How do you have your audio system set up in your listening room?

It's not easy being an audiophile. Once you finally get that perfect (or near-perfect) pair of speakers, you've got to find a good location for them in your room, along with your other furniture. Did you build your room around your stereo, or do you prefer your stereo to fit into your mixed-use room?

How do you have your audio system set up in your listening room?
I have a dedicated listening room
23% (82 votes)
I changed the layout of my room to favor the audio system
42% (151 votes)
It's a constant struggle between good sound and functional living
33% (118 votes)
An audio system is better heard and not seen
3% (9 votes)
Total votes: 360

Isiah Johnson's picture

My room started out as a music room, but the need to have video was too strong. I had to strike a compromise and build a custom stand that holds the video high above the audio. And yes, I have two systems for sound: one for the video with solid-state equipment, and the music system powered by tubes. Works for me!

Joe Evans's picture

I knocked down a wall between the living/dining room to make a media room. A large direct-view TV on a stand rolls out of the way for serious listening.

Roger Bruneau's picture

I allso treated the room acoustically.

Rich Cousins's picture

My company relocated me, so I took the opportunity to move everything out of the living room into dedicated quarters---a high priority in my home search.

Tip Johnson's picture

I have a 14' x 18' living room with an attached 12' x 12' dining room; of course, the speakers (B&W 801s) see a 14' x 30' room. So the only chair is situated in the archway between the two rooms (rule of fifths), which together form my listening room.

Simon Davis's picture

My living room is solely dedicated to listening to recorded music. Great web page. Congratulations!

Bill Rock's picture

How do you change a house that's 90 years old? You don't!

Otto Fabricius's picture

Room acoustics and the interaction between speakers and their environment ought to have a much higher priority in hi-fi magazines' pages.

Ken Hathaway's picture

It's more of a listening area, as it's part of my L-shaped living room/dining room.'s picture

ALL things bow to the sound that is being reproduced. The cartoon where the guy has all of the furniture on the front lawn as his wife arrives home and he glibly states,"Oh, hi dear, the stereo system arrived today!" makes it for this vote.

Woody Battle's picture

You are wasting your money if you don't optimize your room for your high-end audio system. Without proper setup, most high-end audio sounds as bad or worse than most mass-market gear.

Fernando Lezama's picture

Almost square!

D.F.  Brodeur's picture

My wife is great---she lets me do "almost" anything to achieve great sound.

Mark Fruin's picture

I haven't seen an article on room acoustics in a while.

Sam Natoli's picture

New Construction (the room is loud)---still finishing the room's walls and floors. Also don't have window treatment done yet, drapes, or vertical blinds---can't wait. I still insist on using the room, though . . .

Steven Hendershott's picture

The biggest issue for me is the VERY odd layout of my listening room. Right in the middle of the "living space," the room SHRINKS about 1 1/2 feet on three sides (ceiling and walls, of course). So speaker placement is a bear because of all the odd reflections. And as much as I love the view, large windows on all walls are an audio/visual NIGHTMARE. Oh well, until I win the Lotto, I guess I get to play around! :-)

Robert Holbrook's picture

The stereo system in the living room was an important discussion before my wife and I got engaged seven years ago!

Tom Evans's picture

System is Krell KSA-80, AR SP14, Apogee Stages, EAD transport, and Theta Basic II processor. It is very difficult to get the best overall sound in a smaller (12' x 13') room with this system, but play and enjoy, the music is there!

Vmanuta@aol's picture

Anyone---even an audiophile---who puts an audio system above his main living-room comfort needs to have his head examined.

Stefan Fridefors, Sweden's picture

I have an understanding wife . . . ;-)

Joe Goswami's picture

My basement is my audio room. I am a budget audiophile who is very serious about his music.

Stuart Fenton's picture

Audio equipment, including speakers, doesn't make it as fine furniture. Most of it looks as if it belongs in a laboratory!

PeteZgerman's picture

After finally approaching what seems to be an acceptable sound system, I was faced with just that dilemma: where to put all this crap? Moving items about and rearranging most of the household has not helped either. Unwilling to sacrifice sound through mediocre setup, the house ended up with a 600-sq.-ft. addition. Somebody shoot me!!

Peter Symes's picture

Living room/dining area turned into a dedicated-listening two-channel stereo room. Home theater in the bedroom.

Flemming C.'s picture

The room in which you listen to music is just as important as, say, the right speaker cables!

Joe Kaplan's picture

After years of fighting the TV, wood-burning stove, decorative touches (i.e.,couches, tables, lamps, etc.) my wife (she of the wonderful hearing) and I decided to dedicate the family room to cold air (3-storey lofted ceiling) and hot tunes. The Aerial 10Ts are free to sing to their hearts' content. The Krell KSA-300S is now able to crank out all the watts it can without fear. Vinyl on the Linn LP12 has a new depth and excitement not remembered for so long. I wish we could have done this ages ago, when we put our system together. My listening is much more enjoyable these days, as I no longer have to look through the TV to hear the sound.

Kurt Christie's picture

Two years ago I converted the attic of my home into a dedicated listening room. My wife rarely visits, and I am able to play as much and as loud as I wish! Just as well, since I recently and oh-so-happily aquired a pair of Tannoy Churchill speakers. I now refer to the loft as "heaven"!

Matthew F.  Dunn's picture

I use SoundLab A-1s. It would be a shame to cram them in any old room.

Gary Wiener's picture

My house is too small. When I one day build a house, I'm going to build a family room that is ideal for home theater. For now, everything is crammed into one small room, and I've made the best of a so-so situation.

Geff Ratcheson's picture

I have a very small house & small room (12' x 13'). I have the TV & VCR also running through my high-end system. It sounds fine with video sources, but the TV between the speakers obviously hurts image depth.