Living area 3.1 HT—how far to go?

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
We’ve set up a nice little wife-approved HT and music area on our main floor—it’s open to the rest of the first floor (about 1100sqf of living room and kitchen).

Area is 11 feet deep back to front, and 14 feet wide. Standard 9 foot ceilings. Walls are insulated exterior facing and there is no basement access underneath; there is a closed attic that should have plenty of space for in-ceilings once I start poking holes from below.

Issues are known and visible in the pics. The couch should be pulled forward as much as possible, but with kids jumping around it always seems to work its way back to the wall. The room is definitely too bright, with a bit of echo especially out to the main living room. I think this is most noticeable as a low-dialogue problem on many multichannel movies, where it feels like the dialogue is a little recessed and we have to boost the centre channel—a classic live-room reflections issue as I understand it.

We love having the listening area on the main floor, and it’s where we hang out the most. We have very young kids that are usually sleeping if we’re watching, so house-shaking volume is not necessary—having said that, they’ve gotten used to window-shaking levels instead.:)

TV is an LG C9 55” (will step up to 65-70” a few years down the road if money permits). It’s now a 3.1 system with Totem Tribe III speakers, Rythmik F12 sub, and Marantz SR7013 receiver...most delivery is via AppleTV 4 through Plex (I have a Mac Mini Plex server set up on the network) or one of the streaming services. We also play tons of audio-only stereo music via the receiver using Airplay 2 (integrated with various Sonos speakers around the house) or the HEOS system for more dedicated listening. I have a turntable and separate phono stage as well which used the receiver’s analog input, but due to little-kid curiosity it’s in basement storage until I can figure out how to protect from flying objects. Overall the sound quality is pretty top notch given the inherent limitations of on-wall speakers.

So. The point. :) I want to add strategic room treatment, and I want to try in-wall 5.1.2 Atmos multichannel.

Room treatment will be a struggle with the decor. It will likely take the form of minimal, strategically placed acoustic squares or circles on the front and back walls, and possibly the ceiling (dubious). I am working on heavy velvet drape options for the windows and have been told they will go up the same moment hell freezes over—all I’m likely to get are those thin blinds on the side window added to the rear window. The other option may be one of those entire-wall-accent-design acoustic panel jobs for either the front, back or left-side walls, but that would also be getting pretty expensive and unlikely.

I really want 5.1.2 Atmos audio. Possibly .4 but since the rear ceiling pair would be directly overhead that seems a stretch. For the ceiling, I may just remove those pot lights which are already superfluous, but I could put the speakers in-line with the LR almost anywhere above. If in-wall, the rear surrounds would pretty much have to be behind the couch, in the wall space to either side of the rear window. There’s almost no room for proper placement of these surround speakers to each side due to the side window (and no wall on the right hand side, closest to camera).

I’d likely be looking at Monitor Audio in-wall speakers, with aimable tweeters. I have a pair of CS180 in-ceilings left over from a previous project that should be pretty good for the ceilings?

I checked Reddit and recommendations varied from don’t bother going beyond 3.1 to go for it! Of course with in-walls and no floor/roof access, going for it will mean punching a ton of holes and making a big mess, so I’d at least like to have a plan before starting this.

Finally: yes there’s a basement in the house. Yes it could be turned into a more dedicated theatre room, although the room is only 10.5” wide (by 18” long), and yes room treatment would be easier and less style-conscious. But it’s currently the kids’ play area and it would require adding some interior walls and a decent bit of electrical wiring for where everything would have to fit...a better overall solution, but much more difficult in the short term.

Any recommendations on whether going Atmos should be viable? Would it even work better than what I have now?

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shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
No opinions either way?

I was going to try for some acoustic treatment just to start. The sides will be tough—window/blinds on one side, open on the other—but I can do some sports in the ceiling, rear wall and front wall.

The pot lights aren’t completely required in the room—I could put two long rectangular (e.g. 2’ by 8’) white fabric acoustic ceiling panels the length of the room, and stick the two Atmos ceiling channels on either side of the main light fixture.

