What is speaker toe in, and why would you want to do it? Axiom Engineer Andrew Welker explains what it is, and how it can help you really get the best sound from your speakers with just a few simple changes to their position.
Today, we're going to talk about a term that many people have heard, but have no idea what it refers to, what it means or why you would want to do it, and that term is toe-in. Toe-in basically talks about how the speakers are pointing or angled towards the main listening position.
Now, I've got a pair of bookshelf speakers here, and I'm just going to show you what toe-in looks like, and then we'll talk about why you may want to do it. So right now, both of these speakers are pointing straight forward. That, by definition, means that they are not toed-in at all. If I angle the speakers so that the fronts are pointing directly at the listening position, now those speakers are fully toed-in.
So, they're directly firing at the listening position. I can go even further so that the angle of the two front axises of the speakers cross in front of the listening position. That's sometimes called extreme toe-in. Now, why do we care? Why do we want to do this? Well, depending on the particular speaker that you're using, depending on your room, depending on where the speakers are placed in the room, particularly how far they are from the side walls in the room, toe-in will affect imaging.
What's imaging? Imaging, if you close your eyes, is that thing that you can actually hear a singer coming from straight in front of you. It's a well-defined voice that's centered between the speakers. And in a good recording, this can really be incredible. Instead of this sound being spread everywhere and voices sounding like they're coming from all over the room, it can give you a very tight, focused, realistic sound.
Toe-in can help with that. So, I always recommend that you can start when setting up your speakers, having them pointing straight ahead. Don't worry about any toe-in. Listen to them. If you've got a tuner or a receiver with AM built in, tune into an AM radio station.
Most AM radio stations are in mono, and you can use that mono sound to listen to how focused that center image is of the speakers. Now, slowly angle them inwards, a few degrees at a time, and listen again. At some point, you will hear a clearly defined center image coming from that AM radio station.
When you've got that, put one of your favorite music tracks on, listen to it. Now, this is something you're...if you're an obsessive audiophile, you can spend forever trying to dial in the perfect toe-in. But, the reality is there's no right and wrong. It's a preference.
You want to get the speakers sounding their best, and toe-in is just another technique in your setup arsenal to make the perfect sound in your room. So, that's toe-in, and thank you for watching the video.