Basic Family Room Audio Design/Setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-05-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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So I'm doing a small extension to my house and one addition is a 17x12 family room. Keep in mind that this is not a dedicated home theater room or anything like that. Just a family room/den that will have a TV and hopefully a nice 5.1 or 7.1 audio setup. I'm attaching a picture of the room drawing but there's really no detail to it. It's just a rectangle with windows and a large opening. The flooring will be hardwood, possible with a rug, and it will be built on top of a crawl space.

I'm trying to figure out how to design the rear speakers. I assume I'll just use a standard center channel and front speaker set (either bookshelf or floor standing depending on budget) together with the TV stand on the top wall in the middle (part by the 11'7" in the picture). But I don't want wires or clutter for the rear speakers. I'm figuring that the couch/seating will run parallel with the top wall about 13' or so away from the top wall.

Initially I was planning in wall speakers on the sides for the 5.1 surrounds and then in wall speakers on the back wall for the 7.1 surrounds. But as you see the opening to the room is on the left side so I can't use in wall speakers where no wall exists. So my current thought process is to put in-ceiling speakers for the 5.1 surrounds above the ends of the couch and then still use the in-wall speakers on the back wall behind the couch to complete the 7.1 surround sound.

So any comments on the above? How would the in ceiling and in wall speakers mesh? Should I just dump the 7.1 idea and go with 5.1, and if so which sets of speakers do I dump?

I'm not doing personally (not that handy) doing any of the actual construction but will probably do the speaker wiring for the 4 rear speakers. I'll do the wiring before the drywall goes up so I'm not imagining too many issues there and I might even use brackets for the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers so I don't have to cut any drywall after the fact. Any thoughts on the project? Any thing I'm missing here?

Thanks for all the help.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-10-2012, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any rear speaker suggestions when it comes to the surround speakers? 2 ceiling ones? 4 ceiling speakers? 2 ceiling and 2 rear walls?
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-13-2012, 09:55 AM
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I'm guessing your tv would be against the 11'7 wall? if so, I'd go with in-ceiling speakers for your side surrounds. If you opt to go with a 7.1 setup in the room, you could always wall mount a pair of speakers to the back wall.

In my opinion, since it's not a dedicated theater room, you have a lot of options for speakers. I have 2 pairs of Monoprice in-ceiling speakers in my family room and they're more than decent for casual viewing and music. My theater below that room is a mix of freestanding speakers up front, Klipsch in-ceilings for the surrounds, and Klipsch RS-10's mounted to a soffit for the rear channels. As long as you're investing in quality mains, you really can't go wrong with surrounds, as they handle such a minimal amount of the mix.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-15-2012, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mn_hokie View Post

I'm guessing your tv would be against the 11'7 wall? if so, I'd go with in-ceiling speakers for your side surrounds. If you opt to go with a 7.1 setup in the room, you could always wall mount a pair of speakers to the back wall.
In my opinion, since it's not a dedicated theater room, you have a lot of options for speakers. I have 2 pairs of Monoprice in-ceiling speakers in my family room and they're more than decent for casual viewing and music. My theater below that room is a mix of freestanding speakers up front, Klipsch in-ceilings for the surrounds, and Klipsch RS-10's mounted to a soffit for the rear channels. As long as you're investing in quality mains, you really can't go wrong with surrounds, as they handle such a minimal amount of the mix.

Thanks for the help. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the in ceiling speakers for the side surrounds. Do you think there's any value in putting in in-wall speakers for the 7.1 ( rear surrounds) setup? This isn't a dedicated theater room but it will basically be the only TV in the house. Since I'm doing this room from scratch I don't want to waste the opportunity to wire this up if there's value (audio value that is) in the rear 7.1 in-wall speakers. If I do go with the 7.1 setup would the in wall rear speakers work well with in ceiling side speakers?

Thanks again for the help. I'm not very knowledgeable about surround sound setups and I'm trying to learn more.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-16-2012, 10:39 AM
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I'd use in-ceilings for all the surround channels if you're going to use them for some. Blending in/on-wall with in-ceiling would be a challenge. I'd go with the 7-channel arrangement since the cost to do so is very low at this stage, and adding more speakers will allow you to create a better surround field at lower volume levels (since the in-ceiling speakers will be fairly close to the listener).

Jeff


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post #6 of 11 Old 10-17-2012, 07:56 PM
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I have to say that your room almost exactly mirrors my living room (some door locations are different, but basically the same). I have my TV on the same wall that you are planning on putting yours.

