Question Setup help/suggestions for surrounds and Atmos

defsNotAnAudiophile

Active member
Nov 18, 2021
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Hi everyone,

New to HT and wanting some suggestions on what to implement given my room size.
See here for a photo of my room layout:
View: https://i.imgur.com/JroYv1d.png


Note: On the far RHS, across the 90% of the 4.9m length, are curtains.

Note: Still deciding between sub placement (either SW1 or SW2 in photo above) - SW2 seems 'boomier' (and is slightly louder) than SW1 given its corner placement. SW2 placement wouldn't displace the sofa seat that much, just means the person sitting there can't sit too far on the edge of the sofa (as sub is not a footrest). Open to suggestions too, but those are the most ideal based on my sub crawl measurements.

Current set-up:

  • FL/FR: KEF Q750
  • C: KEF Q650c
  • Subwoofer: SvS SB-2000
  • AVR: Yamaha RXV2085
  • Not-in-use: B&W DM604 (old and may sell these if can't put them to use)
I'd like to get a Atmos setup going - as noted I do not have surrounds yet, but was planning to get overheads/Atmos-enabled speakers instead.

  • Are you meant to get surrounds before overheads? Or it doesn't matter?
If I get surrounds, my room is quite limited in space right? I can't put it at 90 degrees on LHS of the MLP as it would get in the way of foot traffic (topple over) to the left of the couch. To the RHS, I can, it would be around at the 60 degree mark from the MLP (perhaps in front of SW1).

  • I can't wall mount it to the sides at ear-height on RHS, because there are curtains on the RHS.
  • I can't wall mount if to the sides at ear-height on LHS, because the closest wall is too far-left from the setup / Atmos sphere.
For surrounds, I was going with KEF Q150 (sticking with KEF due to discounts I can get on the brand).

This is why I was thinking of skipping the side surrounds (?), and going for 4 overheads or Atmos-enabled speakers.

  • If overheads, should I go with wall-mounted/on-ceiling, in-ceiling or up-firing?
    • I was planning to get KEF Q50a's (I'm assuming I could use these in-ceiling)?
    • I don't intend to go up-firing as I've heard that's the worst of the 3 options, however, if you suggest my crappy room layout & geometrics only enables me to do this, I agree and it's better than nothing.
  • If not, any other suggestions?

I'm also open to moving things around, layout wise, if you have any suggestions - albeit TV/TV stand can't be moved, as the stand + speakers can't fit anywhere else in the room.

Also lastly open to any other recommendations/suggestions in general.

Thanks so much for your help!
 
Your focus has to be to get the 5.1 system right first. No point in having overhead Atmos speakers if you don't have surrounds. Sound won't envelope you at all. Besides, all movies will have 5.1 but not all will have Atmos.

You can have the surrounds behind the red sofa. At ear level or slightly higher pointing downwards towards the listener. Make sure there's a height gradient between the surrounds and Atmos speakers for true Atmos effect.

Your alternative is to place the TV in the top right corner with left rear speaker on top of the beige sofa and the right rear speaker on top of the red sofa, if you want to cover both seating positions.

Once you've got the 5 speakers finalised, you can decide on best placement of the subwoofer. Some subwoofers are designed for corner placement. Also, read about the "crawl test" for best placement of the subwoofer.
 
Last edited:

defsNotAnAudiophile

Active member
Nov 18, 2021
6
1
25
Your focus has to be to get the 5.1 system right first. No point in having overhead Atmos speakers if you don't have surrounds. Sound won't envelope you at all. Besides, all movies will have 5.1 but not all will have Atmos.

You can have the surrounds behind the red sofa. At ear level or slightly higher pointing downwards towards the listener. Make sure there's a height gradient between the surrounds and Atmos speakers for true Atmos effect.

Your alternative is to place the TV in the top right corner with left rear speaker on top of the beige sofa and the right rear speaker on top of the red sofa, if you want to cover both seating positions.