I could put smaller 12” x 12” and 14” x 14” panels in the smaller areas of the room around the windows, and a couple larger 24”x 24” squares or 2’ by 4’ rectangles on the front and rear walls, around where I’d like to put the in-wall surrounds.

Again—anyone think it’s worth giving it a shot at all?

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Kingchin

Active Member
No opinions either way?

I was going to try for some acoustic treatment just to start. The sides will be tough—window/blinds on one side, open on the other—but I can do some sports in the ceiling, rear wall and front wall.

The pot lights aren’t completely required in the room—I could put two long rectangular (e.g. 2’ by 8’) white fabric acoustic ceiling panels the length of the room, and stick the two Atmos ceiling channels on either side of the main light fixture.

I could put smaller 12” x 12” and 14” x 14” panels in the smaller areas of the room around the windows, and a couple larger 24”x 24” squares or 2’ by 4’ rectangles on the front and rear walls, around where I’d like to put the in-wall surrounds.

Again—anyone think it’s worth giving it a shot at all?

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Very nice and clean uncluttered current setup, a 5.1.2 Atmos audio is definitely doable in that space. I wouldn't bother with room treatments as they usually do more harm than good unless you hire a good professional who knows what he's doing and takes measurements before and after installing the room treatments.

I've similarly got windows all along my left side of the room. I replaced my thin curtains with thick curtains that go all the way to the carpet. It makes a massive difference regarding sound, you have blinds which is a good base, adding thick curtains will be fine. The glass behind the sofa I would put up thick curtains, that's all that's needed.

The placement of the left and right surrounds on the rear wall would also be similar to in my 5.1 setup. I don't have space on the sides for them either, but my speaker manual tells me to place them on the rear wall if side positioning isn't possible. Good luck with the build and look forward to seeing the finished results.
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
Thanks for the comments. I am working on thick curtains with the wife. It is a sensitive topic. :) But I did decide to contact some local home theatre folks and will see what they say regarding room treatment and speaker installation.

Regarding in-wall speakers--especially given that the back wall is going to be so close, even with the couch moved up a little bit, it makes sense to me to get something that has wide disbursement. That appears to be a little more difficult for in-walls until you start getting up into very pricey ranges, but that's likely OK if I'm patient and wait for deals.

Would three-way surround and ceiling speakers be the way to go? I'm looking at Monitor Audio in particular, and they appear to be pretty firm in recommending their three-way IDC wall/ceiling speakers for Atmos, noting the advantages of the wide disbursement and mid-range presence of that model. For this space I won't need their 300-series...the 200s would be great and sort-of within budget if I can find them on sale. Although I have the Totem Tribe L-C-R and I'm very happy with them given the small form factor (the sub really completes them!), Totem's in-wall/ceiling speakers are almost unobtainium to find, and quite pricey--so I'll likely be filling out the rest of the speakers with a different brand, although I won't otherwise mix and match.

Does that make sense? Are there any other in-wall speakers anyone would absolutely recommend as an option to the IDCs at a similar or better price point?
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
I'm a bit surprised no one seems to have any opinion on speakers. Are Monitor Audio in-wall/ceiling speakers not too popular?

I was looking at W280-IDC for rear surrounds (which would have to be located in the wall behind the couch, on either side of the window), and C265-IDC for the Atmos heights. Again, under the assumption that speakers with wide dispersion would be ideal in this space...?
 

Mark F

Active Member
Hi, that's a really nice room there, with a similar layout to my room, and an excellent front end to your system, which is also similar to mine (I've got a Totem Tribe II centre speaker but with Totem Mani-2 Signatures for left and right).

I've got Monitor Audio Radius for surround speakers and they seem to be a decent tonal match for the Totems. However, they are outclassed by the Totems, as you would expect given the price difference, so I will eventually get round to upgrading. I suspect you may find the same with the Monitor Audios you're considering - you're looking at pairing £600 of surround speakers with £6k of front speakers. Having said that, going from 3.1 to 5.1 will be a big upgrade irrespective of the surrounds you go for.

