Speakers in corners (the worst case)

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RobC
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Post 21 May 2024

So yeah, the hazard of "bedroom" project studio: I'm cornered like a dog with this. : D Or more like the speakers will be, but they certainly might bite back - acoustically speaking.

No other solution, I must build a simple speaker-holding shelf, and put the speakers in the corners. Even so I won't have a perfect triangle for my listening position, cause my distance from the speakers is half of what's between them. Thus, I also have to rotate them 45⁰, instead of the recommended 22.5⁰.

One good news is, these speakers are for consumption (no, I'm not gonna eat them : D). Casual listening, movies, TV, music, games. Plus I'll do some 5.1 experiments. They would also be good for composing and arranging music, since for that, any potato system does the trick.

That said, fingers crossed, but give it to me straight: chances are, the acoustics will be as bad as possible, right? x D

A cheer up is, that these Edifier R2850DB speakers have a frontal bass reflex hole (3 way speakers with 8" woofers - goes down to ~42 Hz, although I'd use a separate sub woofer, so I'd crossover at 80 Hz or so).

All in all, while the sound won't be accurate, I hope it won't be unusable, right?

So, for generic purpose, can we place speakers in corners? (Or is the universe gonna collapse, and will Rick open a portal in this room and come after me?)

But seriously, I guess, chances are there will be some heavy bass cuts and boosts, maybe even cancellation?

It gets better! The tweeter position, if it's the same level as my ears, would be close to the half of the room's height.

Avoid this at all costs, I guess? If you can't? Good luck, and hope for the best?

Oh! One more good news! I will build acoustic panels from rock wool, and I might be able to spare some material for behind the speakers.

So, what are your thoughts? Or are your thoughts with me and that's it? x D

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selig
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Post 21 May 2024

First, most speakers suggest a 30° angle for speakers for an equilateral triangle of 60° each half. Also, many speakers have built in boundary adjustments. And don't forget that many times you have no choice but to put speakers against a wall, and it's not a bad thing unless they are rear ported (then leave space). So a corner is just two walls, so not the end of the world.

Speaker of corners, I had a corner setup at my home studio (not my commercial studio) for a few years due to space limitations. I sat facing the corner with an Ikea corner desk. Much of that time I used a mono point source monitor (I'm not mixing, just song creation and coding), and got tons of work done. So it just depends on how flexible you are, and if you have a good solid internal reference built up from listening in more ideal settings (always a good investment of your time IMO).

As for bass response, there will be modes and anti-modes in every room, regardless of speaker position. Placing in corners just means more of a boost. In fact, there are some well known studio guys that put subs intentionally in the front corners (Carl Tatz for his PhantomFocus rooms) to deal with resonances. So it's not always a bad thing…
Selig Audio, LLC

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huggermugger
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Post 21 May 2024

As long as you allow for an increased bass response due to corner placement, you'll be ok, especially if it's just for casual listening.

RobC
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Post 22 May 2024

selig wrote:
21 May 2024
First, most speakers suggest a 30° angle for speakers for an equilateral triangle of 60° each half. Also, many speakers have built in boundary adjustments. And don't forget that many times you have no choice but to put speakers against a wall, and it's not a bad thing unless they are rear ported (then leave space). So a corner is just two walls, so not the end of the world.

Speaker of corners, I had a corner setup at my home studio (not my commercial studio) for a few years due to space limitations. I sat facing the corner with an Ikea corner desk. Much of that time I used a mono point source monitor (I'm not mixing, just song creation and coding), and got tons of work done. So it just depends on how flexible you are, and if you have a good solid internal reference built up from listening in more ideal settings (always a good investment of your time IMO).

As for bass response, there will be modes and anti-modes in every room, regardless of speaker position. Placing in corners just means more of a boost. In fact, there are some well known studio guys that put subs intentionally in the front corners (Carl Tatz for his PhantomFocus rooms) to deal with resonances. So it's not always a bad thing…
Thank you for all the help!

I don't know where I read the 22,5⁰ suggestion, but I guess that's incorrect then. 30⁰ indeed makes sense, though a bit more difficult to calculate/set. Is there some special tool that can help, or some 'rule of thumb' when positioning a speaker to a specific degree?
Also, I wonder if the tweeter at ear height/level will sound okay, cause these speakers don't really have any such recommendation as to what the ideal positioning would be. Although they are categorized as "bookshelf" sized, they are a bit tricky for near-field use.

