I really don't know much about speakers
April 16, 2006 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Any danger in positioning a subwoofer directly behind a Cinema Display?

I have an Apple Cinema Display (the 2001 22" version) and the JBL Creature speakers. I am trying to reconfigure my work space, and the most convenient spot for the subwoofer unit of the speakers is right behind the Cinema Display. Is there any reason not to do this? For instance, will there be any harmful interference ? (The Apple Store listing for the Creature II speakers says that the subwoofer is magnetically shielded, but I wonder if I have the earlier model.) Could the vibrations from the speakers harm the display? What else have I not considered?
posted by sueinnyc to Technology (7 answers total)
It doesn't seem like you've considered the sound-dampening effect of having something directly in front of a speaker...
posted by chudmonkey at 10:41 AM on April 16, 2006

I doubt the screen will have much effect on the audio. Also, the bass sound waves will be much larger then the thickness of the screen. It seems like it would be less of a problem then with higher pitched things. And anyway, subwoofers are often placed beneath desks and stuff.


Anyway Unlike CRTs, LCDs don't use magnets, there is nothing magnetic about them, they're all electrical, so magnets have no effects on them, as far as I know.

(Of course, CRT's aren't "magnetic", the beam is moved via electrostatic force, but that causes a lot of magnetic flux, and obviously magnets interact with CRTs, thus the degauss button)
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on April 16, 2006

Since it's a subwoofer, I don't think sound dampening will be an issue.

But I don't see how having it behind the display is that much different than have it next to the display. Maybe the soundwaves have a bigger surface area to react against?

I would think you would see any bad reactions or interference right away.
posted by The Deej at 11:12 AM on April 16, 2006

I would be less worried about your display than your tower. I had a sub rattle my PC over time to the point that it was separating wires from their posts. Very frustrating. But this was a large sub and tower set on an oak table on cement so there was a lot of vibration that I hadn't accounted for. As for sound dampening, it depends on how much of an audiophile you consider yourself to be whether that matters or not. If your ear and sub are both good, you'll definitely notice a reduction in quality. It may or may not matter depending on your needs and tastes.
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:44 AM on April 16, 2006

If it were a real subwoofer, I might be a little concerned; the vibrations from a sub could possibly put a little wear on nearby, delicate electronics.

What you have, however, is only called a 'subwoofer' by marketroids. By any ordinary definition, that's a 'woofer'. I doubt it would get loud enough or low enough to cause your monitor any harm.

A real subwoofer, by way of comparison, will rattle the blinds. A *serious* sub can knock the pictures off your walls.
posted by Malor at 11:49 AM on April 16, 2006

FWIW, CRT's do use magnetic deflection to move their electron beams. That's what that odd-shaped pile of coiled wire stuck on the back of the tube is for.

LCD's are, as far as I know, insensitive to magnetic fields, so the only thing you'd need to worry about is physical vibration.

If your subwoofer works like the one I used to have, all the sound comes out of two little ports in one end. So as long as those aren't firing right at the back of the display, you should be OK.

You might get some weird visual effects on certain videos if the speaker vibrations beat with the video frame rate.
posted by flabdablet at 11:08 PM on April 16, 2006

Thank you all! I am going to go ahead and place the unit behind the monitor. The way I have things configured, that will mean that it is actually closer to the rest of the room -- so the sound may actually be better except from the perspective of sitting at the computer.
posted by sueinnyc at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2006

« Older Old Radeon 32mb graphics card from G4 --> New G5....   |   Fortunate son Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.