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How near/far should nearfield monitors be?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by godchuanz, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. godchuanz

    godchuanz Active Member

    I have read a lot about acoustics and nearfield monitor speakers, but none seems to clearly explain the difference between nearfield and other professionally used monitor speakers.

    Other than physical size and power translating to volume, what are the technical difference between nearfield and midfield monitors, sonically? I've seen some other forum posts that say that midfields can reproduce reverbs better, and some claiming that the midfields have better "off-axis response". I still cannot understand how, in a acoustically well-treated room, that would matter much. Can anyone help?

    Can nearfield monitors also be placed on stands and used at, say... 7-8ft away? Would it sound terrible? And why? Please help!
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The short answer is that nearfields are designed to create the "ideal" sound development at a close proximity. Midfield monitors are designed to "throw" the sound a little further prior to the "idea" point. Most high end studios and well appointed smaller studios have both as one can gain different perspectives in different listening positions that can aid in the final 2 track product.
  3. godchuanz

    godchuanz Active Member

    Hi TheJackAttack,

    Thanks for the answer! Do you happen to know how this "throw" work? If I place a midfield at 3-5 feet away from the listening position, would it be detrimental?
    Or, if I place a nearfield at farther than typical distances, would it be okay?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It will work better to use nearfields as midfields than the opposite in my opinion. For designed speakers, the "throw" is produced by the specification of the horn and cone and efficiency of the speaker case in directing the sound. Speakers designed to send sound back further have a more focused projection than something designed to be listened to up close. Think of a Maglite. Twist the head to get the focused spot beam at the desired point of distance. Remember, in a stereo field, there is only one sweet spot and not many. In reality, there is not that much difference in the low end or middle quality near/mid monitors. In my opinion. YMMV and dealer dock fees may apply.
  5. havana

    havana Active Member

    I use Mackie HR624 mkII monitors which are about 4 feet away. I always monitor at low levels to hear everything.(Not sure how much but I'll grab the meter later on and measure exact db's)

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