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What type of speaker for surround? Couch against rear wall.

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
My ears are about 2 feet from rear wall when seated. In a 5.1 setup, what "type" of speaker works best, and where should they be mounted? This is for 100% home theater use. Would I be better off with a normal(direct) speaker, or a dipole/bipole speaker? Should I mount them on rear wall or side walls? I want to get new speakers, but I have to figure this out first. Thanks for any advice.
post #2 of 43
Good questions! I'd do a sketchup of some sorts, and post in the audio theory/chat forum if I were you.

The little that I do know: dipoles need to be placed more carefully as they are designed so that you sit in the null.

bipoles have more coverage, but depend more on boundary interaction than monopoles.

The main thing is personal preference.

Is it truly an impossibility to move the couch forward? Some folks put sliders on the feet so that they can push the couch back to the wall easily after a viewing.

Your head that close to the back wall means muddy bass (which then ALSO masks other frequencies, such as dialogue for instance). It also means reflections arriving so quickly that they are indistinguishable from the audio coming directly from the speakers. Even just a few feet will help a lot. And the best part could be that you get more correct angles for surrounds. 110-135 for side surrounds in 5.1 setup.

If you are not going to move the couch ever, heavy broadband absorption on this back wall becomes more imperative.
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
The only way to move the couch forward would be to build an extension for the riser. But I really don't want to sit any closer because I'm using a 106" diagonal screen with my projector.
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

The only way to move the couch forward would be to build an extension for the riser. But I really don't want to sit any closer because I'm using a 106" diagonal screen with my projector.

How many ft away do you sit from screen and/or what is your current viewing angle? I am 42 degrees for front row with 159".

Can't you just move the riser forward? Any amount you do will be beneficial in multiple aspects.
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
I sit about 15' from the screen. I have no idea what the viewing angle is. I'm using the riser because we sometimes have extra people sitting on moveable chairs in front of us. Lets assume I move the couch forward 1 foot. That would probably put my ears about 2' from rear wall. They're now probably about 1' from rear wall when sitting.
post #6 of 43
You have a 28.8 degree viewing angle I believe. Use this calc:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...alculator.html

If say, you tried THX recommended viewing angle for 16:9 106", you would be at 11.85 ft away.

Then . . . I know with the vast majority of my movies, the ARs are wider than 16:9. Of those that are 16:9, a couple are documentaries, a few music BDs, and a few movies (one being a cartoon). By far most of my movies are in other ARs like 1.85, 2.35, 2.40 . . .
post #7 of 43
I have bipoles mounted on my rear walls. I only have one side wall due to my room layout. They provide great surround effects. Dipoles are very location dependent to provide their intended effect. Click the link in my sig if you want to see pics. Good luck.
post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 
Nice setup fireman325. I've been thinking about doing bipoles on the real wall also. The other option is dipoles on the sides. What do you guys think is the best option with the couch against the rear wall? I can't mount a speaker on the right side wall because there is a boxed-in post blocking the way of the sound. But I could mount a speaker on the boxed-in post. The only problem is the post is a little forward of where I'm sitting. Any opinions on bipoles on rear wall, or dipoles on sides? Thanks.
post #9 of 43
I personally don't care for dipoles because they are so position sensitive. However that's just my opinion. The decision was made easy for me anyway, since I couldn't properly place but one. Another question to consider is this: Is the sofa against the rear wall the only seating position in the room? If there are any other chairs or a loveseat, the the dipoles would only provide the proper effect for those on the sofa, but not for anyone else. If this is the case I would recommend bipoles.

And thank you.
post #10 of 43
In a 5.1 system, the surround speakers should be at the listeners *sides*, not behind them:
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/home_e...omlayout2.html
This is particularly true if the speakers are dipoles, as this is where dipoles are designed to be placed. If you absolutely must place them on the rear wall, use bipoles aimed straight ahead, or monopoles aimed at the listening position.

Craig
post #11 of 43
Hey Jim,

I have my system in a livingroom. Couch back against 1 wall with a loveseat against the other wall meeting at the corner with a typical end table where they meet at the corner. The only place I can place the surrounds is over my head just outside the edge of each piece. I happen to have gone with an Axiom system and my speakers should be arriving tomorrow so I can't tell you how this will work.

You really should take a look at there QS8 surrounds. They are considered multi-pole and I've been told that these will in any condition and should be great for me.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/qs8.html

Check em out.
post #12 of 43
Wow i asked the same question not too long ago but didnt get much details. I will join this thread then.

Should the dipole be above the ear level? I'm thinking to use 2 dipole instead to puch my seats abit further to the back thus create some room for guests.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MameXP View Post

Should the dipole be above the ear level?

