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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I am looking for suggestions on some compact speakers to use that will sound good in a huge room. I realize going to smaller speakers is going to compromise on the sound quality but I want to minimize it as much as possible. These speakers are going into a family room and I want to keep the speaker size smaller for the WAF. Following are some details

- The room is 2 story (~19-20 ft tall ceilings) and has openings into Foyer which also is 2 story and into Kitchen that has 9 ft fall ceiling
- Hardwood floors
- Main listening area would be about 13-14 ft away
- Fronts (L and R) will be 10 feet apart
- Surrounds will be 12 feet apart
- Speaker will be wall mounted on mounts that can articulate so that the position can be changed
- The usage will be -- 30% music, 50% regular TV (shows, sitcoms etc) and 20% movies
- The expectations are NOT to have a reference listening area or have movie theater feel. I am looking for good sound capability with about 20% usage at more than moderate levels of sound.

Below are some choices that I am looking at

Smaller size
- Cambridge Audio Minx 21 speakers LINK HERE for all 5 speakers either with their X500 sub OR some other brand high quality smaller sub
- Polk Audio TL350 Speakers LINK HERE with Polk DSWPro550wi (10" 400W sub) LINK HERE
- Orb audio Mod2x speakers LINK HERE for all 5 speakers with a high quality small sub
- KEF E-Series speakers LINK HERE

Slightly bigger size
- Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 LINK HERE for all 5 speakers with one of Def Tech subs or some other brand high quality smaller sub (~SVS, HSU etc)
- Focal Super Bird Speakers LINK HERE ($1200) for 3 speakers (F, C, R) and Focal Sib speakers ($200) for surrounds LINK HERE

I am trying to keep the speakers price under $1000 excluding the sub. The speakers will be driven by a high quality receiver - for now I have Onkyo 805 receiver which has quite a bit of head room - LINK HERE

Are there any better options out there?

Below are a few photos of the family room

View from Top showing surround speakers


View showing 3 speaker wires (from Left to Right - Surr R, Surr L, Left)


View showing Front speakers, notice how the front Left is not on wall where TV will be mounted, as there is a return cold-air vent and speaker can't be wired on same wall


View showing all 4 speakers including ceilings
 

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I would go with the Minx, they are probably the best sounding of the bunch and there aren't many other good competitors. What is your budget for a sub? Something like a SVS SB-2000 would be great if it's within your budget, or the smaller SB-1000. You have a arge space which would need a couple big ported subs, but that doesn't seem feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I would go with the Minx, they are probably the best sounding of the bunch and there aren't many other good competitors. What is your budget for a sub? Something like a SVS SB-2000 would be great if it's within your budget, or the smaller SB-1000. You have a arge space which would need a couple big ported subs, but that doesn't seem feasible.
I have been reading the MINX thread and there were some concerns about the speakers being able to fill the room with sound. Does anyone have experience using these speakers in big rooms like mine? How do they perform?

I haven't thought about it yet, but I would put about 500 - may be a little more for the sub. I wouldn't have room for 2 subs and don't want to be running wires all over the family room. I currently have a SVS PC12-NSD but I don't want to put that there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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If you can go a little bigger, something like the NHT SuperZero 2.1 would fair better in that space.
 
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Forget it. You need speakers with a wider FR that 3" cubes. Go for inwalls if you want the most invisible system. Ideally, grow a pair get want you want ignoring your wife.

Tiny Sats in a huge room would sound awful.
 

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Small speakers can only give you so much - period

If you need to go small - then Monitor Audio Mass 50
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Monitor...heater-System/productinfo/MRMA5/#.U-TdauZd2PY

That would allow more money towards a subwoofer - like SVS PB-2000
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-2000#.U-TfUeZd2PY
However, I would still aim for the NHT SuperOne 2.1 speakers

Ask NHT for a price on 5 speakers
http://www.nhthifi.com/Bookshelf-speaker-SuperOne-2-1?sc=12&category=3772

Then buy a good subwoofer from someone like SVS
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you can go a little bigger, something like the NHT SuperZero 2.1 would fair better in that space.
Too boxy, was looking for something that is more attractive when they are mounted on a pivotable mount on walls. I have a spare speaker set that I don't use anymore - Energy Take5 that are about same size but I think they would look hideous on the walls. This is not my main room, will be doing a dedicated theater build later.

We are moving to a newly constructed home and these speakers will be used in Family Room.
 

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Too boxy, was looking for something that is more attractive when they are mounted on a pivotable mount on walls. I have a spare speaker set that I don't use anymore - Energy Take5 that are about same size but I think they would look hideous on the walls. This is not my main room, will be doing a dedicated theater build later.

We are moving to a newly constructed home and these speakers will be used in Family Room.
Check out the Focal Sib then: http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...atellite-loudspeakers-pair-gloss-black/1.html

Or in white: http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-way-satellite-loudspeakers-pair-white/1.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Thanks, I have come across that set earlier but when I looked at that site I wasn't sure. Are they reputable dealer?
Looks like they have better frequency response
They have been in business a long time - and are a good company.
 

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Too boxy, was looking for something that is more attractive when they are mounted on a pivotable mount on walls. I have a spare speaker set that I don't use anymore - Energy Take5 that are about same size but I think they would look hideous on the walls. This is not my main room, will be doing a dedicated theater build later.

