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Although it's always best to acoustically treat your room, that's not always possible. Here are a few simple things that you can do to instantly improve the performance of your playback system without using any acoustic treatment. Avoid placing the speakers up against the wall. This usually results in some strong peaks and low frequency response. The further away you get from the wall, the less it influences the frequency response of your monitors, and the smoother that response will be. Figure an absolute minimum of twelve inches, although more is better. Avoid the corners of the room; even more severe than the wall is a corner, since it will reinforce the low end even more than when placed against a wall.
But worse is if only one speaker is in the corner, which causes a response of your system to be lopsided on the low end towards the speaker that's located there. Avoid being closer to one wall of the room than the other. If one speaker is closer to one sidewall than the other, once again you'll get a totally different frequency response between the two, because of phase and reflection issues. It's best to set up directly in the center of the room if possible. Symmetry is essential to keep a balanced stereo image with the stable frequency response in the room. That means that your sweet spot will be in the exact center of the room if the speakers are exactly the same distance from each sidewall.
Although the layout of your room may suggest some other position, acoustically you could be asking for trouble. Avoid different types of wall absorption. If one side of the room contains a window and the other is dry wall, carpet, or acoustic foam, once again, you'll have an unbalanced stereo image and one side will be brighter sounding than the other. Try to make the walls on each of the speakers the same material. Make sure you place the speakers on stands. Speakers mounted directly on a desk or console can even defeat well-designed acoustic treatment. Mark the position of the speakers with masking tape, and mark the position of one- inch increments up to six inches either way from the wall.
That way you don't have to re-measure in the event that you have to move things. Exact distances are critical, so always use a tape measure, because even an inch can make a big difference in the sound. So that's how to quickly and easily improve the sound of your room.
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