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In-wall speaker recommendation (1 Viewer)

Tony TerBorg

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I would like a recommendation for some in-wall speakers to serve as my left/right in my 5.1 surround system. My space is limited. I can go up to 12 inches wide by 24 inches tall. I am looking for something that will give me pretty high-quality sound both for home theater I am straight audio playback. Here are my specs

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? In-wall speakers

Primary Use: Home theater and music

Desired Configuration: 5.1

Room Size: 24 x 20

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Yes

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes

What's your budget (low to high): $200 to $1000 for pair

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Prefer rectangular shape, flush mount, amp provides 70 watts a channel, works well without back box.

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Tony TerBorg

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Dave
Thanks. The problem is I can't seem to find anywhere local in the Southern California to go and listen to any of these speakers, some of which I read specs about. Can you give me your personal recommendation on which of those you think sounds best for the application stated? Or if you have any idea how I can lay my ears on any of these speakers before I purchase, that would be even better.
 

JohnRice

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Tony, can you have bookshelf speakers instead, either on wall mounts or small shelves, instead of in-wall? They're actually a lot less destructive and permanent, plus you have a lot more options.
 

Tony TerBorg

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Tony, can you have bookshelf speakers instead, either on wall mounts or small shelves, instead of in-wall? They're actually a lot less destructive and permanent, plus you have a lot more options.
No not really. I am mounting above a fireplace (yes I know that is a whole other discussion) and there is not space to the sides. (see image)
 

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Dave Upton

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No not really. I am mounting above a fireplace (yes I know that is a whole other discussion) and there is not space to the sides. (see image)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news - but putting an in-wall speaker in an alcove like you have to the right there is a recipe for bad sound. The reflections alone would wreak havoc.

I would actually avoid putting speakers there entirely, as the sound will be disappointing. Would you consider floor-standing speakers at all? If not, the best option might be to go with a high end soundbar, or put the speakers higher up (though this isn't ideal either)
 

Tony TerBorg

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I am sorry if the image was not clear. That whole Alcove area is being lowered and the wall flushed out to be even in order to create the space for the screen and the left and right speakers to either side to be flush with the screen. The only recessed area will be about a 36" space from the floor up where the components and subwoofer will go. I hope that makes sense. Again with the tightness of that corner free standing speakers just will look too bulky. I currently have a pair of RT8s and they just will not fit in the space.
 

Dave Upton

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Ah, my misunderstanding. Provided the wall will be flush, I can personally recommend the Axiom or RBH speakers highly - they're great. I would call Axiom, as I think they offer a risk-free in home trial, but like most in-wall products, they are hard to demo.

The monoprice offering sounds surprisingly good for the money, so that would be your budget play. Polk is the one you can most likely hear at a nearby Best Buy/Fry's or electronics shop.
 

JohnRice

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No not really. I am mounting above a fireplace (yes I know that is a whole other discussion) and there is not space to the sides. (see image)
It's simple physics. If there's space in the wall for speakers, there's space on the wall for speakers. Look at the box where you plan to put a speaker in the wall. Just attach a small shelf to the wall and put a speaker on it. In wall speakers eliminate 98% of your options.
 

Sam Posten

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Welcome to HTF. Please, before you do anything else, research a lowering mount. Putting TVs over fireplaces is one of the worst things you can do ergonomically. It is really terrible. Mounts that bring the screen down to seating level at least help with that.

Once you do, please note that HTF will remove user reviews because some vendors offer as discounts for posting them on the web. We hope you find one you will be happy with, but we don't welcome reviews that are done for discounts..
 

Dave Upton

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Welcome to HTF. Please, before you do anything else, research a lowering mount. Putting TVs over fireplaces is one of the worst things you can do ergonomically. It is really terrible. Mounts that bring the screen down to seating level at least help with that.

Once you do, please note that HTF will remove user reviews because some vendors offer as discounts for posting them on the web. We hope you find one you will be happy with, but we don't welcome reviews that are done for discounts..
Anecdotally speaking, I purchased a mantel mount for my LG OLED65E7 and it's a great solution.
 

John Dirk

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Putting TVs over fireplaces is one of the worst things you can do ergonomically. It is really terrible. Mounts that bring the screen down to seating level at least help with that.

Interesting. I hadn't heard this perspective before. What's so bad about it ergonomically? I have heard of the potential risk to the TV based on heat from the fireplace. Some installers even refused to install the mount based on that concern. In my case I had little choice as you can see, but honestly, I've been perfectly happy with this arrangement for nearly 2 years. I wasn't aware of lowering mounts until I read this post. This isn't my HT room but we do use it regularly.

upload_2018-6-26_17-37-15.png
 

John Dirk

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The TV is typically higher than it should be.
My previous home allowed for the TV to be placed on a stand at eye level. The new house [and many contemporary homes] really don't allow for this unless the TV is directly in front of the fireplace.
 

Tony TerBorg

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Thanks everyone for the input:
First off, thanks about the fireplace mounting. I have looked pretty deeply into this and weighed pros and cons. I believe my positioning will be high enough above the top of the mantle that any direct radiant heat will not pose a problem. Also the height of this fireplace is only 36" so with using a tilt mount on the set, I should not have any issues optimizing the angle to the viewers. Also the seating is significantly back from the set that there should not be an issue with people having to crane their heads to watch.
Thanks to JohnRIce for his comment about the bookshelf options and physics. Though I agree, aesthetics sometimes trumps practicality of physics and in this space, quality bookshelves are just too big a footprint.
Thanks to DaveUpton for the speaker recommendations. I noticed the no one mentioned Paradigm. I have heard that their Cl and Elite in walls are very good. Anyone have any experience with them or can compare quality of sound versus an inexpensive set like the Polks?
 

Sam Posten

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quality bookshelves are just too big a footprint.
Consider the SVS Prime bookshelves? Or the KEF E-305s.

Thanks to DaveUpton for the speaker recommendations. I noticed the no one mentioned Paradigm. I have heard that their Cl and Elite in walls are very good. Anyone have any experience with them or can compare quality of sound versus an inexpensive set like the Polks?
Well I didn't want to dilute my recommendation for a lowering mount and my position against in walls in general, but yes, I'm a huge Paradigm promoter. I have their in-ceiling speakers and love them but I maintain you are going to be better served with mounted bookshelves.

If you are determined to go in-wall, definitely consider Paradigm.
 

billw6560

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For my two cents worth, being an audio and recording engineer, sorry to say, but this location is not good at all. First, the right speaker next to the windows will actually present some apparent level increase, as the sound waves traveling across the hard window surface will create an additive effect. One way to combat this, that your wife probably wont like, is to install heavy pleated curtains with heavy backing along the entire length of the wall. This will act as a diffuser. While the carpet is good for reducing surface reflections, your high ceilings and hard walls will play havoc with balance. The left side speaker, referenced to the right, will sound almost non-existent, and much lower in apparent volume. In other words, the front left-right balance will be way off, not to mention sonicly different. Also, looking at your picture, it appears from the transom window that your ceiling may also vaulted. slanting towards the windows. If that's so, the left sound field would also sound a bit mushy, but hopefully its a flat ceiling. Unfortunately in modern homes, they weren't designed for surround sound home theater setups, especially in living rooms. Finally, as a general rule of thumb, where possible, the sound system should be setup on the long wall, preferably in the middle of that wall. Also, the alcove you have really needs to be completely covered. If your building an equipment rack setup in that area, the remainder should be covered with something, even if it's french louvered doors, something to diffuse the sound. Leaving large openings will act as a bass trap, adding to more imbalance. Hope this helps.
 

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