Near Field Listneing


Hello all!

Aside from the obvious reason of space constraints, are there any other reasons where near field listening/speakers would be preferred versus how one usually listens to music?  IOW, with all things being equal, what would make a listener wish to have a near field setup versus a “traditional” one?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Arvin
Previewarvincastro
If the drivers will blend, if setup in a near field arrangement, there is a distinct benefit.  All the sound waves that first hit your ears is coming from the speaker transducers.

Therefore, you are greatly reducing any room reflections, the reflected sound waves reach your ears after the sound waves from the speakers and are reduced in dB levels.  It is a great way of "removing" the shortcomings of your acoustic space.  Caveat:  The speaker design most allow the drivers to blend together at a close distance.
Aside from the obvious reason of space constraints, are there any other reasons where near field listening/speakers would be preferred versus how one usually listens to music?  IOW, with all things being equal, what would make a listener wish to have a near field setup versus a “traditional” one?

The answer is staring you right in the face. Look at your avatar. You want it nice and loud? The closer you get, the more blown awayyyyyyyyy!

@teajay 

Ah, got it...I didn’t think about eliminating the room as the primary benefit. Completely makes sense, thanks!

Arvin 
@millercarbon 

Ha...well played, sir!

Arvin
Agree with all points above, but when I tried listening in the near field I lost a sense of openness and space compared to sitting in the far field — guess I was missing some of those room reflections.  I don’t have much by way of room problems, so on balance and in my room I prefer far-field listening, but as always YMMV.  
Years ago, I listened to a near-field setup with MartinLogan e-stats. Since he lived in an apartment, he wanted to keep the volume down - to avoid disturbing the neighbors.

His solution was to have the speakers face each other about 30" apart with his head in-between - like gigantic headphones. It sounded amazing. A 3D space with notes floating all around - an audio version of a 360° planetarium. It worked because e-stats are a line source. The only deficiency was the deep bass. Still, it was very engaging.
Can’t answer your question of why someone would seek a near field setup but can relate my experiences with mine. First off, I have been in the hobby for around 50 years and it seems that due to room restraints I have always had my setup in near field, the system I live with now is an all tube system centered around a pair of Wilson Audio Sophias that are set up in a triangular setup at close to equal distances and there is definitely a sweet spot which is where I sit to listen, with that said I am lucky to have a good friend with the same speakers and equivalent tube gear in a dedicated room that is acoustically tuned and I have to say it is marvelous but when I listen to his system and then go back to mine, I can truthfully say I don’t miss anything and enjoy both systems. I have had the opportunity lately to change my system to a dedicated room and have chose not to because in my mind am getting it all in near field and am at the end of this journey and just want to listen to music without the hassle of trying to set up a room. I realize that I am in the minority on this but am just saying you can get there with near field. Enjoy the music
Dear @arvingcastro : I agree with @teajay  that avoiding room self reflections/resonances always gives us and put us nearer to the MUSIC.

In the other side almost all the recorded MUSIC was made it by recording microphones " seated " at near field position from the MUSIC source and that's what we in theory can listen in our systems.

Every time I need to make an audio item comparisons or test evaluations I listen ate nearfield position and after that I return to my usual far seat position.IMHO the best way to appreciate the true of MUSIC is seated at near field position.

Like it or not room self " sound " always is a problem that any audiophile try to handle in the best way where the room " can't " speak by it self because always contaminates the listening sessions.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
I tried listening in the near field I lost a sense of openness and space compared to sitting in the far field — guess I was missing some of those room reflections. I don’t have much by way of room problems, so on balance and in my room I prefer far-field listening, but as always YMMV.


Right. Its a balance. Near vs far is just the crudest cartoon crayon version. Near field is what I did as a teenager wanting to feel Nilsson Jump Into the Fire nice and loud in my bedroom. Lay on the floor speakers either side of my head like headphones. That’s one extreme.

The more sophisticated understanding is the interactive relationship between speakers, listener, and room is a very fine balancing act with nothing but trade-offs everywhere you look.

What with all the different speakers, rooms, and listeners there are so many variables its silly to even try and list the reasons. There is however one simple solution that works everywhere and always: move them around.

Go and listen. You will see.

Oh, and Nilsson? Sounds better than ever.
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
Hello all!

I truly appreciate all your feedback and knowledge.  The reason I asked this question is that I am in fact a little on the space-constrained side of things...while I wouldn't say I'm close enough to my Thiel CS 3.5'S to be in a near-field setup, I know I'm not as far away from them as I'd like to be.  

I recently experimented with speaker height and position in trying to tame some high-frequency brightness.  Ironically enough, I settled on adjusting my listening height as a happy medium between controlling the highs, while maintaining the resolution and presence I've come to love from my speakers.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

Arvin
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