This is only Genelec’s first stab at the problem, but the idea’s time has clearly come: help people place speakers correctly by giving them an app on their phone that helps them solve the problem. For pros and consumers alike, it seems a phone could be the perfect device.

Speaker maker Genelec has released SpeakerAngleApp for iOS and Android. Features:

  • Angle matching for stereo and surround.
  • Applies generically to all speakers (of course), despite the Genelec name.
  • Rotate each speaker, and you can watch the app display angles and rotate the display.
  • Number boxes and color coding provide feedback for setting up recommended angles in different combinations and pairs.
  • Includes tutorial on angling generally, as well as instructions for the app.

This only really scratches the surface of what’s possible. A hilarious review on Google Play for the Android version notes, “Would be cool to add some other features, like maybe a db meter, or more help with speaker placement and distance to listening position etc. Right now it kinda feels like I paid $0.99 for a “how-to” on making a triangle.”

Of course, a level is a pretty simple tool, too, and it’s still useful. (Or a t-square, which typically costs more than a buck and only helps you make a right angle.) But there are other directions to go with these sorts of apps. Audio meters and automatic sound-based calibration are one idea. Other automatic tools are a potential development soon, too. I heard a presentation at the Game Developers’ Conference a few years ago in which a researcher described work on exactly calibrating headphones by taking pictures of the wearers’ ears.

For now, though, a dollar on iTunes or Google Play gives you something you can use while you wait:
Android / Google Play
iOS / iTunes App Store

via bey-c, “audio for everyone”

  • anechoic

    here is a way I learned to angle near fields:

    – looking top down on each speaker enclosure measure a point halfway on the front and rear edge of each speaker

    – attach a long string just below (on the rear face of speaker) the rear mid point mark on each speaker

    – sit where you normally do in your studio when you mix

    – take each string and bring them to the side of your head

    – have someone angle the speakers so that the string bisects the front marker at the mid point

    – voila! you now have angled your near fields

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, I like that approach a lot.

      I do understand the appeal of making this something people not used to doing this can try on their phone, though, of course.

  • Billy K

    Love the idea of this app.

    It’s not that I need help making a triangle between my third ear and my near fields; but when setting up a home theater (and calibrating correctly), there are more than enough calculations to check off that make an app like this, and Android’s AudioTool invaluable toward making a quick and dirty setup just work… Particularly when your girlfriend says, ” It’s fine! Lets just watch the movie!”.

    I guess a pro studio would pay a pro acoustical engineer to make the proper adjustments…