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7.1 set up with all rears on the back wall

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am looking at making a media room in my basement with a 7.1 setup and projector. I currently have a 5.1 set up with ceiling mounted speakers that are a real PITA since the ceilings are low (6.5 to 7 feet) where people are hitting their head (and one speaker knocked off the ceiling). I was mocking it up and I was wondering if it would be sacrilege to put all 4 surrounds against the back wall and angle the outer most surrounds inward at the listener. The couch would be about 2 feet forward from the back wall. Most of the back wall threads I read are about putting the couch on the back wall not the speakers. My other problem is that one side has no wall so aesthetically mounting all rears on the back wall would work. the big speaker in the back is the sub

See the image below.

post #2 of 11
What's the point of having a 7.1 set-up with no rear-vs-side separation in the surround field? Sounds meant to come from your sides will come from behind you. Sounds meant to come from the back will also come from behind you. Better to stick with a good 5.1-speaker layout than shoe horn a poor 7.1 layout into your room.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Good point. I could bring the side rears forward and put them on pedastals at ear level. Do the back surrounds and side surrounds have to be at the same height? (new image below)

post #4 of 11
I would not recommend trying to do the speaker layout in the first picture. Doing it that way would be a waste. You would be better off with just 5.1 or 3.1 instead. The second picture looks much better. You may have good results with that configuration. Not perfect but sometimes you just have to work with the room you've got and make the best of it.
post #5 of 11
With placement that close to your seating position I recommend you go with dipole surrounds.
post #6 of 11
+1 for the dipoles. I've got dipole/bipole speakers and I use them in dipole mode. They have dual tweeters and a single 5 1/4" driver in each cab. Sounds good. They are about 6' from me on either side and do a very good job of diffusing the sound.

And a +1 for ditching the 7 channel setup in a room like that. There simply isn't enough space along the back wall - no separation from the side and rear surround.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
If I use dipoles for the side surrounds shoul I should use directs for the back surrounds?
post #8 of 11
I recommend the layout in the first diagram, but with a 5.1 setup and ditch the rear surrounds.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
To those who say ditch the 7.1 in favor of 5.1: Is the issue the distance between my couch and the wall (about 1.5 feet)? I should have put in distance markings. For reference, the left side wall is about 18.5 feet long.

If I brought the couch forward another 2-3 feet, kept the side rears on either side of the couch and the back rears wall mounted, would that improve spatial separation and make the 7.1 effect worth it?
post #10 of 11
I used bi-pole in-wall speakers ( Definitive Technology BPZ/A ) for my back surrounds and they work surprisingly well with the couch only 24" from the back wall. They have two 1" tweeters and two 6.5" mid-bass and are canted at 30 degrees. I have direct radiating for my side surrounds.

post #11 of 11
If you really want to go 7.1 you can. Bring your couch forward a few feet (at least 2) and separate the rear surrounds a bit more. Place your side surrounds on stands at the sides of your couch, but bring them more forward for spatial separation. You want to place them about at the center-point of your Love-seat/L-section of your couch. Turn them so they aim at the center of the main seating position. Also, if you can, move your couch a bit to the right, maybe center it on the wall a bit, or line of the right side of the couch with the edge of the wall behind it. That should give you plenty of room for your side surrounds.

Give that a try and see if you like it. Later, if you feel like downgrading from 7.1 to 5.1 I would recommend placing your surrounds in the back left corner and next to the edge of the wall just behind your couch but again, angled to the center of your seating position. I would try the 7.1 as I have suggested first though.
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