Dos And Donts Of Room Setup For Audiophiles –

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In this video, you will see an actual audiophile room with many common set up mistakes. Mistakes that will compete with your stereo imaging, sound stage definition and clarity. Mistakes that will go against everything you are trying to accomplish with your two channel stereo room and system.

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John Waterhouse says:

Thank you Dennis, for the response. I agree that anything worth doing, is worth doing well. Hence, my research. In addition to the laws of physics, the laws of economics dictate a compromise. In order to develope my craft, I will have to make the best with what I have at this moment. Which equates to thinking ” outside the box”, ( my 10x14x8ft room) to create the best environment to accomplish that. Its inspiring to learn from one who is at the top in their field. From one who is clinging onto his slippery slope. Thank you for raising the bar.

Jim Jarvis says:

thanks coach!

JW Dewdney says:

not true at ALL for side wall distance… it’s only for rooms where you’ve got say less than seven or so feet (below 2m) to the side walls. for example – if you had a super wide room 60′ wide with say 6′ between the speakers – it really matters very little.. hope that should be obvious

Bhagwan Singh Rana says:

What Shall I buy Sound Bar or a Blue Ray Home Theater System ? Which is better ?

Peki says:

Hi Sir,
regarding speaker placement, in my room left speaker is around 2 meter away from side wall while right speaker is 5 meter. What I can do about it, because this is the only way that i can position my speakers? I thought the placement is good because it is not near to side walls, now i understood it was my wrong perception? thx

Condor1970 says:

This gentleman obviously doesn’t realize most people have their nice stereos in rooms where there is lots of furniture, a kitchen or dining room entrance, lots of windows and odd coves and angles.

It’s called a HOUSE.

Virtually any room can be made acoustically pleasing with properly positioned sound absorption panels and bass traps. These things can also be disguised as things like hanging tapestries, floor rugs, and odd shaped art works and upholstered furniture.

John Waterhouse says:

Hi Dennis. Have watched many of your videos. Your knowledge of acoustics and the science of sound is impressive. If I am understanding correctly, there is no perfect room size to conquer all sonic issues. We can, however, minimize these issues to get the best results possible with any given situation. Having said that rooms under 1500 sq ft are not worth considering, the majority of viewers out there, (myself included) are using a spare bedroom which usually falls at, or below that number. Although it is the goal to obtain a final product, our recorded music, as clean as possible without transient frequencies, noise, and the like, our main objective is to sound proof the space we work in so as to keep from having the police show up at our door. lol.
Though I do not subscribe to the “fix it in post” to solve issues that could have been avoided during setup before recording, some issues can be cleaned up in the software. Adding reverb at the final stage, for example, will emulate room size. In short, could you maybe do a video that addresses the small room scenerio which will accomplish a compromise between sound-proofing and best equipment arrangement to achieve the best results? At the end of the day, anyone listening to our masterpieces of musical art will probably have their windows down while driving or have earbuds on. If the song is good, most will forgive a little 200hz rumble…Thank you for your efforts.

NeuralEngin33r says:

For an audiophile, he could do a better job recording this video. It would breed confidence.

honkeyness says:

My room is basically what is in this video – minus the alcove. I have a 2.1 setup. I’m getting a lot of complaints about not being able to hear or understand vocals – any advice on what to try first? No acoustic treatments yet. Mix of brick and drywall over brick which is balanced. Two small glass windows – basement. Two doors – symmetrical along long axis. Speaker on short wall as in video.

srinivas pachava says:

and what is the center speaker distance to be in between front two speakers,, i mean in same line on wall or up or down… i dont have any idea, can u please suggest… my room size is 12 is width, 20 is length and height might be around 15 feet.

Divadeo Music says:

Great , I got a cavity and a sliding door >: (

Violet15 says:

Hi there, do you mean no glass for the front and back walls as well as the sides? Many Thx

Shmeh Fleh says:

After watching this, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d be better off setting my stereo up in a train station than the room it’s in. I’m sad now.

Trevor Ruby says:

What do I do with the 8 Windows I have???