I also have my smaller speakers (R1000T4), which are rear-ported. How much minimum distance would they need from a wall? Their purpose would be either as a center speaker pair, or rear speakers (for 5.1 or 5.1.2 system).

This small space is not really a problem otherwise. In fact, 1-2 years ago I found out, that it's ideal size for vocal recording. And I'm lucky that my hearing can accurately nail engineering with professional IEMs (hence I got a premium system for that). Still, IEMs aren't all that fun and not the most comfortable. Not to mention, when it comes to having fun, feeling the bass is a must (the sense of touch). Then, obviously, testing music on a consumer system is always useful. And again, the speakers will be useful for surround sound experiments. (Also, the TV has downwards facing speakers - which means more odd experimenting possibilities.)
So, all in all, I'm not complaining, just want to bring out the most of what I've got.

I might try to put my T5 sub woofer in the front left corner then. After all, it has a port on the right side.
Too bad the R2850DB's sub out set a crossover at 100 Hz, and it sounds something like 6 dB/O one. When I tested, it made the sound worse. But then again, they were close to each-other. Gonna try it again in this room.
My guess is that an 80 Hz, 12 or 24 dB/O crossover would be better.

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tt_lab
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Post 22 May 2024

I use this to measure 30 degrees. the smallest angle is 30 degrees
Image

RobC
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Post 22 May 2024

huggermugger wrote:
21 May 2024
As long as you allow for an increased bass response due to corner placement, you'll be ok, especially if it's just for casual listening.
I will probably even prefer a bit of stronger sub bass rumbling.

I still wonder about the speakers' sub out crossover. It seems to center/narrow the stereo image a bit. I enjoyed the sound of the R2850DB speakers, but when I connected the T5 to their sub out, it got a bit worse. But then again, all 3 speakers were on the ground when I tested, and the T5's port is on the right side, so maybe the right speaker was too close. Still, that doesn't explain that the crossover might be set a bit too high.

RobC
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Post 22 May 2024

tt_lab wrote:
22 May 2024
I use this to measure 30 degrees. the smallest angle is 30 degrees
Image
Completely forgot about these rulers (as well as about 30⁰ rules) ~ basic math, but math lessons were a long time ago. : D Thank you!

RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 23 May 2024

I read on ASR, that the R2850DB's crossover is set at 110 Hz, and 24 dB/O. Huh. I guess my problem with the sound is that it's set too high for my taste. And I usually suggest centering sub bass frequencies below 80 Hz.
Maybe I like the two 8" woofers' stereo bass. But again, gotta give it another shot when my system is set up. I might buy a separate crossover.

Anyways, just wanted to clarify this.

RobC
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Post 25 May 2024

A final update on the R2850DB + T5 combo:

So, I tested with the T5 sub on the ground (center, not corner, cause the audio cable is too short), and the R2850DB on the desk this time. They worked a lot better with the sub out.
The R2850DB's height and distance won't be a problem. Moving my head up and down at tweeter and mid speaker height a fair bit, didn't really change the sound, yet I was in a fairly close 50 cm triangle. It's surprising how well they work in the nearfield - for medium large speakers.

The weirdest thing: in the center of the room, there's a sub bass dead-zone.

The true corner test is yet to come, but all in all, if I wasn't all for IEM systems, you could easily mix on these. Tops the 20-40 Hz low sub region would be a problem.

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selig
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Post 25 May 2024

RobC wrote:
25 May 2024
A final update on the R2850DB + T5 combo:

So, I tested with the T5 sub on the ground (center, not corner, cause the audio cable is too short), and the R2850DB on the desk this time. They worked a lot better with the sub out.
The R2850DB's height and distance won't be a problem. Moving my head up and down at tweeter and mid speaker height a fair bit, didn't really change the sound, yet I was in a fairly close 50 cm triangle. It's surprising how well they work in the nearfield - for medium large speakers.

The weirdest thing: in the center of the room, there's a sub bass dead-zone.