If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely go for a pair of Tribe I for surround speakers. Would seem a shame not to given your front speakers. I agree obtaining Totem speakers can be tricky. My local dealer has always managed to get them in for me and done me a healthy discount despite not being a Totem dealer, but that could be because I spend far to much money with him! If you need help sourcing Totems, try emailing Totem in Canada as they've always been very helpful with me (the European distributor not so much).

On room treatment, I'd recommend getting in touch with GIK Acoustics. They do some very tasteful room treatments and are incredibly helpful. I emailed them pictures of my room and they came back with a number of suggested solutions, one of which I went for and it worked a treat.

However, unless you cover the glass doors behind your sofa they're always going to cause acoustic problems. The latest room correction software like Dirac would help with this.

Final thought, (don't shoot the messenger) your front speakers would really benefit from an amp upgrade (or a power amp). Totems are a notoriously difficult load and really do benefit from bags of power.

Hope this helps and good luck.
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
Appreciate the response!

I did consider Totem I or II (same speaker, different form factor) for the rears. However since they come off the wall 4 inches or so, inevitably a kid is going to climb over the back of the couch and crack their head off a corner and bleed on my floors (or more tragically, knock off the speaker). Trying to work with what I have here.... :D

I think the IIIs sound fantastic for the form factor, especially with the sub - and most importantly for me, they sound great with 2.1 stereo, which is about half our use. I have a Bluesound Node 2i streaming to the Marantz via Roon, and it sounds shockingly nice. These Tribes don't quite have the soundstage depth that off-wall speakers can throw out, but you have to compromise somewhere with such a great little space-saving form factor!

Funny enough, I think our pricing is opposite because we're in home countries. The Totems are much more reasonably priced here - the IIIs are about $1850 new, so around 1050 pounds for you - and I happened to get my LCR from a filthy rich guy who was moving his front end up to the very impressive Tribe Vs....probably paid about 1250 pounds for all three in brand-new condition, so a bit of a score there. :cool:

On the other hand, your Monitor Audios are definitely marked up a bit more here in Canada--looks like MSRP is around 100 pounds more give or take. I'd be looking around $2 grand for the two rears and two ceilings. Perhaps I should go in to a shop and see if any are wired up for a listen.

Agreed on the receiver, but it's currently OK driving only the LCR. The Marantz pushes out pretty decent power with only a couple speakers driven. I did have some pretty nice two-channel stereo gear before I went with the Marantz, and felt I wasn't losing too much. But yeah, if I add another four speakers, I'm definitely going to be looking to integrate a separate amp! :)

I was checking out GIK this morning and they have a pretty cool little tool. I think you may be on to something here!
 
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Mark F

Active Member
Ah, I didn't realise you're in Canada. I'm very jealous of the pricing of Totem in the US and Canada. In the UK prices have really gone up in recent years which is a shame.

Given Canadian pricing of Totem and Monitor Audio, I'd definitely go for Totem surrounds. Totem I would be sufficient - the IIs would be overkill. If you're worried about blood on the sofa or floor I believe they do in-wall versions although I've never had any problems with my 11 year old son damaging my kit.

Might be worth keeping an eye on Ebay for a pair of Totem I to come up - there seems to be a decent market for Totem speakers on Ebay in the US.

Good luck.
 

huai

Novice Member
Hi Shortcut,

I have an almost identical post that I created today- down to the single wall, 11x14 dimensions, OLED tv and 5.1.2 vs 5.1.4 question! I'd love to hear what gear and setup you decide to use as I'm a complete newbie to AV equipment (but pretty handy with DIY)

My post is here: Help with Architectural Components

Thanks
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
Hi Shortcut,

I have an almost identical post that I created today- down to the single wall, 11x14 dimensions, OLED tv and 5.1.2 vs 5.1.4 question! I'd love to hear what gear and setup you decide to use as I'm a complete newbie to AV equipment (but pretty handy with DIY)

My post is here: Help with Architectural Components

Thanks
Well my current HT gear is the Totem Tribe III L-C-R, the Rythmik F12 sub and the Marantz SR7013. I stream my music with the Bluesound Node 2i and I’m able to incorporate a bunch of Sonos speakers around the house for a semi-home-audio solution.

