Speaker Positioning - Wall or Free Standing


New member
Aug 10, 2019
I'm looking at some Monitor Audio RS1 and B&W 685.

The RS1's have me a little puzzled. As they have a rear fire Bass Reflex Port, I'd assume they want to be 50cm to 100cm away from a back or side wall. However, many reviews say they are easy to position, which to my mind suggest they need less space than other similar speakers and may even be fine 10cm from a back wall.

Does anyone know if either of the above speakers work well close to a back wall in a small/medium sized room. I'm interested in stand or floor, and want positional flexibility as more room choices will vary.




Hi Kevin,

There is a thread of what we have learnt in 2008, and one thing I should have added is that rooms acoustics can sound very different to a flat response, due to shape, dimensions and furniture.

I would advise getting your dealer to lend you some on a sale or return basis for at least 3-4 days, covering a weekend period. See how they sound in your available positions and with your equipment. Don't try to over analyse and find your answer in the first hour, and tell yourself there is plenty of time to decide. Finally try lots and lots of different CDs/LPs, as the recording quality differences can be breath taking.

If you put them on stands, make sure they don't get marked at the bottom. I remember Target stands had spikes on top plate, and don't know if this is still the case with modern stands.


Went ahead and bought them without a test as an opportunity came up to get them at a good deal. They are better than the Monitor Audio 9's I had so I'm happy. Tracy Chapman gave me goose bumps, and bass guitars and drums have great seperation/distinction. One U2 track from Vertigo had awfull simblance, but it was only one track of many, and I don't think they are run in yet.

For postioning, I find they are very good 25-50cm away from a read wall without the bass bungs.

Closer to the wall I still prefer them without the bass bungs, but the sound is a little warm, not so clear/open/spacious. However for my current office setup that suits me well. With the bass bungs in close to the wall they loose a lot of bass (50cm away without bungs compared to 5cm with bass bungs).

Once the dedicated room is ready (builders delays - how long will it take for Persimmon/Charles Church to fit floor joists properly, 2.5 years so far and still counting) then I can't wait to get them off bookshelfs and onto stands, giving them some space to breath.

I would say they are very flexible in positioning, meaning still sound good less than 25cm from walls.