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There are many surround speakers out there now, but the ones below would have to get my highest reco

  • Mirage OMD5 (or any other Mirage Omnipole)

    Votes: 42 15.4%
  • JBL P520WS / Infinity ES-250 / Infinity Classia C255ES (Dual-monopole for 4 channels from 2 speake

    Votes: 42 15.4%
  • Axiom QS8 or QS4 (Unique Quadpole design)

    Votes: 55 20.2%
  • Paradigm ADP (Many models available with this design, where the tweeters run Dipole, but the woof

    Votes: 63 23.2%
  • Monitor Audio BXFX or RXFX (Single woofer, but the tweeters can switch to either Dipole or Bipole)

    Votes: 28 10.3%
  • Monitor Audio GXFX (6 drivers, including a ribbon. (Monopole / Dipole switchable)

    Votes: 23 8.5%
  • KEF 26/2DS (Dipole only, alas... but with two 6.5 inch side woofers and a front-firing 8 inch!!! )

    Votes: 25 9.2%
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Discussion Starter · #1,081 ·
Thanks... interesting. What channels were you using the Paradigms for before you ditched them?
And what did you replace them with?


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I do have a pair of Energy RVSS (Dipole).

I wonder if I could turn off one side in order to fire the sound as a monopole.

Does someone know?

Thank you.
 

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Has anyone ever used the Polk LSIM 202 surrounds? Expensive now but they go on sale every so often. They have an odd speaker placement and are actually monopole but don't look it. Wonder if anyone has any feedback on using these on stands rather than wall mount?
 

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For my 12X10 open basement area w full size 30 X 40 basement, my suspended Polk S-20's with their tweeters 20" above ear level, are just great, as surrounds.. Other specs in my below signature.

I sit 8' from the 55" 4K UHD HDR screen. The F/L speakers are 6' apart as the surrounds are too.

F/L speaker tweeters are at ear height, and angled at my head, w the center at head level. The Polk S-20 SURROUNDS are angled down at my head, and a bit behind the ears.

DD sound from the S-20's are perfect......for me, in my small size room. I vote for Polk! :D
 
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I do have a pair of Energy RVSS (Dipole).

I wonder if I could turn off one side in order to fire the sound as a monopole.

Does someone know?

Thank you.

If there’s no switch, then swap the polarity on one side of the tweeter and woofer .... dipole becomes bipole



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Thanks... interesting. What channels were you using the Paradigms for before you ditched them?
And what did you replace them with?


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

Tried as Rear heights , I also recognized their limitations as side and rear surrounds in discrete mixes.
They are ... old school ... work for 5.1 and 7.1 in un-treated room ... if your 9.x.4 with acoustic treatments monopole is way to go.
I went DIY route, HTM-8’s.


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Discussion Starter · #1,087 ·
Noted! Thanks.

Though I still can't help but feel that in some cases - like in our 3.4m-wide room - having bipoles for the side-surrounds only will help to reduce localisation and distraction for those sitting too close to the side walls. Hmmm...
 
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I sold something once to a fellow member on this forum and they suggested something like an Ohm speaker. As a stopgap, they recommended putting my direction surrounds on their backs pointed up - haven't looked back since. I run RTi4's so with their wall mount they conveniently sit flat and stable on as table when placed on their back. Since they are placed pretty close to a wall, and are placed at either end of a sofa, the sound is still well localized, but more diffused. It was a very handy tip! Thanks!
 

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If there’s no switch, then swap the polarity on one side of the tweeter and woofer .... dipole becomes bipole



Sent from my iPhone 11Pro using Tapatalk

I'll do it.
What do you think, would it be possible to leave one side off to be more like a monopole one?
Thanks for helping me.
 

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Can anyone please advise, can Vandersteen model 2 speakers be used well in a surround sound setup?

On BF weekend I bought a Infinity Reference 263 3 way center channel, two 263 3 way towers, and two RS152 surround back speakers, but the towers were the least discounted of them all, and I have two Vandersteen model 2 towers that I used to use for music, but are no longer convenient to have in that room.

Could I return the Infinity 263 Towers, and use the Vandersteen 2's as towers instead along with the Infinity R263 center and the RS152 back speakers? I know the Vandersteen is a higher quality speaker, but I'm concerned it is only for music, or only one channel or one direction, not a surround 3 channel speaker like the Infinity 263's? Or is that incorrect?

