Now that I've got a projector for my room, a few friends have been telling me that I need to get a 5.1 sound set-up to get the most out of it. As it is just now, I'm really happy with my 2.1 set-up - JBL XTi20 speakers, BK-XLS200DF Sub, and a Cyrus 7 amp. Back when I was thinking about buying a better sound system, I was trying to decide between 5.1 and 2.1 and ended up picking the latter, as it would sound better for music, most of my sources were stereo, and I didn't think my room was big enough to do justice to 5.1 (it's basically a 2.5m cube) Well, I didn't think my room was big enough for a projector set-up either, but I've got one now, so I'm thinking maybe 5.1 is an option after all. Now, I've had 5.1 in the past, but I've not really done it well - I had some £90 Creative speakers first, which were something like this: Hardly audiophile quality but the best I could afford at the time. Eventually, I sold them and upgraded to Logitech Z-680s: For £250 they were a good step up, but still tiny PC satellites that don't do justice to the source. They did do DD5.1, DTS, DPLII etc. though. When I got my Grado SR-80 headphones for listening at night, I ended up using them 90% of the time - the Z680s just couldn't compete quality-wise, so I ended up selling them and just sticking to headphones for some time, putting money away for a speaker upgrade. So I got a few great deals, saved about £300-£400 and spent £1200 or thereabouts on my current set-up, the JBLs, amp and sub: (old photo of my setup) (couldn't find the pic I had taken myself) Since getting my 2.1 set-up, I haven't missed surround at all. I have missed digital sound from my consoles though, as their analogue outputs are fairly crap, and I know the games could sound better. I see that I can get a Cyrus AV8 decoder for about £800 on offer now, but it feels like that money would be wasted considering there are some new "HD" audio formats out/coming out. I believe Cyrus is supposed to be bringing out a new decoder for them soon, but it'll no doubt cost at least £1200, and I'm not sure I just want to spend that (or £800) on just a decoder. I guess I'm just not entirely sold on the whole 5.1 thing - when you just get it, it's great, but it's just felt a bit "gimmicky" to me. Perhaps it's because the speakers I've had just didn't do it justice (not enough separation / clarity?) or maybe my room is too small for it, but I'm not sold on it yet. The way I see it, I've got a couple of options: buy a centre channel, a couple of rears and an AV amp, and integrate it with my current set-up - but this has a number of problems. Firstly, trying to get speakers to match up with my JBLs; they're quite unique at this price point (I believe) because they're rather refined for American speakers, yet they have a bit more kick than British ones tend to. I don't think they do the XTi20 range any more, so there's no chance of just getting the centre/rears that are made to match up. (and I'm sure the rears would be too large for my room - they would have to be quite small) I'd also have to have it so that the AV amp decodes everything, but sends the fronts to be handled by my Cyrus amp, so I can still have it hooked up for music. I'd then use the low-level input on my sub for LFE and high-level for music, but this would no doubt leave me with unmatched levels, and if the extra speakers didn't match up well, then it'd drive me mad. It'd probably cost a lot too, considering these are £600/pair speakers (iirc) that I'd have to match. So the other option would be to buy a 5.1 set-up in addition to my current speakers. Obviously I'm thinking about satellites rather than full-size speakers, as I just don't have the room for both. I've been looking around, and the new KEF "eggs" look pretty good. They're not tiny, but they're not huge either, and the black gloss would help "hide" them. (I'm thinking I'd fix them onto the black border of my screen when it goes up) Has anyone got any experience with the KHT3005 kit? http://www.kef.com/ht3000/index.htm They're about a grand, and as KEF don't allow them to be shipped, I'd have to find somewhere local that does them, and find a decent amp to pair up with them. (not looking to spend too much there - something that will do the speakers justice, but with the HD audio formats coming, I will probably upgrade eventually) This way, I don't have to worry about them matching up to my JBLs, as they'll be totally separate. (2.1 kit for anything that doesn't support surround, KEFs for 5.1) I do have another concern though - the kit has a subwoofer, and I'm happy with the one I've got. I doubt I've got room for two, unless I have the KEF out in the open. (the BK is under my desk) Now, obviously 5.1 needs a sub, but I've had my JBLs without the sub for the last week or so (been rearranging things, so I didn't have the sub hooked up) and it really helps "fill out" the sound nicely, so I don't think I could get rid of it and just have 2.0 along with 5.1. The KEF sub is supposed to be perfectly matched for the satellites, and while price doesn't necessarily reflect on quality, it's a £500 sub, whereas my BK-XLS200 DF is about £250. So, I could potentially replace the BK with it, but I doubt it has multiple inputs, so I'd be switching leads all the time, which is hardly ideal. (unless I can find some sort of switcher that doesn't affect quality noticeably) I'd love it if I could just replace the JBLs with the KEFs an sell off my current kit - not that I want rid of it, but it'd be a hell of a lot easier (and should pay for most of it) however I just can't see them coming close quality-wise at that price. So I guess I'm asking whether or not you think it would be worth it? Is my room too small to do 5.1 justice, or is it just that I've not had good enough speakers to get the proper effect? Should I just stick to my 2.1 set-up, or should I get rid and just go 5.1? Or should I buy another amp / decoder / DAC to get digital sound from my current equipment? (going by the prices of things these days, an AV amp would probably be the cheapest way of doing it, and then sending the decoded signal to my Cyrus to drive the speakers) While the KEFs probably won't sound as good, I'm not sure if it makes sense having them in addition to my stereo set-up, rather than replacing it - I don't spend much time just listening to music now - it sounds amazing, but I've not bought a new CD for quite some time now, and when I've got free time, I'm almost always watching a film/tv, or playing a game these days. For movies, I don't watch a lot of DVDs really - it's mostly whatever is on Freeview (Film4 has been a great addition) but while it's only stereo, that's heavily compressed audio, and I can't see it sounding any worse on the KEFs. Games are all 5.1 now, and due to the crap analogue outputs on consoles, will likely sound better on the KEFs too, as it'll be digital. I think my main concern is spending a lot of money, and potentially selling my stereo set-up, only to be stuck with something that doesn't sound as good, despite there being perhaps better positioning - there's no way I'll be able to get something sounding as good as this set-up for the price again. And that's not to mention the hassle of selling - I've never had much luck selling on the internet - I've lost about £200 after someone reversed the charges, and despite proof of delivery, Paypal sided with them. And I've "sold" my laptop here and only had £500 out of the £2200 it's worth so far. (I had worked out a deal where the guy could pay me off over time and get it once it was all paid for, but that stopped after a few weeks - he claims he still wants it, but it having financial issues right now) I should mention that I'm disabled, and it's not very easy to go around a number of hifi shops demoing speakers. Infact, other than to collect my current setup, all my purchases have been made online, and I've never demoed anything first. (I know that's a terrible thing to do, but that's just how things are) Seeing as the KEFs can only be bought instore, I'd have to get someone else to go and pick them up for me. If you get through all that (I didn't realise it was going to be so long) thanks for taking the time to read it, and I appreciate any suggestions / advice you can give me.