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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Atmos for my media room, couch on wall: 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.4, 7.1.2??

I could use some HT component layout help.

We are in the planning / permitting phase of an addition to the house, which includes the attached play/media room. Not what I would have designed if I were the only voice, but WAF weighed heavily. So the room layout and shape is non-ideal for Home Theater. That said, there is some room here to work with, and it could be a lot worse. Color key: green=speakers, blue=screen, purple=couch (rough). Current location of everything is just my initial stab at it. Please recommend other ideas/improvements.

System will be built around a front projector, probably an Epson 5050UB, unless something better (as good but cheaper or better for same price) comes out by the time I'm buying gear (probably December/January). My main plan is to have as big of a screen as possible given the throw distance and some space on either side for a pair of floor standing speakers (model TBD). I think this works out to about 100~110" diagonal 16:9

The couch will be positioned along the wall opposite the screen, centered on the screen (location of projector is accidentally shown slightly off center).

Where I'm kind of stumbling and could use some help, is what is the best layout for the surround, ceiling, and surround-back speakers? Do I even bother with both surround (side) and surround-back speakers? If I forego one or the other, which one should I eliminate (surround side, or surround back)?

The wall at the top of the image is going to be covered in a shelving/desk built-in thingy; but I could mount a speaker over there (as shown).

Again, everything shown is just the initial stab. Nothing is built yet. Open to any and all suggestions or ideas to make this room as good as possible given the constraints (not changing the structure of the room, or location of desks/shelves, or doors, etc.)

Other things to discuss: in-wall or on-wall speakers for surrounds & backs? Should backs be in ceiling & reflect off back wall? Should couch come away from wall (unlikely, but worth considering)?

Thanks, looking forward to hearing some thoughts! :)
 

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With your couch against the back wall, stick to a 5.1 speaker configuration in the base layer (no space behind you for proper placement of Rear speakers). Mount the Surround speakers in the back corners of the room, a foot or so above seated ear height. A single pair of heights mounted in or on the ceiling, a few feet forward of the couch, will give a solid impression of overhead sound. 5.1.2
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
With your couch against the back wall, stick to a 5.1 speaker configuration in the base layer (no space behind you for proper placement of Rear speakers). Mount the Surround speakers in the back corners of the room, a foot or so above seated ear height. A single pair of heights mounted in or on the ceiling, a few feet forward of the couch, will give a solid impression of overhead sound. 5.1.2
Thanks for that feedback; it's what I'm thinking too - 5.1.2 - with possibly bipolars as the SR & SL speakers, and 2 in-ceilings just in front of the couch.

I wonder though: how far from the wall would the couch need to be, in order for more speakers to start making sense?
Would a 5.1.4 system make sense, with 2 ceiling speakers located right at the corner where ceiling meets rear wall?
 

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Thanks for that feedback; it's what I'm thinking too - 5.1.2 - with possibly bipolars as the SR & SL speakers, and 2 in-ceilings just in front of the couch.
Don't know why you'd need wide dispersion (bipolar) surrounds when you've essentially got one row of seating to cover. Monopoles would provide coverage to all listeners on the couch without spraying the entire room with surround information the way bipoles would.
Would a 5.1.4 system make sense, with 2 ceiling speakers located right at the corner where ceiling meets rear wall?
Not enough separation between the surrounds and rear heights for me, but YMMV.
I wonder though: how far from the wall would the couch need to be, in order for more speakers to start making sense?
At least a few (4-5) feet. For example, if you could rotate your set-up 90 degrees, you could pull off a spectacular 7.1.4 or 9.1.4 speaker layout. There is a walkway between the two opposite doors in your room. A wide couch (8-9 feet) would still leave you about 3 feet on either side for aisles. The back of the couch would act as a room divider, separating the home theatre in the front of the room from the mini-office at the back of the room.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't know why you'd need wide dispersion (bipolar) surrounds when you've essentially got one row of seating to cover. Monopoles would provide coverage to all listeners on the couch without spraying the entire room with surround information the way bipoles would.
Well the other benefit of bipoles for surround speakers is to reduce the localization of the source of the sound. This was desirable in the days of 5.1, although with more and more speakers easily added in today's sound formats, I admit it's less the proper strategy; just add more speakers is typically the solution. So I was thinking since I may be limited to 5 base speakers, it might help to have less localizable sources for the surround info.
For example, if you could rotate your set-up 90 degrees, you could pull off a spectacular 7.1.4 or 9.1.4 speaker layout. There is a walkway between the two opposite doors in your room. A wide couch (8-9 feet) would still leave you about 3 feet on either side for aisles. The back of the couch would act as a room divider, separating the home theatre in the front of the room from the mini-office at the back of the room.
Yes, I did consider that scenario, and prefer it. So far WAF continues to be very low for that layout. I'm with you 100% though, it makes perfect sense and nicely divides the room. She though sees that as the exact reason not to do it - it divides the room; and of course she does not appreciate the sonic benefits. She'd be happy with sound coming from the 4" mid driver included in the projector. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also it would place the screen directly in front of a huge window. While I plan to have some decent blinds on this window, it probably will still leak daylight during the daytime hours. Not sure what effect this would have on the projector/screen image quality (I'm new to projectors, having had plasma most of my HT life, with a touch of RPTV in the early days).
 
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