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I'm now planning out my dedicated home theater. As with many spaces here, I'm trying to maximize what I have, not do a megabuild project. My current speaker lineup are JBL ES20 for the front right and left, JBL ES25C center channel and JBL ES 250 subwoofer. My dilemna is that my space is fairly open on both the left and right (6.5' to left wall and 15' to right wall). If I went with 5.1 I could buy speaker stands, but the right speaker would be hanging out in the middle of a walkway. Since there is no wall for in-wall speakers, that won't work. So, I'm stuck with the proposition of in-ceiling 5.1, or just live with the 3.1.


The leap to 7.1 is easy since I have a back wall that I can use speakers on stands or in wall speakers. I'm really undecided about the 5.1 as I don't have any experience with in ceiling speakers, and I've seen a fairly negative reaction to them from some members. Is the compromise worth it?


Thanks for any thoughts or advice you can provide.
 

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5.1 really adds a lot to the experience IMO, for me 7.1 not as much. Although if I was building I'd run cable to the locations you may want even if you don't end up using it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron-marshal  /t/1484840/should-i-go-3-1-5-1-or-7-1#post_23806075


Would in ceiling side surrounds be worthwhile, or could I suspend bookshelf speakers from the ceiling?

That's probably as much a question of aesthetics as sound quality... Whatever route you go, I'd use the same solution for all four surround channels. Note also that in a traditional 5.1 system, the surround channels *are* in the rear. It's the side-surrounds that are added for 7.1.


In-ceiling speakers are not generally known for their sound quality - but that's because they're usually bought on the cheap. There are some very nice (and not cheap) in-ceiling speakers meant for home theater surround applications. A bookshelf speaker of similar quality will likely be cheaper, though. Also - if you place those in the ceiling, you'll definitely transmit a good amount of sound energy to the room above (assuming there is one).


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1484840/should-i-go-3-1-5-1-or-7-1#post_23806619


Note also that in a traditional 5.1 system, the surround channels *are* in the rear. It's the side-surrounds that are added for 7.1.
Other way 'round:

 
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