5.1 setup. Very small room. Questions on speaker placement

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by LenXIII, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. LenXIII

    LenXIII AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am trying to setup a 5.1 system in a very small odd shaped living room. I'll give the details below but from everything I've read on TV and speaker placement alot of the information indicates eye/ear level placement. This room just doesn't easily allow that. So I guess my main question is can I have my four surrounds placed near the ceiling but angeled down? Wouldn't that essentially be the same as ear height as they are being directed at the same location? Read below for the specifics and please chime in with any suggestions.

    Room is only about 8.5 feet deep wall to wall .That means the TV is wall mounted and the powered reclining couch is directly across from the tv. Sitting distance is literally only 6.5 feet from the 55" tv. The usable width of the room is about 12' wide with an opening in the wall.

    The speakers I have are Martin Logan motion 4's for the FR and FL and a motion 8 for center .I have a couple rear surround choices from some b&w bookshelf's to an oldder pair of curved Klipsch. The rears are the hardest to place because the couch is against the wall and the only way I can think to mount the rears is using some wall mount brackets. There is really no usable left or right side walls. So...will mounting all 4 speakers towards the ceiling and aim them down at seating area be good or should I try to mount them lower on the wall? How far apart left to right would be ideal? The tv is not center on the wall which makes it even more difficult...if I was to keep things cemtrical then usable wall width is about 4 feet to the left and right of the tv edges. Center channel is currently mounted directly below tv.

    I know things like this had been asked before but I always see people using speaker stands or something. My only option due to space is wall mounting. Thanks in advance .
     

     

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  2. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    I would mount the front speakers so that the tweeters are at ear height when seated. Mounting the surround speakers up high is something frequently done.
     
  3. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Not unusual to have problems placing that many speakers in the perfect spots. Put the surrounds where you can, and adjust output levels using the receiver if it has that capability. In a perfect world, front and center speakers would be ear level, but having them all at the same height is a good start for a decent sound field.

    You didn't mention how far off the center speaker is from the middle of the front wall. Maybe remounting it to one side of the screen would help?

    PS ... I also have a smallish room similar to yours and went with a 46" screen, which is perfect for me. I figured one as large as yours would give me whiplash ... <G>
     
  4. Hipocrates

    Hipocrates Anti-Muppet Subscriber

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    Those speakers are good, they will perform well wall mounted, good quality small sub... and you are good to go :thumbsup:
     
  5. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station.... Subscriber

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    Your brain will make it work fine if they are aimed at the listening position and the distances and levels are set correctly. I've had the LCR speakers above the TV before and you quickly learn to ignore where they are at...even if you didn't think it was possible after the first few minutes of testing.
     
  6. LenXIII

    LenXIII AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks guys for the replies. My brackets for the rear surrounds just came in so I will start mounting them tomorrow. To answer one of the questions my center speaker is mounted directly below the tv fairly flush to the wall using the stock martin logan wall brackets they came with.

    I might be able to install the front left and front right at roughly ear level using some wall brackets but it will be very tight because of the wall layout. I guess I was just curious as to the reason they needed to be at ear lvl? I could probably get my answer by doing more research but in my head it doesn't seem to make much sense. I mean if they are ear lvl 7 feet away or if they are mounted at the ceiling but tilted so that the center of the sound stage still hits ear level the only difference is they are maybe 10-11 feet away instead....unless I'm not looking at this correctly? I mean sure mounting them towards the ceiling gives a smaller window of error when moving around but from a static seated position I felt like it would be very similar. Again I have never researched this subject and probably have a terrible understanding on how the sound stage is produced.

    I'll see if I can get them mounted at ear lvl but if not I'll keep you guys updated on how I feel about it afterwards.
     

     

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  7. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    The reason you want the front speakers at ear level is because that's the height the tweeters sound their best. It's called listening on axis.
     
  8. imral3

    imral3 Super Member

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    It's also ideal to have the front left/center/right speakers at the same level (or as close as possible) for when a sound pans from one side to the other, giving it consistency. However, most of the sound for a movie comes from the center channel. All posters have given good advice, you should be enjoying immersive surround soon!
     
  9. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    If people would place their rear and side speakers up high they wouldN'T need Atmos. The front three speakers should be identical with the mids and tweeters at ear height, HARD TO DO WITH A FLAT SCREEN.
     
  10. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Perhaps you were joking as this simply is not true.

    The Atmos height (ceiling) channels are there for sounds that are supposed to be above the listener, and the ear-level channels are for sounds coming ahead, behind, and to the sides.

    Together they create a 3D envelope around the listeners where sounds come from all directions.

    Sure you could mount your rear and side surrounds on the ceiling, but that wouldn't make any sense with an Atmos or DTS-X soundtrack.
     
  11. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    Well I wonder when they are going to make us add floor speakers and floor sub woofers? How about placing a speaker under each cheek to vibrate our bodies in stereo. What they ought to do is place a USB connector in our necks that supplies information directly to our brains so we wouldn't need at this equipment.

    I have forgotten who made some screw devices about the size of a JBL HF driver . You attached one or more to floor joists to shake the room below 100 HZ or so and drove them with your audio amp second zone output. I wasn't impressed, some guys just loved them back in the 70's or early 80's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

     

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  12. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I see where you are coming from, some of the added-on HT channels over the years were definitely superfluous. But the height channels in Atmos really do take HT to another level.

    But not to take anything away from the system the OP is putting together. A properly calibrated 5.1 system as the OP intends, with the rear surrounds mounted up on the wall, will sound amazing as well.

    Funny you should think this up, such devices have existed for quite some time! For example:

    https://thebuttkicker.com/custom-home-theater/
     
  13. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yet another advantage to tall planar line sources. You're always at tweeter height. :)
     

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