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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I recently moved into an apartment and want to buy new speakers but with every speaker setup I've had I have the same issues:


1) In order to hear the voices in movies, you need to put the volume up really loud. I purchased an Onkyo/Energy 5.1 setup for my family and while watch a blu-ray movie, I'm constantly there with the remote raising and lowering the volume. For instance, if there's an action scene with lots of sound effects, I have to lower the volume and then raise it once the action's over and people start speaking.


If I play the same movie played through the internal TV speakers, I can hear the actors speak perfectly fine even at really low volumes.


2) I can hear the subwoofer from the room below even when the bass is pretty low. The apartment I'm in has above average sound insulation but recently someone moved in above me and I hear his subwoofer every single night and it's extremely annoying.


So I want better sound, but I want to be able to hear people speak clearly at lower volume levels. Also, I don't want to annoy the people below me. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I could afford to spend $65,000 on a pair of speakers I wouldn't be living in an apartment. Looking for serious replies. My budget is under $500. I suppose a 3 speaker setup without subwoofer is a good option. I just don't know which to look at.


Also, can anyone address my first issue about the volume problem? I'm not sure if this is due to the way movie sound tracks are encoded and there's no way to fix it, or if the receiver or speakers play a role in this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarfuse /forum/post/18164528


If I could afford to spend $65,000 on a pair of speakers I wouldn't be living in an apartment. Looking for serious replies. My budget is under $500. I suppose a 3 speaker setup without subwoofer is a good option. I just don't know which to look at.


Also, can anyone address my first issue about the volume problem? I'm not sure if this is due to the way movie sound tracks are encoded and there's no way to fix it, or if the receiver or speakers play a role in this.

i was just joking/making a point that its impossible to choose speakers without a budget or preferences.


and seems like u need a HTiB at that price
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarfuse /forum/post/18164528


Also, can anyone address my first issue about the volume problem? I'm not sure if this is due to the way movie sound tracks are encoded and there's no way to fix it, or if the receiver or speakers play a role in this.

Dynamic Range Compression - look for this option on your receiver.
 

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A setup issue in the speaker settings could be the problem.

You can try increasing the center channel speaker level.

Try setting the equalizer to zero across the entire frequency range and see if that makes a positive or negative change to the sound.

Boost the 1K band and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. For that particular setup I used Audessy to automatically calibrate the speakers as I'm sure it will do a better job than me. However, the room has a pretty strange layout so I'm sure it's causing issues. I'll have to check out dynamic range compression thanks!


As far as HTiB I assumed most were crap and I wouldn't be using the sub anyway. So I've been looking for speakers without subs. For instance, the same speakers I bought for my folks (though without the sub), energy take for $230:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882269004


Also, my living room is pretty small (12 feet wall to wall - so less than that between tv and couch) so I would imagine a cheaper amp would suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The receiver I had was the Onkyo TX-SR507 and I know the dynamic EQ is already on (since i used audyssey) and I swear I also tried the dynamic volume. But I will try it again next time I'm there.


Is there a cheaper 5.1 receiver that also has Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD? I don't need something very powerful as it's a small room.
 

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Look for speakers with good bass extension, this usually means lower efficiency.


My era D5s are good for this but outside of your budget. Also the Energy ESW8 sub only goes down to the mid 30hz range and would be good in an apartment.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hah, I was thinking about another 507. Have you ever ordered from accessories4less? I'm a little weary of using less known sites but $250 is a good price. I may buy it now.


I'm only weary of using a sub because my whole apartment shakes from the person above me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santapimp27 /forum/post/18164383


krell modulari duo


those would be hard to beat

I had a buddy who worked for Krell and built those speakers. I believe he had a pair of those in his home. They were awesome...and freaking heavy!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jidonsu /forum/post/18165037


I had a buddy who worked for Krell and built those speakers. I believe he had a pair of those in his home. They were awesome...and freaking heavy!

thats a lucky man
 

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Definitely look for a Dynamic Range Compression(DRC), Dynamic Volume setting etc. Set those to high and it should fix your weak voices problem from the rear channels. If the sub is the problem than just turn it off when you don't want to use it. The crossover on the receiver will cut off all the low frequencies and it should keep things from shaking. Might not sound right but you can't really have low frequencies without shaking the walls to some degree.
 

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How are your speakers positioned, specifically the center: is it in an entertainment center or sitting on a shelf pushed back from the front edge? Is it somewhat lower - height wise - than your seating position and is there a hard surface, i.e. coffee table between you and it? Any of those scenarios could affect the sound of the center.