After looking around at a bunch of threads, I’m going with two in-ceiling Atmos heights (5.1.2). That seems to be strongly recommended when the listening area is very close to the back wall. In my case a second set of heights would have to be directly above the couch, right against the back wall...I haven’t found anyone who thinks that is a good idea, so two heights it is.

I’m still debating what to do about the rears. I will likely go in-walls if possible because space is such an issue, but as Mark noted it would be best to quality match with my fronts if possible. So I’m going to listen to a few options.
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
OK, so I got two in-ceiling Monitor Audio CP-CT380s for the ceiling at a pretty great price for NA, anyway.

I’m still debating whether to try for .4 with the second in-ceiling pair right against the back wall overhead the couch, but still can’t find anyone who’s willing to coax me into it. So I guess there’s a reason for that. o_O
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
OK, so I got two in-ceiling Monitor Audio CP-CT380s for the ceiling at a pretty great price for NA, anyway.

I’m still debating whether to try for .4 with the second in-ceiling pair right against the back wall overhead the couch, but still can’t find anyone who’s willing to coax me into it. So I guess there’s a reason for that. o_O

Rich @Seriously Ltd could comment on that as he`s room is quite similar and he has .4 atmos couch against wall. Hope the picture gives you some idea.

img_1476916187-521727-jpg.774890
 

huai

Novice Member
I just finished a similar DIY setup in a 14x11 living room. I struggled with the same 5.1.2 vs .4 decision and opted for only 2 based on Dolby's recommendation for the layout. I figure they know their stuff and a proper 5.1.2 is better than a jury rigged 5.1.4. As you can see below there is no way to do a proper 5.1.4 with couch against back wall. I am very happy with the results.


Vs

 

huai

Novice Member
Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought. But that picture above looks exactly it. Interested to see what Rich has to say!

I upgraded from a "5.1.4" soundbar - and a real 5.1.2 overhead setup is like another world. Having said that, I would not sweat ovwrheads as much as I thought now that I listened to a few movies. My estimate is that in most movies sound comes 60% from the front stage, 30% from the surrounds and 10% from above.

FYI watch Midnight Sky on Netflix for a great non-action Atmos movie. For example opening scene is helicopters rescuing people, and the overhead effects can be really heard
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
So after looking at it—unfortunately, as I understand it the speaker positioning would change a fair bit from .2 to .4, correct? Judging by the Dolby guides, if there were only two heights they’d be roughly in-between the positioning that Rich has done here?

Ideally I’d install the two I have now, and then just leave the wires for the other two when I pick them up. But with in-walls and the side of the holes with these massive Monitor Audios, moving them won’t be an option once they’re installed. Perhaps I’ll just put in mine at the above-couch 90-degree spot, and wait to upgrade the second pair at the 45-degree forward spot.
 

shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
I upgraded from a "5.1.4" soundbar - and a real 5.1.2 overhead setup is like another world. Having said that, I would not sweat ovwrheads as much as I thought now that I listened to a few movies. My estimate is that in most movies sound comes 60% from the front stage, 30% from the surrounds and 10% from above.

FYI watch Midnight Sky on Netflix for a great non-action Atmos movie. For example opening scene is helicopters rescuing people, and the overhead effects can be really heard

Thanks for that perspective—very useful. You know, that’s what I would have said as well. Given the small amount of sound from Atmos heights I wouldn’t say that going from 2 to 4 makes a huge difference (particularly if they’re not properly placed as in my case).

Having said that, in my current online research I did see some quoted comments from Dolby saying that for Atmos they would recommend going with more heights rather than surrounds—in other words, if you have 9 channels, using 5.x.4 rather than 7.x.2. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me when you hear real-world descriptions of where the audio actually comes from....

On the other hand, I can’t physically do 7 surrounds, but I can do 4 heights. So that’s probably where I’m headed!
 

Kingchin

Active Member
Rich @Seriously Ltd could comment on that as he`s room is quite similar and he has .4 atmos couch against wall. Hope the picture gives you some idea.

img_1476916187-521727-jpg.774890
That room is very badly implemented set up, in that orientation 4 Atmos speaker's is a no go if you want good and accurate height sound quality. If he changed the orientation put the tv length wise at the window it would work. And It's better for overall sound to be in a rectangular layout in the seating position.

