Time for a upgrade (Speaker Ceiling placement)

kennydies

Active Member
Hi,

Probably been about 7 years since I have posted on the forum but it is about time for a worthwhile upgrade.

My old Pioneer receiver (VSX-D2011) does not even have HDMI it is that old.

I am probably going to get the Marantz SR6010 receiver. I was looking at the SR7010 but I don't need 9.2 (unless someone tells me another reason to get the SR7010)

My lounge is a funny layout, long and narrow. Due to the door and window positions I was very limited on where I could put the speakers.

I have attached a file giving a basic layout where the speakers are in yellow. My question is when I upgrade my amp and put 2 ceiling speakers in where would the best placement be?

Are there any reviews of ceiling speakers and are the any issue of having anything behind the speaker ie insulation?

Thanks in Advance.

Ross

Sofa.JPG
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I'd suggest you avoid ceiling speakers and see no real reason for their use within your room. You heavily compromise any setup by utilising ceiling speakers. Speakers ideally need to be at head height and forward radiating in order for you to both perceive location and get the detail the audio can portray. Your ears are on the sides of your head and not on its top. Auditory science dictates that audio ceases to be directional in nature if emanating from 30° above your horizontal plane.

.2.1 Psychoacoustical Cues in Sound Localization

Sound localization is a complex process where the brain use a range of cues to identify the spatial position of sounds sources [?]. In sound localization it is common to draw a distinction between localization in the horizontal and the vertical dimension. Localization in the horizontal plane, defined by the tip of the nose and the two ear canals, is largely based on interaural differences between the two ears [?]. This is sometimes referenced as binaural cues, or binaural hearing.

Horizontal Localization

Humans have two ears located in a fixed position on each side of the head. If a sound is presented from the side it will be shadowed by the listeners head in reaching the far ear. That will make the sound appear stronger in intensity on the side it originates from (see figure 2.1). The interaural differences of the two ears in sound pressure level will indicate which side the sound originates from and contribute in localization of the source.


18 CHAPTER2. THEORY

This method of localization holds true for sounds of high pitch of tone. For frequencies below 1000 Hz the sound wavelength will be larger than the head and the sound pressure level will no longer give sufficient cues to determine localization.

Lord Rayleigh, a British physicist, discovered that the difference in phases at the two ears had to account for localization of sound with low pitch [?]. If a sound is presented directly from the side it will reach the closest ear first and arrive at the far ear approximately one millisecond later [?]. The amount of phase differences will decrease as the angle from the front decrease and be zero when the sound is directly ahead of the listener. The brain detect this differences and use this to determine sound source position in the horizontal plane. The sensitivity of phase differences declined with increased frequencies and is not present above 1600 Hz [?].

Interaural differences in phases determine localization in the horizontal plane for low frequencies, while intensity differences determine localiza tion for high frequencies. This has been known as the duplex theory of sound localization [?].

Vertical Localization

With respect to sound localization in the vertical dimension interaural differences falls short. Vertical movement in the medial plane will not produce any interaural differences when the ears and heads are symmetrical. Still: humans are able to detect if a sound is coming from above or below. The main cues used in vertical localization of sound seems to be something called ”spectral shape cues” [?]. The shape of pinna, the external part of the ear, produce subtle changes in the spectrum of the sound based on the direction and distance it originates from [?]. When sound enter through the ear canal it is slightly altered by reflections, shadowing and resonance caused by the external ear. This cues appear as peaks and notches in the spectrum at certain frequencies that the sensory register manage to detect and interpret as localization cues2. This type of vertical localization seems to rely on broadband sound stimuli where frequencies above 4000 Hz is most important [?]. The effects of spectral shape cues on localization in the horizontal plane are much discussed, but it does seem to aid in reducing front/back confusion. Reflections from the shoulders and torso may also aid in sound localization in a similar matter, but the use of these cues seem to differ considerably between individuals [?].

