Changing Placement and Position
One of the most common causes of a muddy sound is the placement and position of the speaker(s).
If your speakers are in a room with large amounts of glass, marble, or any other hard floor, the sound might be too bright. All of the listed materials are reflective so the sound will likely be too bright.
If this is the case you can try installing some carpets, rugs, or curtains in the room. Any of these things will act as diffusers, which will soften the sound a little bit and prevent echoes.
An empty room will make for a reflective space as well, and it will likely take some experimenting to get the sound where you want it to be.
The other obvious solution would be to move the speakers to a different room, but most people only do that as a last resort. The acoustics in a reflective area can be magnificent! You might just need to add a few dampeners or diffusers to mellow out the echoes.
In addition to the placement in a room/environment, the position your speakers are in is also a contributing factor.
For example, if your speakers happen to be at ear-level, you might be experiencing an unsatisfactory sound quality. You can also experiment in this area. Different positioning of the speakers could very well make all the difference.
If you have tried various positions and places in your house, you might need to turn your attention to both the age and condition of your speakers.
If your speakers are old and have been well used, you may want to consider getting them replaced. It does take money, but it might be worth it in the long run. However, before you dump your set and head to the store, there are a few additional things you can try out.
You can try putting grilles on your speakers. Grilles are used to keep the driver and speaker element safe from outside objects that could cause damage.
While they are specifically designed not to affect sound quality, you might find that putting a grille on your speaker(s) could help to tone the treble down a little bit and balance out the sound.
The price varies depending on your speaker type and size. You can usually purchase grilles in the $6 to $400 range. You might also consider trying a mixer to improve your sound quality. Be careful though. If you end up with a mixer that’s too cheap you might end up degrading your sound quality instead of improving it.
Cables can also be a good option. These help tune your speakers so the sound is perfectly adjusted to your liking. Like with grilles, the type of cable you need will differ based on what kind of speakers you own. However, a good general rule to know is that silver cables do tend to make your speakers sound brighter.
If you’re going for a warmer sound, copper cables are usually a much better choice.
All Speakers Are NOT Created Equal
Obviously, no amount of tricks and hacks can make up for poor equipment. The better quality (warmer) you want your sound to be, the better quality your speakers are going to have to be.
It may be a bit costly upfront, but you won’t regret having spared any expense on producing good quality sound. Plus, nicer speakers will likely last much longer than cheap ones that will require constant replacing.
What Makes A Good Speaker?
You want a speaker that is capable of handling all types of sounds.
You don’t want to miss out on any beautifully pitched treble or bone-chilling bass. You will want to pay the most attention to how the speakers are manufactured and who is manufacturing them.
You will know if your speaker is good if it is pumping out a beautiful, clear sound that doesn’t miss a beat. If it can capture the human voice without fault, you will know you have chosen a great type of speaker.
Really the only way to know what you’re getting is to spend some time listening to it. If the speaker isn’t up to scratch, you might consider trying a different kind. If you are looking to invest in speakers that will produce lovely, warm sounds, here are a few of the most notable brands and models.
Bose (which has been around since 1964) is famous for producing magnificent sound quality equipment. It is best known for noise-canceling headphones and high-quality home-audio systems. A few of Bose’s models to consider include the Bose Soundbar 700, the F1 Model 812, and SoundLink Revolve+.
JBL has been around since 1946 and is best known for JBL Consumer (home audio systems) and JBL Professional (professional audio systems and equipment). If you’re looking to buy from them, you might want to consider the Stage A180, the JBL PRX835W, or the GT-BassPro12.
Founded in 1946 as well, Klipsch has become famous for its horn-loaded speakers and legacy models which are still largely sought after. They focus on producing loudspeakers and speakers for computers and other at-home uses. A few of its top products include the Heritage Cornwall IV, the SPL-150SW, or the One II.
KEF has been around since 1961 and its range of speakers includes loudspeakers, Hi-Fi, home theater, Bluetooth, desktop, and several others. Some of their models you might look at include Blade, the LS50, or the HTF8003.
Definitive Technology (or Def Tech) is the youngest company on the list so far, its birth being sometime around 1990. They specialize mostly in home audio systems, from soundbars to stereos to outdoor speakers. Some of their best speakers include the BP-9080X, the D11, and the Studio Advance.