Television far to high above eye level plus front left and right speakers are also too high tweeters way above ear level. No rug on the laminate flooring, And the worst offender the centre speaker right at the back directly above the AV unit. Which will bounce muddy smear the sound off the AV unit.

So many people get the basic set up wrong when all it takes is common sense and a little basic research. Different if you have no choice to place the tv above a fireplace, but if you have unobstructed walls it's simple to get the tv at eye level. And not too expensive to buy a thick rug if you have laminate/wooden floors.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
That room is very badly implemented set up, in that orientation 4 Atmos speaker's is a no go if you want good and accurate height sound quality. If he changed the orientation put the tv length wise at the window it would work.

Television far to high above eye level plus front left and right speakers are also too high tweeters above ear level. No rug on the laminate flooring, And the worst offender the centre speaker right at the back directly above the AV unit. Which will bounce muddy smear the sound off the AV unit.

The picture was probably taken before finalizing the system. He typically uses M&K speakers with 3 tweeters and i assume they have fairly good vertical dispersion as they are often installed lower or higher than typically without issues. The person behind this is well known installer who has done hundreds of installations for UK customers, i`m sure there is answers for each of your worries. :) I have asked him to join this thread.
 

Kingchin

Active Member
The picture was probably taken before finalizing the system. He typically uses M&K speakers with 3 tweeters and i assume they have fairly good vertical dispersion as they are often installed lower or higher than typically without issues. The person behind this is well known installer who has done hundreds of installations for UK customers, i`m sure there is answers for each of your worries. :) I have asked him to join this thread.
Yeah I know they do installations. I've seen plenty of threads on here over the years of people having got Seriously Ltd installations. Most of the jobs done look very professional regarding a clean tidy finish, though I've seen some very badly positioned tv's and speakers. Maybe due to wife's/partners wanting a certain look to the room. But a true specialist worth the money wouldn't ever set up their own system that badly at the first attempt. Granted it's very neat and tidy but is very amateurish on the positioning of the speakers and tv and no rug 🤦🏾‍♂️

Forgetting the front left and right speakers even though the tweeters should be at ear level for the best audio performance for movies and music. The television is far too high above eye level, and the centre channel speaker will radiate a lot of sound off that AV unit. And no rug to stop sound bouncing of that reflective laminate flooring.

In that awkward layout with too many height channels at the wrong positions it's a gimped Dolby Atmos. It's all good and well doing a clean tidy finish but pointless if set up incorrectly. I may sound harsh but fact is it's a very poor set up, would be bad advice for the OP to mimic Seriously Ltd picture you posted. OP current 3.1 set up is already a bit better positioned though not perfect.

I personally definitely wouldn't hire someone paying good chunk of money to install a speaker system, tv/projector, av units etc. If they can't even get the fundamental basics right in their own home cinema setup. I would take a less neat and tidy DIY job but set up positioned right. As a correctly positioned tv and speakers will give a much more accurate and immersive viewing and sound experience 🎬🎶 As the old saying goes if you want something done right do it yourself 😉
 
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shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
Eh...I think most people work with the space they have unless they’re doing a dedicated theatre room. That room has a window and radiator at the far end—no place for a TV setup back there without making it look like a complete hack job.

I’m most interested in the four heights—obviously have the rears almost directly overhead isn’t ideal, but with room correction and everything nowadays—perhaps it could be a bit better than .2?

Whether it’s $700 worth of speakers better is another question....
 

Kingchin

Active Member
Eh...I think most people work with the space they have unless they’re doing a dedicated theatre room. That room has a window and radiator at the far end—no place for a TV setup back there without making it look like a complete hack job.

I’m most interested in the four heights—obviously have the rears almost directly overhead isn’t ideal, but with room correction and everything nowadays—perhaps it could be a bit better than .2?

