Matching speakers to a small room - style speakers?


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Aug 10, 2019
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Sorry for the long post.

We have a small living room which is being renovated. At the same time, we're going to update all our 10yr+ AV kit. We've started the journey with a Sony RDR-HXD1065S Recorder and replacing the old cathode ray tube with a Samsung LE37M87, which should arrive soon. A recent purchase was a PS3 which will prompt the start of a blu-ray movie collection. The old Yamaha surround sound amp will be going too, probably replacing with a Sony STR-DA5200ES, simply because they're now offered as a set, so should work well together. But - open to ideas.

The house is a 1930's semi, with the usual configuration of bay window and a chinmey *** in the front room. The options for siting the TV are on the chimney ***, or in the window. Ambient light problems I can fix, what I need advice on is the sound set-up. The room is very small at 3.4m wide by 3.6m long, or 4.6m including the bay. Whichever way we set up, we can't get away from the fact that the rear speakers will be no further back than the sitting position, as both speakers and sofa will sit on the same wall. This is unavoidable, and I've not yet seen any material that covers this real-world scenario with adequate advice. So any help is welcome.

The current Mission rear speakers are dire in this configuration. They're too big, and are simply projecting their sound back at the TV, the listener's head is behind the speaker boxes. I suspect smaller speakers might help and so we're looking at style packages. I can subscribe to the view that style speaker packages might compromise on overall performance, but surely this is on comparison under certain conditions. I suspect that the style packages might work better in a smaller room?

The Bose Acoustimass 15 is on the list. I know that people see Bose as the tourist option, but I've heard them in lots of different houses / shops / bars and I like them. Also the ability to angle the speakers independently is intriguing - could this help with the speakers-in-line-with-your-head problem?
I haven't really got into trialling speakers yet and could do with some pointers - Need to be small, good for movies in a small room and overall we like to get good mid-range in our listening (which puts me off those new Sony DAV-IS10).

I plan to play with configuration of the room by experimenting, but if anyone has any guidance I'd welcome it.
If the TV is in the bay, the speaker positions are obvious. But, if the TV is on the chimney, from a listening perspective, the room is wider than it is deep, would speakers as far apart as possible be best, or closer to the TV? I need to stick with the outcome of limited experimenting as the cable runs will be fixed under the floor. I didn't mention - the room is being completely gutted and re-done, including a new floor. Also, the room is going to be re-wired at some point.

And finally.....
I read much about replacement mains cables, which I'm not too sold on. Perhaps because the ring main under the floor will represent over 90% of the feed wiring in any house. My last question is, is there any benefit in up-speccing the twin-and-earth cables under the floor when rewiring? Would a dedicated 4mm sq T+E Spur be an improvement over the usual 2.5mm sq ring main?


I too was recently after a style speaker package & tried many out; Bose, Anthony Gallo, B&W MT20 etc but ultimately decided on the Monitor Audio R90 AV-12 package which gave me everything I wanted - small speakers, decent centre & sub.

I made the move from floor standers all round & massive centre; the new system had to be girlfriend friendly and I have to say I am blown away with the quality of these speakers. Get out & listen to as many as you can - I found when I did comparisons with the Bose that there always seemed to be something missing from the 'tourist option'...which was the midrange you mention you enjoy.

I did research Bose a hell of a lot, as it was initially the brand I wanted as it is seen as the ultimate in lifestyle systems, but found the following quite an enlightening read (I know this is just a web opinion, but have a read)


I went and heard Bose lifestyle 35, all set up perfectly in their showroom at their outlet in Ashford outlet centre. Now, it was good. Im not challenging that. The revelation came when I paid a visit to soundcraft just down the road in Ashford. The salesman there took me up to one of their two listening rooms. The difference between the Bose and the Arcam FMJ/ B+W 800 series speakers, was awesome. I understand there is a dramatic price difference here. Having set up my system now, and only spend a pittance, I can safely say my system sounds better than the Bose system.


The speaker problem is one I'm facing too - any ideas as to whether it matters building in the fronts and middle and then using smaller style at the back. I'm building a new extension and was considering B&W CWM 6260 Front and centre built in to the TV cabinet and then using B&W M1 Rear speakers. Only problem is that it seems impossible to actually test this set up out!!


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