Where is the Front Wall?

MartinC

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(This came up in another thread but I'm posting it here to keep that one more on topic.)

There is a very straightforward answer to the thread title in the wider audio world that I'll see if I can try to convince any doubters the value of :). I do totally get why some use alternative language though and there was a time when I would have as well!

The perspective to have in mind is that of the listener, sitting in their hopefully comfy chair facing their speakers. The front wall is then the wall in front of them and the rear wall the one behind them. Similarly the left speaker is the one to the listener's left and the right to their right. Anyone who has ever connected up speakers to an AV amp will note this is precisely how everything is labelled and it is only in the stereo world where there might ever be confusion.

The alternative is to choose to view things from the perspective of the speakers, with their drivers facing 'forward' and the wall behind them then being referred to as the 'back wall'. Where this most obviously then falls down is if you consider left and right. If I view things from the speaker perspective then 'my' left will be the opposite to the listener's left and vice-versa. If you watch a movie then there is very clearly a left audio channel which is associated with what is to the left of the image from the viewer's perspective. Similarly in music there is always a left audio channel which is intended to be to the left from the listener's perspective. For lots of music this doesn't actually make any difference but most obviously for live classical recordings there is a well established layout for where different instruments usually are that relates to what the true left and right channels are. If someone defines layout from the speaker perspective then they end up having to send the left audio channel to their 'right' speaker, almost certainly using an amplifier output labelled 'left'. And vice versa.

Common language is of course helpful to avoid confusion, which is why I do sometimes make the point that the listener-centric terminology really is the 'correct' one. Rather than being purely pedantic, honest :) .
 
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jkbmusic

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I must have missed the other thread you refer to. I understand exactly what you are trying to say. Getting intransigent people to understand the concept is like talking to a brick wall.

Bassist and singer-songwriter of “The Wall” despised the experience, feeling the audience was not listening……

You are Roger Waters, and I claim my prize.
 

DomT

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(This came up in another thread but I'm posting it here to keep that one more on topic.)

There is a very straightforward answer to the thread title in the wider audio world that I'll see if I can try to convince any doubters the value of :). I do totally get why some use alternative language though and there was a time when I would have as well!

The perspective to have in mind is that of the listener, sitting in their hopefully comfy chair facing their speakers. The front wall is then the wall in front of them and the rear wall the one behind them. Similarly the left speaker is the one to the listener's left and the right to their right. Anyone who has ever connected up speakers to an AV amp will note this is precisely how everything is labelled and it is only in the stereo world where there might ever be confusion.

The alternative is to choose to view things from the perspective of the speakers, with their drivers facing 'forward' and the wall behind them then being referred to as the 'back wall'. Where this most obviously then falls down is if you consider left and right. If I view things from the speaker perspective then 'my' left will be the opposite to the listener's left and vice-versa. If you watch a movie then there is very clearly a left audio channel which is associated with what is to the left of the image from the viewer's perspective. Similarly in music there is always a left audio channel which is intended to be to the left from the listener's perspective. For lots of music this doesn't actually make any difference but most obviously for live classical recordings there is a well established layout for where different instruments usually are that relates to what the true left and right channels are. If someone defines layout from the speaker perspective then they end up having to send the left audio channel to their 'right' speaker, almost certainly using an amplifier output labelled 'left'. And vice versa.

Common language is of course helpful to avoid confusion, which is why I do sometimes make the point that the listener-centric terminology really is the 'correct' one. Rather than being purely pedantic, honest :) .
Martin it’s the same in architecture. Estate agents call the garden south facing if faces the sun as the perspective is from the house. Garden designers take the perspective from the garden and so the same garden is a north facing garden.
 

hylander

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p3EbS3SUifO3nkbXN5UEk8DYgSkSPwcF43hQG3WTVhs.jpg
 

Stuckinarut

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I tend to use back wall from the perspective of the speakers, as it only gets referred to when sorting out the correct speaker positioning.
 

Jules_S

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I've always thought of naming the walls with respect to the listening position and not the speakers, so I agree with your post, Martin. The front wall is the one in front of me.

I did think about naming them Bert and Ernie at one point but they didn't seem to respond... 😄
 

MVJ

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Lets keep it simple people🤪

The front wall is the one in front of you and the rear wall is behind you 👍

Unless you turn around and then the front wall becomes the rear wall and the rear wall is the front wall. 🥴🥴🥴🥴!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SIMPLE ANSWER IS.... Stop f**K**G turning round and confusing yourself.

Now just play some bloody music you muppet🤪
 

uzzy

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The problem is personalising the walls from a human perspective.

The wall in front of us may be considered the front wall, but here we are talking speaker placement, so from the Loudspeakers' perspective the front wall is the wall it is facing and the back wall is the wall behind it.

I am pretty sure that a load will argue the toss on this one but I stand by my logic that it needs to be considered from the loudspeakers' perspective and not a human one.

As it happens the back wall of my house is the one facing the back of the loudspeakers and my seating position is with my back to the house's front wall .. here we have Zen where the loudspeaker and house are in harmony
 
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MVJ

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Every professional I've seen write about speakers, be it domestic or studio gear, refer to the front wall as the one in front of the listener. It's only in hifi forums that I've seen this as a discussion.
👍
 

Iceman 16

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You are the one listening to the speakers in front of you and not the speakers listening to you.😁
 

Nagraboy

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Every professional I've seen write about speakers, be it domestic or studio gear, refer to the front wall as the one in front of the listener. It's only in hifi forums that I've seen this as a discussion.

So then, ‘moving the speakers forward’ actually means moving them closer to the wall behind them? ;)
 

toms wait

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My OH will say something is at the front of the car boot when that something is at the back.
She refers to the boot in relation to the car front.
I refer to the boot as you look at it.

So the boot front is the back of the car.
I am correct of course.
 

jkbmusic

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Lets keep it simple people🤪

The front wall is the one in front of you and the rear wall is behind you 👍
Yeah, but no, but yeah, but when refer to “the front wall”, I would be talking about the wall at the front of the house.
 
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jkbmusic

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My OH will say something is at the front of the car boot when that something is at the back.
She refers to the boot in relation to the car front.
I refer to the boot as you look at it.

So the boot front is the back of the car.
I am correct of course.
Unless you drive a Porsche 🤔
 
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Warszawa

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Does someone who thinks the front wall is the one the speakers face have their speakers wired the wrong way round?
 
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