Your listening position preference

Hey all,

The equilateral triangle (or ET) - based on the distance between the tweeters being the same distance as left tweeter to left ear, etc - seems to be a ‘common’ recommended listening position or at least the starting point.

I was wondering :thinking: where do you prefer to sit in relation to the ET? Further forward or further back? By how much? And why?…


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I really can’t be bothered with all this The need to locate your head in exactly the right position in order for music to sound right doesn’t work for me, and even if it did, music listening is a social activity and you can’t all put your head in the same position at the same time.
I sit where I want to sit. I might even lie on the sofa so that the speakers are off to one side of me.
My choice of Shahinian loudspeakers perhaps makes this whole issue less important.


My speakers are about 2.1m apart measured from centre of tweeter to centre of tweeter. My ears are approx. 2.4m away from each tweeter. I sit on a settee so it is easy to position myself exactly between both speakers.

The reason for this is purely chance! I have a wall mounted 65 inch tv between the speakers and 2.1m is as wide as I can get away with without the right speaker being too close to a side wall. Centre of tweeter to sidewall is approx 75cm.

My settee is placed against the rear wall so the 2.4m from tweeter to my ears is purely coincidental and nothing that I am concerned with. I do not have any toe in on my speakers. So, my arrangement is to satisfy domestic harmony and works very well. I am not at all concerned about optimising the seating position.

Sitting directly in the centre of the speakers is obviously great for soundstage but I don’t get hung up on it. I enjoy the music wherever I sit and it also sounds great when I am moving around doing other things.


This has been covered many times in other threads asking a similar question.
And, I agree that most times I’m not that bothered.

Although, I may just be luckily blessed with my room set up playing at a fair volume and defiantly seated and fixed in position - to get a lovely ambient energised body experience along with listening.

Which can only happen in the hot spot as a result of 2metres between speakers. 3metres away from the middle and firing say 2metres behind my head.

Others may well of course have a much more capable system to energise the air in all parts of the listening room, but mine only really does it properly in that hot spot.

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I position the speakers to give a broad “sweet spot”, for want of a better term, using ideas from the Sumiko Masterset method, which is basically trial and error but with a few guidelines for how to go about it one speaker at a time. Tricky with NBLs and hard walls as you can’t do the first step but some of the principles still apply and when it came to making them work with plasterboard lining it came in very handy.
Setting up so I need to sit in a narrow focus wouldn’t suit me at all.

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Lots of variables play here e.g. what your room is like and whether you need to sit at a certain ‘focal point’ to mitigate reflections and unwanted nodes. In a problematic room, then sitting at slightly > 1x width of speakers can work very well – and I’ve found can mitigate/remove bass issues.

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For some of us listening to music is not a social activity for many reasons. Also, our listening rooms may dictate where we can actually sit. Assuming everyone does what you do is probably not a great assumption.


I’m not assuming anything about how others choose to listen. The OP asked how others listen. I presume he was expecting a variety of different answers.

I usually prefer to be sitting somewhere in front of the speakers, sitting facing towards them. Standing near the midpoint directly between them facing the same way as them sounds good, too, though different. The sound is generally very enjoyable over most of the room.

A few years ago I assessed the best speaker and listening positions for critical listening in my room, using REW software to measure response at numerous positions. To achieve that I have to move my speakers closer together, partially obscuring the window, positioning the centres of the front baffles about 50cm from the lower part of the wall (80 from window surface above that) and 2.7m apart, sitting with my head about 2.9m from the centre of each front baffle roughly level in height with the midpoint between the vertically aligned tweeter and midrange unit, speakers toed in so their axes cross about a metre behind me. Seated like that my head is pretty much 0.38 of the distance from front to back walls, depending how measured because of front wall window reveal - unsurprising, perhaps, that I ended up selecting that point given that that is a well recognised spot for minimum room effect (I did focus part of my assessment around that point, as well as elsewhere in the room, and it did indeed prove to be the best listening position. The room is approximately symmetrical, a little less wide than deep but an odd shape, not square, with ceiling average height about 2.45m. Do I sit like that? Occasionally, if I really want to focus on detail, perhaps comparing things. But normally I have the speakers further apart to the sides of the window, and as a consequence sit further back - but still a long way from rear wall.

Listening to music at home isn’t much of a social activity at all. I don’t very often have people over to hear music. My wife spends some time with me in the listening room, but is happy to just sit next to me and listen.

To answer the original question, my speakers are 7’ apart (measured between the center of baffles), and I sit 9’ away (measured from the front plane of the baffles). Not quite an equilateral triangle. Furthermore, my speakers are very slightly toed-in, but not nearly so much they face me directly.


My speakers are about 2 m. apart, and I sit maybe 2.5 m. away. As with others in this thread, I don’t pay much attention to these measurements and, if I found subtantial differences in listening pleasure between one seating position and another, I’d regard that as a problem to be addressed. That said, when I sit down for a critical listening session, I find myself instinctively scooting my chair backwards or forwards by a small amount according to the nature and volume of the music.


But where the heck does your coffee go? :face_with_monocle:


A few years ago, I asked people on the forum to name dimensions of the triangle and I calculated the proportion of the sides of the triangles.

It did turn out that most people sit a bit further back than an equilateral triangle would give.


Equilateral sitting is probably a tad too close – IIRC, Dynaudio’s blurb on a 'speaker I had cited 1.1x. I’ve ended-up roughly this with 'speakers way forward in the room, otherwise the sound is a mess, caused by really silly bass (boom/mid-bass vibrations). I think there’s a temptation when hearing ‘bad bass’ to back away from 'speakers, when the answer is often to get closer, removing/mitigating some/all those pesky reflections.

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Isn’t the volume control a better way of adjusting volume, especially in these days of remote control?

The room in which my stereo resides is quite small (12’x10’), and has a lot in it. This dictates where I sit. I would, without measuring anything, say that I sit at the tip of an isosceles triangle :small_red_triangle: :rofl:

I move a tad too sometimes. Last evening playing some 1957-recorded Coltrane, it seemed to have been enhanced by an ‘out of phasing’ effect, so the imagery went totally to pot. Weird and no amount of head movement was going to get my head around that!

While there is a ‘usual’ focal point, this can change by a few inches or so depending upon the recording.

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I don’t drink coffee but my tea, Guinness or wine sits on the coffee table in front of me!

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Like few here, I’m not convinced with the equilateral triangle rule for allegedly best sound quality. I’ve tried it in different rooms, different house and it didn’t work out for me. For me, the optimal distance between speakers is in the range of 1.8m to 2.3m, optimal distance from speakers 2.5m to 3.0m.

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Comfortable sofa, woodstove and a rum-cola.