New set up advice - Stereo vs 5.2 in a small room.

Stereo or Surround sound in small living room?

  • Stereo

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • Surround

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

jaypeeq

Active member
Nov 24, 2023
5
1
25
I'm looking for some thoughts here. I am setting up a small listening/TV room. After reading all the glowing reviews and being quite pleased with my KEF q150s in my business, I am ready to pull the trigger on the KEF LS50 Meta. My question is do I settle for watching movies in stereo and get the Arcam A5 or go with a surround receiver at a similar price like the Denon AVR-X2700H so I can make future upgrades to full surround?
 

barcpc

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
41
25
1,570
I went through a very similar process and what finally made the decision for me was "What do you use more? Hear Music or watch Movies?"

If it is watching movies, go for the Denon (great equipment) and you can add more speakers/subwoofer/center channel as you save more money. If that is the case try to go for a speaker series that will allow you to grow, like the Q Series of Kef or Monitor Audio Silver Series.
I think the KEF Ls50 Meta are designed for stereo, not to be part of a 5.2, etc. kind of set up.

My decision was to go for a Stereo system since I hear much more music than watching a movie with all the surround effects.
I did use my speakers to see some movies like Dune and it was awesome, but it is not surround or dolby sound.

My two cents,

Let's see what the rest thinks,
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
594
412
2,270
it really depends on you're media habbits and spouse approval. I moved away from AVR setups it just got much and I was forever "tweaking" and upgrading as the tech was moving so fast 10 years ago or so. In recent year it looks as though its stabilised.

Kef meta can used in a surround arrangement but you may struggle to source a single unit for the centre channel. So you may have to settle for a centre channel form another kef range, depends how OCD you are in regard to look.

I will say this Many struggle to truly fit 5 speakers in the room let alone 2 , it's very surprising what a proply set up set of 2 channel speakers can sound. The KEF's can sound very holographic if set up just so, but can be a challenge to achieve in a home environment, centre dialogue should be fantastic with the KEF's, again if set up right the sound should be seemingly floating in the centre and to from the speakers. Add a subwoofer for those effects and id say you wont missing much.

BUT when surround sound is setup right and given room to breath there is noting like it
 
Last edited:

Messiah

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2008
349
157
19,070
How small is small?

The way I currently look at it is a decent surround system will do stereo music well.

A decent stereo system cannot replicate what a true surround system can do.

My surround set up is in a small room - maybe 2.5m x 3m.
 
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jaypeeq

Active member
Nov 24, 2023
5
1
25
How small is small?

The way I currently look at it is a decent surround system will do stereo music well.

A decent stereo system cannot replicate what a true surround system can do.

My surround set up is in a small room - maybe 2.5m x 3m.
11ft x 9ft or 3.35m x 2.75m.
 
LS50s will need something more capable than a budget Denon AV receiver to sound good. If you want to use a receiver like this, stick to the Q Series which are an easier load for the amplifier. KEF’s UniQ arrays work very well for movies.

An equivalently priced two-channel amplifier will likely sound better than the 2700 for movies and music, but wont have certain features the AV receiver will. Even if it has an onboard DAC and accept inputs digitally (coax/optical or HDMI), it won’t have any bass management/room correction/audio delay etc. Some amplifiers with an eARC HDMI input might have some HDMI related features.

With the right amp and speakers, a two-channel hi-fi system for movies can sound surprisingly good, you’ll just lack the low end a subwoofer can offer you. To add one of these successfully, you’ll need the bass the management of an AV receiver. I’ve used various two-channel set ups for movies and music, most have worked very well - some amazingly well! (but not cheap…)
 

jaypeeq

Active member
Nov 24, 2023
5
1
25
Thanks all. I ended up getting the KEFs, matching stands, and a Cambridge AXR100. Sounds pretty great to my ears. Movies have great depth and I really notice that phantom center channel effect. When listening to bass heavy music, the KEFs seem to struggle a little bit so now I was thinking about adding a sub. However the amp doesn't cut the low frequencies from the main output as there's no bass management so is there any solution like high pass filters a la car audio? I also posted it here where there was a lot of discussion and the OP was in a similar position. Sub Talk
 

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