This is an important question and if you are not sure it is something you need to know. Many people may feel foolish asking which speakers are left and right but it does make a difference and there is no point guessing and possibly getting it wrong.
Left and right are one of those subjective questions. It could depend on your perspective. You often hear people say – your left or my left? When it comes to speakers it is important to be clear on this.
If you buy a full sound system both the speakers and the amplifier should be clearly marked – left and right. This is not always the case. If you purchase separate components there is a good chance that they are not marked.
We will take you through the answer to this question that many might want to know.
Do left and right speakers make a difference?
This is another question that bugs many. The answer is that it depends on the audio you are listening to. Some soundtracks or music are created in such a way that it makes no difference between left and right.
With other types of music or audio, these subtle differences have a major impact. A lot of thought and energy went into the audio distribution and left and right is important. This is especially true with classical music as well as many modern movies’ sound effects and soundtracks.
How do you tell which speaker is left and right?
The first point to note is that left and right are as viewed from the listening position. In other words, look at the sound system, the left speaker should go to your left and the right to your right. Many people think it might be from the perspective of the amplifier but this is not the case.
A good way to test the setup is with a test video. Simply play the audio from this video through your system on medium volume, stand a few meters back and listen. It is soon clear where left and right are playing. Adjust if necessary. This video is also great for headphones.
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Surround systems get a bit more complex but the same principle applies. The left still goes on your left and the back left goes on the same side. There might also be a center speaker which naturally goes in the front center.
Which side does the left speaker go on?
You need to stand facing the amplifier or audio equipment and look at it from that perspective. Your left is where the left speaker should go. If you have rear speakers, the left rear speaker goes on the same. Conversely, the right speaker goes to your right.
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Some might argue that it makes no difference to the sound but they are wrong. Sure, some music or audio will sound the same no matter how you set it up but not all of it. If you have ever heard a complex piece of music, a quality action movie, or any other detailed audio, you will appreciate the importance of getting the left and right speakers correct.
Fortunately, this is quite easy and the above should answer any questions you might have and make the process of getting speakers correct quick and easy. Take the time to ensure the speakers are set up correctly – you won’t regret it.
This article was last updated on October 27, 2021 .