There’s certainly no shortage of audio equipment out there for you to choose from these days. However, unless you’re savvy when setting your system up, you’ll struggle to achieve the sound quality you’re after. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help you get the very most from your speakers.
Get the right gear
As well as choosing the right speakers, it’s important to pay attention to the extras that all sound systems need. For example, the speaker cables you choose could have a major impact on the quality of your listening experience. Luckily, it’s now simple to source high-end versions from specialist suppliers such as The Cable Company.
The most important feature to assess when you’re perusing the plethora of speaker cables available is resistance. By selecting versions with a low resistance, you can ensure that more of the source’s power will reach the speaker coil. Resistance is mainly affected by the length of the wire and its cross sectional area. Generally speaking, the shorter and thicker the wire, the less resistance it creates.
It’s possible to buy cables in a variety of different materials, but copper and silver are among the most widely used. Bear in mind though, both of the metals oxidise when they are exposed to air, so speaker cables made from these materials must be covered and insulated.
Select a suitable spot
Once you’ve got the right cables, it’s time to choose a spot for your speakers. Ideally, you should keep these items around two to three feet away from the rear walls and try to avoid placing them in corners. Many audiophiles favor setups where the speakers and listener are situated in an equilateral triangle and where the speakers are located around nine feet from each other, and the same distance away from the listener.
Also, while it may seem obvious, it’s worth pointing out that speakers should not be obscured by other objects. It’s surprising how many people fall into the trap of placing items directly in front of their speakers. Everything from piles of DVDs to game controllers can distort the sound and spoil listening experiences.
Aim for ear level
Whether you choose wall-mounted, shelf, stand-mounted or free-standing speakers, bear in mind that they will sound best when they are roughly level with your ears.
Also, if you want to put your speakers on a shelf or desk, it’s wise to position them on top of a layer of foam or other cushioning material. This will help to limit unwanted vibrations.
Trial and error
Following simple tips like these should help ensure you achieve the results you’re after. However, bear in mind that if you’re not happy with the sound created by your speakers, there’s nothing stopping you from testing other arrangements. Even the most experienced audiophiles often go through a process of trial and error when it comes to setting up their speakers.
For more in-depth tips on how to properly set up your audio system, check out the “Improving the Sound of Your System/Room Acoustics” section of our sister website CANADA HiFi.