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Hey guys, I am adding some additional speakers to my existing 5.1 system. Currently I have 5.1 with the surrounds being on my rear wall, which isn’t ideal.
So I’m adding some in wall speakers to the left and right of listen position, which will become the surrounds, and a pair of in ceiling for Atmos. 
Now for the rear wall, these are currently an on wall Focal Aria surrounds that are currently about 1.9M off the floor. I can move these down to the ear line of the fronts, centre and surrounds making 7.1.2 or move them up the and use them as additional Atmos making 5.1.4.
The room is 4M wide, 5.5M long and 2.7M high and seating position is about 4M from the front wall.
 

What do you guys reckon?

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Hi guys, really appreciate the input. Have an update, I have decided to go with 7.1.4. Still using the in-wall Focal 300IW6 for both side and now rear surrounds, which I will locate at about 1.2M of

I'd recommend 7.1.2 - your room is deep enough for it. Depending on screen size, consider moving your seating forward a little (about 0.5m).

well all done. Well no quite, but positioning is complete.  that stereo.net.au was down helped greatly to stop procrastinating and get on with it.    turned out, my layout was greatly impacte

I'd recommend 7.1.2 - your room is deep enough for it. Depending on screen size, consider moving your seating forward a little (about 0.5m).

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5.x.4 is far superior to 7.x.2.

7.1 is slightly better than 5.1 - it fills the soundfield better but the discreet sound effects (bullets whizzing by etc) is pretty much exactly the same.

x.x.4 is however WAY better than x.x.2 - you get front to back sound effects as well as left to right and this obviously gives you better overhead effects.

I did direct back-to-back testing in my 6.25 x 4.3 x 2.7m room with a single row of seating between 5.x.2, 5.x.4, 7.x.4, 7.x.6 etc and found 5.x.4 was the sweetspot. It gave 95% of what 7.x.4/6 gave but for a lot less money and effort.

To me it is a no brainer - 5.x.4 all the way.

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Have to agree with above 

put extra speakers in the ceiling 

I run 7.6.4 

if I had to lose 2 speakers it would be the rears,not 2 of the overheads

good luck ,you have a good size room to work with?

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Thanks guys, my thought process has been that with 7.1.2 I will have height sound and rear sound. But with 5.1.4, I miss out on the rear sound. And if the seat position was right on the back wall 5.1.4 would be best. However I have some room around me, so 7.1.2 might work better?
I game a lot in there, so the rear sound would offer better placement of objects.  
 

Happy to hear ideas.  

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.4 for heights is amazing, never had .2.

 

5.x.4 before 7.x.2

 

However if your thinking the 2 rear surrounds mounted a bit higher for .4 with 2 in ceiling, stick to 7.x.2

 

.4 they should all be in ceiling as laid out by Dolby, or as close as you can get.

 

I've been toying with the idea of 7.x.4 I only have to run cable.

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14 hours ago, SGS said:

.4 they should all be in ceiling as laid out by Dolby, or as close as you can get.

Not true - as long as the fronts and rears are at the same angle (or as close as possible) then depending on your room layout you may end up with one pair on ceiling and one pair high up on the wall. It is the angle to the MLP  that is important.

14 hours ago, Monster11 said:

Thanks guys, my thought process has been that with 7.1.2 I will have height sound and rear sound. But with 5.1.4, I miss out on the rear sound. And if the seat position was right on the back wall 5.1.4 would be best. However I have some room around me, so 7.1.2 might work better?
I game a lot in there, so the rear sound would offer better placement of objects.  
 

Happy to hear ideas.  

Also not true. When I tested 5.x.x vs 7.x.x I found the discreet sound effects like bullets whizzing past etc were pretty much identical between both formats. The only thing 7 did was create a more ambient bubble. For gaming, with more discreet rear sounds, 7 may be preferable to 5 (I can't say for sure as I don't game) but not sure it would be a big enough difference to worry about.

But for movies I can't say this enough - 5.x.4 is the sweet spot for benefit vs cost/hassle.

Sure if you can do 7.x.4 then it will be better. But 5.x.4 is still way better than 7.x.2

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AVForum Podcast hosts (ISF calibrators and home theatre installers) recommend 7.1.2 over 5.1.4.

Their reasoning was that when you get pans around, 5.1.4 has big holes in the back which are not natural. 7.1.2 gives the proper illusion of all encompassing sound stage around you which is far more common a situation than mixes relying on rear height channels which are usually more effect-sy. 

 

Personally I would be happy with either as I only have space for 5.1.2...

