How to Correctly Place Stereo Speakers

Tips for Proper Stereo Speaker Placement for Awesome Audio

Home audio setup
Home audio setup.

Correct stereo speaker placement is the best place to start to get great audio performance from your system. It's free and all it takes is some time and patience.

What Not to Do

In general, don’t place stereo speakers too near the front wall (the wall behind the speakers). Placement closer to the wall amplifies bass response and probably makes the bass sound too loud or boomy. Every room is different, but here are two speaker placement methods that should make your system sound better.

Apply the Golden Rectangle Rule​

If your room permits, try placing the speakers about 3 feet from the front wall. This reduces bass reflections from the front wall and helps tame boomy bass.

The distance from the side wall(s) is equally important. The states that the speaker’s distance from the side wall should be 1.6 times the distance from the front wall. If the distance from the front wall is 3 feet, the distance from the side wall should be 4.8 feet from the side wall (or vice versa if your room is wider than longer). Finally, angle the speakers towards the listening spot, called speaker toe-in.

Apply the 1/3 - 1/5 Rule​

Position the speakers so that the distance between the front wall is 1/3 or 1/5 the length of the room. Both of these methods prevent the speaker from exciting room resonances. Angle the speakers towards the listening position, as above. Your listening position is as important as speaker position to achieve the best sound quality.


Additional Speaker Placement Pro Tips

  • Don't be afraid to experiment with speaker placement. Every room is different and the methods presented above are guidelines.
  • Use masking tape on the floor to mark the speaker position as you experiment with placement options.