Can I manage 7.1.2 in a small lounge?

adacey

Novice Member
Hi,

After finally moving into our own place last year I'm looking to address the long-overdue move away from TV speakers and would like to get a proper surround setup for our lounge.

The house is a late 20's semi and the TV wall is the common wall with the neighbors. So I want a good immersive experience, but I'm not planning to run the system at levels loud enough to annoy them.

The current room arrangement has a TV stand in front of the old chimney breast with my roughly 8-year-old 48" Sony flat screen and the sofa is against the other wall, which I know is not ideal.

Here's the current layout:

Current layout.png

My thinking was to upgrade to a 55" LG G1 and mount it on the chimney breast. It's defunct so I think I could even manage to route the cables through the chimney to get a nice clean look. There are power sockets in the "alcoves" on either side of the chimney. Technically, the chimney is just wide enough that I could squeeze a 65" on there, but it would leave such a small gap on either side I think it might look a bit out of proportion.

Ditching the TV stand could allow me to get rid of the current TV stand and pull the sofa into the room about 30cm or so, allowing for a console table behind it. That would give me something like the following layout:

New layout.png
Now my big question is the number of channels and speaker selection. Where the room is basically just 3.3 x 3.4m with about 2.65m ceilings is this a big enough room to handle a 7 channel setup or would I be better off just sticking to 5 channels?

I've not listened to anything yet but based on reviews, my thoughts were maybe to go with a Dali Oberon 1 package and add a pair of Oberon on-wall speakers to get up to 7 channels. Or, possibly go all on-wall for the surrounds. Then possibly the Dali Alteco speakers mounted on the chimney for Atmos. I was thinking of the bookshelf-sized system as it wouldn't take up as much space and I've been considering putting built-in cupboards in each of the alcoves, which the speakers could sit on top of. For the center channel, I'm at least fortunate that there is a convenient shelf in the chimney where the fireplace was that's high enough to clear the coffee table, although I'm guessing I'd want a front-ported speaker for such an enclosed space?

For the receiver, probably a Denon 3700H or 4700H, I kind of like the idea of having a bit more head-room for expansion if I could ever move to a 7.2.4 setup, although again, I'm not sure if I'd be able to position the rear Atmos speakers in a good spot. Maybe up high on the walls to the left and right of the sofa? Similarly, would I get much value in adding a second subwoofer to this setup? And where should I place them?

The budget is a bit flexible, I realize on the low-end of the budget I could be under £5k for the TV, receiver, and a 5.1.2 setup. I'd be willing to go up to about £8k if I could get a 7.2.2 or 7.2.4 setup but I'm not sure where that extra money would get me the best bang for my buck.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
How wide is the chimney breast itself (minus the 2 alcoves). if the sofa would fit on the chimney breast, you could put 1 chair in each alcove - assuming they are empty/wide enough

Then mount the TV on the wall opposite the chimney breast. This would mean you could place your rear surrounds behind the chairs.

My room is 3m wide and that houses a 55" TV (wall mounted), 2 Monitor Audio Silver 300's (similar in width to Oberon 5's) and 2x SVS SVS subs. Here's a old picture of my front stage. (I've since changed my TV cabinet and raised the centre speaker):

received_1035176903910584.jpeg


Edit my custom cabinet isn't shown, but I'm hoping to create a build thread for that (now it's completed) as it's somewhat unique - in both design and functionality) 😊

For reference I run a 5.2.4 setup in a living room measuring 3m wide by 4.57m long. My corner sofa is virtually against the opposite wall to the TV. as a result I use 2x Monitor Audio Silver FX's as surrounds with 4x Dail Alteco C1's as heights (atmos).
 
Last edited:

Oswald

Well-known Member
Like @Jester1066 I'm also using Monitor Audio Silver FX, which give an excellent surround effect (my sofa is also up against the back wall of my room). In my case I have a 5.1 setup with plans to move to 5.1.2 at some point. I think you're pushing it to squeeze in 7 surround speakers (at suitable positions) in your room to be honest.

