or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Please help me find speakers for movie dialogue clarity
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Please help me find speakers for movie dialogue clarity

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Posted the following in the receiver forum. Was directed to this forum as speakers appear to be more important to my needs given my budget.

Hi, I'm rebuilding after hurricane Sandy and am doing a theater room from scratch. The dimensions for the viewing area is around 16' x 10' x 8'. That's the area where the speakers will be set up on walls and ceiling. The actual wall to wall dimensions is around 30' x 15' x 8' but part of that will be a dining area or workout area or whatever.

My #1 concern is clean, crisp and loud dialogue from movies and an all around good movie viewing experience. No muffled dialogue.

I have been looking at some popular receiver like the Yamaha RX-V673, 773, A720 and the comparable models from Onkyo, Pioneer, etc. Then you have some audiophiles scoff at all of these and recommend some receivers like the NAD T748 amongst others. And then of course I feel like I am then limiting any system I buy by my originally intended speaker setup. Something along the lines of the energy take classics or energy c50 series or ML mlt-2. Something with reasonable size and price. Then I started looking at FS52 floor speakers (compromising on keeping everything on the walls and ceiling) in hopes of achieving my goal. Invariably I have become really confused and depressed about life in general. :-p

As I said my #1 goal is perfectly crisp dialogue. #2 is overall theater sound quality. A distant 3rd is music. I would love to keep speakers small and on the walls and ceiling if possible. I don't care that much about multi zones. I don't care that much about apps (but it would be a nice bonus). I need 3D pass through with no degradation in video quality at all.

My budget is $600-$700 for receiver . Though keeping at as low as possible is preferable. I wouldn't pay $300 extra for some marginal improvement.
My speaker budget is also around $600. Granted I had originally hoped to spend $600-$700 for the entire system after bargain hunting.

Please help me. I am lost. Thank you.

edit- I suppose if I get a cheaper receiver, I can get more expensive speakers. But overall staying to a ~ $1200 budget.
post #2 of 55
Have you had prior experience with bad dialog? I ask because I don't recall ever seeing a thread titled "what's wrong with my speakers, dialog sucks" . As long as you get a set of fronts, with matching center, you should be fine. You can mix and match fronts and surrounds, but you want your front soundstage to be the same. The vast majority of speaker mfg's have speaker lines that include a timber matched center channel speaker. Just about any avr you'll get will have some form of room calibration and will let you adjust the center channel volume should you so desire.
post #3 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Hi, I'm rebuilding after hurricane Sandy and am doing a theater room from scratch. The dimensions for the viewing area is around 16' x 10' x 8'. That's the area where the speakers will be set up on walls and ceiling. The actual wall to wall dimensions is around 30' x 15' x 8' but part of that will be a dining area or workout area or whatever.

My #1 concern is clean, crisp and loud dialogue from movies and an all around good movie viewing experience. No muffled dialogue.

edit- I suppose if I get a cheaper receiver, I can get more expensive speakers. But overall staying to a ~ $1200 budget.

Your room size is 3600 cubic feet, which essentially means you'll need some pretty stout speakers and subwoofer(s) to fill that much space with "clean, crisp and loud dialogue". I don't see you doing it with only $1200, especially when that also includes the receiver, but you never know. Were you looking to do a full 5.x system?
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Your room size is 3600 cubic feet, which essentially means you'll need some pretty stout speakers and subwoofer(s) to fill that much space with "clean, crisp and loud dialogue". I don't see you doing it with only $1200, especially when that also includes the receiver, but you never know. Were you looking to do a full 5.x system?
That's depressing. I haven't heard anybody express that opinion yet. Yes I do intend to do a full 5.1 system. I was wondering if the Yamaha dialogue lift was a simple solution. I would think a $500-$600 Aventage system along with $600-700 worth of reasonable speakers would be adequate for a simple task like clean crisp dialogue along with very good (not enthusiast grade) sound. I am certainly no audiophile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

Have you had prior experience with bad dialog? I ask because I don't recall ever seeing a thread titled "what's wrong with my speakers, dialog sucks" . As long as you get a set of fronts, with matching center, you should be fine. You can mix and match fronts and surrounds, but you want your front soundstage to be the same. The vast majority of speaker mfg's have speaker lines that include a timber matched center channel speaker. Just about any avr you'll get will have some form of room calibration and will let you adjust the center channel volume should you so desire.
Through 3 cheap setups (low end kenwood, sony and onkyo systems), the dialogue was never great. Just adequate to downright muddy. Was hoping to solve that once and for all.
post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