Whether it’s $700 worth of speakers better is another question....
My point was you would expect any serious specialist who installs high end speakers, tv's, projectors to have there own home room correctly set up. Not have their Atmos ceiling speakers in wrong positions, no rug, tv to high, front left and right speakers to high etc. I've been in plenty of rooms with the tv at the windows, all you need is blinds and heavyweight curtains and it can look nice and sound good. And doesn't take much to remove the radiator and reposition it elsewhere in the room. Yes for the normal person who doesn't care about picture and sound quality it's not worth the effort. Or those with wifes/partners who decide on the decoration of the room.

Four ceiling Atmos speakers in a very short length wise from seating position to tv is going to sound unnatural even with eq/room correction. For that short length space 2 ceiling speakers will sound better than squeezing 4 in awkward positions. Similar to how in a small room it will sound better with bookshelf speakers than large floorstanders that need a bigger room to breath perform well. Another member huai with a similar sized room recommended going with a 5.1.2 set up close to the Dolby Atmos speaker placement like him rather than a jerry rigged 5.1.4 set up with the ceiling speakers in the wrong positions.

I would focus on good quality over comprised quantity in a less than ideal room like yours. But it's your room so go with what you want.
 
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shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
I don’t want to seem like I’m arguing too much with you here because I think we are on the same page, but I just quibble with your premise that any given room should place theatre performance over form and function. A dedicated HT room is one thing; adding HT capabilities to an existing living space means working around all sorts of inherent limitations. Just because it’s not perfectly ideal doesn’t mean it also won’t be greatly enjoyed.

My point was you would expect any serious specialist who installs high end speakers, tv's, projectors to have there own home room correctly set up. Not have their Atmos ceiling speakers in wrong positions, no rug, tv to high, front left and right speakers to high etc.
Again: this looks like a room where a family hangs out. Not a dedicated theatre room. There’s a built-in cabinet underneath; the TV has to be high. I’d also quibble with the speaker placement but honestly, my LR are also slightly higher than my centre and it’s totally fine and virtually unnoticeable. As for a rug....I mean I’m not gonna fault anyone for being in-between rugs...

I've been in plenty of rooms with the tv at the windows, all you need is blinds and heavyweight curtains and it can look nice and sound good.
I mean it’s 2020 and we’re all adults; who blocks a big window with curtains and a TV? This isn’t a dorm, and most grown ups don’t want to live in ugly, awkward spaces.

And doesn't take much to remove the radiator and reposition it elsewhere in the room.
Hah—moving a hot water radiator isn’t much? You’d need access to the ceiling from underneath, a plumber to move plumbing through joists, likely drain and blow the system, you name it.....we have different definitions of not much. And all for the pleasure of sticking a TV in front of a window? Yeesh.

Yes for the normal person who doesn't care about picture and sound quality it's not worth the effort. Or those with wifes/partners who decide on the decoration of the room.
Again: looks like a living space to me. I’ve yet to meet a significant other who was like “Oh yeah honey, just do whatever you want with the living room.” :laugh:

Four ceiling Atmos speakers in a very short length wise from seating position to tv is going to sound unnatural even with eq/room correction. For that short length space 2 ceiling speakers will sound better than squeezing 4 in awkward positions.
I mean, that’s exactly the question I’ve asked here: will only two actually sound better? I see lots of people online who have come to that conclusion based on the “numbers and theory”, just like I have: yeah, in theory, two should be the better choice. But I actually wanted to get feedback from someone’s who’s actually tried it.

Someone who’s done it should be able to say one of three things: 1) it’s not better than two, don’t do it; 2) it’s definitely better than two, do it; or, 3) it’s better than two, but only by a certain amount and you should factor your budget into it.
 

Kingchin

Active Member
I don’t want to seem like I’m arguing too much with you here because I think we are on the same page, but I just quibble with your premise that any given room should place theatre performance over form and function. A dedicated HT room is one thing; adding HT capabilities to an existing living space means working around all sorts of inherent limitations. Just because it’s not perfectly ideal doesn’t mean it also won’t be greatly enjoyed.
I agree that not all rooms should place theatre performance over function. As I did previously say some people aren't bothered about picture and sound quality. Plus some people live with wifes/partners so have limits to what they can actually do in the room. I can enjoy watching a favourite movie with the lights on & a basic 32 inch lcd tv hung up high on the wall. But I personally enjoy it much more lights off blackout blinds with a 65inch OLED on a stand that gives me eye level to the tv. Using Filmmaker mode with dnr, ee etc turned off and a surround sound speaker system with front left & right speakers tweeters at correct ear height. Centre channel is preference but I prefer it above the tv angled down towards the ears. As it prevents the sound hitting the AV unit muddying smearing the sound if it was placed under the tv.