2Vertical localization seems to be almost as accurate with one ear as with two. In auditory interface design it could be possible to utilize this aspect of spatial audio in applications that use headphones with a single earpiece. Handsfree Bluetooth sets that present notifications from above while the conversation is presented from the side, may be a possible application.
http://medialt.no/pub/gps/Follow the Sound Master Thesis by Joakim Bording.pdf

It is a lot harder to create a sereo soundstage using ceiling speakers than it is if using speakers in front of you at head height.

I'd also suggest your front stereo speaker placement far too wide. THeir distance apart should ideally be slighly less than the distance your are sat in front of the TV between them. The speakers would be better located on front of the wodows maybe on stands? Likewise, bring the rear speakers closer to the back wall sofa so that the left rear isn't in a corner.

You may fnd this helpful when it comes to speaker placement:
Speaker placement for home theater
 
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kennydies

Active Member
I would have placed the speakers in their ideal location but was very limited. In front of the windows are long radiators and there was the wife factor of no floor standers.

I had to chase the cables up the cavity and punch a hold through the wall have have wall mounted satellites.

So in essence I am going to have no huge benefit of upgrading to a new amp with atmos over my 10 year old THX amp....
 

kennydies

Active Member
sorry, I should have specified the ceiling speakers would have been for Atmos in a 5.1.2 setup...
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It would be acceptble and indeed preferable to use ceiling speakers for Atmos if the speakers in question are to be use for the Atmos audio as opposed to the regular 5.1 or 7.1 duties.

I'd suggest trying to mimic the following layout as best you can:




So the ceiling speakers would be slighly in front of the main sofa.
 

kennydies

Active Member
Thats excellent thanks. So when adding two speakers for a an atmos setup even though they wont be in line between the front and rears they can still be used. In my pain in the a** lounge they would just be slightly in front of the sofa and off to the side.

Off to look at ceiling speakers now and book a spa weekend to send the wife off to ;-)
 

quinnmar

Active Member
It would be acceptble and indeed preferable to use ceiling speakers for Atmos if the speakers in question are to be use for the Atmos audio as opposed to the regular 5.1 or 7.1 duties.

I'd suggest trying to mimic the following layout as best you can:




So the ceiling speakers would be slighly in front of the main sofa.
I can thoroughly recommend the DALI Phantom E60 in-ceiling speakers for your Atmos. I have installed mine in-line with the FL and RF speakers as detailed in Dante's drawing, though mine are directly above the sofa.

You can see one of my speakers in the upper left hand corner of the attached photo.

image.jpeg


Good luck!
 

mcspongy

Well-known Member
Thats excellent thanks. So when adding two speakers for a an atmos setup even though they wont be in line between the front and rears they can still be used. In my pain in the a** lounge they would just be slightly in front of the sofa and off to the side.
Are you saying you cannot position the Atmos speakers in line with the front speakers, or that the rear satellite speakers aren't in line with the fronts (they look like they are from your diagram)? Either way, the Dolby picture represents optimised positioning, and it will still work even if the Atmos speakers are not perfectly in line with the existing front & surrounds. For example I have a 5.1.4 set up with Atmos ceiling speakers, and the surrounds are sidewall-mounted so not even possible to line them up (unless I moved them to the rear wall which is not an option for missus!) and indeed the fronts are not lined up with the Atmos speakers either (but not far off). I guess it's not untypical when installing ceiling speakers that there is some compromise in positioning because of the position of joists etc, again my left Atmos speakers are slightly further from the sidewall than the rights, but if I really wanted to I could always shift the sofa over a few inches.

With ceiling speakers you don't want to position them too close to a wall (or two walls, ie a corner) but I don't think that's an issue in your room, so I think you'll be fine with above suggestion.

Not 100% sure from your comment:blush: but it sounds like you have wall-mounted rears. In which case you might need to lower them if they are currently much (say a foot or more) above (seated) ear-height to get the proper separation to the Atmos channels.

Good luck with whichever option you go for.
 

kennydies

Active Member
All speakers are wall mounted with the rears in line with the front at ear height when you are sat down.

I am going to install the ceiling speakers probably in the middle of the soundstage like in the below image. Ceiling speakers in red.

thanks for all the advice, been a while since I have bought new tech (apart from a media PC)
 

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