Laying floor standing speakers horizontally...

PenguinWithHair

Active Member
Hi everyone,

This may seem a bit of an odd one, and maybe even a bit stupid but, is there any acustic or technical reason for not laying a pair of floor standing speakers horizontally, they wouldn't be on the floor. In terms of my room height positioning, they'd be a little over half way up my room, where my book shelves are at the moment.

Apart from the effects of the speakers not being at their designed height, would doing this affect their performance in any other way?

I know you're probably thinking I'm a bit of a fruity nut nut, and yea - I probably am :)

Regards,

Jim.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Interesting question :smashin:

I've no doubt there are quite a few reasons why you shouldn't do it, mostly based around lobal dispersion, soundstage and imaging etc :boring:
But I'd suggest in the real world, unless you have golden ears, I doubt you'd hear much difference.

The only question I'd be asking myself is should the tweeters be close to each other or opposed? :D
 

Robbie F

Active Member
One technical reason why not is MEDICALLY technical ..... neck ache! :rotfl:
Seriously though, in reality I would think that unless your speakers have been weighted with something which will move when you lay them horizontal you will in reality HEAR very little difference, if any. :smashin:
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The reason it isn't sensible has to do with your ears. Your head has your ears arranged levelly on either side of your head. The brain processes the timing difference between when one ear hears the same sound as the other ear in order to determine the source of the sound horizontally (principle of stereo). By contrast, since your ears are both at the same height, there is no such audio processing in the vertical dimension. You look up when you hear the noise of a plane because you know that planes fly overhead, not because you hear it coming from above - as experiments have amply demonstrated.

Conventional floorstanding dynamic speakers take advantage of this biological fact by arranging the drives in a vertical line. From a perception viewpoint, the sound from each speaker drive is coincident and you brain can use the difference between the two speakers to create the soundstage. If you lay the speakers on the side, you may find that the absence of cohesiveness from within a single speaker confuses your brain's ability to process the sound stage. Or out simply, the soundstage is all wrong. The larger the speaker, the greater the effect. To alleviate this effect, centre speakers, which are usually arranged horizontally so as to fit under a TV have their drives arranged symmetrically over the horizontal axis.

OTOH, you may not notice anything at all - so in the end it's all a case of trying it out.
 
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mattneighbour

Active Member
Theoretically it will make a difference, for the reason that Mark outlines plus because of different dispersion angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. This won't make so much difference on-axis but may narrow a sweet spot or cause colouration due to firing much more sound towards your ceiling.

I came across some PA speakers once where you could unscrew and rotate the tweeter unit depending on whether you were pole-mounting the speaker or using it as a wedge monitor (horizontally). If it matters for a non-hi-fi unit like that...
 

PenguinWithHair

Active Member
Well, thank you for all your thoughts, I do apreciate it.

Curiously enough the speakers I was thinking of would, somewhat mimic the design of many center speakers as the tweeter is inbetween two woofers. Curious...

I remember our old kenwood hi fi, with its four way speakers didn't have its two tweeters directly vertical, I wonder if they considered Mark's point in the design process. I used to love that old girl, even if it was ridicuasly rude boy style.

Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts folks. :)

Jim.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I'm sure your Kenwood did consider the issue. A tweeter is much smaller than a woofer, so other balancing factors enter. Quite a few speakers have the tweeter offset from the centre axis.
 

Jake75

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

This may seem a bit of an odd one, and maybe even a bit stupid but, is there any acustic or technical reason for not laying a pair of floor standing speakers horizontally, they wouldn't be on the floor. In terms of my room height positioning, they'd be a little over half way up my room, where my book shelves are at the moment.

Apart from the effects of the speakers not being at their designed height, would doing this affect their performance in any other way?

I know you're probably thinking I'm a bit of a fruity nut nut, and yea - I probably am :)

Regards,

Jim.
It's a revolution
 

Dolus

Active Member

Mr Andy

Active Member
I seem to remember Floyd Toole had his front speakers upside down. This doesn't have the issue of horizontal instead of vertical alignment of the different drivers but is will affect how the low frequencies behave in the room.

Obviously a coaxial driver configuration won't be affected in the same way but most floor standing speakers with coaxial drivers still have additional bass drivers.
 

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