Plus I like a nice comfy seat sure we can agree on that one 💺😅
Again: this looks like a room where a family hangs out. Not a dedicated theatre room. There’s a built-in cabinet underneath; the TV has to be high. I’d also quibble with the speaker placement but honestly, my LR are also slightly higher than my centre and it’s totally fine and virtually unnoticeable. As for a rug....I mean I’m not gonna fault anyone for being in-between rugs...
Yeah maybe it's not his main system in the house. But even for a secondary system it's set up badly for a so called audio specialist. If that's the way his wife insisted on I apologise.
I mean it’s 2020 and we’re all adults; who blocks a big window with curtains and a TV? This isn’t a dorm, and most grown ups don’t want to live in ugly, awkward spaces.
Everyone has either blinds or curtains over their windows, I don't know a single person who has bare windows. Agree to disagree that a tv in front of the window would look ugly, I find tv's mounted above fireplaces much more ugly. If tv was right against the window then yes wouldn't look good but if it was a few feet or a metre from the window it can look nice on a stand.
Hah—moving a hot water radiator isn’t much? You’d need access to the ceiling from underneath, a plumber to move plumbing through joists, likely drain and blow the system, you name it.....we have different definitions of not much. And all for the pleasure of sticking a TV in front of a window? Yeesh.
You could argue having 4 big holes drilled in the ceiling for Atmos and usually upstairs access needed is as much hassle and work. But yeah I was hasty wrong saying it wouldn't take much work moving a radiator.
Again: looks like a living space to me. I’ve yet to meet a significant other who was like “Oh yeah honey, just do whatever you want with the living room.” I mean it’s 2020 and we’re all adults; who blocks a big window with curtains and a TV? This isn’t a dorm, and most grown ups don’t want to live in ugly, awkward spaces." :laugh:
You are repeating what I already said about people with wifes/partners. Yes unfortunately you can't get free reign. I live alone :laugh: I'm currently revamping my 5.1 system in my living room. New 65inch OLED when I get it will be at eye level, recently bought front left & right speakers tweeters will be at ear level. Surround speakers placed at the recommended height, all without compromising on being a nice looking stylish room. Some guys are more creative better at decorating a room choosing the colour scheme, furniture, room accessories etc than women lol. Guess the proof will be in the pudding once my living room is finished probably by March or April 😅
I mean, that’s exactly the question I’ve asked here: will only two actually sound better? I see lots of people online who have come to that conclusion based on the “numbers and theory”, just like I have: yeah, in theory, two should be the better choice. But I actually wanted to get feedback from someone’s who’s actually tried it.

Someone who’s done it should be able to say one of three things: 1) it’s not better than two, don’t do it; 2) it’s definitely better than two, do it; or, 3) it’s better than two, but only by a certain amount and you should factor your budget into it.
It's not "numbers and theory" it's simple science and fact. 4 atmos ceiling speakers will sound better than 2 if you have a large enough room length wise and the sitting position away from the back wall. But your room is too short length wise and sitting position right against the back wall for 4 atmos speaker's to be in the correct position. Giving you the opposite effect worse Atmos sound using 4 ceiling speakers than if you used 2. Here's the ideal recommended atmos ceiling placement for both 5.1.4 & 5.1.2 -
PicsArt_12-31-12.03.12.jpg

PicsArt_12-31-12.03.47.jpg

Too many people get carried away thinking more speakers, bigger speakers will sound better. But that isn't the case if the room is too small and wrong layout to accommodate, handle them. As I said before in certain cases it's better having quality over quantity.

Anyway good luck with whatever set up you choose and a happy 2021 once it comes 🎊
 
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