 

Edited by HumanMedia
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On 20/10/2020 at 8:04 PM, Monster11 said:

Hey guys, I am adding some additional speakers to my existing 5.1 system. Currently I have 5.1 with the surrounds being on my rear wall, which isn’t ideal.
So I’m adding some in wall speakers to the left and right of listen position, which will become the surrounds, and a pair of in ceiling for Atmos. 
Now for the rear wall, these are currently an on wall Focal Aria surrounds that are currently about 1.9M off the floor. I can move these down to the ear line of the fronts, centre and surrounds making 7.1.2 or move them up the and use them as additional Atmos making 5.1.4.
The room is 4M wide, 5.5M long and 2.7M high and seating position is about 4M from the front wall.
 

What do you guys reckon?

Nice space, I have a 7.2.4 system running in such a space. So I'll say go the full hog and get 7.1.4 or two subs! :)

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18 minutes ago, petetherock said:

Nice space, I have a 7.2.4 system running in such a space. So I'll say go the full hog and get 7.1.4 or two subs! :)

 

Pete has the correct answer - go straight to 7.2.4

:winky:

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On 21/10/2020 at 10:29 AM, Snoopy8 said:

There was a short reference by someone from Dolby saying 5.1.4 is better than 7.1.2

https://www.cepro.com/news/5_crucial_tips_for_dolby_atmos_setups_5_best_demo_scenes/

 

Also worth reading

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/dolby-atmos-vs-dolby-atmos

Here are 2 quotes from the links above.:

 

How do I begin to describe the differences among the setups? In this case, the 5.1.4c system (with “c” being my unofficial shorthand for ceiling speakers) performed phenomenally. The blades, especially the last one or two, were so acoustically fully formed and solidly placed as they moved from the screen to the back of the room that I had the urge to duck out of the way. I’m not sure how to quantify a three-dimensional sound element—I now understand why Dolby refers to it as an “object”—but this had all the acoustical aspects of the real thing. In comparison, with the 5.1.2c system, the blade was fully formed when it left the screen, but it seemed to dissipate slightly as it moved toward my head—and then it “disappeared.” The 3D soundfield flattened when it reached my head. In terms of 3D-ness, it reminded me of the limitation common to a lot of soundbars, whose soundfield never extends past the listener.

 

And this one is straight from Dolby :

 

5.1.4 Better Than 7.1.2: Dealers should opt to design a 5.1.4 system configuration (five listener-level speakers, one subwoofer, and four overhead speakers) over a 7.1.2 design for the best object imaging and panning. “You need to have four Atmos speakers overhead to move the sound around. With just two Atmos speakers, you are just moving sound back and forth,” he adds.

 

Case Closed ?

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i reckon do what you want op.. after all "atmos" is just a money spinner, didnt they put it into an avr with 3.1.2? and bouncy sound bars.

 

anyway check your budget, buy some things second hand and the you can try and re-sell if you like one set better than the other.

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Hey guys, some really interesting discussions here. 
I have the installers coming at the end of November to run the cables for the Atmos and surrounds. I will get them to run extra cables to allow for the .4. The left rear .4 is going to be an issue as the air con is directly above that location. 
Once the surrounds and front Atmos are in, the speakers on the rear wall are kinda at the mid point of ideal location for either 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 being 1.9M off the floor. So I reckon I will do some testing and see what I like best. Hell I’m sure my deal can lend me something to test the 7.1.4 too, something like a bookshelf just to place in the location. 

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14 minutes ago, Irek said:

Arias are actually pretty good speakers, 2 of Focal 300 ICW8 In Ceiling Flax Speaker and happy life. image.png.e38ef1a1a265e10984d85dc824bd195e.png

 Nice, all my speakers are Focal.
I already I have the 300 IW6 as the surrounds and 300ICLCR5 for Atmos waiting to be installed. The existing on wall surrounds that are on my back wall are the Aria SR 900. 

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5 minutes ago, Monster11 said:

 Nice, all my speakers are Focal.
I already I have the 300 IW6 as the surrounds and 300ICLCR5 for Atmos waiting to be installed. The on wall surrounds that are on my back all are the Aria SR 900. 

Lucky you, the question is which beer ? to start with for the first movie.

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I wonder how many people who don’t notice much difference between 5.x and 7.x are able to put their surrounds in the optimum position? 
Unfortunately in my room I’m forced to put my surrounds slightly forward of the MLP. This means that without 7.x I have a massive hole behind me. I dabbled with two atmos briefly (at the sacrifice of rear surrounds) and immediately felt the experience was worse. 
 

