New Build House Lounge Setup

Puntoboy

Active Member
We are waiting for our new house to be built and I'd like to start thinking about what I need for the lounge. It's not going to be a fully fledged cinema room, but I would like to make it work really well for watching movies. I've been having some challenges in our current house with speaker placements so I just want to get it right in the new house. Unfortunately I cannot get cables put in before the house completes so these will all need to be installed afterwards.

Here is the lounge dimensions and layout. 19'9" x 12'7" or 6.04m x 3.85m (sizes approximate).
Screenshot 2019-10-09 at 11.02.00.png


We plan to put a sofa on the left, above the door (shown) which will be the MLP. We are not sure at the moment whether this will be a corner sofa or whether we will have another sofa opposite the patio doors (maybe by the window - not sure yet).

My current system comprises of the following:
  • LG C8 OLED 55" TV
  • Pioneer VSX-S510 AV receiver
  • Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 Speakers
  • Sky Q 2TB
  • Xbox One X
All of this will be housed in an Ikea Besta TV bench on the right side. It's the taller 54cm unit without legs currently. I had considered wall mounting the TV but when I looked the ideal height was only a few CM higher than it was sitting in the TV unit so I left it there. This however has the knock on affect of having to move the centre speaker into the TV unit below the side speakers and drawers your attention downwards away from the TV. Because of this I am now considering mounting the TV on the wall to get all the front speakers level or whatever the recommendation is.

In the current house I can some D-Line mini trunking running along the top of the skirting which allows me to run the speaker cable (some cheap stuff off amazon) around the room. I don't mind this by may consider putting it through the walls in the new house.

What recommendations are there for speaker placements and other improvements I can implement?
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
I also need to thing about what brackets to use for the speakers? Should I change the cheap cable I am using?

I'd also like to consider future upgrades. I would like to go Atmos in the future so if there's a better way to fit the speakers so I can change/add to them later for Atmos compatibility, that would be great.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
With the size of the room and the orientation for viewing the floor layout will be pretty fixed and that will basically conform to what you want for Atmos. It's the height of those speakers that will make the biggest difference. The fronts should be at seated head height and the surrounds just above that but at such at height that they won't be obstructed by furniture.

Atmos depends on what configuration you want and what type of speaker you want to employ. For in ceiling I would suggest that four would be pushing it, for a two speaker layout then I would place the in ceiling speakers above where you knees would be in a seated position on the sofa and in line with the front speakers.

Up firing modules would need to be placed at the front on top of or as near as possible to the front left and right speakers. No doubt the ceiling in a new build would meet the requirements needed for placement.
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
Thanks, that's good to know re: Atmos, but that's a little way off for now. Would the remaining speakers be in the same positions as a regular 5.1 setup? If I can get those in the right place now it would save moving them again later.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes, the floor layout remains exactly the same, just the height of the surrounds differs in an Atmos layout but is not a deal breaker.
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
Oh, I was under the impression that the 5 surround speakers would remain in the same place, just additional ceiling speakers?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Here's a link to the recommended speaker placement from Dolby. If you follow the recommendation for the placement of the surrounds that will cover both a 5.1 and 5.1.2/4.
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
Here's a link to the recommended speaker placement from Dolby. If you follow the recommendation for the placement of the surrounds that will cover both a 5.1 and 5.1.2/4.
Thanks. That's what I read and it doesn't mention about having speakers at different height for 5.1 or 5.1.2 (except the ceiling speakers).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What the difference in height for the surrounds between an Atmos and a standard layout is this. On the surrounds for a standard layout the recommendation was to have the surrounds at around 60cm above the seated head height. This give a slight impression of height in the rear of the soundstage.

With an Atmos layout it is now recommended that the height of the surrounds be at just above seated head height which can be a considerable drop from the old standard height. The idea of this is to separate the floor layout from the Atmos domain so that there is a greater impression of there being height in the soundstage above you.

However almost all living rooms have to have some compromise in speaker location, certainly true in my home. I cannot accommodate the surrounds at the correct height for Atmos and so have them about 40cm above seated head height. It works, at least so with upfiring speakers at the front. I've had to place them at that height because they need to be on wall mounts and are a fairly large speaker for surround duties. (OK, I'll come clean, SWMBO wanted them higher.)

The actual placement, positional wise, will be the same for both set ups, it's just the best height for those surrounds that is slightly different.
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
OK thank you. The article you posted doesn't seem to suggest that, in fact several times it mentions "Dolby Atmos speaker layouts parallel the 5.1 and 7.1 setups for surround sound. " which to me suggests the speaker position is the same.

So as I don't want to have to move the speakers when I upgrade to Atmos I will just install them in the recommended Atmos positions. Now for the other questions :) thanks.
 

John

Moderator
most new houses come with a media panel that has connections for Sat/TV , Phone, Power . Make sure you know where that is before you make too many firm plans . Mine is exactly where you describe where you want to place your sofa.
I'm surprised its not marked on the plan you posted
 

Puntoboy

Active Member
most new houses come with a media panel that has connections for Sat/TV , Phone, Power . Make sure you know where that is before you make too many firm plans . Mine is exactly where you describe where you want to place your sofa.
I'm surprised its not marked on the plan you posted
Thanks John but I already know. It’s on the wall opposite the door (so opposite where the sofa will be.
 
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