Larson designs speakers meant to go right up against the wall.
23 responses Add your response
Any floor-standing or bookshelf speaker is designed to set out in a room regardless of whether it’s sealed, or with a port on the front or back of the cabinet - that’s how they’re voiced when built. Speakers that can truly go against a wall or in the wall are voiced specifically to do that. Unfortunately, there aren’t many audiophile options in that category for that purpose.
If you have the ability to go against the wall without the speakers being seen, or particularly if you can go in-wall, then I would recommend looking at Paradigm’s Elite LCR 7’s which are designed to go in-wall. However, you can take the bezel off that goes around the cabinet that holds the magnetized grill cover on and you end up with a very plain box that can stand or lay in a cabinet or against the wall. They are, however, designed to be placed up in a wall or cabinet and not stood on the floor. These are the in-wall version of Paradigm’s Prestige 95F’s.
Please go to paradigm.com with this link after it to take you directly to the model if interested /en/in-wall-speakers/ci-elite-e7-lcr
Thanks for your time and good luck in your search.
Some speakers are designed for using against the wall. Wilson Duettes for example, though somewhat over budget. Audio Note UK make a range intended for boundary use based on old Snell designs and very amp friendly, the afore mentioned Larsens, the original Linn Isobariks, Saras and Kans, nearly any Naim speaker before the Ovators (I have NBLs 5.5cm from the wall behind them) and there must be others out there. Some of these need a solid wall rather than plasterboard but you don’t have to give up scale and depth with all of these. Positioning is still important to get the best from them but that position will be near a wall.
The ports have nothing to do with it, other than contolling volume and efficiency. The bass wavelengths are longer than your room.
I would advise moving your subs around until you get a balanced bass response with the least room resonance. You should get good results with two subs (it can be done with one, but you will limit your listening positions).
I had the Wilson Audio Duette 2's and they had to go against the wall. They were outstanding. Sometimes, you can get a great deal on used but maybe still above your budget. Raven Audio has just launched a new speaker line that you might want to investigate. Celest Towers for under $5k. Call James or Dave at Raven.
You can certainly design a speaker that goes against a wall, and you can certainly market a speaker as "placement friendly", but physics is physics, and the longer wavelengths are just going to interact with the room and create resonance problems no matter where you place your speakers (actually, all frequencies do this but the problems are less apparent at higher frequencies). Where you place the speakers, and where the resulting resonance nodes occur as a result, is the easiest way to tame those resonances. A 100hz signal wave will be about 3.5 meters long. Do your own math, but if moving your speakers around is not an option, then you will need to use room treatments or DSP.
A problem with placing speakers against a reflective surface is that timing and spatial cues are harder for the brain to decipher, and the amplitude of the reflected sound can be louder and more focused because of the shorter path it has to the ears. Putting speakers in the middle of a room allows a longer interval before the reflected sound from the speaker reached your ears, and the reflected sound will be lower in amplitude. This gives your ears a better chance to process the direct sound before the reflected sound reaches your ears and muddles things up (mostly true for higher frequencies). Lower frequencies (under 100hz, but it depends on room size) will tend to activate the whole room and will have less directivity, but the presence of resonance nodes where waves intersect and voids from comb filtering will be more obvious.
I have 2 inch acoustic broad band treatments behind speakers with 2 inch extender brackets pushing them out further from the wall. Is this typically a best (placement / product) practice for treatments? I also have one in the right corner with corner brackets. The left side does not have a corner or wall. I also have one inch treatments on the back wall but wonder if diffusers would be better here?
As mentioned the Vortex by Von Schweikert are designed for that.
The older NHT 2.5, 2.9, and 3.3 (which is a damn fine speaker) are also designed to be up against a wall.
If you can find some 3.3's... you could do a lot worse. Absolutely zero issues because of the wall coupling. They are designed for that.
There is someone out there that makes foam strips also for the fronts.