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Question 3.1 AV Setup or Soundbar?

low-def.

Prominent Member
Hi all,

As per title, currently looking into getting a 3.1 setup or a soundbar with sub.

I don't really have the room for rear speaker placement right now, so my seperate system options would be limited to 1 centre speaker paired with left and right fronts, and sub - although depending on where the sub would go may be a problem if it needs to be wired.

Would i benefit more from a seperate system or a soundbar?

I suppose Soundbar wise, I would be looking at something by Yamaha, LG, Sony and Samsung.

I'd be happy to pay up to around £800-£900.

My main use is TV viewing via a virgin v6 box, movies via an apple 4k tv and streaming apps internal to the LG B7.

I do also listen to music, but from this source would only be a small percentage of use.

Thanks in advance.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just mentioning music is enough to say a 3.1 AV solution. Having a separates system compared to a an all in one similar to a soundbar is where you are going to hear the differences even though you have only commented it will be a very small part of your listening.

For a slimline/lifestyle option there is the Yamaha RX-S601 together with a pair of these compact speakers and matching centre plus slimline sub

If you want a more traditional boxy look, you could look at the Denon AVR-1500X, compact bookshelf's and matching centre plus well established sub

Both solutions are within your budget. performance wise, it'll be very very close as its lifestyle compactness (many items are clearance as lifestyle usually costs a premium) fighting against old fashioned traditional boxy solutions. For music, I would suggest running both of these solutions in Sub/Sat configuration within the amps setup settings :)
 

andym81

Established Member
Hi all,

As per title, currently looking into getting a 3.1 setup or a soundbar with sub.

I don't really have the room for rear speaker placement right now, so my seperate system options would be limited to 1 centre speaker paired with left and right fronts, and sub - although depending on where the sub would go may be a problem if it needs to be wired.

Would i benefit more from a seperate system or a soundbar?

I suppose Soundbar wise, I would be looking at something by Yamaha, LG, Sony and Samsung.

I'd be happy to pay up to around £800-£900.

My main use is TV viewing via a virgin v6 box, movies via an apple 4k tv and streaming apps internal to the LG B7.

I do also listen to music, but from this source would only be a small percentage of use.

Thanks in advance.
I'd definitely be looking at seprates with the funds you have, you will get more bang for your buck than a soundbar.

Easter sales will be on soon, check out richer sounds website
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Thanks both for the replies.

I’m leaning more towards separates but am I going to miss Atmos features from bars like LG that have the up firing fronts?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Get the correct receiver and you could still fit Atmos speakers, upfiring or mounted high on a wall, and run it as a 3.1.2. This would still be a superior sound to an Atmos soundbar.
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Get the correct receiver and you could still fit Atmos speakers, upfiring or mounted high on a wall, and run it as a 3.1.2. This would still be a superior sound to an Atmos soundbar.

Even just the fronts and no rears?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Obviously a full 5.1.2 is going to be far better but so is a 5.1. You mentioned an Atmos soundbar and that does exactly, though nowhere near as well, as a 3.1.2 could achieve. I mentioned it because of your reference to a soundbar.

Why do you think you haven't the room for a 5.1?
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Obviously a full 5.1.2 is going to be far better but so is a 5.1. You mentioned an Atmos soundbar and that does exactly, though nowhere near as well, as a 3.1.2 could achieve. I mentioned it because of your reference to a soundbar.

Why do you think you haven't the room for a 5.1?

Just that I don’t want cables running around the living room and it’s not an ideal shape so really a new setup has to be front based.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I think it may be a good idea if you can post a rough sketch of your room. Maybe your TV position is compromised for even 3.1, especially if you have the TV in a corner.
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Can’t sketch right now but tv cabinet is running parallel in a corner with the screen tilted away from the corner...not ideal
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Right sorted. Any TV that is in a corner is in no way ideally suited for 3.1. I would go for the soundbar option.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Can’t sketch right now but tv cabinet is running parallel in a corner with the screen tilted away from the corner...not ideal

There is a way to make it all work, but that would mean you have a very understanding wife/gf. :laugh:

First the couch should be facing tv. Second you would push the tv/cabinet little bit forward so you can have the main speakers more apart without looking strange. You would also bring the couch forward if it´s far back (closer to equilateral triangle with L/R speakers). Subwoofer could go to either side of speakers or behind the tv in corner. Something you would need to try which sounds best.

