some help with speaker placement/purchase


I'm hoping to buy some new speakers. I'm most likely considering stand speakers or possibly compact floor standing speakers ($5-$15k). Without getting into the weeds, I have two possible rooms for listening, and the most likely room has limited/compromised space for speakers: in front of a big bank of windows. I can set them up about 2.5' off the windows/wall but not more than that. 

I've had speakers that need room to breathe (e.g., Magnepan) and I know my room isn't ideal. If I use that room, I'll have to consider some "room treatment" (curtains!) and maybe pull them out, away from the wall/windows, for serious listening. Or I may just use the other room, which would give me more space to work with and no window problems but would be less ideal for a few reasons; or I may decided that, given my space, it's not worth buying high-end speakers at all.

So here's my question. Other than a home audition, is there a good way to know whether a speaker is forgiving about placement? Are certain speaker brands known to be more forgiving about the space behind them? Would one size (stand or floor) be inherently better? And specifically: would a ported speaker in general be worse/better or does it just depend entirely on the speaker/room? (I'm intentionally not naming the speakers I plan to audition--I don't want to go down the speaker-recommendation rabbit hole at the moment--but I can name names if it helps; I'm trying to ask a general question here.)

I would appreciate any thought about purchasing speakers that might end up in front of a bank of windows. As always, thank you to this great forum for all the advice!
northman
Set up on the long axis of the Space and your reward will be Soundstage.
A favorable dimension Ratio is 2:1 LxW. Example 30’ x 15’.
Dutch and Dutch would be an example of a well integrated Loudspeaker.

Check out Virtual System by se7en:  https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/7859
Thank you. I've never heard of Dutch and Dutch. Interesting. I'll do some research!

Let me use the picture in that link as an example as those speakers are backed up to a wall of glass. How compromised are more familiar speakers in that placement (Harbeth, Devore, Joseph Audio, Sonus Faber, Vandersteen)? Are ported speakers worse or better with their backs close to a (glass) wall? Or am I just imagining that speakers like some space around them? (My Maggies did but maybe stand/box speakers aren't as fussy as I thought?)

Glass is extremely reflective ( in terms of coefficient) no absorption also resonant.
A sealed (acoustic suspension) design might integrate easier but the radiation pattern of a speaker is predominant.
I just prefer Sound with Sealed.
You are on the mark about fussy placement with Maggs again pattern.
Your question has more to do with room modes which relate to overall
dimension with parallel an perpendicular surfaces ...
If you’re serious about two channel and have a choice then use the room that lends itself better for that purpose and fully enjoy rather than dealing with and listening to a bunch of limiting compromises. 

Also, you’ve given us nothing to go on regarding what’s important to you in sound reproduction and speaker performance — just some vague room descriptions. Garbage in, garbage out.
@soix et al: I'm trying to ask a simple and direct question. Perhaps it's a question that needs more context but if so, I'd like to understand that, too. I'm here to learn. And I will assume that your comment "garbage in, garbage out" refers not to my post (which is the syntactical referent in your sentence and which would be staggeringly rude!) but to a general principle of acoustic reproduction.

One of the gifts of this forum is also one of the curses: people ask broad questions ("confused and don't know what to do") and then hundreds of answers follow that take up everything from power conditioners and esoteric cables to barometric pressure and astrological predictions. It's FANTASTIC and FUN in all its excess but it can get off track. I intentionally didn't comment on what is important to me in speaker performance or the components in my system or anything else about the room. There are thousands of variable here. Of course everything, including the aesthetics of the speaker design, contribute to the way we experience and hear sound. I'm trying not to ask about ... everything. Instead I'm trying to ask, perhaps naively or inarticulately, a very specific question about whether there's any way to predict how a speaker will perform when placed relatively close to a wall of windows. For example, I'm curious whether a (rear) ported speaker would, in general, be better or worse. There may not be an answer or it may not matter--but I think it's a reasonable question. Or, to take another example: I wouldn't put a ribbon/electrostatic speaker right up against a wall, so ... are there types of speakers that do better close to a wall? And another example: the system that @rego pointed me to has speakers right up against glass doors; are those speakers designed for that kind of placement?

