Unobtrusive Hi-Fi Suggestions?


Active Member
Due to getting grief off my g/f and not using my hi-fi system that much I am thinking of down-grading to something a little smaller that does not really take up so much space as I have a fairly small badly designed living room.

At the moment I have an Arcam Alpha 9 amp, Marantz CD6000 OSE LE, Sony minindisc MDS-JE520, and KEF Q35 floorstanding speakers (main problem regarding space, and a little unsightly according to other half).

My main problem is the shape of the living room as the speakers can only go on one wall either side of the chimney breast. This is a problem as one side of the chimney breast is made into quite a small alcove and when a speaker is placed in there it can sound very boomy with the bass. I got around this slightly with the KEF’s as they have a front firing bass port and I also put a bung in it. Previously I had some small B&W speakers mounted on awful wall brackets on the wall further back in the alcove. The bass sounded terrible and they looked terrible.

I guess putting smaller speakers on stands just takes up the same space as compact floor stands like my KEF’s. Maybe I should try a subwoofer and satellites, however I do not believe these are very good for HI-FI and are expensive, unless things have moved on since I last looked years ago!

I was planning on getting a DVD player that also sounds good with CD’s so I can house it underneath my television along with an amp, I may keep the Arcam but I may get something that looks better as if I am going to get poor speakers the Arcam will probably be overkill anyway! Are there any DVD recorders that are good with CD’s or do these not exist? As then I would be able to get rid of my video recorder too? I currently have a Denon DVD-1000 dvd player and this is very good with audio aswell as DVD’s so I may keep hold of this, although it is not the best of looking players!

So has anybody got any solutions for fairly unobtrusive speaker setups that give fairly decent sound or do they not exist in the world of HI-FI?

Appreciate any advice


These days you can look into NXT speakers. They are basically flat panels and lots of companies now use NXT technology in their speaker systems.

You can even buy NXT speakers as picture frames....

Alternatively, try taking her along with you when going listening. She will first look purely at style and pick some pretty/small things. Make sure she listens, and she'll soon appreciate that better sound means compromises. And there are plenty of nice compromises to be found. :)


One alternative would be to use wall inset speakers. I know Bose have a line and I'm sure there are better ones out there, too.

Stereo Steve

Novice Member
For audio gear, try Cyrus. They do some cracking DVD players that are great with CD's. Very neat as well. Lower down, the Teac Ref series is 'OK'. I have a ref 300 setup in the bedroom and it's fine for everyday listening.

As for speakers, you are going to have difficulty with that alcove. I temporarily shifted one of my floorstanders back into a corner a while back and it sounded truly dreadful. Boomy bass and a very muddy sound. Bringing it out again was a revelation. Not sure of on a solution. Ruark Epilogues are quite versatile little standmounts and may help you out as they are less fussy on placement.


Active Member
This all sounds like good advice, as I said I am not using the Hi-fi much now (although I do like it when I do use it!) and even have considered Bose accoustamass (or whatever they are called) the sub and sattellite carry-on. I understand that these will probably sound rubbish. So I may be better off looking at some very small conventional speakers as advised above :) Or there is also the flat panel thingy's as mentioned earlier too, again I believe these are a sub/sattellite thingy too! Maybe I should buy a bigger house and have a huge mortgage but keep/upgrade my hi-fi :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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