bookshelf speaker placement [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-14-2004, 01:10 PM
What is the minimum distance from a wall a rear ported bookshelf speaker be? I know playing around with placement makes a big difference but I was considering getting bookshelf speakers and stands but I need to keep them fairly close to the wall for various reasons. Thanks!

02-16-2004, 03:43 PM
My Klipsch (rear ported) advise 2 ft clearance from the back wall, as do most front ported speakers......ironically, Klipsch new speakers are front ported and use the fact as a sales ploy...Monitor Audio and others were front ported and now have rear who do you believe?...I have mine 6" from the back wall and they sound fine but, you are right...why the hell do they call them bookshelf speakers and recommend placement which would obviously preclude placement in a shelf unit? Like most people, I really dont want speaker floated on stands in the middle of the room....guess you have to find an honest salesman to opine as to whether a give pair will sound impaired if shelf mounted close to a wall or shelf back....

02-16-2004, 03:45 PM
Meant to say most mfgs recommend 2 ft clearance for "rear" ported speakers from back wall.

02-16-2004, 04:25 PM
You'll get better imaging and speakers will "disappear" more when they are placed in free-space. The depth of soundstage will also be deeper. Conversely, you can coax better bass out of standmounts by placing them closer to the walls and corners simply by utilizing room modes and corner reinforcement. Polk Audio uses a "Powerport" that is essentially a cone with the point towards the opening of the port that supossedly is conducive to clean airflow and negate "chuffing" at high volume levels.
A nice benefit on their standmounts is that you can mount them directly against the wall (in fact using the powerport as a brace) without worrying about chuffing or seriously affecting bass performance. If placement is a problem, I'd definitely check into their speakers.

B&W supplies foam bungs for their flowports for tight spaces. The upside is no chuffing or other weirdness from the mounting locations because in effect, you have an acoustic suspension speaker instead of a reflex loaded one. The downside is limited bass response and possibly more of a challenge for your amp to drive. The level of compromises are up to you to determine.

Good luck

02-17-2004, 12:44 AM
realistically speaking..1-2 ft from the rear wall....2 ft away from the side walls to avoid early side wall reflections.


02-17-2004, 06:36 AM
topspeed gave you some good advise, i use Polk RT15i's which have the powerport system because i wanted the speakers mounted onto my rear wall for surrounds. I love the sound they produce and my crossover is set at 80hz, which is impressive considering the size of the speakers. They have many new lines so check out their site and give'em a test run at circuit city.