Question Speaker Placement Help Needed. About to blow thousands on 5.1 speakers for a very challenging room


Standard Member
Hi guys,

We are currently renovating our new home and I’m looking to buy and 5.1 speakers. I currently have a Sony STR-DA5500ES receiver that I’ll be upgrading at some point in the future.

I also currently have Bowers bookshelf speakers but they are too large for our new home. The wife insists that I instead get discrete speakers for the new setup.

I went to my local AV shop a few months ago and the sales guy recommended 5 Bowers M1’s and a Rel T5.

The renovations are nearing completion so last week I went to another AV store and was recommended 4 x Monitor Audio Apex A10s, an A40 and a Rel T5. That store is getting the A10s and A40 in on Tuesday for me to demo. Currently I’m leaning towards the Monitor Audio stuff and a BK P12-300SB-DF. As we have 3 toddlers I have to keep everything out of reach.

Any speaker recommendations are welcome.

My biggest issue is the room that I will be placing the speakers. It’s a large open-plan living, dining and kitchen room. On one side of the listening position are bi-folding doors (no curtains), on the other side is the kitchen/dining area (about 70% of the room). Above is a 4m x 2m roof lantern. We have tiles on the floor. (no rugs of any kind). Also, the TV will be offset from the sofa position as we have a door in the way.

I have created a quick YouTube video of the room. It’s worth noting that I got our electrician to put QED wiring in the ceiling and walls in approximate positions to where I plan to position the speakers. (seen in the video). We have a 3m x 3m corner sofa, one side will span where the washing machines are currently (in the video). The other side will span half of the bi-fold doors.

This week I need to be purchase the speakers so we can figure out final positions and decorate. My current plan is as follows:


The video also shows the rear speaker wires sticking out from the wall.

Any advice is ever so highly appreciated both in terms of speaker choices and planned speaker placement.


You have a very compromised positioning for speakers but looking at your pictures you have limited position opportunities because of the door. The centre should be centred onto the screen as this would lock the dialogue to that screen. Everything is really too high.

You really have a difficult proposition. In that current drawing I would ditch the centre and run as a 4.1 giving a phantom centre which may very well work better than having three up front. You would need to mount to the M1s and angle them down towards the seating area.

I'm really thinking you would be better off with a soundbar under the TV.


Standard Member
Thanks for the advice gibbsy.

We originally considered a soundbar, but we opted for speakers as we can specifically mount them high too keep them away from the kids.

I'm going to my local av store tomorrow to demo the M1s and the Monitor Audio A10/A40.

Given the compromised speaker positioning do you think its worth spending almost double on the Monitor Audio's over the M1s? I'm hoping their superiour quality will somewhat help with the compromised placement.

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Can the TV not be moved to the right?

The proposed layout will not work well for the reasons stated by gibbsy.

If the TV can’t be moved then I would consider either in ceiling LCR loudspeakers that can be angled to the MLP or install an LCR sound bar rather than a standard sound bar below the TV.


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Active Member
Wow that looks challenging. I assume you can’t put front right on the pillar (and front left equidistant from the centre)?

I’d be really tempted to go soundbar in your situation, have you looked at the MK MP7?


Active Member
Hi! As stated above, looks to be quite challenging.

Could you move the TV slightly to the right so it spans over the pillar slightly? I know it might look a bit funny but the pillar doesn't look very deep so a slightly pulled forward mount to clear it might work? Then you could mount a B&W M1 either side and maybe the centre above? Or maybe LCR all above angled down? Or would that make the TV way off from the centre of where the sofa wold look from? If not then small wall mounted speakers angled down above the screen might work. Remember a 65" is actually quite wide and your seating is not too far away so there will be some separation effect even in that TV width space with small wall mounts.

I know you said you had 3 toddlers :)thumbsup:eek:_O:eek:) but I would think 3 M1's mounted on the wall just below the TV (if it stays where you plan it to go) might be OK to be honest. Maybe mount a shelf directly below to maybe mitigate sticky fingers/fists? The TV looks high so the speakers may be high enough if just below (or on a shelf if you don't want to wall mount?)

I had the older M1's in a large-ish room and they were brilliant so they should be good in your room. They were pretty hardy to as they had a good grill to cover them, but have a look to see what you think when you demo them if you can.

Also, in your space it may actually be a good use scenario for a good soundbar (one that has good LCR separation but I am sorry I don't know which one to advise on tbh). As said before, in ceilings may be good too but I think you already have the wires run?

Hope that helps.




Standard Member
Thanks for all the advice so far. Unfortunately the TV cannot be moved to the right as the kitchen cabinets are there. Also it would be off center from the sofas.

Has anyone got any thoughts on the A40/A10 over the m1s. Worth the extra money, given my situation?

Maybe I can place them all under the TV rather than above?


Placing the speakers under is going to be better but it's the distance you're going to be able to get between the front left and right, especially if the left speaker is going to be placed to the right of the door. In that situation you would be better off with 4.1 and not use a dedicated centre.


Standard Member
Hey guys.

Thanks again for your continued wisdom.

Whilst I'm open to the idea of a soundbar, I'm trying to avoid that option as I've already spent around £300 on wiring and wiring installation.

Is the following idea for speaker placement any better?


This was my original idea when installing the cables. The front left will stick out a little from the back wall so that its inline with the pillar and the front right.

I deviated away from this original idea as I read its best to avoid placing speakers near corners (hence placing all 3 fronts up high in my previous image).


That's a lot better and the M1s should fit to the left of the door. For best results when watching the TV it's best the door is kept shut. You seem pretty determined to get 5.1.

To cover the question about the sub the REL T5 is a good little unit, I have had eight years of trouble free use with a T5. However there are other just as good alternatives from BK Electrics.

Sub Woofers - Sub Bass - Subwoofer


Standard Member
Another option I'm now considering based on adviced received in this forum is the following:
  • 1 x Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio (LCR)
  • 2 x Paradigm MilleniaOne 1.0 (Surrounds)
  • 1 x Paradigm MilleniaSub
Is this a better setup for the room?


Standard Member
Thanks gibbsy.

Have already spoken to BK Electrics (I discovered them on this forum) and they suggested a P12-300SB-DF.

Any thoughts on the Monitor Audio Apex speakers over the M1s?


Don't know the MAs. I've always liked the M1s, came very close to buying them a good few years ago but settled on KEF 3005 Eggs. What will you be driving them with?


Might be getting a little long in the tooth but certainly a very capable receiver. You will need an amp with 4K pass through in the future. Because you will be limited by the speakers you will now have to use then there is probably no need to look at the amp level that the Sony is. So many to choose from but that in the future and probably for another question on the forum.


Well-known Member
Front right wants to go as far right as it can, from your vid you have enough space to balance the fronts a bit better.

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