Installers put my surround speakers in the ceiling 7.1.4. Can I fix?

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
I built a custom theatre in a new build and I trusted the company setting up my speakers to get it right.

My brief was that I didn't want anything sitting on the floor if possible other than the sub. I have a 7.1.4 atmos setup with a denon x6700h but what they have done is put my surrounds in the ceiling the same height as my overhead speakers. They are also inline with the overhead ones.

Everything is in wall. It looks awesome but I am pretty sure the sound isn't right with the surrounds on the roof. I called him and he is on holiday right now so he quickly said he could angle them to bounce off the walls. The reason he didn't install them in the walls is because the right side has an indent for kind of like a snack bar etc so they couldn't really go in the wall. They would be too far forward if done in front of the indent.

Is there any way to make this sound good with the speakers in the roof like that? Technically I could probably get some surface/floor mounted ones setup if I really had to but it would mean cutting into drywall and repainting etc. Is this my best option is is there some other way to salvage this? All my cabling is mostly inaccessible and goes to another room in the house so adding cabling could be difficult as it may require the roof iron to be lifted.

Sorry if my diagram is messy

1640643082905.png
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
You can certainly get speakers designed to bounce back from hard surfaces. Meyer Sound make a commercial system designed for theatres with solid projection screens, so if the ceiling speakers fitted are directional and can be swung around to hit the walls, the effect could be pretty good.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Absolutely not for atmos. Your installers have completely cocked up the install.

If moving speakers isn’t an option, you’ll need to disconnect the atmos speakers and just run a standard 7.1 configuration, with the surrounds above head height (which isn’t ideal by any stretch of the imagination).

Moving to a base layer is your only way of getting an effective atmos setup.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
You can certainly get speakers designed to bounce back from hard surfaces. Meyer Sound make a commercial system designed for theatres with solid projection screens, so if the ceiling speakers fitted are directional and can be swung around to hit the walls, the effect could be pretty good.
This won’t work for atmos though
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
This won’t work for atmos though
Not for atmos, but for the surround speakers? My experience is that these can work well as a more diffused sound, but they will need to be "projected" onto the wall from a highly directional source, so that you are hearing the reflection, not the source.

I'm not suggesting that it would work as well as a properly designed 7.1 system, but I think it could provide an acceptable alternative to significant building works.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Not for atmos, but for the surround speakers? My experience is that these can work well as a more diffused sound, but they will need to be "projected" onto the wall from a highly directional source, so that you are hearing the reflection, not the source.

I'm not suggesting that it would work as well as a properly designed 7.1 system, but I think it could provide an acceptable alternative to significant building works.
Yeah, that’s pretty much what my reply was to the OP.

Installers really cocked up though 🤦‍♂️
 

AmericanAudio

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Where the installer made his mistake was to not talk it thought with the OP and explain the issues.

I would say the two options would be to disconnect the surrounds and run 5.x.4 with the inceilings as Atmos

Or disconnect the Atmos's and use 7.1 as suggested although this still would not be ideal positioning.

What else do you have in the ceiling? Down lights? Anything that could be used to stitch a speaker cable down to the sides.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Might also be worth running it as a 5.1.6 layout with Top Front, Top Middle and Top Rear. You could then add Side Surrounds later on (maybe some slim On-Walls).

The Denon X6700 has 13CH processing but you'd need to add a 2CH poweramp to take advantage of it.

At least this way you'd not need to rip cables and speakers out that are already in place.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Might also be worth running it as a 5.1.6 layout with Top Front, Top Middle and Top Rear. You could then add Side Surrounds later on (maybe some slim On-Walls).

The Denon X6700 has 13CH processing but you'd need to add a 2CH poweramp to take advantage of it.

At least this way you'd not need to rip cables and speakers out that are already in place.
I'd go with this option if it were me. No point in mucking about with the cables and speakers already there. Something like the Monitor Audio Soundframe on walls might work as side surrounds.
 

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
Where the installer made his mistake was to not talk it thought with the OP and explain the issues.

I would say the two options would be to disconnect the surrounds and run 5.x.4 with the inceilings as Atmos

Or disconnect the Atmos's and use 7.1 as suggested although this still would not be ideal positioning.

What else do you have in the ceiling? Down lights? Anything that could be used to stitch a speaker cable down to the sides.
Air conditioning vents and downlights. Like I said if I have to remove roof etc to get it atmos I will do it but was hoping to avoid that but by the replies I am seeing I will probably have to do it the hard way.
 

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
Might also be worth running it as a 5.1.6 layout with Top Front, Top Middle and Top Rear. You could then add Side Surrounds later on (maybe some slim On-Walls).

The Denon X6700 has 13CH processing but you'd need to add a 2CH poweramp to take advantage of it.

At least this way you'd not need to rip cables and speakers out that are already in place.
The problem is the middle overheads are surround speakers not overheads. to add side surrounds I would still have to somehow get cables in the wall back to the audio cabnet which is two rooms away. Potentially the installer already has extra cables or the easiest solution is to move the cables attached to the in ceiling surrounds and potentially move them.

