Where to put surrounds in an open living room? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-23-2019, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Where to put surrounds in an open living room?

I am wanting to install surround speakers but I don't really have a good place for them. As you can see from the image below my living room is attached to the open kitchen so what would be the back wall of the living room is the back wall of the kitchen where the stove is. This wall is 16' from the back of the couch and the speakers would have to go above the kitchen cabinets at about 9-10' high. Would it be ok to install them this far back and high from the listening position? I will be adding 2 or 4 in ceiling speakers for Atmos but perhaps I can put 2 behind the couch in the ceiling and use those for surrounds if that would be ok? Any help is much appreciated! My wife won't allow speakers on stands in the middle of the floor so my options are the back wall and ceiling...

Current Setup:
(2) Mirage M-3 Floor Standing Speakers
(1) Polk Audio LSiM706 Center Channel
(1) Velodyne DD-15 Subwoofer
Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver

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post #2 of 22 Old 06-23-2019, 08:27 PM
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Install a couple of in-wall speakers into the kitchen island. Hang a couple of pendant speakers from the ceiling behind and just to the sides of the couch. Put a long narrow table behind the couch and put a couple of discreet speakers on it. If no Atmos in your future, install the surrounds in the ceiling.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-23-2019, 09:38 PM
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+1

I assume LCR are in the diagram. Ceiling always has the best WAF... You could hang side speakers on the refrigerator stub wall and nook, and I love the idea of putting rears in the island. Make them a Zone 2 for cooking music and you still have 5.1.

Have fun,
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus5403 View Post
I am wanting to install surround speakers but I don't really have a good place for them. As you can see from the image below my living room is attached to the open kitchen so what would be the back wall of the living room is the back wall of the kitchen where the stove is. This wall is 16' from the back of the couch and the speakers would have to go above the kitchen cabinets at about 9-10' high. Would it be ok to install them this far back and high from the listening position? I will be adding 2 or 4 in ceiling speakers for Atmos but perhaps I can put 2 behind the couch in the ceiling and use those for surrounds if that would be ok? Any help is much appreciated! My wife won't allow speakers on stands in the middle of the floor so my options are the back wall and ceiling...

Current Setup:
(2) Mirage M-3 Floor Standing Speakers
(1) Polk Audio LSiM706 Center Channel
(1) Velodyne DD-15 Subwoofer
Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver

You can put them on stands behind the sofa. In ceiling is a good option, but I like the idea of putting them on the island. JBL makes some aesthetically pleasing pendant speakers so that could be a viable option.
http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/i...s#.XRC1CndFxEY

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Behind the sofa is about a 3' Walkway where we also have bar stools at the island. The island is about 48" tall with plenty of space underneath but if I put speakers there they would be firing at the back of the sofa, so not sure if that would be beneficial. Wife would not approve of pendant speakers as we have have pendant lighting above the bar and she's just not a fan. I am afraid it seems I will be stuck with ceiling speakers and won't be able to use Atmos.

Can I have ceiling surrounds behind the sofa and then 2 ceiling atmos speakers between the sofa and the TV?

Denon AVR-X4500H
(2) Mirage M-3 Towers
(2) Velodyne DD-15 Subwoofers
(1) Polk LSiM706C Center
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 08:18 AM
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Strictly addressing your L/R surrounds as they will have the most effect on creating your best possible surround sound. Keeping with placement guidelines is essential to achieving the best possible surround reproduction. That being said, perfect L/R surrounds should ideally be placed a foot or two above ear level between 90 and 110 degrees on axis with your center listening position. In a perfect world you would use stands to achieve that in your living room. That might not be practical or acceptable so ceiling mounts that will allow placement as close to guidelines as possible are your next best option.
Here's a link to some ceiling mounts FYI.....https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C...w=1366&bih=657

You could also consider "in ceiling" surrounds.