That's depressing. I haven't heard anybody express that opinion yet. Yes I do intend to do a full 5.1 system. I was wondering if the Yamaha dialogue lift was a simple solution. I would think a $500-$600 Aventage system along with $600-700 worth of reasonable speakers would be adequate for a simple task like clean crisp dialogue along with very good (not enthusiast grade) sound. I am certainly no audiophile.

To a certain extent you can get away with 'inadequate' speakers if you point them directly at the seating positions. A subwoofer is a different story unfortunately; it will "see" all the space and try to fill it. Because of that phenomenon it's almost impossible to get satisfactory results from something that's less than sufficient.

Given your circumstance it might be better to start with a 3.0 or 3.1 system and then upgrade when finances permit. An example of such a configuration would be a pair of Pioneer SP-FS52 speakers and the matching SP-C22 center. Toss in an SVS PB-1000 and you would have a very good system for the price. Not exactly within your budget, but certainly a really nice place to start.
post #6 of 55
Thread Starter 
I was looking at those very speakers. no problem with those. The sub is a bit pricey. But it has no baring on the dialogue, right? And there are many subs in the $200-$300 range that people swear are more than acceptable. So perhaps there is one such sub that will work adequately for my purposes? In which case I would be able to complete the setup for ~$700.
I do have two Design Acoustics ps 55 speakers that perhaps might work as rear sets?
post #7 of 55
Get the Klipsch RW-12D for $300. Best bang for the buck in subs. If money is tight, get the fronts and use your existing as rears. The floor standing fs52's along with a sub should help fill your space.
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

I was looking at those very speakers. no problem with those. The sub is a bit pricey. But it has no baring on the dialogue, right?

Depends upon the crossover setting you use. If it's the typical 80Hz the sub will indeed play a part, with male voices at least. In either case, it's not a good idea to scrimp on the sub; the first time an explosion happens in a movie you'll regret not having spent a little more. Trust me. wink.gif
post #9 of 55
First of all I would definitely recommend not spending $600 for a receiver. I would first check out Accessories4less.com. They are an authorized dealer of many receiver brands and come highly recommended by many members on this forum. Sure they sell manufacturer refurbished but just about all of the receivers come with a warranty and some receivers go for as much as 70% off. I have at times even seen flagship models close to what your looking to spend for a receiver. I would say spend $300-400 on a good receiver and spend the rest on speakers and a sub if you go this route.

Many will try to steer you to tower speakers but for strictly home theater this in my opinion may be overkill. In my experience bookshelves don't have the same bass output as towers but when properly crossed over with a good sub at 80-120hz it completely negates this advantage that towers have. Bookshelves are cheaper and sometimes it's possible to step up to a higher up and more expensive speaker line with a bookshelf speakers and get better sound than if you stuck with the lower line and went for towers. For example it costs $860 at amazon for a pair of Polks RTI A7 but for $500 I could get the superior Polk LSI line bookshelf. The main appeal of towers is that for music, bass is sometimes more accurate in towers since many people don't know how properly set up a sub. For home theater I doubt there will be much of a difference and often it's hard for people to differentiate between towers and Bookshelf models for music too.

If your looking for crisp dialogue I would try to go to BestBuy and compare the Pioneer FS-52's and some Klipsch speakers. Even if you don't want to buy either I strongly recommend it. They have a very different sound and should help give you an idea what type of sound you like. That being said I think based on the crisp dialogue and music as a distant third in priority I would definitely say check out Klipsch. The Klipsch speakers (Forward, Aggressive and Bright) have a horn and are some of the most recommended for home theater but are sometimes called fatiguing for music. A benefit of Klipsch is they are very efficient and just about any model will sound good on any budget receiver. Stepping up to an amp or better receiver will often yield little to no difference, allowing more $$$ to spent on speakers. The Pioneer's (Laid back) on the other hand sounded very detailed but were in no way what I would call an exciting speaker. Still excellent for music if you like that type of sound and many do.

