Best speaker placement and setup for high-ceilinged room?

G

gchucky

Enthusiast
#1
I've got a room that's about 25' x 15', with ceilings about 15' high (pictures are below). There's a bit of an overhang on three sides of the room that has AC power available. I'd like to wire the room primarily for music; I don't really plan on putting any video in the room (though you never know).

The previous owner told me that he always had a hard time getting his music to sound good in the room, so I'm turning to you folks for advice. Where would you put speakers, what kind, and in what quantity? Budget is still up in the air, so (almost) anything is on the table.

Thanks!


 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
874 8 1
#2
You need to start with furniture, area rugs and your actual seating location(s) and orientation.

I don't see any good placement for a TV. Of course the most common thing to do in that kind of room is orient seating to the fireplace, then plop a screen above the mantle. Ugh. It works but is awkward with the screen high, little place for a center speaker, great distances for rears and surrounds.

Consider that the ceiling isn't the biggest problem if you ever wanted cinema.

For 2.1 channel music you could do well with some tasteful looking, good sounding floorstanders on either side of the fireplace and a sub (if needed) placed somewhere strategic. You would still want some window treatments, something to cover the hard bare floor and seating at the right distance. If you get the right room treatments the vast majority of the sound you hear would be direct from the speakers, little to no reflected sound. Not taking such steps may be the source of the previous owner's comment.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
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5,843 22 38
#3
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
250 1
#4
gchucky,

Beautiful room. However, I need a bit of clarification on what you mean by "primarily for music"?

A) If you mean for critical listening from a very capable/expensive stereo or more system, I would strongly advise finding a less challenging room (less reflective floors, fewer/smaller windows, less odd angles/openings, etc.)

B) If you mean suitable for background music, parties, casual listening, etc. then I would advise exploring if you can access/mount a few (2-4) in-wall, dual-voice coil, speakers along the high wall shown on the left of the first/top photo (i.e. photo with fireplace and the wall where the visible hvac outlets are),as well as planning on a sub to fill in the bottom octave a bit. The in-wall speakers will also need to have aim-able tweeters.

If option B interests you, respond and I/others will provide more details. I have a room not quite as difficult as yours and was able to implement a 4.1 system which produced decent results.

Cheers,
XEagleDriver
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
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#5
IMO, a tall, long room is better for sound. Agree with KenM that treatments will be very important for that room, as will placement. Also agree that it will not be an ideal room for critical listening, but I'm sure good results can be achieved.

My ceiling is taller than that and I have no problems getting good sound.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,030 23 6
#6
IMO, biggest thing for your room will be Thick Shag Rugs for floor. If that still doesn't do it, add thick curtains/drapes for windows.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
 
herbu

herbu

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,395 10 35
#7
You need to start with... your actual seating location(s) and orientation.
Right. You can't determine speaker location until you know your seating position. The speakers will ideally be equidistant from your seat, although some fine tuning can be done with Audyssey or YPAO.


Notice in each of these suggestions the Left & Right speaker positions are the same. The subwoofer position is flexible... even more so if you get 2 subwoofers. And you can vary the Left/Right speaker angle. But you can't do any of it until you decide where you want to sit.

Obviously if you want to sit in front of the fireplace, your speakers should flank it. If you start with good speakers you'll know any shortcomings are due to room treatments, not your equipment. And you can go as far as you want with the treatments. But these guys are right... you WILL need something in that room to mitigate acoustic reflections.
 
G

gchucky

Enthusiast
#8
Thanks for the responses; sorry I didn't get a chance to respond until now.

Here is a poorly made image of what we're thinking as a layout for furniture:



gchucky,
B) If you mean suitable for background music, parties, casual listening, etc. then I would advise exploring if you can access/mount a few (2-4) in-wall, dual-voice coil, speakers along the high wall shown on the left of the first/top photo (i.e. photo with fireplace and the wall where the visible hvac outlets are),as well as planning on a sub to fill in the bottom octave a bit. The in-wall speakers will also need to have aim-able tweeters.
Thanks for chiming in - yeah, I'm definitely aiming towards option B. I realize that this sort of room isn't going to do well for critical listening. I've never been in the attic behind that wall; I believe there are a bunch of ducts running through there, but I'm not sure what it'll take to cut into there. Is there some reason to mount in-wall versus some kind of on-wall or other speaker?

For 2.1 channel music you could do well with some tasteful looking, good sounding floorstanders on either side of the fireplace and a sub (if needed) placed somewhere strategic. You would still want some window treatments, something to cover the hard bare floor and seating at the right distance. If you get the right room treatments the vast majority of the sound you hear would be direct from the speakers, little to no reflected sound. Not taking such steps may be the source of the previous owner's comment.
He actually had a 2.1 setup in there in basically that configuration, but I think he was lacking in the acoustic treatments. The advice around the treatments sees really good; I'll look into that more.
 
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
250 1
#9
Thanks for chiming in - yeah, I'm definitely aiming towards option B. I realize that this sort of room isn't going to do well for critical listening. I've never been in the attic behind that wall; I believe there are a bunch of ducts running through there, but I'm not sure what it'll take to cut into there. Is there some reason to mount in-wall versus some kind of on-wall or other speaker?
Gchucky,
On-wall, in-wall, or floor-stander/bookshelf on a stand is your choice; similar sized on-walls are better than in-walls in many cases, but also tend to be more expensive. I am not aware of on-walls which provide aim-able tweeters (have not really looked),many in-walls have that feature; if mounted high above as described this would be an important feature to have for either on-wall or in-wall.
The 2.1 channel placed along the fireplace wall in the diagram is a solid option, and would provide adequate sound to both the living room and dining room areas of the room. The couch center would be the money seat, but background music should be good in the entire space.
Cheers,
XEagleDriver
 
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