Garden room unobtrusive speaker advice for a tiny retrofit

turk3y

Well-known Member
I am half way through building a garden room (3.5m X 3m) and my wife has suggested it also becomes a home cinema (result).

However this was not the plan originally and the wall which hopefully will have the screen also has a 2.4m X 1.2m bifold window taking almost all the space. There is almost 20cm of space on the walls to the side to get some slim speakers up but am struggling with the centre speaker.

The main original role is to be a home office as I will be working from home probably permanently now and I had planned a desk next to a nice large window for a view. This makes a center speaker harder as it will be at desk hight and no doubt get in the way or damaged.

It is also the reason to have the screen here as it can pull down over a desk and the sofa can be on the far wall, the other way round would make the seating much closer.

I have some old Jamo a102 speakers and sub and no amp. I used to have a low to mid range Sony AV amp with them and they did not blow me away which is why I want to upgrade although they are small and effectively free which is a huge bonus.

Budget is on the low side as this is a new requirement and the garden room build is over budget due to all materials rising in cost constantly. I don't have a £ number but want it to be decent. Let's say £1k for all 5 speakers and sub although ideally and probably less. Dont let budget stiffle creative options.

I was considering a real mix of speakers, but no idea if they would sound correct.

Something like an in wall centre speaker, this needs to be good as I assume it carries the meat of the soundtrack, then some on wall speakers for the front, matching rears unless there is an opportunity to save money. Finally a decent sub, something with punch but refines and probably needs to be configurable as a small room with limited placement options and don't want to annoy the neighbors. It's a timber frame build so not all that soundproof.

A happy problem to have and creative options welcome.

Thanks for reading this far. 👍
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Have you considered going with 4.1 system if the center channel is going to be such problematic?

Do you have 20cm space each side on the front wall for the main L/R speakers, so you are looking some super slim width speakers?

Budget for av-receiver is outside of the speaker+sub budget i assume and how much is that?

Can you post pictures / room plan to see it better where the projection screen / window is, couch etc.
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
Have you considered going with 4.1 system if the center channel is going to be such problematic?

Do you have 20cm space each side on the front wall for the main L/R speakers, so you are looking some super slim width speakers?

Budget for av-receiver is outside of the speaker+sub budget i assume and how much is that?

Can you post pictures / room plan to see it better where the projection screen / window is, couch etc.

Sorry I did not see any notification of a reply

Please see the photo, ignore the mess it's very much mid build atm.

The window is 2.4m wide, for reference.
The sides are very tight, 25cm.and 15cm. I managed to not get the window central which is annoying in many ways.

That is allowing for thin plasterboard, I was hoping to install thicker fire grade, 15cm is not much at all

The room is 3.4m deep and the couch would be on the rear wall.

I was investigating slim speakers but they were in wall, L and R will will be on wall because of the studs. I guess you can box "in wall" speakers. True in wall for the centre would be good.

AV receiver will likely be cheap, I won't be going Atmos nor need many inputs. I might even look for 2nd hand. Let's say £300 to give a value.


Thanks.
 

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jamieu

Well-known Member
How far does the screen come down?

Could you mount three in-walls under the window — as your LCR — rather than try and fit your L&R channels at the side. Depends on your seating position — hard to tell from the photo how hight up the window is, but as a compromise that might not be such a bad one to make and would be a better/neater end-result visually.
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
How far does the screen come down?

Could you mount three in-walls under the window — as your LCR — rather than try and fit your L&R channels at the side. Depends on your seating position — hard to tell from the photo how hight up the window is, but as a compromise that might not be such a bad one to make and would be a better/neater end-result visually.

Nothing exists yet, the window is 1.2m tall, it's 16cm from the lowest point of the roof.

I have never had a projector before so somewhat blind.

I would like to cover the whole window with the screen to make it blackout.

The speakers could go below but I will have a desk in the way of the right channel so was hoping to go high.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Definitely run with a phantom centre configuration.

Once you are attuned to it, you really won't notice that it's not there.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
With the in-wall speakers you have to think about where the frame comes (speaker can´t be too close) and installing them directly in corners close to side wall isn´t ideal either.

Rich has installed hundreds of in-wall speakers. @Seriously Ltd can you share your view what would be most ideal route? I like the Jamis idea and have seen you installing MKs (LCR) lower like that. Perhaps some cheaper Kefs would do the trick under the window with acoustically transparent screen?

@Seriously Ltd this is OPs room:

img_20210615_105843-jpg.1528270
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Consider the M&K cinema in a box.
This is a 5.1 system and sounds a awesome for the money.
The LCR are tiny on wall loudspeakers that can sit just above the desk in a line. Screen can stop at top of speakers. Use a 2:35 screen as shallower.
The surrounds are Tripole and will fill the room well with a big bubble of sound. The V8 sun is very punchy. Ideally keep all of your speakers matched.
 

Gaz020

Active Member
I had a very similar scenario last year. I built a garden Room/ deck/ workshop from scratch, without quite knowing what the garden room would be used for. I also insulated the room which was not in the original plan. Having done all of that and also having an old Onkyo system left over from upgrading my living room, I bought a Cheapo Optoma projector and the room has been used way more than I ever expected. From family film nights with zero degree temps outside to watching Netflix outside on a summers evening it's been a good investment.

It also gets used for music when we are in the garden.


For the size and layout, using the Onkyo works fine for me, I also have a second pair of rears in the decked area that I switch too when the bifold doors are open.

I would think you could pick up an old AVR and satellite/ sub for less than £150 on eBay. The projector I bought was about £350 if I recall and I have no complaints especially with the usual 5 year RS guarantee.

I've only just recently added an electric projector screen (so I could fit a dartboard and some shelves to the wall) which is connected to the 12v trigger of the projector which I think is pretty cool, I managed to get the screen for just under £50 delivered from eBay.
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
Some good ideas here. I do have speakers that fit but they always felt flat to me. I currently have a Denon soundbar and sub for the living room as we moved in and I decorated without considering speakers.

I like the look of the MK stuff and also saw Monitor Audio do some super slim speakers. Both are in another league to my old speakers.

The phantom centre is an interesting idea both on my space available and also if the L and R got better speakers it might suit music better down the road, that is not a real concern now however.

Buying kit in sections might be a smart way forward, if I could setup good stereo that would be enough for the kids, but ideally as I have the walls in boarded I really want to get to at least 5.1 or 4.1.

I think I need to look for small builds posted here to get an idea of how these sorts of things fit, and also research the screen as that might make or break the plan.

Thank you for your ideas so far,.it's a world away from some builds with big budgets but I hope it will be fun for what it is once setup.
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
A super slim in-wall like the MA WSS130 might be an option — if you can fit the L&R channels at the sides of the window/screen with a centre on it's side under the window/screen.

Alternatively, a speaker with a good bracket arrangement could work, these are intended as patio speakers but something with this sort of integrated bracket could work well and no reason they couldn't be used indoor.

Agree with the above, for such a small space a phantom centre in a 4.1 arrangement could work better than you expect — in fact it could be better than a compromised 5.1 system.
 

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