Often I hear Paradigm, Definitive Technology, BIC and mostly Klipsch thrown around for best home theater speakers. Also most movie theaters use horn tweeters so maybe you should look into horn designs since this is strictly for HT.

I previously had the FS-52's and for home theater and I found it seriously lacking. Just last week at BB I compared them to the Klipsch Synergy line with my little brother and when we heard the Klipsch's our jaws just dropped. I would even say I liked the lowly and very cheap synergy line more than my Energy RC's ($2000msrp) and the Energy speakers are some of the most beloved on these forums and in professional reviews. My reason for sharing this little story is that you could read every review and spend $10,000 on speakers but then like $200 speakers more if you don't figure out what type of sound you like beforehand. Almost all cheap speakers (ipad, tv, HTIB) sound the same, but when you step on up to high end audio the sound difference between speakers can be night and day.

While after reading what i wrote above it sounds like I'm siding with Klipsch (I am) this means absolutely nothing if you don't like the sound though.
Edited by Porthos01 - 5/3/13 at 9:22pm
post #10 of 55
If your total budget is $1200, think:

- $600 speakers,
- $300 sub
- $300 receiver

Best dialog clarity will likely come if your centre has a dedicated midrange - but finding 3way fronts (because you want the L/R/C to match) and a pair of surrounds for $600 won't be easy. That said, I have three identical KEF iQ3 for my fronts (single coaxial driver) and i am very happy with my setup (though always planning the next upgrade).

I am sure others with experience looking at more speakers than i will chime in redface.gif
post #11 of 55
I'm not sure that the Pioneer SP speakers would be a great way to go for dialogue intelligibility. Much of the dialogue come from the center speaker, and the SP center looks pretty sad. 4" woofers? I would rather go with the Infinity Primus speakers, their c351 center is a more formidable three-way speaker with 5.25" woofers, 3" mids and a tweeter. I have one and have never had problems understanding what is being said. Also I would not spend a lot on a subwoofer, I would just go with the Klipsch RW-12d.

Here is a suggestion that will be great for dialogue and your budget:
Onkyo 709: $480, this comes with Audyssey MultiEQ XT, which is beneficial for dialogue. The newer Onkyos don't seem to have MultiEQ XT at this proce point.
Infinity Primus p153 bookshelf speakers for left/right fronts: $110 each
Infinity Primus c351 center speaker: $280
Infinity CS60R in-ceiling speakers for surrounds: $90 each
Klipsch RW-12d subwoofer: $280, as long as you enter the promo code EMCXRXV69 before 5/8. This sub would be probably be better for your room than the entry level SVS sub.

Total: $1440 shipped. A bit over your budget, but the beefy center channel and receiver with the better version of Audyssey ought to make a real difference for your goals.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Posted the following in the receiver forum. Was directed to this forum as speakers appear to be more important to my needs given my budget.

Hi, I'm rebuilding after hurricane Sandy and am doing a theater room from scratch. The dimensions for the viewing area is around 16' x 10' x 8'. That's the area where the speakers will be set up on walls and ceiling. The actual wall to wall dimensions is around 30' x 15' x 8' but part of that will be a dining area or workout area or whatever.

My #1 concern is clean, crisp and loud dialogue from movies and an all around good movie viewing experience. No muffled dialogue.

I have been looking at some popular receiver like the Yamaha RX-V673, 773, A720 and the comparable models from Onkyo, Pioneer, etc. Then you have some audiophiles scoff at all of these and recommend some receivers like the NAD T748 amongst others. And then of course I feel like I am then limiting any system I buy by my originally intended speaker setup. Something along the lines of the energy take classics or energy c50 series or ML mlt-2. Something with reasonable size and price. Then I started looking at FS52 floor speakers (compromising on keeping everything on the walls and ceiling) in hopes of achieving my goal. Invariably I have become really confused and depressed about life in general. :-p

As I said my #1 goal is perfectly crisp dialogue. #2 is overall theater sound quality. A distant 3rd is music. I would love to keep speakers small and on the walls and ceiling if possible. I don't care that much about multi zones. I don't care that much about apps (but it would be a nice bonus). I need 3D pass through with no degradation in video quality at all.

My budget is $600-$700 for receiver . Though keeping at as low as possible is preferable. I wouldn't pay $300 extra for some marginal improvement.
My speaker budget is also around $600. Granted I had originally hoped to spend $600-$700 for the entire system after bargain hunting.