The problem I have is the indented area might cause issues with the sound. I am just not sure what to do there. Floor mounted seems like the only option I can think or could the speaker be mounted on the wall in the indent?
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
The problem is the middle overheads are surround speakers not overheads. to add side surrounds I would still have to somehow get cables in the wall back to the audio cabnet which is two rooms away. Potentially the installer already has extra cables or the easiest solution is to move the cables attached to the in ceiling surrounds and potentially move them.

The problem I have is the indented area might cause issues with the sound. I am just not sure what to do there. Floor mounted seems like the only option I can think or could the speaker be mounted on the wall in the indent?

Top Middles don't have to be In-Ceiling Speakers. Surround/Bookshelf speakers can also work. As it stands at the moment all you'd need to do is reconfigure the AVR Amp Assign and Speaker Configuration (5.1.6) and swap some of the speaker cables to the correct speaker terminals on the AVR.

At least it would be up and running with an acceptable layout without moving speakers and re-wiring.

Or you get the installer to remove them and put them in their correct positions. I'm sure there are solutions to the side surround placement. Do you have any pics of the indents?
 

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
Top Middles don't have to be In-Ceiling Speakers. Surround/Bookshelf speakers can also work. As it stands at the moment all you'd need to do is reconfigure the AVR Amp Assign and Speaker Configuration (5.1.6) and swap some of the speaker cables to the correct speaker terminals on the AVR.

At least it would be up and running with an acceptable layout without moving speakers and re-wiring.

Or you get the installer to remove them and put them in their correct positions. I'm sure there are solutions to the side surround placement. Do you have any pics of the indents?

It is currently up and running and set to 5.16. It is ok but side sounds are lacking.

So it is ok to use surround speakers as overheads? they dont make any difference?

My surrounds are rectangles and the overheads are circles.

My indent looks like this. Has he also put my fronts too high on the wall?

1640834764731.png
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
It is currently up and running and set to 5.16. It is ok but side sounds are lacking.

So it is ok to use surround speakers as overheads? they dont make any difference?

My surrounds are rectangles and the overheads are circles.

My indent looks like this. Has he also put my fronts too high on the wall?

View attachment 1626865

You can use Surround speakers as overheads/heights. There are plenty of people that do, myself included. As long as they're good quality they should sound great.

Really not sure why the installer hasn't put a surround speaker in that indent as a direct firing one would still work well.

For the Fronts. Bit tricky to tell from the photo as it depends where your screen/TV is going to be in relation to them. That one looks like it's to the right and centred in the wall height. Presumably the screen/TV is in the middle (or will be)?

If it was my room/setup then I'd be pushing the installer to put in side surrounds. I'd leave the heights as they are as the wires are there now but if you wanted the speakers to match the others you could get the installer to swap those and have six matching in-ceiling speakers.

It's more work in terms of wiring the side surrounds back to your AV kit but at least it will all be correct. Think of it as a happy accident as you'll end up with a 7.1.6 system instead.
 
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EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
You can use Surround speakers as overheads/heights. There are plenty of people that do, myself included. As long as they're good quality they should sound great.

Really not sure why the installer hasn't put a surround speaker in that indent as a direct firing one would still work well.

For the Fronts. Bit tricky to tell from the photo as it depends where your screen/TV is going to be in relation to them. That one looks like it's to the right and centred in the wall height. Presumably the screen/TV is in the middle (or will be)?

If it was my room/setup then I'd be pushing the installer to put in side surrounds. I'd leave the heights as they are as the wires are there now but if you wanted the speakers to match the others you could get the installer to swap those and have six matching in-ceiling speakers.

It's more work in terms of wiring the side surrounds back to your AV kit but at least it will all be correct. Think of it as a happy accident as you'll end up with a 7.1.6 system instead.
You cant see the speakers when the movies are playing or even when the lights are on and hidden so probably fine to leave them there but I may need the wiring from them.

For the fronts an AT screen in between them yes. Thanks for your help I will get something setup in that indent.
 

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
I would build a false wall into that side to come out to the depth of the nib and fit you side surround into those. Distance difference dont matter in this situation and the avr should sort an differences out.
The indent is actually intentional by my architect so it is supposed to be there... It is supposed to be either cupboards or shelves or something so can have a bar/snack shelf and other things there so I can build a false wall if needed and split it in half. Good idea thanks.
 
Can you not get the installer back to install it how it should be??

Unless you categorically stated that all the speakers need to be in-wall then they should of at least discussed things with you as there are plenty of options to hide on wall speakers especially in a darkened/dedicated room like yours.

I have a 7.2.2 system in a dedicated room and with the lights off you can't see a single speaker and yet they are all in the 'correct' placement for optimal dolby atmos surround sound.

It looks like you've gone to quite a bit of expense/effort in your room so it'd be a shame to sub standard surround sound :-(
 

EvilMonkey003

Novice Member
I can get them back in about 3 weeks yes. See what he says. Holidays means they are not working.

I can absolutely fix it, it probably will just cost me more than it should because he should have done all of this during the build stage.
 

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