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New hifi and tv system

Guano107

Novice Member
First of all thank you for taking the time to look over my issues.

I have just built a new extension on my house. The large room is made up of a tv area, kitchen area and dining area.

Although the room is open plan, the dining room part is set back (I will post a very bad sketch of the room)

I currently use sonos but have wired speaker cable into various positions in the new room.

So far I have got the easy bits sorted.

I need a tv with a central, left and right speaker which I think should be wired to an av receiver.

I have then got wire in place for two side and two rear ceiling height speakers.

Would a 7.1 work with speakers at this height? And In such an open room?

My next problem is music set up.

I have pre wired various locations. My initial thoughts were to wire within the steel joists holding up the roof. I was planning on fitting in wall speakers within these steels.

However I am now unsure of how this would work with sound. Do I need a dedicated left and right? Does a room like this have more then two speakers?

I have tried a sonos play 3 near the tv and near the kitchen which sounds ok. But the sound in the dining room is poor.

Would I just have left speakers down one side of the rooms and right down the other?

Any advice would hugely welcome.
 

muljao

Prominent Member
You'd have to probably give a budget of what you're hoping to spend. Is music or surround sound most important, do you hope to get as good performance bin the kitchen part as the recessed part of the room

And the sketch...
 

Guano107

Novice Member
Speaker set up.png
 

Guano107

Novice Member
I am looking to spend around £3000 inc the av reciever, amp and speakers.

I would ideally like atmos 7.1 for the tv but not sure if I’m wasting my money due to speaker placement and the open plan area.

I would ideally like music to be the same in the whole area.
 

Sandyb01

Established Member
I am looking to spend around £3000 inc the av reciever, amp and speakers.

I would ideally like atmos 7.1 for the tv but not sure if I’m wasting my money due to speaker placement and the open plan area.

I would ideally like music to be the same in the whole area.

What is the approximate square foot / metre size of the whole space?

A very close friend of mine has a very large open plan space (maybe 1800 sq ft), with kitchen area (incl island), dining area, and lounge / TV area. He used in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for the kitchen / dining areas - but as I suggested to him, they don't sound great - the music is very much in the background. That is fine for some, he's ok-ish with it, not happy, but ok. I'd hate it - the music is far too in the back ground for me.

It's tough to do this really well in large multi function open spaces (in my opinion), not without spending a lot of money. Even then the space (shape and size) can get in the way a bit.

Does your budget include the TV (apologies if you've stated this already)?
 

Guano107

Novice Member
It’s around 600sqft. Both the longest wall and dinging room walls are 3/4 glass too.

I have just purchased an 55” LG c8 tv, so the 3k is just for the tv surround and music.
 

muljao

Prominent Member
Hi Muljao, you would go with sonos instead of the wired option?

I'm probably the wrong person to ask because my priority for sorround sound isn't very high.

I am amazed with the quality of wireless products the last few years, Sonos are excellent (I don't own them but a good friend does).

If I was to do a music and av setup in a room like yours I would definitely look at this or something similar, my other option would be to prioritize one and supplement it with the other, such as say putting a really good stereo setup and adding the best sound bar setup I could afford, again I'd try to go as wireless as I could
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
7.1 would work in theory, but in practice it's going to look a bit of a mess imo. 2 sets of bookshelves + stands in an open plan room seems like a disaster waiting to happen .
 

Nat64

Established Member
I have a friend who has done almost the same thing.
He used Kef Ci series for the sides / rears.

They are not cheap but are very very good and of course you get what you pay for. Kef do side /rear speakers and a larger centre.

Of course it also looks very cool as they are motorised/retractable, but come at a price.

Looking at your diagram I guess you would need 4.
2 to drop down behind the sofa and 1 each either side of the sofa.
With a front L/R and a centre thats your 7 speakers.

Kef Motorised Speakers | AV Installs Ltd

It won't be cheap , but will give you the best solution and you know Kef is quality.
 

Guano107

Novice Member
7.1 would work in theory, but in practice it's going to look a bit of a mess imo. 2 sets of bookshelves + stands in an open plan room seems like a disaster waiting to happen .

Hi Hixs,

Could you elaborate on why you think it could be a mess? Do you mean the sound quality would be compromised due to the area?
 

Guano107

Novice Member
Hi Hixs,

Could you elaborate on why you think it could be a mess? Do you mean the sound quality would be compromised due to the area?

Would love the Keff motorised speakers but unfortunately I have only wired speaker cables and no CAT cable to power them!! :(
 

Hoku

Established Member
Really you're after multi-room operability. You want to be able to use your TV area as a conventional room and then bring in zones in the dining area and kitchen at will...multi-room then.

These things live and die by their control apps. If it's flaky, buggy and poorly supported over time, you'll regret it. So you may need to curtail a little in the way of outright performance to get the robust usability you're after.

To my mind there are three established players in the multi-room market: Sonos, Bluesound and Yamaha ("MusicCast"). All three's control apps are well-reported on by users and are likely to be supported by their IT departments over time. Yamaha is unique among these three in offering a multi-channel AV receiver that can also integrate with other MusicCast speakers or MusicCast zones, so could in theory do all you're looking for.

Sonos' & Bluesound's efforts in home cinema are limited to a soundbar for the equivalent of your front three. Obviously not as good as a separate AV receiver and traditional speakers, and certainly in an open-sided room of your type. From experience with a space like this, a soundbar's sound will get completely lost.

So for example you could have something like a Yamaha RX-A870 AV receiver for your home cinema space, and its MusicCast system could integrate with a MusicCast WXA-50 with a couple of speakers for your dining area and MusicCast 20 in the kitchen. And when called for each three units could operate independently or they could all fire up playing the same source at the same time if you were having a party.

Also Yamaha's range is sufficiently wide price-wise that you can pitch your budget for each space how you want to. Sonos and Bluesound ranges are a little more restricted so you might end up overspending in your kitchen area for example which could take valuable pennies from your principal listening area.

So that's an option you could investigate further.


As far as the speakers themselves are concerned, was all your pre-wiring intended to keep them invisible? So were you looking for in-wall / on wall-speakers? Or were you happy to consider conventional speakers in any of your three zones?

As far as the home-cinema part goes, there are plenty of very decent subwoofer/satellite speaker systems out there that offer simple and discreet wall-mounting but can offer pretty convincing performance.

Having owned many variations of the range in the past, I can heartily recommend the Monitor Audio Radius range for a sub-sat system. They offer a decent range of colour finishes and if you wanted to keep the budget down, there are plenty of decent examples around used too. And should you want to persevere with in-wall speakers for the rear and side speakers in your 7.1 system Monitor Audio do offer several in-wall ranges that should match tonally with the Radiuses.

I would spend a bit of time researching ideal locations for speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 system. There are plenty of decent diagrams online or on YouTube to get your angles right.
 

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