EDIT: I had a similar sized and shaped room in my previous home... I mounted my old TV (55") on the chimney breast, stuck a floor-stander in each alcove, along with my sub in one alcove and a tall and narrow rack for my amp and other gear in the other. Worth considering against built-in cupboards and bookshelf speakers.
 
Last edited:

adacey

Novice Member
If you have a sketch of the room that would be most helpful.

We would suggest an M&K on wall loudspeaker system. Very slim and discrete but high performance.

Our showrooms are 20min from Central London in St Albans.

[email protected]
There should be 2 floorplans attached to my post, the current layout, and the proposed slight changes by wall-mounting the TV and eliminating the TV stand. Might have to click the thumbnails to get the bigger size. But basically, each alcove is just under 90cm wide, and then the chimney projects 35cm into the room, so they're not that deep of an alcove. The chimney breast is 1.58m wide, so my concern with a complete wall mount system would be I don't think I'd have the width on the chimney breast to mount the front speakers beside the TV, although I know there are some setups that put all. channels below the screen.
 

adacey

Novice Member
How wide is the chimney breast itself (minus the 2 alcoves). if the sofa would fit on the chimney breast, you could put 1 chair in each alcove - assuming they are empty/wide enough

Then mount the TV on the wall opposite the chimney breast. This would mean you could place your rear surrounds behind the chairs.

My room is 3m wide and that houses a 55" TV (wall mounted), 2 Monitor Audio Silver 300's (similar in width to Oberon 5's) and 2x SVS SVS subs. Here's a old picture of my front stage. (I've since changed my TV cabinet and raised the centre speaker):

View attachment 1630053

Edit my custom cabinet isn't shown, but I'm hoping to create a build thread for that (now it's completed) as it's somewhat unique - in both design and functionality) 😊

For reference I run a 5.2.4 setup in a living room measuring 3m wide by 4.57m long. My corner sofa is virtually against the opposite wall to the TV. as a result I use 2x Monitor Audio Silver FX's as surrounds with 4x Dail Alteco C1's as heights (atmos).
Thanks for thinking outside the box, unfortunately, my 2-seat sofa is just a bit too wide for that to work, but it was an interesting thought to attack the problem. It is sounding like I should focus on a 5 channel setup though so this is helping me hone in on a system.
 

Oswald

Well-known Member
I should have mentioned that you could consider putting your centre speaker on a small stand rather than mount it onto the wall. That's what I did in my old house with the speaker also tilted up about 15 degrees to point towards the listener's head - it worked well, and avoided more messy cabling on the wall.
 

adacey

Novice Member
I should have mentioned that you could consider putting your centre speaker on a small stand rather than mount it onto the wall. That's what I did in my old house with the speaker also tilted up about 15 degrees to point towards the listener's head - it worked well, and avoided more messy cabling on the wall.
The old hearth has been completely removed and there’s a shelf in that space so I could put my centre channel there, but I imagine it would need a front port due to the enclosed space.

But, if I wall mounted the centre channel then that shelf might be a good spot for the AVR (although possibly a heat issue) or for my Apple TV and PS4 (less worried about heat then as it would have more air around it. Must measure up that space but it means moving the TV and stand out of the way.
 

AmericanAudio

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
You could also consider GoldenEar as a super slim, high performing speaker.

You could have a traditional Left / Centre / Right setup or use their LCR passive sound bar.

So you get all be benefit of separate processor AVR coupled with the package convince of a soundbar.

 

adacey

Novice Member
Based on the feedback above, it's really sounding like I should be aiming for 5 channels, not 7. So the next question becomes, do I go for 5.1 or 5.2? And 2 Atmos speakers or 4? Would a 5.2.4 setup work in my room or would I be better off sticking to 5.1.2 or 5.2.2?

