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Rear speakers up against the wall, must I only choose forward-firing reflex port?

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
Hello everyone, another newbie here building his first home theater system. I have a 20 m2 room, and the layout is such that I cannot place the sofa too much towards the center of the room in order to have enough space for the rear speakers. There is about 42 cm between the back of the sofa and the wall (or about 50-55 cm between my head and the wall), so I have to put the rear pair speakers against the wall (maybe not literally, I'm thinking tall floorstands, but still). To make matters worse, one of them will have to be almost in the corner of the room (but not exactly).

How does this affect my choice of the speaker system? Do I need to limit myself strictly to forward-firing speakers in the rear (in terms of the bass reflex port location, that is). Or maybe rear port is OK if I plug it with foam or other stuff? Or is it not that big of a deal? I have had a few different stereo speaker kits in the past, but never with rear-firing ports, so I genuinely have no idea what effect this will have (and lately I've been preferring closed box speakers, but I don't know of any closed box system suitable for a 5.0/5.1 home theater installation, with floor-standers for the fronts and matching center and rear speakers).
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Which speakers are you considering for the front three? There is lot of people using port bungs if surround speakers are placed against wall or if they have left little bit of space behind and most being quite compact sized speakers they often work fine without bungs.

There is few sealed cinema speakers available, what is your budget? Also keep in mind if you aren`t going to listen music lot you could and maybe even should consider standmount speakers for front l/r aswell and put the saved money in to better subwoofer.

Could you place the surround channels on side wall each side of listener(s), stands or wall mounted?

AU_HT_5171_room.gif
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
You only need an inch or so behind the speakers for the rear port to "breathe", but any speaker placed that close will interact with the wall.

For surround speakers, I would not be too concerned, but if you can afford them, bipole or tripole speaker might work better, as they will diffuse the sound a little and make the surround feel a little bit more natural.
 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
Thanks for the advice!
Which speakers are you considering for the front three?
That question is entirely open at this point, I'm only limited by what I can actually buy in my country (which means not the most broad selection of choices), and my budget - I aim at $1000-$1100, and I will look at used options first (because, obviously, they provide a price discount so I can get a better set for the same cost). Among the used options are Monitor Audio Silver (RS6 + RS1), Q Acoustics 3050 + 3020. For the brand new, fresh from the store option I'm considering Fyne F302 + F301 (or F300). That's just what I've seen available, not a shortlist by any means.

I do not intend to compromise on the sub too much, I'm not even including it in this budget because I understand that's a separate and an important part for the system. But I do intend to listen to music quite a bit. That said, I don't think floor-standing speakers are necessarily better for music or movies as long as there is a solid and well-tuned subwoofer in the room (perhaps even two?), but I do think that since in this price range a pair of floor-standers is about the same price as a pair of bookshelf speakers + stands for them, there is no reason not to go for the floorstanders. Just seems easier to me, besides, I think they just look better (this is a tertiary factor at most, but still).

And yes, I certainly can place them as you illustrated, but the wall is still close (just at a different angle) and that concerns me.

For surround speakers, I would not be too concerned, but if you can afford them, bipole or tripole speaker might work better, as they will diffuse the sound a little and make the surround feel a little bit more natural.
Thank you for mentioning that, I did read about various kinds of surround speakers (dipole / bipole / monopole), but I have somewhat fogotten about it since then. I'm not aware of any system at my price point that includes bipole speakers designed for wall-mounting, though.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the advice!

That question is entirely open at this point, I'm only limited by what I can actually buy in my country (which means not the most broad selection of choices), and my budget - I aim at $1000-$1100, and I will look at used options first (because, obviously, they provide a price discount so I can get a better set for the same cost). Among the used options are Monitor Audio Silver (RS6 + RS1), Q Acoustics 3050 + 3020. For the brand new, fresh from the store option I'm considering Fyne F302 + F301 (or F300). That's just what I've seen available, not a shortlist by any means.

I do not intend to compromise on the sub too much, I'm not even including it in this budget because I understand that's a separate and an important part for the system. But I do intend to listen to music quite a bit. That said, I don't think floor-standing speakers are necessarily better for music or movies as long as there is a solid and well-tuned subwoofer in the room (perhaps even two?), but I do think that since in this price range a pair of floor-standers is about the same price as a pair of bookshelf speakers + stands for them, there is no reason not to go for the floorstanders. Just seems easier to me, besides, I think they just look better (this is a tertiary factor at most, but still).

And yes, I certainly can place them as you illustrated, but the wall is still close (just at a different angle) and that concerns me.


I'm not aware of any system at my price point that includes bipole speakers designed for wall-mounting, though.

All good then, follow the plan! I was just bit worried as many people buy expensive floorstanding speakers and then cheapest sub, often the use is mostly movies also..