It’s all very well for Dolby to say 5.x.4 is better than 7.x.2 but we don’t all have the luxury of purpose designed spaces...

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This thread has me thinking. I’ve wired my room for 7.2.2, but my rears are not ideal as they are mounted up high and aimed down, due to the room design. Once it’s finished, I think I’ll try both configurations and see what sounds best. 

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Everything is a compromise in a non-dedicated room. Even dedicated rooms can't have everything.

 

I have a 5.2.2 and it sounds great to my ears. I would love to have 4 atmos speakers but as my couch is almost against the back wall and atmos speaker directly above the couch. Having a extra two speakers further forward might help, but might not be worth the cost.

 

Do what you can, but i feel the 5.1.4 would be better than 7.1.2. Eitherway, get the speaker cables put in for as many as you can. Putting in spare cables is cheap insurance if you want to upgrade. 

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On 23/10/2020 at 12:34 PM, Monster11 said:

Hey guys, some really interesting discussions here. 
I have the installers coming at the end of November to run the cables for the Atmos and surrounds. I will get them to run extra cables to allow for the .4. The left rear .4 is going to be an issue as the air con is directly above that location. 
Once the surrounds and front Atmos are in, the speakers on the rear wall are kinda at the mid point of ideal location for either 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 being 1.9M off the floor. So I reckon I will do some testing and see what I like best. Hell I’m sure my deal can lend me something to test the 7.1.4 too, something like a bookshelf just to place in the location. 

You do realise that all surrounds should be at ear level (or 25% higher at most) for the most effective Atmos.

 

23 hours ago, Wood said:

I wonder how many people who don’t notice much difference between 5.x and 7.x are able to put their surrounds in the optimum position? 
Unfortunately in my room I’m forced to put my surrounds slightly forward of the MLP. This means that without 7.x I have a massive hole behind me. I dabbled with two atmos briefly (at the sacrifice of rear surrounds) and immediately felt the experience was worse. 
 

It’s all very well for Dolby to say 5.x.4 is better than 7.x.2 but we don’t all have the luxury of purpose designed spaces...

I tested 5 vs 7 in with speakers in the exact ideal location and the only difference I could tell was a slight improvement in the ambience and a slightly more complete soundfield. But I really hard to listen hard and IMO it just isn't worth the extra cost and hassle unless cost is no barrier and you can easily install all 7.

Also Dolby can only test and recommend for ideal locations - would be impossible for them to try and give options for non-ideal rooms as there are endless possibilities then.

 

22 hours ago, Johnny_Boy said:

Everything is a compromise in a non-dedicated room. Even dedicated rooms can't have everything.

 

I have a 5.2.2 and it sounds great to my ears. I would love to have 4 atmos speakers but as my couch is almost against the back wall and atmos speaker directly above the couch. Having a extra two speakers further forward might help, but might not be worth the cost.

 

Do what you can, but i feel the 5.1.4 would be better than 7.1.2. Eitherway, get the speaker cables put in for as many as you can. Putting in spare cables is cheap insurance if you want to upgrade. 

I currently run my rear heights just slgihtly behind MLP and fronts are on the front wall - still sounds way better than just using the rears as tops in a .2 config

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Hi guys, really appreciate the input.
Have an update, I have decided to go with 7.1.4. Still using the in-wall Focal 300IW6 for both side and now rear surrounds, which I will locate at about 1.2M of the floor. The front Atmos are in-ceiling Focal 300ICLCR and the rear Atmos will be Focal in-ceiling 300ICW6 as I am limited for space above the ceiling at the rear of the room. All these will be running from the amp in a Denon AVR-X6700H. 
The front sound stage will stay running from my existing pre and amp. 
Kinda made sense to get it all done at the same time. And the Focal 900 SR would be in the way if I moved them down to 1.2M as there is a cocktail gaming machine at the back of the room. The 300IW6  makes that go away. 

Once it’s all done, I will sell the Focal 900 SR. 

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@Monster11

How did you go with all this. I’m in the process of upgrading to the Epson 4k projector and need a new AVR as my current one only does 1080p.

 

I’m also using Focal Aria’s (Focal Aria 926’s, CC900 centre and SR 900’s as rears). I plan on getting the 300ICW6 for the x.x.4 atmos channels and am interested to know how the AVR is coping.

 

I’ve been recommended the AVR-X3700H but worried it wont have enough power as my current AVR-3312 has 165w per channel and I think the X3700H works out to approx 105 per channel (think this is just 2 channel though)

 

Also I’m getting a pool in a few weeks and wanted to wire  the pool area with speakers using the inbuilt HEOS.