The M&K M series is seriously tempting. Go for 3 M70's for LCR, or would it make sense to upgrade the centre channel to the M90? And then what would make sense for the surrounds? I had been thinking the M50's for the small footprint, but I'm seeing some recommendations mentioning the M40T instead. I'd thought that dipole/bipole setups had fallen out of fashion with 5 channel and higher surround, but then I'm going off my memory from over 20 years ago at this point so things may have moved on.

Then it's really down to what to use for the Atmos channels. I know I'd mentioned Dali Alteco before, any other options worth considering or that might be a better fit for this setup?

And I must say that I'd already been tempted to possibly jump up to an Anthem MRX for the AVR instead of a Denon, and this setup is definitely having me lean more in that direction.
 

Oswald

Well-known Member
Why not just buy one sub initially and get a second one later if you decide you need it? In my case I stuck with one sub and haven't felt the need to buy a second one since moving to a larger house (although I know many people on here swear that two subs are a must).

With respect to surrounds, I found that my old Mission bookshelf speakers in a small room (so close to the listener) were very obvious and annoying 'point' sources of sound. Changing to the Silver FX (in bipole mode mounted on the back wall in my 5.1 setup) gave a far better surround sound effect. Your mileage may vary, as they say!

If you want an Anthem MRX you'd need to get the top-of-the-range MRX1140 (or a seperate external amplifier) if you want 4 Atmos speakers as the lower models in the range only have either 5 or 7 channels of amplification. The MRX740 would allow for 5.1.2 (or 5.2.2) without additional amplification.

Dolby's installation guidelines for Atmos might be useful:
https://www.dolby.com/siteassets/te...atmos-installation-guidelines-121318_r3.1.pdf
 
Last edited:

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Based on the feedback above, it's really sounding like I should be aiming for 5 channels, not 7. So the next question becomes, do I go for 5.1 or 5.2? And 2 Atmos speakers or 4? Would a 5.2.4 setup work in my room or would I be better off sticking to 5.1.2 or 5.2.2?

The M&K M series is seriously tempting. Go for 3 M70's for LCR, or would it make sense to upgrade the centre channel to the M90? And then what would make sense for the surrounds? I had been thinking the M50's for the small footprint, but I'm seeing some recommendations mentioning the M40T instead. I'd thought that dipole/bipole setups had fallen out of fashion with 5 channel and higher surround, but then I'm going off my memory from over 20 years ago at this point so things may have moved on.

Then it's really down to what to use for the Atmos channels. I know I'd mentioned Dali Alteco before, any other options worth considering or that might be a better fit for this setup?

And I must say that I'd already been tempted to possibly jump up to an Anthem MRX for the AVR instead of a Denon, and this setup is definitely having me lean more in that direction.


5.2.4 is possible so front and rear heights.

M&K is solid option, but the prices have gone up quite a lot too. Check out also Arendal 1961 Monitor/Centre/Surround if the 15cm depth is ok, wall mountable sealed cabs similar to M&K. Sound quality will be similar, performance similar to M&K 750 serie. Most M40T or similar tripole/tri-axial (M&K/Arendal) owners at AVF have atmos system so there is no reason not to consider them. They would be mounted close to seated ear height where as the height channels would go high up just below ceiling = good height separation between these two channels.

Anthem MRX receivers have some noisy fans and bugs. Denon X3700H/X4700H offers best bang for buck regarding features, channel count/processing, dual subwoofer eq (found in MRX1140 lowest) etc. New Yamaha Aventage would be more future proof in a way that it has all hdmi connections version 2.1 as Denon/Marantz has only 1 input of the new version. That will change this summer with new models. With Yamaha you would need RX-A6A model for 5.2.4 system. Onkyo RZ-50 is coming to UK/EU hopefully soon with Dirac Live, pricing not known yet. Could be game changer.

Two sealed subs in each front corners or diagonally opposite front & rear corners would give you smoother response for those two seats and overall just more room filling bass. I haven´t heard anyone regretting going with dual sub route yet. With one sub you might get decent response for one seat or not. Something like 2x Arendal 1961 1S or 2x SVS SB2000 Pro would be quite ideal. From cheaper options 2x SB1000 Pro / 2x REL HT/1205 would surely be enjoyable too as you have such small room. With subwoofers rather buy little more than you think you need as the upgraditis can hit soon, bass can be addicting.
 
