Help with speakers for a 11x10 movie room. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-22-2019, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Help with speakers for a 11x10 movie room.

Hello,
I did a lot of searching here and this forum was very helpful when selecting a projector

for our small movie/living room. Ended up with a refurbished Viewsonic Pro7827HD that is

working out really nice. It is mounted on the ceiling and image is great. My wife and I are already considering smoother paint for the wall and better curtains. But first we need a better speaker setup.

We are just using some small 2.1 computer speakers with the sub is in the back-right corner of the room and the speakers sit on the back of the couch behind us (not ideal).

Can you help me to avoid any glaring mistakes in selecting a new set of speakers with a budget of about $400? The speakers are just for streaming movies and Netflix from a Mac Air Laptop. The projector connects via a Display Port to VGA cable and the headphone jack (3.5mm) connects to the computer speakers.

The room is very small (11' deep x 10') wide with a door-sized opening in the front left corner, see the sketch below. I think the speakers would need to be mounted beside the projector image on the front wall high enough that our 2 year old can't smash them. I can build angled shelves so they point at head height when seated.

I'm mostly interested in a bookshelf + subwoofer system although a HTIB has crossed my mind. I'm just not sure surround sound is worth the extra effort. I'd love avoid the cost and extra device of a receiver if possible as there really isn't a good place to put one. There is a great cubby for a subwoofer that is 12.5" tall by 14" deep with no width restrictions. I think this would limit me to an 8" subwoofer?

My main worries are:
Can I put the bookshelf speakers near the corners of the room with ok sound quality? If not, any better suggestions? Sound bar above the image near the ceiling angled down. Since the room serves as a living room/den I don't really like the idea of a sound bar in the middle of the wall.

Is 9 feet consider near-field listening?

If the speakers are powered, can I get away with a long 3.5 mm audio cable to connect to them? That would be ideal. We really don't have any strong feelings about a particular type of sound.

Because of the cable lengths, I'm worried about a prewired 2.1 packages like Edifier S350DB, Swan Speakers M50W, or even the oft-recommended Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. Would something like that be loud enough?

I built a pair of Overnight Sensations that we use via a small bluetooth amp in the next room for music. Other than that I really have no experience buying speakers or other audio equipment. Frankly the idea of picking out individual pieces that will work together is a bit overwhelming. I've seen recommendations for:
CG3 Bookshelf Speaker and Sony CORE SS-CS5 which seem like they would fit the budget, but is $250 enough for a sub/amp?

Any comments on the setup from a random youtube video for $250
- 75W Micca MB42X bookshelf speakers
- a Lepy LP-2020A+ stereo 20W amplifier
- and a 10 inch powered sub.
I'm not an audiofile, but the price seems right.

Any advice is welcome! Thanks.


Edit: I guess I can't post images of the room until I have 5 posts. Bummer.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-23-2019, 09:14 AM
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Yes your speakers need to be up front by the screen -- you can put speakers near the corner, but try to leave some room around them --

I have owned Sony and Micca -- for me, the DCM TP160S is in another league and on serious clearance pricing -- you can use some speaker wall mounts
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pack-6-5-...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Cla...s%2C176&sr=8-4

Stereo receiver
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

5-channel receiver with HDMI (you can still use stereo mode) -- Yamaha
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

If you do want powered speakers -- JBL LSR305 -- sold each
https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Professio...67543354&psc=1

I would save for a decent subwoofer -- the DCM or JBL will have some decent/nice bass, but for more bass while you save, I would try to work in the DCM TP260, a really good clearance price for the pair
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pack-6-5-...0AAOSwSBddcosb
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-23-2019, 11:03 AM
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$400 budget total...

I like the DCM TP160s reco above.

To complete a 2.1 system, you could add a $200 sub like this BA model, which generally gets pretty good reviews.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...specifications

And then add an AVR. Since you are talking 2.1, I would look for a used AVR on CL, thrift stores, etc. An older pre-4K or even pre-HDMI AVR would work for a 2.1 system and your single video source. Just make sure the AVR has digital inputs, which means it will have bass management for sub/speaker integration. I have found suitable older AVRs for has little as $20.

A system like the above would blow away a soundbar or 2.1 package in the same price range, IMO.

Also, depending on the age of your Mac, the 3.5mm jack may also output digital audio via mini optical. If not, there are other ways to obtain a digital output for connection to an AVR, which is always better than an analog connection when bass management is involved (avoids an A to D conversion).


-
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-23-2019, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHURT View Post
Hello,

Any comments on the setup from a random youtube video for $250
- 75W Micca MB42X bookshelf speakers
- a Lepy LP-2020A+ stereo 20W amplifier
- and a 10 inch powered sub.
I'm not an audiofile, but the price seems right.

