I recently purchased my first pair of studio monitors, KRK Rokit 6's. The instruction manual states...

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...and accordingly I've placed the monitors 5' apart and 5' from me, with the acoustic axis level with my ears.

Sounds great, but when I roll my chair 3.5' back, I pass this threshold region no wider than 0.5', where I suddenly get slammed by a massive layer of bass and oomph. That sounds like what I want to hear! But have my ears just been trained to have too much affinity for bass? Yet, it feels like there's no bass at all when I return to where I'm supposed to sit. Is this common and expected with studio setups?

  • 2
    @ToddWilcox below is correct. You might also try something like this Standing Wave Calculator. There are others... this was just at the top of Google results. Basically, you input your room dimensions and it'll tell you which frequencies will be standing. Might help with creating bass traps designed for specific frequencies.
    – JoshP
    Sep 8, 2015 at 15:18

5 Answers 5


What you have is too much bass bouncing off the walls. You've created what are called standing waves in your room, which is very common. When there is a standing wave for any frequency, some spots in the room will have almost none of that frequency audible and other spots will have almost double. When you move around, you pass through both kinds of places.

The cheapest workaround is to move your speakers or listening position around until you are hearing the right amount of bass. Aside from being a pain, this create other problems like a very small sweet spot and usually if you fix one frequency this way you make other nearby frequencies worse, so your bass is inconsistent.

The most common solution is to deploy bass traps. These stop the bass from bouncing all around the room and starting standing waves. That way the bass goes from the speakers to your ears and is much more even in level.

The most expensive solution is to use a larger room. The larger the room, the lower the frequencies of standing waves. With a large enough room the frequencies are so low they are not even frequencies we can hear or produce from a speaker, so they don't matter.

This is one of the most common problems in setting up a monitoring system. Do web searches on standing waves and bass traps and you'll find more info than you wish existed on the topic.

Here's a Sound on Sound article on the topic.

And a decent article on monitor placement and treatment.


If you're using the set up purely for mixing in the DJ sense, as you've indicated, then it doesn't particularly matter how you position things. I'd suggest you go with your gut preference and what gives you what you feel you need to hear. However, you will find it an advantage to learn to mix in a variety of monitoring situations, the monitoring in DJ booths can vary widely and you should note that what you might hear on a dance floor doesn't reflect the levels normally available or wanted in a booth. Please protect your ears, blah blah blah.

When you're mixing in the mixing and mastering, sound engineering, near-field monitoring sense, then the set up matters, and the manual is just giving you a starting point. Todd's answer will be very relevant, though you should also note that studio monitors can sound very flat, and may take some time to 'learn'.


A couple of things to add on; If you are djing, then I assume you won't be sitting by your computer?? The way you describe it, it does sound like standing waves. If you are to produce, then you should get correctly set up. Using headphones with a flat response can help you get an idea of how your monitors should sound. Bear in mind that while producing music, you should be hearing the true, flat sound of the music. Which is different to what you hear in the club.

Something to try with standing waves, if you are low on funds, is a soft but heavy material in places around the room. Try a few in different places. This should absorb some of the energy from the waves, and give you a better sound for cheap. You should never really place monitors near a reflective wall. So try moving the whole desk around the room as well.


I think it is better to get a bigger room that is if your aim is to make music or a DJ. In order to make beats, you have to hear them first without any flair or flat. This way you will know how your music and beats real sound. It is also crucial to know how to set up studio monitors. This way whenever your ear is tired and fatigued, you can use your monitors.


Sorry but the answers are misleading, even if you have zero reflections or you are not even in a room , when you step back you hear more bass that's cause the bass needs space to develop its own wavelength, here is a page that explains a lot :http://realtraps.com/art_waves.htm .

So for example if you go stand in front of a kick drum u will only hear the beater but if u step further away you are starting to hear the bass , the further u go the bassier it gets and that's cause the lower u go frequency-wise the longer in actual meters is needed for the wavelength to develop.

This would happen in a room with bass traps and treatment, don't forget that treatment is actually done for a small spot in the room maybe around 1 square meter which is of course called the sweet spot.

So you might experience room bounces and reflections(which will amplify OR cancel the effect) but the first thing that hits you is the actual bass wavelength.

To the other answers , please be better informed.

  • 1
    This is false and you even linked to an article that refutes this answer in the first paragraph: "Sound waves simply behave differently in a room than they do in a free field (i.e., outdoors). It is impossible for every bass frequency to be heard at the same volume at every point in a room." Low frequencies do not "need space to develop". If that were true, then there would be no way to get good low frequency sound from any set of headphones and I'm sure everyone reading this knows that's not the case. -1 Dec 9, 2015 at 17:48
  • haha are u serious? do you even understand what you are saying? for starters the headphone does not even have the cone to produce the bass, if it did small 2" desk speakers wouldn't come with a woofer as they 99% do OR they don't have bass. The example i gave refers to sound traveling before it hits the first reflection point , that's why i gave the example with the open space, afterwards i made clear what room modes actually can do to bass freqs. IF what u say is true, then why a room with a specific length accentuates a specific frequency if distance does not matter? Please read some.
    – frcake
    Dec 9, 2015 at 20:01
  • I quote the guy "you could stand at any reasonable distance from the speaker and hear flat, even bass, because the alternating peaks and valleys just keep going right past you, no matter where you stand."
    – frcake
    Dec 9, 2015 at 20:03
  • He says a "reasonable distance" , when you are in a concert if you stand right next to a speaker (not woofer) you get the energy of the pushing cone but not the bass, if you go further away bass starts to boom, it's not accentuated it just exists when in the start u just felt the energy hitting your body. Of course if u put it in physics terms theres air absorption and loss of energy and high frequency attenuation which makes you perceive bass and think it's louder cause of distance ( i hope you know bass travels longer distances.) All these are also psychoacoustics cause in 100% reality
    – frcake
    Dec 9, 2015 at 20:21
  • 2
    You've misinterpreted those articles. You should listen to the members, they know what they're talking about. Especially Todd Wilcox.
    – n00dles
    Dec 10, 2015 at 3:18

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