Yes, surrounds are always recommended to be above seated ear level.
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'm not wording things correctly. Assuming I can mount bipoles on rear wall, or dipoles on the sides, which would be better for MY SITUATION? Being that my couch is so close to rear wall, should I mount on rear wall or sides? When I am seated, my ears are about 2' from rear wall. Thanks.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

Maybe I'm not wording things correctly. Assuming I can mount bipoles on rear wall, or dipoles on the sides, which would be better for MY SITUATION? Being that my couch is so close to rear wall, should I mount on rear wall or sides? When I am seated, my ears are about 2' from rear wall. Thanks.

Dipoles are designed for the "null" to be aimed at the listener. IOW, when mounted at the listener's sides, they direct the sound towards the front of the room and the back of the room, but with very little sound focused directly at the listener. This provides a very non-directional, spacious, ambient soundfield. This is fine whenever ambiance is the intended soundfield. However, when specific directionality is called for in the surround track, a non-directional speaker will have a hard time portraying it.

For "current" movie soundtracks which have a lot of "directional" surround information, bipoles or monopoles are much better choices than non-directional dipoles.

Craig

(Edit: Because of the specific aiming requirements for dipoles, they generally do not work well in non-standard (for dipoles) installations. IOW, you don't want to install dipoles on the back wall, behind you. You end up sitting in the direct path of one side of the dipole, and completely outside the "null" area. In this case, you would be better off with wide dispersion bipoles, or front firing monopoles.)
post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks craig. If I'm following you, I'm better off with bipoles on the rear wall? That's my best option with my ears about 2' from rear wall when seated?
post #17 of 43
Jim i just realized you're looking to get the Mirage nanosat. You would not have problem having them on the sides of your seating. I had them b4 and they worked wonder.

My case is totally different because i have a dedicated room with treatments. I'm using Energy RC all around. I have a right placement now but looking to accomplish some room for guests.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 View Post

Yes, surrounds are always recommended to be above seated ear level.

I have bipoles and like the OP sit on a couch up against the back wall. What is the ideal height for the surrounds? and how close to the side walls should you place them?

Right now, I have the speakers on tv trays.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCRx View Post

I have bipoles and like the OP sit on a couch up against the back wall. What is the ideal height for the surrounds? and how close to the side walls should you place them?

Right now, I have the speakers on tv trays.

Bipole surrounds to be mounted two to three feet above ear level on the side walls near the corners, if your sofa is on the back wall. I have the same set up, and at this time, I'm trying my bipole surrounds on the side walls, two to three feet above ear level, but slightly forward of the sofa to avoid corner placement. A lot of music listeners have their surrounds more at ear level. So many of us are in the "not so perfect room", so you have to try some things different. My sofa is on the back wall and I just don't have the room to pull it forward.
post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I read the exact opposite about bipoles in a link from Blu-ray.com. It said bipolars should be mounted on the rear wall.
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCRx View Post

I have bipoles and like the OP sit on a couch up against the back wall. What is the ideal height for the surrounds? and how close to the side walls should you place them?

Right now, I have the speakers on tv trays.

I went with the other approach from Espo77 because I had to. With my sofa on the rear wall, I put my bipoles on the rear wall as well. I tried to space them as evenly as I could in relation to the TV setup in the front of the room as well as the sofa in the back of the room. You can take a look at my pics (link in signature) and see it's not exactly perfect. I would have liked the right surround to be a little closer, but due to a door location this couldn't be done. I would also have liked the left surround to be a little farther away, but I decided to pull it in a little to get it away from a corner. The overall surround effect is still very, very good. As for height, it is recommended that surrounds be 2-3' above ear level. I have mine about head high while standing, which puts them right in that 2-3' higher range while sitting.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

Interesting. I read the exact opposite about bipoles in a link from Blu-ray.com. It said bipolars should be mounted on the rear wall.

