Why are tweeters so high off of the ground in many tower speakers...

...when most peoples ears are much lower when seated??

I've read many times that the tweeter should be at approximately ear level.  Well, I am 6 feet tall, and sitting straight up on my couch my ears are about 40 inches off the floor, lower of course if slouch.  My Artemis - Eos speakers have the tweeters at 45 inches high, so not too bad, but many others that I've seen are 50 inches high and more and I don't understand the designer's thinking.   Is a 10 - 12 inch difference in height acceptable or should the speaker be tilted down, which I think would create a whole new set of issues.
Your speakers have overlapping tweeter/mid response from 2KHz to 8 KHz so ear height will dramatically alter the presentation.

Most speakers with a steep crossover can do +/- 10 degrees from mid point between mid range and tweeter without any audible change - plenty of room if you sit back a reasonable distance.
This is what tilting is for. :)

You can use this to your advantage. Normally (with exceptions!) speakers are designed with the listener on tweeter axis. Some adjustment however is quite pleasant, season to taste. You can do this by either toeing in/out or tilting the speaker back and forth.

There’s no requirement that the tweeters have to point parallel to the floor, so the actual height does not matter.

There are exceptions, I _believe_ the B&W 802s measure / sound much better below and off axis than they do straight ahead, by a lot.

Some speakers are designed with the mid-woofer at ear level.

What’s important is not 100.00000% perfection, but rather, getting an image and tonal balance you personally enjoy listening to as long as possible. Listen and judge what is best for yourself.


Sorry, I can't answer your question,  but I can say the Artemis EOS were one of my favorite speakers I've ever owned.
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Depends on the radiation pattern. One assumes the on axis response of the speaker measures or at least sounds flat when the listener is seated. There are so many room acoustics factors that complicate frequency response of any speaker as to almost make the question mute. Oops, I mean moot. 

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With your loudspeaker at that height the accuton tweeter is off axis pretty much bouncing its energy over a seated listeners head that is sub optimal design. Design appears to be modeled after the old Wilson watt puppy setup and that I have had experience with good for standing listening seated not so much so.
I needed to research your speakers before chiming in.... Well, these have 1st order slopes and the rolloff is very minimal.  Unless you are fairly far away from your speakers,  pointing them downward would slightly increase the frequencies of both drivers around the crossover point. They would most likely sound peaky. 
Normal ear height is 38 to 48 inches,  when I build,  I design for this height. Also,  you want the sensitive frequencies of 800hz through around 3k centered at your ear.  These frequencies on your speakers are all coming from your woofer.  So if your ear height is 40 inches,  I would want the top ring area of my woofer also at 40 inches. Hopefully,  you sit 7 to 8 fit from your speakers and your speakers are around the same distance apart.   So,  I would start by adjusting the height of your speakers so that your woofer ring is 40 inches,  I would then point them in full tow,  meaning that your speakers point directly at your ears... Listen for sound stage imaging and any peaks in frequency.  If anything is not right,  slowly start turning your tow outward,  just an inch or so at a time, until you find the best overall balance.... 
I gave you a couple of ifs,  so if I am off from how far you sit from your speakers and how far your speakers are apart, please let me know and I'll re figure this based upon your listening position.
I hope this helps, 

random tail chasing, marketing and a lack of real engineering skill combined with a lack of enduring principles ?
i always get a crackup out of an 8' tall Diana Krall singing a stinging Case of You like she is standing on 6 cases of vino....

i will say measuring listening position ear height and a few other very important variables is key to a properly setup pair of Vandersteens and yes tilt is important.
Thanks to all for their input.  My question was more general than one that concerns my set-up.

I referenced my speakers as a starting-point for the discussion rather than a plea for help.  But, since many respondents have taken the time to address these speakers let me say thanks and fill in some details.  The speakers and I sit in an equilateral triangle nine feet on each side, and they point directly at my ears.  My room prevents me from going back another foot or two, which I think would be beneficial.  I am very happy with the performance of these speakers in my rig, very rarely do I hear anything better.  I use four monoblock amps: Jolida 211 Fusion tube amps on top, and Wyred For Sound mAmps on the for the bass boxes; crossover is at 70 hz.  

I asked the question because I see so many tower speakers where the tweeter is at the top, not close to average ear level.  Perhaps this is because of the "loudness wars" and crazy emphasis of top and bottom in a lot of pop music today.  My own listening doesn't include this type of music and so I wonder how these speakers would do on classical and jazz and acoustical music in general?  I think that they would need a listening distance of twelve feet or more before the tweeter would cohere to the sound.  Any Revel Salon owners out there care to comment.

A competently designed speaker will use the vertical dispersion characteristics of the tweeter (and upper midrange) drivers to great advantage to provide realistic and natural perceived height of performers and instruments in the soundstage as well as critical tonal impact at an ear height that should be specified and adhered to.

I built a podium for my listening sofa to sit upon to achieve this as it was too low without and I suspect this is an issue in many such situations.

....................... I can say the Artemis EOS were one of my favorite speakers I've ever owned.
I never owned them but I loved them.
Keeping the tweeter away from the floor delays the "floor bounce" effect, improving perceived clarity.