Also I dont know which type of model 2 Vandersteen they are because I dont know how to check.
 

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Can anyone please advise, can Vandersteen model 2 speakers be used well in a surround sound setup?

On BF weekend I bought a Infinity Reference 263 3 way center channel, two 263 3 way towers, and two RS152 surround back speakers, but the towers were the least discounted of them all, and I have two Vandersteen model 2 towers that I used to use for music, but are no longer convenient to have in that room.

Could I return the Infinity 263 Towers, and use the Vandersteen 2's as towers instead along with the Infinity R263 center and the RS152 back speakers? I know the Vandersteen is a higher quality speaker, but I'm concerned it is only for music, or only one channel or one direction, not a surround 3 channel speaker like the Infinity 263's? Or is that incorrect?

Also I dont know which type of model 2 Vandersteen they are because I dont know how to check.
I would not use Vandersteens in a movie listening system. I don't think their drivers are robust enough for spirited listening levels that often accompany movie watching.

If anything, I would at least switch out the three Infinity fronts with three JBL Studio Series 5 580's when they are on sale at 50 or more percent off at their direct website (590's only if you have the room real estate as they are beasts). That series are more than decent speakers for the money when they are on sale and can get plenty loud and dynamic due to their real cinema grade compression tweeters from JBL's somewhat older Pro line. They are a bit zippy in the top end, but nothing like some cheaper Klipsch horns that can get downright nasty at high volumes.

In fact, I would even return the lot and get all Series 5's if you choose to stick with the Harman house brands. They are better suited speakers for movies than Infinity anyway.
 

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In fact, I would even return the lot and get all Series 5's if you choose to stick with the Harman house brands. They are better suited speakers for movies than Infinity anyway.
I didnt know you could mix and match, plus the others were more expensive. Can you recommend anything same price range as Infinities that are better? Or what to look for used? I heard the JBL series 5 center channel isnt as good as Infinity's. Otherwise, I had a hunch I should have looked at the JBL towers instead. But my budget for the 5 speakers is $700 give or take $100-$150 for a really good deal. If you have suggestions how I can beat the Infinity's for that, Im definitely interested.

If not, I think at min I will keep the center channel because it was good value and the one piece everyone raves about out of them, and the back surrounds because they were cheap, and seek advice on how I can find better towers that will go with those for $400 or less, $500 max. Any suggestions?

I also never got clear advice whether to get the RS152 surround back, or the bookshelves, in a room with no corner on one side, and the wall directly, like literally an inch, behind me. They were (are?) the same price.

So Im keeping the center chan for sure, but need advice whether to keep RS152 or exchange them for equal price bookshelves, and advice how to upgrade the 263 towers. Or, the whole system, for similar budget, used or new. But Im not sure I can beat the cc, or the backs, for the price? Combined for those 3 speakers, $280 total. Cc was $150, backs were $129 for the pair. Not sure I can beat that, just concerned which backs to keep or get, and the angle. But I am definitely open to suggestions about all of it, especially, especially, the towers.
 

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I didnt know you could mix and match, plus the others were more expensive. Can you recommend anything same price range as Infinities that are better? Or what to look for used? I heard the JBL series 5 center channel isnt as good as Infinity's. Otherwise, I had a hunch I should have looked at the JBL towers instead. But my budget for the 5 speakers is $700 give or take $100-$150 for a really good deal. If you have suggestions how I can beat the Infinity's for that, Im definitely interested.

If not, I think at min I will keep the center channel because it was good value and the one piece everyone raves about out of them, and the back surrounds because they were cheap, and seek advice on how I can find better towers that will go with those for $400 or less, $500 max. Any suggestions?

I also never got clear advice whether to get the RS152 surround back, or the bookshelves, in a room with no corner on one side, and the wall directly, like literally an inch, behind me. They were (are?) the same price.

So Im keeping the center chan for sure, but need advice whether to keep RS152 or exchange them for equal price bookshelves, and advice how to upgrade the 263 towers. Or, the whole system, for similar budget, used or new. But Im not sure I can beat the cc, or the backs, for the price? Combined for those 3 speakers, $280 total. Cc was $150, backs were $129 for the pair. Not sure I can beat that, just concerned which backs to keep or get, and the angle. But I am definitely open to suggestions about all of it, especially, especially, the towers.
How big is your room? With a good sub in the mix, JBL 530 bookshelves all around or just the front three if you are very tight of funds (yes, even the center as you want the front screen speakers to match, especially, though all around speaker matching is best) would kick the snot out of the Infinity speakers you purchased in a normal sized living room.

