You may have the perfect speakers to get that deep bass and crisp highs, but sometimes there is no quality sound. . The problem might not be with your speakers at all! To get the best sound quality possible, make sure you tilt them properly. There are two ways to tilt them – one way will give you more bass while the other way will give you more highs.
No matter what audio equipment you have, proper speaker placement can significantly improve your listening experience
What is speaker tilt?
Speaker tilt refers to the angle at which your speakers are positioned. The range of angles for speaker position is anywhere from horizontal to vertical, with the most common angles being between 25-30 degrees.
The purpose of speaker tilt is to get the best sound quality possible by positioning the speakers at an angle that will produce higher or lower frequencies depending on your needs.
If you’re trying to get bass out of your speakers, then you’ll want to tilt them downwards, away from you. If you’re trying to get more high frequencies out of your speakers, then you’ll want to tilt them upwards, towards you.
Why Get the Perfect Sound Quality?
The quality of sound is important for many reasons. First, it makes it easier to understand what people are saying. Second, it can help you enjoy your favorite music or movie more. Lastly, the sound quality of your office space will have a major impact on how productive your employees are.
To get the best sound quality possible, you need to get the perfect speakers and tilt them properly! When properly tilted, your speakers will deliver deep bass and crisp highs – which will make all of your tasks easier!
How do you know if you’re tilting them correctly? It’s easy! All you have to do is tilt them at an angle so that one speaker’s cone is facing up while the other cone faces down. This way, both cones are still in contact with the wall but they’re not facing in opposite directions like they would be when mounted straight on the floor.
Achieving great sound with your speakers involves some trial-and-error. If you make an adjustment and notice that a song’s parts have suddenly “locked” into place, then you’ve probably found your sweet spot.
Why do these steps matter? It all comes down to controlling stereo imaging and sound reflections.
How to Tilt Your Speakers Properly
The sound of your speakers is all about the quality of the sound waves. If you don’t tilt your speakers properly, you’ll get a muffled or distorted sound quality.
So how do you get the best-sounding speakers? The answer is to tilt them properly!
There are two ways to tilt your speakers: one will give you more bass while the other way will give you more highs. The goal is to find a speaker angle that sounds good in your room.
If you have a low-bass speaker and want more bass, tilt it forward at a 45-degree angle. This is because when a speaker vibrates in the air, it moves in different directions— depending on where you’re sitting in relation to the speaker, the tones will be different. Tilting it will allow for more bass tones without distortion.
If you have a high-frequency speaker and want more highs, tilt it back at a 45-degree angle. When tilted back, the frequencies for higher frequencies travel farther distances before they disperse into space and die out – this means that with tilted back speakers, there’s less diffusion and an increase in clarity at high frequencies.
Accurate stereo imaging gives the impression that each sound is coming from a different place. Imagine the sound of an entire band coming from a single point in space, with each instrument stacked on top of the other. This would be a poor stereo image. Now imagine unpacking those sounds so that each instrument is spread out from left to right – as if the musicians were standing on a stage in front of you. This is a good stereo image.
Next time you’re listening to your speakers, ask yourself a couple of questions:
1. Is there a space in the middle of the sound?
2. Do the instruments seem to overlap and blend together?
If you answered yes to either of these, then there’s a good chance you can improve the stereo image by adjusting the toe-in or location of your speakers.
When you listen to music, you are hearing more than just the sound waves that travel directly from the speakers to your ears. You are also hearing reflected sounds that bounce off your walls, furniture, cats, etc. Reflected sound waves will reach your ears slightly later than direct waves, which results in a type of distortion called “time smearing.” This can make your music sound muddy and unclear, and can also destroy your delicate stereo image.
Do I need speaker stands?
Once you’ve figured out the best place to put your speakers, consider their height. Both speakers should face toward the listener, with the tweeters at roughly ear level. To achieve optimal listening height, we generally suggest using speaker stands. But placing your speakers on furniture instead of dedicated stands is usually fine – just keep the reflection principle in mind and make sure that the speaker cones are flush with (or protruding from) the front edge of the furniture. If your speaker is near the back of a shelf, the sound will reflect from any surfaces in front of the cone.
Bouncing off the walls
Remember that walls reflect sound, too. Speakers should be at least 2-3 feet away from the nearest wall (especially if your speaker is in a corner). Many speakers have rear-facing bass ports. Positioning a rear bass port too close to the wall will reflect sound waves, resulting in time smearing. If your speakers have front-facing bass ports, then you should be able to get away with having them a little closer to the wall.
One Way – More Bass
The first way to tilt your speakers is to angle them so they are pointing up towards the ceiling. This will give you more bass because sound waves travel best in this direction.
If you need a visual representation of how this would look, imagine an upside-down “V” with one point facing up.
Another Way – More Highs
If you want more highs, you’ll have to tilt the speaker’s tweeter so that it points towards your seating area. This will give you a crisper sound with less bass. While this might not be the best sound for parties, it will definitely give you the most clarity when listening to music!
How to position your speakers perfectly
Some of you might have the luxury of being able to buy speakers so good they’d be worth passing down to your grandson. Others among you make do with what came packed with your stereo. Either way, there’s one method of improving the sound of any speaker: it’s all about placement.
Musicians and producers pour months of effort into creating their work. So this guide is intended for any self-respecting music fan worth their iTunes collection, who wants every beat to sound as good as the artist intended.
The following assumes that you sit in front of your speakers at a desk and have plenty of room to play with. If not, you’ll still pick up some sound knowledge.
- Room length
If your room is a rectangle, the speakers will ideally face the length of the room, so place your desk by the shortest wall.
2. Think in thirds
Imagine dividing the length of your room by three. Your speakers will sit within the first third of the room and more than 1m from the side walls. We did say you needed some room…
- Speaker angles
Music is generally released in stereo, which means the sound is spread between the left and right speakers. Positioning the speakers at a 60-degree angle gives you the best ‘stereo image’ of these sounds. Dust off your old protractor and position the speakers 60 degrees apart. It can help to place a small marker at your listening position and work it out from there.
- Space from wall
If you really do have a huge room to work with, pull the speakers away from the wall. There’s a zone between 1m and 2.2m that ideally you want to avoid. If you have a smaller room, try to leave as much space as you can between the wall and the speaker — up to 1m — and do not place them too close to the wall either as the bass doesn’t play well.
Got a sub? Put it at least 30cm from a corner; don’t place it in the dead center of a wall.
- Speaker height
If you have speaker stands, adjust the height so the speaker is level with your head and above 1.2m. Notice the smaller speaker cone, called a tweeter — this is where the shiny bright parts of the music come out. The highest sounds emanate from the tweeter in a really straight line, so point this at your ears if you want your music to shimmer.
- Desktop speakers
If your speakers are on a desk, rest them on some foam, if you have any. This stops your desk from becoming a huge bass speaker itself, which seems like a grand idea but really isn’t.
- Surround sound
- If you have to surround sound speakers, place the center channel exactly in front of you and place the side speakers at a 110-degree angle to the sides, following the same rules as described above. Each speaker should be the same distance from your listening position, forming a circle, as shown in the diagram (right). If you get that right, those overhead helicopters in films will finally sound like they’re flying in a straight line.