We are moving to a newly constructed home and these speakers will be used in Family Room.
I agree with others - if you want to actually hear the speakers from about 20' away (considering mounting location and height) you are going to need a speaker with a driver larger than 3". These "cube" speakers work in very close quarters (even in a Bose "demo" area) where the speakers are only 4 feet away but they do not have enough power in the mid-range frequency to go much further. This "mid-bass" disperses in a room the further away you get - the highs from the tweeter are the only directional part that can be "aimed" at the listener. You will end up with a hole between 80Hz (highest from the sub) and 300Hz (the lower frequencies from satellites that don't disperse completely) - male voices live here.

I wouldn't recommend any bookshelf / satellite speaker with a mid-driver smaller than 5.25" (unless there are multiple 4" drivers) - which means the speaker is going to be at least 10" x 5" on the front - a speaker of that size has a chance of blending with a sub. I understand you don't want boxy - some speakers are boxes with rounded corners - would you consider those?

NHT Absolute Zero
Absolute Zero Bookshelf Speaker - White


ProMonitor 1000 Compact high definition satellite speaker - White
 
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You didn't mention if this was a music only system with 4 speakers and a sub or a surround sound system - you didn't mention a center channel speaker - which (I hope) means this is for music only - is that right?

The center channel is the most important speaker in a home theater setup when listening to a soundtrack - if you have any hope of understanding the dialog you either need really good front left / right speakers located directly in front of you at a 30 to 40 degree angle (for a phantom center) or you need an actual center channel speaker. The center would be critical to your enjoyment of your entertainment system if you are watching movies in this room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I wouldn't recommend any bookshelf / satellite speaker with a mid-driver smaller than 5.25" (unless there are multiple 4" drivers) - which means the speaker is going to be at least 10" x 5" on the front - a speaker of that size has a chance of blending with a sub. I understand you don't want boxy - some speakers are boxes with rounded corners - would you consider those?
- The NHT Absolute zero are still too boxy - the Def Tech ones are better and I have seen them in person
- I see you listed Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000, I was considering them and were listed in my post. But they were on the upper end in terms of size.
- I was searching Focal and found Focal Super Bird (LINK HERE) which are huge but are decorative enough. Not sure if I want to spend 800 for the pair.


You didn't mention if this was a music only system with 4 speakers and a sub or a surround sound system - you didn't mention a center channel speaker - which (I hope) means this is for music only - is that right?

The center channel is the most important speaker in a home theater setup when listening to a soundtrack - if you have any hope of understanding the dialog you either need really good front left / right speakers located directly in front of you at a 30 to 40 degree angle (for a phantom center) or you need an actual center channel speaker. The center would be critical to your enjoyment of your entertainment system if you are watching movies in this room.
- I have updated my original post with that info - it will be 30% music, 50% regular TV (shows, sitcoms etc) and 20% movies
- If I do go with Def Tech Pro Monitor series was planning on getting Def Tech Pro Monitor 2000 for center
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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I don't want soundbars in that room - I already have a Sonos Playbar that I intend to use in another room.
I got that room pre-wired already so I want to use them :) If it was a Soundbar - I would have gone with Sony HT-ST7 (LINK HERE)
I'm glad you are not even considering a soundbar - I have a really hard time recommending them. I had an hour to kill last week, so I listened to 14 different soundbars at a local store. The least expensive one that had even somewhat acceptable sound was $700 (Polk 9500) - and there were a couple (like the Bose) over $1000 that sounded even worse. I saw that Sony soundbar and it sounded pretty good but I think it was $1250 and I completely dismissed it because of price.

There are so many better ways to go than a sound bar - three modest bookshelf speakers ($130 ea), a $100 AVR, and a $100 sub will destroy any soundbar - usually at a lower cost. If it is an issue of aesthetics, a "passive soundbar" which is just three discrete "speakers" in a single enclosure made to look like a soundbar - often with 7 or more drivers - driven by an AVR is a much better way to go. The Paradigm Trio can be had for under $500 on eBay.
 

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- The NHT Absolute zero are still too boxy - the Def Tech ones are better and I have seen them in person. I see you listed Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000, I was considering them and were listed in my post. But they were on the upper end in terms of size.

- I have updated my original post with that info - it will be 30% music, 50% regular TV (shows, sitcoms etc) and 20% movies
- If I do go with Def Tech Pro Monitor series was planning on getting Def Tech Pro Monitor 2000 for center
Too bad about the NHT - they would probably sound good.

Sorry I didn't see that you already had the Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000 listed - they were below your other list and I didn't see them. I actually listened to these one day (in a MUCH smaller demo room) and they weren't bad. I preferred the small Studio Monitor speakers (I think it was the Studio Monitor 45 or 55) and they were about the same price - but they probably don't come in white which is probably a deal breaker. The Pro Monitor didn't seem "non-boxy" but I guess the back of it is curved. The Polk OWM5 was the other small speaker I listened to, but I thought all the Def Techs beat them (as they should - they were more expensive).

For music, I think you would be much happier with the Def Tech satellites with a bigger mid-driver than any of those "mini-cube" speakers have - for that reason (and because I listened to them) I would recommend the Def Techs. That center and an internet direct sub from SVS, HSU, etc would probably round out those satellites nicely. You aren't going to get reference level sound in a room that big, but you already know that.
 
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