Suggestions for a very small scale home cinema

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Floating wall not really an option due to the angle on the screen wall.

But ceiling mounted rears and fronts in a cabinet might work.
Something like this?

 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Something like this?

Not exactly making the speakers invisible though!
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
The Atmos speakers would obviously have to be in-ceiling affairs, but the speaker grilles can generally be painted the same colour as the ceiling if required, so would blend in easily enough.
Bingo, she likes the in-ceiling plan. So that solves the rears, possibly the front L/R also. Just leaving the centre, sub and amp to be housed.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
So if I put front and rears like this, I'll then have just sub, amp, centre to go into the stand.

20220123_131617.jpg


Any recommendations on reasonably priced ceiling speakers?

Also is it a possible downside of using ceiling mounted, that it makes changing down the line difficult? Or are they all a similar set size?
 
Have you thought about a 'basic' Sonos system?

In the lounge we have one of the beams under the tele and then a Sonos sub and 2 x play 1's as rears. It sounds very good indeed and extremely discrete!! Its not cheap for the money but you're paying for the looks and ease of installation I guess. No separate amps and wires etc running everywhere.

I'll be pretty blunt...Don't waste your time going for a couple of in-ceiling speakers if thats ultimately the only thing you can have...just admit your cinema dreams aren't coming true at the moment!!

You'd be wasting your time really installing some in-ceiling speakers as you'd probably get a slight boost in sound, albeit all coming from the wrong place. You've then gonna run cables and accommodate an amp its just not worth it!!

Reports that the new Sky glass has a good built in speaker system so maybe just consider one of those for a very simple and fairly cheap 'install'
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Bingo, she likes the in-ceiling plan. So that solves the rears, possibly the front L/R also. Just leaving the centre, sub and amp to be housed.

Erm. When I recommended in ceiling speakers, that was for Atmos, not as your main LCR and surrounds! Sorry for the confusion. But as @Arcam_boy has said, ceiling speakers alone won’t really get you what you want.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
😭
I wasn't kidding when I said I was a dummy on this.

I have no idea what Atmos or LCR mean.

If ceilings won't do the trick, then I'm left with hiding speakers behind the sofa or around the back of the TV and I suspect that won't be much of a solution either.
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
😭
I wasn't kidding when I said I was a dummy on this.

I have no idea what Atmos or LCR mean.

If ceilings won't do the trick, then I'm left with hiding speakers behind the sofa or around the back of the TV and I suspect that won't be much of a solution either.

Ooops! Sorry!

Dolby Atmos is a 3D sound 'system' that does more than just plain vanilla 5.1 (5 speakers surrounding you at ear level, and the .1 being a subwoofer to handle the low frequencies).

Atmos will add .2, .4, or sometimes .6 (in the home environment) overhead speakers. So a 5.1 system would become, say, a 5.1.2 system - indicating the 5 ear level (or base level) speakers, the 1 subwoofer, and now an additional .2 overhead speakers.

So within people's setups, often in their signature block, you'll see people with 5.1.2, up to 9.4.6 - showing how many base level speakers, subwoofers, and overhead speaker they have in their systems. (More is 'generally' seen as better ;))!

For yourself, I still think a discreet 5.1.2, or 5.1.4 system is achievable - you just need to work on your better half a little by finding examples of what others have done to hide their setups.

I think the best option for your front Left, Centre, and Right (LCR) speakers, would be to hide them in a cabinet fronted with speaker grille (or similar) material. You could most likely hide the Audio Visual Receiver (AVR) in there too - the box that would power all of this.

For the back of the room, behind the sofa, a couple of small speakers on a bookshelf wouldn't be noticed, and it would give you somewhere to store your Blu-Ray collection currently sitting in front of your TV.

The subwoofer depending on size, could sit underneath a coffee table placed at the foot of the sofa.

In short, it would be possible to actually have a system in there, and have a 'cleaner' look to the room that should have the right WAF (Wife Approval Factor)! :smashin:
 
Could you not build a very shallow 'fake' cabinet below where the TV will sit and mount some in wall speakers in to this below the TV and have the TV flush mount on the wall?

Stick a couple of B&W M1's or similar at the rear and that'd at least give you a bit of a decent system.

I'm not saying it to be an arse but you really will be wasting your time and money mounting speakers behind TV's / Sofas etc. If you can't install how they sort of should be then I wouldn't bother mate.

My only other suggestion would be buy a set of decent headphones and use them if you want to watch a film with decent sound!!

I'd personally look at the Sonos Beam route...surely even the most demanding partner wouldn't be too concerned over such an object mounted below the TV!!??
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'hiding speakers behind the sofa or around the back of the TV' - you do know how a loudspeaker works :) If you can't 'see' the speaker you are not hearing it properly.

As someone suggested earlier a Soundbar is an option to consider - either an 'all in one' or a Bar + Sub or a Bar + Sub + Wired or Wireless Surrounds, the Bar can include up-firing drivers to deliver some form of Immersive (Atmos) audio.

