Difficult Living Room -- On-Walls on Ceiling? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-02-2019, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Difficult Living Room -- On-Walls on Ceiling?

Hi folks,

I've perused this forum quite a bit but still don't know what to do about my new living room. It's large, and the shape is very unhelpful for speaker placement. Generally, it's in the shape of a capital "L" with the length from the top of the L (where the TV will sit) to the bottom of the L being about 30 feet. On the left (long) side of the L are two semi-circular window alcoves, with an 18-inch flat wall between them. On the right side is a hallway and small wall, and then the room opens up in the bottom right to the open floor plan kitchen. I'd say the width is maybe 20 feet from the windows on the left to the small wall on the right, and the kitchen would stretch that another 12 feet. The floor is hardwood floor, and the ceiling (which varies from 8 feet to 10 feet depending on the ductwork for the HVAC) is shallow so there's isn't a lot of room for in-ceiling speakers. So, it's a large room with an odd shape and nowhere great to put equipment. The goal (per my wife) is for the TV and speakers to be invisible; this means no floor-standing speakers, no bookshelf speakers, nothing that protrudes too far from the walls, etc. I can buy the subs later, as we think those can be hidden easily enough. I don't need or even want 5.1 sound, as the speakers are just for listening to music (80% use) and hearing the TV better when it's on (20% use). I would expect that I would just have sound pumping equally to all speakers, unless some are larger than others. Volume will generally not be an issue, as I just want a large soundstage with diffuse sound so that the speakers are invisible to the ears and the eyes. I don't care if sound doesn't travel well to the windowed alcoves, as those are unlikely to be primary seating positions. The only wall I can realistically use is the small one between the two windows, and there I'd need a speaker that's not black (it would clash with the decor). The ceilings will be white. The absence of usable walls has me considering two options:

Option 1: Place some sort of bipole on-wall speaker on the flat wall between the round alcove windows, and perhaps place another bipole or two on the ceiling. I'm looking at something like the Triad On-Wall Gold Surround, as it seems like it would give diffuse sound but can come in various colors. Maybe I get one or more of these and place them on that short wall, plus a few on the ceiling?

Option 2: Place a number of smaller on-wall white speakers on the ceiling where the ceiling meets the wall. I'm thinking something like five Revel Concerta M8 speakers in white, placed throughout the room and angled towards the living area. Hopefully with five of them the sound would be diffuse enough that the ear wouldn't pick out any single one.

I'm open as to amps (haven't bought yet), and budget is generally fairly open given the handicaps here. I'm curious to hear what people think of the options (and speaker recommendations) and whether I'm missing any other option, given that I only have one 18-inch flat wall and the ceiling to work with. For example, am I being overly restricting in insisting on bipoles (or dipoles) for the first option?

Appreciate hearing your thoughts!
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-02-2019, 03:37 PM
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Pics of the space would be very helpful.

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-02-2019, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Good point. I don't have a picture of the space, but attached should be (if I did this right) a picture of the floor plan. As you'll see, there isn't much in the way of flat walls for the living room, and once the wife eliminated floorstanding and shelf speakers, this became quite difficult for me.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-03-2019, 07:07 AM
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I want to make sure I understand what you are looking for.

You first say that you are not looking for 5.1 sound and want to use the system for mostly music. But then you say that you are looking into bipole surrounds. So I am a tad confused.

As you know, you have a difficult room. If you are just looking for music listening I would consider Triad InWall Silver or Gold Monitors. These models have high-end drivers that are more designed for music, but can also do a great job with movie material when joined with multiple subs.

https://www.triadspeakers.com/product-tag/monitors/

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-03-2019, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Gordon View Post
I want to make sure I understand what you are looking for.

You first say that you are not looking for 5.1 sound and want to use the system for mostly music. But then you say that you are looking into bipole surrounds. So I am a tad confused.

As you know, you have a difficult room. If you are just looking for music listening I would consider Triad InWall Silver or Gold Monitors. These models have high-end drivers that are more designed for music, but can also do a great job with movie material when joined with multiple subs.

https://www.triadspeakers.com/product-tag/monitors/
Thanks Dawn. I am definitely not looking into trying to get 5.1 or anything else where there is a clear front/back/left/right type of distinction, because I feel confident that trying to get speakers in the proper position for anything like that is a lost cause. For the surrounds I mentioned, I'm wondering if I can use the surrounds as mains if I have a few of them, and if I'm not trying to push them to high volume levels. I like the diffuse nature of the surrounds, but if they're not going to have enough power or range for music (when paired with a sub) then I guess I can consider something like your monitors.

Update: I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have no delusions of getting proper placement for a 5.1 system, and that I envision always running this system in some kind of mode on the receiver where all channels are pushed equally (except for the sub, of course) so there's no sound effects, just mono channel music so to speak.

Last edited by Average Joe; 12-03-2019 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Added further info
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-03-2019, 08:17 AM
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I would not try to use surrounds -- even bipole surrounds -- as mains. Sick with either InWall or InCeiling Monitors as fronts. You can always add surrounds later if you run the wire.

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post #7 of 10 Old 12-03-2019, 12:17 PM
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Wow, tough room! One wall for your mains (top right of pic), no walls for surrounds. I would recommend Totem tribe speakers. You can get on-wall or in-wall (with back box) versions. Tribe III x 3 would be a great set-up, giving you fine musical response and HT performance. They would fill that space quite well for either HT or just music listening (critical or ambient).

Now, for your "surrounds", I see three possible options. First, freestanding speakers on stands behind and to the sides of your main seating area. If that concept does not fit into the "decor", then you might try a long narrow table behind the couch, with small speakers sitting at the outside edges, pointed towards the opposite side of the couch. Lastly, mount speakers in or on the ceiling, aiming them towards the main seating position. Something like the Totem Kin or the RSL C34E (to save a few bucks) in-ceiling speakers. Another option would be on-ceiling speakers, such as the Gallo A'diva or the Cambridge Minx Min 12.

It seems you also want to have some ambient music in that large space, as well as a main system. No reason you could not install a few additional in-ceiling (or on-ceiling) speakers in the kitchen area, for instance, and run them off of a receiver with zone 2 capability. If you also envision outdoor speakers in the eventual mix, you might consider a receiver with zone 3 capability (or add a separate multi-zone amp with multiple inputs to the equipment mix).

https://totemacoustic.com/categorie-...-installation/

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Last edited by RayGuy; 12-03-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-03-2019, 12:33 PM
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Since it seems like you're not looking for dedicated two-channel sound, more like ambient music throughout your living spaces, I'd recommend you at least consider scattering Sonos speakers in several locations. They're unobtrusive and attractive and will blend in to decor. You might even consider the Ikea/Sonos bookshelf (literally) speakers.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-04-2019, 12:31 PM
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Upon further review, you could put surround speakers in the wall at the back of the room (between the door and the stairs at the top left of the picture). Then, you could use the ceiling for 4/6 atmos speakers, which could be used for HT and also for ambient music.

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post #10 of 10 Old 12-04-2019, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all. You've given me a lot to think about. I need to go discuss with my wife how we want to balance sound quality, aesthetics, convenience and cost. There are a lot more possibilities than I originally thought.
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