Once you've got the 5 speakers finalised, you can decide on best placement of the subwoofer. Some subwoofers are designed for corner placement. Also, read about the "crawl test" for best placement of the subwoofer.
Thanks bigboss - that's really helpful.

When you say 'on top of the beige sofa' and 'on top of the red sofa', do you mean directly behind them like so (refer to 'RL' and 'RR')?
1637634235153.png

Open to other suggestions on room layout (but it's quite hard given the fireplace, the curtains, the length of the TV stand (120cm) and the 65" TV).
 

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defsNotAnAudiophile

Active member
Nov 18, 2021
6
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Is that a working fireplace? In my previous house, the fireplace wasn't in use.
View attachment 2950
That's great thanks for sharing that! We never thought of making use of the space like that. We reinstalled the preexisting fireplace with an electric one when we moved in 2 decades ago, but we stopped using it the last decade as we found it more energy efficient to use the ducted heating throughout the house. Only thing is that the splashback/ledge behind the fireplace is quite tall, almost half the wall. So if we mounted the TV above it, it'd be quite high up (neck probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable but it's definitely way above eye-level).

Also, there's the issue of having to buy a similar cabinet like yours in order to put in the speakers and centre speakers, unless we wall mount all the speakers (or at least the centre speakers) but not sure how feasible this is for us - seems a bit of work.

Thus in this case, do I just have to work with the tough setup I have at the moment?
 
That's great thanks for sharing that! We never thought of making use of the space like that. We reinstalled the preexisting fireplace with an electric one when we moved in 2 decades ago, but we stopped using it the last decade as we found it more energy efficient to use the ducted heating throughout the house. Only thing is that the splashback/ledge behind the fireplace is quite tall, almost half the wall. So if we mounted the TV above it, it'd be quite high up (neck probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable but it's definitely way above eye-level).

Also, there's the issue of having to buy a similar cabinet like yours in order to put in the speakers and centre speakers, unless we wall mount all the speakers (or at least the centre speakers) but not sure how feasible this is for us - seems a bit of work.

Thus in this case, do I just have to work with the tough setup I have at the moment?
1) I reduced the height of the mantle and bought a sofa that would naturally put the head facing slightly up so no neck sprains. You can also place a TV on a cantilever mount and pull down to desired viewing height when watching. You also get motorised mounts which can be operated by the remote.

2) I got the cabinet made bespoke by Neville Johnson (www.nevillejohnson.co.uk). A good cabinet maker should be able to suggest ideas that would work for you. You can always get Neville Johnson to take a look and give you a quote? You don't have to say yes and you can refuse the quote, but by speaking to them, you'll get an idea of designs that would work for you. It's just a thought to explore the option, may not work for everyone.
 

defsNotAnAudiophile

Active member
Nov 18, 2021
6
1
25
1) I reduced the height of the mantle and bought a sofa that would naturally put the head facing slightly up so no neck sprains. You can also place a TV on a cantilever mount and pull down to desired viewing height when watching. You also get motorised mounts which can be operated by the remote.

2) I got the cabinet made bespoke by Neville Johnson (www.nevillejohnson.co.uk). A good cabinet maker should be able to suggest ideas that would work for you. You can always get Neville Johnson to take a look and give you a quote? You don't have to say yes and you can refuse the quote, but by speaking to them, you'll get an idea of designs that would work for you. It's just a thought to explore the option, may not work for everyone.
Great suggestions bigboss, thanks for sharing this info - I'll take a deeper dive.
 
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defsNotAnAudiophile

Active member
Nov 18, 2021
6
1
25
Great suggestions bigboss, thanks for sharing this info - I'll take a deeper dive.
Would there be a significant difference or would you advise saving just a tad bit to get the same tower speakers as the FL/DR speakers for my surrounds (Q750s) for the sake of 'timbre matching', or are towers not worth it for surrounds and bookshelves speakers would be better (e.g. Q150s)? Bookshelves also seem more flexible (stands can be easily adjusted in height, versus stands for towers, and can place these anywhere including wall mount, etc).
 

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