Originally Posted by Philips752
Hi hope you are all OK.
Im revisiting my speaker / main listening position.
Speakers are Veritas 2.3i (floorstander)
Use is 95% music.
Anybody that can share info on this would be appreciated e.g how far from the front wall etc.
Thanks in advance
It's not an easy topic, as there are many competing variables and you will have to experiment to find the optimum compromise for your room and your preferences.
For optimum stereo listening for 2ch music, the speakers should theoretically be in the 53-60 degree range of angular spread. It's pretty easy to estimate without complicated math:
- 53 degrees = speakers spaced apart about as far as you are from the center point between the speakers, i.e. if you sit 10' back, space the speakers 10' apart
- 60 degrees = equilateral triangle, so if the speakers are 10' apart you scoot forward a bit so you are 10' from each speaker
If the speakers are narrower than ~50 degrees apart, you will lose the sense of stereo soundstage and immersion. You mention you are 13-14' back and the speakers are 8' apart... you're not even achieving a 40 degree stereo angle!
Grab a chair, and try sitting 8-10' back from the speakers with some good 2ch music, you will hear the difference in stereo soundstage, separation, etc. Spend some time finding your preference point, if you lean back in the chair you're probably around 53 degrees, lean forward a bit and you'll get closer to 60 degrees.
Now go sit back in your normal spot 13-14' back, and you'll hear how the soundstage is collapsed relatively. One option, if you can't move the seating forward, is to pull the speakers closer to you which increases the relative angle of spread.
So that's one factor... but then you have to consider things like room acoustics. If the room / seating layout prevents you from achieving a >50 degree stereo spread, you can widen the soundstage psychoacoustically by utilizing lateral reflections, perhaps with some 2D diffusion or combo panels strategically placed on the side walls along with some bare wall for reflection. Strong lateral reflections from +/- 60 degrees are strongly preferred by most listeners and increase the sense of envelopment and "auditory source width" (ASW).
Also, with 2ch music having 3D diffusion on the back wall (provided you are at least 5-6 feet away since diffusion need space to work) helps make the room sound more "spacous", it breaks up the hard reflections behind you but scatters the sound in all directions so the energy is preserved but your brain perceives it as a larger space.
Then you have to consider bass resonances... those can come from room modes and also boundary interference from reflections off surfaces close to the speakers. If you want the best bass, it's not quite as simple as saying "the speaker is front ported so I don't have to space it off the wall". Bass still radiates omnidirectionally, so if for example the front baffle of the speaker is 2' off the back wall you will get a phase cancellation at ~140Hz (the wavelength of which is ~8feet, so the bass travels 2 feet back and then 2 feet forward and arrives 180 degrees out of phase at 140Hz).
The closer you are to the boundary, the higher the SBIR notch will be, the farther from the boundary the lower it gets. A common technique is (if space permits) to put the speaker at least 3-4 feet from the walls which moves the cancellation down to 80Hz or below, which then becomes irrelevant when bass managed to a multi-subwoofer setup.
But wait, there's more! If the speaker is equidistant from two boundaries, for example ~2ft from both the back wall and side wall, then you'll get an extra powerful double-dipping boundary interference null. So you want to make sure the boundaries are different distances from the speaker.
SBIR can be mitigated by not only careful speaker placement, but also bass absorbers. So if you're adding acoustic treatment, placing thick bass absorbers behind the speakers and directly to the sides will help smooth out the mid/upper bass region. In this case, ironically, things get easier to treat as the speaker moves closer to the boundary, since that moves the wavelength of cancellation higher up (and a 300Hz wave which is <4ft long is much easier to absorb effectively than a 120Hz wave which is almost 10ft long).
Then you want to consider that moving the speaker closer to a boundary creates boundary gain, which like boundary interference is multiplicative if there are multiple boundaries. In excess (e.g. a speaker placed in a corner) it will create excessively boomy bass. Don't want that.
Finally the question of toe-in.... this will largely be about personal preference. I'm assuming you only care about one seat in the sweet spot... because the Veritas speakers have very wide, even dispersion, the biggest difference between being on vs off axis will be the degree of roll-off in the high frequencies. If you find the speakers to be a bit too bright, try toeing them in less to put you more off axis. On the flip side, the less you toe in, the more energy you put into the ipsilateral sidewall reflection. With a speaker like the Veritas, that's often a good thing as (again) they have extremely smooth off-axis behavior, so those reflections will enhance the sense of ASW.
So as with stereo angle, toe-in angle requires a bit of trial and error to establish your preference. Toe the speakers in more, the more focused the sound and the more bright the high frequencies.... decrease the toe in, the highs will roll off more and the energy in the lateral reflections increase, so you trade off some "focus" for increased "envelopment".
The bottom line TL/DR: all of these variables are in play, so if you want to optimize your 2ch listening you need to be willing to experiment, and potentially consider some targeted acoustic treatments. Speaker spacing, distance from boundaries, distance from the listener, toe-in angle, etc. should all be tweaked and compared to find the sweet spot that gives the most pleasing results in your room. If you don't have measurement gear, that means it will just be a process of trial and error. Hopefully, the info above gives you some solid science on which to guide your experimentation. Good luck!