4 speakers or 2 in a larger room

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Phillbot, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Phillbot

    Phillbot
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    Hi, I am trying to decide if I need 4 or 2 speakers in a room size 7m X 7.5m with one corner cut out (So a bit L shaped). it is going to be a games room so my worry is that people near the speakers will be blasted whilst the other side will be too quiet. I use Sonos so was contemplating just buying 2 Play 5s but I fear this is not going to sastisfy me sonically and adding the sub makes it crazy expensive. (£1600 all in)

    My question is does anyone think that 2 floorstanders for say £600 would give a better result than 2 play 5s in a room that size? I have an amp and would just get a Connect to put the Sonos through it. If I need 4 floorstanders then I end up at similar budgets to the Sonos solution anyway.
    Any advice or alternative ideas welcome
     
  2. Ultrasonic

    Ultrasonic
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    Stereo music is intended to be played back via 2 speakers. I'm not sure how you'd even plan to connect up 4 floorstanding speakers but don't do it!

    Sound waves reflect off the walls, floor and ceiling. This means that the variation in sound level from close to the speakers to further away is not as big as you might think, and for low frequencies it actually varies in a complex pattern through the room due to its natural resonant frequencies.

    Are you anywhere near Bristol? If you go to the upcoming hifi show there you'll be able to hear some two speaker systems in bigger rooms.
     
  3. dogfonos

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    Agree with Ultrasonic, four speakers can be connected to an amp but the sound you'll get will likely suffer compared with a traditional speaker pair - although I take your point about volume variations throughout the room which will be very noticeable should the room be filled with people or tons of soft furnishings. In a fairly sparse room, volume variations won't be so obvious.

    Your room size is suitable for a pair of large floorstanding speakers. I get the impression that maybe a punchy, club-type sound would be preferable to refined, high quality audio? Hope so because a stereo pair of new floorstanders that would fill your listening space with very high quality audio is, IMO, above the budget. Second hand floorstanders seem plentiful and offer great value but whatever you buy, go for something that can handle at lot of power and is of high-ish sensitivity (i.e. speakers that will play loud - although the amp will need to be up to the task). Floorstanders with multiple 6" to 8" bass (or bass/mid) drivers. Avoid the cheap unknown-brand speakers with a zillion drive units and stick to reputable manufacturers. This sort of thing (though I haven't heard any of them so can't personally recommend):

    Pair of Wharfedale Xarus 5000 floorstanding speakers | eBay

    PAIR FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS KLIPSCH R-28F R28 F BRAND NEW WARRANTY SPECIAL SALE | eBay

    Dali Lektor 8 Floor Standing Speakers - Walnut - A1005 | eBay

    Can't comment on comparisons with any Sonus products.
     
  4. Hixs

    Hixs
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    What amp?
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Perhaps having sound loud on one side and more quiet on the other is not such a bad thing. People who want to party will congregate near the speakers (unless they are insanely loud) and those who want to talk will move to the far side away for the speakers.

    In my living room I sit about 11 feet from the speakers, but my room is open floorplan, and when I sit at my computer, I am about 25 feet from the speakers. I play at about the same loud but comfortable volume regardless of where I sit. My Front speaker are 2x8" each Wharfedale Diamond 9.6.

    My underlying point is, I don't think the music volume will be that much different in that space. And I think you can fill the room nicely without the overall level being insanely high.

    The PLAY:5 can be used individually, or TWO can be mated into a Stereo Pair. I'm not sure how you would get 4 to work together.

    The Play series, in my opinion, are good for casual listening in a secondary room. But I don't see them for a main system, or at least not for my main system.

    So, yes, I think two large bookshelf or two floorstanding will produce better results and be more versatile than two Play:5. The Sonos Play5 are like £500 each, that's pretty steep. If you buy TWO that's a cool £1000.

    Though there are many options, consider this -

    Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, 80w/ch, Network Streaming, Bluetooth, DAC, et... - £330 -

    The six best digital music download sites

    Monitor Audio Bronze 6 Floorstanding Speakers - £700/pair -


    Monitor Audio Bronze 6 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

    There is your £1000 including Amp, Network Streaming, and Speakers. Because it has a built in DAC, it can also be connected to a TV for TV and Movie watching.

    Though if you buy SONOS:Connect (£350) you can use that with any amp, and there are many amps to choose from.

    The Play:5 are nice and compact, they can be placed on the wall or on a shelf, but there are what they are, and they are not what they are not. They are compact and convenient, but they are not full size speakers. Like I said, they are made more for a secondary system than a main Music/Movie system.

    If you insist on the Play:5, then two configured as Stereo would more than get the job done. But that is a lot of money to pay for a compact system.

    Here is another alternative -

    £320/ea = Sonos:Connect
    £250/ea = Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp with DAC
    £450/pr = Tannoy Mercury 7.4 (2x6.5") Floorstanding Speakers
    ---------------------------
    £1020 = Total


    Monitor Audio Bronze 6 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

    Yamaha AS501 Amplifier with DAC - Superfi

    Tannoy Mercury 7.4 Speakers - Superfi

    More than making specific recommendations, I am simply illustrating the possibilities. There are many other pieces of equipment to choose from, and we can probably tailor them to your specific needs as those needs become known to us.