 

If I go for Atmos 5.1.4 the X3700H limits me in the sense I’ll have to get another amp to power the pool area speakers.

 

This then got me thinking towards getting the X6700H but its a huge jump in price. Saying that been quoted $5k which seems reasonable??

 

The other option is to get the X3700H and use my AVR3312 as a power amp? 

 

 

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On 31/10/2020 at 2:43 PM, Monster11 said:

Hi guys, really appreciate the input.
Have an update, I have decided to go with 7.1.4. Still using the in-wall Focal 300IW6 for both side and now rear surrounds, which I will locate at about 1.2M of the floor. The front Atmos are in-ceiling Focal 300ICLCR and the rear Atmos will be Focal in-ceiling 300ICW6 as I am limited for space above the ceiling at the rear of the room. All these will be running from the amp in a Denon AVR-X6700H. 
The front sound stage will stay running from my existing pre and amp. 
Kinda made sense to get it all done at the same time. And the Focal 900 SR would be in the way if I moved them down to 1.2M as there is a cocktail gaming machine at the back of the room. The 300IW6  makes that go away. 

Once it’s all done, I will sell the Focal 900 SR. 

 

I'll suggesting wiring up for 7 base channels + 4 top minimum, even 6 points on top And 2 subwoofer cable runs.

Gives you a lot more flexibility..

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55 minutes ago, lufc001 said:

@Monster11

How did you go with all this. I’m in the process of upgrading to the Epson 4k projector and need a new AVR as my current one only does 1080p.

 

I’m also using Focal Aria’s (Focal Aria 926’s, CC900 centre and SR 900’s as rears). I plan on getting the 300ICW6 for the x.x.4 atmos channels and am interested to know how the AVR is coping.

 

I’ve been recommended the AVR-X3700H but worried it wont have enough power as my current AVR-3312 has 165w per channel and I think the X3700H works out to approx 105 per channel (think this is just 2 channel though)

 

Also I’m getting a pool in a few weeks and wanted to wire  the pool area with speakers using the inbuilt HEOS.

 

If I go for Atmos 5.1.4 the X3700H limits me in the sense I’ll have to get another amp to power the pool area speakers.

 

This then got me thinking towards getting the X6700H but its a huge jump in price. Saying that been quoted $5k which seems reasonable??

 

The other option is to get the X3700H and use my AVR3312 as a power amp? 

 

 

Hey, yes been meaning to update. I have all the speakers and 6700 in, and it’s working great. Very happy with the result. I ended up using 300ICW6 for all 4 atmos speakers as the 300ICLCR just wouldn’t fit in the ceiling. 


Having all the speakers in the correct locations makes a massive difference. 7.1 over 5.1 is probably the biggest difference as there is a awful lot of 7.1 content out there, including gaming and this adds massively to the immersion factor. When there is atmos content, the over head effects works very well, with starting in the rear and moving all the way to the front channels. 


The 6700 drives all the surrounds and atmos very well, and doesn’t seem to be lacking in detail or weight of sound. So I can highly recommend that. I had a 4200 in for a while, waiting for the 6700 to arrive. It was ok, but the 6700 certainly made a sizeable improvement. Taking that into account, I think the 3700 would be too small. Keep in mind there is a 4700 in the range too, with more power, but still only 9 amps. If you can get the 6700, that will give you flexibility, but it’s easy to say when its your money. 

 

With the hind sight I have now, running the system with the 4200 for a few weeks, which only allowed 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 only, and playing around with both, I would be doing 7.1.2 over 5.1.4, for my room. With the 6700 I do have the luxury of 7.1.4, so a very happy camper. 
 

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1 hour ago, petetherock said:

 

I'll suggesting wiring up for 7 base channels + 4 top minimum, even 6 points on top And 2 subwoofer cable runs.

Gives you a lot more flexibility..


This, just do this.  So much easier to do it all at one time. 

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Thanks @Monster11

 

My current HT room is 3.85m wide x 5m long so not sure if big enough for 7.1.2

 

Also i've got windows on one side and no cavity walls on the other so that would be the other stumbling block. As that is the case 5.1.4 might be my only option.

 

I think i'm probably also going to drop my SR900's which I use as rears lower so they are at listening height.

 

Seating position is currently on the back wall on a raised timber step. Havent been really able to find out the optiomal location for the SR900's.

 

Good that it sounds like the 6700 is doing the business for you, sounds like it might be the best option for me too.

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1 hour ago, lufc001 said:

Thanks @Monster11

 

My current HT room is 3.85m wide x 5m long so not sure if big enough for 7.1.2

 

Also i've got windows on one side and no cavity walls on the other so that would be the other stumbling block. As that is the case 5.1.4 might be my only option.

