbing materials, such as curtains, foam tiles or carpet squares. Wall-to-wall carpeting is great for reducing road noise, but it can be expensive and might not effectively deaden sound over an entire room. So, do what you can within your budget and design, but be sure to assess your room acoustic and noise level before deciding on the speakers. Even a cushioned sofa can make a great impact. If your space isn’t well-insulated or has poor acoustic quality, it makes it difficult for sound waves to travel through the space without coming back at you as echoes. If this happens, your speakers won’t sound as full as they could be. 5 Tips Speaker Placement
Understand the room size
The next thing you need to do is to take detailed measurements of the room where you want to install your speakers. Matching speakers to your room dimensions can maximise bass response and avoid muddy-sounding music or hollow-sounding movies. The size of your room also dictates the number of speakers you will need to install. This is important because not all speakers are created equal – some are designed for larger rooms while some are designed for smaller rooms. The dimensions of your room will determine the placement of your speakers. For example, if you have a large room with high ceilings, you can place speakers at opposite ends for better sound distribution.
Next, lock down the listening area. You need to know exactly where you will sit or standing when you listen to your system, so you can better evaluate the sound quality. Don’t move around too much while evaluating location options, because that can skew your results. Start with a basic position and expand from there. Pay attention to how much space you want to cover and what kinds of sounds need to be reproduced. You may need speakers that can reproduce both high and low frequencies, or just cover one end of the spectrum well.
If you have a small space, you might consider getting at least two smaller speakers instead of one large one so that it fills up the space better. If you have little space available, then it is wise to choose simple stands or wall-mount them so that they don’t take up too much room. It also depends on how heavy your speakers are and how large they are, which will help you decide if you need additional support for them or not. Since your room dimensions will affect the selection of your speaker system, it is important to have a good idea of the size of your listening environment. 5 Tips Speaker Placement
Consider the function of the speakers
When you’re planning for speakers, the third thing to consider is determining what the primary function of the speakers for your space will be. Start by thinking about what you are trying to achieve with your system. Are you looking for something that will fill out the sound in your living room or provide quality audio while chilling with friends? Are you trying to get the best surround sound to improve upon your movie watching experience? For most people, choosing the right speaker system is a matter of figuring out what kind of sound they like, which speakers fit their budget and how they’re going to use the speakers. Nevertheless, good sound quality and good coverage is expected by every listener. Once you have an idea of what kind of setup you are working with, take your time planning the function of your speakers and/or room.
5 Tips Speaker Placement
Position is key!
One of the most common questions we get from our clients is: “Where should I place my speakers in my room?” A lot of times, the question is asked in a way that presumes we have a specific placement we want to sell you on. If you ask us, we’ll give you the honest answer — there’s no “right” or “wrong” placement for your speakers. There are, however, better and worse placements for different applications. If you’ve gone through the last 3 steps in your planning stage, you’ve already won half the battle. Just like when you hang a painting on a wall, you want your listeners to focus on the sound, not the source of the sound.
General Rule: Aim for ear-level listening experience and focus on well-balanced coverage
When deciding where to position your speakers, normally the main speakers should be ear-level with the listener’s ears, facing them. If thinking about specific speaker placements got too complicated, just remember that a speaker isn’t considered being ear-level if it’s placed above or below the listener’s height. Will the listeners be standing most of the time? Are there seating areas for the listeners? Remember that the function of the room is just as important. So start by measuring the height of the speaker on the wall when you are in the same position as the listeners. This will help save time when install the speakers in your space.
Another important thing to remember is that you want the sound to be dispersed throughout the room. How far apart should the speakers be? This will depend on the size of the room
- If it’s small, you don’t want them too close together, perhaps six feet apart between the speakers and the listening position.
- If it’s large, you can spread them out a little more — maybe eight to 10 feet apart.
- If you have a room with no obstacles and walls that are all equal distances from your listening area; then you can place your speakers 8-feet apart and at ear level.