I've read the same post, and even posted a question in that thread about this very topic. Basically your surround speakers are supposed to go beside you, as was pointed out by Craig a few posts above. However, in the real world this isn't always possible. Bipoles allow for greater flexibility than dipoles when it comes to positioning them. Therefore if you have to mount on the rear wall (as I did) then a bipole or monopole is the better choice.
post #23 of 43
I have a similar problem and have experimented with both Dipole and in-ceiling speakers. I really though the dipoles would win out (wanted them to actually) but the in-ceiling speakers really did a fantastic job. In fact, in many scenes (Master and Commander for instance) I truely felt that the ship was coming down around me, whereas with the dipoles I could get great sound but not that "feeling". My wife commented on the same as well. My room is 14' across and with the seating we have (and tv setup) we are about 11.5-12' away. I can't really pull the couch any distance off the wall so the in-ceilings are just to the left/right of the main listeners, and maybe only a couple inches back.
post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. The majority opinion seems to be bipoles or dipoles for me, instead of normal bookshelfs. NOW for the $64,000 question, what is my BEST option? Dipoles on sides or bipoles on rear walls? I can do either one. I'm thinking bipoles on rear wall because the person sitting on left side of couch is only about 1' from side wall. Thanks.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

I'm trying my bipole surrounds on the side walls, two to three feet above ear level, but slightly forward of the sofa to avoid corner placement. A lot of music listeners have their surrounds more at ear level. So many of us are in the "not so perfect room", so you have to try some things different. My sofa is on the back wall and I just don't have the room to pull it forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 View Post

As for height, it is recommended that surrounds be 2-3' above ear level. I have mine about head high while standing, which puts them right in that 2-3' higher range while sitting.

It's an old concept to mount them above ear level. Ear level is best. All of the ambient effects are already within the tracks themselves. From Ethan Winer, and the attached Grammy surround standards.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1075679
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jostenmeat View Post

It's an old concept to mount them above ear level. Ear level is best. All of the ambient effects are already within the tracks themselves. From Ethan Winer, and the attached Grammy surround standards.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1075679

I'm not so sure. The following is copied directly from Dolby's website.

Quote:


Ideally, your front speakers, high-frequency drivers, or tweeters should be positioned at ear level (when you're seated). Our recommended height for the surrounds is above ear level, as soundtracks are likely to be optimized for that location.

And the following is from the THX website.

Quote:


The left and right surround speakers recreate the enveloping sound and intense special effects that you experience at the cinema. These speakers are placed between 90° and 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 View Post

I'm not so sure. The following is copied directly from Dolby's website.

And the following is from the THX website.

I wonder if those recommendations are the "norm" because most seat backs do block firing surrounds. THIS would be a good reason to raise the height. But if this is not the case, then I don't think so.

Also, some speakers will behave very differently, I mean to one's ears, depending on the height. I've read of speaker reviews that describe some models that demand ear height placement more than others. I guess in such a case where the surround is above ear level, one could hopefully angle them.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jostenmeat View Post

I wonder if those recommendations are the "norm" because most seat backs do block firing surrounds. THIS would be a good reason to raise the height. But if this is not the case, then I don't think so.

Also, some speakers will behave very differently, I mean to one's ears, depending on the height. I've read of speaker reviews that describe some models that demand ear height placement more than others. I guess in such a case where the surround is above ear level, one could hopefully angle them.

It's also possible that it's a situation where there is no one definite right answer, in which case neither of us is 100% correct 100% of the time. I will concede, even if above ear height is "usually" optimal, that it's just not always possible, and I don't think for one minute that this would be the make or break aspect of anyone's system. IMO there are far more important things to worry about.
post #29 of 43
I also have the sofa against rear wall and no other options at present I played with several set ups (floor stands matching fronts,ect) and after a year settled on a low-teck approach that as far as movie or TV surround (as this is the only time I use the surround for the most part) seems to work very well, example , the other night watching 24 I almost jumped out of my seat when the police cars came from behind, and got up to check my cell phone when one rang in an off screen behind you room on the TV. Ready-- I just put up 2 of Polks finest 2 way outdoor speakers on the wall angled at about 20% down and turned in with the Tweeters on the bottom. Hey like I said "Low teck" but it woirks This was helped I'm sure by my running the Audyssey MultEQ XT program with test data collected from 8 listening points.
P.S. This has a good WAF also as you can get them in color matches for your wall or even paint them to match.
post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtexasdog View Post

I also have the sofa against rear wall and no other options at present I played with several set ups (floor stands matching fronts,ect) and after a year settled on a low-teck approach that as far as movie or TV surround (as this is the only time I use the surround for the most part) seems to work very well, example , the other night watching 24 I almost jumped out of my seat when the police cars came from behind, and got up to check my cell phone when one rang in an off screen behind you room on the TV. Ready-- I just put up 2 of Polks finest 2 way outdoor speakers on the wall angled at about 20% down and turned in with the Tweeters on the bottom. Hey like I said "Low teck" but it woirks This was helped I'm sure by my running the Audyssey MultEQ XT program with test data collected from 8 listening points.
P.S. This has a good WAF also as you can get them in color matches for your wall or even paint them to match.

____________________________________________________________ _____
Did you mount them on the side wall or rear wall?
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