Jump to content
IGNORED

Decent surround sound for living room?


Gloves
 Share

Recommended Posts

Administrator · Posted

Consider me a total dunce in this regard. I'm just hoping I can get something cool to elevate my movie watching and game playing experience in my living room, and I have honestly no clue where to start. I really don't wanna spend like $500+ and have it sound like garbage. 

Right now I just have an old soundbar and sub woofer. Hoping I can upgrade to 5.1 (I don't think 7.1 is viable in my space) without breaking the bank completely, but I could probably be convinced to spend up to 1k (Canadian) if there's like some God tier shit and if it's truly worth it (I dunno). 

Here's some pics of my layout, hopefully it helps (please excuse the mess, just had renos done). Looking for suggestions and any guidance anyone might be able to share. 

 

PXL_20201215_193452425.jpg

PXL_20201215_193440620.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the room doesn't lend itself to 7.1; couch is against the back wall, so surround rears aren't really viable, and that overhang on the ceiling messes with front height speakers.

I'd actually build it bit by bit, starting with left/right mains to go next to the TV with a sub for 2.1, then add center channel and surrounds a bit later if you like the setup. The mains do the heavy lifting (my current setup is 2.1 with a phantom center, but I have had 7.1s in the past.)

Any chance the TV and stand could slide to the right a little? I'm thinking if you stuck a speaker to the left, it might be in the way of that walkway.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Administrator · Posted
Just now, Mega Tank said:

Don't forget, the louder the sound your speakers give off, the more that cage is going to rattle... you know, Pepper has to sleep there. 😉

She usually just uses it for the bathroom and to eat copious amounts of hay. She tends to sleep under the coffee table. She can't right now cuz our carpet is in storage due to the reno. T_T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a Sonos guy.  Love the sound quality and it’s so super easy to set up.  Being wireless is nice because the whole house is hooked up and if I want to add a speaker I basically have to plug it in.  Kind of pricy but that room looks kind of small.  Could probably get away with a sound bar and a couple of ones.  Them subs are expensive though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gloves said:

Direct. I've never really understood why anyone would have a receiver.

You need one for the better sound setups. It can also act as a switcher which is nice when you've got a lot of consoles hooked up. Other things to consider:

  1. Does your current soundbar support surround sound? If so, it is basically functioning as a receiver and you can just add two side/rear speakers to your current setup
  2. Is your current soundbar capable of acting as a center speaker or as two front speakers in a 5.1 setup?
  3. Is your current subwoofer capable of being used with another receiver?
  4. Are you looking for wireless or wired rear speakers?

If you just want something with good sound which is simple, consider this JBL system with wireless rear speakers: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SKB4TF?pf_rd_r=R7PNXDC5C7KQWD6HK339&pf_rd_p=9d9090dd-8b99-4ac3-b4a9-90a1db2ef53b

I think it is a good price for what you're getting.

If you want to go higher end, then you need to start factoring in a receiver which is going to make it a challenge to stay under $1000.

For reference, this is my setup:

  1. Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel AV Receiver
  2. ELAC S10EQ Debut Series 400 Watt Powered Subwoofer by Andrew Jones with AutoEQ
  3. Elac - Debut F6, Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black - Each/Single) x2
  4. Embedded ceiling speakers for center and rear (3 total, unknown model; these were installed by the previous owner)
Edited by DoctorEncore
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Administrator · Posted
17 minutes ago, DoctorEncore said:

You need one for the better sound setups. It can also act as a switcher which is nice when you've got a lot of consoles hooked up. Other things to consider:

  1. Does your current soundbar support surround sound? If so, you can skip the receiver and just add two side/rear speakers to it.
  2. Is your current soundbar capable of acting as a center speaker or as two front speakers in a 5.1 setup?
  3. Is your current subwoofer capable of being used with another receiver?
  4. Are you looking for wireless or wired rear speakers?

If you just want something with good sound which is simple consider something like this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SKB4TF?pf_rd_r=R7PNXDC5C7KQWD6HK339&pf_rd_p=9d9090dd-8b99-4ac3-b4a9-90a1db2ef53b

I think it is a good price for what you're getting.

If you want to go higher end, then you need to start factoring in a receiver which is going to make it a challenge to stay under $1000.

With regard to my current soundbar/subwoofer: They are quite old. They "have bluetooth" but it's incompatible with my new TV, so I had to plug the soundbar in directly to it. I would like I think to replace the whole thing with like a set or something. I usually upgrade and then donate my old stuff so I don't really see it as a big loss.

