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silentwf's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: Aug 16 2015 - 7:59pm
Apartment studio and speaker placement troubles

Hello all,

I can't think of a better title so I hope this suffices. I'm new to the world of "audiophile" (God, I hope I don't fall into the endless pit) and got myself a pair of B&W DM302s from a second hand store along with a NAD C356Bee amplifier. I'm not sure if this is the best combination, but I pretty much bought these two on whim so I'm not sure if this is a good combination. However, I did listen to the DM302s with another amp they had at the shop (long story short, I wasn't able to get that amp) and they sounded nice.

However, once I set the speakers at my home, that's when the nightmare began. Due to space constrictions (and practicality reasons), I placed the DM302s on my desk to start with, and they did not sound anything like they were at the store. In fact, they probably sounded worse than $50 computer speakers made by Logit3ch or others. It sounded very hollow (flat) and the bass was boomy. At first I thought it was because they were too low and on the table (a cheap IKEA table which was very light and would create noise as I typed). I then bought concrete blocks to elevate the speakers and they are now on ear level (off by an inch or two). However, the boomy and hollow-ness of these speakers did not go away.

Looking into articles, I realized that the boomy bass was caused by resonance. My room height was 2.45 m, and guess what? The resonance happened at around 140 Hz. Pretty much no matter where I went, the resonance would appear, hence I used an EQ to tone it down by -25 dB, which somewhat fixed theproblem. While I was playing around with the tone generator, and I noticed that frequencies from 75 to 96 and 108 to 124 Hz would disappear. It seems to me that the room acoustics have been wreaking havoc with the speakers. The current set up of my room looks like this (units in centimeters):

I'm the little circle and the dashed lines indicate that they point directly at me. I'm sitting about 10 to 20 cm away from the table (as would any regular computer user). My surroundings are mostly hard material, with only the bed and curtains along the window providing soft materials.

I've attached pictures to make it clearer:

I noticed if I sit one meter or further way from the speakers, they sound nice again, but it's an impractical setup for me. The store owner mentioned that I'm sitting too close to these speakers and that I need to be further away to let these speakers "expand" their sound.

Currently they're giving me ear/head aches (literally, not figuratively) when I listen to them even at moderate levels for even as short as 15 minutes. I'm not sure what to do. Could anyone suggest something?

michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
RoomTuning & TuneLand

Hi silentwf

here's one option

Let me invite you to TuneLand as I could draw you up some solutions, and walk through the process with you. You can go to the link , register, go to and start your thread.

You might find your answers here, and I hope you do, but also wanted you to know if not your more than welcome to become a part of our community.

michael green

rrstesiak's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Mar 22 2015 - 5:38am
A simple answer


I fear the dealer is just absolutely correct...the type of speaker you purchased just ablsutely is tuned and engineered to be listened further away.

To apply technical terms, you are trying to sit in what is called a "near field" about 3 feet or so away from the speakers. One truly needs to try to sit I would say at a minimum of 6' away as measured diagonally from your listening position to each speaker...and the speakers themselves 6' apart, forming a triangle.

If you absolutely cannot afford to consume that kind of space; or if you truly just want to listen to music at its absolute best from your workstation, you will need to replace the speakers with Studio Monitors...they are truly designed for near-field listening.

To re-pphrase, you could also try to re-configure your room to allow the speakers to be 6' away from you when seated at your workstation.

I am not a professional in this fact also a relative beginner...but I have learned alot and believe my recommendations to be accurate.

Any other members can definitely add their observations and feel free to correct any of my statements..but I think I have this solved.



ps. I actually located a review of your speakers from Stereophile..and the reviewer talks about speaker placement for your exact speakers...which echoes what I states above.

Stereophile wrote:

Small wonder
As with most small monitors, placement of the DM302s is everything if you want to make them sparkle. First, you have to compromise between bass extension and midrange clarity. For me, there's no contest—it's midrange clarity every time. I wound up with the speakers about 20" from the wall, about 6' apart, and angled in so that the front baffle was all I saw as I faced them.

bierfeldt's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Ron is spot on

That NAD is a nice compliment to those B&Ws. It is warm where B&W speakers tend to be forward. It is not the amp, it is placement. Their is a whole page on setup in the Stereophile review -

Rigidity of the stand or surface is important and the reviewer even commented on the fact that height off the floor also matters. You are going to need to focus on more optimal placement. Part of this will be trial and error in your room

silentwf's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: Aug 16 2015 - 7:59pm
Hi Ron and Bierfeldt,

Hi Ron and Bierfeldt,
As I suspected, the room placement is very important. Unfortunately I don't have a good way to setup the speakers such that they are in the "optimal" position (as mentioned in the link. Thank you Ron for finding the article!) I might have to return these speakers if this is the case, unfortunately. I definitely enjoyed these speakers when they were being displayed at the shop.

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