Listen to the Music! Indoor & Outdoor Audio Tips

When it comes to audio sound, there are several factors that need to be considered — beyond which speakers and amps you choose. The placement of your speakers greatly impacts the sound you hear. Here are a few quick tips to help you get the most out of your sound system:

Initial Placement: Consider where you will be listening. Are there multiple listening points for your space? Sketch out your area and designate key listening points. Create an equilateral triangle around each – see sketch below:

sound design sketch for optimal audio listening.        outdoor audio plan

Ideally, maintain about 4 feet between each speaker (8 feet for floorstanding speakers). Speakers placed too close together create muddy sounds as they blend together. If they are placed too far apart, there will be a gap in the sound. Position your speakers at least 2-3 feet away from the nearest wall to minimize sound reflection – bouncing off the walls, which reduces the sound’s clarity. There should be no physical obstruction between the speaker and your ears.

Speaker Height: For an indoor space or theater room, where will the listener be seated? In your outdoor areas, where will people be listening? Will they be seated or standing? For instance, to have background music while dining, people will be seated. When there is a gathering of many, most people will be standing and milling about – perhaps on a patio or deck. Position speaker height as close as possible to the listener’s ear height while listening.

Angle of Speakers: Angle the speakers so the sound is directed toward the listener – reaching a point just behind the listener’s head. When there are multiple listeners in the area, angle them outward to engage a larger area.

Headspace: The amount of sound needed will need adjustment depending on the headspace in your listening area. A room with high ceilings requires more sound than a room with 8 foot pr lower ceilings. Likewise, outdoor audio has its own headspace requirements.

Outdoor Considerations: In addition to multiple listening areas and headspace requirements that add complication to outdoor audio, consider the impact on your neighbors. Angle speakers in toward your property to prevent the sound from spilling into your neighbors’ yards.

For the very best outcome, reach out to Bentley Electronic Systems. We will come to your home, analyze your space and your specific needs, help you choose the right speakers and amps, and will position them to optimize your sound quality. Whether playing at background volume, full “life-of-party” listening levels — or anywhere in-between — our speakers and audio systems serve up sound that’s always clear, full, and balanced. You will be impressed with the difference!


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