Is toeing speakers a bad idea?

I was toeing in my speakers and that seemed like a good thing to do. But then I decided to de-toe the speakers. I was hoping that the speakers dispersed things well enough and maybe they don't need to be focused so much to create a so-called sweet spot.

I found the imaging in the room was a lot better and sound improved. The room is a rectangular room and the speakers are placed at one end of the room about 3 feet from the wall. Room sizes 17 x 23 with a 7 ceiling. Maybe someone can share some rationale for this.  I feel the sound waves may spread out better and not be so disturbed when they collide in a so called sweet spot near my skull.


As many have said… it depends.

The recommended toe in, or not, is a starting point. My manufacturer recommends to start by crossing the beams behind your head by about 18”. Turns out in my room with my setup, no toe in results in the widest and deepest soundstage without loosing the central images. So imaging is homogeneous across the soundstage. Hence a piano recorded in stereo with the intent of capturing the sounds from left to right will be be equal volume across the soundstage, with no warping of the image.


You must make adjustments in very small increments to find the exact best spot. An 1/8th inch can make a big difference with some speakers.

If you are fairly new to carefull tuning, then it is easiest to way to start is to just listen to your speakers for a few weeks until you know the sound. Then make a big change in toe in. Then listen, for as long as it takes for it to be obvious that is much better or worse. That could be a minute or a couple weeks. Then go to the best sound and move half way towards what was last tried. Anyway take your time and make successively smaller moves until perfect.

Folks with lots of experience can do it in minutes… but the first time can take months… but there is no hurry. Getting it perfect is a huge win.

My current OB speakers like about 5 degrees toe-in but as others have said it's really about adjusting not only the toe-in but the width of the speakers with respect to the listening distance. 

My other speakers, KEF LS50 Metas liked no toe-in for best soundstage as well as making vocals sound very well balanced without losing the detail. 

Overall, part of the fun of audio is playing around with speaker placement.

It depends on the speakers dispersion, room reflections, and listening position.

Toe varies by room and system. Try no-toe, slight toe-in, even trying radical crossing of toe up to 10" crossing in front of the listener - -  would have never believed it until my local 53-year-in business dealer showed me with a few AudioNote systems. The differences and results can be quite amazing.   

Try all positions. The generic methods and formulas do not account for your room, just try it all, listen, take notes for each position. My setup has barely any toe-in, and sounds best like this, for my room and system. You do need to learn to trust your own ears in good time. Take your time, try each position, listen carefully. 

decooney mentioned something important that i forget about and that is to take notes which does help.