Installing in-wall speakers in sound insulated wall

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Atomicus, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    Just trying to get my head around the best approach to this... I am converting a garage in to home cinema space, and am currently looking to use the Monitor Audio Controlled Performance in-wall speakers, and also some ceiling ones for Atmos. This speaker range all feature fully-sealed back boxes.

    However, as I am also putting up sound insulated walls, I don't know what's the done thing regards installation. Monitor Audio don't seem to have any install guides on their site, so I'm not even sure what the regular procedure is, but with a sound insulated wall I'm at more of a loss.

    I am looking at either going with Genie Clips or Resilient Bar with my walls, but regardless, the end result will be largely the same... party wall > 10mm gap > 50mm stud wall with Rockwool > genie clips/resilient bar > acoustic plasterboard > green glue > acoustic plasterboard. Overall this will be a little over 130mm thick from the party wall.

    The in-wall speakers are all just under 100m mounting depth, so that puts me at a depth that would be well in to the insulation. So what do you do here? Just cut out a section within the insulation for the speaker to sit in, with the cables running from behind? Or would you create some sort of box behind the speaker, so the speaker is sitting in its own self contained unit? I've seen that done before, but as I say, the CP range do have fully-sealed back boxes, so I didn't think that would be necessary? I was also concerned whether essentially cutting out a significant section of my entire wall may compromise the overall sound insulating effect?

    Any advice much appreciated. :)
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I would imagine the installation of in wall speakers as you suggest would significantly affect the sound insulating you are trying to achieve. Think about a normal speaker and a fair bit of sound comes from the back (and sides) of the box even if it is sealed. So I would imagine even though the boxes are sealed the same would be true for the MA speakers you are looking at. Since the back of these boxes will basically be bypassing most of the sound insulation you are putting in then I would image there will be sound leakage to the party wall (not as much as an open backed design but there will still be some). Asuuming the reason for all the expense and time of installing this is so you can play the system loudly without disturbing the neighbours then I would think there is a real risk of your current proposal not allowing this to happen.
    Other things to consider would also be would be the construction of the walls and ceiling and would these allow sound to be conducted through them and into the party wall as well?
     
  3. Atomicus

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    Yes it's a good point and I don't know. The main reason for considering in-wall speakers was for space, as I am operating in a relatively small space at 2.75m wide by 5m long, and that's bare brick work... so by time I add my walls I will be losing nearly 300mm all around. It's perhaps less of an issue for the front speakers, but more so for the sides as I'd have to have them on stands or wall mounted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  4. xar

    xar
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    I had to build a secondary floating wall for my LCRs to go in, and in room columns for the sides and surround. No point doing the sound proofing then cutting holes, as even if the speakers are 'sealed' the fit will not be perfect and they offer little in the way of soundproofing themselves (i.e. it's a 22mm MDF cabinet Vs what you have done with your walls).

    I know this from first hand experience. Cut holes in my double plasterboard green glued walls for fronts and surrounds, and sound leakage was very bad.
     
  5. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    OK thanks... yeah, the more I think about, cutting holes in the sound insulated wall is not going to work for the reasons you highlight. Unfortunately I don't have room for a secondary wall as I'll end up in a shoe box ha!
     
  6. xar

    xar
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    Yup, that's why I cut holes in the first place. Who knew building a home cinema was such a ball ache!!!! o_O:D. Been at the damn thing on and off for about 4 years now.
     
  7. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    What speakers did you settle on? Are you happy with result?

    Edit: Ah are they the ones in your sig?

    What did you do for ceiling ones?
     
  8. xar

    xar
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    Acoustic screen with in walls and no equipment up front apart from sub. Best thing I have done yet as all my gear was up front for about 3 years.

    Surrounds are in columns (2 X 100mm timber, MDF front panel with hole cut). Note all my in rears and 4x atmos are non sealed. The side surrounds are sealed, so two timber walls (as per above, a shelf for the speaker, and acoustic cloth as a cover (camira fabric from GIK).

    Fronts are in their own floating wall 200mm off the soundproof wall. Cut 3 holes in a big sheet of MDF.

    If I didn't ruin the soundproofing all would be in the walls.

    If you can just hang the sides and surrounds on the wall they do it. You can always build the columns later if they annoy you.

    For the front you could just hang the on the wall (if cabinets) and build the screen off the wall a bit. I.e. do a wood frame 100mm deep or whatever and mount your screen to it, rather than the original wall.
     
  9. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    Yes initially I was thinking to do that and hang them off brackets or something, but then I got on to the whole in-wall idea. I do have a bit more room to work with length wise, so maybe I COULD build another wall for in-wall front speakers, and just go with wall mounted on the rears. Would such a wall need to be soundproofed, or could it be a more simple construction?

    I was planning on x2 ceiling speakers for Atmos, so maybe the Monitor Audio CP ceiling ones would still be OK there? Height wise, I am restricted when it comes to a new ceiling. The garage already has an artex ceiling which I wasn't planning on removing, rather just adding a low profile solution such as this one: Ceiling Soundproofing Solution 1: Resilient Bars

    It's not ideal, but I am not sure what other options I have.
     
