Near field listening - Pro's and Con's ?

M

MJ.

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I am very happy with how my system sounds at the moment but sometimes feel that maybe I am losing out on something because my room is very small and I am always listening in a near field configuration. My speakers to listening chair are in a 6 foot'ish equilateral triangle layout.

So, as a generalisation would you say that near field is a more accurate or less accurate method of listening to music ?

I realise that it is very kit dependant but assuming you have put together an appropriate, capable system, near field listening, better or worse ?

 

Fatmarley

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  1. No
The crossover is supposed to be designed with less BSC (Baffle step correction) for near-field listening. So a speaker designed for far-field listening, used near-field, could sound a bit bass heavy. 6ft is still a reasonable distance from the speakers, so not sure it applies to your situation.

Saying all that, i've used Epos ES11s very near-field and thought they were brilliant. Far, far better than when used far-field.

 
M

MJ.

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Thanks for the info Matt.

Nice to know that I am probably more mid than near - field :)

 

themadlatvian

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Because of space, one of my systems is in a similar configuration to your own. I think the sound is great - the world's biggest headphones!

:^

 
M

MJ.

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Because of space, one of my systems is in a similar configuration to your own. I think the sound is great - the world's biggest headphones! :^
:^

 

gjm

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  1. Yes
Near field should give all the detail at lower volume. I've not found it to present a concert-type sound very well, though. For that you need more space.

 
M

MJ.

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Near field should give all the detail at lower volume. I've not found it to present a concert-type sound very well, though. For that you need more space.
Isn't the detail at lower volume thing more a function of sensitivity of the speakers : amp power ?

 

Fatmarley

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Isn't the detail at lower volume thing more a function of sensitivity of the speakers : amp power ?
I'd say it's at least partly due to a more direct sound because of the lack of reflections. When you measure speakers for crossover design, the nearer you are to the speaker, the less problems you get with reflections because the direct sound is a lot louder than the reflected sound.

 

Purite Audio

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Also sitting close to the speakers removes the issue of first reflection as almost all the sound you hear will be direct.

Keith.

 

Gromit

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Good point by ^Keith^ :)

Mike - my gear probably isn't quite what one would call near-field, but I do like the kind of representation if gives. I've always been very much of the 'in the band' or 'front row' type of listener as my big thing is preservation of dynamics. Cons? Can't really think of any tbh. :)

 
V

Voice_Coil

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this is why i sit with mine across the room, rather than firing down :)

near field ftw. :run:

 

Purite Audio

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Looks like I must be on a few peoples ignore list :)
Sorry FM, I just didn't read the whole thread!

Reflected sound from the side walls can add to the 'ambience' of the recording, but generally the room will play less of a part if you sit closer.

Kr Keith.

 

Diapason

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Agreed with all this, although it depends on the speaker too. Sitting close to "big" speakers with physically widely-spaced drivers doesn't really work for me. Sitting close to Avant Garde horns, for example, doesn't let the sound gel at all to my ears.

 

Pete the Feet

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Ive found near field is easier to get good quality sound. In the last house in particular it sounded better near field and sounded better cranked up from the kitchen. The same system sounded terrible all round in the new house.

In the last house I tried some AR floor standers which had too much bass but would have probably worked in the current house.

 
M

MJ.

Guest
Thanks guys.

I am now feeling a WHOLE lot better about my near / mid field listening position.

My speakers aren't toed in at all, so I imagine there are still some first order reflections, although they are probably behind me as opposed to 'in my face' as it were.

 

Purite Audio

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If you place a mirror on the wall so that you can see the speakers drivers, then that is the point of first reflection.

You will get floor and ceiling bounce too of course same principle.

Keith.

 

Hifimad1

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I am very happy with how my system sounds at the moment but sometimes feel that maybe I am losing out on something because my room is very small and I am always listening in a near field configuration. My speakers to listening chair are in a 6 foot'ish equilateral triangle layout.So, as a generalisation would you say that near field is a more accurate or less accurate method of listening to music ?

I realise that it is very kit dependant but assuming you have put together an appropriate, capable system, near field listening, better or worse ?
Near field listening can sound excellent,but only with the right kit.

Harbeth speakers excel in this regard.

Also i found that using amplifiers that do not push the sound at you ,ie a nice deep soundstage ,work best !

I feel that because you are close up the room reflections are less but you do notice every change to system set up and component choice , more than in a larger room.

Hope this helps

Get some Harbeths and a good valve amp !

 

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