Is It Ok To Put Speakers On Their Side: 4 Reasons Why It Might Not Be A Great Idea

Factors such as placement and alignment of speakers can have a lot of impact on audio quality. If you are wondering “is it ok to put speakers on their side”, read the article to know why it’s not such a hot idea.

Most of us don’t think much of speaker positioning and place them however we like and go on with our lives, but have you noticed how the sound from that speaker changes. You may have seen it many times but perhaps never bothered to question why? 

Intrigued? Well, that’s okay because today we’ll be talking about that and answer the question of whether “is it ok to put speakers on their side?”

Let’s jump right in.

Is It Ok To Put Speakers On Their Side

Can Speakers Be Placed On Their Sides?

Well, physically, it’s okay to put them on their sides and will not harm them, but depending on the speaker’s component alignment, your audio quality can suffer drastically.

It may not happen to all speakers, but that is especially the case with bookshelf speakers.

To know why that happens? Keep reading further! For an average person, it might not impact too much, but for someone who monitors audio or loves music a bit too deeply, it can have a lot of impacts.

#1 They are vertically aligned

Bass drivers and tweeters are usually aligned in a vertical manner so that the audio from both comes right after the other. When the positioning is changed and the speakers are placed horizontally, the sound doesn’t come as it should, which results in unstable, mumbled, or distant-sounding audio. Meaning they become colored and inaccurate.

It can be a literal nightmare for music producers or audiophiles because detailed monitoring is essential for them, but with that horizontal position, the Studio imaging suffers.

#2 Vertical Dispersion

Bookshelf speakers generally have a pretty narrow vertical audio dispersion, and the reason why that is; is to be able to reduce the reflection or to bounce off the sound from the surface (e.g., ceiling, floor). It is managed by a built-in waveguide inside the speakers, placed at the speakers’ front face, also known as a baffle.

There is also something called “sweet spot”; It refers to the point where two audio simultaneously arrive and mix for it to be heard as intended by the mixer. And when the speaker is put in a horizontal position, the dispersion does not combine the way it was intended to, which affects the audio quality.

Is It Ok To Put Speakers On Their Side

#3 The Bass Driver

The bass driver in the case of speakers is usually mounted aside from the bottom Of the cabinet.

The bass drivers have their problem. If they’re placed in a position they were not intended to, it can affect the whole audio by affecting factors such as Time alignment, level, and room resonance.

#4 Overheating

The cooling system inside of bookshelf speakers is designed in such a way that it blows the hot air upwards like a chimney. And if it is placed in the position it was not designed to be,

That will result in improper heat distribution, resulting in improper functioning of speakers, and can affect the hardware over time. If it gets too hot, the speaker’s fail-safe will shut down the speakers to protect the components from hardware failure, and if the speaker doesn’t have a fail-safe, it’ll permanently damage the speakers.

You might also like to read : Why Do My Speakers Have No Bass? 3 Things To Check

The Mistakes We Make About Speakers Placement

We usually don’t care about where and how we place our speakers but blame the speakers for lousy audio quality. Ideally, a speaker shouldn’t be placed horizontally unless it’s designed to do so.

Secondly, it’s also important not to place them too high. The height depends on the position of the listener. Too low or too high placement of speaker results makes specific frequencies more or less pronounced. To understand this better:

Is It Ok To Put Speakers On Their Side
  • Turn on your speakers and play audio.
  • Try moving the speaker up and down or yourself up and down with respect to the placement of speakers.
  • You’ll notice when it’s parallel to your face or when it’s pointing right at you, the sounds coming from tweeters become more pronounced than they were.
  • Now that you have understood the importance of placement, Align your speakers in a way that ensures they’re pointing at you, not away from you, that will enhance the audio quality of your speakers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can speakers be placed horizontally?

Speakers, in general, shouldn’t be placed horizontally because they’re usually vertically aligned. Placing them horizontally will disrupt the way the audio is supposed to travel and cause unstable and strange audio, or simply speaking, unpleasant audio to listen to. So the answer to that question is, No.

Can you put floor speakers on their side?

Placing the vertical floor speakers horizontally will affect their vertical dispersion of sounds, making them appear too flat and distant. So the answer to that question is, No.

Is It Ok To Put Speakers On Their Side

Can you put studio speakers sideways?

If the studio speakers are being used for monitoring, placing them horizontally will directly impact the monitoring capabilities by making specific frequencies more or less pronounced than they’re supposed to or by dispersing the sound in the direction they’re not supposed to be dispersed. So the answer to that question is no.

Which way should you face your speakers?

It Depends on the alignment of the speaker components. If the speaker appears to be broad, it should be placed horizontally. But if it seems to be aligned vertically, it should always be placed vertically.

You might also like to read : Are 4 Ohm Speakers Harder To Drive?


We can easily ignore factors such as the placement of speakers, but they can have a lot of influence on your audio quality. There are many reasons why this happens, but it generally has to do with how the speakers are aligned. Align the speakers as they’re supposed to be, and you’ll experience a significant change in the audio quality.

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