I am having an installer mount a 46" TV above fireplace mantle. I have a SP-C22 pioneer ctr channel that I really want to use but not sure if the size speaker will work both aesthetically and physically.
The installer is trying to steer me towards buying a Sonos playbar from him to be used.
I would prefer a 5.1 system as I already have a denon avr-1912 receiver.
He will also run my hdmi cables nicely in the wall as to leave a clean look.
Since he's having to run power and HDMI anyway, adding three speaker wires is no big deal. And you should have them add at least one, preferrably two or three cat5e/cat6 cables for the future, so they don't have to come back later!
PS - This assumes we can't talk you out of the "over fireplace" placement...
Closing off the fireplace was my first thought too. That is a hard location, right in a corner. If you really want a TV up there, a soundbar might not be a bad idea. Tiny speakers are the other option, but until you get up to about 4" not much better than a soundbar.
Between the AV gear and the TV location, there are several possible uses: HDMI video, Ethernet, IR repeating, audio input/output, etc. My point is that if you've got someone running wire through the walls - have them pull a couple of cat6 wires while they're pulling. $3 of wire that could get you out of trouble when the "next" thing comes around. If this was new construction we'd recommend a flex conduit for future-proofing. For retrofit, an extra cat6 or two is about as good as you can get...