Please help me. I am lost. Thank you.

edit- I suppose if I get a cheaper receiver, I can get more expensive speakers. But overall staying to a ~ $1200 budget.

See if anything def tech makes interest you. The sm45's are nice. The powered towers are nice too because the mids are sealed and the bass is adjustable via a dial. Also wont need much power to drive them.
post #13 of 55
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help.
post #14 of 55
Chase Home Theater makes some speakers that appear to be just what you're looking for. http://www.chasehometheater.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=28&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=679&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=149&redirected=1&Itemid=149

See this thread for more information. http://www.chasehometheater.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5578

These are the least expensive high efficiency speakers I know of. $625 for 5. High efficiency means you can achieve the same loudness with less power. This leaves you $575 for a receiver and a sub. Buy the least expensive receiver that has the features you have to have (not want to have). The least expensive receiver should be able to power these speakers. Use the remaining money for a sub.
post #15 of 55

My understanding is Klipsch is currently one of the largest (if not the largest) supplier to theaters.....

 

Hard to beat the dynamics & clarity of horns

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

My understanding is Klipsch is currently one of the largest (if not the largest) supplier to theaters.....

I believe that is JBL.
post #17 of 55

I have  no idea who's the largest...but this is from their website.  I might have confused worlds largest supplier with worlds largest cinema chains.

Regardless, if someone has been to the theater and wants theater type sound in their home, Klipsch is certainly one place to consider.  (I will admit you will not find that experience at Best Buy....  you gotta look at their bigger guns)

 

http://www.klipsch.com/about-product-lines

 

"If you've been to the movies in the last 30 years, chances are you’ve enjoyed Klipsch professional cinema sound. The world’s largest cinema chains, including Regal Cinemas and Malco Theatres, turn to us to provide the power, detail and emotion of today’s complex film soundtracks. In fact, 50 percent of all new theaters in North and South America, as well as Korea and Australasia install Klipsch products."

post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Regardless, if someone has been to the theater and wants theater type sound in their home, Klipsch is certainly one place to consider. 
True, if you buy from their Cinema or Heritage lines. The rest of the Klipsch models are to theatrical speakers as a stock Camry is to a NASCAR 'Camry'.
Quote:
Hard to beat the dynamics & clarity of horns
Also true, but when the only driver that's horn loaded is the tweeter that's not going to do anything for the dynamics and clarity in the bass and midrange. Where the OP is concerned that's key, as vocal clarity is a midrange issue. On that subject, if you want to be sure that a speaker will have high clarity in the vocals just look at the measured SPL chart to be sure there are no dips or valleys in the 500-3kHz range, both on-axis and off-axis.
post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

My understanding is Klipsch is currently one of the largest (if not the largest) supplier to theaters.....

I thought you were building a home system.

Believe it or not, there are some technical differences between loudspeakers that are ideal for a room that seats at least several 100, and a room that seats maybe 3-6 people.
Quote:
Hard to beat the dynamics & clarity of horns

But that doesn't mean that every speaker that has horn drivers in it has the best possible dynamics and clarity.

As far as movie theater speakers go, the installed base of JBL is probably very hard to beat at this point in time. But that is irrelevant to this discussion unless you are planning to open up your own Movie theater, right?
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Believe it or not, there are some technical differences between loudspeakers that are ideal for a room that seats at least several 100, and a room that seats maybe 3-6 people.
But that doesn't mean that every speaker that has horn drivers in it has the best possible dynamics and clarity.

Try telling that to Jeff Permanian... biggrin.gif
post #21 of 55
Consumer grade Klipsch and JBL speakers are not the best speakers in the world. Harsh/shrill, "honky," and with cupped hand type high frequencies especially when pushed. Most theater PA speakers also are not the most accurate speakers either... good ones are meant to be loud and clear, but I haven't heard many that I would consider "accurate to the source." As in, reproducing real life sounds realistically.

You'd have to go to an Academy grade theater, premiere IMAX theater, or pro sound editing room to get excellent horn speakers.
post #22 of 55
Check out the Andrew Jones Pioneer thread, and then get that Klipsch subwoofer that everyone is talking about.

