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Odd optimum speaker height for listening

laparn, modified 6 Years ago.

Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Padawan Posts: 39 Join Date: 6/20/15 Recent Posts
I discovered a strange sound improvement the other day. I have always positioned my ears between the tweeter and the bass membrane which works great. But I accidentely lowered my position and I found an obvious improvement in precision in instrument and voice positioning. Everything became spot on exact. No sound quality decrease, i.e. only improvement. My ears positioned at the bottom of the bass membrane on my Genelec 8330SAM. The speakers are vertically aligned and not tilted. Speakers angled inwards focusing on one single sweet spot in line with Genelecs recommended positioning.

Why is this? I Always understood the optimal positon is between the tweeter and bass membrane. The difference is so obvious I thik someone missed something. Or do something else play game here? Is there other improvements to be expected if other positon(s) are examined?
ilkka-rissanen, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Yoda Posts: 2564 Join Date: 3/23/09 Recent Posts
Hi there,

Best and flattest frequency response is achieved when listening on-axis and at the level of the acoustic centre of the speaker which is between the woofer and the tweeter when talking about a two-way loudspeaker.
laparn, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Padawan Posts: 39 Join Date: 6/20/15 Recent Posts
Thanks. Just realised that "best" sound quality is not really a parameter in the purpose of a studio monitor. The flattest frequency response is and from where you can create, mix, adjust to fit the need of a music consumer.
I use my system for consuming music and finding a "sweeter" swet spot than what intended in the control room is really up to myself.
I must say the focus of instruments and voices was so improved, when raising the speaker position, I am even more impressed by the 8330:s than before. They are absolutely great achievers and with good material they are so precise and musicians performance get so present I really believe they are in the room from time to time.
Thanks Genelec!!! :!:
musicmarc, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Youngling Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/6/16 Recent Posts
when raising the speaker position


The behaviour of early reflections influences stereo imaging a lot. By changing the position you might get less early reflections in the frequency area of vocals and instruments, which have now a better imaging.
laparn, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Padawan Posts: 39 Join Date: 6/20/15 Recent Posts
when raising the speaker position


The behaviour of early reflections influences stereo imaging a lot. By changing the position you might get less early reflections in the frequency area of vocals and instruments, which have now a better imaging.


Actually, it was a relative height shift, not absolute. It was rather myself positioning ny head lower and speaker stayed in same position. This relative height shift really benefit positioning of voices in general, especially a lead singer in centre of stage. Instruments appears not affected at all, neither tonally nor positioning or focus.
1038, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Odd optimum speaker height for listening

Jedi Master Posts: 340 Join Date: 4/6/09 Recent Posts
If you didn't tilt your speakers down to the new listening position, you would have started hearing a cancellation of the x-over fq as you were starting to get the same frequencies arriving from both drivers at different times. You would have also been hearing much more of the floor reflection. I can't comment on your imaging improvements, this is largely room dependent.

In most of the systems i install and calibrate, i always end up with the acoustic axis above the listening position and i then tilt the speaker down to maintain on axis listening. I find that getting the speaker further away from the floor really cleans up the mids... If you look at Genelec's Monitor Set-up guide they recommend the acoustic axis of the loudspeaker should be between 1.2-1.4M from the floor..