The true corner test is yet to come, but all in all, if I wasn't all for IEM systems, you could easily mix on these. Tops the 20-40 Hz low sub region would be a problem.
Random responses to all of the above:

This is exactly why I spent $50 on a cheep but accurate test microphone (behringer ECM8000). Best education I’ve ever had on room acoustics…

Other notes: I don’t measure my monitor angles I just try to get them the same. I’ve compared setups so many times, and experienced great sounding setups in many studios (how I ‘calibrated’ my hearing), these days I can just ‘feel’ when it’s right!

Does the sub have a polarity switch (something to try). Have you done the “sub crawl”? How many different sub positions have you tested (this is where test software is key)? Just trying to see where you are in your ‘journey’! ;)

I don’t know of a speaker manufacturer that doesn’t recommend tweeters at ear level, fwiw.

The ideal crossover has little to do with where you make your bass mono (some folks use stereo subs). It has everything to do with creating a smooth transition without OVERLAP. If you don’t ALSO use the crossover on the main speakers you risk leaving a bump in the response where they overlap. This is why your crossover has everything to do with the speakers used, not some arbitrary value. The concept is that you want the crossover to be well WITHIN the useful range of the speaker to create the best transition. If for example your sub goes up well above 2-300Hz and your mains go down well below 100Hz this gives you the needed overlap for the crossover to do it’s work. If OTOH, your main speakers drop off at 100Hz and the crossover is set to 80Hz, you have a slight dip/gap because the speakers won’t have enough energy at the crossover to create a smooth transition.
Bottom line: the crossover used for the sub should ALSO be used for the main speakers to better create one continuous response.

Your nearfields should be no closer than what you can touch - if you can touch them from the listening position, they may be too close (or certainly as close as you’d want them I would think).

I probably left something off, it’s a huge subject!
Selig Audio, LLC

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 29 May 2024

selig wrote:
25 May 2024
RobC wrote:
25 May 2024
A final update on the R2850DB + T5 combo:

So, I tested with the T5 sub on the ground (center, not corner, cause the audio cable is too short), and the R2850DB on the desk this time. They worked a lot better with the sub out.
The R2850DB's height and distance won't be a problem. Moving my head up and down at tweeter and mid speaker height a fair bit, didn't really change the sound, yet I was in a fairly close 50 cm triangle. It's surprising how well they work in the nearfield - for medium large speakers.

The weirdest thing: in the center of the room, there's a sub bass dead-zone.

The true corner test is yet to come, but all in all, if I wasn't all for IEM systems, you could easily mix on these. Tops the 20-40 Hz low sub region would be a problem.
Random responses to all of the above:

This is exactly why I spent $50 on a cheep but accurate test microphone (behringer ECM8000). Best education I’ve ever had on room acoustics…

Other notes: I don’t measure my monitor angles I just try to get them the same. I’ve compared setups so many times, and experienced great sounding setups in many studios (how I ‘calibrated’ my hearing), these days I can just ‘feel’ when it’s right!

Does the sub have a polarity switch (something to try). Have you done the “sub crawl”? How many different sub positions have you tested (this is where test software is key)? Just trying to see where you are in your ‘journey’! ;)

I don’t know of a speaker manufacturer that doesn’t recommend tweeters at ear level, fwiw.

The ideal crossover has little to do with where you make your bass mono (some folks use stereo subs). It has everything to do with creating a smooth transition without OVERLAP. If you don’t ALSO use the crossover on the main speakers you risk leaving a bump in the response where they overlap. This is why your crossover has everything to do with the speakers used, not some arbitrary value. The concept is that you want the crossover to be well WITHIN the useful range of the speaker to create the best transition. If for example your sub goes up well above 2-300Hz and your mains go down well below 100Hz this gives you the needed overlap for the crossover to do it’s work. If OTOH, your main speakers drop off at 100Hz and the crossover is set to 80Hz, you have a slight dip/gap because the speakers won’t have enough energy at the crossover to create a smooth transition.
Bottom line: the crossover used for the sub should ALSO be used for the main speakers to better create one continuous response.

Your nearfields should be no closer than what you can touch - if you can touch them from the listening position, they may be too close (or certainly as close as you’d want them I would think).

