Surround speaker placement in awkward living room

MacReady

Well-known Member
We are about to decorate our living room and I am taking the opportunity to make a few changes with my AV set up, including replacing the current surround speakers.

The only problem is the room shape and size is far from ideal and no solution is going to be perfect as the sofa as to sit right up against the back wall and, because the room has a double door into it, it is not quite centra to the front speakers and TV.
At the moment I have Monitor Audio Bronze 1's at the rear for surround (along with some Dali Alteco C1's front and rear but all four are being mounted up at ceiling height as part of this work) and they are sat on stands at either side of the sofa. The one on the right (in the photo below) is closer to the best position on the sofa for being central to the TV and front soundstage. It has taken a bit of messing around with the settings after running Audyssey to get it sounding ok when watching a movie and not like the rear sound is just coming from a speaker next to me left ear.

The question is, do I stick with this setup and, as I originally intended, buy some Opticon 1's to replace the MA's and create a more consistant speaker set up....or, would I be better buying some on wall speakers, such as Oberon or even Opticon LCR's (overkill?) and placing them on the back wall as I have marked out in the photo below? It would still end up with one speaker pretty much directly behind the main listening position but would that be better than right at the side of it?

IMG_4140.jpeg

IMG_4141.jpeg
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You have upfiring Atmos speakers which rules out any of the base level speakers being any higher than just above a seated head height. You must ensure a good separation between the base level and the Atmos level, especially with upfiring speakers involved.

Door does make things awkward. If you listen with the doors closed then could you place a speaker to the other side of the door, the AV amp would compensate for the difference in distance with the other speaker set to the side of the sofa as well. Another option maybe MA FX speakers. The current Atmos upfiring speakers could be retasked as rear height for the Atmos domain.
 

MacReady

Well-known Member
You have upfiring Atmos speakers which rules out any of the base level speakers being any higher than just above a seated head height. You must ensure a good separation between the base level and the Atmos level, especially with upfiring speakers involved.

Door does make things awkward. If you listen with the doors closed then could you place a speaker to the other side of the door, the AV amp would compensate for the difference in distance with the other speaker set to the side of the sofa as well. Another option maybe MA FX speakers. The current Atmos upfiring speakers could be retasked as rear height for the Atmos domain.
Thanks for the reply.

All four of the Dali Alteco C1 Atmos speakers are going to be mounted up at ceiling level as part of the decorating of the room (they are switchable between up/down firing) as I am hoping that will improve the height channel separation having them high up rather than up firing.

Unfortunately I can't put one of the surround speakers behind the door that is open in the picture above as there is a cabinet just out of shot that opens pretty much to the door and any speaker would block that from opening (it's really not a great room and no solution is ideal).

That's why I was thinking of replacing the bookshelf rears with on wall slimline speakers in the places I marked in the image above....I think that would still give me enough distance between the Alteco's when they are mounted up high to enable the separation needed but I just wasn't sure if the wall mounted surrounds would sound too obvious due to how close they would be to the two listening positions on the sofa?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The moving of the C1 speakers would work and slimline speakers on the wall at the height indicated in your photograph would work as you will then have good separation from base to Atmos. It's a compromise but show me a living room that there isn't any kind of positional compromise going on, mine being no exception.

I wouldn't worry about timbre from the fronts and perhaps the KEF T Series would work for you as they have a very wide dispersion from the UniQ driver design.
 

MacReady

Well-known Member
The moving of the C1 speakers would work and slimline speakers on the wall at the height indicated in your photograph would work as you will then have good separation from base to Atmos. It's a compromise but show me a living room that there isn't any kind of positional compromise going on, mine being no exception.

I wouldn't worry about timbre from the fronts and perhaps the KEF T Series would work for you as they have a very wide dispersion from the UniQ driver design.
Thanks gibbsy.

I have to admit, another reason for going with the Dali's is the walnut finish....my other half is wanting to go for a darker look in the room (as it's very bland and white at the moment) so all the units are being replaced with dark wood ones and she wants to keep speakers with walnut finishes to compliment it all.
I have even been allowed to get some acoustic panels for the walls as they have walnut front panel designs on them:laugh:
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Oberon On-Wall in walnut is the obvious choice then. Can you push the couch forward to gain little bit extra distance to surround speakers and most likely your whole system would sound bit better as bass tend to build up near boundaries, so not the best place to sit against wall.

 

MacReady

Well-known Member
Oberon On-Wall in walnut is the obvious choice then. Can you push the couch forward to gain little bit extra distance to surround speakers and most likely your whole system would sound bit better as bass tend to build up near boundaries, so not the best place to sit against wall.

Unfortunately the sofa can't be moved any further forward and has to butt right up against the rear wall...if we moved it forward we would be able to rest our feet on the AVR and centre speaker :laugh:
 

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