So yeah you could make 2.1/3.1 system work there if you are willing to do some changes.

Picture to give you idea:

11607d1231860592-corner-setup-problem-ht-speaker-arrangement-corner-set-up.jpg
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Right the attached is sort of what I have to work with. The grey blockin the fireplace with the tv unit in brown next to it in the corner.
 

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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Swap the TV/TV Stand with the single seat and go 2.0 or 2.1 with a Speaker either side of the TV.

Joe
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You could easily make that room work, few options there as Joe has pointed out. At least two walls to work with as you've not shown the door. Easier to sort your room out that the goings on at the Knoll.:)
 

stuart07970

Prominent Member
There is a another way...
You could go 3.0 with a passive sound bar like the Monitor Audio Radius One and an amp of your choosing.
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
The picture is a little misleading as its shows half of a bigger room - living / dinning room in one. So the wall behind sofa 2 isnt actually there - at the moment although I may be putting one up.. The door into the room sits between the single chair / window and sofa 1 against the sofa wall.
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Think I’ll have a look at some receivers and speakers this weekend.

Tempted by the Denon 2500 with possibly the QA 3020 or Dali Specktors. Will these by good for movies?

Also any ideas on a sub?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I think the Denon will suit the QAs better, although everyone's perceptions are different and if you can audition those back to back then all the better.

As for subs BK are very well respected but can only be ordered direct. I like RELs for their music ability but they are more expensive than BKs which are very good value for money. I've had a REL T5 for almost eight trouble free years now. Stick to firms that specialise in subs.

Sub Woofers - Sub Bass - Subwoofer
https://rel.net/
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I feel you need to look at the seat which is the king seat (where you sit) before looking at the type of system to go for. If you are sat in the single seat. Then a 3.1 isn't really going to work in anyway, even a stereo configuration isn't going to do anything and from that point I would just go for a soundbase unit.

If you're sat in one of the settee's seats nearest to the other settee, then a 3.1 will work. It will be a bit more of a compromise than illustrated by @Gasp3621 as the front right and centre speakers will unequal in distance to the front left speaker, this could also present a small challenge for the the amp's when running the room eq which may need a human ear to set the levels the owners preferred taste.

Another bit you'll need to look at are placement of speakers regarding spacing on cabinet. If you are using a TV which will encumbrance the speakers because of its width, then that's a no go as it will just sound bad to the point of it being muffled.

If you are able to swing the room around @Joe Fernand mentioned would enable you to create a much better 3.1 front end, but I'm guessing this isn't on the cards

So, if you have enough space, then you should still be able to achieve a 3.1 system, it will be a compromise due to the angles, but it will be less of a compromise if you was to use a soundbar just because of the speakers ability over that of tiny speakers built into a soundbar and if you are sat in the wrong place, then I would suggest a soundbase over that of a soundbar too.
 

low-def.

Prominent Member
Hi @ShanePJ Thanks for the comments above. I've moved the tv and unit to where the single chair is now (which is front of a window so maybe not ideal long term), but I am now thinking about wall mounting the tv, receiver and centre speaker (when I get them) into the chimney brest giving me a much better position and taking up less space.

Now I have the headache of whether to get floorstanders either side of the chimney brest instead of book shelf speakers.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
As long as you can bring the floorstanders out into the room someway, they really don't like being pushing into a corner then you new position is going to be a lot better, a common problem with alcoves. Floorstanders will take up the same footprint as standmounts on stands and many prefer the look of standers as opposed to standmounts.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Usually the depth from a cabinet will be suffice for most standard sized floorstands when placing the fronts inline with it. Follow @gibbsy advice as it's important

Check the sizing space required for the centre speaker and then allow that to help you find the desired floorstands in order to keep the trio from the same range.

Once you've got this, you could also look at Atmos again
 

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