Help Needed: Struggling with speaker placement options

gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
We're building a new place and I have the chance to build a home theater, but I'm struggling with whether it's feasible given the current constraints. I'm completely new to this and would love some help.


The room is roughly ~13x20x8 and while it's plenty big, the layout makes things a bit challenging. My wife has been pretty adamant that the couch must sit opposite the door as she wants to maximize space (the kids will use it as a play room when the screen is not down). I tried to push to have the couch sit near the door and the screen on the opposite wall, but I'm not winning that debate.

This leads to a few challenges that I'm struggling with. I've included an image with rough placement (but definitely not exact), and I'm trying to follow the Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 guide.

Questions:
  1. Can I place the L/R speakers higher up (closer to the ceiling) and point them towards the MLP?
    1. Currently there are two doors in the way. The entryway door and closet door. If I could put them above the doors (which will be 7' tall), then I have more flex on horizontal placement
  2. Can you "point" in-wall speakers? I was hoping to have everything hidden in the walls, but unclear if that's doable in this case
  3. With the couch resting against the resting the back wall, I have limited options to "angle" the back L/R surround speakers. Any suggestions on what to do here?
    1. Also, I recognize there is a window where I placed the L surround. I'm hoping we can slide the window over slightly. If not, that adds another wrinkle here :(


home_theater.jpeg
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
My wife

Can you "point" in-wall speakers?
1) SMH
2) Yes there are In-Walls with Pivoting and Aimable Drivers

 
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gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
1) SMH
2) Yes there are In-Walls with Pivoting and Aimable Drivers

1) I know :(
2) Thanks for the link, super helpful. For the front speakers, I think this solves the problem of them potentially being too high. For the rears, how would you suggest placing them since they will be so close to the couch?
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
2) Thanks for the link, super helpful. For the front speakers, I think this solves the problem of them potentially being too high.
Ideally, the tweeters of the front speakers should be level with your ears when you are sat in your viewing position.
 
J

JStewart

Audioholic Intern
What if the sofas were turned 90deg and The acoustically transparent screen was on the wall with in wall speakers behind?
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
What if the sofas were turned 90deg and The acoustically transparent screen was on the wall with in wall speakers behind?
Quote from OP
"My wife has been pretty adamant that the couch must sit opposite the door as she wants to maximize space (the kids will use it as a play room when the screen is not down). I tried to push to have the couch sit near the door and the screen on the opposite wall, but I'm not winning that debate."

I would have tried to push from the couch to be on the opposite wall from the door. Still giving the Kids plenty of room to play. Plus that whole corner of the room by windows opens up.
 
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J

JStewart

Audioholic Intern
Ah well. Thought you might get away with same spot just turned.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I was adamant that I get the speakers I want and set them up as optimally as possible. I make concessions elsewhere. It's not always my way or the highway, but my wife understands that I take my audio seriously and we're talking about a shared space, so...

This is too expensive a hobby to hamstring performance before even buying the gear.
 
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gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
Thanks for all the great responses....couple of things:
  • The plan is to have a retractable screen (and retractable projector mount if there is enough space), so that when we aren't watching, it's a wide open room
  • I could put the couch against the 20' wall, but the space might be a bit tight. In this instance, I would probably have to do a fixed screen against the wall? The hope was to have a 100" or 120" screen, and if I recall correctly, I needed a 12' distance


Let's say I was able to flip the room, I think a couple of new challenges would present themselves:
  • The center speaker may not be at ear level. It would have to be below the window (or above), so it may only be a few feet away
  • For the rears, I would put them against the 20' walls (behind the couch), but point them at the MLP? Or would I put them against the back wall (where the door and closet are).
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
  • The center speaker may not be at ear level. It would have to be below the window (or above), so it may only be a few feet away
Center Channel should go Under the Screen. And Angled toward the LP
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Let's say I was able to flip the room, I think a couple of new challenges would present themselves:
  • The center speaker may not be at ear level. It would have to be below the window (or above), so it may only be a few feet away
  • For the rears, I would put them against the 20' walls (behind the couch), but point them at the MLP? Or would I put them against the back wall (where the door and closet are).
Now we're talking!