  10. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    Maybe something like the Monitor Audio Bronze FX or even the Sound Wall 3 could be options for the side walls? Sound Wall 3 are very low profile... not sure if they are too much of a compromise on performance though. Plus they aren't cheap, twice what the Bronze FX would be.
     
  11. xar

    xar
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    5m long room is the same as mine, so even 200mm off the front won’t matter. For the surrounds on walls are just easier and better for keeping the soundproofing in tact to be honest. I also wouldn’t worry about performance at the range you are conisidering. They are much of a muchness. As for atmos, I ended up cutting holes as the ceiling mounted boxes I built looked like crap.

    Simple answer is that in walls look good but compromise sound proofing. So you have to decide which you prefer, plus it depends how loud you want to play it, when, if you have neighbors etc. If you start looking at on walls there are plenty of options, many of which aren’t the wafer thin type but are still quite slim line.

    How many rows of seats are you planning?
     
  12. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    Yes I think slim(ish) on-walls for the surrounds make far more sense in the grand scheme of things. I'd highlighted the Monitor Audio as if I go with in-walls up front in the secondary wall, I'd likely still go with their CP range... my OCD would lean towards the same brand all around, silly though that may sound haha... but if there's a strong argument for something else I'm sure I could be persuaded.

    Am I right in thinking that Atmos ceiling speakers generally won't be THAT loud anyway, so although I'd be compromising my sound proofing in the ceiling by cutting holes for them, it shouldn't be too much of an issue? Besides, I know in our house there is a concrete floor above, so that should help. Plus it's the kitchen above that due to the slightly upside down house layout.

    I won't be going with fixed seating, so either a sofa, armchairs or maybe even bean bags. I want the space to be able to be cleared, as I plan to use my VR headset in there, so need an open space for that.
     
  13. xar

    xar
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    I see what you mean now. It's not about the the speakers themselves and how big they are or how much sound they generate themselves, it's about the sound from the room in general, and mostly the bass. I.e. any sound in the room will escape from any hole in the room, bass being the probe contender. You could too at the xtz atmos speakers as they can be bolted straight to the ceiling.
     
  14. Atomicus

    Atomicus
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    Mmm, interesting... not the most attractive of things, black boxes protruding like that, but I can certainly see the advantage from a sound insulating perspective. Are they the only ones that mount that way?
     
  15. xar

    xar
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    Other option is an acoustic hood for the in ceiling ones. Better than straight install.
     
  16. Harkon321

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    I've got those and the difference is negligible.

    I'm trying to plan out a room at the moment. My thoughts were to build 100mm stud work, isolated from the block wall with an air gap. Then build backer boxes fixed to this stud work to surround the cutout where the in wall speaker would go. So an MDF box lined with 1 or 2 layers of plasterboard with Green Glue between each layer. Fixed and edges sealed against 'soundproof' wall and then all plastered.

    I know it's ALOT more work but this, to me, retains all the integrity of the sound proofing. Welcome anyone's opinion on this though.

    Columns is a good idea if not, but I agree that there is little to no point sound proofing the room if you are then going to cut holes in it and not make any changes to rectify this.
     
  17. Atomicus

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    Would that be much different, or even less effective than a 100mm sound insulated wall, then a gap, then ANOTHER secondary wall with the in-wall speakers in that? Seems like that might actually be less work than constructing back boxes, as the secondary wall wouldn't need all the sound proofing, it could just be a basic wall?
     
  18. xar

    xar
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    Surrounding the cut outs defo a good idea. I found the floating wall easier all in but I had the space to spare, up front at least.

    Good to know about the hoods. My dealer suggested them but wasn't convinced.
     
  19. Harkon321

    Harkon321
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    Bought mine to retain fire regs but a combination of that and the cut out for my drop down screen mean our bedroom is as good as being downstairs.
     
  20. Harkon321

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    There's two issues that I can see with it.

    One this 'Triple Leaf Effect' which I keep reading about on Sound Proofing sites. Whereby you have created two separate air gaps which can causes issues with resonance, which reduces the sound proofing performance.

    http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/triple-leaf-effect/

    Secondly the speakers I was looking at wouldn't protrude much, if at all, passed that 100mm stud work. So I could incorporate the box in to the stud work when it was built. If I build another wall I lose another 100mm, plus PB depth, plus gap.
     
  21. Atomicus

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    That's interesting, thanks. What speakers are you looking at doing this with?
     
  22. Harkon321

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    I was looking at MK150s at the time, just to get an idea.

    95mm depth would probably just fit in the stud work.
    IW-150ll - M&K Sound

    Pie in the sky at the moment. Need to get house valued, architect to see if proposal is ok, planning permission and the wife to agree. Lol
     
  23. Atomicus

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    Have you seen this done elsewhere? Curious to see pics of anyone else's efforts it you have.
     
  24. Harkon321

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  25. PSM1

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    Have you considered the XTZ Spirit series? They are on wall but would look very discreet in white and would be no issues with your sound proofing either.
     
  26. Atomicus

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    OK, so you are cutting your sound insulated wall with this method, but then essentially recreating it within a box?
     
  27. Atomicus

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    I hadn't really looked at those. How do they compare to the Monitor Audio's?
     
  28. PSM1

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    They would be at a similar level to the bronze series but not compared them directly. Although I have never been a fan of MA speakers.
     
  29. Harkon321

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  30. adam-burnley

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