What's new
  • Announcing New Ownership at Home Theater Forum. Learn More

Necros

Agent
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
30
Real Name
Tim
My wife and I are getting a new house built and I'm going to be taking over the basement and building a home theater / game room. It's probably going to be used for gaming more than movies to be honest. The room is pretty big, 18x38 feet. I was originally hoping to have side + rear speakers, but the back wall will be very far away so I was thinking of just having side speakers + celing speakers above the sofa with the TV area being half of the room, and probably a pool table in the back half of the space. Then I could hopefully take advantage of a system that can do Dolby Atmos

The builder will allow us to have the speakers built into the walls and I prefer this method because I have small dogs that love to chew on anything on the floor, and that made me ditch my old system for a sound bar so there would be no cables around. I'm sure they will try and charge me a ton of extra money for the speakers they want to use (like how they charge twice as much for a faucet when the same one at home depot is half the price). I'm only going to have about $2000 for my budget, so I need speakers, a subwoofer and a receiver. I need to get 2 front, 2 side, 2 top and 1 center speaker.

I googled real quick and found these from Polk.. anyone know if they are any good? I used Polk before for my old system and they were fine. Or are they like the bottom barrel? Any other brands to look out for in a similar price range?

Polk Audio RC85i x2, or maybe 1 + smaller RC55i for sides?
Polk Audio RC80i for ceiling
Polk Audio 255c-RT for center
Then I should have enough left over for a decent sub (or 2?) and a receiver.

Here's a mockup of what the room dimensions will be if that helps. We'll probably have the TV over on the left hand wall, that storage closet area on the right will be open where I'll have my desk area for work.

Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 5.48.53 PM.png
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
17,014
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I suggest having them wired to wall outlets with small shelves and bookshelf speakers instead. You’ll get a lot more for your money and if you want to replace or upgrade any speakers in the future it’ll be infinitely easier and cheaper.

You can get much better ELAC Debut v2 speakers on sale often.
 
Last edited:

Wardog555

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
82
Real Name
Fraser
I actually tried the Polk rc80i myself as side surrounds and for music for testing for potentially ceiling atmos use. They sounded terrible and high. Treble and harsh. The brightest speakers I've heard and the bass was only heard if my head was against the speaker itself. It disappeared at a distance.
 

Necros

Agent
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
30
Real Name
Tim
oh, interesting. would I be better off just using the same side speakers in the ceiling then? Or is there another good brand that will work better? I kinda like the idea of the round speakers on the ceiling for some reason. I was also thinking of having a second pair farther back in the room for music and stuff on game nights

I thought about just having just bookshelf speakers instead but the wife would rather have everything flush with the wall, especially for the ceiling speakers. And I like that look too. But the biggest issue before was I had big floor speakers in the front, and side bookshelf speakers on stands, and speaker cables all over along the edges of the room on the floor because it was tough to get them under the baseboards, and our puppy was having a lot of fun with them.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
17,014
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
My point is, if you can run wire to in-wall speakers, you can run wire to wall plates and just have bookshelf speakers on small wall mounted shelves. If you ever want or need to replace anything, it’ll be much easier and cheaper. It’ll also be cheaper and easier now.

Any Atmos speakers should be in the ceiling though. There are pkenty of those to choose from.
 

Necros

Agent
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
30
Real Name
Tim
Good point. I just don't think we want big bookshelf surround speakers hanging on the wall, but if we could get something small and white so it blends in more then that should be good. We still have to meet with the guy who does the installation so I'll see what they recommend, I think for the ceiling speakers though we're definitely gonna want them to be in the ceiling and flush. I'm a little worried they are going to try and get us to buy something super expensive, but my budget for the whole thing receiver included is gonna be like $2000 tops.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
17,014
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Groan…

Installers…

Sorry I can’t give a more optimistic reply.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
17,014
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I still recommend ELAC Debut v2, but they don’t come in white. They do have an on-wall model for surround, and in-ceiling, but RSL also has excellent in-ceiling that are cheaper.
 

Necros

Agent
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
30
Real Name
Tim
Cool maybe I'll look into them, I think the RSL ceiling speakers would work good for what I need for sure.