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus5403 View Post
I am wanting to install surround speakers but I don't really have a good place for them. As you can see from the image below my living room is attached to the open kitchen so what would be the back wall of the living room is the back wall of the kitchen where the stove is. This wall is 16' from the back of the couch and the speakers would have to go above the kitchen cabinets at about 9-10' high. Would it be ok to install them this far back and high from the listening position? I will be adding 2 or 4 in ceiling speakers for Atmos but perhaps I can put 2 behind the couch in the ceiling and use those for surrounds if that would be ok? Any help is much appreciated! My wife won't allow speakers on stands in the middle of the floor so my options are the back wall and ceiling...

Current Setup:
(2) Mirage M-3 Floor Standing Speakers
(1) Polk Audio LSiM706 Center Channel
(1) Velodyne DD-15 Subwoofer
Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver
Seems like you are "stuck" with 5.1 or 7.1 using in ceilings as your surrounds.

That should still sound very good though.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:09 AM
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Asking the same also for 5.1 for the surround location. Is it okay to be at ear level or need to be 2-3 feet above ear level? My speaker stand that I can use for my surround is 32" so it will be ear level but if need to be 2-3 feet above ear level then it need to be wall mount. I will be using bookshelves speaker for the surround

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post #9 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by boldventure View Post
Asking the same also for 5.1 for the surround location. Is it okay to be at ear level or need to be 2-3 feet above ear level? My speaker stand that I can use for my surround is 32" so it will be ear level but if need to be 2-3 feet above ear level then it need to be wall mount. I will be using bookshelves speaker for the surround

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Some say ear level some say higher but I think it comes down to how far away they will be.

If many feet away ear level should be just fine but if "on top of you" then higher would be better.

I have my rears in 5.1 at ear height when standing as they would otherwise be within 3 feet of either end of the couch.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Some say ear level some say higher but I think it comes down to how far away they will be.



If many feet away ear level should be just fine but if "on top of you" then higher would be better.



I have my rears in 5.1 at ear height when standing as they would otherwise be within 3 feet of either end of the couch.
Behind my couch.

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post #11 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by boldventure View Post
Behind my couch.

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How far behind the couch?

If only a couple of feet then I'd definitely elevate them.

In my case my couch is against the wall thus they are up high on shelves above the end tables.

Sounds great.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #12 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus5403 View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions. Behind the sofa is about a 3' Walkway where we also have bar stools at the island. The island is about 48" tall with plenty of space underneath but if I put speakers there they would be firing at the back of the sofa, so not sure if that would be beneficial. Wife would not approve of pendant speakers as we have have pendant lighting above the bar and she's just not a fan. I am afraid it seems I will be stuck with ceiling speakers and won't be able to use Atmos.

Can I have ceiling surrounds behind the sofa and then 2 ceiling atmos speakers between the sofa and the TV?
No. If you use Atmos speakers (2, 4, or 6), all the bed-level speakers cannot be more than 1/2 the height of the ceiling.

BTW, why does it matter if there are chairs at the island? The sound will pass right by them. If you want Atmos, that, and the table solution are your only choices. If you can't use built-in speakers, you can try some thin speakers, Like the Kef 101s, for instance.
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Last edited by RayGuy; 06-24-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
How far behind the couch?



If only a couple of feet then I'd definitely elevate them.



In my case my couch is against the wall thus they are up high on shelves above the end tables.



Sounds great.
Probably within a foot, and wall behind the couch is less than 2 feet from the couch

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post #14 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by boldventure View Post
Probably within a foot, and wall behind the couch is less than 2 feet from the couch

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Then I'd definitely elevate them otherwise on either end of the couch a person would have a lot of localization.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 09:50 AM
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This is the best answer I've EVER seen. Guy did one heckuva job:
https://forums.audioholics.com/forum...eakers.109081/


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post #16 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 10:41 AM
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Wowwww!!!

Love it, that is amazing

Primary set-up 5.1.4; Yamaha A2050, Paired w/Parasound P5 & ATI 500NC 2 channel amp
Revel F206 fronts & Revel M16 rears; Outlaw X12 Sub & 4 RSL C34e in-ceilings

Secondary 5.1: Denon S900W, Polk LSiM703/704C, Polk RC80i in-ceiling rears, RSL Speedwoofer 10s
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 10:55 AM
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Wowwww!!!