Cross the 530's over at 80 Hz, let a sub do the lower bass, and they would really open up.

JBL randomly has the Series 5 at tremendous price cuts and then jump as I did. Don't skimp on speakers. Look at them as investments.
 

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How big is your room? With a good sub in the mix, JBL 530 bookshelves all around or just the front three if you are very tight of funds (yes, even the center as you want the front screen speakers to match, especially, though all around speaker matching is best) would kick the snot out of the Infinity speakers you purchased in a normal sized living room.

Cross the 530's over at 80 Hz, let a sub do the lower bass, and they would really open up.

JBL randomly has the Series 5 at tremendous price cuts and then jump as I did. Don't skimp on speakers. Look at them as investments.
I definitely read that the 580 and 590s were better towers than the Infinity's, but the 530s? That's not consistent with what I've read elsewhere, I don't think, but you dont need to tell me there is a lot of bs on the internet. And I definitely read the center channel isnt clear like the Infinity in a bunch of places.

yes, even the center as you want the front screen speakers to match
Wait, you're not supposed to get a center channel for the center, and towers to the left and right? You're supposed to get 3 of the same thing?

And what about the "3 way channel" thing? Arent the bookshelves only 2 or 1? Ahh this is so confusing.

Edit: Just to make sure we're on the same page, I am still planning to get a sub either way. Are you saying the JBL + sub is better than Infinities without sub, or even with a sub, still better? But please answer the pre-edit questions if you can because that's the main confusion.

Also, my room is 9x9x8.5 except it's completely open on one side where there is a 2 foot angular dip in the ceiling for a foot, then it dips back up 3 feet, and horizontally that side of the room opens completely to another much bigger room, Im guessing 13 by 27 with 9.5 foot ceilings.

So on three sides + ceiling, 9x9x8.5, but then opens up to 13x27x9.5, but the ceiling goes down then up at the point of transition between the two rooms.

And the unopen side of the 9x9x8.5 part is almost half windows, and the back wall 6-7 feet to the right of my chair is window which is about 20% of the 9x8.5 wall which then extends to the other bigger room another 13 feet or so. I will put blinds over the windows, open to recommendations.

Porcelain tile floor, also, through the entirety of both rooms.
 

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I definitely read that the 580 and 590s were better towers than the Infinity's, but the 530s? That's not consistent with what I've read elsewhere, I don't think, but you dont need to tell me there is a lot of bs on the internet. And I definitely read the center channel isnt clear like the Infinity in a bunch of places.



Wait, you're not supposed to get a center channel for the center, and towers to the left and right? You're supposed to get 3 of the same thing?

And what about the "3 way channel" thing? Arent the bookshelves only 2 or 1? Ahh this is so confusing.

Edit: Just to make sure we're on the same page, I am still planning to get a sub either way. Are you saying the JBL + sub is better than Infinities without sub, or even with a sub, still better? But please answer the pre-edit questions if you can because that's the main confusion.

Also, my room is 9x9x8.5 except it's completely open on one side where there is a 2 foot angular dip in the ceiling for a foot, then it dips back up 3 feet, and horizontally that side of the room opens completely to another much bigger room, Im guessing 13 by 27 with 9.5 foot ceilings.

So on three sides + ceiling, 9x9x8.5, but then opens up to 13x27x9.5, but the ceiling goes down then up at the point of transition between the two rooms.

And the unopen side of the 9x9x8.5 part is almost half windows, and the back wall 6-7 feet to the right of my chair is window which is about 20% of the 9x8.5 wall which then extends to the other bigger room another 13 feet or so. I will put blinds over the windows, open to recommendations.

