height & positioning of speakers

isolation and mass effects

mounting methods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- height & positioning of speakers back to menu

You may have already noticed, but most speakers tend to be of a similar magnitude in size and height. There's floorstanders, which are about a metre high. Subwoofers are large boxes that sit on the floor. Satellite cube speakers are the exception, but even then they almost all have some way of "pointing" them.

The reasoning behind this, is that the sounds they produce all have to end up at your ear. Now if you were listening to someone playing music live instead of a recording, the sound would be traveling horizontally to your ears. Your brain would be able to identify the location of the sound source by the time difference between the sounds arrival at each of your ears.

Therefore, it is considered ideal, to place your speakers where they will radiate their sound horizontally toward your ears. Hence in an ideal world speakers should be located at about ear height or a little above when you are in your normal listening position. This will assist in maximising the imaging of the sounds by your brain.

In the real world however there are many more constraints to be considered other than the purist audiophile inclinations. Often the ideal place is unavailable due to a window, a door or furniture. In all of these occasions a compromise location needs to be found and different moungint methods may need to be adopted.

For smaller rooms a Sub/Sat speaker system will deliver ample performance, and has excellent imaging characteristics when the speakers are angled correctly, placed carefully and equalised in the setup process. This process may include telling the system about the relative distances of each speaker from the listener, or even playing a test tone through each speaker and using a microphone placed in the prime listening location to provide a feedback loop through which the system can calibrate and balance the sound output characteristics of each speaker from the point of view of a listener in the prime seat.

 

- isolation and mass effects back to menu

In order for a speaker to perform effectively it needs to create crisp pressure waves in the air which we hear as sounds. If the speaker is moving at all when it is producing these sounds, then the motion of the speaker will effect the frequency and the clarity of the speakers output.

In our ideal world, each speaker would be perfectly rigid and massive, yet it's internal moving parts would be weightless and frictionless and therefore extremely responsive. The ideal world doesn't exist and neither does the perfect speaker. So in order to make the best of the world we live in, our speaker mounts and stands must take on some of the role of providing mass and rigidity to the speaker.

In the case of speaker stands, the desire should be to isolate the speaker from the environment as far as incoming effect goes, provide rigidity and mass. To achieve this a number of methods may be employed. Filling stands with sand will increase their mass and reduce the topheaviness of the stands with speakers atop. This mass will also dampen vibrations to some extent. Using spikes further isolates the speakers, channeling vibration and energy down through the point.

Mounting speakers to a wall is a good way to introduce mass and rigidity to the speaker. Brackets should always be tight and preferably mounted to the bracing inside the wall rather than just the gyprock. Speakers mounter to the plasterboard alone will sound muffled by comparison, as the entire gyprock unsupported area between studs will act like a huge speaker diaphragm sucking the energy out of the speaker's sound production.

Audio Junction carries a wide range of styles of speaker stands to suit all speakers.

 

- mounting methods back to menu

There are many available brackets to mount speakers with. Other important things to consider when selecting a bracket is the weight the bracket is designed to carry, and the shape of the speaker, also whether or not to use pre-existing mounting methods on the speaker itself.

Typically speakers designed for direct wall mount will have keyways on the back for catching protruding screw heads. This works satisfactorily, but never gets the speaker properly tight against the wall and can lead to rattling. Better mounting can be acheived using 2 part mounts. One piece attached to the wall, the other piece to the speaker. This allows for separate adjustment to ensure close fits. Another method often employed where screwing into a speaker is not possible is the use of clamping brackets.

Whatever your speaker, Audio Junction will be able to provide a solution to mount it.