- If you have an open floor plan, then it would be best to place them 20-24 feet apart and higher than ear level (10-12 feet).
Once you know how much space you have, you can search for speakers that will fit in it. It’s also good to consider if you can get a speaker that can throw a little more distance so it has more space to go around. Which is why we talked about your room dimension at the beginning of this blog post!
As for the subwoofers, a well-placed subwoofer can be the difference between a clean, tight and powerful bass or muddy and weak bass. The key is to maximise its output by positioning it in a location where it can easily “drive” (i.e., extend and reinforce) bass frequencies and provides greater depth to the overall sound field. The first thing to note when placing a subwoofer is that you should avoid placing the subs in a corner. This can cause standing waves, which result in an overly boomy bass response. Second, aiming the subwoofer directly toward your listening position will give you maximum bass output, no matter where you sit or stand in your room. Third, when you place a sub with/near your main speakers, the bass may seem to “follow” you as you walk around. This is because the deep bass frequency range is harder to localise than some of the mid and high ranges. If you have a small room, you will want to put the subwoofer in front of a wall on the floor or mounted high on the wall above listening height near either between 2 main speakers or next to one of them, angled outwards to the centre of the room. If your room is very large, you can put it anywhere in the room near your main speakers and still get excellent results.
The art of speaker placement is easy, but it is somewhat subjective. There are different methods for different rooms. The main thing to remember is that the speakers need to be equal distance from the nearest walls. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your speaker placement. Sometimes you can get better sound by placing them differently than what you normally do. It’s very important to make sure that we placed them at an equal distance from one another and also faced away from the nearest walls. Placing a speaker system in a room is a lot like arranging furniture. The right placement can make a big difference in how much enjoyment you get from the speakers. So don’t fret, here are the 3 basic installation methods that you can consider. 5 Tips Speaker Placement.
1. Speaker Placement for Surround Sound Systems
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Surround sound requires multiple speakers, which means you’ll need to place your speakers in several parts of the room. You’ll also need to consider where you want to locate the subwoofer, often located on the floor directly in front of you. The most basic surround sound system setup is a 6-channel speaker system, also known as a 5.1 system. That means there are five speakers in the front of the room — a center channel speaker, left and right front speakers and left and right back speakers — plus a subwoofer for bass. From here, you can choose to expand by adding more channels or more speakers, i.e a 7.2 system or 5.2.2 with Dolby Atmos to add extra height channels, providing a more enveloping sound effect in your room. 5 Tips Speaker Placement.
2. Speaker Placement for Stereo Sound Systems
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Stereo sound systems are more simple and common than surround sound systems because they only require two speakers and a subwoofer. They’re also great for a smaller, more intimate situations. Because they’re so simple, however, you have greater placement options for your stereo system. When deciding who should “have the main speakers, “, the answer should always be the person who sits in the middle of the couch or room. If you have a living room or a boardroom with an entertainment centre or TV against one wall, then place your front left and right speakers on either side of that wall, angled towards the middle, with a subwoofer beneath the TV. This creates an equilateral triangle with all 3 elements (TV, speaker system, listeners) equidistant to each other. If you can’t place your speakers equidistant to each other, try to place them in line with your viewing angle. It’s really just about making sure that everyone has approximately the same experience.
3. Speaker Placement for Background Music
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Another common speaker placement we always consult with our clients is for playing background music. This type of speaker placements are typically for restaurants, retail, hotel lobby, and more. The right speaker placement for background music is vital to creating a great-sounding environment. Music can bring your business to life and it can also kill the vibe—especially if the sound quality is poor. You’ll want to make sure that you and your patrons can hear the music, but it is not so loud that it becomes distracting. Background music shouldn’t compete with any other sound in the room. It also shouldn’t be so loud that it competes with conversation.
