: home theatre speaker placement question


wonderings
Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:11 PM
My parents are doing some reno in their home, and have a room they are going to be using as a TV/Movie room. Its square, and not that big. Average height room, I think thats 8 feet? Anyways, my question is if they were to do in wall speakers, how high should they be for optimal sound? I

I was thinking of in wall speakers just because of the clean look they offer, but not completely set on that. How do wireless speakers fare? They are not audiophiles by any means, just want pleasing sound coming from their TV.

Joker Eh
Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:37 PM
Usually speakers should be about your head height while sitting down.

johnnyspade
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:01 PM
Usually speakers should be about your head height while sitting down.

I concur.

If you can run wiring through the walls definitely do it. Wireless speakers are just not as good. Also, get a lower gauge speaker wire if you can. Since you're running it through the walls, better to put in something decent now as it will be difficult to change later. If the walls are open anyway, think about anything else you may want to run though there - cat 6 cable, phone line, etc.

WCraig
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:12 PM
A few random considerations...

It is very difficult to put in-wall speakers into exterior walls because of the insulation. In-ceiling speakers can work better in some cases. If they plan to repaint the room, putting a few small holes in the drywall and then patching later is really not a big deal.

Wireless speakers require power--so they're really not wireless! I think all of them suffer interference at some point or another.

Monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837) products are VERY inexpensive--even when you factor in shipping--but pretty good quality.

Craig

Sonal
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:21 PM
If you are going in-wall, making a few extra holes to fish speaker wire through shouldn't be tremendously difficult.

Lawrence
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:45 PM
I just got back from Futureshop today after listening to the Bose home theatre setup,
Man, Those things are loud (But clean without distortion), I was impressed,
But not impressed to want to pay the $650. price tag.


These were at 4 feet height,
But they'd probably sound better on stands at 5 to 6 feet.



Anyways....

I ended up leaving with the Klipsch s4i earphones for my iPhone instead.

wonderings
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:49 PM
A few random considerations...

It is very difficult to put in-wall speakers into exterior walls because of the insulation. In-ceiling speakers can work better in some cases. If they plan to repaint the room, putting a few small holes in the drywall and then patching later is really not a big deal.

Wireless speakers require power--so they're really not wireless! I think all of them suffer interference at some point or another.

Monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837) products are VERY inexpensive--even when you factor in shipping--but pretty good quality.

Craig

My dad had asked about ceiling speakers, I was not sure but did not think they would offer the same sound for surround sound movies as speakers in the corners. Am I wrong in this? I never think of good sound coming from the ceiling for a movie.

Joker Eh
Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:05 PM
My dad had asked about ceiling speakers, I was not sure but did not think they would offer the same sound for surround sound movies as speakers in the corners. Am I wrong in this? I never think of good sound coming from the ceiling for a movie.

If the room is on the main floor and the basement is finished or has a drop ceiling you can install in wall speakers and leave no holes and you won't need to paint at all. (If installed properly)

Ceiling speakers are used in cases where the wall may be too far from the sitting area therefore put them right over your head. Now if the attic is on top of this room (bungalow), fishing the wires should be no problem. The sound will be fine if you use ceiling speakers for the rears. Remember you have to work with the space you have available.

Also you can put them on outside walls because the same issue exists if you put them in the ceiling you still have to insulate and tape around them. Just make sure you purchase the correct ones. On a day like today (here), the cold if they are unprotected could do damage to them. Remember you attic is supposed to be cold.

tilt
Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:20 PM
I second the opinion that speakers should be at ear-level while seated. Re. ceiling speakers, if the intention is to watch surround-sound content, then ceiling speakers will not give you the same effect as rear speakers. Note the requirement for speakers to be at ear-level. I have not seen ceilings at ear-levels except in the movie "Being John Malkovich".

Re. wireless rear speakers, though they require power, they do not require speaker-wire to be drawn from the receiver to the speakers, so they can indeed be considered wireless. WCraig is just being pedantic about the word "wireless".

Re. WCraig's claim of interference, I am not technical enough to confirm or refute it, but remember, it may not happen in your case. I have an el-cheapo Samsung Home-Theatre-In-A-Box (I am not an audiophile either) with wireless rear speakers. I have had these for the last year or so and use them for a few hours everyday. I have not had a single case of any interference or problems or dropping out or whatever else is supposedly caused by interference.

Cheers

MLeh
Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:38 PM
There were ceiling speakers in this house when we bought it. Wouldn't be my first choice.

i-rui
Jan 3rd, 2012, 06:08 PM
Usually speakers should be about your head height while sitting down.

specifically it's supposed to be the tweeters at ear level.

personally i'm a fan of tower speakers. bigger enclosures help bass. mind you if your parents aren't audiophiles then the size/cosmetic benefits of smaller/in wall speakers may outweigh the aural benefit of big towers.

Aurora
Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:07 PM
I have large floor speakers for the rear and the sub woofer. Rather than have them sit on the floor, I drilled four holes in the bottom of each and inserted arrowheads. (available at hunting outlets.) This suspends the speakers off the floor for a cleaner bass.