Last edited:

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Why not just buy one sub initially and get a second one later if you decide you need it? In my case I stuck with one sub and haven't felt the need to buy a second one since moving to a larger house (although I know many people on here swear that two subs are a must).

With respect to surrounds, I found that my old Mission bookshelf speakers in a small room (so close to the listener) were very obvious and annoying 'point' sources of sound. Changing to the Silver FX (in bipole mode mounted on the back wall in my 5.1 setup) gave a far better surround sound effect. Your mileage may vary, as they say!

If you want an Anthem MRX you'd need to get the top-of-the-range MRX1140 (or a seperate external amplifier) if you want 4 Atmos speakers as the lower models in the range only have either 5 or 7 channels of amplification. The MRX740 would allow for 5.1.2 (or 5.2.2) without additional amplification.

Dolby's installation guidelines for Atmos might be useful:
https://www.dolby.com/siteassets/te...atmos-installation-guidelines-121318_r3.1.pdf
Not much I can add to this I agree with him too in the main. I started with a single subwoofer and now run dual SB2000 Pro's. Would I go back to a single sub? Nope. But again ymmv. Which is what makes @Oswald suggestion re the sub a great one!

Regarding AVR choices. Anthem are great product and many do say that their room correction (ARC) is superior to Audessy (found in Denon models, partly reflected in the Anthems higher price.

A MRX 1140 will cost circa£4000 (new), versus a Denon 3700 (£1149) and/or 4700 (£1549)... All of these can run a 5 2.4 setup - out of the box (without additional power amps). The denons can do 11 channels (7.2.4) with the addition of a 2 channel power amp. The cost of which will still be less than the Anthem on its own.

If it were me, I'd rather put the difference in cost between the Denon & Anthem and get higher tiered speakers. Eg Dali Opticon 6 instead of Oberon. The increase is sound quality will be far greater imo.
 

adacey

Novice Member
Yes, you can tell I really shouldn't start browsing high-end electronics, right? I did let myself get a little over-excited by the Anthems but it does seem a bit silly to blow half my budget on the AVR.

I think I'd overlooked the Yamaha AVRs or had missed seeing some of the specs. I do like the idea of having more HDMI 2.1 inputs right off the bat (well, pending the firmware update), and that does seem like a really nice step up from the current crop of Denons. Realistically, I'm planning to be in this house for some time, and the lounge is likely to never need more than 9.2 (assuming I went for a 5.2.4 setup). But weirdly my brain keeps saying, "yeah, you could add an amp and get those other 2 channels, but then you're in for more money than just buying an 11.2 AVR." And I need to rein that in and remind myself that if that ever did happen I could still sell off the existing AVR and pick up a newer AVR at that point.

Back in the mid-2000's, and before moving to the UK (I'm originally from Canada) I had a Yamaha RXV-757 and a Paradigm 5.1 setup (Paradigm Monitor 7 floor standers, Atom surrounds, 12" sub) and even though it was the "low-end" Paradigm line it sounded pretty damn good. Only downside was those speakers were a beast to move, although I managed it twice back in Canada. I let that system go with the move to the UK since I really didn't fancy hefting all of those across the ocean.

Next week I find out what my year-end bonus was and that should really hammer in the details on the budget. Will probably hold off a couple more weeks just to see what the CES announcements do to the prices on 2021 TVs. I'm still very much leaning toward the LG G1 for the flush-mount look on the wall, but the upgraded HDMI ports on the G2 are potentially tempting. Just not overly excited about paying the new lineup premium.

The only other key important investment for me is going to be to pick up the 4k Lord of the Rings boxset. If I can get the system to deliver a fantastic performance for that then I'll have immediately justified the cost of the system with my partner! :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes, you can tell I really shouldn't start browsing high-end electronics, right? I did let myself get a little over-excited by the Anthems but it does seem a bit silly to blow half my budget on the AVR.

I think I'd overlooked the Yamaha AVRs or had missed seeing some of the specs. I do like the idea of having more HDMI 2.1 inputs right off the bat (well, pending the firmware update), and that does seem like a really nice step up from the current crop of Denons. Realistically, I'm planning to be in this house for some time, and the lounge is likely to never need more than 9.2 (assuming I went for a 5.2.4 setup). But weirdly my brain keeps saying, "yeah, you could add an amp and get those other 2 channels, but then you're in for more money than just buying an 11.2 AVR." And I need to rein that in and remind myself that if that ever did happen I could still sell off the existing AVR and pick up a newer AVR at that point.

Back in the mid-2000's, and before moving to the UK (I'm originally from Canada) I had a Yamaha RXV-757 and a Paradigm 5.1 setup (Paradigm Monitor 7 floor standers, Atom surrounds, 12" sub) and even though it was the "low-end" Paradigm line it sounded pretty damn good. Only downside was those speakers were a beast to move, although I managed it twice back in Canada. I let that system go with the move to the UK since I really didn't fancy hefting all of those across the ocean.

Next week I find out what my year-end bonus was and that should really hammer in the details on the budget. Will probably hold off a couple more weeks just to see what the CES announcements do to the prices on 2021 TVs. I'm still very much leaning toward the LG G1 for the flush-mount look on the wall, but the upgraded HDMI ports on the G2 are potentially tempting. Just not overly excited about paying the new lineup premium.

The only other key important investment for me is going to be to pick up the 4k Lord of the Rings boxset. If I can get the system to deliver a fantastic performance for that then I'll have immediately justified the cost of the system with my partner! :)

Definitely would warm up more for the 2021 range to get better bang for buck. I don´t know what time is best to buy them for lowest prices. Buying latest model tv it feels like buying new car. The value drops like stone in short time. Technology also goes forward so fast. I haven´t kept up with the latest features and connections, but i would assume the G1 does still have some hdmi 2.1 ports? If you aren´t a gamer then i would question the need of them, but of course i understand the future proof thing if you are like me keeping electronics very long time as other folks swap gear right away when something new comes. Each to their own.

Yamaha`s aren´t cheap, but then again they are usually very reliable and we can also see manufacturer giving 5year warranty. Denon will introduce new models later this year so that means the prices of current models go down, but i doubt you want to wait till summer.

I would ask you to consider at least 65" tv. I don´t feel you get much of cinematic feeling with 55" tv. Others might disagree, but i would rather take small hit in the picture quality and go larger. I just can´t see you regretting that one, most people do regret going smaller one though. I had 106" screen and sit 2,5m away roughly, but that was 1080p. In a week i got used to it. 64" flagship tv started to feel useless. Large picture/screen is biggest thing i feel that gives you the real cinema vibe.

Below is "optimal" viewing distances for 4K tv, min/max.

To get the most detailed 4K picture, we suggest a viewing distance between 1 to 1-1/2 times the screen size.
55"4.6 - 6.9 feet
60"5 - 7.5 feet
65"5.4 - 8.1 feet
70"5.8 - 8.75 feet
75"6.3 - 9.4 feet
80"6.7 - 10 feet
85"7.1 - 10.6 feet
 
Last edited:

adacey

Novice Member
Definitely would warm up more for the 2021 range to get better bang for buck. I don´t know what time is best to buy them for lowest prices. Buying latest model tv it feels like buying new car. The value drops like stone in short time. Technology also goes forward so fast. I haven´t kept up with the latest features and connections, but i would assume the G1 does still have some hdmi 2.1 ports? If you aren´t a gamer then i would question the need of them, but of course i understand the future proof thing if you are like me keeping electronics very long time as other folks swap gear right away when something new comes. Each to their own.

