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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a media room that about 18x13x10 or 2300 cubic feet. First row will sit close to 12 feet from screen with second row being a bar top about 14-15 feet from screen.


I have wiring done for 7.1, but my rear speakers would need to be in the ceiling. My side surround is in between the two seating areas and I could potentially have an issue with the media room door hitting one if it were a bookshelf speaker and door was opened all the way. I probably will still want to go with bookshelf rather than in wall. The door height is about 6'8'', so I wasn't sure if going higher on my side surround would create an issue as the primary seating area will be the front row and it will be a couch so you will sit lower to the floor.


I have a budget of $3K. I could go up to $4K if there is a true gap in quality, but would rather stay in the $3 to $3500 range. I have looked at a lot of stuff online, but have been unable to determine what would be the best option for my setup so any help would be appreciated.
 

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So really this thread is, "Recommendation for maximum height for side surrounds"?

 

I think you already hit on the solution. In walls. Why don't you want in-walls?

 

Some people also wire up two sets of side surrounds, because they have two or three rows of seating. Side surrounds with great dispersion characteristics will do better with one row of seating, but typical bookshelves might work better as two sets. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I just wanted to throw that issue out for any ideas, but my main question is what solutions to I have for speaker with the best quality for that price in my room.


I could do in wall, I just thought the performance might not be up to the same standard as a bookshelf. With the room size and seating I did not want to add another row speakers.
 

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For subs, look at offerings by SVS Sound, Power Sound Audio, HSU Research, Rythmik Audio, and Outlaw Audio. These Internet direct vendors provide a much better bang for your buck over traditional speaker companies, typically doing better than subs twice the price MSRP at places like BestBuy or a local hifi shop.
 

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Depends on goals and requirements


What sort of content? What sort of volumes you looking to produce? Do you want speakers behind a projector screen? Is the aesthetic of hidden speakers appealing? Do you like speakers that are like fine furniture?

 

If you said "I (usually by myself) want to hear every delicate nuance of classical music not loud, and when watching movies or TV, we don't turn it up loud, and we watch rom-com's and dramas at -25 on receiver, and we like speakers that are like fine furniture made from beautiful wood with metal accents."

 

Then you'll get recommendations for speakers with great cabinet design and materials, with silk domes or ribbons, and you'll need to pull the fronts 3' or more away from walls into the room. You might sacrifice power handling, not be able to play loudly, and the speaker may not have a good dispersion pattern for multiple audience.

 

If you said "My family of five and usually a couple friends like to watch blockbuster movies loud, but other speakers I try get harsh at -20 or louder, and my wife yells at me to turn it down. They can look ugly, I just want them to perform great. When I turn it up I want my friends' jaws to drop and get a goofy grin on their face. Speaker doesn't need to be hidden."

 

Then you'll get recommendations for speakers that pay less attention to cabinet, and the tweeter may not be audiophile grade reproducing the highest notes with delicate precision that only a ten year old (and your dog) can hear. But it'll either be able to take outboard amps sending 300 watts to each speaker, or it'll be higher sensitivity so your receiver can get the speakers to reference level (up to 0 on your calibrated receiver...rock concert levels) without distorting much. You may want the better waveguide/horn speaker designs that provide even covereage to lots of seating positions.

 

And with subs, like cel4145 said, the internet direct ones that give a lot of value, and some put more money in cabinet than others. Some might offer more fidelity in upper bass but you can't turn up much or hear the lower two octaves of the movie soundtrack bass. Tradeoffs.

 

And obviously if you want speaker boxes and subwoofers hidden, you'd be steered to in-wall speakers, which if done right, can be better than in-room speakers. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will be watching movies, and gaming through a PC, or just general browsing the net. There will be some time spent listening to music as well, with rock being my number one preference. The surrounds will probably all end up being in wall or in ceiling as I don't think I really want to move my sides up to higher than 7 feet, and the rears are already wired for ceiling as the space just sort of requires it. The fronts and sub will be out in plain view. I prefer black matte, nothing too flashy or fancy. I hate cherry wood, and walnut wouldn't match the room either. The room is grey carpeted, with a dark gray matte paint in the entire room, so I would prefer to stay in that area and not have speakers that distract from the screen.


I will also watch a lot of TV in the room as well.. I am not gong to sink $10K into a media room, that already cost around $10K when I built the home just to use it for special occasions. If it's something I will be watching with full focus, I will watch it there, replacing bulbs and/or worn out projectors does not concern me.
 
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