Any advice is welcome! Thanks.


Edit: I guess I can't post images of the room until I have 5 posts. Bummer.
Powered sealed speakers; $300/pair; excellent company.

https://www.qacoustics.com/q-acousti...oss-black.html

Subwoofer.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-627
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Geoff A. J., California
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-24-2019, 06:38 AM
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budget sub: Martin logan Dynamo 500 via Amazon 149 (refurb) 199 (new)...
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-24-2019, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Yes your speakers need to be up front by the screen -- you can put speakers near the corner, but try to leave some room around them --

I have owned Sony and Micca -- for me, the DCM TP160S is in another league and on serious clearance pricing -- you can use some speaker wall mounts
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pack-6-5-...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Cla...s%2C176&sr=8-4

Stereo receiver
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

5-channel receiver with HDMI (you can still use stereo mode) -- Yamaha
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

If you do want powered speakers -- JBL LSR305 -- sold each
https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Professio...67543354&psc=1

I would save for a decent subwoofer -- the DCM or JBL will have some decent/nice bass, but for more bass while you save, I would try to work in the DCM TP260, a really good clearance price for the pair
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pack-6-5-...0AAOSwSBddcosb
What he said. Sounds like you want a simple setup that is cost effective. Just get some JBL lsr305's and hook them out to your source signal . The stereo image will sound great and be superior to most any sound bar.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-24-2019, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the replies and links. I'm trying to do research to understand the options presented, but I've been a bit short of free time in the last day or so.


Things I'm trying to understand:
- Given my contraint of an 8" sub, (10" just won't fit where it needs to go in my tiny room), is 2.1 still going to give better sound than 2.0? It seems like some of you are suggesting I'd be pretty happy with just two good bookshelf speakers.



- Is a powered speaker just a passive speaker with an amplifier built into the back panel?
-It looks like the BT3 setup has an amp in one speaker which sends an amplified signal to a second passive speaker whereas the JBLs have an amp in each. In my puny mind, that means that the BT3 would be simpler to setup, and I could add any powered sub later by connecting the Sub Out Line from the back of the BT3.

- I'm not sure how to add a separate subwoofer to the JBL as they appear to be input only. Does this require an AVR?



- Is there a simple way to tell whether an AVR has a digital input option?

- For my immediate setup, what is the main advantage of an AVR? Is it the ability to control over the signal that the speakers receive rather than have some built in AMP split the sound going to the sub and the speakers? I could also extend the system to 5.1 if I want to try that in the future. Without a receiver, that isn't possible right?

- Similarly, is it still worth having an AVR if I just use a 3.5 mm analog cable to connect from the Mac Air? It looks like a USB to optical output adapter is pretty cheap and would be worth it.


Thanks again for your input so far. Sorry for all the easy questions.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-24-2019, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHURT View Post
Thanks all for the replies and links. I'm trying to do research to understand the options presented, but I've been a bit short of free time in the last day or so.


Things I'm trying to understand:
- Given my contraint of an 8" sub, (10" just won't fit where it needs to go in my tiny room), is 2.1 still going to give better sound than 2.0? It seems like some of you are suggesting I'd be pretty happy with just two good bookshelf speakers.



- Is a powered speaker just a passive speaker with an amplifier built into the back panel?
-It looks like the BT3 setup has an amp in one speaker which sends an amplified signal to a second passive speaker whereas the JBLs have an amp in each. In my puny mind, that means that the BT3 would be simpler to setup, and I could add any powered sub later by connecting the Sub Out Line from the back of the BT3.

- I'm not sure how to add a separate subwoofer to the JBL as they appear to be input only. Does this require an AVR?



- Is there a simple way to tell whether an AVR has a digital input option?

- For my immediate setup, what is the main advantage of an AVR? Is it the ability to control over the signal that the speakers receive rather than have some built in AMP split the sound going to the sub and the speakers? I could also extend the system to 5.1 if I want to try that in the future. Without a receiver, that isn't possible right?

- Similarly, is it still worth having an AVR if I just use a 3.5 mm analog cable to connect from the Mac Air? It looks like a USB to optical output adapter is pretty cheap and would be worth it.


Thanks again for your input so far. Sorry for all the easy questions.
Yes, powered speakers all have to have an amp in each speaker and the source signal is sent from one to the other and most have all the controls on just one.

You want one with a "Sub out" capability and the sub has to have a crossover knob on the back.

Sadly the very nice JBLs lack a sub out.

