Explained: How to position your speakers for the best listening experience

An enjoyable music listening experience is only as good as the set of headphones or speakers that you’re listening to the music on. Sorry, but those earbuds that came with your phone probably won’t make the cut. The same goes for your laptop, tablet and phone — the built-in speakers won’t give you the best listening experience.

That’s why we have desktop headphones and speakers, such as the Thonet & Vander Laut BT (which we recently reviewed). But even with a great set of speakers, the end result will only sound as good as how they are positioned. That’s what I’m going to talk about today: how to place your speakers for an optimal listening experience, and I’ll be using the Laut BT as my example.



Driver Placement

The drivers (the two desktop speakers) are what deliver the majority of the sound — the highs and mids. It’s important that these sit on top of your desk. If you have a standing desk, you’re going to want these either pointed up at your ears, or at ear level. This is an example we loved in order to get those drivers at the perfect height.

For those of you who won’t be buying a fancy mount, the best way to direct the speakers at your ears is to look at each speaker from where you normally work. Simply make sure the front of the driver is facing you head on.

As for where they go on your desk, well, some might not have too much of a choice. But if you do, be sure to keep them out of corners, in clear line-of-sight, and more than an arm lengths away.

My Thonet & Vander Laut BT set is set up just like I described. I can almost touch the speakers from my chair, they’re aimed right at my ears, and they are in a clear line-of-sight. It doesn’t really matter what angle they are, as long as they’re in front of you — to the sides won’t achieve the best results.

Subwoofer Placement

The subwoofer delivers the deep, boomy, bass sound that rattles the floor. And since it rattles the floor, well, it has to be somewhere on the floor. Unlike the drivers, the placement doesn’t really matter. I like to keep it out of view, also so I don’t bump it against the wall (which can damage the cords, speaking from experience). The reason you can keep the subwoofer out of view is because the sound vibrations travel through objects, not relying on a line of sight to the user. Now, putting the subwoofer inside a carpeted box isn’t a good idea, either. Neither are corners. So, where ever you can find space for it under your desk that’s not crowded into a corner should be just fine.

I have my Thonet & Vander Laut BT subwoofer right behind my storage unit. Sadly, it’s facing a fabric storage cube, but with the bass turned all the way up, I haven’t noticed a difference from before it was there. The placement also offers the perfect spot to drop the cords from the drivers too, as all the cables converge at the subwoofer.

Conclusion

While the placement of speakers is something audiophiles know by heart, it’s something I never thought about until I had a proper set of office speakers. These are just some general guidelines to get the most out of your speakers, but you can play around with the setup and determine what sounds the best for you!

If you’re in need of a new set of speakers, the Laut BT may be a great set for you. You can read our full review on them here, and purchase them exclusively at Sams Club.

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