You can angle it up if under the screen and still be pretty effective. By "rears" do you mean surrounds? In a 5.1 setup the surround speakers would be more to the side than behind. Rear speakers come into play with a 7.1 bed layer.
 
gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
Yea, I meant the rears. I'm very new to all this, so thanks for being so patient with me.

I would love for all of the speakers to be in-wall so that they are somewhat hidden and so that my kids don't mess with them :) So for the surround rears, I'm assuming I would put them to the side, slightly behind the couch, but angled toward the MLP?

As for 5.1 vs 7.1, I suspect 5.1 would suffice. I would definitely want atmos, so I could do 5.1.2 or 5.1.4, but unclear if those additional speakers will provide that much benefit.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Yea, I meant the rears. I'm very new to all this, so thanks for being so patient with me.

I would love for all of the speakers to be in-wall so that they are somewhat hidden and so that my kids don't mess with them :) So for the surround rears, I'm assuming I would put them to the side, slightly behind the couch, but angled toward the MLP?

As for 5.1 vs 7.1, I suspect 5.1 would suffice. I would definitely want atmos, so I could do 5.1.2 or 5.1.4, but unclear if those additional speakers will provide that much benefit.
I think that's a solid plan for your room. I'd push for .4 atmos to get the best out of it, but 5.1 is plenty, imo. So in that case you'll want your surround speakers to be to the sides and not so much behind you, tho there's a little bit of wiggle room there. Mine are mounted up high and slightly behind me but angled down toward MLP. You have some options. In walls to the sides or slightly back with tweeters at ear height would work out well.

surround_diagram-1.gif
 
J

JStewart

Audioholic Intern
The hope was to have a 100" or 120" screen, and if I recall correctly, I needed a 12' distance
You can do it closer. Depends on the projector. There are even ultra short throw projectors you can sit on a table below the screen. Might not be a good idea with little ones though.

Projector central has a throw calculator. Pick the model you’re interested in and it will show you the min and max distance for the screen size you choose.
 
gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
I think that's a solid plan for your room. I'd push for .4 atmos to get the best out of it, but 5.1 is plenty, imo. So in that case you'll want your surround speakers to be to the sides and not so much behind you, tho there's a little bit of wiggle room there. Mine are mounted up high and slightly behind me but angled down toward MLP. You have some options. In walls to the sides or slightly back with tweeters at ear height would work out well.

View attachment 37984

This diagram from Dolby suggests they go behind (slightly). Directly to the side would be easier since these are in wall, but not exactly sure.

I also found this doc which seems exhaustive, but intimidating
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
This diagram from Dolby suggests they go behind (slightly). Directly to the side would be easier since these are in wall, but not exactly sure.
Is your Room Perfect? Is your Situation Perfect? Then don't try to be Perfect. Get it as close as you can with what you have to work with.

If this was a Sound Studio or Dedicated HT then you need to be Perfect.
 
gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
Agree that the room is far from perfect :)

What I'm asking is that if I swap the layout of the room, then I will have an opportunity to place the rear surround speakers slightly behind the couch (will probably have a few feet of flex), so it's unclear to me if I should do that or go directly to the side.

Again, I'm new to this all and trying to figure it out myself as opposed to hire someone, so apologies for all the questions.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
What I'm asking is that if I swap the layout of the room, then I will have an opportunity to place the rear surround speakers slightly behind the couch (will probably have a few feet of flex), so it's unclear to me if I should do that or go directly to the side.
Again in a Perfect World the Surrounds go to the Sides. BUT if that is not Possible because of the Room Layout then slightly Forward on the Side, or slightly to the Rear on the Side is OK
 
gmoniey

gmoniey

Enthusiast
Ok, Here's a updated layout. Not to scale but should give a rough sense of things.

Couple of additional questions:
  • We don't know if we'll go with a sectional couch or two rows of seats (home theater seating)...either way however, the seats would have to be offset against the right wall to make a walkway
  • I wasn't sure about angling the front L/R speaker given that the seating will be not be center of the room, but I would like the screen and the rest of the setup to be (especially since there will be a window there that I'll have to work around)

home_theater_2.png
 

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