As for whether I'm "serious" about two-channel: I'm talking about spending up to $15,000 on a pair of speakers; I'm on this forum asking questions; I'm researching every element that I can control; I'm going to the Montreal audio show in a month; I've talked directly with half a dozen speaker/component manufacturers and another half dozen stores; I've messaged with a few *terrific* members out here (and if you're reading this, thank you!). Yes, I'm serious. But I'm also serious about the music itself; I'm serious about my marriage; I'm serious about finding the right spot for my listening (which may not be the best spot acoustically); and I'm serious about creating a living space that is inviting to anyone who comes into my house. (Two decades ago I told my wife that no one would notice the Maggies in the living room. Yeah, right.) The other room I mentioned is a possibility but, as I would have hoped was obvious, has enough "limiting compromises" that it is less desirable overall. And even if I do end up using, it, I'm STILL interested in any advice on putting speakers relatively close to a wall/windows.

I'm sorry for this rant! I'm an avid fan of this forum and I'm relying on it as I move forward. This place ROCKS! So, genuinely, thank you to anyone reading this, very much including @soix.

Speakers with controlled directivity tend to be more forgiving of placement (such speakers usually do not give a wide sweet spot). Still, a wall of glass behind the speakers is not going to give a happy result. Perhaps with sufficient absorption and diffusion on the wall behind the listener, it can be made to work. Maybe, also, drapes can be used behind the speakers when listening.

Dutch & Dutch, Janszen, and Kii are some of the brands that make speakers with controlled dispersion. Also, many pro monitors (e.g., Genelec) are made that way, and are designed to work close to the wall. I have a pair of Janszen Valentinas (a/k/a zA2.1), which match your budget and are indeed compact floor-standing speakers, and I like them a lot. They are hybrid electrostatics, but are not dipoles; they are quite neutral and low in distortion.
Agree with rego about sealed design.  A sealed design simply is more often a controlled sound and less interactive with its surroundings.  I'm the guy who always flogs active speakers.  I'm the ATC fan.  Of course there are other sealed active speakers that sound great.
Spatial Audio are Very forgiving of room deficiencies. A brand to check out for sure.

Compromised location. More reason to be mindful that blowing a wad of cash on cool speakers is a bust. 

You will never hear their potential in your room. You might get satisfactory  results with a less expensive speaker and optimizing with room treatment?
@northman, you are asking good questions.
The D&D 8c Loud speakers will work very well in a very difficult placement (that is close to a wall or in the case full length glazing).
The question of 'compromise' is simply that too close does effect how  well the (more typical) Loudspeaker will perform.
And you are right that this is great fun especially with regard to what you want to accomplish.
Throw as many questions as you like my way ... keep working through this until you fully understand what you want to know.
Loudspeaker design is all about compromise in a sense.
I don't think that I can answer the question in one sentence though.

" is there a good way to know whether a speaker is forgiving about placement?"

The Dutch & Dutch example is meant help visualize more than to argue 
for or against a type of gear.
An Active-Powered speaker is a whole different direction from passive.
But it helps illustrate a point.
Could I suggest another visual aid (Real Audiophile)? Youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK1cfLcDA8Y

As someone who makes a couple speakers in your price range, I have a little experience with this.  

Some speakers perform particularly well in open space and because glass is not terribly reflective in terms of sound, it behaves close to open space.  

Raidho is a perfect example of a speaker that will perform well.  They need 2’ minimum from the back wall and 9’ between or the soundstage falls apart.  More space the better.  The X and C ranges should be interesting to you.  

I have two products that would work fine (Nightshade and Blackthorn) which are great and need as much distance as possible from back wall (in my room they are best in front of the window) and other that need the wall to come together (either Bambusa).  Mine are rear potted and shorter ports push more air than longer ports and this creates the need for more space behind them.  


Audio Note speakers are designed to be near to the wall. Not sure about windows, however. You might talk to an Audio Note dealer or email DejaVu for an opinion.