UNDERSTANDING: Getting too close

PS AUDIO / Paul McGowan

One of our readers emailed me asking about proximity to his speakers. It was an interesting question. “As I move around the room I find the sweet spot to be 2 feet in front of my 8 foot separated speakers. Am I too close?”

First, let me say I admire the heck out of anyone who gets off their duffs and moves around the room looking for the sweet spot. This is commendable on a number of levels but mostly because few of us actively hunt for what’s going on. We might move our chair a few inches forward and backward but rarely do we stray too far from the prescribed triangular vector.

What’s happening when he gets too close, of course, is removing the room from the listening experience. Like headphones, getting in the speaker’s direct line of fire will almost always give you results very unlike sitting in the traditional vector.

But, what’s the value in this? Now that he knows what is possible he has a reference. A guideline. A goal. Something to go back to whenever needed to reset expectations. That goes a long way towards success.

Next steps? Now that he’s identified nearfield listening is working for him, time to think about room treatment.

More important is recognizing the benefits of thinking differently.

Stepping outside our comfort zone can have massively beneficial advantages if we’re willing to move away from centerline thinking.

It doesn’t hurt to step outside the lines because you can always hop back into center place.


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