Speaker placement

I’ve noticed on the “system pics” thread that a lot of proud owners are placing their speakers with the rear of the speakers parallel to the wall - no toe in.

What’s the advantage of this? :thinking:

If the system is bright, sitting off the axis of the tweeter calms it down somewhat and avoids having a narrow sweet spot.

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It’s totally dependent on the speaker design. Some are just designed to work best this way. Plenty of designs call for straight firing.

And for those where it is optional, highly dependent on room and amp. Lower current amps seeming to benefit from a bit of toe in wheras higher current amps seeming to get away with less - though I’ve never known exactly why this is nearly always true.

I’ve found that having them firing straighter gives a more open expansive sound. Start with them firing straight ahead and then toe them in just enough to give a stable central image with vocals. That’s what works for me, but every speaker and room is different. The outsides of my speakers are 2mm further from the wall than the insides, but of course they are designed to the used firing straight.


Tried it and I see what you mean about a “more open and expansive sound”.

There was no loss of imaging stability, but the gain in a more “expansive” presentation was at the expense of punch and weight, sounding over-breathy and diffuse…

Of course, this could well have had to do with the speakers I use and the space I use them in - ATC '19’s/3.5m sq., so I’d say in a bigger room the result may well have been different.

Horses for courses…

Usually, the more straightforward, the more wider soundstage; and, conversely, the more toe in, the more focused sound.

Yeah I think I prefer focus.

Small “f”, obvs. :joy:

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My experience is very close to HH’s.
But would like to add that in an unsymmetrical room/position I found that best setup of left and right speaker does not necessarily need to be a mirror of each other. An important change of mindset for me!
Also, I found that slight tilt (Backwards) may also be beneficial…

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I think much depends on manufacturer. I have a pair of small in stature Neat Elite SX and they sounds much better 8ft apart with a significant toe-in. Whereas any pair of Dali’s I’ve ever owned like to be placed parallel. Perhaps this is my room. I also think a bit of the parallel placement seen in the ‘system pics’ thread is a bit of an aesthetic choice. It does look neater.


Backward tilt? No idea what you mean…


Agreed to try and correct my room imbalance that causes one speaker to be louder than the other I toe in one more than the other and it helps.

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Case in point - nice and neat! Out of interest, it looks as if your Fraim is pretty close to the wall; do you find your cables a bit cramped?

There is actually loads of space behind. More than I’d really like.

What’s the advantage of this?

Not really an advantage (dependent on the manufacturer) but more a matter of preference.
Putting my dynaudio’s parallel weakens the center image, which to my ears translates as a ‘restless’ type of sound. Fans would perhaps call it a wonderful wide soundstage or something. I also think (but could be mistaken) that in a large room, parallel placements generally would make the dispersion a bit wider - making the sound enjoyable when you walk around. My listening room is so small I can’t even move sideways for more than 1m left or right before bumping into wall or cabinet :slight_smile:

I have the same (annoying) issue. The left is always louder. I think it’s just the room they’re in.
They are in my main living space, and the two sides of the room are very different.
So, I always have the Balance adjusted to the left.

I cant get it right with balance at all it takes it too far the other way. But yes it amazed me how much the room plays in it all.

Have a pair of the same Neat speakers as well and found that sound even better if on a very good low stand (placed them on IsoAcoustic low stands and they sounded really good, could also have been that the extra elevation of about 5cm also made the difference from the listening position at the time). The Neat’s do need some separation and also to be forward from the wall a bit (60cm) to really sing.

Sorry, I meant the right is always louder.
And yes, trying to correct it with the balance only does so much. So I put the balance to about 11 o’clock, maybe 10:30, and at least the difference is less.

I found I was turning my balance increasingly to the right and thinking the right channel was becoming weak. After having a large piece of wax removed from my right ear the balance is again centered. I was really convinced it was the system until I visited my doctor with an ear ache and he sorted both problems.


The exact same ear issue happened to me as well, Boddah. I had my ears cleaned out and tested by a doctor about 8 months back and it corrected the left speaker weakness, but I didn’t think it would be a problem again already!
Also, my system is in a totally different room now, so the SQ balance is very different.

Actually, earlier today, I stood with my back to the speakers and the right one still sounded louder.
But I will definitely be having my ears checked soon anyway.
Sorry to hear it was affecting you as well, but there is some comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one with the issue.