You could do 2 towers and 2 bookshelves or even 4 towers, and of course the center. The center is large and very clear, even when the source is TV.

They are very nice for the price and you would have to bust your budget to get better sound in my opinion.

Full disclosure I've only had them a short time, but its long enough for me to be very impressed and comfortable recommending them.

Add a mid level reciever with decent power and features. My personal preference currently being Yamaha, but it used to be Onkyo but the recent models have some issues.

Good luck and have fun.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

You'd have to go to an Academy grade theater, premiere IMAX theater, or pro sound editing room to get excellent horn speakers.
Or MKtheater's house. wink.gif
post #24 of 55

Quote:

Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Klipsch is certainly one place to consider.  (I will admit you will not find that experience at Best Buy....  you gotta look at their bigger guns)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


True, if you buy from their Cinema or Heritage lines.

 

I think we are in more agreement than not.  I personally prefer them with horn loaded bass bins which is why I made the comment about their 'bigger guns' and not finding the experience at Best Buy.

post #25 of 55
Thread Starter 
Would you guys recommend the Infinity Primus PS312 sub or the klipsch rw-12d?

Also, would you recommend the Infinity Primus line or the Andrew Jones? Thanks
post #26 of 55
You want clear dialogue. Use a vertical bookshelf instead of the crappy horizontal centers especially MTM designs for the center speaker.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Would you guys recommend the Infinity Primus PS312 sub or the klipsch rw-12d?

Also, would you recommend the Infinity Primus line or the Andrew Jones? Thanks

IMO, the infinity p363 blows away the pioneer fs-52 towers in almost everything including dynamics, treble, midrange quality, and bass capabilities. It is better in HT and music, again, IMO. The star in the pioneer lineup is the bookshelf speaker. Even though it lacks bass compared to the infinity p163, I feel I preferred it with music. I was hearing excessive sibilance in the pioneer center and towers, not so much in the bookshelf for some odd reason.

The pioneer c22 center isn't that good, typical MTM design, lacking greatly compared to the infinity pc351 in dynamics and overall sound quality. I owned both at one time. But both pales in comparison to a vertical infinity p163 as a center, the pioneer bookshelf center may work well, I haven't tested it in movies as a center. Bookshelf speakers are cheaper than center speakers and does a better job, just need to make the space.
post #28 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

IMO, the infinity p363 blows away the pioneer fs-52 towers in almost everything including dynamics, treble, midrange quality, and bass capabilities. It is better in HT and music, again, IMO. The star in the pioneer lineup is the bookshelf speaker. Even though it lacks bass compared to the infinity p163, I feel I preferred it with music. I was hearing excessive sibilance in the pioneer center and towers, not so much in the bookshelf for some odd reason.

The pioneer c22 center isn't that good, typical MTM design, lacking greatly compared to the infinity pc351 in dynamics and overall sound quality. I owned both at one time. But both pales in comparison to a vertical infinity p163 as a center, the pioneer bookshelf center may work well, I haven't tested it in movies as a center. Bookshelf speakers are cheaper than center speakers and does a better job, just need to make the space.
So getting a p163 is actually a better option than the much more expensive pc351? Can you put it on it's side? This is most likely going to have to go on the ceiling. And I'd assume I'll have to improvise something to have it up there and directed toward the viewing area. But having this bookshelf speaker on it's side would be a problem?
post #29 of 55
You won't want the bookshelf speaker on it's side. It would be better to go with the c361 in this case. The p163 is made with the woofer intending to interact with the tweeter on a vertical plane, and if you place it on it's side, you will end up with lobing issues. I don't know how severe it would be though. Placing any speaker near the ceiling is a terrible idea, by the way, especially for dialogue coherence.
post #30 of 55
@kovy vok.... If you wan't speakers to hang on the wall with great dialog clarity and reasonable price I would look at BIC Formula FH6-LCR speakers for front, center and surrounds. I have the higher end BIC Acoustech speakers and everyone that hears my setup is amazed at how good they sound and how clear the dialog sounds. Most of these ppl have only heard cheap HTIB setups with distortion and muddy bass. You should be able to get these speakers for less than $100 each delivered to your house.
http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/core/view_BigProduct.cfm?pid=1765&sc=33
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Speakers
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Please help me find speakers for movie dialogue clarity