    For an unobtrusive system in a secondary location, the Sonos Play are nice, but I just do not, personally, see them as a main system.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  6. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Your ca 50m2 room is nowhere near the size at which you need even to consider the question of additional speakers, and when you do reach meeting hall size, the first thing you'll need to do is consider a 100V system - domestic speakers just won't cut it.

    For a games room, you may well be better off with high-up on-wall (or in-ceiling ) speakers; not so much for reasons of sound distribution but simply to avoid damage to freestanding components by people, especially children, moving around.
     
  7. Rambles

    Rambles
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    There may be an argument for having two speakers set-up for optimum stereo listening when you are in or near the 'sweetspot' where you are going to get the best experience. But, then a second pair of speakers that can be switched on and off, if you are pottering around the room playing games (as it is a games room).

    I have a similar situation in my open plan kitchen / diner / office. Actually three sets of speakers so that I get optimum stereo at my desk, but louder volume from additional speakers and a soundbar under the TV if I am cooking, or have a lot of guests who are milling around and just want some ambient background music.
     
  8. Khazul

    Khazul
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    I do have something similar - open plan lounge/kitchen/diner with studio sound system in the 'office' area, AV+HiFi sound system in the 'lounge' area that are inter-linked (zone 2/pre-out from AV+HiFi to studio and a cue-out/booth out from studio/DJ to lounge system), so I can kind of see the appeal of two selectable sets of speakers for open plan room that are segregated into zones.

    However I almost never have them both playing because I find that multiple non-distance corrected sources tends to be quite detrimental to overall sound (starts to sound like a club/bar type venue due to the multiple sources). Its OK for low level background music when only a single amp is driving them all, but I wont actively listen like that.
     
  9. Phillbot

    Phillbot
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. The amp I was going to use was an older Sony Surround amp as it has 2 zone options but it sounds like the 4 speakers is unlikely to make a huge difference to 2 other than potentially confuse the sound. I actually have ceiling speakers (some b&w ones) and ended up having to complement those with a sub as it was missing a lot of the base frequency so was not that keen on repeating it.
    I am going to pop down to my local richer sounds and test out a few floor standers that have been suggested some bookshelf a with a sub. The Bronze 6 was something I had considered as an option so am keen to hear them. If bookshelf and sub could work then it might be a preference simply because I have more options on where to put them and avoid any furniture etc.
    Thanks again, will let you know what I go for
     
  10. jk330ci

    jk330ci
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    I actually think the play 5 is a pretty decent speaker, it still surprises me how something so small produces such a big sound.
    You didn’t say what type of listening your planning on doing, critical listening sat in the sweet spot then decent floor standers should be the better option. If your trying to produce a decent coverage of sound for background music then multiple play 1 maybe. If you will be listening at louder levels then play 5. I’m sure you can buy Sonos and if it’s not right return it for refund, maybe worth a try
     
  11. aonfc

    aonfc
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    Hi, i had a think about this this morning. i do actually own a pair of Bronze FX speakers for my surround system. Part of this whole change is to have a separate cinema room and I was going to move to a 7.1 system and replace the FX with 4 surround speakers. If i used these wall mounted plus a sub - does anyone think that could give a satisfying result? i have attached a picture of the room for interest and if anyone could advise the best place to position them in such a room. i am guessing most time will be spent at the bar section (at least that is where i will be sitting)

    upload_2018-2-6_9-54-41.png
     
  12. jk330ci

    jk330ci
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    Aren’t the fx diffused bipole speakers? Not so good for music etc.
     
  13. aonfc

    aonfc
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    i think you are right. I have never tried them on a music source so i guess that answers that question:)
     
  14. Phillbot

    Phillbot
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    Hi all, for closure on this one and to say thanks for the advice. I went for Q Acoustic 3050 + Sonos amp and then a Play 1 just in the other corner to make sure that end wasn't left out. Might be the play 1 doesn't get used much.

    Cheers
     
  15. password1

    password1
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    If you want loud room filing party music, get a quality pair of PA speakers with large woofers, at least 10" or 12". If you go passive, just choose a powerful amp. It will be loud. Your guests probably won't be too bothered what they sound like, as long as they are like your average nightclub and get them dancing.
     
  16. password1

    password1
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    If it's mainly for yourself I'd go for a pair of floorstanders, something like Monitor Audio Gold GR/GS or Silver RX range or Bronze. MA has a 'Monitor' range out, I'd look at those as well if you want new.
    The Wharfedale 230 are worth a listen. I've never heard them but the 220 are good all rounders imo.
     
  17. Khazul

    Khazul
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    If doing a house party - you can just rent them along with some LED DMX lighting if you know your way around that kind of thing. No need to put up with huge fugly speakers all the time. You can buy nasty loud ones quite cheap as well that tick the boxes - loud, stand some abuse, lots of bass etc, but wouldnt want to listen through them generally.
     
  18. password1

    password1
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    The guests probably wont care too much what the speakers look like as long as they enjoying their time, if there's disco lighting then even less so, they don't notice where the speakers are
     

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