I'd LIKE wireless; I have a pet rabbit and she'd chew cables if I had them going across the room or anything.

I'm not against buying a receiver, I just am not familiar with the benefits. Further, I'm not sure there's enough space in the TV cabinet I have. Can they be across the room from the TV and still work if I made like a weird setup? Or could it be hidden in a drawer and still function?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Gloves said:

With regard to my current soundbar/subwoofer: They are quite old. They "have bluetooth" but it's incompatible with my new TV, so I had to plug the soundbar in directly to it. I would like I think to replace the whole thing with like a set or something. I usually upgrade and then donate my old stuff so I don't really see it as a big loss.

I'd LIKE wireless; I have a pet rabbit and she'd chew cables if I had them going across the room or anything.

I'm not against buying a receiver, I just am not familiar with the benefits. Further, I'm not sure there's enough space in the TV cabinet I have. Can they be across the room from the TV and still work if I made like a weird setup? Or could it be hidden in a drawer and still function?

Generally you would want the receiver near the TV since all the HDMI inputs and speaker wires have to run into it. It should also be well-ventilated since it can get quite warm.

Given your limited space, I'd probably just go for an upgraded sound bar with wireless rears. That JBL I linked before has 3 HDMI inputs which is pretty solid and excellent reviews. If you want to go a little cheaper, there are definitely options in the $300 range which should still work for you. Consider this Samsung set which is fake wireless (rears are connected to a wireless rear receiver which needs to be plugged in). 

If you can afford it, I'd go with the JBL. Only downside is that it doesn't appear to support HDR passthrough. However, if that is a sticking point, you could always plug HDR devices into the TV and then bring the signal from the TV to the sound bar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My current 2.1 setup. I have the capability of expanding it to 7.1, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Onkyo receiver and blu-ray player, Athena F2.2 speakers (they don't make Athenas anymore 😞 ) and an Acoustech subwoofer.

And yes, I need cable management. Sue me. 😛

 

thumbnail.jpg

Edited by Tulpa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Gloves said:

Can they be across the room from the TV and still work if I made like a weird setup? Or could it be hidden in a drawer and still function?

Yeah, if you can run cables long enough, you can put the receiver and other components anywhere. I have my stuff on that glass stand to the right, but you can have them across the room, etc. If you put them in an enclosed space, you want to make sure the receiver gets ventilation so the heat can flow out. They don't get super hot, but they do get a little warm because of the amps inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think DoctorEncore has covered it really well.

It really depends how much of an audiophile you are.

If the idea of spending almost $800+ on a good receiver alone makes you pass out then I'd say just get a good wireless Sony, JBL, Samsung etc. The one posted by DoctorEncore is good.

If you want to go down the more serious audio route then you can build up your system, that's what I did. Started with a nice Denon receiver and purchased front speakers, then when I had the cash got a centre, then rears and finally a nice sub. A good subwoofer can cost $1k alone haha. In regards to wires, two methods work. Rug or running them through the wall/roof.

5.1 for your house (although I do wonder if you will get the full effects of the rears), 7.1 wouldn't work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Administrator · Posted

This is what pops up on Amazon and it's all totally different:

image.png

 

The "5.1" looks to be not the same as the ends don't come off for surround sound, and the 9.1 (wut?) over on the right DOES have that feature but it's $1200 so obviously something entirely different. I'm at a loss, and this is part of why I hate doing this search (I've tried looking into this before). 

Basically I find something I can get excited about and it turns out it's entirely impossible to get my hands on it.

 

EDIT:

I think I found it, but it's unavailable.

image.png

 

Looking at the JBL site, it doesn't seem to exist at all. Ugh.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Administrator · Posted

This is the 5.1 on their site: https://ca.jbl.com/BAR+5.1+SURROUND.html?dwvar_BAR 5.1 SURROUND_color=Black-US-Current&cgid=home-audio#start=1

Does it sound like BS? I mean if I don't have to worry about little detachable things and it "just works like magic" then I don't MIND the sound of that. (haha, the sound of that)

 

EDIT: AAAhhhh yeah I see. This is the new model. Makes sense now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Administrator · Posted
Just now, Tulpa said:

Soundbars like that work by bouncing sound off of walls for a surround effect. Do you have a wall to your right when sitting?

It's not a huge room or anything. I have my computers off to the right though. It's definitely not even.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...