Speakers Placement Horizontaly

Hello everyone,

I lack space in my studio.
Can you place your speakers horizontally with a board at the top?
Does this make sense even in the case of an untreated piece?

For example :

Thanks !

Depends what you use them for. You can place them upside down, back to front, balanced on an egg, or chopped up into little bits and velcro’d to a wall if it makes you happy.
The audiophile answer is, unless your speakers are designed to go sideways, don’t. It will cause all sorts of stereo weirdness and crossover woes. Which may or may not be important to you.
Personally I follow the manufacturers recommendations for placement.


In general, for near field monitors, your tweeters and your head should form a sort of triangular plane. If you’re sitting at your desk and most of your critical listening is done while sitting at your desk, they should be in front of you, at head level, angled and aimed towards your ears. If they are elevated above your head, then they should be pointed downwards toward your ears. I would not have the speakers at chest level, nor would I hang them from elevated corners in the room. Also, in general, your monitors should be set up to fire length wise in the room. Avoid square rooms.

What I saw in the video appears sub-optimal, IMHO.

People have been putting NS10’s sideways for years, so much so that they rebadged them the other way up. Officially your tweeter is supposed to be vertically above the mid range but personally I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Try it out, you’ll get used to it. I actually prefer my NS10’s sideways.


It really doesn´t matter unless you plan on doing critical mixing.

yes, everybody and their mom on the internet will tell you to do the triangle thing and how you “need” to have sound dampening, but guess what:
if you lack space and you can´t do that - you´ll survive.

you´ll lack the ability to do proper stereo imaging - but you can work around that with headphones

you might get weird phasing issues, but you can work around that - with headphones, and by slightly moving your speakers apart until you get the best result possible.

if all you want to do is JAM, then by all means, put your speakers where you have space for them and ignore all this “producer advice” voodoo. most of these tips are worthless anyhow unless you have the right space that has been acoustically treated.

People have been jamming in dirty damp basement cellars through hifi speakers and some of them have managed to become rock’n’roll millionaires anyhow… (probably because nobody ever told them about that damn speaker triangle :stuck_out_tongue: )


The famous yamaha ns10m - probably the most widely used commercial reference monitor for decades stipulates in the manual they should be placed horizontally with the tweeters at ear level.

If you check on YouTube many interviews taking place in a studio environment have them set up this way.

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the setup in the video worries me more because the speakers will be reflecting off the desk and resonating the board and all sorts.

but space is what it is, I don’t suppose many of us have our monitors three feet from the wall behind them, or whatever…

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Rear or front facing ports will matter, but yes, some of us actually do. :+1:

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Thanks for your replies, I show you a picture of my “desktop” I see no other idea to optimize the space…

I see front ports. Front ported monitors pushed close to a wall are generally better than rear ported monitors pushed against the wall. :+1:

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Not much you can do with that setup unfortunately. Far from ideal.
Probably worth getting a desk and getting the speakers further away from your working position

I don´t think you made a mistake. “Monitor” speakers have one big advantage over Hi-Fi, they are more objective/neutral, they do not try to make anything sound “nicer”.

Hi-Fi speakers often have boosts in certain frequency areas to make them sound more “crispy” or “clear” (which is often just a high shelf EQ and a bit of mid boost, basically)

And by listening to your favorite music (by other people) on those monitors, you are training your ears to those speakers.

it´s not as black/white, there is a huge gray area in between “pro studio” and “basement practice space”.

Just try and gradually optimize your space and, if you can afford it, your gear. but don´t think money will solve your problems :wink:


You could tilt back those speakers a bit to make them “aim” a bit more at your head/ears when you´re standing in front of that.

Isolate them from the cupboard itself (through acoustic foam pads or a similar solution, which can also be used to do the “tilt-back”) to reduce faux bass rumble.

Ideally, you would have more space from the wall, but as someone said, those speakers have front ports which is useful.

I´m assuming you have no further space to move back from that wall a little - I am in the same boat, tiny inner city apartment :wink:

Try standing in that spot and clap your hands a few times - do you hear any “slapback” / flutter echoes? if so, you´re gonna have to dampen that wall to get rid of some reflections.

That´s about all I would do in a space like that… it´s a music corner, it´s not trying to be a “pro studio” and I wouldn´t worry much further about that.

and MOST IMPORTANTLY, do NOT, EVER let people tell you that you cannot make music in that. you have great gear that wasn´t cheap, and not even the shittiest speaker placement could ruin that enough.
(and yours isn´t that bad, and real good speakers too!)


Thanks so much, very helpful !

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