Nice vid, I have a problem my setup is just a stereo with bass rear port, (monitor audio rx1) in the left side the speakers have a 30 cm from the lateral and 40-45 cm from rear wall and the right side have more than 2 meters from rear and lateral… is just very difficult moove the system because my mother kills me lol

visia101y says:

I have a stunning vintage audio setup in my room. After watching this video I can see that my room and the surrounds are perfectly placed as well as the speakers. However I’ve been wanting to move my system into a 2×3 meter garden shed, sheet metal. Do you think this is plausible with sound dampening?

guitar sam says:

record companies use phrases like “album version” or “transfered from original master tape” this is not the same as sounding like the vinyl version of the same album. granted brickwall limiting cd audio will cause distortion & destroys the sound quality compared to what it could be? yet this does not account for why comercial cd audio does not sound like vinyl & nowhere does it say that the record company is trying to duplicate the sound of vinyl on the cd & listening to vinyl rips on youtube proves that digital is fully capable of sounding like vinyl. the question becomes if cd audio sounded the same as vinyl would you still buy vinyl? ive been remixing my cd & digital audio to reduce brickwall limiting & sound like vintage vinyl for years now & if you want that vintage vinyl sound from cd & digital audio im gonna show you how to get it right now & im not talking about spending thousands of dollars on expensive tube preamps & $5000 dollar portable dac players (digital to analog converters)yes they can improve digital audio by opening up the sound yet they do not sound like vintage vinyl & if thats what your after than read on friends i use 2 filters to get that vinyl sound.the 1st filter & the key to the “vinyl Sound” is the remixing to adjust the balance not that the cd balance is wrong just not the same as the vinyl balance L + C + R channels click this link for a photo heres my dropbox link with hopefully working before & after samples & you can also download these samples if you compare to vinyl uploads of same songs on youtube there exactly the i have used jriver media player to upsample cd audio to quad dsd thats 256 times higher sample rate of red book cd at 44,100 khz this is what expensive dac players do & yes it does open up the sound but you will not get that vinyl sound without remixing to adjust the balance as i have descibed. heres the sample link use headphones if possible

Matt Hess says:

Or you could just wear headphones and avoid all these problems.

Jeremy Thompson-Hill says:

Maybe check the sound on your video first! But great content, thanks

Beyond 1000. says:

Glad I saw this. Instead of renting in a old house basement unit I decided build my own custom home. I’ll have just enough money left over to buy my brothers 23 year old Bose system. And I DO mean 23 years old.

Gabriel Drigout says:

how can i get a good sound in a room with lots of furniture?

534wiseoldwolf says:

Its not enough that good speaker setup costs a few months pay, you also need a near perfectly rectangular room or it will skewer the sound. My room is almost perfect, but of course there is a little indent at the end of my closet to my door. Fook! I can’t think of many houses that have a perfectly rectangular room. Makes me sad knowing i probably wont ever be able to enjoy a speaker setup to its full potential.

What the fuck are you doing reading my username? says:

This is what I learned and how I made my at best average Philips HTR5000 sound actually unbelievably good (TL;DR):
1. Equilateral triangle is god
2. Tweeters at ear level (I use only 2 satellites, in stereo)
3. Speakers must face you (toed in so that you can only see their fron when looking directly at them)

Suddenly my “setup” had real soundstage, separation and imaging. Physics is great.

As far as room treatment goes the less echo the better. If you have echo in your room, treatment is the only solution. Echo means reflections. Reflections can lead to all sorts of disasters. Sound is a wave, waves reflect off of surfaces. Obvious, I know.

surfitlive says:

Get some M&K’s for nearfield listening they are set up to minimize reflections and are FLAT, unlike most speakers that add there own to the sound (course some people like that).

srinivas pachava says:

what is the problem is keeping speakers to the corners of the room. i have 5.1 setup, 4 speakers are to be place like front two corners and back to corners, so what is the modification required,. what is the recommended height on walls. please suggest..