If you prefer to go with 'conventional' loudspakers plus an AVR our 'go to' solution for small loudspakers you can integrate into a 'cinema' system without taking over the room are the Gallo Acoustics Micro (or Micros SE) + a Sub which can be Stand, Tabletop, Wall or Ceiling mounted.

The Micro are available in a range of colours - Gallo Acoustics - The Media Factory

Joe
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
This is one of my favourite discreet installations - I know it’s a much bigger room, but some of the ideas would translate across pretty well.


If your budget doesn’t stretch to new speakers, I‘d suggest looking at Kef Eggs on eBay. The 2000 series were well regarded back in the day, and speaker technology doesn’t really change that much over the years. The 1000 series speakers are smaller still, they‘re about the size of a ladies hand - so tiny! The advantage of the 2000 series though, aside from being a little bigger, is that they usually have built in wall/ceiling mounts, so fixing them to walls is pretty easy. They are cheap 2nd hand too!

3E116734-2336-4F70-8E0C-ECDA818BF139.jpeg

^^^ 1000 series
429E8176-D0CB-4DC9-A479-0B4BAE7E36A6.jpeg

^^^ 2000 series

But I still think you could quite easily hide everything in cabinets and bookcases.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Thanks all, and don't worry about coming across like an arse or anything. I appreciate the honest feedback.

I'll float the idea of pulling the sofa out a foot and having either floor standing speakers, or a shelf. I doubt that either option will pass though. She likes minimalist, and it's not a very big room so shelves, bookcases etc aren't possible.

Looks like a soundbar is probably going to be my only solution.

Or a hitman...
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
This is one of my favourite discreet installations - I know it’s a much bigger room, but some of the ideas would translate across pretty well.


If your budget doesn’t stretch to new speakers, I‘d suggest looking at Kef Eggs on eBay. The 2000 series were well regarded back in the day, and speaker technology doesn’t really change that much over the years. The 1000 series speakers are smaller still, they‘re about the size of a ladies hand - so tiny! The advantage of the 2000 series though, aside from being a little bigger, is that they usually have built in wall/ceiling mounts, so fixing them to walls is pretty easy. They are cheap 2nd hand too!

View attachment 1642269
^^^ 1000 series
View attachment 1642270
^^^ 2000 series

But I still think you could quite easily hide everything in cabinets and bookcases.
I like the look of these eggs, small and subtle. Again though I think they'd inky be able to go in the corner if they were a bit concealed, like so:
20220124_131446.jpg
20220124_131441.jpg


And that as a few have said would be defeating the purpose.

Couldn't those (or any smallish rear) be mounted on a height adjustable stand and dropped out of sight when not in use?
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Fronts shouldn't be an issue. There is a TV unit there now, I don't see any problem putting in a different one that can house amp, receiver, sub, speakers etc all on shelves.

It's rears or anything wall mounted that fail the WAF test.
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
TBH, I’d just go ahead and fit them. Then ask for forgiveness - far easier than asking for permission! ;)
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
TBH, I’d just go ahead and fit them. Then ask for forgiveness - far easier than asking for permission! ;)
I might...

As I say if I picked up those eggs for £60ish and placed them as discreetly as possible then I could always move or adjust later.

Back with my idiot hat on again...

1 - what do I need to go along with those eggs? They connect to a receiver and the BR player, TV, xbox etc connect to that too?
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
The speakers connect to an AVR (receiver/amplifier).

All sources that you might want to use the speakers for connect to the AVR (usually via HDMI). There is then just one connection to your TV from the AVR (again, HDMI). So that would be blu-Ray player, Xbox, PlayStation etc.

The AVR passes the Video to the TV, and processes and amplifies the sound, feeding the speakers.

Atmos has been around for a few years now, so it should be possible to pick up a 2nd hand Atmos capable receiver, either here, or other well known selling sites.

HTH
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Thanks again. So my understanding/assumptions below, please correct as required...

* The AVR is an independent item, doesn't need to be Kef. The Kef eggs and the various sources all connect to the AVR and then that connects to the TV.

* Then no changing of sources on the TV, that is done via the AVR.

* Do I need an AVR that is 4k compatible? Since I'll be feeding it UHD Sky, xBox One/S and or UHD player.

* The AVR will have connections for all manner of speakers, L, C, R, rears, Atmos. Just connect as many as I need/want?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
AVR - if you are buying the latest and greatest you need to ensure it covers you for every feature you may require, 4K UHD, HDR, eARC, VRR, Atmos... etc if those Features are applicable to you.

If you are working to a tight budget you could pick up a real bargain second hand which caters for up to 5.1 Dolby/DTS via Optical and potentially connect your Source devices to the TV then connect the TV Optical Output to the AVR.

Which TV do you have?

Joe
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Thanks again. So my understanding/assumptions below, please correct as required...

* The AVR is an independent item, doesn't need to be Kef. The Kef eggs and the various sources all connect to the AVR and then that connects to the TV.