Porcelain tile floor, also, through the entirety of both rooms.
For starters, on a budget and in a room of your size, the 530's would be more than adequate with a subwoofer. The reason the 530's were getting knocked was that for some reason people thought they could run a bookshelf speaker full range. No bookshelf in existance can reproduce all the audible frequency range. Because? Physics. Even third party reviewers have stated that if you cross the 530's over at 80 Hz and then let a good subwoofer take up the slack, they are very capable speakers for the money. So, yes, given a 530 and a subwoofer, they would trounce the Infinities you purchased for volume and dynamics. The secret sauce is the professional commercial theater compression tweeters legendary Harman Audio speaker engineer Greg Timbers included in his partial redesign of the Series 5 when he was brought on board to rescue the series. They put out an amazing amount of sound because that's what compression drivers are designed to do. Plus, they won't fall apart when pushed.







I own two pairs myself (along with three 590's) and they are awaiting my parent's finally completed basement as the JBL's were purchased for them. They are sitting in my open concept living room, which is about the same size as yours, but with vaulted 12 foot ceilings. They could make your ears bleed if I really cranked them, as they will hit high SPL's without breaking a sweat.

A horizontal "center" speaker is and always has been a compromise. (I'm not shouting, I'm emphasizing to make a point) You want IDENTICAL, VERTICAL speakers for AT LEAST your front three speakers. ALWAYS. This has been the rule since God talked to Moses and is the practice of all professional theater mixing studios. It has to do with sound dispersion and the fact that when sounds pan from one side to another, the sound is kept consistent.

A well designed two-way speaker can be just as capable as a three-way. In fact, if a three-way speaker is poorly designed, it can sound worse than a two-way.

The Infinities you bought are super cheap because they use super cheap drivers in comparison to the Series 5. The metal driver baskets alone in the Series 5 are massive for such inexpensive speakers (when on sale), so the cone's piston action (excursion) can travel a greater distance without breakup.

Don't worry that the 530's only come in pairs because when on sale, they are such a steal. You will have a backup speaker in case something goes wrong or you get a little too spirited with your volume levels without enough amplifier power, leading to high distortion levels. Too little amplifier power can lead to distortion, which damages speakers more than a little too much power based on the manufacturer's recommended amp power range.

I would seriously look at HSU Research, Rythmik Audio, SVS, or Monoprice's Monolith THX lineup before buying a cheap sub. Save up and invest.
 

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For starters, on a budget and in a room of your size, the 530's would be more than adequate with a subwoofer. The reason the 530's were getting knocked was that for some reason people thought they could run a bookshelf speaker full range. No bookshelf in existance can reproduce all the audible frequency range. Because? Physics. Even third party reviewers have stated that if you cross the 530's over at 80 Hz and then let a good subwoofer take up the slack, they are very capable speakers for the money. So, yes, given a 530 and a subwoofer, they would trounce the Infinities you purchased for volume and dynamics. The secret sauce is the professional commercial theater compression tweeters legendary Harman Audio speaker engineer Greg Timbers included in his partial redesign of the Series 5 when he was brought on board to rescue the series. They put out an amazing amount of sound because that's what compression drivers are designed to do. Plus, they won't fall apart when pushed.







I own two pairs myself (along with three 590's) and they are awaiting my parent's finally completed basement as the JBL's were purchased for them. They are sitting in my open concept living room, which is about the same size as yours, but with vaulted 12 foot ceilings. They could make your ears bleed if I really cranked them, as they will hit high SPL's without breaking a sweat.

A horizontal "center" speaker is and always has been a compromise. (I'm not shouting, I'm emphasizing to make a point) You want IDENTICAL, VERTICAL speakers for AT LEAST your front three speakers. ALWAYS. This has been the rule since God talked to Moses and is the practice of all professional theater mixing studios. It has to do with sound dispersion and the fact that when sounds pan from one side to another, the sound is kept consistent.

A well designed two-way speaker can be just as capable as a three-way. In fact, if a three-way speaker is poorly designed, it can sound worse than a two-way.

The Infinities you bought are super cheap because they use super cheap drivers in comparison to the Series 5. The metal driver baskets alone in the Series 5 are massive for such inexpensive speakers (when on sale), so the cone's piston action (excursion) can travel a greater distance without breakup.

Don't worry that the 530's only come in pairs because when on sale, they are such a steal. You will have a backup speaker in case something goes wrong or you get a little too spirited with your volume levels without enough amplifier power, leading to high distortion levels. Too little amplifier power can lead to distortion, which damages speakers more than a little too much power based on the manufacturer's recommended amp power range.