For this type of installation, the first thing to remember is that no one will need to see your speakers. That means you will not have to worry about people seeing them if you place them incorrectly. While it is more forgiving, the downside of this is that they won’t sound as good as they would if you placed them correctly. Once you have assessed your room acoustic and dimension, you’ll want to position the speakers in an area where they are not obstructed by other objects. At the same time, you want to avoid placing the speakers directly in front of people or facing them directly. They should be placed so that they disperse the sound evenly around the room. The appropriate distance will depend on your specific situation, but remember that it’s all about your guests’ comfort level.
At the end of the day, be wary of where people sit or gather in relation to your speakers. This can help you get the best sound for any situation. If it’s just furniture filling that space, put them behind the furniture so they are facing out towards everyone in the room. You always want your side speakers angled towards your seating/gathering area, never towards the walls behind them. This will ensure that everyone gets an equal amount of sound from both sides of their head. Variety is also key when placing your speakers. There should be no “dead spots” within the room. 5 Tips Speaker Placement.
Match your speakers with your interior design!
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Ever thought about matching your sound system to your interior design? We know what you’re thinking – how is that even possible? There are a lot of speakers on the market, but most of them are too big, bulky, and not aesthetically pleasing. What if we told you there are sleek and compact speakers that not only sound good, but they don’t take up too much space and can match your interior design? Just think: speakers that don’t look out of place and will fit right in without being intrusive. Or better yet, invisible speakers that you can install behind your wall or your ceiling, giving you a full control of your interior design and architectural features!
For our final tip in speaker placements, we want to offer you a chance to elevate the quality of your overall space beyond just audio. Many interior decoration revolves around colour and textures, but there’s another factor that can have a major impact on the look and feel of a room: sound. A speaker system does not have to be a separate from your design and planning process. The right speaker system can enhance any room by making it more functional and more aesthetically pleasing. In fact, carefully chosen speakers can be a critical part of your company’s branding for a commercial space, or even transform a room into a little oasis of music and entertainment. The goal is to create an architectural sound solution without sacrificing sound quality.
At Nextrend Systems, we carry slim and sophisticated speakers from brands like K-array and KGear. Their speakers can be wall-mounted or flush-mounted; which means they are less likely to interfere with the look of your room. They also come in varying colours and can match your RAL code, making them almost invisible, as well as premium colours like 24K gold and silver polish to match your aesthetics. However, since it’s impossible to make anything completely hidden or enclosed behind a wall, you can reduce the visibility of your speaker by having it recessed into the wall or ceiling. For this, we recommend our invisible speaker series by Amina Invisible Speakers.
Whatever your design needs are, think of our speakers as part of your design element complementing the overall aesthetic. Size, shape, and colour all important elements to keep in mind when you’re looking for speakers for your space. You don’t want them to clash with the rest of your decor or overwhelm the room they are in. With our speakers, you don’t have to think too hard on where to place them because a well-placed sound system can add a touch of luxury and class to your living space. You get to establish your style, which will go a long way towards establishing the overall feel of your space. And we can help you match the right speakers to your design with zero visual impact.
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With these 5 tips on speaker placement, you should now be able to pick out the perfect speaker system for your space and position them without or less worry. Getting the proper placement is just as important as picking the right speaker system. There’s no need to compromise between impressive sound and an attractive design. Why choose when you can have the best of both worlds coming together creating the perfect space? When you are ready to elevate your space with the perfect ambience, make sure that you take these things into consideration.
We are also here ready to serve you should you need further help. Nextrend Systems provide free demonstrations as part of our consultations. We are regularly involved in a range of commercial and residential projects, big and small. Our focus is primarily in Architectural Sound Solutions, where our speakers are a part of your design and not an after-thought. Check out our projects on our Projects page to learn more about the solutions that we provide. We walk the talk with the same 5 tips for speaker placement. Our state-of-the-art architectural solutions include products and speaker systems from K-array, KGear, Amina Invisible Speakers, and Frog-is.
When you are ready to create an impact in your space with our Architectural Sound Solutions, drop us an email at [email protected]!
5 Tips Speaker Placement.
Alternatively, you can also book a demo session at the office with us. Our showroom/office is in Ampang. Directions are easily accessible on our contact page here.