Initial choices on first 5.1.4 cinema room basic layout for seating direction


Active Member
Hi everyone, I'd like some advice please based on what has worked for you previously.

Having lived in our current home for 6 months and tried to work with an awkwardly shaped room for film and music duties we've finally determined that what we are using as the current home office room would be better suited as a home cinema room instead. We're at planning stages and having been out of the AV game for 15 years, I'm not feeling as confident in my decision making as I used to be, we're going to be here for 10 years+ so I'd therefore appreciate your experience on what's worked for you.

We will be installing a projector and at least 5.1.4, possibly 7.1.4. The first question, of many to come, is on layout and which one might be "best". It will be a dedicated room so it will be dark but not exactly a "batcave". We've not touched it since we moved in as we didn't know what it was going to be, hence why it looks terrible.

We live in a 3 storey house. The room designated as the cinema room is a bit more unusual in that it is suspended in the air above a driveway that provides access to the car parking area behind the house, a bit like a coach house. However, what makes it different is that it also has an adjoining room above the driveway that belongs to my neighbour. Imagine it like a ying-yang, the room in question has the same neighbour on two sides. I believe, because it's a suspended room, that the floor is concrete.

Neighbour layout.jpg

The front of the room faces the street, with a window. The rear and left of the room adjoins to my neighbour, the right of the room leads to our lounge.
The room is 4.22m x 3.46m and it is underneath a loft void, the hatch to access the loft is by the "B" on position B. Neighbours cars pass underneath us and are noticable, especially VW diesels!

Option A
If we have our backs to the window (Position A) then the speakers will be against one of the neighbouring walls, we will be seated closer to the traffice noise of the street and we will also have a loft hatch in our eyeline, this bothers me as I think i'll notice both constantly. On the plus side, the PJ screen will be against a wall and not a window.

Option B
If we sit with our backs towards the neighbouring wall then we won't see the loft hatch but the speakers will be firing into the room towards one of the neighbouring party walls. We will have to manage light from the window, although that should be easy enough but the screen will have to come down in front of it, we'll have to move a radiator too, not too big a deal.

  1. I appreciate sound is omnidirectional but is there any consideration to be made between speakers facing a wall vs against it, is either better to reduce the likelyhood of transferring sound?
  2. Are there any suggestions on how to "hide" a loft hatch? It's in active use but moving it is an option if there was a strong enough reason. We could paint it along with the rest of the ceiling I guess, as you can see it's quite noticable but I could be being overly picky at this stage.
  3. I feel that with a 106" screen, rather than pushing it to 120", that rear surround speakers will be achieveable on the wall as we're not going to be seated against it, 4 atmos speakers seems sensible rather than 6, although with full access to the ceiling it's not out of the question. Does anyone have any experience of a comparable room size and if so what speaker & screen layout would you recommend?

This is as much a sounding out of my own ideas as it is a request for experience, just writing it down felt good! :)



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Well-known Member
Bass is going to transfer to the neighbouring rooms, regardless of where you place the front speakers.

Is this a long term home?
Are you able/willing to soundproof the party walls?
Have you any idea how much sound already transfers through those adjoining walls? If you don't can you speak to your neighbour and test it?


Active Member
Hallo, thanks for the input. It's long term for the next 10 years probably and there is some willingness to do some soundproofing, I've had a look at soundstop and all the teksound stuff and wall clips etc however we've not noticed anything re sound from this side from nextdoor, other than stairs and doors. Never heard a TV or conversation not to say they wouldn't hear us of course.

Just trying to find that sweetspot in our heads of effort and expense vs enjoyment :)


Well-known Member
Might be worth chatting to them, playing some stuff and seeing how audible it is next door.

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