How Far Apart Should Bookshelf Speakers Be – Beginner’s Guide

Getting the most out of your bookshelf speakers involves more than just having the best speakers in town. Even with great speakers, the way you place them in your living room or bedroom affects the sound output you’ll get from them.

Most people don’t know how to place their bookshelf speakers for the best experience. As a result, they get mediocre audio performance.

bookshelf speakers
Photo by Shakti Rajpurohit on Unsplash

This guide on how far apart should bookshelf speakers be has everything you need so you get the best audio output at home. In addition, you can apply them to any other speaker as well.

Follow this quick guide below to get started in 7 easy steps.

In This Guide:

  • Things to consider when setting up your bookshelf speakers
  • How far apart should bookshelf speakers be?
  • How to position your bookshelf speakers for the best sound output

Let’s take an in-depth look at these factors one after the other. In addition, you’ll see how they affect sound output.

Things to Consider When Setting up Your Bookshelf Speakers

pair of a bookshelf speakers setup without surplus space
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

You cannot talk of how far apart should bookshelf speakers be without considering certain things. Setting up your bookshelf speakers can be tricky. Also, without surplus space, you may get poor speaker performance.

As a result, check the following factors if you want the best audio out of your speakers.

●     Bookshelf Speaker Specs

Firstly, you must consider the specs when choosing a speaker, like the bass output, treble frequency, and sound volume. Check the reviews and see what people say about the speaker if you’re shopping online.

●     Size of Your Room and Space Available

Secondly, check how much space you have to spare. If you have a large living room or bedroom, you can place these bookshelf speakers anywhere. Since space isn’t a problem, answering the question “how far apart should bookshelf speakers be?” is not a big deal.

On the other hand, if there is little free space, you’d want to get the best sound output within the limits you can manage.

●     Room Setup and Arrangement

Thirdly, your room setup is another factor you should consider when setting up your bookshelf speakers. To get the best sound output, you should check the stuff in your room. The more things in your room, the more sound is reflected, which dampens the audio produced.

In addition, these objects affect what you hear from your speakers, and you may not get the best sound out of your bookshelf speakers.

●     The Angle Between the Bookshelf Speakers

The speakers’ angle also affects the sound output. If the angle is large, the sound will overlap less and give poor quality. Likewise, if there’s a slight angle between the two bookshelf speakers, the sound overlaps a lot and becomes muffled. This way, you may get more noise than music.

If you want the best out of your bookshelf speakers, you have to find a sweet spot between a wide angle and a slight angle. You’ll see how to get the best positioning below.

●     Distance Between the Speakers and Yourself

Finally, this is a significant factor affecting how good your sound is. Sound energy loses its quality as it travels through the air. Therefore, the farther the speakers are from yourself, the lower the sound quality you’ll get.

Ideally, the distance between your speakers and you should be minimal – but not too close, so the sounds from the two bookshelf speakers overlap a bit.

Now, you’ve seen what to watch out for when placing these speakers in your living room or bedroom. So, let’s go back to the original question – how far apart should bookshelf speakers be – in the next section.

How Far Apart Should Bookshelf Speakers Be?

bookshelf speakers placed 4 feet apart
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

The answer depends on the amount of space you have available. If space is not a problem, a distance of 4 feet between them gives the best audio output for most bookshelf speakers.

Therefore, bookshelf speakers should have a distance of 3 – 4 feet between them. If there’s enough space, make it 4 feet. On the other hand, if you’re tight on free room, the least distance you should be looking at is 3 feet.

However, getting the most outstanding value from your speakers requires some extra effort. There’s more involved than just giving them some space in between. The angle between the bookshelf speakers, their height, proximity to walls, and placement all come into play.

You’ll see how to use all these factors and get the best from your bookshelf speakers. When all these variables are combined, you’ll know just how far apart should bookshelf speakers be.

7 Steps to Position Your Bookshelf Speakers for the Best Sound Output

Black bookshelf speakers on a brown wooden console table
Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Here are the top 7 things you should consider when placing your bookshelf speakers. This way, you get the best music and multimedia output – even if you’re using a budget speaker. As stated earlier, buying premium bookshelf speakers doesn’t necessarily mean great audio.

1.   Bookshelf Speaker Placement

First, you have to choose where you sit while watching TV or listening to music. Next, place the bookshelf speakers so that they form a triangle. Make sure that the speakers are the same distance from you. Also, these lines should intersect at your sitting position; that is, you sit at the triangle’s tip.

2.   Distance Between Bookshelf Speakers

Second to speaker placement, the distance between the right and left speakers determines how well you’ll hear the sound from them. A length of 4 feet is the recommended maximum. Though, you can use 3 feet or 3.5 feet if you’re short on space.

3.   Speaker Height

You should also ensure the bookshelf speakers’ tweeters are at your ear level for the most immersive sounds. They are responsible for producing high-frequency treble sounds, and missing this step will reduce the sound quality.

Therefore, don’t forget about elevating the speakers, so the tweeters are about the level of your ears when sitting down.

4.   Distance From Walls

Echos and sound reflections dampen the audio quality. As a result, make sure your speakers are 2 – 3 feet away from the nearest walls. This way, echoes or reflections that may reduce the sound quality will be removed.

5.   The Angle Between the Speakers

You cannot talk about how far apart should bookshelf speakers be without considering the angle between the speakers.

The angle between the right and left speakers affects what sound reaches you. Face the speakers towards themselves, so you get the angle between 10 and 2 on the clock.

This moderate angle creates an overlap that blends both speakers’ music for better results.

For fantastic sound over a small area – for example, when listening to music alone – decrease the angle between the speakers. If you want greater sound volume over a wide area or need the sound to fill the room, increase the angle between the right and left speakers.

6.   Room Arrangement

Remove any object that stands in the way between your speaker and yourself. The fewer things blocking the speaker or present around it, the lower the sound reflection. As a result, you’ll have a greater audio output.

7.   Firm Support

Make sure these bookshelf speakers are on a secure platform. Do not use unstable surfaces as they tend to vibrate and ruin your audio experience. Moreover, unsteady surfaces may cause the speaker to fall and get damaged.

Wrapping Up

You’ve seen that many other things matter when it comes to how far apart should bookshelf speakers be. Each factor helps improve sound output and quality, and you should consider each point carefully.

Therefore, use this guide in rearranging your living room or bedroom. Finally, place your bookshelf speakers in the best way, so you get the highest audio quality possible. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to