House renovation: Help with 3.1(.2) vs 5.1(.2) vs soundbar

TheNoob1

Novice Member
Hi all, I'm renovating our new house where we have a pretty 'special' area where we'll place the TV (LG 65 SK8500). It's a family room in the middle of the house, 3 stairs above the living room, and 6 stairs below the bedrooms. Notice there are three levels of ceilings in that area. I'm attaching some photos and the floor plan. We're spending lots of money on silly decorative stuff the wife insists on, but at least it gives me an excuse for spending a nice amount on home cinema. I also need to make decisions now, while it's still easy to crack up the walls open and move cables around.

I always dreamt of 5.1, but then I realized there won't be room for rear speakers, and even the side speakers might be too close. I then thought of buying a soundbar such as Sonos arc + sub or Yamaha ysp 2700 based on recommendations I saw. But now I saw some discussions here regarding 3.1(.2) separates vs soundbar which really got me confused. I watch Netflix and my LG supports Atmos so I'd like an Atmos support if that's possible for my space as well (is it really that good?..). I also feel like moving wires around is old-fashioned so I tend to prefer wifi/ethernet based system but it's not a must.

What do you think will give the best experience? In the case of 3.1, I can place the center below the TV (on a shelf in a cabin), and the sides can either be bookshelf speakers on the cabin sides (the cabin is 2 meters long), or they can be wall mounted on the wall and the pillar. I thought that atmos speakers could be mounted on the lower/upper ceiling above the tv/sofa respectively. I'm a real noob so let me know if I'm missing something.
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Is the tv part going to be open or will there be wall built behind tv/cabinet?

What is the distance from tv to couch/listeners?

The higher part of ceiling should work great for overhead channels so the pair would go slightly in front of listeners wide apart. See here:

Another alternative to get 5.1 would be using the ceiling speakers as surround speakers. Very typical in large open rooms at US. This would mean no Atmos though.

I would definitely go with a real system over the soundbar. While the av-unit is 2meter wide not sure will it be 50-60cm tall to optimize the height of speakers (tweeters at seated ear height)? If you have space either side then 600mm speaker stands would be highly recommended or slimmer floorstanding speakers depending the available space etc.
 

TheNoob1

Novice Member
Is the tv part going to be open or will there be wall built behind tv/cabinet?

What is the distance from tv to couch/listeners?

The higher part of ceiling should work great for overhead channels so the pair would go slightly in front of listeners wide apart. See here:

Another alternative to get 5.1 would be using the ceiling speakers as surround speakers. Very typical in large open rooms at US. This would mean no Atmos though.

I would definitely go with a real system over the soundbar. While the av-unit is 2meter wide not sure will it be 50-60cm tall to optimize the height of speakers (tweeters at seated ear height)? If you have space either side then 600mm speaker stands would be highly recommended or slimmer floorstanding speakers depending the available space etc.
I appreciate the help! The tv will be on a cabinet that will have wooden beams behind it, to separate from the living room. I'm attaching a visualization. I'm also adding a photo with the dimensions with respect to my head location: 3.3m to the TV and 2.5m below the ceiling.


1. Regarding the left and right speakers -- does it make sense to place them as I've drawn (pillar and wall)? Or placing them on the cabinet is better?
2. Regarding two atmos speakers in case of 3.1.2 -- does it make sense to place them as I've drawn, 2.5m above my head?
3. Regarding 5.1 -- I don't get it, where would the rears go? They're supposed to be behind me, so it probably doesn't make sense to place them 2.5 meters high above me. The alternative is behind the sofa, which means they are 30-40cm behind my or my movie-partner's head if we're sitting at the corner. Isn’t it too close? So how can I make 5.1 work here?
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I would place them on top of cabinet if it has decent height, ~60cm would be ideal as the tweeters should be close to ears when you sit. It´s shame you can´t wall moun the tv, but could you perhaps buy floor tv stand? It would go behind and under your av-unit looking like you have tv mounted on wall. Why this? Cause you should have the center channel on top of the unit same height, not inside the unit lower! It´s the most active speaker in your system and shouldn´t be hidden. Sadly the av-unit you would need to put 4 feets each corner so there is some "air" under it so the floor stand would fit under there. See below link what i mean. If it doesn`t work then it`s tricky cause you can´t have speaker blocking picture in front either.
Amazon product
Yep the overhead channels roughly where your knees are when you sit on couch would be correct location. The link i posted shows the angles and correct spots.

For 5.1 it would be like that in-ceiling so it ain`t ideal, but better than not to have them what people have reported. In 5.1 they shouldn´t go directly behind you, rather on the sides or slightly behind at sides. There is no surround back channels in 5.1, which would go directly behind you narrow (7.1). Perhaps the 3.1.2 would be the way to go. I have no idea how much Atmos content Netflix has, but the new av-receivers have upmixers so you get the overhead channels working with any material.

Subwoofer placement will be important too. Perhaps in front of the unit right side. It also needs to be decent sized to fill that type of open space. Luckily there is lot to choose from if it comes down to finish to suit room decor, so not necessarily need to be big black box! I would also throw some thick rug in front of the speakers/tv area.
 

Gerry557

Member
I think I would be looking at getting a 5.1 base layer. Would you ba able to pull the sofa forward?

It looks like a big hard open space, consider carpet instead of that hard floor.

If you are having work done put in more cabling than you envisaged using, you never know if 7.1.2 would work. It little cost now but almost impossible later
 

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