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Speaker placement when the "recommended ideal" isn't an option?

Zapador

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I'm trying to figure out how I should place my speakers for use at my desk. If I could just try all the options easily I would do that and find what sounds the best, but I can't as that would require different stands, wall mounting and so on to try it all. So I'd love some input on what you think I should go with. Thank you!

The speakers (or near-field monitors if you will) are Dynaudio LYD 8 and on the floor is the Dynaudio 18S subwoofer.

The reason for the question arising is that I use two displays for my computer so they take up a fair bit of space on the desk. This makes placing the speakers at ear level and in an equilateral triangle impossible without the displays ending up between me and the speakers as illustrated here:
placement.PNG


So I've looked into other options that might work, but none are ideal. So this is about finding the best compromise possible given the circumstances.
You can ignore the toe-in on all these examples as that's something I'll have to adjust to find the sweet spot. The desk is about 40 cm from the wall and I'd prefer not having it any further than that as it just wastes floor space.

#1 - Speakers on floor stands with tweeter around ear level. Speakers not tilted. This isn't super far from an equilateral triangle.
stands copy.png


#2 - Speakers on risers on the table (or possibly floor stands) with tweeters around ear level. Speakers not tilted. The triangle looks a bit squished...
table copy.png


#3 - Speakers mounted to the wall or on very tall floor stands. This forms an equilateral triangle but the speakers are tilted 17° down towards the listening position.
wall copy.png
 

DVDdoug

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It's rare to get "perfect" positioning unless you are designing a room/studio from scratch. It's up to you how you want to compromise. I'd probably hang the speakers from above on the wall or put them on a shelf with something to angle them down. ...Some people wouldn't like the "soundstage' coming from above but it wouldn't bother me. The (large) rear speakers in my living room are hanging on the wall above a couch.
 
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Zapador

Zapador

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It's rare to get "perfect" positioning unless you are designing a room/studio from scratch. It's up to you how you want to compromise. I'd probably hang the speakers from above on the wall or put them on a shelf with something to angle them down. ...Some people wouldn't like the "soundstage' coming from above but it wouldn't bother me. The (large) rear speakers in my living room are hanging on the wall above a couch.
Thank you!
I've never really tried having the soundstage above me so I'm not sure how I would feel about it, but I would get a perfect triangle with that method so it's probably worth trying for some time to see how it works out.
 

Takura

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If it is okay to ask, would be interested in hearing how this played out as I am in a somewhat similar situation.
 

Curvature

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It's rare to get "perfect" positioning unless you are designing a room/studio from scratch.
Definitely.

Stereo is very forgiving with good speakers.

I would note that desk-related cancelations when listening close-in are predictable and significant. Easy way to fix them is with a tilt. I would do some combitation of #1 with a tilted pad. There are adjustable ones out there.
 
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Zapador

Zapador

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If it is okay to ask, would be interested in hearing how this played out as I am in a somewhat similar situation.

In the end I gave up on using two monitors, both because I've never really been a fan of dual monitor setups and because it made speaker placement complicated if not impossible. Now just using a single monitor that's less wide than the two and this allowed me to place the speakers optimally.

LYD8_Stand_2024-Feb-18_02-07-11PM-000_CustomizedView32332397068.png
 

GD Fan

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This is a big reason I use only one screen on my desk.

Did you consider arranging the screens top and bottom rather than side by side?
 
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Zapador

Zapador

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This is a big reason I use only one screen on my desk.

Did you consider arranging the screens top and bottom rather than side by side?
Did consider that but wouldn't be very ergonomic, so gave up that idea pretty quickly. Maybe with smaller screens but this is a 27" and 32" so the top of the upper screen would be way up there.
 

GD Fan

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Did consider that but wouldn't be very ergonomic, so gave up that idea pretty quickly. Maybe with smaller screens but this is a 27" and 32" so the top of the upper screen would be way up there.
I hear you. But I've seen far worse on wall street trading desks. I once had a colleague who had an array of nine monitors in a 3x3 orientation. It was absurd and the subject of plenty of gentle ribbing. Honestly it may have simply been a ploy to avoid being seen behind all that simply reading the newspaper!

My preference is also for two side by side.
 
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Zapador

Zapador

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I hear you. But I've seen far worse on wall street trading desks. I once had a colleague who had an array of nine monitors in a 3x3 orientation. It was absurd and the subject of plenty of gentle ribbing. Honestly it may have simply been a ploy to avoid being seen behind all that simply reading the newspaper!

My preference is also for two side by side.
Damn that's some crazy setup with that many monitors! I've tried two monitors several times but I just seem to prefer a single monitor with high resolution.
 

ozzy9832001

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The closer you are to the speakers, the more direct sound you'll hear. Smaller speakers, I'd probably put them on stands and try to get the imaging correct.

You really want the tweeters to be as close to ear level as possible.
 

Takura

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In the end I gave up on using two monitors, both because I've never really been a fan of dual monitor setups and because it made speaker placement complicated if not impossible. Now just using a single monitor that's less wide than the two and this allowed me to place the speakers optimally.
I see - am not a fan of dual monitors either as having the frame between the monitors right in front of me distracts me - my wife is totally fine with that, so I guess it's a personal preference thing.

Still even with a single wide monitor and speakers on both sides with slight toe-in, I feel the speakers are too close and the triangle of speakers and listening position too wide. Not that I move a lot but moving my head for just a few centimeters will shift the stage center to the nearer speaker. Have my flat display standing against the wall, therefore looking now for some speakers with as little depth as possible. But this might not be a solution when using curved displays.


Other than that, I guess I need to find or make a system with head tracking and dynamic control of volume and time alignment? There seems to have been an open source effort but which also seems to have stopped, and the audiophile grade of the BACCH system that includes head tracking in addition to crosstalk cancellation is expensive and would have to be evaluated how it works that up close in a nearfield setting.
 

Takura

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... and thanks for the CG drawing. Sure makes it easier to understand what is being discussed.
 
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Zapador

Zapador

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Still even with a single wide monitor and speakers on both sides with slight toe-in, I feel the speakers are too close and the triangle of speakers and listening position too wide. Not that I move a lot but moving my head for just a few centimeters will shift the stage center to the nearer speaker. Have my flat display standing against the wall, therefore looking now for some speakers with as little depth as possible. But this might not be a solution when using curved displays.
It is definitely tricky to get right unless you're willing to sacrifice everything else for optimal positioning, like putting your desk in the middle of a room or something along those lines.
Moving my head does make quite a significant difference, I believe the only solution to that (apart from what you mention) is to place the speakers a couple of meters behind the desk so when you move your head it moves much less relative to the speaker position. With the speakers so close even a small movement is a relatively large movement and will affect sound. At least when I sit on my couch and listen to speakers that are about 3 meters away I can move my head a fair bit without much if any noticeable effect on the sound but at my desk where the speakers are much closer even a tiny movement makes a noticeable difference.

Hope you manage to find a solution!
 
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