 

I think i'm probably also going to drop my SR900's which I use as rears lower so they are at listening height.

 

Seating position is currently on the back wall on a raised timber step. Havent been really able to find out the optiomal location for the SR900's.

 

Good that it sounds like the 6700 is doing the business for you, sounds like it might be the best option for me too.

 

So my room is only slightly bigger than yours at 4M wide, 5.5M long and 2.7M high. 

 

I was lucky as I had walls with cavity at 90 degrees and behind the listen position, so I could place the ear level speakers in the right location. I really think that having the surrounds at 90 degrees really is a very good idea if you can place them there, and certainly a massive improvement over having then on the rear wall.

 

I have seen surrounds being placed in the ceiling right at the outer edges of the room, and then atmos in their normal position, like 750mm in from the side walls. Not sure how effective this would be, as I havent heard it. 

 

Also getting your seating position off the back wall is a great idea if you can. as the bass will be much smoother.  

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Actually might be easier to provide the layout, excuse my terrible visio skills. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words. The subwoofer is in the right rear of the room, as it cant go anywhere else. 

 

@lufc001 maybe throw up a quick diagram of the room and we can throw around a few ideas?

HT.JPG

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So here is my plan, started to do something fancy in Sketchup then couldn't be bothered as it was taking too much time.

 

I do have conduit run in the walls either side of the couch however if i moved the SR900's there would that improve things and also would i put them at listening height or a bit higher. So far they are about 500mm higher on the back wall.

 

Im also upgrading to the Epson 4k TW9400 projector to replace my Panasonic 8000. I've also got a 130" cinemascope screen.

projector-plan.jpg

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18 minutes ago, lufc001 said:

So here is my plan, started to do something fancy in Sketchup then couldn't be bothered as it was taking too much time.

 

I do have conduit run in the walls either side of the couch however if i moved the SR900's there would that improve things and also would i put them at listening height or a bit higher. So far they are about 500mm higher on the back wall.

 

Im also upgrading to the Epson 4k TW9400 projector to replace my Panasonic 8000. I've also got a 130" cinemascope screen.

projector-plan.jpg


Cool, I take it those windows on the right hand wall are floor to ceiling?

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Ah ok, so you should be able to run something like SR900 under the window on the right and then on the wall on the left. And then another pair on SR900 on the rear wall.

 

If you can get your lounge off the rear wall that will certainly improve the smoothness of the bass. And run the ear level speakers at ear level. 
 

For atmos, your room is big enough for .4. 

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I’d love to move the couch off the wall but its on a raised timber step. Would be a fair bit of work to remove as we have skirting and carper on it.

 

Cant deny it would probably improve the experience though.

 

The other option of course is we eventually plan to put seats on the ground level at either side of the steps which could work.

 

I think at this stage I’m still heading towards 5.1.4 as the SR900’s in a 7.1.4 mounted on the real and side walls would be too close together.

 

Where the conduit is for the sides is only 250mm off the corner of the room.

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Yeah cool, understand. I would be moving the SR900 to the side walls, and then doing .4 atmos in that room. Without the distance from the Lounge to the rear wall, I don’t think you will get much impact from having them there. 

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Actually thinking about it, how far is your head from the rear wall? If it’s like 600mm, rear surrounds would work ok.  

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33 minutes ago, Monster11 said:

Yeah cool, understand. I would be moving the SR900 to the side walls, and then doing .4 atmos in that room. Without the distance from the Lounge to the rear wall, I don’t think you will get much impact from having them there. 

You mean not much impact having them on the rear walls or on the side walls?

 

They currently are about 250mm from the rear of the couch and about 500mm above head

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17 hours ago, lufc001 said:

You mean not much impact having them on the rear walls or on the side walls?

 

They currently are about 250mm from the rear of the couch and about 500mm above head

 

Sorry, I meant you will have better impact if the SR900 are on the side walls, it will give presence to the surround part of the audio track. I found when my surrounds where high on the rear wall they weren't effective. Now that I have surrounds at 90 degrees, they offer much more in location and presence. 

 

With your lounge being so close to the rear wall, there basically isnt much distance between the seating positions and the speakers. So they cant build a decent sound stage and if the are sitting in the left seat, there left surround is right next to the speaker. Having a loud speaker right next to your head isnt really ideal, as the rest of the speakers are some distance away. 

 

A surround speaker is meant to be left and right of the listener, and the rear surrounds are meant to be behind the listener.

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