Having a tough time deciding on side/rear speakers. - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Having a tough time deciding on side/rear speakers.

So right now my system is 3.1 and I want to add either rear surronds or sides. My receiver has that virtual cinema front or whatever Yamaha calls it so worst case scenario, I can use that until I figure out ideal placement. If it even works all that well.

Anyways, I'm doing this on a budget and I've narrowed my selection down to the following:

Polk Audio OWM3 - 99.99

Polk Audio OWM5 - 105 each at BB

Fluance XLBP - 199.99

Fluance AVBP2 - 119.99

The AVBP2 are at Best Buy, which I have about 60 dollars in gift cards/certificates for so I'd really only be spending around 60 dollars out of pocket. I could also get two of the Polks for around 150 out of pocket.

I'm looking for something that will grow with my setup and may even find a place in a dedicated HT room. Right now I have P363s, PC351 and a Lava Sub powered by a Yamaha A840 so really, the surrounds will be the last thing I upgrade since I think the first will be the Infinities.

I'm leaning towards the XLBP but at the same time, 60 bucks for the AVBP2 is tempting.


Last edited by Lethean; 02-12-2015 at 04:26 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 04:33 PM
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While you CAN get away with mismatching surrounds and mains (I do it myself) you should really consider keeping with the infinity line if possible. Matching up speakers will give the most ideal results. There are used primus book shelves on ebay right now that are within your budget.

I caved!
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 04:49 PM
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Even before purchasing, you might want to try experimenting with a pair of old unused speakers (or maybe a friend has some) to see what works best for you and your environment. Some of us prefer or have better effects from side surrounds, others rears, and still others both.

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post #4 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 05:35 PM
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Can we assume that you are moving from 3.1 to 5.1? The additional speakers in a 5.1 are actually Side speakers, though many put them in the rear.

Next you have to consider what you want the speakers to do. Also you have to consider the size of your room and the available space to place the speakers. Something that would go a long way toward making recommendations if you shared with us.

Bi-Pole speakers give a very diffused sound, but not a very direct sound. Direct/bookshelf speakers are ...well... more direct but less diffused. Each has its own pluses and minuses.

Will the speakers be on Stands or Wall Mounted? How far away from these speakers will the Prime Seating location be?

Then we consider frequency response. The Polk have very limited bass response, only down to about 100hz. That's neither good nor bad, but you have to understand what you want and need relative to what you are buying.

The Fluance are rated down to 130hz, again, neither good nor bad, just realize what you are getting relative to what you need to accomplish.

The front ported Infinity Primus 153 with 5" bass drivers are rated down to 53hz and cost about $76 each. But do you have a place to put them; do you have a means of mounting them?
  • 7-3/8"W x 13"H x 10-1/2"D

Your solution is dictated by your needs, your circumstances, and your working budget.

Until we also know what it is you are trying to accomplish, your goals, what your requirements and priorities are, the dimensions of your room and the layout, and your working budget range, it is going to be hard for us to make meaningful recommendations.

The devil is always in the details.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Honestly, I didn't even have an answer to those questions. I want the sides to add atmosphere to the gaming/movie watching experience and bring out more of the finer details. Positioning is something I haven't even figured out though because of how oddly shaped the room is.
As you can see it isn't the ideal setup having it completely open to the kitchen and one side of the sofa being about 8 feet from a wall. I was even thinking of just using the Yamaha Virtual Cinema Front feature.


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post #6 of 7 Old 02-12-2015, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethean View Post
...

Can you explain the photo?

Are you standing in front of the TV looking out into the room?

Or, is the TV on the left?

Clearly the sofa is not centered on the room, so best guess from whatever you consider the prime seating location, how far is it to each side wall.

Though speaking metaphorically, it seems you are more interested in bring the Lightening than the Thunder from these additional speakers. By that I mean, you aren't interested in enhancing the deep rumble of movie sound tracks. Rather you are more focus on mid-range and treble - voice, general ambiance, fine detail, etc....

In that case, Di-poles could potentially work.

If you can put them far enough back and to the sides, then common bookshelf on stands would work. Bookshelf could also be mounted on the walls.

I personally am not that comfortable with speakers that have a low response of 100hz or above, but pretty much all of the small Lifestyle Satellite speakers are going to fall in to that range, and there are millions of those sold every year.

Though there are many guiding guide lines. If wall mounting some say the Front should be ear level when sitting and the Side/Rear should be between chest level and ear level when standing.

The main thing you want to watch out for is that one of the Surround speakers is not firing directly into someone's ear. Their experience will be dominated by that one speakers. If the speaker is placed up higher, then it will not be directly into the ear, and the sound will have a change to disburse and give everyone somewhat uniform sound.

The same if the speaker are behind the sofa on stands. If the are literally directly behind the sofa, individual people are going to have their experience dominated by sitting directly in front of one of the speakers. But, if you move the farther back, the sound has a chance to spread out and give everyone a more uniform sound.

Though unconventional, we are all slaves to our circumstance. I have heard of people laying bookshelf speaker on the floor behind the sofa pointing straight up at the ceiling. Again, it a tight space, this would give individuals a more diverse sound.

So, it is a matter of what you can make working in your space. How much money you have to spend. And, what compromises you are willing to make.

But keep thinking about the sound from the Surrounds spreading out and given everyone the most uniform sound possible within the limits of your room.

Don't be concerned about the speakers not being equal distant from the Prime Seat. When your run Set-Up on the AV Receiver, it will balance the speakers for uniform sound at the Prime Seat, which is where you place the Microphone during Set-Up.

Every installation is tricky. But we make the best compromises we can to meet out needs and to serve our circumstances.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #7 of 7 Unread Today, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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That is a lot of useful information. Thanks Steve! As for the room, I took two better pictures to get across the layout:
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