How to get better sound from Loudspeakers without spending a cent?

When you spend money on loudspeakers, regardless of how much it is, they will always have a certain set of specifications. Specifications such as max wattage output, loudspeaker sensitivity, ohmage and class of amplifier (if active speakers, meaning self-amplified). While these specifications are important in determining the performance of your loudspeakers, and while it's almost certain that a really cheap pair of speakers will be out performed by a very expensive and trusted pair, it is possible that it can be the other way around.

The single most important factor to consider when assessing the performance or the sound of your loudspeakers, is loudspeaker placement. It is very possible that a pair of very cheap speakers will outperform a more expensive and higher spec'd pair, purely depending on where the speakers are placed in a room.

The benefits of taking loudspeaker placement seriously is that one can gain a significantly better frequency response, for no cost whatsoever, and with no extreme or permanent changes needed to be made to a room.

Here are a number of steps one can follow in order to achieve optimum loudspeaker placement:

- Removing nearby obstacles which create unwanted reflective surfaces: If there are reflective surfaces close to the speakers, these reflections will combine with the direct sound, causing destructive interference. You must know which materials reflects sound and which are the materials that absorb sound. If you do not know learn here. The direct sound wave and reflective wave will meet slightly out of phase, and through the high and low pressure components conflicting, certain frequencies will be boosted and some will be cut.

- The next step is to try and find the sweet spot of the room : This is the exact spot in the room where the frequency response of the loudspeakers is optimal towards your ears. The sweet spot can be found firstly by moving your loudspeakers a third in from the back walls of your room. Then you must put your listening chair a third in from the front wall. The most important thing is that the distance between the back and side walls cannot under any circumstances be the same, nor multiples of each other. When this happens, it creates a whole lot of other problems, such as room modes, which are reflections which follow a specific path, and can negatively affect the sound you hear in a room.

- The next step is to make sure that there is an equilateral triangle between yourself and the 2 loudspeakers. At that point, where you are the third point in the triangle, the sweet spot will lie. In fact, it is commonly thought that the perfect sweet spot is just a few centimeters behind that.

Other factors to consider

- One should read up on the specs of their loudspeakers, and while doing so, determine whether the loudspeakers are meant to be toed in, (meaning turned inward slightly) or kept pointing straight. This factor can make or break your listening experience, so make sure that you are aware of what is expected.

The benefits of good loudspeaker placement

When loudspeakers are ideally placed and you are listening from the sweet spot of the room, you can expect the following positive changes:

- A flatter frequency response. You will not hear as much, if any, excess low end frequency energy, which is the most common issue from loudspeaker response. In addition, the bass will be more accurate.

- The mid-range energy will not be as boomy, and the high end energy will not be too present, meaning that the sound will not be thin.

- A widened soundstage will also be perceived. This means that the sound being played will sound as if it is coming from a wider area in front of you, with sound coming from the left, right and in-between.

- There will also be a perceived depth of stereo field. This means that sound will not only be heard coming from the left and right, but also from beyond you, and beyond the speakers. This is the best way to experience music as if you are watching a live performance.


With all of the benefits explained above, it is easy to see why one might not even need to upgrade their speaker system. The most important factor is to make sure that the loudspeakers you have are placed in the best possible place, and that the listener listens from the sweet spot.

Need advice on which type of speaker to use and where?

Very often the choice and positioning of loudspeakers is down to intuition, hearsay and chance. But after reading this Book on Amazon no doubts will be left.

Written by : Duran (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

Go Back to Music and Sound

Related topics

How Feasible is owning a Mobile Recording Studio?
What is an Audio Weighting Curve?
How much Wattage is actually necessary for a PA System?
What are some effective micing techniques for the Guitar?
Can you make Acoustic Treatment from Household Materials?
What is the relationship between Voltage, Current, Resistance and Power in Audio Circuitry?

Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice