It was Dr. Floyd Toole, my mentor and old friend, who said that "the room is the forgotten audio component," and I've restated his wise comment often when discussions of room effects and interactions arise.
Thanks, Jakewash, for your compliments on Axiom's off-axis dispersion, which has been further improved by the new v3 tweeter. For the record, when listening in stereo only (seldom), I tend to migrate towards the sweet spot at one end of my couch, although the stereo image remains acceptable anywhere on the couch.
As Floyd remarked years ago during listening tests at the National REsearch Council (NRC), where he was the resident acoustical scientist, stereo is "a socially isolating listening mode" because of the sweet spot. No matter how good the dispersion, once you move sideways in one direction or the other, the differences in SPL and arrival-time disparity between left and right speakers and your ears will cause the stereo image to shift and default to the nearest speaker. Toe-in will help mitigate these effects to a degree.
In fact, when we did stereo double-blind listening tests at the NRC, we (Floyd, myself and Ian Masters) used to set up the "stereo train", our chairs lined up in a row, one behind the other so we'd all remain in the sweet spot.
These restrictions of stereo listening are also why multi-channel formats, including SACD and DVD-Audio, are preferred by many for music playback because the sweet spot becomes far more generous and less restrictive. I enjoy dts, Dolby Pro Logic IIx and Logic7 playback of stereo material in a number of different seats in the room.
Axiom Resident Expert