JW Dewdney says:

also – walls floors and ceilings are MADE of cavities. they are all helmholz resonators in effect…

Landon Lucy says:

What if there is a window behind the speakers? (Desk is set up facing only window)

Richardus De vreede says:

Well, you guys which also install opera audio and studios from one million dollars all say something else, no wonder dsp’s are being populair, but they all sell the highly expensive damping gear….. Why not just measure it….and the math ain’t hard, but in your living room you will never get it right….easy as that and if you want 5.1? with very expensive gear???Pls do the math,there are many peoples which use it….. You just need a empty large room and real hifi has nothing to do in a living room and then you still can’t just change a stylus on an turntable, since it changes the sound image and some rooms ,just haven’t got the right sizes to ever being hifi valuable, most ain’t. But the salesman of a hifistore which knows what he is doing(educated ,not only the commercial way).
He he first has to know the sizes, materials of the room, but none of the does, they ask your wishes and budget ,instead of measure the room, before you can tell what gear is good, and what needs to be changed….
when you buy a car, the salesman asks also for your wishes, the main purpose and your budget. Hifi acts the other way around. Those stupid reviewers, never look inside and measure stuff, cause they ain’t educated and it’s forbidden by brand. So they just listen , and this 500euro phono pre-amp sounds like a 1500euro piece….wtf…Yes, besides that it pretty depends where you on earth, may i see a graph of a 500euro phono amp and 1500pre-amp. All those shitty magazines fool people. It’s like the whole mercedes c range 1999-2007, those where made from the from alloy and rusted after 4 years, and my dad sold them, and you could have it resprayed, if you had it dealerserviced,else not, and the chairs filling where wrong, suspension sucked and the pring broke of often, in 2005 the revision came, way better on everypoint, though the diesel was old fashioned, till 2009. And that’s how hifi works, since with their logic, the mercedes should be way better then a renault which is cheaper. There are far too many magazines and guys like this, and too few peoples which just read the way speakers are build, which kind etc and the math or at least the final result of an equatizion, besides this bonehead, which got a degree in nothing for sure and avoid stores using pad’s or phones using for testing.You really need a desktop with cards costing a lot….not ann app and iphone based microphone. But there are a lot of good courses done by an english guy and some guy which has taped his university lessons and just buy real books which mathematical ain’t changed, but it avoids young peoples, which think, by copying a circuit and read a thing or two about fets , powersources etc. that he can make or copy paste amps etc…no…And this guy… talks a lot of crap which is far from practical…fill the fire hazrd, and why is glass that bad, if expensive brands, first use real wood, mdf sandwhich in their cheaper audio racks and turn to thick glass in their higher range. And why are ypur motors and driving electronics are that expensive…..still, being the driverparts cost not much and can easily be programmed ….or the peoples may not know that….well hard to stop me ,when i’m finished.
But don’t listen to this guy…’s so pure logical thinking, ley your hifi store explain it and but it on paper, it is his job…..and taking expensive powercords etc, let him put him on paper why, Did he first checked your powerlines????? inside your house…..

James M says:

Hi Dennis, great video, thank you very much for the content.
I have an alcove very similar to on your diagram, which is approximately 800 mm deep by 800 mm wide, which I converted into an av rack, so all my separate components are on shelving in this alcove.

This is immediately to the side of my left channel; I am assuming this is probably wreaking havoc with my sound, would I be better off installing an MDF door to the front of the alcove and applying acoustic treatment on top?

I have vicoustic treatment on my right wall and on the left after the alcove. This is a dedicated room. Thanks in advance.

Guillaume Goudreau says:

I learned a lot by watching your videos and reading your ebook, Thank you ! I will do my homework in the following days to cover all the basic principle (Rule of third, equilateral triangle, room measurement, etc). I think my room will be a challenge, it’s not a dedicated room like many of us don’t have access to and I don’t expect perfect results. But I want to maximize the performance of that living space, since it’s all I have right now. The challenging parameters will be glass on the left side, open on the right side and relatively short compare to the width of it. Do you have analyze open-space type appartement and determine how we can get the most out of them ?

Lorne Malvo says:

What about glass walls behind the speakers, e.g. in a sun room / conservatory … ?

