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Properly towing in speakers when you are sitting off axis?

447 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  RayGuy
Can anyone provide any info on what the best general guidelines are for getting good stereo imagining when your main listening position is off axis (to the right a few feet)? I am about 11 feet or so from the towers. My projector makes it so I can't be symmetrical, and there's no way of remedying that as it stands in this room. I just need to know how I could get the stereo image a bit more centered, as it sounds like it's off to the left too much. I have done the Audyssey calibration and done SPL meter level matching to both speakers. I also have acoustic treatments (bass traps, absorber panels, and sound diffusers)

Thanks in advance for any insight on this. :)
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First, be sure that the speakers are far enough into the room that they do not have anything blocking the space between the face of the speakers. Then, turn off all Audyssey settings as you re-position the speakers.

Try to toe-in the speakers such that an imaginary line projected from the center of each speaker crosses at the primary listening position. Since you are sitting off-axis, this will mean the speakers are not evenly toed-in. This will be good for your seating position but a compromise for all other seating positions.

If you are looking for a better image throughout the room, cross them about two feet in front of the theoretically perfect listening position directly between the speakers. This will result in a broader "sweet spot" for off-axis listeners.

Another alternative is to decrease the distance between the speakers, repeating the toe-in recommendations I mentioned.

These suggestions may or may not provide a good stereo image, depending on the speakers, their position, the room, your seating position, and the quality of the Audyssey measurements (be sure to follow the directions precisely once you have finished experimenting). If you still do not get a good image, adding a center channel speaker of the same brand and line as your main speakers will help to "center" the sound to the screen, but may or may not improve the actual imaging.

Bottom line, the physical layout of the room and it's components, should be as symmetrical as possible. If this is not possible, you will compromise the sound quality. The best solution may be to re-orient the room to achieve better symmetry.

One last suggestion, if none of the above get you the sound you are looking to achieve, replacing the speakers with ones that have a very wide horizontal dispersion may tend to help the imaging for off-axis listeners. A sample of speakers that display this trait are: Golden Ear, Ohm, and Chane, to name just a few. You may want to test one or more of these speakers in your home environment.

Pics and measurements of the area would generate more specific recommendations.
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