How to Optimize Speaker Performance

Aside from the quality of the speakers themselves, the most important factors affecting speaker performance are the placement of each speaker and the shape, size and acoustic properties of the room.

Placing the speakers in just the right positions will maximize the quality of the sound. For instance, the bass won't be overwhelming and the stereo effect will be balanced, without the sound appearing to come from one specific area. It may take some experimenting to get the best sound for the room [source: Do It Yourself].


Here are some helpful guidelines to help you optimize your speakers' performance:

  • Position the speakers so that they form an equilateral triangle with the listener. In other words, make the distance between the speakers the same as the distance between each speaker and the listener. This is the ideal arrangement. Unfortunately, not every room lends itself to this arrangement, so some compromising will be necessary. Try to come as close as possible to the ideal.
  • Try to place each speaker at the same height and distance from the walls and corners. Don't place them too close to walls and corners, as this may boost the bass too much. On the other hand, moving them closer to the walls may be a solution to insufficient bass due to room acoustics.
  • Place the speakers closer together and/or face them more toward the listener if the stereo effect is hard to distinguish or seems off center.
  • Reduce harsh reverberation effects by placing both sound-absorbing items -- such as curtains, mats or a sofa -- and reflective items -- such as furniture in the room. You may have to experiment to find the right items and the right places. Note: Placing too many sound-absorbing items in the room tends to muffle or block the sound. Try to find a good balance between absorbent and reflective items. The wall behind the speakers should be reflective, while the wall behind the listener should be absorbent. Placing furniture along the side walls will help reduce flutter and echo [source: Focal]. //]]]]> ]]>