The default specification is for an equilateral triangle with the speakers toed in pointing at ones ears.
This will ensure you are listening to the same stereo image as the artists, engineers and producers
There is a range and tolerance for this specification.
The reference level for critical listening is a range of operation
depending on musical content, how it was recorded, mixed and mastered. For highly compressed music
average listening level is approximately 77 dB SPL C weighting with slow integration using a calibrated
Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter. For uncompressed, wide dynamic range content, 83 dB SPL. The EBU and ITU
standards specify an 82 dB SPL A weighting.
The listening level is important as the final tonal
balances for mixes and masters are set in the studio and mastering lab while listening at reference level.
Our ears hear the “flattest” at this sound pressure level. So listening at this level, you are listening
as the artists intended.
Our ears frequency response is non-linear, so at lower levels, our
ears are less sensitive to bass. This is why we use loudness controls like JRiver for example to
compensate so the music sounds full at low listening levels.