Andrew Pratt
Jan 4th, 2012, 10:46 AM
Actually rear surround speakers should be about 2 feet above your head when seated or mounted in the ceiling. The front speakers (Left, Centre and Right) should be at ear level when seated. I recommend in-ceiling speakers for the rears but they are less ideal for the fronts as it doesn't give you the directional sound that you really need for the front. The better in-ceiling speakers do have tweeters that can be aimed which helps but in-wall or box speakers on stands is preferred.

As for Bose....run away! Bose is first and for most a marketing company and the crap they sell to consumers is over priced for what you get. Their noise cancelling headphones are decent but again pricey for what you get. Bose is Dell junk priced like it was an Apple.

WCraig
Jan 4th, 2012, 11:13 AM
I second the opinion that speakers should be at ear-level while seated. Re. ceiling speakers, if the intention is to watch surround-sound content, then ceiling speakers will not give you the same effect as rear speakers. Note the requirement for speakers to be at ear-level. I have not seen ceilings at ear-levels except in the movie "Being John Malkovich".

Re. wireless rear speakers, though they require power, they do not require speaker-wire to be drawn from the receiver to the speakers, so they can indeed be considered wireless. WCraig is just being pedantic about the word "wireless".

Re. WCraig's claim of interference, I am not technical enough to confirm or refute it, but remember, it may not happen in your case. I have an el-cheapo Samsung Home-Theatre-In-A-Box (I am not an audiophile either) with wireless rear speakers. I have had these for the last year or so and use them for a few hours everyday. I have not had a single case of any interference or problems or dropping out or whatever else is supposedly caused by interference.

I didn't say that ceiling mounts are preferred--just that they may be a whole lot easier in some cases. Bass sounds are omni-directional so your ear will be hard-pressed to detect ceiling v. wall mount. Lots of in-ceiling speakers come with pivoting tweeters (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083702&p_id=6034&seq=1&format=2) so that you can position them more to the sides of the room and aim them at the prime listening position. So you still get the same directional clues as wall-mounted or in-wall speakers.

And not to be too cruel, but if you bought a HTIB system, there isn't much likelihood that you can discern the extra distortion (http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/16-02/su_wireless_speakers) from wireless rear speakers. But if you're happy with it, great!

Craig

tilt
Jan 4th, 2012, 03:06 PM
And not to be too cruel, but if you bought a HTIB system, there isn't much likelihood that you can discern the extra distortion (http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/16-02/su_wireless_speakers) from wireless rear speakers. But if you're happy with it, great!

True. As I mentioned, I am no audiophile; plus I misunderstood "interference" in your original response to mean "sound cutting in and out" like a 2.4 GHz wireless signal gets interrupted when a cordless-phone rings, or something like that.

Cheers

kelman
Jan 4th, 2012, 04:17 PM
My parents are doing some reno in their home, and have a room they are going to be using as a TV/Movie room. Its square, and not that big. Average height room, I think thats 8 feet?

The first thing I would like to know is where is the room? basement? main or second floor? Is the area beneath finished or attic above? Which wall is the insulated wall - focal?rear?side? Ceiling speakers are fine in attic spaces as long as they are covered with a preformed plastic box for insulation/vapor barrier integrity and puts them on the heated side of the insulation. Fishing through exterior insulated walls is difficult but not impossible. Wired speakers are the only way to go and don't buy less than 14 gauge, 12 is better.

Actually rear surround speakers should be about 2 feet above your head when seated or mounted in the ceiling. The front speakers (Left, Centre and Right) should be at ear level when seated. I recommend in-ceiling speakers for the rears but they are less ideal for the fronts as it doesn't give you the directional sound that you really need for the front. The better in-ceiling speakers do have tweeters that can be aimed which helps but in-wall or box speakers on stands is preferred.


I agree completely, fronts/centre speakers at ear height, Rears/surround 1'-3' above ear height or ceiling mounted. Sub can be anywhere in the room.

WCraig
Jan 4th, 2012, 04:22 PM
True. As I mentioned, I am no audiophile; plus I misunderstood "interference" in your original response to mean "sound cutting in and out" like a 2.4 GHz wireless signal gets interrupted when a cordless-phone rings, or something like that.

Cheers

Oh, that is certainly possible too, depending on which frequency a specific product uses. I used to have an 'extender' that gave crappy results until we used the microwave. Then it sounded like a cat that got its tail in the lawn mower!

macintosh doctor
Jan 4th, 2012, 04:29 PM
Creating a Home Theater : How-To : DIY Network (http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/creating-a-home-theater/index.html)

kelman
Jan 4th, 2012, 04:42 PM
Creating a Home Theater : How-To : DIY Network (http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/creating-a-home-theater/index.html)

I like it, but it might be a little over the top for a couple who are not audiophiles with a square room that's not that big.

screature
Jan 6th, 2012, 09:47 AM
Actually rear surround speakers should be about 2 feet above your head when seated or mounted in the ceiling. The front speakers (Left, Centre and Right) should be at ear level when seated. I recommend in-ceiling speakers for the rears but they are less ideal for the fronts as it doesn't give you the directional sound that you really need for the front. The better in-ceiling speakers do have tweeters that can be aimed which helps but in-wall or box speakers on stands is preferred.

As for Bose....run away! Bose is first and for most a marketing company and the crap they sell to consumers is over priced for what you get. Their noise cancelling headphones are decent but again pricey for what you get. Bose is Dell junk priced like it was an Apple.

+1 on all fronts.