Studio Speakers: Why I always match speaker volumes by ear - AcousticsInsider.com

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Every once in a while when you're setting up speakers in a new room, you find that the phantom center ends up just that slight bit shifted to the side.

It's not crazy strong, but definitely noticeable.

And that even though you spent a not insignificant amount of time making sure the speakers are as symmetrically set up in the room as possible.

You made sure the distance to each individual speaker from your listening position is the same, so it can't be that one speaker is simply closer to you.

And they are set to the same volume, so the shift can't be down to a volume miss match either.

Of course there is that slight asymmetry in the construction of the room around the speakers.

Maybe there's a door on one side, that isn't on the other. Or a window.

Maybe there's an odd corner to your right because of a load-carrying beam in the wall.

Could that be the cause of this image shift that you are hearing?

Well, in fact it is true that if you do everything else right re: speaker setup, you can still get an image shift in your stereo image, even due to very slight asymmetries in the room.

Actually what that means is that you did everything correct up to this point, and what you are now experiencing is purely down to the room being suboptimal, which is largely out of your control (unless you plan reconstruction).

So well done! This is not down to you making a mistake!

But now what?

How do you make sure the middle ends up back, well, in the middle?

That's what I want to show you today.

In the end, the best way to deal with this at this point is to simply match the speaker volumes by ear.

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