Mazhar Tahir says:

my room has so many cabinets and 2 doors and 1=2 glass window showcase.i think thats the reason my room dont produce bass no matter what woofer i play my room dont give good bass resonse. plz help

Ichigo Bankai says:

I cover my glass windows and closets with 98% sun blocking curtains and it seems to work.

matereo says:

😀 What about real life situations. Like living rooms? 🙂

btinaustin says:

LOL, We are looking at buying a new house. My wife doesn’t know it, but every home we look at I mentally picture where my stereo setup would go….Is that bad?

John Kobzik says:

Another informative video. Thank you for doing these for us. Question. Does the “speaker must be the same distance from side and rear walls apply to a home theater set up? Also, I am surprised that I didn’t hear you mention the “golden triangle” with respect to listening and speaker positioning.

Bella B says:

I have room 15′ X 20′. Almost just like drawing in this video. Unfortunately ceilings are only 7′ high + right above the coach there is a metal support beam that goes from side to side (it’s a basement). When I sat in the middle of the room listening to music, all rear part of the room behind me always felt somehow dead. No reflection was coming out at all. I guess that is because that metal beam on a ceiling which creates some sound barrier . After some experimenting I put in the rear corners another set of speakers .That worked .It’s still very far from ideal listening room but it somehow compensates sound in the dead area behind me. I keep rear speakers not as loud as the front ones and this somehow revives whole room acoustically. Looks like there is no better way for this particular room. Anyway thanks for all your videos. I really enjoy them .

showmak says:

Thank you for your informative videos. I am placing my speakers on ceramic tiles, I have rubber feet and metal spikes, which one should I use and why?

David Holland says:

Your very first point isn’t necessarily true. My side walls are not the 1st incident. My back wall is.. my side walls are well beyond 8ft away. The cavity point is also wrong. You can treat the thing to be a bass trap… My back wall isn’t equal.. one is about 30ft and the other is about 14… My speakers are on a false wall… at the 1/3 point… I use this system as near field monitoring… With a 120wrms subwoofer and bi amped 70wpc mains… I literally disagree with everything you said.. because I have a giant room with evenly spaced room modes. My walls are covered in r30 fiberglass over styrofoam and it’s a concrete basement. My 1st incident is controlled by a homemade skyline style diffuser and my roof is anti carpet drop ceiling with loads of fiberglass behind.. I have carpet with no underlay.. just 3 layers since I work at a flooring warehouse…

JosteeloTv says:

My setup is in the corner of my room (left corner) and I have a glass door closet on the left of my setup. What can I do? Any help is appreciated

496 527 says:

My room is like this one except thts both side walls are glasse. Is there any hope for me? Heavy thick drapes??? A wooden huge bookshelf covering the back walls and some carpeting would do the job ?

Nass Khan says:

No glass? So a listening room woth windows is a no no? Personally I can only have my system in one room and there is plenty of glass (wardrobe mirror doors cant be helped) My solution has been to ensure every corner has furniture and thick curtains. Ultimately listening to yr stereo should be fun not a forensic experiment

David Billyard says:

Does the placement of omni directional speakers differ to traditional speakers?

Ryan's Range Report says:

My room is 186 X 140 and I have to set up my speakers on the “140 side” because of doors. Also if I place them the same distance from the wall I’ll hit a speaker w/ the door. I have acoustic treatment on the walls to help, is there anything else I can do to make sure I’m not missing out on a better sound. If I spaced them = distance from the wall they would be almost 8 ft apart.

Roma Vic says:

That’s nice but if your system is located in the living room that’s irregular on all sides? What do you do? Solutions please…

SCMTW says:

This is all great professional advice and well presented. At least it’s very informative for room “set-up compromises” because very few family houses have the perfect room for acoustics.

But I’m still a big advocate for the “Gomer Pyle Sweet Spot”. If what you hear makes you close your eyes and smile – then that’s all you need. 🙂

Mohan Raj says:

Hi Dennis, greetings from India. wealth of information in your channel. Thank you for your time and effort. Learning a lot from your channel. 🙂 Quick question- i do not have the liberty to place my front speakers equal distance from the sidewalls,my right speaker is about 4 ft from the sidewall but I have only 2 ft for the left speaker to play around. Any suggestions for this setup. Thanks.

TheWretchedWorld says:

and this is why you use headphones

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