Yes. The more common consumer brands are Denon, Marantz, Yamaha & Sony - but there are others. Generally, they are black boxes - just over 43cm wide, 15-20cm high and a foot deep - give or take. A budget Atmos capable AVR would cost around £650 new - but bargains can be had 2nd hand.

* Then no changing of sources on the TV, that is done via the AVR.

Correct.

* Do I need an AVR that is 4k compatible? Since I'll be feeding it UHD Sky, xBox One/S and or UHD player.

Yes.

* The AVR will have connections for all manner of speakers, L, C, R, rears, Atmos. Just connect as many as I need/want?

Basically. The lower tier will only support 5.1/7.1 - so no Atmos (overhead speakers). The next step up would support 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 - and the upper end would support 7.1.2 - 9.2.4. Personally, I'd try to find something that supports Atmos in some form, even if you don't fit ceiling speakers right away, at least you'll have the ability to add to the room without changing gear again.

Some AVRs will support, say, 5.1.4, but be unable to provide amplification for all channels, (they can process 9 channels, but only have 7 channels of amplification needed to drive the speakers), so would require another amplifier to provide the 'oomph' to the ones not covered - this adds expense and complexity I think you can do without, and would mean yet another black box to hide!

Your room is reasonably compact, so, IMO, you'd be fine with pretty much anything that supports 5.1.2 - I can't think off-hand of any Atmos capable AVR that can't at least do that. Budget somewhere around £400-£500 for a 2nd hand AVR that can do 5.1.2 - and head North, the more channels it can process.

Don't forget, you need a subwoofer to play the low frequencies - most Kef sets come with one, which would get you on your way, but they are pretty basic affairs. These connect to the AVR by an RCA cable, (line level signal), as subwoofers tend to have their own amplifier built in.

HTH
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Yes. The more common consumer brands are Denon, Marantz, Yamaha & Sony - but there are others. Generally, they are black boxes - just over 43cm wide, 15-20cm high and a foot deep - give or take. A budget Atmos capable AVR would cost around £650 new - but bargains can be had 2nd hand.



Correct.



Yes.



Basically. The lower tier will only support 5.1/7.1 - so no Atmos (overhead speakers). The next step up would support 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 - and the upper end would support 7.1.2 - 9.2.4. Personally, I'd try to find something that supports Atmos in some form, even if you don't fit ceiling speakers right away, at least you'll have the ability to add to the room without changing gear again.

Some AVRs will support, say, 5.1.4, but be unable to provide amplification for all channels, (they can process 9 channels, but only have 7 channels of amplification needed to drive the speakers), so would require another amplifier to provide the 'oomph' to the ones not covered - this adds expense and complexity I think you can do without, and would mean yet another black box to hide!

Your room is reasonably compact, so, IMO, you'd be fine with pretty much anything that supports 5.1.2 - I can't think off-hand of any Atmos capable AVR that can't at least do that. Budget somewhere around £400-£500 for a 2nd hand AVR that can do 5.1.2 - and head North, the more channels it can process.

Don't forget, you need a subwoofer to play the low frequencies - most Kef sets come with one, which would get you on your way, but they are pretty basic affairs. These connect to the AVR by an RCA cable, (line level signal), as subwoofers tend to have their own amplifier built in.

HTH
Thanks for the detailed and idiot proof breakdown!

My plan (currently but ever changing) is to pick up a cheap set of Kef eggs and sub fairly soon (around £100) then a half decent AVR capable of 5.1.2 as suggested by @The Dreamer (maybe another £500)

So for somewhere around £600 I should have a pretty basic starter system. I'll see how that goes, and if all is well I might add a set of Atmos in the ceiling, presumably another £150ish?

Once all that is sorted then I may look at a new TV, something around 75-80" to give it a proper cinema feel.

So:
5.1 - £100 - now
AVR - £500 - maybe summer
Atmos - £150 - Christmas
Automated blackout blind - £250 - Christmas

So with a bit of luck, saving and bargain hunting I should have a basic starter by the summer, and proper up and running by Christmas for a total of around a grand.

As for the TV, that's a tough one. My budget would only be around £1,500 but I know that's pretty low end for that size range. Will have to wait and see.

As for the WAF, as you say easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I'll make the rears as discreet as possible and if there is an uprising I'll just put them on stands and drop them out of sight when not in use.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Sound - the Front LR (Left/Right) or LCR (Left/Centre/Right) channels carry 90% of the audio in any movie or TV Show, surround and immersive channels are ‘nice to have’ but not much use if you can’t follow the main dialogue.

AVR - don’t get hung up on having to have the very latest features, again nice to have but not a ‘must have’.

Less is more - keep your system simple when you are working to a tight budget.

TV - whats that model number :)

Joe
 
These are great rear speakers...you might be able to pick up a second hand set for half that price. My friend runs a set in a mid range system and they sound very good indeed and sit nice and flat on the rear wall.

 

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