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Upgrading existing theater setup in open floor plan? (1 Viewer)

deadpool_25

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Hello. First post.

I'm in an open floor plan and am considering upgrading my home theater setup. I'm looking for advice about the audio setup in order to get Atmos going.

The space is somewhat awkward as it's in one corner of the great room. Currently there's a 7.1 system there with all the speakers flush mounted in the ceiling (except the sub which is on the floor on the right side near the corner).

It would be easy to add front left, center, and right speakers but adding other speakers could be a little tricky due to the space.* Does it make sense to add those three speakers and reallocate the ceiling speakers?

* The front wall is 10.5' away. The right wall meets the front wall and is 9' away. The left wall is 16' away across the entryway and dining room. The rear wall is 25' away across the kitchen. I'm not completely opposed to putting speakers on the left and rear but those seem pretty far away/imbalanced.

Any ideas?
 

John Dirk

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It would be easy to add front left, center, and right speakers but adding other speakers could be a little tricky due to the space.* Does it make sense to add those three speakers and reallocate the ceiling speakers?
Welcome!

I would absolutely recommend this if it is an option for you. Most in-ceiling speakers simply lack the dynamic range needed for a truly immersive audio experience.

We all accept and deal with room limitations. It's just the way it goes unless you have the luxury of building from scratch and a sizeable budget. In your particular situation I might recommend settling for a 5.1 configuration using the in-ceiling speakers as surrounds only.
 
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Sam Posten

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Every theater has compromises. Interior decorators building cookie cutter rooms with built in speakers like this for aesthetics over acoustics must be stopped. Not sure that’s what happened here but we are seeing more and more of it.

I have whole home stereo in my house. It’s a great convenience for ambient music. That setup should never ever be used for cinema.
 

deadpool_25

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Welcome!

I would absolutely recommend this if it is an option for you. Most in-ceiling speakers simply lack the dynamic range needed for a truly immersive audio experience.

We all accept and deal with room limitations. It's just the way it goes unless you have the luxury of building from scratch and a sizeable budget. In you particular situation I might recommend settling for a 5.1 configuration using the in-ceiling speakers as surrounds only.

Thanks. I will definitely add the left, center, and right speakers at ear height in front. Are you saying I should add speakers to the left and and right walls as well, even though the left wall is significantly further away than the right? Or after adding the three new front speakers, I should just use the existing ceiling speakers as the rest of the surrounds and not add additional speakers?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Beyond what's already been said, if they're actually in-ceiling speakers, you might consider switching to speakers that can be installed on or "hanging" from the ceiling for the surrounds instead -- of course, that may or may not be viable/acceptable to you (or the rest of your family) whether practically or aesthetically speaking.

And welcome to HTF!

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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Every theater has compromises. Interior decorators building cookie cutter rooms with built in speakers like this for aesthetics over acoustics must be stopped. Not sure that’s what happened here but we are seeing more and more of it.
it’s evil and wrong.
 

deadpool_25

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Beyond what's already been said, if they're actually in-ceiling speakers, you might consider switching to speakers that can be installed on or "hanging" from the ceiling for the surrounds instead -- of course, that may or may not be viable/acceptable to you (or the rest of your family) whether practically or aesthetically speaking.

And welcome to HTF!

_Man_
Yeah the current speakers are flush mounted in the ceiling. I really don't want any hanging down.
 

deadpool_25

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Every theater has compromises. Interior decorators building cookie cutter rooms with built in speakers like this for aesthetics over acoustics must be stopped. Not sure that’s what happened here but we are seeing more and more of it.

I have whole home stereo in my house. It’s a great convenience for ambient music. That setup should never ever be used for cinema.
Yeah I'm sure that's how the house was designed. I feel you, as I have additional pairs of speakers in the entry hall, master bedroom, and patio. Currently those are all on Zone 2 of my receiver (Yamaha RX-V679 which will get upgraded to something Atmos-capable).
 

JohnRice

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Yeah the current speakers are flush mounted in the ceiling. I really don't want any hanging down.
They don’t have to be. If it’s not an exterior wall, they can probably at least be in-wall speakers. Or better, bookshelf speakers on a small wall mounted shelf
 

deadpool_25

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They don’t have to be. If it’s not an exterior wall, they can probably at least be in-wall speakers. Or better, bookshelf speakers on a small wall mounted shelf
Yeah I'm thinking a decent center and decent bookshelf speakers for the front left and right. If I do put any speakers on the side or rear those would almost certainly be bookshelf speakers too.
 

JohnRice

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Yeah I'm thinking a decent center and decent bookshelf speakers for the front left and right. If I do put any speakers on the side or rear those would almost certainly be bookshelf speakers too.
Excellent. That’s the way to go.
 

John Dirk

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Thanks. I will definitely add the left, center, and right speakers at ear height in front. Are you saying I should add speakers to the left and and right walls as well, even though the left wall is significantly further away than the right? Or after adding the three new front speakers, I should just use the existing ceiling speakers as the rest of the surrounds and not add additional speakers?
That is what I had in mind but it's hard to know whether or not it's really viable without seeing a diagram of your room.
 
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Wardog555

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Please find a way as best as possible to follow the Dolby atmos guidelines.
In case you don't know. Speakers are intended to be at specific locations as per angles from main listening position.
Open plan rooms often make it difficult but the biggest issue is that people are unwilling to accommodate for the speakers.

I'm not prepared to send incorrect information like ceiling speakers are appropriate for any 5.1 or 7.1 locations. But I will say ceiling locations are to be used for Dolby atmos and dts x.

I ask you to plan the room around the speakers rather than trying to place speakers randomly at will based on ease of location or personal preference.

Best of luck and kind regards!
 

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