I probably left something off, it’s a huge subject!
I don't have many positioning choices in this room, so I gotta run with what I've got. (I'm a bit busy with sandpapering the window frames, then painting them, but also placing glass into 2 of them, where one glass was a bit big, so I also had to do some further woodwork ~ 2 days wasted just for that. But it's getting pretty!)
But yeah, the center of the room almost has a natural high pass filter on it.
Luckily, the sitting position sounds clean, while laying on the bed gets pretty boomy and smeared, but at least the sub is there. But that's okay for movies or games, where rumbling is more interesting.

As for speaker angles, it will be tricky, since my distance will be ~80 cm, while the speakers are ~160 cm apart. So now, I think instead of the 30⁰, it will sound right at about 60⁰. I thought of exact angles as a guideline, and then to adjust for my ears.
I can't create a 1 m triangle, there's the 50" 4k TV on VESA wall mount.

The sub was the strongest in odd places: room corners, under the desk, the doorway, the bed's head/pillow area (the opposite side of the room), and above the desk, in my planned sitting area - the latter sounded best. I only could try the sub woofer under the TV, right in front of my chair, cause the sub out jack-RCA cable was pretty short. I hope I can use an extender (it's line level). The woofer is ported on the right side, yet the sub-out is built into the right main speaker, when the woofer is probably expected to be put in a left corner.
I didn't try the 180⁰ switch this time. It really was just a quick test. Some recommend to place the woofer in center area, cause it can sound off otherwise, but I guess those are simpler consumer systems, where the sub woofer takes over way above ~100 Hz.
To be able to test more positions, I will definitely need cable extension.

While I'm impressed with Edifier's speakers (I'm not saying that these 300-400 USD/EUR models will rival those 10x the price), their manuals reveal only very basic things. I don't remember any angle or height. Maybe the recommended ~1 m minimum distance.
It kind of sells them short, when they are far more capable and usable, than "just" for consumption. Though I guess they don't want to overcomplicate things.

Oh, I learned that about crossovers the hard way. It should have been obvious. Yet last summer, when I got the T5 sub and the R1000T4, I considered that the sub covers 39-160 Hz, the small stereo speakers cover 75 to about 17 kHz, so I thought I was good to go. Then I found out, that the woofer only had a LPF, and audio pass-through. I managed to have a tolerable sound, but yeah, it was indeed a bumpy ride. With a crossover, it would have sounded pretty good.
Now, the R2850DB is a much better solution. Once you plug in a jack into the sub out, it automatically activates a crossover. So the 3 way speakers output above 110 Hz, and the sub gets below it. Thus, it's a proper 24 dB/O crossover.
The small R1000T4's will still be great with Reason for multi-channel experiments. I plan to use them as a mono pair of center speakers in 5.1, since they are only 24 W total. I don't want to just waste the other one away, and use 1 center speaker. For rear speakers, and later Atmos, I'd get the R1280T, which are 48 W total.
Unless I'd grab an R2750DB, or another R2850DB pair, though those are overkill for rear speakers. But I hear that 6.5" and 8" woofers (respectively) would do a way better job than 4" mid speakers down to 80 Hz.

Okay, one can definitely write a novel of this topic.

Mikasa23
Posts: 10
Joined: 06 Jul 2023

Post 13 Jun 2024

Since you can't perfectly replicate the recommended setup, try angling the speakers at different degrees and see what sounds best to you. Use your ears and adjust until you find a sweet spot. Wordle Unlimited

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 28 Jun 2024

Mikasa23 wrote:
13 Jun 2024
Since you can't perfectly replicate the recommended setup, try angling the speakers at different degrees and see what sounds best to you. Use your ears and adjust until you find a sweet spot. Wordle Unlimited
I did some testing, and I think, the tweeter and mid speaker will determine the angle and height.
I will do my best to calculate the optimal position precisely. Then I will build a single, but strong triangular wood wall bracket for each speaker. On top of it, I will screw in two pieces that perfectly have to match the planned speaker angle. It should be possible to do, since it will be just 1 fixed object that won't be moved. So it's not like a shelf or a desk, where things aren't balanced.
Of course, I will add 10 kg weights, to test the thing out, first. It's mostly planned out by now.

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