Love it, that is amazing
Such attention to detail and yet he chose to get a black rather than white subwoofer!

I'm just jealous, don't mind me!

Ingenious.

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post #18 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
No. If you use Atmos speakers (2, 4, or 6), all the bed-level speakers cannot be more than 1/2 the height of the ceiling.

BTW, why does it matter if there are chairs at the island? The sound will pass right by them. If you want Atmos, that, and the table solution are your only choices. If you can't use built-in speakers, you can try some thin speakers, Like the Kef 101s, for instance.
With bar stools at the island the chairs slide under the counter top, so the speakers would be below the countertop in that cavity and firing at the back of the couch. They would be in a 3' deep x 8' long cubby and could only be about 3' tall. I wouldn't think they would sound very good from that position as the sound would have a somewhat narrow area to escape. (but I could be wrong...) I can't put speakers on top of the counter top. I think I am going to just have to go with a 5.1 setup and put some nice in ceiling speakers in for surrounds.
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-25-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by maximus5403 View Post
... I wouldn't think they would sound very good ...
This is a common misunderstanding. The purists would taut the need for surround/Atmos speaker commonality with LCR speakers in order to maintain tonal integrity in all directions. I agree, but the research I've seen and the experiments I've done say we're not talking about audio, it's real estate!

The three most important things in a surround/Atmos system are location, location and location. Bose made a fortune from it.

Sound quality will be dominated by the speakers in the front sound stage, LCR and perhaps FW. Commonality here matters. My only concern is the center, but you've got a good one (3-way). From there... Atmos is already using ceiling speakers that have little in common with your LCR. No reason surround and rear speakers can't make the same trade-off when necessary.

So a pair of surface-mount speakers work fine in the island because they localize rear sounds to that location. You're also least sensitive to sound from behind, so less likely to notice any sonic issues unless you look for them.

It's really up to WAF for wall-mounting the kind of speakers you'd put in the ceiling. That's 8 flush mount speakers around the area vs. 2.

Have fun,
Frank
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-26-2019, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus5403 View Post
With bar stools at the island the chairs slide under the counter top, so the speakers would be below the countertop in that cavity and firing at the back of the couch. They would be in a 3' deep x 8' long cubby and could only be about 3' tall. I wouldn't think they would sound very good from that position as the sound would have a somewhat narrow area to escape. (but I could be wrong...) I can't put speakers on top of the counter top. I think I am going to just have to go with a 5.1 setup and put some nice in ceiling speakers in for surrounds.
You're right, they probably won't sound very good. They are surrounds. There to provide ambiance and two-dimensionality to the sound. Frankly, they are not very important to the overall sound you hear. If you use speakers that do not have much bass response, you will avoid the thick, boomy, sound that will be the most annoying, coming from a cubby-hole. Use something with a 4" woofer, max. Why not try it out and see? Nothing to lose, and Atmos to gain.

You might try positioning them for least "bounce" off the side and top (i.e. 1.5 feet from any obstacle):

-------------------
|````````````|
|```X````X```|
|````````````|

EDIT: One other thought came to mind. It appears that there is some width to the side pillars of the island (dashed line in your diagram). How wide is that? There also appears to be some available depth. How much? You could avoid all the reflections from mounting speakers inside the island by mounting the speakers to the face of the side pillars, just peeking out from under the countertop. Like this:

--------------------
X````````````X
|`````````````|
|`````````````|

Lots of advantages to this approach, if you can find a speaker that fits the available space.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 06-27-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-26-2019, 10:45 AM
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I would put one on the wall where the fridge is, angled in toward the MLP, and the other on the nook wall corner, angled in.
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-26-2019, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
This is the best answer I've EVER seen. Guy did one heckuva job:
https://forums.audioholics.com/forum...eakers.109081/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xD_eszip0E
Awesome!!
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