Small speakers for large room?


Standard Member
Hi, any chance of some advice?

I am wanting to rig a decent sound system in my kitchen / diner which is a fair old size (8 metres x 5 metres) The problems I have are:

1. I want a nice sounding system
2. The wife! She will insist that the system is as desecrate as possible, without lots of "ugly boxes" everywhere
3. I would like to be able to have the area split into 2 zones (Kitchen and diner)
4. I am thinking that I would like to build in a streaming system so I can access my music from a NAS drive or PC.

I have looked at a number of wireless options; namely the Sonos play 3/5. However, i find the sound of these speakers horrible. This is a real shame, because I think the idea is fantastic.

I had a listen to the Sonos amp with a pair of B&W LM1's, which sounded sweet, although lacking bass. Unfortunately to rig up more than one pair of speakers would become quite expensive (Multiple Sonos amps) and lots of wires.

Could you give me some possible solutions?

Regarding budget, well???? I guess I would be looking at spending no more than £1000 really. This budget would have to include source components as well as speakers. (Don't tell my wife about my intended budget!)

Sorry to be so vague, but I am really lost as to what system to go for, and once you start to build a system you are committed. I don;t want to lay out a load of cash to get it wrong.

Advise / suggestions much appreciated.



Distinguished Member
The main issue seems to be the one you've hidden away as:
2. The wife! She will insist that the system is as [-]desecrate[/-] discreet as possible, without lots of "ugly boxes" everywhere
let's start there.
First off, your wife also has ears, so you may find that it's not so much a case of "it must be small" as "it must look attractive" - which can be very different. So rather than jumping to conclusions about her obduracy, involve her in the selection process, until at least you have firm evidence of deliberate obstruction rather than aesthetic optimization of your attempted desecration! Chances are excellent you'll end up with speakers of an adequate size.

If you do come to the conclusion that you'll need smaller units, don't overlook the benefits of a subwoofer as a device to fill in the bass whilst being hidden away out of sight. This is the solution to the Sonos + B&W LM1 combination you otherwise liked.

One approach for non-intrusiveness is in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, combined with a subwoofer of course. Here too, the first step is a discussion with SWMBO aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable decision.

Wireless doesn't work. The best approach is to run wires in-wall, behind skirting boards, or similarly. Two zones means two amplifiers, although it is possible to get multichannel amplification to permit consolidation in a lesser number of physical boxes. Unfortunately, it also drives the price up, so perhaps you should start off with the main room? Incidentally, if the kitchen / diner is a single open unit, you should treat it as one zone - the clash of two distinct sources playing simultaneously will be painful.
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Standard Member
Thanks, for the reply Mark.

After a lot of thought, I have decided on 2 options. Given I have one room with an AV set up, another room with dedicated 2 channel stereo, I think putting another audio system on the kitchen is probably overkill. I have therefore decided on either:

1. A small internet radio (Such as the Oxx Digital) which will give me something to listen to while cooking meals (Probably will listen to more pod casts than music anyway)

2. Been looking at a pair of Epoz Maxi's. This will also give me the internet radio, as well as the option to connect up my lap top, iPod, iPhone, Cowon media player and dj consul. This option eliminates the need for a large amplifier or source and I can link the speakers with wire chased into the wall or skirting board as you suggested to keep things neat.

Not an audiophile set up by any means, but given my other systems, It probably would be an unnecessary expense to rig another system. I should probably spend the money upgrading my existing kit!
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