Lateral Listening

I’m designing a listening studio and debating the age old question “love seat versus single listening seat” and wanted to understand about the size of the sweet spot and how critical it is to have exact lateral symmetry for imaging. When I run the REW simulations there is little change (frequency magnitude) for 1-2ft lateral shift; however, I’m sure the musical content (imaging) will be affected. I just want to get an idea of how much before I take the plunge and argue the set-up with spouse.

Speaker distance apart, fore/aft positioning and varying toe-in can make this far less of an issue than I used to believe. Don’t be afraid of asymmetrical layouts. Many that believe they have symmetry would likely be surprised by the measurements that show they do not. Visual symmetry does not necessarily equal acoustic symmetry. Measurements help one get close with imaging, but your ear/brain is uniquely qualified to fine tune. Don’t argue with the wife, you’ll lose, but if it’s a listening studio, why is her input relevant? (rhetorical)

Brett66 - Thanks for your input and a good question. I’d like to share the experience and would rather understand the trade offs and 3D sweet spot before I just say: “my room, go away”. That is the easiest way to solve the problem. She is not adverse to me having one peice of furniture; however, I don’t want to have another peice of furniture dragged in when I wan to share music and educate her in how to understand the nuance of 2 channel music.

I’d say, don’t make it a solitary experience thing, but know that any place other than the “sweet spot”, is compromised. Jim Smith (“Get Better Sound”) has written for Copper and has plenty to say about it. It’s more than frequency response.

Christophervalle - Thanks and yes trying to be a good husband. In the end I will be adding all the components, room treatments… then sit in a chair at exact mathematical sweet spot and listen. I will then move the chair around and find the acoustic sweet spot, then open the lateral movement and run a pseudo sensitivity analysis using my ears… as an engineer, this seems to be the most logical progression to having that good/bad conversation with my wife. She is extremely supportive and just wants me to be happy. However, I would like to share this experience… just saying…