As you mentioned Monitor Audio Silver range, they do have FX speakers for wall mounting with 2screws. They have a switch at rear for bipole and dipole mode. As you mentioned the wall being close then clearly these would be much better option than typical direct radiating speakers. As long you can leave about feet or so to next wall as there is side firing tweeters.

Check out what you have available there as 2nd hand. You can even opt for the Bronze FX if you find finish that matches the LCR.




 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
Thanks! I never knew Monitor Audio made such speakers, probably because I've never seen them. Double-checked on the local classifieds site - no offers of any FX speakers from MA. So, since it's a long discontinues lineup, I'll have to stick to the original plan of getting regular small bookshelf speakers (e. g. RS1).
Do I understand correctly that a rear bass reflex port will not be a big detriment if the speakers will be oriented alongside the wall, rather then their backs against the wall?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks! I never knew Monitor Audio made such speakers, probably because I've never seen them. Double-checked on the local classifieds site - no offers of any FX speakers from MA. So, since it's a long discontinues lineup, I'll have to stick to the original plan of getting regular small bookshelf speakers (e. g. RS1).
Do I understand correctly that a rear bass reflex port will not be a big detriment if the speakers will be oriented alongside the wall, rather then their backs against the wall?

You can still look for Monitor Audio Bronze FX ranges from sale on shops. They shouldn´t cost much. There is the 6th gen now on shops, but good chance that you find the 5th Gen FX speakers on some shop as ex-demo perhaps. That 5th Gen Bronze is same level to Silver RS sound quality wise, cabinet finish being vinyl wrap against wood veneer, but otherwise the drivers, audio crossover parts etc. are same level. Being effect channels and from same brand i wouldn´t stress about the speakers not being from same exact range. After you run your receiver rc-software i bet they will blend superb.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
OK, to be clear, you can earth your home as you think fit, but what you cannot do is modify the incoming supply earthing.

You cannot just fit an earth spike and wire it to the main earth terminal without first disconnecting the neutral earth link. It is not just your property you are affecting when you do this, as in the event of a failure of the neutral - return outside of your property or street, your earth spike could become the main power return path for your whole neighbourhood! That is generally considered to be a bad thing...

I actually saw this happen in a London theatre. They had extra generators on hire to give them additional power for a large show and these were connected to a substantial earth spike via a large cable. The building earth was connected to the same point to avoid differing earth potentials. All was correctly designed, installed and tested. A few days into the run, the neutral in the shore power supply failed. All the lights in the theatre stayed on, but the earth spike actually got cherry red from the current it was passing until the power company could isolate their supply!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
OK, to be clear, you can earth your home as you think fit, but what you cannot do is modify the incoming supply earthing.

You cannot just fit an earth spike and wire it to the main earth terminal without first disconnecting the neutral earth link. It is not just your property you are affecting when you do this, as in the event of a failure of the neutral - return outside of your property or street, your earth spike could become the main power return path for your whole neighbourhood! That is generally considered to be a bad thing...

I actually saw this happen in a London theatre. They had extra generators on hire to give them additional power for a large show and these were connected to a substantial earth spike via a large cable. The building earth was connected to the same point to avoid differing earth potentials. All was correctly designed, installed and tested. A few days into the run, the neutral in the shore power supply failed. All the lights in the theatre stayed on, but the earth spike actually got cherry red from the current it was passing until the power company could isolate their supply!

Hey Noisy! I think you posted this in wrong thread? 🤔 😄
 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
I think so, too :)
And you are indeed correct, the MA Bronze FX speakers are available, but the cost is around $400, while a pair of second-hand RS1s is less than $300...
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I think so, too :)
And you are indeed correct, the MA Bronze FX speakers are available, but the cost is around $400, while a pair of second-hand RS1s is less than $300...

Keep digging if you find the earlier gen as it was on stock while ago for good price and perhaps put wanted add to some local classified site, you never know if pair pops up..

There is good reason why the FX speakers has been so popular for many years and even with this Atmos age MA still keeps it on new ranges. Maybe visit some local MA dealer if they have any FX speakers on demo room to give a listen? With RS1 the effects will locate/pin point easier, while the FXs give you more diffused soundfield. Remember you need pair of stands with RS1 so the total price is about same. :)

On side wall (Silver FX) and rear wall (Bronze FX):
 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
Remember you need pair of stands with RS1 so the total price is about same. :)
Thanks for the awesome live pictures! These FX speakers really simplify the installation, no argument there. However, the price of $400 that I can see is, I'm pretty sure, for one speaker alone. And I will still need a pair of them, right?
 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
They aren´t sold as each! Should be pair. If you live in US:
Ha, if I lived in the US things would be way simpler and way cheaper. No, unfortunately not. But you are once again correct! I thought I've seen the store explicitly stating the that the price is for one unit, but now I double-checked with two stores and both say it's for a pair. So a pair of new FX Bronze speakers is only marginally more expensive than a pair of used RS1. Although I would have a much tougher time selling the FX speakers should I decide to upgrade the system. But on the other hand, as you said, is the ease of installation and positioning.

You said that the FX speakers will produce a more diffused sound stage. Is it outright better for the overall enjoyment and immersion, or is it a matter of preference?

And these FX speakers are more or less designed to be used in the near field, right?
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
The fx come on sale in the classifieds here regularly and seem to get snapped up pretty quick.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Ha, if I lived in the US things would be way simpler and way cheaper. No, unfortunately not. But you are once again correct! I thought I've seen the store explicitly stating the that the price is for one unit, but now I double-checked with two stores and both say it's for a pair. So a pair of new FX Bronze speakers is only marginally more expensive than a pair of used RS1. Although I would have a much tougher time selling the FX speakers should I decide to upgrade the system. But on the other hand, as you said, is the ease of installation and positioning.

You said that the FX speakers will produce a more diffused sound stage. Is it outright better for the overall enjoyment and immersion, or is it a matter of preference?

And these FX speakers are more or less designed to be used in the near field, right?

I believe they would be prefered over RS1 as being so close to listener they locate too easily. You can check few Bronze and Silver 5.1 reviews and the FX speakers are always praised for what they can do. There is a switch at back for bipole and dipole mode which you can play with. I wouldn´t say designed to be used near field. Go with the one you feel is better so no regrets later on. Maybe the shop has return period if for some reason you change your mind. I still think if you can mount them about 2feet higher from ears and give about 1feet or more for the next wall then it should work great.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
surround/dipole/tripole speakers are amazing. would definitely reccomend over the bookshelves. worth the extra for the aesthetics, more forgiving placement flexibility, the ability to put against the wall and the bubble of sound they create.

I wouldn't think surround speakers would be hard to sell. they're pretty much more flexibile and better than their bookshelf counterparts in what they do, unless you're planning to separate components and sell them like that.

surround speakers will also make excellent rear speakers.
 

VioletGiraffe

Novice Member
Thanks for the advice, you're definitely swaying me towards dedicated surround speakers as opposed to booskshelf ones. But yes, I did imply selling them separately. There are very few complete 5.0 or 5.1 second-hand systems on sale in my country, it seems that the trading volume of such systems is low here.

I wonder: since the surround speakers (like Monitor Audio FX ones discussed earlier in this topic), as you say, produce a more diffused sound field, then it should be no big deal if I use modern Bronze series FX speakers together with old Silver (RS) front an center speakers? I trust the receiver will volume-match them properly, but I'm concerned about possible tonal (frequency response) difference.

Also, would you kindly tell me what other audio speaker brands offer low-budget surround speakers similar to those from Monitor Audio, say, for ~$400/pair? It would be nice to explore the options. For example, If I don't manage to find anything good on the used systems market, I was looking for a Fyne Audio combo as a backup plan (new from a retail store) - F302 floorstanders + F300 bookshelf pair + F300C. But Fyne has no surround speaker, at least not in their budget F3xx line. And neither does Dali (but the Oberon line, which would be my preference, has a slim "on-wall" speaker).
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the advice, you're definitely swaying me towards dedicated surround speakers as opposed to booskshelf ones. But yes, I did imply selling them separately. There are very few complete 5.0 or 5.1 second-hand systems on sale in my country, it seems that the trading volume of such systems is low here.

I wonder: since the surround speakers (like Monitor Audio FX ones discussed earlier in this topic), as you say, produce a more diffused sound field, then it should be no big deal if I use modern Bronze series FX speakers together with old Silver (RS) front an center speakers? I trust the receiver will volume-match them properly, but I'm concerned about possible tonal (frequency response) difference.

Also, would you kindly tell me what other audio speaker brands offer low-budget surround speakers similar to those from Monitor Audio, say, for ~$400/pair? It would be nice to explore the options. For example, If I don't manage to find anything good on the used systems market, I was looking for a Fyne Audio combo as a backup plan (new from a retail store) - F302 floorstanders + F300 bookshelf pair + F300C. But Fyne has no surround speaker, at least not in their budget F3xx line. And neither does Dali (but the Oberon line, which would be my preference, has a slim "on-wall" speaker).

I don´t think there is other cheap bipole/dipole options within that budget range as new. KEF used to have Q800ds dipoles. Klipsch had R-14s which were quite cheap, also more expensive Rp-240s, RS-41 II.

There shouldn´t be any issue with Silver RS LCR + Bronze FX. You aren´t even mixing different brands which many does and aren´t complaining. We have members here who has used both Bronze and Silver FX speakers with other brand LCR. The same for M&K tripoles. I wouldn´t stress about it too much.
 

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