Yamaha`s aren´t cheap, but then again they are usually very reliable and we can also see manufacturer giving 5year warranty. Denon will introduce new models later this year so that means the prices of current models go down, but i doubt you want to wait till summer.

I would ask you to consider at least 65" tv. I don´t feel you get much of cinematic feeling with 55" tv. Others might disagree, but i would rather take small hit in the picture quality and go larger. I just can´t see you regretting that one, most people do regret going smaller one though. I had 106" screen and sit 2,5m away roughly, but that was 1080p. In a week i got used to it. 64" flagship tv started to feel useless. Large picture/screen is biggest thing i feel that gives you the real cinema vibe.

Below is "optimal" viewing distances for 4K tv, min/max.

To get the most detailed 4K picture, we suggest a viewing distance between 1 to 1-1/2 times the screen size.
55"4.6 - 6.9 feet
60"5 - 7.5 feet
65"5.4 - 8.1 feet
70"5.8 - 8.75 feet
75"6.3 - 9.4 feet
80"6.7 - 10 feet
85"7.1 - 10.6 feet
Yes, the 2021 range has 4 40gbps HDMI 2.1 ports, so plenty of coverage there. The 2022 lineup just upgrades that to 48gbps, but as you'd said, it's unlikely to have any impact on me any time soon.

65" is really tempting, but it would just fit on the chimney breast, so I'm a little worried it might look a little out of proportion. It would also mean that I wouldn't have enough space to wall mount the left and right speakers on either side. I'll have to do some scale drawings to get a better sense of the proportions. The wall mount speakers isn't necessarily a deal-breaker and the bigger screen would be nice. I'm currently using a 48" 1080p TV and it definitely feels like I could go bigger.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes, the 2021 range has 4 40gbps HDMI 2.1 ports, so plenty of coverage there. The 2022 lineup just upgrades that to 48gbps, but as you'd said, it's unlikely to have any impact on me any time soon.

65" is really tempting, but it would just fit on the chimney breast, so I'm a little worried it might look a little out of proportion. It would also mean that I wouldn't have enough space to wall mount the left and right speakers on either side. I'll have to do some scale drawings to get a better sense of the proportions. The wall mount speakers isn't necessarily a deal-breaker and the bigger screen would be nice. I'm currently using a 48" 1080p TV and it definitely feels like I could go bigger.

Most av-receveirs have 40gbps version of hdmi 2.1 and it ain´t changing for some time. Cheaper Yamahas/Onkyo/Pioneer has 24gbps.

The speakers shouldn´t go that close each other, 55" and L/R each side if that is what you meant. 65" tv without doubt minium and then spread mains in the "alcoves" like below picture shows you. They are M&K MP7 (earlier version of M70).

20180103_183938-jpg.960572
 

adacey

Novice Member
Most av-receveirs have 40gbps version of hdmi 2.1 and it ain´t changing for some time. Cheaper Yamahas/Onkyo/Pioneer has 24gbps.

The speakers shouldn´t go that close each other, 55" and L/R each side if that is what you meant. 65" tv without doubt minium and then spread mains in the "alcoves" like below picture shows you. They are M&K MP7 (earlier version of M70).

20180103_183938-jpg.960572
How wide are your alcoves? What you’re saying about separation makes sense but I think I’d ruled out wall-mounting in the alcoves in case they were too narrow. Not so much that they’d block the main path to the sofa, just whether some sound would bounce off them too much.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
How wide are your alcoves? What you’re saying about separation makes sense but I think I’d ruled out wall-mounting in the alcoves in case they were too narrow. Not so much that they’d block the main path to the sofa, just whether some sound would bounce off them too much.

Sadly that`s not my system. It`s @adam-burnley lounge, but he rarely visits AVF...
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I'd personally get some big burly surrounds which can sound bigger than what they are like the Arendal 1723S design.

I'd then get 4 atmos channels so that sounds above ur head can fly AROUND the room rather than just left, right and middle.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Maverick UK Premiere IMAX Review + Top Gun, Tom Cruise, Tony Scott and 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom