What's new

Open Plan living room - what are my options? (1 Viewer)

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
Hello everyone,

I find myself sighing a lot when watching a great movie or TV show, saying to myself, this would be so much better in 4k and with better sound. My current set up is here:



It's the space I am working with, I had initially just figured since its open plan, I am destined to have shitty sound and light coming in from the kitchen (right) and entrance and window (left) but thought I would post here to see if anyone has any ideas!? Willing to try anything, nothing is off the table, from blinds to accoustic panels etc - maybe they are not needed!?

I have an L shaped couch against the backwall, about 15 feet from the TV screen. That TV is a beast, but has long seen it's best days.

I would like to buy a new TV and speaker system. The TV I am not too concerned about, it's the sound where I was hoping I could get some recommendations? as well as changes to the overall space I am working with - I am definitely open to suggestions that would improve my viewing experience.

In the picture, you can see my living room, connects to the kitchen, the hall, the garage and the front entrance, so a lot going on.

As I am sure you've figured, I really don't know what I am doing... so... any suggestions?

Also, I am open to getting rid of the unit the TV is sat on as well, maybe something with a bit more height, but I am not sure, whatever works for the best viewing angle :)

Thanks so much in advance!
 
Last edited:

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
My inclination is that you need to rearrange the room to take best advantage of it. The TV is so far from the viewing area. I once lived in a condo with a similar layout and I created a more contained seating/viewing area by having the sofa arranged differently. How does it fit to rotate the sofa 90 degrees clockwise, so that it goes along the left side wall and then along the traffic pattern from the front door? Then you could put the TV on the wall behind the camera.

I'm just trying to suggest changes to make the room better for viewing.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
My inclination is that you need to rearrange the room to take best advantage of it. The TV is so far from the viewing area. I once lived in a condo with a similar layout and I created a more contained seating/viewing area by having the sofa arranged differently. How does it fit to rotate the sofa 90 degrees clockwise, so that it goes along the left side wall and then along the traffic pattern from the front door? Then you could put the TV on the wall behind the camera.

I'm just trying to suggest changes to make the room better for viewing.
Thanks for the reply John. It's a great suggestion, but the issue is one part of the couch is longer, and that long side would be up against the wall with the window. Here is a picture to help explain it better (sorry for the mess and the kiddo in the way)



If I were to do it that way, the wall would be about 80-90 inches from the couch.

Also, the desk is there only temporarily, while the kiddo does online school, as is the doll house, so the whole room can be rearranged, I just think the couch could be the limiting factor, as if we were to do what you say, we'd just have the small section facing the TV and the long section viewing it at an angle?

Any other thoughts? I am sure I am missing something.

Thanks again!!
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
There are variations to what I suggested. This isn't the only way the room can be laid out. To me the main problem is the TV is TOO far from the viewing position and it needs to go on the opposite wall. If the desk is going away, you could rotate the sofa 180 degrees and put the short side along the left wall, as shown in the photo above, with its back to the traffic area. Move the shelving unit to the right side of the wall it's currently on and put the TV left-center of that wall. My basic impression is the TV needs to go on that wall, because it allows you to sit closer and doesn't have windows across the room to reflect in it.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
There are variations to what I suggested. This isn't the only way the room can be laid out. To me the main problem is the TV is TOO far from the viewing position and it needs to go on the opposite wall. If the desk is going away, you could rotate the sofa 180 degrees and put the short side along the left wall, as shown in the photo above, with its back to the traffic area. Move the shelving unit to the right side of the wall it's currently on and put the TV left-center of that wall. My basic impression is the TV needs to go on that wall, because it allows you to sit closer and doesn't have windows across the room to reflect in it.
Thanks John, I am going to play around with some variations tonight, and see what gets wife approval. Assuming we can make it work, what in the way of speakers would you reccommend? I don't need surround sound I don't think, but just something that will enhance the experience. I could probably spend $1.5k on a set up. What do you think?

Really appreciate your help sir!
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Thanks John, I am going to play around with some variations tonight, and see what gets wife approval. Assuming we can make it work, what in the way of speakers would you reccommend? I don't need surround sound I don't think, but just something that will enhance the experience. I could probably spend $1.5k on a set up. What do you think?

Really appreciate your help sir!
Do you mean you want just a 3.1 system? With only the front speakers? You can definitely do that. Or you can add some ambience with reflecting Atmos speakers in the front. That will open things up a bit.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
Do you mean you want just a 3.1 system? With only the front speakers? You can definitely do that. Or you can add some ambience with reflecting Atmos speakers in the front. That will open things up a bit.
That's what I meant year, but I would be open to hearing about the reflecting atmos speakers? is it surround sound? Sorry a complete noob here. Even a link on Amazon to what they are would be helpful!
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
That's what I meant year, but I would be open to hearing about the reflecting atmos speakers? is it surround sound? Sorry a complete noob here. Even a link on Amazon to what they are would be helpful!
You definitely have stuff to work with. I'll get back with some detailed suggestions and links this afternoon. And yes, the reflecting Atmos speakers would give a bit of surround effect, but really just in the front. A 3.0 or 3.1 system is incredibly easy to set up, since there's no wires to run away from the TV area. I suspect that is what will make everyone the happiest.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
You definitely have stuff to work with. I'll get back with some detailed suggestions and links this afternoon. And yes, the reflecting Atmos speakers would give a bit of surround effect, but really just in the front. A 3.0 or 3.1 system is incredibly easy to set up, since there's no wires to run away from the TV area. I suspect that is what will make everyone the happiest.

Ah John, that sounds great, thanks so much for your help!

It *may* be possible to run some speaker cable under the big rug we have and potentially have speakers on stands, behind the sofa, but it sounds like a 3.1 system is great!

I guess my big concern is, because its a wide open room with door ways, halls etc, that the sound may degrade or bounce, though I am sure there are speakers or methods that would mitigate that :)
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I guess my big concern is, because its a wide open room with door ways, halls etc, that the sound may degrade or bounce, though I am sure there are speakers or methods that would mitigate that :)
It's kind of a live room, with lots of reflecting surfaces, but it'll be fine.

Would you be open to small speakers on stands to the sides of the TV stand? The center speaker would go below the TV, and is there room for a surround receiver in the TV stand?
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
It's kind of a live room, with lots of reflecting surfaces, but it'll be fine.

Would you be open to small speakers on stands to the sides of the TV stand? The center speaker would go below the TV, and is there room for a surround receiver in the TV stand?
Yes, to all, as we will probably replace the TV stand in the fullness of time.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
It's kind of a live room, with lots of reflecting surfaces, but it'll be fine.

Would you be open to small speakers on stands to the sides of the TV stand? The center speaker would go below the TV, and is there room for a surround receiver in the TV stand?
Hi John, I moved the TV and couch around (I can post pictures later) but unfortunately none of the variations were a starter, they just didn't look good at all and didn't get wife approval. So I am afraid its going to be stuck the way it is. Is it a hopeless case or do you think I can still get a good 3.1 set up?

Thanks so much!
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
15,278
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Hi John, I moved the TV and couch around (I can post pictures later) but unfortunately none of the variations were a starter, they just didn't look good at all and didn't get wife approval. So I am afraid its going to be stuck the way it is. Is it a hopeless case or do you think I can still get a good 3.1 set up?

Thanks so much!
You can still do a 3.1 setup, it'll just be "way over there" so it can't feel immersive, since you are so far away. No reason not to do it though. We discussed reflecting speakers, didn't we?

A couple different approaches of highly regarded, reasonably priced speakers.

From Monoprice you can get
THESE L&R speakers and THIS center for $900, and they include reflecting Atmos in the top of the L&R.
You can upgrade the L&R to THESE, but it'll blow your budget at $1.2K just for the speakers.

