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

David Brown's picture

I don't own a big enough apartment to allow for a dedicated listening room. When I can afford to design my own home, then I will definitely have an "audio only" room. But the main TV/living room will always have some sort of audio system. The system will NEVER be a "rack" system. Probably a good integrated amp, a CD player, and good home-theater speakers.

N.  Diemer's picture

I just finished changing my whole bedroom around to allow for a better "sweet spot" . . . to gales of laughter from my housemates! The room isn't quite as user-friendly anymore, but it sounds much better!

Adam Kaplan's picture

The four choices need not be mutually exclusive. I have a dedicated listening room, but my hardware and software, except for the speakers, are discreetly kept behind closed doors.

Michael Burke's picture

I built the room so I would have a place to listen to music---was somewhat constrained because the room was originaly a 20' by 22' attached garage. However, when converting it I was able to reinforce walls and make the ceiling 9' high. The floor is built up on 2x8s in sections, deadened with insulation so that it is very solid and quiet. The arrangement of the room is for the best sound first and aesthetics second. I have a very understanding wife, thank God! She thinks it's a family room, but I know it's a listening room.

Don Howden, Edmonton's picture

Ideally, the room should fit the sound. But this is rarely realistic. Most often, the sound must fir the room. It would be far more helpful if high-end retailers acknowledged this fact and made home comparisons more the norm, upon request.

Stephen Resar's picture

I'm heading toward a listening-room-only situation. The WAC is starting to kill me.

Michael J.  Rodriguez's picture

Of course, it helps to have an understanding spouse!

Lee Hirsch's picture

I listen to music to augment my lifestyle. I also demand the highest level of performance. After trying to get the right balance between sound and lifestyle for the last 3 years, I am now renovating my living room. I am lucky that I am in a position to do so. If I were not, my answer may have been different.

Tim Fossett's picture

Wait 'til the next house!

Perry McCoy's picture

I am still building my room around my audio system. (Not too fast, however, because my wife likes to watch a little television.)

Wayne Himelsein's picture

There is no end to the lengths I would go in order to achieve the best sound out of my system.

Harvey Nyien's picture

One day I hope to have a dedicated listening room, maybe when all the kids have left the house.

Phil Prather's picture

I moved the TV to get it out from between the speakers, hung a large rug on the wall behind the speakers, and have recently added some very simple treatments (eggshell foam rubber) at reflection points to the walls. All of these changes have made noticeable effects, particularly the wall treatments. In terms of layout, moving the TV to the side instead of to the front enhanced resolution quite a bit, and looks a lot better too.

Fred Brown's picture

Good sound is most important. Food for the soul, you know. Wife agrees.

TYC's picture

I have a mid-fi system in a very small dedicated listening room. I find the sound much more satisfying than the sound in my (L-shaped) living-room system. I would go so far as to say that a small dedicated listening room with small monitors will sound more musically satisfying than a larger system in an "unoptimized" large living room.

Julian Price's picture

I added a room to my home for my system. The room is furnished as a living room/music room. Contains grand piano, several sofas, chairs, 14' ceiling. Components are housed on shelving built into walls---around 7500 LPs also in wall, and several hundred CDs. My system is Genesis 200 speakers, Levinson & Theta electonics. Wiring through conduit in floor. Room looks good and sounds good. High wife acceptance factor.

Michael T.  Klewin's picture

The functionality of my living room is sacrificed to optimize my audio system.

Andrew Clark's picture

In my dorm room, it was either the couch or the stereo---and the couch had to go.

Roland Levesque's picture

It will always be a struggle for my ever-tolerant wife.

Jeffrey Teuber's picture

The NXT flat-panel speaker is a step in the right direction if the sound quality is high. I'm tired of monster audio systems, crazy cable arrangements, expensive voodoo tweaks, and all the other stuff dominating the living area. Good sound and good living should go together.

Kostas Papanikolaou's picture

Plus, it's a constant struggle between good sound and loving wife!

Jim Voos's picture

I have a room that serves for dedicated movie watching and audio listening. Speakers sit out in the middle of the room.

Michael Demeyer's picture

My builder thought I was crazy!

Joe Cheng's picture

Try being an audiophile and living in an MIT fraternity house with three roommates in a small room!!

Dr.  Lars Bo Henriksen's picture

The architect was told to consider the importance of sound.

Rusk Reeder's picture

I live in an apartment. What else can I do? Ideally, one would hire an acoustic consultant when they built their house, but I seriously doubt that most people have the money, time, or motivation to do that.

Jan S.  Andersson's picture

I wish I could convince my fiancee that good sound is more important then a great layout of the room. Unfortunately, she still thinks that we have to use the room as a living room. :-)

Jay C.  Thomas's picture

For God's sake, can't anyone design a decent pair of moderately priced (below $1000) speakers that sound good (imaging, bass) when used closer than 3' from the rear wall?! I find it hard to believe that, with all of this computer-modeling technology around, no one has done it---or, if has been done, reveiwed it! Thanks for letting me vent.

David Beam's picture

I have a dedicated listening room with acoustic treatments and a single easy-chair centered in the "sweet spot." However, I've found the room to be inconvenient for all but the most serious listening sessions. Therefore, I have another system in the family room that actually gets used more often than my high-end setup. It's a shame to not be able to use the main system all the time. I've thought seriously about moving it to the family room. It's something to think about if you are planning a music room.

Peter Facas's picture

When moving into a new room, first the audio is installed and optimized, then other furnishings are installed. These are placed to miminally affect the sound field, and are rejected if an adequate sound field cannot be accomplished. This, of course, can occasionally lead to spousal objection, which may require application of the above principles to your spouse.