What I opted to do (speakers are actually on the way to me now via UPS), so to put a traditional Center speaker with 2 in wall speakers (I did this because of space limitations and there was no good place to put an in wall center channel). For my surrounds I went with 4 in ceiling speakers. I, like you, was considering mixing the wall and ceiling for the surrounds, but I thought not only would it look better, but I thought doing all ceiling for the surrounds would produce a better sound stage. I did go with in ceilings that I could "point" to my listening position for better sound staging, but i'm not hoping for much. Like you, this is just my living room, but I like the idea of just chilling out to watch a movie in the living room. I also have no room in my house for a dedicated theater, so this was a compromise for me, but one I think i'll be more than happy with.

In the end, just know that you are not alone in this very specific layout issue! I share it with you...LOL
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sir Meili View Post

I have to say that your room almost exactly mirrors my living room (some door locations are different, but basically the same). I have my TV on the same wall that you are planning on putting yours.
What I opted to do (speakers are actually on the way to me now via UPS), so to put a traditional Center speaker with 2 in wall speakers (I did this because of space limitations and there was no good place to put an in wall center channel). For my surrounds I went with 4 in ceiling speakers. I, like you, was considering mixing the wall and ceiling for the surrounds, but I thought not only would it look better, but I thought doing all ceiling for the surrounds would produce a better sound stage. I did go with in ceilings that I could "point" to my listening position for better sound staging, but i'm not hoping for much. Like you, this is just my living room, but I like the idea of just chilling out to watch a movie in the living room. I also have no room in my house for a dedicated theater, so this was a compromise for me, but one I think i'll be more than happy with.
In the end, just know that you are not alone in this very specific layout issue! I share it with you...LOL

Nice to hear that someone else has a similar situation. I think I will go with the 4 in-ceiling rear speakers as well. Why did you decide on the 2 in-wall front speakers instead of just bookshelf speakers on a stand. I think that's what I'm going to go with.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-22-2012, 07:05 PM
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It was a hard decision for me. Basically it came down to space. I want a chair on either side of the TV facing back towards the couch. This obviously isn't for watching TV, but for family get togethers and conversation. The chairs will be movable to see the TV, but for the most part will be left in the corners. Because of this I needed floor space and in-wall speakers gave me this. I'm a bit worried because the wall they are on is shared with my new master bathroom, so I"m scared about sound bleed, but I don't think too many people will be watching TV in the living room (Kids are more likely to watch in their rooms late at night)

I was also considering in-ceiling speakers for the fronts, but changed my mind due to the all the warnings about voices coming from above the screen instead of from the screen.

Good luck though. I can't wait to see how your's turns out. I'm still in a waiting period to install mine (too much remodeling going on and other stuff has taken precedence right now due to GFAF (Girlfriend acceptance factor). For some reason flooring is more important than speakers for some reason!?!? (speakers are here already though).
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-23-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYHeel View Post

Thanks for the help. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the in ceiling speakers for the side surrounds. Do you think there's any value in putting in in-wall speakers for the 7.1 ( rear surrounds) setup? This isn't a dedicated theater room but it will basically be the only TV in the house. Since I'm doing this room from scratch I don't want to waste the opportunity to wire this up if there's value (audio value that is) in the rear 7.1 in-wall speakers. If I do go with the 7.1 setup would the in wall rear speakers work well with in ceiling side speakers?
Thanks again for the help. I'm not very knowledgeable about surround sound setups and I'm trying to learn more.

I only went with in-walls for the rear because the seats were right against the rear wall. By having in-walls, you technically are buying yourself an extra 2 feet or so to the speakers.

Jason


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post #10 of 11 Old 10-23-2012, 10:27 PM
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All ceiling for the surrounds and rears. I personally prefer my center and L/R speakers to be on the same plane, at the same distance but modern receivers are so good at compensating that in wall L/R shouldn't be an issue.

-Curtiss
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-04-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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All ceiling for the surrounds and rears. I personally prefer my center and L/R speakers to be on the same plane, at the same distance but modern receivers are so good at compensating that in wall L/R shouldn't be an issue.
-Curtiss
So the house construction is moving along and I'm getting closer to wiring the speakers. My seating position is going to be towards the back of the room but not quite flush with the back wall. (see the diagram in the original post with the TV up against the wall with the 11'7" inch line)

I've been rethinking if I should go with the 7.1 with the 4 rear in-ceiling speakers or a 5.1 with 2 rear in ceiling speakers. If I went with 7.1 I would put the rear surrounds as far back and close to the back wall as possible so there's as much distance between the seating and the rear speakers as possible. If I'm only sitting about 2-3 feet off of the back wall am I too close to the rear surrounds in the ceiling or is this fine since there's already enough distance because the speakers are in the ceiling? I'm just nervous that my side surrounds and rear surrounds would be relatively close to each other.

Thanks for the help.
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