From ELAC you can get THESE for L&R and THIS for center currently for $580 total. You can also scale back the center to THIS and knock to total to $500. Those don't have reflecting built-in, but you can add it with THESE for another $300, and they just sit on top of the L&R like they are made for them.

I have the ELACs in both my livingroom and bedroom and can attest that they are spectacular. The Monoprice ones are newer and I am told by Dave Upton who co-owns this forum and has experience with them that they also represent an exceptional value. He actually says they are even better than the ELACS, which I find difficult to believe, but he knows his stuff.

You have a very bright room, meaning not light, but very reflective, so I would stay away from horn based brands like Klipsch. Unfortunately, if you go to a store that sells them, they will CRAM Klipsch down your throat. Its a very popular brand, but horribly wrong for your room, since they are rather bright sounding speakers.

A decent subwoofer is going to be difficult to fit into the budget with anything other than the basic ELAC setup. The thing is, you could get the basic ELAC setup with a good sub and receiver, then add the Atmos speakers later, if you want to.

Since this is a living space, I recommend a subwoofer with a sealed cabinet, for two main reasons. They are much more compact than ported ones and they don't tend to get boomy like ported ones can at times. I'll go ahead and admit, I just prefer sealed subs to ported ones. I've had both and I don't intend to ever have a ported sub ever again.

Suggested ones would be these from Rythmik and SVS.
 

tim131

Auditioning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Real Name
Tim
You can still do a 3.1 setup, it'll just be "way over there" so it can't feel immersive, since you are so far away. No reason not to do it though. We discussed reflecting speakers, didn't we?

A couple different approaches of highly regarded, reasonably priced speakers.

From Monoprice you can get
THESE L&R speakers and THIS center for $900, and they include reflecting Atmos in the top of the L&R.
You can upgrade the L&R to THESE, but it'll blow your budget at $1.2K just for the speakers.

From ELAC you can get THESE for L&R and THIS for center currently for $580 total. You can also scale back the center to THIS and knock to total to $500. Those don't have reflecting built-in, but you can add it with THESE for another $300, and they just sit on top of the L&R like they are made for them.

I have the ELACs in both my livingroom and bedroom and can attest that they are spectacular. The Monoprice ones are newer and I am told by Dave Upton who co-owns this forum and has experience with them that they also represent an exceptional value. He actually says they are even better than the ELACS, which I find difficult to believe, but he knows his stuff.

You have a very bright room, meaning not light, but very reflective, so I would stay away from horn based brands like Klipsch. Unfortunately, if you go to a store that sells them, they will CRAM Klipsch down your throat. Its a very popular brand, but horribly wrong for your room, since they are rather bright sounding speakers.

A decent subwoofer is going to be difficult to fit into the budget with anything other than the basic ELAC setup. The thing is, you could get the basic ELAC setup with a good sub and receiver, then add the Atmos speakers later, if you want to.

Since this is a living space, I recommend a subwoofer with a sealed cabinet, for two main reasons. They are much more compact than ported ones and they don't tend to get boomy like ported ones can at times. I'll go ahead and admit, I just prefer sealed subs to ported ones. I've had both and I don't intend to ever have a ported sub ever again.

Suggested ones would be these from Rythmik and SVS.
Absolutely fantastic information here, thank you!!

I am really excited about the Monoprice ones actually and would probably go for them.

Let's assume we could a bit (maybe more than a bit) and assuming I went for one of those subwoofers your recommended, what receiver would you recommend?

I am going to get a new TV stand/unit, but just for the sake of visualization, let assume it looks similar to this:


Could I put the center speaker where it is position there, and then the left and right speaker, just free standing either side of the television on the unit? do they have to be at a certain height?

Also, say down the line we moved house or remodeled etc., could this set up then be turned into a suround system, if we had the appropriate set up for it?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
349,109
Messages
4,868,535
Members
142,479
Latest member
cabinguy
Recent bookmarks
0
Top