What Energy speakers do you have, how big is your room, and how high are the ceilings? Is your room confined or is it part of an open floor plan?
 

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You know I had the same problem with my deftec promonitor1000 and procenter1000 but it wasn't too low so I could still watch movies mostly. After upgrading to monitor audio rx6's though the voice is MUCH clearer at lower volumes so it could just be the fact that those speakers aren't as well suited of course the towers I have are way out of your price range but you can get a pair of br6 towers which also sound nice and probably have a similar sound to the rx6's for just slightly more than your budget.


BTW a4l is a great website, they have awesome customer service and definitely don't sell shady products. They are an authorized onkyo and marantz dealer so no need to worry on that. All their receivers have a 1 year warranty for refurbs and 3 year for anything new.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarfuse /forum/post/18164344


Hi I recently moved into an apartment and want to buy new speakers but with every speaker setup I've had I have the same issues:


1) In order to hear the voices in movies, you need to put the volume up really loud. I purchased an Onkyo/Energy 5.1 setup for my family and while watch a blu-ray movie, I'm constantly there with the remote raising and lowering the volume. For instance, if there's an action scene with lots of sound effects, I have to lower the volume and then raise it once the action's over and people start speaking.


If I play the same movie played through the internal TV speakers, I can hear the actors speak perfectly fine even at really low volumes.



2) I can hear the subwoofer from the room below even when the bass is pretty low. The apartment I'm in has above average sound insulation but recently someone moved in above me and I hear his subwoofer every single night and it's extremely annoying.


So I want better sound, but I want to be able to hear people speak clearly at lower volume levels. Also, I don't want to annoy the people below me. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.

The problem is not the speakers. The problem is the room and or speaker placement. Describe your room for us and give the size. I bet you have a lot of hard surfaces. The sound is bouncing around and the reflections are muddying up the dialog. As a test drag in quilts, blankets, pillows and anything else that you have like that and drape them around the room. If your floors are hard, place a blanket on the floor in front of the speakers. Listen and let us know how it sounds now.


Also are your speakers on or close to the floor? Tell us where you have your mains and center located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, this particular room has hardwood floors, opens to a dining room left of the TV, and the entire right edge of the room is completely open to a long hallway, and a staircase going down to the lower level.


The two front speakers are placed on top the TV stand about 1 foot from the wall as recommended by the manual. But it's a normal TV stand so the front left, center, and right, are fairly close to each other. I don't have too many options as there's no room left of the tv stand (it's an open area into the dining room). The left rear is on a bookshelf slightly above ear level a few feet from the main couch. The right rear is on a baby-grand piano pushed back in the corner several feet from the couch. The piano probably blocks some sound from the front right speaker for the person sitting on the right side of the couch. The subwoofer is positioned on the hardwood floor right of the tv stand - fairly close to the wall.


In my apartment, I don't think I will have the same issues. It has carpeted floors and is a small living room. The TV shares the same wall with my bedroom and I don't have a neighbor on any side of the apartment since one side is the trash room and the other side is the elevator (so I only have to worry about the person below).
 

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you need to use Dynamic Volume, it is specifically designed to address this problem:

Quote:
In order to hear the voices in movies, you need to put the volume up really loud. I purchased an Onkyo/Energy 5.1 setup for my family and while watch a blu-ray movie, I'm constantly there with the remote raising and lowering the volume. For instance, if there's an action scene with lots of sound effects, I have to lower the volume and then raise it once the action's over and people start speaking.

I live in an apartment with thin walls and I can watch an entire action movie without having to touch the volume once. These volume leveling technologies are a huge boon to those of us who can't unleash the full dynamic range of a movie soundtrack, but do not want to have a "crippled" movie experience (e.g. watching through the TV speakers
). The sound is still full and rich and immersive.... it just prevents the loud stuff from getting a lot louder than the dialogue volume you set.
 

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The only way your going to find a set that wont annoy the neighbors is to find a set with no bass but then that would annoy you



What you could do might be kinda hard but it would work great.


Use butt kickers. Set your mains and surround so that they play nearly no bass at all, then use the butt kickers to pound your seating. It may still bother them though but the butt kickers give the illusion that your system is up alot louder then it really is.


I have a set of those cheap $30. ones from parts express (aura) or somthing like that. And ive actualy turned off my sub amp and these still made it sound good without shaking the whole house just my chair.
 
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