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Ideas for open plan sitting room (1 Viewer)

dennycrane

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Hey y'all,

Recently purchased a home and want to have a good video and audio experience. It's open plan so I understand I am not going to get that theater immersive sound and that is fine! I just want to have a better sound that straight from the TV and have sounds bounce due to the open plan nature of the area.

Here are some pictures:


As you can see it's pretty open to the hallway/stairs and then back onto the kitchen/dining room.

Any ideas so far as speakers? I'd be putting down a big rug as well, so that should help with the sound bouncing hopefully?

This will mainly be used by us as a family unit, so not necessarily looking for an immersive experience, I am going to commandeer one of the spare rooms for a mini-home theater down the line :D but until then would like to be able to have a good tv viewing/listening experience.

any recommendations?

Thanks so much!!
 

Sam Posten

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Hi and welcome. That floor is going to be one big sonic mirror. You are gonna need a huuuuuge area rug to deal with that. Ceiling mounts can work just be prepared this room is compromises on top of compromises. Good luck!
 

dennycrane

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Hi and welcome. That floor is going to be one big sonic mirror. You are gonna need a huuuuuge area rug to deal with that. Ceiling mounts can work just be prepared this room is compromises on top of compromises. Good luck!
Hi and thank you!

In the fullness of time that whole area, including the floor is going to get remodeled. I defintely understand it's going to be a lot of compromise, but maybe I can get a 3.1 that will be better than just TV speakers, or is it totally hopeless?

Many Thanks
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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My wife and I are audio people so anytime we’ve been house shopping, a tile floor is a hard “walk-away.” So, ditto what Sam said about the floor and rug.

Aside from that, I’ve personally had great luck with open rooms. They’re more prone to have manageable room modes (if there are any), and bass is more evenly distributed to the seating because they away from the walls.

I’ve had no problem getting “immersive” sound with the rear speakers to the sides of or behind the seating (depending on the room). I’d put your rear left speaker on the column.

Your biggest problem is going to be subwoofers. It’s going to take some serious “woofage” to fill that room.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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Subwoofers will be interesting. I'm thinking the best solution is actually having 3-4 subwoofers in/near the corners that are available. You could use some wireless distribution options where wires aren't possible or desirable. Smaller, sealed subs might actually work out pretty well, without being too obtrusive. Or maybe something like the RSL speedwoofer.
 

dennycrane

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Subwoofers will be interesting. I'm thinking the best solution is actually having 3-4 subwoofers in/near the corners that are available. You could use some wireless distribution options where wires aren't possible or desirable. Smaller, sealed subs might actually work out pretty well, without being too obtrusive. Or maybe something like the RSL speedwoofer.
Thanks, at first glance 3-4 subwoofers sounds... well... extreme BUT. I am totally open to it. Would you have any idea of what type of subs and speakers? any just brand names and models you could throw out just to point me in the right direction, totally new to all this, and just want to be able to watch some great movies with some great sound experiences! (or not even great, just better than from the TV speakers lol)
 

dennycrane

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My wife and I are audio people so anytime we’ve been house shopping, a tile floor is a hard “walk-away.” So, ditto what Sam said about the floor and rug.

Aside from that, I’ve personally had great luck with open rooms. They’re more prone to have manageable room modes (if there are any), and bass is more evenly distributed to the seating because they away from the walls.

I’ve had no problem getting “immersive” sound with the rear speakers to the sides of or behind the seating (depending on the room). I’d put your rear left speaker on the column.

Your biggest problem is going to be subwoofers. It’s going to take some serious “woofage” to fill that room.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Thanks Wayne. We are not huge audio people, but we do like a good movie experience, so we are definitely in agreement with the tile floor not being ideal... we are planning on putting in a new floor in the fullness of time. Would wood be preferable to tile? I don't think I could convince my wife on carpet, sadly!

Would you have any reccomendations so far as some speakers just to get us started with our set up, we are completely new to this, so any brands or models and ideal placements would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again!
 

JohnRice

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Thanks, at first glance 3-4 subwoofers sounds... well... extreme BUT. I am totally open to it. Would you have any idea of what type of subs and speakers? any just brand names and models you could throw out just to point me in the right direction, totally new to all this, and just want to be able to watch some great movies with some great sound experiences! (or not even great, just better than from the TV speakers lol)
For reasonably priced speakers, I'm a big fan of the ELAC Debut v.2 line. They are also somewhat reserved (in a good way) which should play well with your bright room. Then room correction can help. For subs, the RSL Speedwoofer I suggested, which you'll have to wait for since they're out of stock. Now, I can guarantee someone will say these suggestions aren't "enough" for the size of the room, but this is a living space and I suspect you don't want the room dominated by big subwoofers. So, the other choices would be the Rythmik L12, or SVS SB-1000 or SB-2000.

You might start with two, and try them in the front left and right corner, and the front left corner and right rear between the windows, if it doesn't obstruct the traffic pattern. These all have wireless options, mainly for the rear location.
 

dennycrane

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For reasonably priced speakers, I'm a big fan of the ELAC Debut v.2 line. They are also somewhat reserved (in a good way) which should play well with your bright room. Then room correction can help. For subs, the RSL Speedwoofer I suggested, which you'll have to wait for since they're out of stock. Now, I can guarantee someone will say these suggestions aren't "enough" for the size of the room, but this is a living space and I suspect you don't want the room dominated by big subwoofers. So, the other choices would be the Rythmik L12, or SVS SB-1000 or SB-2000.

You might start with two, and try them in the front left and right corner, and the front left corner and right rear between the windows, if it doesn't obstruct the traffic pattern. These all have wireless options, mainly for the rear location.
Thank you, so those 2 ELAC's left and right of the TV on a TV stand, then two RSL sub's but actually on the floor in the left and right corners of the wall the TV in those pictures are mounted? That seems doable.