I would seriously look at HSU Research, Rythmik Audio, SVS, or Monoprice's Monolith THX lineup before buying a cheap sub. Save up and invest.
Do you put a vertical bookshelf under the TV at the center or how does the vertical one fit?

I wish someone had told me this before I bought the Infinity speakers instead of saying the center is amazing, etc etc. I don't want to say anything bad about this forum but the advice I've gotten not just from one poster who might not know what they're doing, but from handfuls of posters all pushing the same (apparently) false advice, and pressuring me to buy, and giving me false sales deadlines, and now recommending a great buy 1 $700 starke subwoofer get 1 free sale that I should take quickly because it will probably end any day while conveniently forgetting to tell me that this subwoofer was available for $350 the last month, has been very, well, that speaks for itself, and it has caused me to lose days of my time trying to fish out any good advice from all of these posts, as well as apparently get the wrong thing on the one sale weekend I had a chance to get the JBLs at 75% off.

I even remember asking should I get the JBLs instead, are they better, and all I got was a "they're out of your budget." But for many other products, they were more than happy to push me to double or triple my budget. If I didn't know better, ahem, I'd say it was almost like they were trying to steer me to whichever of the JBL or Infinity's a company was having more trouble moving, or had more excess supply of, and maybe that happened to be the Infinity's. But I have no way of knowing for sure. There have been some really helpful posters on the forum who I am grateful towards, and about 25% of the responses have been super helpful, but the other 75%, I feel like I am being steered and misinformed, not advised or helped. And then when I say as much and say I need correct information, not misleading or false information, and real advice to make a purchase decision on the remaining products, I get called a tire kicker or a troll and so on.
 

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Do you put a vertical bookshelf under the TV at the center or how does the vertical one fit?

I wish someone had told me this before I bought the Infinity speakers instead of saying the center is amazing, etc etc. I don't want to say anything bad about this forum but the advice I've gotten not just from one poster who might not know what they're doing, but from handfuls of posters all pushing the same (apparently) false advice, and pressuring me to buy, and giving me false sales deadlines, and now recommending a great buy 1 $700 starke subwoofer get 1 free sale that I should take quickly because it will probably end any day while conveniently forgetting to tell me that this subwoofer was available for $350 the last month, has been very, well, that speaks for itself, and it has caused me to lose days of my time trying to fish out any good advice from all of these posts, as well as apparently get the wrong thing on the one sale weekend I had a chance to get the JBLs at 75% off.

I even remember asking should I get the JBLs instead, are they better, and all I got was a "they're out of your budget." But for many other products, they were more than happy to push me to double or triple my budget. If I didn't know better, ahem, I'd say it was almost like they were trying to steer me to whichever of the JBL or Infinity's a company was having more trouble moving, or had more excess supply of, and maybe that happened to be the Infinity's. But I have no way of knowing for sure. There have been some really helpful posters on the forum who I am grateful towards, and about 25% of the responses have been super helpful, but the other 75%, I feel like I am being steered and misinformed, not advised or helped. And then when I say as much and say I need correct information, not misleading or false information, and real advice to make a purchase decision on the remaining products, I get called a tire kicker or a troll and so on.
Sorry you feel that you have been getting bad advise. All I can say is that everyone has their own opinions, and when you may be new to the home theater side of the audio spectrum, it can become confusing. I am speaking from many years in this hobby and my own experiences, research, and discussions with others in the audio biz. Are the JBL Series 5's the end-all, be-all of speakers? Of course not! My main system consists of Triad Gold LCR monitors and a Monolith THX 15 sub and they are far more refined than the JBL Series 5 and amazing for music too. They should be for triple or quadruple the price of the 590's, depending on sales at the time. However, at 50 or more percent off, they're killer.

It is hard to pin down JBL and their sales and stock availability. You just have to keep coming back to their main site every so often... and sign up for their e-mail sale alerts. Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices, for instance, were excellent. Maybe now... maybe toward Christmas they will drop again.

As for the vertical center... I would measure up to the bottom of your TV and then get a speaker stand that will allow the 530 to fit underneath the display. Then angle it up slightly with a small block of foam or something like that, so it fires up towards your listening position, but not so much as to make it tipsy and easy to knock over. For the Left and Rights, get stands that place the tweeters at about ear level while seated. You don't have to get super expensive stands... just stable ones. Monoprice has solid metal stands and Rockville Audio makes some decent, inexpensive wood stands... one of their models has sleek red cherry side stripes (if that floats your boat).
 

