In this article, we’ll be covering the importance of speaker placement, including height, distance and various ways that you can achieve the perfect setup when you don’t have a lot of space to play with. First of all, we’ll take a look at what you should be aiming for with regards to the speaker placement in your home studio.
A Quick reference for this is to aim for the V shape that can be made between your maximum reach of each arm to your speakers from when you are sitting.
Making sure the tweeters are just around ear level which will get you a quickly into the sweet spot of your monitors, this is where they’ll sound at their best and give you the most accuracy.
Notice how the speakers are tilted inwards slightly to you in the sweet spot.
“OK, this is great but I don’t have speaker stands”
Don’t worry there are plenty of options to get your speakers either to the correct height, or at least pointing in the correct direction of your ears – starting with the Universal Acoustics Vibro Pads:
These come in a multi pack with various pads included which allow you to tilt them backwards, or forwards to get your speakers pointing towards your ears. Another benefit of this kind of product is protection against low frequency vibration.
Low frequency vibration can happen if you place your speakers which are flat on the bottom directly against your table/desk which essentially then uses your desk as an extension causing the bottom end to come much more hyped, which is not how the manufacturer intended them to be.
Moving up from these we hit the IsoAcoustics guys with their ISO-L8R 155 and ISO-L8R200 products which do an incredible job.
These are an Isolating Speaker Stand for speakers that would normally sit on your desktop. They kill rumble with ease and give a much better isolation compared to the foam based products which gives you the assurance that your desk is not be contributing towards the sound of your monitors.
Moving on from the desktop and on to some stands there are lots of options available but let’s take a look at two of the more popular options.
Quik Lok with their BS range of speaker stands and Argosy with some stands that have some serious sex appeal.
These monitor speaker stands are designed for home, project and professional recording studios. As a result, they’re really well-built in 100% steel section with adjustable floor spikes and a massive 45kg weight capacity. Like most decent stands these days, they also incorporate cable management.
Another QuikLok model to look out for is the BS536. This stand unit is a premium model, offering a specialised approach to stabilising and isolating nearfield monitors. These offer the old audiophile option of being fillable with sand for enhanced stability and vibration-deadening.
In any discussion of professional-level speaker placement, it’s hard to ignore the Argosy range of stands, as they combine logic with advanced materials and thinking.
The unique x-shape od their X-Stands range make these stands ideal for large monitors. Constructed using durable black melamine material for years of service.
Classic Stands are their most cost effective stands, constructed using durable black melamine material for years of service.
I-Stands are their most popular stand that features IsoAcoustics tops built in to them. These beautiful stands are made with 5/4″ powder-coated substrate to provide a safe, sturdy, and resilient solution to isolate your studio monitors. Featuring beveled edges and a stunning look to enhance the feel of your studio. The isolators are designed to keep all movement on-axis… to move in the direction of the speakers cones’ travel, while resisting movement in other directions. Placing your monitors on the 420i or 360i and you will notice a definite tightening of the low end and improved stereo imaging of your existing speakers.
Certainly one of the more premium stands around but they are fantastically well built and offer exceptional isolation.
A set of desktop mounts or set of speaker stands is a worthwhile upgrade for your monitors and something that will instantly improve your the frequency response of your monitors by allowing them to be focused.
Check some out – as they will almost certainly have a bigger effect on your sound and final mix than you think. For some further thoughts, this SoundonSound article is a bit vintage now, but covers some further considerations really well – such as room acoustics.