Square Room Setup Help!

Zach -- Wed, 02/09/2011 - 17:40

I am setting up a 2-Channel Hi Fi in my bedroom. Unfortunately my bedroom is square, which is worst case scenario from a sonic standpoint. I would love to hear from anyone on which direction I should take when positioning my loudspeakers to achieve the highest sonic quality in a square room (roughly 11x11 ft.). Thanks for your time. Zach.  

Zach -- Wed, 02/09/2011 - 17:41


Steven Stone -- Wed, 02/09/2011 - 18:39

If you send me your email address I'll send you an Excel spreadsheet that will tell you exactly where your worst room nodes are AND you can do what-ifs to see if moving your speakers or listening position around will help.
In your situation I would recommend a nice big floor to ceiling bookshelf filled with CDs and books to change one of the dimensions in your room.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

art noxon -- Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:00

Hi Zach. 
Where is the door?  in the corner?  Can you open it while playing music?  what about the closet, and it's door, where is it and what kind of door.   Which way do the doors open? 
Always enclose floor plan (draw and photo it) and photos of room and what speaker you are running. List out the acoustic items you have to apply to the room.
What furnishings are in the room?  Carpet?   8' ceiling? How wide do you like speaker and how far back do you like to sit?
You want to play the room symmetrically so both speakers feel the same space around them and have the same sound.  You do not want your speaker to be on the diagonal out from the corner. You can play the room square or on the diagonal.  Diagonal is interesting, it gives lots of air behind you and between the speakers. 
Generally the woofer part of the speakers are set up at “mode free” injection points. These are 29% or 42 % of the distance between the parallel surfaces they are between.  Your head likes to be at some combination of those dimensions, except that it stays on the centerline between and perpendicular to the speakers.
It’s fun to lay out the geometry of the room and then add in the 29 and 42% lines. See what it suggests. For your 11’ room 29% is 3.2’ and 42% is 4.6’.   I laid out your room and looked at the diagonal setup. I have your head on the diagonal, 3.2’ off each back side wall. Got speakers at 4.6’ off these same two back side walls and 3.2’ off the front side walls. That puts speakers 4.5’ apart and 5’ from your head. Start there and make adjustments until it feels comfortable. If your bedroom door opens in the corner and you can play with it open, setup your listening footprint with your back to the open door. 
If you play the room square, then speakers are 4.6’ off front wall and 3.2’ off side walls and you are 3.2’ off back wall. That leaves 4.6’ between speakers and 4.3’ between you and each speaker. If you have a closet midway on one wall, open door and put your chair in front of open closet door. 
Too bad it’s all so nearfield, but  it’s a small room. Don’t forget you still need good bass traps in the corners and some sound panels to take out flutter echo and early reflections. For small room and low budget, diagonal sound panels across all the corners,4 vertical and 4 horizontal at the ceiling work wonders for the room. 
Art Noxon
Inventor of the TubeTrap and President of Acoustic Sciences Corp

Zach -- Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:25

Will do. My entrance door is located in a small inlet that extends from the back wall about 2ft. The closet door is on the same wall that extends to the door of entry. The closet door is in a corner of the room. I have 2-2inch thick acoustic panels, one behind the listening position on the wall and the other is mid-spot behind the Left and Right speaker channels. I also have 2-4inch acoustic panels that are mounted on the wall at the first reflection points. Thank you so much for your thorough reply and time, I will try your suggestion. Thanks!

art noxon -- Mon, 08/01/2011 - 19:18

Which way you are setting the room up? Sounds like it's square, not on diagonal. Remember, don't decide, set both ways up and compare. I know it sounds trite, but it's so easy to forget....use your ears, not your brain, to tell you what sounds good. You only have four 2x4' sound panels and nothing else? Then you have to get as much milage out of your panels as possible. Set your panels sideways, 4' wide and only 2' tall, not vertical. Is your back to the closet and entrance door wall? Never play speakers near cubby holes, like the 2' deep entrance. Explain your setup so I can imagine it clearly. As for sound panels and bass traps, your house or apartment is full of odds and ends that you can convert into various acoustic widgets. When you have no money or time to get official acoustic you have to invent them using what's around you. No acoustics means unacceptable playback.

Cardboard boxes filled with dirth laundry makes real membrane bass traps that do work

art noxon

Zach -- Thu, 08/04/2011 - 22:55

 Thank you for your suggestions art noxon. Will try my acoustic panels sideways to get more coverage. 

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