Are Monoprice in wall speakers any good? I just found them and they seem pretty inexpensive compared to others. They even have an in wall subwoofer that I didn't even know was a thing. I imagine a regular subwoofer on the floor would sound much better though
 

harync

Agent
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
30
Real Name
Harrison
As mentioned above, definitely have the installers just install speaker wallplates (available from monoprice) for the walls, but ceiling should be in-ceiling. An additional piece of advice is to make sure you have as much vertical separation as possible between the ceiling speakers and the LCR+surrounds. The latter should be as low as feasible (ear height at listening position). See https://www.dolby.com/about/support/guide/speaker-setup-guides/
for your applicable set-up (5.1.4, 7.1.2, etc).
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
9,994
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
IF you desperately want in-wall speakers, maybe just do those for surrounds... but really, given how big your space is, I don't see why you should limit yourself that way at all. And definitely do *NOT* do in-wall subwoofer(s).

I second John's recommendation for ELAC Debut 2.0s (for all listener level speakers, except subwoofer) whenever they're on their frequently recurring sale (that usually gives 20-30% discount off MSRP). IF you buy from them directly, you can probably also save on sales tax, if that's significant to you -- it was definitely quite significant for me shipped to here in NYC area.

$2K budget will probably be extremely hard, if not simply impossible, to do satisfying Atmos since you're including the receiver and subwoofer(s) in that budget for such a large space. That space could very well make whatever system you can cobble together for $2K sound rather anemic... unless you're very easily impressed...

You should probably do 7.2.4 at minimum for satisfying Atmos in such a large space. And I'd partition the space so the HT space wouldn't be quite so large/deep if I were you. Maybe just do a glass partition w/ retractable wall curtains perhaps (to help the HT space acoustics) if you must keep the large view across the entire space (at least some/part of the time).

IF you need to cut corners and maybe defer some of the spending, I'd suggest wiring for 7.2.4, but don't do the actual purchase and installation of the in-ceiling speakers until later. Just focus on a satisfying 7.x setup first, but do make sure to wire (w/ enough slack) for future in-ceiling speakers (and probably a 2nd subwoofer) though.

IF at all possible, try to get a receiver that allows pre-outs for the front LCR channels so you can someday add a solid external amp for those channels for better all-around results in such a large space -- at your budget level, you're not gonna get a receiver that has remotely enough power to drive a fully satisfying 7.x.4 Atmos system for such a large space.


IF you really must contain the budget and not plan on expanding/upgrading, I'd suggest further reducing (and containing) the actual HT space itself so a more modest 5.1.2 setup could still satisfy...

_Man_
 

Necros

Agent
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
30
Real Name
Tim
I agree with partitioning the space a bit, trying to think of good ways to do it, but at the same time I think it would be cool to be able to see the TV from the back of the room if I'm back there. I'm thinking the TV area is going to be roughly a 18x18' area of the room, but with no back wall. The back half of the room is going to be a game room (probably a pool table) and also my desk area for work. It's not going to be a dedicated home theater, but more like a tv and gaming area. I just wish the wife would agree to having bunch of arcade games and pinball machines in the back.

I will probably be playing games more than watching movies, Xbox has atmos support but I don't know how good it is and I guess it depends on how well each game utilizes it. I was thinking of aiming for 5.1.2 unless I can get the builders to put in 4 ceiling speakers for me. If they want to charge too much, then I'll see about a wall plate on the side walls up near the ceiling I guess. And the rest of the speakers I'm going to just go with wall plates so I can add my own speakers and easily upgrade them later on.

I have a 10 year old Sony 7.2 receiver that was designed for having 2 sets of surrounds, that I will probably be using at first just to get up and running, and then save up for something bigger later. I was assuming I could set that up with 5.1 speakers, and then use the other 2 speaker connects to go up to the ceiling speakers. It won't be atmos though until I get a new receiver that can do it. As I'm moving to Delaware, tax shouldn't be an issue :)

But yeah, I think if I can get some decent in-ceiling speakers and then go with wall plates and get everything pre-wired so I can expand and upgrade later then that would be the best way to go. I just like the clean look you can get from all in-wall speakers, but yeah I'm starting to see that that's not gonna work for me here.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
353,108
Messages
5,008,148
Members
143,400
Latest member
rferoni
Recent bookmarks
0
Top