Also, these are just listing photo's, so our actual set up will look different, we can have the TV set up the way it is, or we could have the TV on the side (left) wall, where the lamp and single seater chair is. (essentially this viewing angle - https://photos.zillowstatic.com/fp/...804279-uncropped_scaled_within_1536_1152.webp) I wonder if that would make any real difference in terms of sound and placement?

Essentially that whole space is a blank canvas. None of that furniture will be there and we have an L shaped couch, but it could work at the two angles/options mentioned above!

In either scenario, would you recommend using a center speaker, and what AV receiver would you recommend?

Thanks again, this is really really great information.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Add the Hsu ULS-15MK2 to John’s list of subwoofers. Really, your room is so big that even the larger, ported subs these companies offer would not overwhelm it. For a bit more size, most of them play significantly louder, and with a room that size, you need all the output from them you can get.

As far as speakers and receivers, best to open dedicated threads in the appropriate Forum areas for those. The first thing people will as is what’s your budget, so be sure and mention that up front.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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If you want to go ported, the SB-1000 and SB-2000 both have ported versions.

They can play a few decibels louder, but I'm not certain I'd call that significant. I also don't want to outright sway from Wayne's suggestions, who has more experience than I do.
 

dennycrane

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Add the Hsu ULS-15MK2 to John’s list of subwoofers. Really, your room is so big that even the larger, ported subs these companies offer would not overwhelm it. For a bit more size, most of them play significantly louder, and with a room that size, you need all the output from them you can get.

As far as speakers and receivers, best to open dedicated threads in the appropriate Forum areas for those. The first thing people will as is what’s your budget, so be sure and mention that up front.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Thank you sir! Kindly appreciated.

I will be sure to make a seperate thread for that.

While, I have you, I was thinking about getting a large area rug (thick) and then some rug padding, something like these (in terms of thickness):


Do you reckon that will help with the acoustics? If I essentially get the rug to cover the area between the couch and the TV/Speakers, it would be almost two inches in thickness, I'd imagine that would help?

Thanks again, so much for yall's help!
 

dennycrane

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If you want to go ported, the SB-1000 and SB-2000 both have ported versions.

They can play a few decibels louder, but I'm not certain I'd call that significant. I also don't want to outright sway from Wayne's suggestions, who has more experience than I do.
Thanks John - I am not over an "overwhelming" experience - just be great to watch some movies with the family and not have echo's everywhere and just the general terrible sound from TV speakers :)
 

JohnRice

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Thanks John - I am not over an "overwhelming" experience - just be great to watch some movies with the family and not have echo's everywhere and just the general terrible sound from TV speakers :)
The echos are a different issue. That will take some work with the audio reflectivity of the room. Probably two subs in the front corners will be plenty satisfactory.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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They can play a few decibels louder, but I'm not certain I'd call that significant. I also don't want to outright sway from Wayne's suggestions, who has more experience than I do.
Actually, I’m only going by what I’ve heard others say, not experience – personally I haven’t had very many subs. So I’ll happily defer to your experience. :)

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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While, I have you, I was thinking about getting a large area rug (thick) and then some rug padding, something like these (in terms of thickness):


Do you reckon that will help with the acoustics? If I essentially get the rug to cover the area between the couch and the TV/Speakers, it would be almost two inches in thickness, I'd imagine that would help?
Yes, that rug will help, as will anything else you add to the room. Pictures on the walls, book cases, etc. Everything helps. If that’s staged furniture and not your own, when you go shopping cloth upholstery is a plus compared to leather. Since the back of the room is so irregular, I don’t think you’ll have issues with echo, but you won’t know until you fire up the system.

Oh yes, I think you asked about wood floors – I’ve found them to be less reflective than ceramic tile.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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Actually, I’m only going by what I’ve heard others say, not experience – personally I haven’t had very many subs. So I’ll happily defer to your experience. :)

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
After a lifetime of only having ported subs, I’ve gotten three sealed ones. Admittedly, two of them are high end, but I think the benefits of ported are grossly overstated and the negatives are completely ignored. Sealed has benefits, especially for living spaces.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks John - I am not over an "overwhelming" experience - just be great to watch some movies with the family and not have echo's everywhere and just the general terrible sound from TV speakers :)
BTW, Hsu will give you the most bang for the $. Rythmik will probably be the best performing sub, and SVS will give you the most refined looking sub as well as some nice DSP to improve the results. There isn’t a clear winner. RSL should be a good good value as well.
 

dennycrane

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Yes, that rug will help, as will anything else you add to the room. Pictures on the walls, book cases, etc. Everything helps. If that’s staged furniture and not your own, when you go shopping cloth upholstery is a plus compared to leather. Since the back of the room is so irregular, I don’t think you’ll have issues with echo, but you won’t know until you fire up the system.

Oh yes, I think you asked about wood floors – I’ve found them to be less reflective than ceramic tile.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Thanks Wayne.

Yes it is staged furniture, the good news is we have a cloth upholstered couch as well as some canvas paintings/pictures and book case, which should fill the area up nice.

In terms of the back of the room you mention, do you mean it's irregular in the sense that there isn't really a back, its just the dining and kitchen?

Thanks again, this is very helpful and I am thinking a 3.1 system is going to be achievable in this space!
 

dennycrane

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BTW, Hsu will give you the most bang for the $. Rythmik will probably be the best performing sub, and SVS will give you the most refined looking sub as well as some nice DSP to improve the results. There isn’t a clear winner. RSL should be a good good value as well.
Aweseome, thanks for dropping some names, I will be sure to buy a couple, I am leaning towards SVS. Two of them, in the left and right corners where the walls meet one another.!!
 

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