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I have been planning on dividing my basement and creating a 5.1.4 home theater in a 12' x 15' area with a 6'8" ceiling height. It is currently a drop ceiling with those office looking ceiling tiles. My current surround 5.1 setup has been in the same location with the back half of the basement wide open. Yesterday I moved all my stuff into the family room upstairs which is 15' x 15' with 8' ceilings that are drywall. I did this so I could start the work in the basement. The family room has a 14" opening on one side into the kitchen. After calibrating everything my 12 year old son and I watched two films - John Wick and The Martian. He said "wow it sounds a lot better up here, more open and dynamic". I agreed. I'm wondering how much of a role the ceiling height and material affected this? I thought the larger room that opens into the whole house would sound worse not better. Am I going to be able to get that same sense of spaciousness in a room with a low ceiling height? If I ditch the drop ceiling and go drywall I can probably gain an extra 3 to 4 inches in height but I'm still at least a foot shorter than upstairs. Thoughts? Thanks.

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