Speaker distance perfection

I read somewhere on here how some people were using a laser ruler to make sure speakers were distance aligned.

Well, I just got around to doing that and… Yet another thing I should have done sooner.

$40 Bosch laser distance ruler later and now I’ve got sounds popping out of my sound stage I hadn’t heard before – at least from where they’re coming from now.

Someone needs to put together a top 50 things you must do when setting up your system.


A few starters on a few things you must do.

  1. Measure the distance between your speakers, the speakers to the wall and the speakers to the listening position with a metal tape measure. Mine is accurate to 1mm and 5m long. If you don’t have a tape measure, which is difficult to believe, you can get one from Amazon for $10.

  2. Install a Cat 6a wire from your modem to your hifi location, or preferably three. For variety, I have Cat 5, Cat 6a and fibre optic. You will never have connectivity issues again.

  3. Invest a few $ in sorbothane sheet/hemispheres and door bumpers. They tend to sort out most levelling and damping issues.

  4. Get a system that your family can operate, preferably that turns itself on and off and has a good app on both iOS and Android. They will never complain again. In my house it has been transformative.

  5. Remember that cable supports are optional.

  6. Live within your means. If your audio choices affect other aspects of your life, don’t do it.

Budget for the whole system, don’t blow it all on an expensive piece of kit on the prospect of winning the lottery to get equivalent goodies.

  1. Don’t get jealous of other people’s stuff. Enjoy what you have, don’t worry about what you might want or, worse, desire.

  2. Remember that good engineers and designers make things that work perfectly well as they come out the box. If you think you can improve it, you are either a genius or will likely make it worse. Remember that the little label that says “if this seal is broken, your warranty is invalid” is not put there for decoration.


Not a list - a book full of such things: “Get Better Sound”, by Jim Smith. This book and my Bosch distance laser measuring device are two of the biggest “bang for the buck” investments in my system I have made so far.


It’s okay Vee…glad you found out about distance aligning
your speakers…it makes a huge difference…toe in toward your listening position and even tilting back a degree or 2 away from you
accomplish amazing things…The great thing about this is
it is free…except of course your laser distance ruler…

Over the years I have played with various speaker positions until
I found a “sweet spot” where my speakers currently reside…

Happy tweaking and fiddling around with your gear…

Don’t forget that your ears are the best discerner of what you
like the most!!

I was aligning by measuring from the back wall with a tape rule, but with the laser ruler, I was aligning from the listening position. Turns out I was off by about an inch… which revealed that the room isn’t perfectly lined up.

@scotte1 Thanks for the suggestion.

How did you address your dilemma:

Keep the speakers equidistant from your ears or the front wall?


Another great setup trick is to use a compass app on your phone to get the speaker toe dialed in relative to the heading of the wall behind the speakers.

1 Like

From my ears.

1 Like

Agreed. (1) Get “Get Better Sound” (2) get a laser measuring device (3) get a tile laser to help you align your speakers. I use the tile laser for getting the speakers properly oriented towards the chair so you have the same amount of toe in. https://www.engineersupply.com/Bosch-Laser-Level-Square-GTL2.aspx?VariantId=4a7ea3d0-8447-449b-93d5-c905eeacc364&gclid=CjwKCAjwzIH7BRAbEiwAoDxxTv0xXi00UxthcRM8LGQdmmDB6lZ5VSuDBohPGErX9m5dyLkD6A3_WxoCyJgQAvD_BwE

@minnesotafats How do you use the tile laser to align the speakers? Thanks.


Ooh, love the tile laser application/idea…

Thanks for chiming in.


1 Like

If you want to spend money on gadgets, try one of these. At least it does something useful. It gives me great pleasure of ownership.

1 Like

If I still had a turntable, I’d have one.

How about a gadget for digital audio? :smile:

You align one laser perpendicular to the front of the speaker and the other laser will then be pointing in the direction the drivers are firing forward. With box speakers you put it on top of the speaker. With planars it gives you the orientation of the wave form. I liked my tweeters on my Maggie’s pointing on my outside shoulder.

1 Like


Don’t focus too much on ‘perfect’ distance unless your space is acoustically perfectly symmetrical. Highly unlikely.

Try the speaker nearest to the wall boundary slightly further forward and toed in just a touch more than the speaker that has more distance.

Openings in the listening space will also alter this equation. Experiment. Then use the laser distance measure to know where they go in case they get moved or you want to try something else.


There’s a neat app for iPhones called SpeakerAngle that lets you measure toe-in.


Works OK if you are dealing with a “box” enclosure where it’s possible to align your iPhone on the top of a flat, more or less squared-off cabinet. Less useful with curvy cabinets and planars, obviously. But it’s only $0.99, so not much at risk to try it.

I have used both a metal measuring tape and a Bosch laser measure to get the speakers positioned just right. For toe-in, I do that by eye. I line myself up at a point just behind the listening position and move left and right until I am perfectly aligned with the aim of the tweeter, and note where that hits in relation to the sweet spot. I then do the same with the other speaker so that their aim is the same left-right distance away from the sweet spot (my speakers have partial toe-in but not full toe-in). It is something how small changes can have a HUGE effect on the sound.


Hey Vee…
If you haven’t already…what size room is your listening room
and which speakers are you using…might shed some light…

Fun journey isn’t it ?

Rega tonearms are amazing value for money, but their low height allows only for only a few tracking force gauges. I could not use mine (not a Rega gauge), so I went back to my old manual scale from Sure.

1 Like