Designers will strive for wide horizontal but limited vertical dispersion. Normal dome tweeters have a conical dispersion field however. They disperse vertically and horizontally equally, which presents a little bit of a challenge.

Revel (and others) will use a waveguide to help shape this dispersion to more of an ideal pattern. The floor and ceiling do not need to hear the speaker after all. :)


The speakers and I sit in an equilateral triangle nine feet on each side, and they point directly at my ears.

A lot of good replies to your post already by some knowledgeable folks, but the reality is there is no etched in stone rule. Dispersal pattern of all drivers, room characteristics and your own ear height in the seated position all matter. That said, and if I'm not mistaken, I do have reason to believe that speakers are best towed at the listener when they are *NOT* aimed *directly* at your ears, but instead *directly behind* your head at ear level. Subtle, but meaningful.

From Stereophile:

"The speaker's balance becomes significantly flatter through the treble for listeners who sit with their ears around 30" from the floor.

Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/artemis-systems-eos-signature-loudspeaker-amp-base-module-measur...

There ya go, kalali. :)

I learned the same info (yet different height of 36") from JA’s measurements of my CS5i’s and it made all the difference when I boosted my sofa to achieve exactly that height.

Actually that is not always true. Depends on the speaker. Multiple high/high-mid frequency drivers for instance. How about the Tekton Lore? You would have to sit on the floor. Best to determine by measurements but short of that listening tests.

Speaking frankly, I'd much rather have the midrange driver at ear level than the tweeter. Especially if I was listening to CDs. 😛


Your CS5is will vary quite a lot in presentation with ear height just like Artemis EOS. I explained in the first post why - it has everything to do with the crossover of non-concentric tweeters and the mid. You get lobbing or cancellation issues when you go above or below the tangential center point between the tweeter and mid range - this changes the sound a lot.

I believe your design is a first order crossover and therefore the lobbing issue will be larger than crossovers with steeper filters.

Here is a discussion. There are pros and cons obviously.

Can't argue with that, shadorne, but I wonder how many of us are overlooking this free/low cost opportunity to achieve better sound quality and instead spending big $$ on fixes that have negative consequences...

I experimented by bringing my couch up five inches to bring my ears to tweeter height.  The result was like I was looking down on the stage from the cheap seats.  Horrible, I quickly went back to my current seating height.  To achieve the thirty inches that Atkinson recommends I would have to sit on a thin pad on the floor and that ain't me.  
But it does make clear that the maxim that tweeters should be at ear-level is far from universal. It is well worth the effort to try different seat heights - yet another room adjustment that makes all of the difference and that so many of us ignore.

The designer of the speaker knows what they are doing. There is not one recipe for the listening height of all the different type of speakers made!
I believe it was none other than Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade who said that the location for best sound was sitting on the floor. Of course you can also argue that many listener positions are right smack dab in the middle of a standing wave. No matter how given speakers measure in an anechoic chamber it’s a whole different story when the speakers are located in a real room. Especially a room that hasn’t undergone extensive room treatment. There's also the sticky issue of speaker placement which, among other mistakes, is almost always too far apart. 

Yes, I realize this is off topic but speaking of couches has anyone tried isolating his couch or other heavy furniture using say, small ceramic cones or any cones for that matter, whatever you have lying around in a drawer somewhere. Shocking, I tell you, shocking! 😧

Tweeters should be at ear level!

that is why.

I’m sorry @don_c55 - That’s not always true.

It’s not just a matter of ear level, but also, angle.

All this should be taken into account by the designer, and hopefully the designer’s intention/recommendations are clearly spelled out in the manual. There are some speakers specifically designed with the mid-woofer at ear level, and the tweeter below it.

This alternate arrangement seems odd to us, but it neatly solves phase/distance issues.

Also, tweeters cover a very narrow band. if we go by which speaker produces the most music, the mid or mid-woofer would be the clear winner.

Of course, having the tweeter at ear level is most common, but keep an open mind as to the designer's intentions.


Late to the discussion here. I took a look at your fine setup. Very nice.

Your room doesn't look like it wouldn't  work, but have you ever tried the Cardas setup?
http://www.cardas.com/room_setup_calculators.php YMMV

Not a wife approved setup, but the possible sonics...!

I recently did mine per calculator, and I'm able to resist a decadent speaker upgrade. Mine are about 5.5' out and 3.5 from the side walls, toed to intersect just behind my ears. 6ft apart(woofer ctr-ctr) and couch about 6-7'. When I do a listening session, I use bass traps and first reflection panels-instant listening room sonics.

My setup is in a living area(13x26) and not a dedicated room.

Oh finally somebody using math to setup a room

next run your curves....
easy to do
Vandertones and an SPL meter

knowing the truth enables the cat to make progress vs chase tail

Related issue. My soundstage is centered slightly below ear level, as is the midpoint between tweeter and mid. I'd like to raise it, so I tilted the speakers back slightly. That seems to make it even lower. Make sense?
Is my brain back projecting the upward facing wave "vectors" to a lower point of origin?
There trying to match where you're ears are. 
  Are your ears bigger then
4  in's long ?  You might have to get stuffing in the sofa.   
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2channel8, I would raise the speakers or lower your chair.  I got that same result when I tried raising my couch five inches.  I will be trying again but only by two inches.