Low-visual-impact speakers for home cinema

Adamthekiwi

Standard Member
Hi all,

Looking for some advice on speaker selection - essentially, I'm lookiong for the best compromise between my desire for great sound for movies and hi-fi and my wife's desire for a system that does not intrude, visually, on the room.

So, I'm looking for a 5 speaker setup (plus active sub) where the centre and stereo channels are as slim-line as possible and the satellites are as small as they (reasonably) can be. The TV (a Panasonic TX-P42GT30) will be mounted on the wall, on an articulated bracket, near the corner of the room. The budget has some flexibility, but is likely to be hundreds (and, preferably, not a huge herd of them!), rather than thousands.

The absolute ideal would be something that fixes to the TV itself (as it will be able to move around in space, a bit), although I don't know if it's possible to get decent sound from such a system.

Thanks in advance for all suggestions!

Adam...
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You could have a look at the Kef T series or maybe the Monitor Audio Radius range. Not sure of any 5.1 system with AV receiver that connects to a TV. Q Accoustics did a 2.1 system that connected to the back of a TV but not sure if it would fit on your size (meant for smaller TVs I believe).
If the speakers above are too much then the Boston Accoustics soundwares would be worth a look as would the Tannoy SFX or Jamo A102.
Receivers to look at would include Sony 820, Onkyo 509/609, Yamaha 471/671 or Denon 1912 to name but a few.
If you can have a more specific max budget then we could narrow the options down some more.
 

Badger0-0

Member
Maybe a soundbar, which emulates surround?

I'm not keen on them myself, but one might suit you.
The Panasonic works with Viera too, which could be handy.

No way will it be as good as a proper 5.1 setup, but it's just a thought.
 

Dave Weystoner

Active Member
If I recall correctly, a soundbar needs parallel room sides to work well - having the TV in a corner would preclude that, so a home trial would be a must.

I use the B & W MT30 5.1 system, which is now unavailable. It was, in my opinion, good value, with a powerful sound and discreet looks. You may be able to pick up a second hand MT25 or MT30 within your budget.

Hope that helps,

Dave
 

Badger0-0

Member
Good point.
I never noticed it was near a corner.
I was thinking more about something that can clip to the telly.

And yes, you'd definitely want to demo.
I'm not sure RS officially still do their no quibble guarantee, but a bit of negotiation should sort that out, I'd have thought.

As I said, I'm not even keen on them really.
 

bluedroog

Well-known Member
What's the budget you're working to? Possibly more than you want to spend but a great solution would be the PMC Wafer range which come in on wall or in wall versions. Not cheap but descreet without compromise.
 

Adamthekiwi

Standard Member
Hi All,

Thanks so much for the ideas - I'll start taking a bit more of a look.

Budget - having looked at some of the choices, I think I might have to upgrade it a little. To be honest, having identified the TV, I'd not really thought much about the rest of the kit. I think my wife will probably start having aneurysms at around £500 (although she's just looked at a Kef speaker set for that much and not lamped me!), so I need to keep it in the budget end (at least for this iteration!).

Soundbars seem to be out - thanks for the advice there.

The suggestions at the high end all look amazing, but are, I suspect, outside my price range. The Boston Acoustics, Tannoys and Jamo suggested by PSM1 look like they might fit the bill, so I'll take a bit more in-depth look at them. I'd like a good front pair for stereo - presumably I can mix and match, or should I take care to match the fronts and the centre speaker?

Thanks - Adam...
 

Badger0-0

Member
You should ideally look to match the front three, but sometimes it can work ok.
Definite demoing would be required if they don't match, as it can sound blindingly obvious sometimes and ruins the whole thing.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Depending on your budget, you could consider the Monitor Audio Radius speakers which are long slim speakers that hang on the wall. They are also available in white and grey, as well as wood and black finishes.

Radius HD | Products | Monitor Audio

Most would say, either three R225HD in front or two R250HD and a R225HD for the Center. Still, a system made up of FIVE R225HD or FIVE R250HD would be pretty nice.

The R225HD run about £250 EACH. The R250HD run £275 EACH, and you can mix them in any combination, R2590 in front and R225 in back.

I know that pushes your budget into a range you don't want to go, but if you want performance, they you need to pay for it.

In ultra compact Satellite speakers, Kef makes a range of well regarded speakers, but they start a £500 -

Home Cinema Speakers Kef KHT1005.2 5.1 | hifix.co.uk

and work their way up to £1000 -

Home Cinema Speakers Kef KHT3005SE BLACK | hifix.co.uk

I'm pretty sure these are available in light colors and can be mounted on the wall, though there are others here with more experience in this type of speaker.

Wharfedale makes a version of the most basic front speakers plus its most basic center combined into one sound bar, and at a very moderate price -

Home Cinema Speakers Wharfedale 10 LCR | hifix.co.uk

To this, you can add another pair of Diamond 10.0 for the rear -

Hi Fi Speakers Wharfedale DIAMOND 10.0 | hifix.co.uk

Not is is just a matter of adding the Subwoofer of your choice. Depending on how dominant you want the bass to be, here are some options -

Superfi - WHARFEDALE VARDUS VRSUB8 SUBWOOFER

Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND SW150 SUBWOOFER

Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.MX SUBWOOFER

And this very nice sub from BK Electronics -

Gemini

Also, if you might be inclined to slim-line floorstanding, consider this package from Wharfedale -

Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.MT 5.1 HOME CINEMA PACKAGE

Or these very compact Bookshelf systems -

Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SW150 SUBWOOFER

Wharfedale DX-1 HCP 5.1 Speaker Package at Audio Affair

Q Acoustics 2000i 5.1 Cinema Package at Audio Affair

Wharfedale Diamond 10 HCP 5.1 AV Speaker Package at Audio Affair

The problem you have is a conflict between requirements and budget. If you have specific requirements, then you have to forget budget, find the speaker that meet the requirement, and pay what it cost. Or if you are rigid in your budget, they you have to choose from the speaker that are available at that price.

And don't forget that you need a Surround Sound amp to complete the system.

Now there are certainly all-in-one one-box system that might fit your budget and requirements, such are this -

Superfi - SONY BDVE870 3D READY BLU-RAY/DVD HOME CINEMA SYSTEM

And it would probably be OK for movies, but few would recommend it based on sound quality. Again, I don't know your needs or what it will take to satisfy you. You might be satisfied with a one-box system. Then again, maybe not. Only you can tell.

There is no shortage of tiny speaker available for small amounts of money, and you might like those, or you might not. Personally, I tend to be suspicious of any speaker that comfortably fits in the palm of my hand, but that is just me -

Superfi - ONKYO SKSHT528 HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM

Superfi - BOSTON ACOUSTICS SOUNDWARE XS 5.1 SE SPEAKER SYSTEM

Superfi - TANNOY SFX 5.1/7.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM

I personally think you need to soften your requirement, or raise you budget.

Steve/bluewizard
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Philips OLED+935 impressions, Denon AVC110 Review, Film Reviews, News and More...
Top Bottom