Believe it or not, the placement of your speakers makes a world of difference. Whether you have high-quality speakers or not-so-great ones, the most important thing is how you place them.
This inevitably raises the question of how high should speakers be off the floor? Let’s find out.
How High Should Speakers Be Off the Floor?
Ideally, the tweeters for your speakers should be at the level of your ears or as close as possible. This position, therefore, ensures the sound directly reaches you. If you place the speaker too high or too low, the music will lose quality on its way to your ear. This results in duller and even distorted sounds.
This is why I always recommend some high quality speaker stands. I think having speaker stands is a great asset to any home audio setup, and can really give it a ‘prestigious’ look. Alternatively, you can mount them to a wall which will help with angling the speakers. More on this further down.
In case you have speaker stands, consider their height too. Place the stand with the speaker in such a way that it is level with your head. The speaker should also be placed 1.2m off the ground in such cases.
During this placement, too, you must prioritize the position of the tweeters. You need to see which way the sound is pointing and try to direct it in such a way that the sound will travel to where you will be sitting.
If you do not have speaker stands, you can place them on a desk. Remember to, however, adjust it to your height while sitting. Measure up the significant difference in the level of your ears between when you are sitting and standing.
It is often advised to place foam pads on your desk before placing the speakers. This is to prevent your desk from echoing all the bass. Continuous reverberation on the desk not only distorts the sound but can also harm your desk.
So, while placing speakers on the desk or stands, you must consider many factors. These include the height of the stand or desk and any foam boards beside the speaker’s size. All of them together will determine how high speakers should be off the floor.
Do I Need to Mount My Speakers?
There are many advantages of mounting your speakers on your wall. It helps save space, it looks great, and it can help with directing the sound to where is optimal.
Wall-mounted speakers are also very convenient if you want to keep them out of reach. This is usually good when you have curious children or pets at home. For wall-mounting, again, you have to keep in mind certain specifications.
Technically, all surround-sound speakers can be mounted. However, specific considerations might change depending on the orientation of the speaker. There are essentially three types of speakers-center, front, and surround.
Center speakers are the most popular choice for mounting. They can be either placed above the tv or below it. In any case, the speaker should be placed at least 40 cm above the ground.
Front speakers come in tower-like builds. Although you can place them on the floor, it might not be the most beneficial. Mounting them is the easiest option.
Be careful to measure it up to the level of the ear. Also, make sure that both the towers are placed equally distanced from your tv set. Try to keep a distance of at least 1m between the wall and your speakers.
This helps the bass flow more easily from the speakers. These do not have to be exact measurements. An approximate idea should suffice.
Surround speakers are usually small and compact. They are perfect for wall-mounting and home theatres. Whether you have dipole speakers or direct-radiating ones, ideally, they are supposed to be fitted 1.40m above the floor.
There are, therefore, different factors you need to keep in mind if you want to mount your speakers. Although making adjustments might seem daunting, doing them the correct way helps you get a better listening experience.
Also read: Best bookshelf speakers under $300.
Can I Place My Speakers on the Floor?
When you want to fix a speaker for your room, you want it to blend into your room’s aesthetic seamlessly. For this, placing the speaker on the floor might sound like a good idea. However, it might compromise the sound quality.
Try not to prioritize the look of your space over your listening experience. This is why you must avoid placing your speaker on the floor.
When the speaker is on the floor, it is usually way below your height. Subsequently, it is hardly close to the level of your ear. This makes a major part of the sound fade away before it reaches you.
Even if you have small speakers, try placing them on a desk or mounting them. You can also get stands to fix the speaker. Never place them directly on the floor.
Try not to use speaker spikes either as they often leave scratches and dents on the floor.
Take a look at the back of your speaker to get clues as to where to place it. Speakers which have unfinished backs are made to place close to walls. If the backplate has a range of controls you will need access to, they are best placed away from walls.
The sound quality also depends on the type of floor. If you have thick carpets, they will absorb a percentage of the sound. This leads to an overall dull sound effect around the room.
Hardwood floors, on the other hand, get easily affected by vibrations. If you have speakers resting on them, you might get a lot of excess noise. It distorts the overall sound.
Also, consider neighbors. This is mostly applicable if you live above someone. Your floor might amplify sounds, which might prove to be a problem.
Should My Speakers Be Angled?
Another common query associated with how high should speakers be off the floor is whether or not the speakers should be angled. This is a legitimate worry as there are indeed ideal angles.
In speakers, the sound is released between both the left and the right sides. It is ideal to position your speakers at an angle of 60 degrees apart. Since music is usually released in stereo, this alignment provides the best conditions for a perfect “stereo image.”
Keep your speakers angled towards you that is, the listener. A direct sound from the speakers sounds best.
For a wider listening area, you can decrease the angle. Once you get a rough idea where you want to place it, increase or decrease the angle according to convenience. Once you start to toy with the angles, you will find the one that best suits you.
Try to keep your speakers away from corners and junction points of your room. They prevent the sound from properly flowing around the area. It is also difficult to get an ideal angle in the corners.
Corners and typically, any barriers reinforce the bass tones present in the sound. This will lead to an echo-effect when the sound is emanated. It ruins the quality and distorts the sound.
However, If you have subwoofers, you do not have to worry about their angle. This is because they are omnidirectional. You can place them at any angle you would like. Nevertheless, it is advisable to place them at least 30 cm from a corner.
While considering the angle of the room, also examine the shape of the room. If your room is rectangular, the speakers should ideally face the length of the room. Each of the speakers on either side is at 30 degrees from you.
Another easy way to determine the right angle is to think about your room in thirds. Ideally, you can place the speakers within the first third of the room. Do not forget to keep it away from the wall while doing this!
In conclusion, the most important thing you need to know is to have your speakers at ear level. If you are sitting down on the couch, have your speakers level to where you would be sitting. Alternatively, angle your speakers towards your ears if they are mounted on a wall.
It takes careful planning and a lot of testing, but once you have it right you will be grateful you went through that process.
A lot of the measurements depend on personal requirements. You can keep experimenting with your space. In the end, you will find the spot that delivers the sound just right.
Make sure you listen to songs on your speakers a few times at different positions. To make changes like drilling holes in the wall are permanent. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are positioning your speakers right.
If you’re looking for a new set of speakers, I always recommend a nice set of Klipsch speakers.