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Sorry you feel that you have been getting bad advise. All I can say is that everyone has their own opinions, and when you may be new to the home theater side of the audio spectrum, it can become confusing. I am speaking from many years in this hobby and my own experiences, research, and discussions with others in the audio biz. Are the JBL Series 5's the end-all, be-all of speakers? Of course not! My main system consists of Triad Gold LCR monitors and a Monolith THX 15 sub and they are far more refined than the JBL Series 5 and amazing for music too. They should be for triple or quadruple the price of the 590's, depending on sales at the time. However, at 50 or more percent off, they're killer.

It is hard to pin down JBL and their sales and stock availability. You just have to keep coming back to their main site every so often... and sign up for their e-mail sale alerts. Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices, for instance, were excellent. Maybe now... maybe toward Christmas they will drop again.

As for the vertical center... I would measure up to the bottom of your TV and then get a speaker stand that will allow the 530 to fit underneath the display. Then angle it up slightly with a small block of foam or something like that, so it fires up towards your listening position, but not so much as to make it tipsy and easy to knock over. For the Left and Rights, get stands that place the tweeters at about ear level while seated. You don't have to get super expensive stands... just stable ones. Monoprice has solid metal stands and Rockville Audio makes some decent, inexpensive wood stands... one of their models has sleek red cherry side stripes (if that floats your boat).
Can you and others please help me understand more about high efficiency speakers vs the Infinities? Andrew Robinson in the comments of his Infinity Reference Series review, responding to someone asking whether they should get the Infinity's or the "Tekton design speakers," which he also references as "lores," wrote this:

Dollar for dollar they're both tremendous values. The question you need to ask yourself is (do you feel lucky, joking) do you like a sound that is more "live" and "immediate" or do you prefer something a little more "studio-like." High efficiency loudspeakers are going to sound as if the music (or movies) are more in the room with you, with less electronics in front of them, whereas more traditional speakers are going to sound like wonderful masters of a studio recording. Again, neither way is right nor wrong, just different. I couldn't nor would I attempt to tell you which one you should buy, suffice to say either way you go I doubt you'll be disappointed.
And also he said:

the Tekton designs are known as a high efficiency designs, whereas the Infinity product is a bit more traditional. High efficiency speakers require less power than their traditional counterparts in order to "come alive," which many listeners equate to a sense of "ease, transparency and fluidity." Not that you cannot get that with Infinity's new loudspeakers, or more traditional loudspeakers for that matter, you're just going to have to bring a bit more power to the table in order to do so.
Easy fluid sound, that also more "comes alive," sounds like the best of both worlds. So does sound that feels more in the room with you, and less like there are electronics in front of you. Who would want the second over the first? And shouldn't surround sound sound "alive" not just like a static studio recording? "Alive" sound can still be "accurate."

I didn't realize how big the Infinity's were when I bought them. Do I really need that much power in my 9x9x8.5 viewing area? Yes on one side it's totally open to a 26x13x9.5 room, but the speakers will be pointing at me only 8-10 feet away, not to the side. Are there smaller "high efficiency" speakers that will still get my room as loud as I want it and more, and not get overpowered by a sub, but sound better than the Infinity's? Im worried I will only be able to turn the Infinity's up to 10% of their total volume, and that they wont sound good that way. Or is it possible to turn them up as much as necessary to get the best sound out of them, but still control the volume in my room however I want just by keeping the audio output from the receiver down, but the Infinity's volume dial up?

Or does it not matter how far you turn the Infinity volume dial up, they will not sound their best unless they are outputing high volume no matter which way you do it? When I asked for the best surround sound speaker recs in my price range, no one even mentioned high efficiency options, or any other options besides "you need a center, two towers, and back speakers." No one told me there were other options, no one really discussed size even when I asked, etc. That is what is frustrating. Leaving out key information, often providing false or misleading information in terms of the information that was given, pressuring to buy, false deadlines, potentially steering to certain products over others, etc.

I really would appreciate more help to figure this out and get it done in the next few days. I might actually just have to send everything back ASAP during the return window if I cant find reliable info before then to feel I made the right purchase, or get something else.
 
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