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Help me choose speakers for my av room


Active Member
The kids have left home and that releases a room I can dedicate for music and home cinema. It is not ideal size wise but does have an unusual feature. The room is rectangular, a little narrow at 2.7m wide and 5.7m long. The ceiling follows the roof line of the single storey extension so it is 2.3m high at the window end rising to 3.2m high at the far end. I plan to use a screen and a ceiling mounted projector. The sofa will at the window end of the room.

The room will be used about 60% music and 40% cinema. My budget is around £1000 for the fronts, centre and sub. I have some speakers for surround, which I may change later. I am thinking that the room size is not good for floorstanders. I like the look of B&W 685s but not heard them yet. Is it possible to buy a single 685 for the centre - the HTM centre is more expensive than a 685 and I would have thought it would be better to have an identical speaker for centre to avoid tonal changes left to right? I like deep bass so was thinking of the ASW610 for sub.

I dont have an AV amp yet but am on a list at Peter Tyson for any remaining Yamaha DSPAX763. I am not in a hurry so if that doesnt work out I will look for something similar.

So comments please and alternative speaker suggestions.

Ta, Andrew


Active Member
Bump. Anyone please ? :)

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
There is litrally a whole world of speakers to choose from out there. Sub wise I wouldnt go with the usual packaged efforts as you can do much better with stand alone units like this. I wont elaborate here as its not the place but the sub forum will pretty much just agree and IMO you should look no further than that.

That would leave you with around £700 for a 5.0 setup. You could at this stage do a couple things. Get a package like say an MA Bronze type thing (minus the sub of course), or allocate a bit more on the front 3 and source some cheaper speakers for surround duties. As your putting more focus on music I reckon the latter could be the way to go. So for example, you could add a pair of MA RS1s to take care of music duties, then add a BRLCR center speaker, and finish with a pair of R90's or BR1 for surrounds. Total cost of speakers would be around £670. If you dont need surrounds then stick with the matching center, which in this case would be the MA RSLCR (total cost around £660), for best performance. These types of speakers are usually available in a variety of finishes to suit your room too.

Thats just an example of the kind of thing you can do (I know more about MA stuff than most other brands), and how you can tailor the system to suit your priorities.

IMO, you should short list some stereo speakers of interest, demo them, then base all your purchasing on them. Any matching centre will be ideal once you have decided on your front stereo pair for music. If you can demo a package togther then great but its usually easier to get to listen to the front pair alone :smashin:, and this is probably better for music as the surround effects can detract for the main music listening. Music is best played in stereo anyway!

Favorite brands I would look at are as follows:

Monitor Audio
Mordant Short
Wharfedale Diamond*

A couple others that are a bit less main stream are:

XTZ - (apparently amazing for the money)

I hope that helps out. I'm sure others will add one or two other brands too.
Last edited by a moderator:


Distinguished Member
I'll second what MoonFly said. The Monitor Audio Silver and the B&W 600 series are sufficiently different that if you don't like one, you are sure to like the other. Though there are certainly a range of other options at a range of prices.

For example, if you want a low cost but larger speaker, you could consider the Monitor Auido Bronze and the Wharfedale Diamond series. Recently some one posted that they were surprised to find that they personally preferred the Bronze over the MA Silver. The Silver is certainly a better more expensive speaker, but given the difference in price, for this person the Bronze won hands down.

But, I think your basic assessment is right, in your space, 9 feet x 18 feet for the metrically challenged, bookshelf are probably ideal.

It is only in the most extreme and rare situation that I would ever recommend lifestyle/egg/pod speakers.

Depending on where the seating is, will depend on whether 5.1 or 7.1 is best for you. Sitting 18 feet from the screen, unless it is huge, is not ideal. Better to move the prime seating area forward, and move the rear speakers back some.

The suggested Yamaha amp (£299) is probably as good as any. It has a fair amount of power (95w/ch). A similar amp for the same price might be the Pioneer VSZ519V which claims 130 watt x 5 channels to 6 ohms, which is about 97w/ch to 8 ohms. But again, only 5 channels, which likely would be enough. Still the Yamaha seems like a good deal.

I agree on the Sub too. If you can get a super package deal, then go with the manufacturer's sub. Otherwise go with a maker the specializes in Sub like BK Electronics (see Moonfly's link) or SVS (not cheap though).

Overall, it sounds like you are on the right track.



Active Member
Thanks guys for your input. It's reassuring to know I am thinking along the right lines.

Re the screen I was thinking of mounting the projector on one of the exposed roof beams about 3m back from the screen. I think I should be able to achieve a 88" screen. The sofa will normally be close to the window end of the room so 5.1 would probably be best. But I guess I could pull the sofa forward whilst watching movies and consider 7.1.

From what you have both said my next step will be to listen to different speakers and see what I like. My wife quite likes the look of the KEF eggs but I certainly prefer bookshelfs.

Many thanks,

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Where music is important, definitely stay clear of style/egg/pod speakers. Ive tried a few and nothing is a good as a traditional speaker for music bar none.

As your having a dedicated room I would respectfully explain to the misses that looks are the top priority. Have a look at MAs speakers, they are lookers anyway and you can only really appreciate this in the flesh. Other are of similar quality so I wouldnt choose eggs on looks, you'll be looking for an upgrade within the year :lesson:

I'd at least start with 5.1. It saves you cash an it easy to up to 7.1 in the future, but IMO 5.1 is enough for your room, its similar to my room and I dont need 7.1 :smashin:

All the best.


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