Can I Put My Studio Monitors Sideways?
Are you trying to make your studio look aesthetic?
If yes, then you must have thought about this question, “Can I put my studio monitors sideways?”
Well, you certainly can.
But should you?
That's the important question.
Putting studio monitors sideways might look good and unique but it should not be done.
There are many logical and technical reasons for this statement which you might be looking forward to understanding.
If you want to take a picture of your studio, then it is okay to lay them sideways but not in any other case.
Let's find out why you should not put studio monitors sideways!
Reasons Why Studio Monitors Shouldn’t Be Put Sideways
There are many reasons why you should not put studio monitors sideways.
First of all, it is obvious that they are designed a certain way and you shouldn’t oppose the design.
Since they are designed to be put vertically then why put them horizontally?
1. Direction of Studio Monitors
Every studio monitor has a specific direction which tells you how much you can move the studio monitor to either side.
If you exceed the limit, you might experience a shift in the tonal response.
The sound quality and the tone of the studio monitor might change when you put them sideways.
Most studio monitors have low direction which means you can’t put them sideways if you want the best sound quality.
However, there are some studio monitors that are designed to be put sideways.
Such studio monitors work better when you put them sideways.
It is because their directivity factor is high.
Therefore, you must know about the directivity of your studio monitors before you put them sideways or vertically.
2. Sound is not Spread
The dispersion of the high-frequency driver determines what position your studio monitor should be in.
Normally, studio monitors are designed in such a way that they spread the sound better when they are put vertically, whereas some studio monitors are also designed in a way that they spread the sound better horizontally.
3. Sound anomaly
If you put a vertically designed studio monitor on its side, you might experience some sound anomalies.
It is because the sweet spot of the studio monitors become narrower and the sound is thrown more towards the ceiling.
Therefore, it is better to put the studio monitors the way they should be put.
4. Stereo Image Disrupts
When you put your studio monitors on sideways, their stereo image is disrupted.
It is because the woofers and tweeters inside studio monitors are designed in such a way that they are along the same vertical line.
This way, the sound from both of these components reaches the listener at the same time.
But when the studio monitors are put sideways, the sound comes in such a way that you can hear different frequencies of every instrument being played in it.
This results in bad stereo image and it is not ideal for professional music making.
Even if you just want to hear some music, you might experience low sound quality and disruption.
5. Destructive Interference
When your studio monitors are put sideways, the sound from woofers and tweeters reaches at different times to the ears of the listener.
Due to this, destructive interference occurs at the ears of the listener and comb-filtering occurs.
It results in quiet parts in the sound which means you might not hear some parts of the music.
Best Placement Position for Studio Monitors
Now that you know that you should not put your studio monitors sideways unless they are designed for it, you might be wondering about the best placement for them.
For this purpose, you can try different positions and hear music at each position to determine your personal favorite position.
But there are some placement rules that you should follow if you want to experience the best sound quality.
1. Studio Monitors at Ear Level
Your studio monitors should not be above or below your ears.
They should be placed at ear level.
It is because studio monitors are directional and they throw voice directly to the front.
In order to get the best sound quality, keeping them to your ear level is the best placement.
2. Form an Equilateral Triangle
If you form an equilateral triangle with your studio monitors, you will get the best sound quality.
For this, place each studio monitor on either side of you, a little forward with you in the center.
Equilateral triangle means that all three angles are the same.
This results in a good stereo image.
3. Keep Studio Monitors Isolated
It is best if you put them isolated meaning not on a desk or other such thing.
It is because, if you put studio monitors on a desk or other such thing, then resonance occurs and it affects the sound produced.
Some professional studios keep their studio monitors isolated by hanging them in the air with the help of cables.
While it is hard to do that, the least you can do is place them on the floor instead of a desk.
Near and Mid-Field Monitors
It is important to know whether you have mid-field monitors or near-field monitors.
If you have near-field monitors, you must keep them near to your ears.
If you have mid-field monitors, you can place them near to your ears but you can also place them a little far.
Both ways, the sound quality won’t be compromised.
We have come to the conclusion that studio monitors should not be put sideways unless they are designed for that.
You must learn about your studio monitors and place them accordingly.
The best thing to do is to ask the manufacturing company or from the person you buy about their placement.
You can place your studio monitors in different positions to find the best one for you.
Moreover, putting your studio monitors in an equilateral triangle with the tweeters at ear levels and woofers and tweeters along the same vertical line can give you the best sound quality.