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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in a quandry. We have recently renovated our house, and are in the process of furnishing our new open plan living/dining/kitchen room. It is the space we will spend most of our time including watching TV and listening to music etc. Here's some CAD shots:

plan with dimensions

scene

scene 2


From the pics you will be able to see my audio problems; the room is angle shaped, very large, with 3.5m high ceilings, full of hard surfaces, and does not have any walls to mount speakers on or run cables along. The walls that are there are double-brick, so cant easily run cables that way either. A bifold-door runs along most of the the side wall. The room is awesome as a living space, but I cant figure out how I can make the sound work.


What do you think the best option for a sound system to suit this layout would be? I cant figure out how I could make a standard 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system work, as there is no way to get cables to side/rear speakers (and the speakers themselves would need to be portable, as we occasionally move the furniture out of the room for the kids to have a big play space). I could possibly in the long term mount some sort of satellite speakers in the ceiling, but would they be effective so high in the air? A soundbar sounds interesting in concept, but I am not sure whether something like the Yamaha YSP-4100 would work in this asymmetric room. I'm thinking that 2.1 or 3.1 might be the only options, but thought I should ask here first... opinions?


I should note that the room is already constructed and furnished, so running cables in the slab or anything like that is not an option. And I've considered an alternative layout with the TV / sound system set up along the south wall, but this was not acceptable to my wife - she pointed out (reasonably) that we use the seats to sit in and chat with friends during the day, and that it was nicer to sit with an outlook of our back yard through the bifold doors than sitting facing a brick wall.


I'm not really looking for cinema quality sound, but would like to know whether we can achieve a reasonable audio experience for both movies and music despite the shortcomings of our space. Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Quote:
I could possibly in the long term mount some sort of satellite speakers in the ceiling, but would they be effective so high in the air?
Exactly how high is the ceiling? In-ceiling speakers are your best bet – actually your only bet, since the side and rear locations are unworkable. But you’ll have to figure out how to get wiring up to them. There’s always a way. It may involve surface-mounted wire tracks, cutting holes in the ceiling and re-finishing it, etc. IOW, getting it done might not be easy or pretty, but it can be done. I guess you’ve figured out that all this should have been planned for and accommodated before the construction phase...


Just keep in mind that with ceiling speakers, you preclude future re-arrangements of furniture. I’d locate them assuming the sofa facing the TV is the primary viewing location – a bit to the sides and behind the sofa.



Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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Assuming the floor in there is tile not carpet, I think Wayne's right... in ceiling, or at least ceiling mounted. You'll compromise sound quality, but given your constraints that is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys. the ceilings are 3.5m which is about 10ft I believe, and yes the surfaces are all hard. I wish we had thought of audio before finishing the construction!


For some follow on questions: if I was to go with a ceiling mounted or in-ceiling arrangement, would it be better to mount all four peripheral speakers up high, or leave the front two down near the centre speaker? Also, would it be feasible to go with an interim solution that had just front speakers and could be expanded to include the rear speakers at a later date? I'm not sure if systems can be built this way, but if it is possible I can do some more research!
 

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Keep the front 3 as close to the same level as possible, and with their tweeters as close to ear level as possible.
 

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Where are you thinking about putting your sub? I have an open floor plan and I do not have the ability to put a sub in the front of my room. I was thinking behind the love seat.
 

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You can use in-ceiling speakers for the rear, but I wouldn't give up on wall-mounted speakers in the front. It depends on how far you are willing to go with time and money. You could run wires thru the brick, and even if the outside wall was brick you could cover it up with landscaping and some type of material to cover the wires. All cable and sat come into the house, so what difference would additional wires make to your house aesthetically. I am assuming the cable/sat part, but with your tv position you will need to get wires there. If the outside wall is covered with any type of siding it would make it even less of a challenge. A good landscape design could make those wires and coverings disappear. If you were able to do this it would probably look great with speakers mounted along with the tv on the brick wall. You could also just get floorstanders for left and right front, and mount a center to the brick. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by makeavs /forum/post/18285748


what program did you use for the floor layout?

its actually a lighting program called dialux. Free download, I think it's sponsored by some big european lighting companies. It was really easy to create the layout



I created the model because I had similar concerns about how the lighting might work, particularly since we wanted to try some LED lights. Would be cool if you could do audio modelling the same way, but I think it's a bit more complex than lighting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for everyone's help!


I am not too worried about the front speaker options, we have a big flat wall there and can hide anything either in it or by getting some sort of cabinet or something. I was wondering whether the front speakers would need to be mounted high just because the rear ones would be, but I gather it wont matter and I can just use a conventional arrangement in the front.


I wonder what it will sound like if I get the front three first, and then work towards getting the rear sorted out later?


On the sub, good question. I was thinking of putting it in the northeast corner, as the bifold door starts about a foot off the corner. The other option is in a corner further away (eg in the southeast) - would it be silly to put the sub so far from the rest of the sound?
 
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