Forgot this excellent pair of $300 powered monitor which lacks a sub out but plays about as low as most 8" subwoofers.

https://www.kaliaudio.com/lone-pine-detail

https://www.cnet.com/news/kali-audio...ordable-price/
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-24-2019, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHURT View Post
Thanks all for the replies and links. I'm trying to do research to understand the options presented, but I've been a bit short of free time in the last day or so.


Things I'm trying to understand:
- Given my contraint of an 8" sub, (10" just won't fit where it needs to go in my tiny room), is 2.1 still going to give better sound than 2.0? It seems like some of you are suggesting I'd be pretty happy with just two good bookshelf speakers.

- Is a powered speaker just a passive speaker with an amplifier built into the back panel?
-It looks like the BT3 setup has an amp in one speaker which sends an amplified signal to a second passive speaker whereas the JBLs have an amp in each. In my puny mind, that means that the BT3 would be simpler to setup, and I could add any powered sub later by connecting the Sub Out Line from the back of the BT3.

- I'm not sure how to add a separate subwoofer to the JBL as they appear to be input only. Does this require an AVR?

- Is there a simple way to tell whether an AVR has a digital input option?

- For my immediate setup, what is the main advantage of an AVR? Is it the ability to control over the signal that the speakers receive rather than have some built in AMP split the sound going to the sub and the speakers? I could also extend the system to 5.1 if I want to try that in the future. Without a receiver, that isn't possible right?

- Similarly, is it still worth having an AVR if I just use a 3.5 mm analog cable to connect from the Mac Air? It looks like a USB to optical output adapter is pretty cheap and would be worth it.
.

2.0 is good, 2.1 will(most likely/almost definitely) be better

there are 2 main types of powered speakers: 1) each speaker has its own amp(s); 2) one speaker is the "master" ( with the amps) and the other is the "slave".

re: simpler set up re: BT3...if it is simpler for you, then that's great.

re: AVE having digital inputs - yes, pretty easy to tell. "Coaxial" (looks like RCA but is digital; usually a different color, orange, in center) / "optical" (aka SPDIF)

RE: main advantage of AVR - your understanding is correct.

re: "is it still worth having an AVR if I just use a 3.5 mm analog cable to connect from the Mac Air? " I would say , yes. it is better to have an AVR. alternatively, you could get a USB to 7.1 sound card/adapter. and drive multiple powered speakers... a little cable heavy, but puts much of the AVR functions into the laptop... still, might be simpler to use the AVR.

lastly, there are some low profile subs - see dayton audio, jamo
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-01-2019, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to write back in and say thanks for all your help.



Over the weekend I ended up ordering a setup from Jamo (via Amazon) with s801pm speakers and 808 sub. It is a little over my initial budget, but isn't that always the way.


Since my last post, I did some testing using my Overnight Sensations in nearly the same placement that I'll use with the new speakers. The sound was so much better than what we had before I decided to prioritize ease of installation and minimal parts rather than small differences in audio quality that I probably can't discern anyway. The Jamo bookshelves have a high WAF and the sub will fit in a few different places so I can pick the best option.


Thank you all for all the good suggestions. I really wanted a pair of white BT3s, but couldn't figure out where to get them and the overall look wasn't as nice.


I'm obviously a reliable source to write a review but if there are simple tests I can run to help out with the knowledge base here, I'd be happy to do it.
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-01-2019, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHURT View Post
I just wanted to write back in and say thanks for all your help.



Over the weekend I ended up ordering a setup from Jamo (via Amazon) with s801pm speakers and 808 sub. It is a little over my initial budget, but isn't that always the way.


Since my last post, I did some testing using my Overnight Sensations in nearly the same placement that I'll use with the new speakers. The sound was so much better than what we had before I decided to prioritize ease of installation and minimal parts rather than small differences in audio quality that I probably can't discern anyway. The Jamo bookshelves have a high WAF and the sub will fit in a few different places so I can pick the best option.


Thank you all for all the good suggestions. I really wanted a pair of white BT3s, but couldn't figure out where to get them and the overall look wasn't as nice.


I'm obviously a reliable source to write a review but if there are simple tests I can run to help out with the knowledge base here, I'd be happy to do it.
congrats looking forward to your impressions

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Goldenear supersat 60C,
SSR DIYSG Volt 6v2. RSS Volt 6, Atmos(.4) Boston acoustics soundware XS
HSU research ULS -15, Episode ES-IW-Dual 8 / Monitor audio IWA 250 amp 2nd Rm: Visio E55, Denon avr730H, Boston Acoustics CR8, cr400 sub.
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