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2.1 system recommendations please

JandYCGS

Standard Member
Hi guys, I am looking for a 2.1 set-up to be used with the following: Samsung 55" LED; SkyHD; PS3, Wii. It will be used mostly for watching sport (50%), movies (25%) and gaming (25%). From reading all the previous advice seperates seems like the way forward. My budget is say £500-1000 - is that realistic to get something decent? I don't need anything mind-blowing (in fact my wife is happy to have no system at all!), just something to enhance the overall experience.

One thing that could be relevant is the size of the room. It has 4m high ceilings and is approx 5m x 10m (only half of this area is used for the lounge but there are no internal walls). Should the size affect what set up to go for?

One noob question, will all the sound come through the system all the time or, say you're watching the news and just want to hear it through the TV, it is simple the cut the speakers out?

Thanks in advance all, I've already learnt plenty from the previous threads.
 

JandYCGS

Standard Member
One other thing I forgot to add, we want the speakers to be wall-mounted (not sure if all have the option or not). Cheers
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Sky+HD outputs audio and video over all connections at the same time, so if you want to use the amp/speakers you turn the TV volume down. If you want to just watch the TV without the amp/speakers, you can do that, providing of course that you connect the HDMI cable direct to the TV and to the amp separately via optical (or digi-coax).

An often recommended 2.1 setup is the Onkyo HTX-22HDX which is less than the lower end of your budget. The decoder/processor and amplifier are all housed in the subwoofer unit.

Most speakers can be wall-mounted. The likes of the Monitor Audio Radius HD range would be worth checking out. Excellent sound quality and they're designed to be mounted on the wall. The larger versions would hopefully not get lost in that large room!

For a decent subwoofer on a budget, take a look at the BK range.
 

JandYCGS

Standard Member
Many thanks Dave.

Am I right in thinking the Onkyo option is if i want an all-in-one package, and the Monitor Audio/BK combo is a seperates alternative? I think my preference is seperates as it appears the general advice is better performance that way.

Out of the Radius range, the 225 and 250s appeal the most (in this case aesthetics are as important as performance). There doesnt seem to be much in it in terms of price (around £250 per speaker) but I'm not sure what to look for in terms of performance?

The BK subwoofers seem to vary quite a bit in price. Could you advise on what to consider with subwoofers?

Could I achieve 5.1 surround sound with ceiling speakers? Does this push the cost up enormously?

As you will tell I'm pretty clueless at this, just want to get closer to a cinematic experience at home. Many thanks in advance!
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Many thanks Dave.

Am I right in thinking the Onkyo option is if i want an all-in-one package, and the Monitor Audio/BK combo is a seperates alternative? I think my preference is seperates as it appears the general advice is better performance that way.

Out of the Radius range, the 225 and 250s appeal the most (in this case aesthetics are as important as performance). There doesnt seem to be much in it in terms of price (around £250 per speaker) but I'm not sure what to look for in terms of performance?

On the whole, the bigger the speaker the better. If you go to the speakers and galleries sub forums you will see what others use. People usually pick the ones that will fit around their TV so they use the larger ones for larger screen sizes. That is simplifying it a little.

The BK subwoofers seem to vary quite a bit in price. Could you advise on what to consider with subwoofers?

As you have a large room, again bigger = better. The smaller subs are only really suitable for smaller rooms. I would be looking at the Monolith but ultimately it will depend on your budget but you could always build the system in stages.


Could I achieve 5.1 surround sound with ceiling speakers? Does this push the cost up enormously?

Yes several people use both in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. The custom installers sub forum will have details. They're not commonly used, simply due to the costs and the additional work in fitting them and ultimately you can get better overall sound quality by using normal speakers. Basically to get good performance from an in-wall or in-ceiling speaker is going to cost you more. I use speakercraft in-walls in a second bedroom setup and they work very well. I bought them from an installer on the forum at a good price.


As you will tell I'm pretty clueless at this, just want to get closer to a cinematic experience at home. Many thanks in advance!

No problem. Ask away. I would recommend visiting a dealer to get an idea of what is available and appreciate what a more expensive system vs cheaper system will give you. Getting a demonstration of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers is obviously harder but search within the speakers forum for owners opinions.
 

JandYCGS

Standard Member
Thanks Dave. I am looking at pairing the R250HDs with either a monolith or XXLS400. This should come in under £1000. Is this all I need or would I need an amp as well?

One interesting development: my builder found speaker cable at the back the room suggesting there was once a 5.1 system in place. I would have thought the rear speakers would lose effect 10m away from the TV. What would you say about having rear speakers mounted to the back wall of a 10m * 5m room?

Cheers!
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Presumably these rears would be 5m away from the seating position? If that is the case, I wouldn't use them as surround rears. Perhaps they could be used for background music. Obviously you would need an AV Receiver with the necessary connections to utilise Speaker B output to these speakers.

Yes, you will need an amp/receiver to power the radius speakers and connect to the sub. It looks like your budget is going to be increased!
 

JandYCGS

Standard Member
Looking around at other threads it seems that these receivers are commonly recommended: Onkyo TX-SR308, Denon AVR-1911 , Onkyo TX-SR608, Yamaha RX-V767. Is it just a case of finding a supplier and having a listen to each, or do any of them particularly suit my potential set-up (monolith/R250HD)?
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Monitor Audio are usually paired with warmer receivers e.g. Denon or Yamaha. The AVR1911 and RX-V667 would be good places to start.
 

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