Help: Non-ideal Speaker placement


New member
Username: Jasperm

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-05

I have read many articles about ideal speaker placement. However, I live in a non-ideal world, with furniture located according to aesthetic and architectural considerations that aren't consistent with surround sound needs.

Our livingroom is a medium sized rectangle -about 15 x 23'. TV is in a corner. Watching listening position is couch right up against a long wall, in the middle. No option to put speakers directly behind, unless we wall mount essentially over our heads near ceiling. My wife feels strongly about not having side surrounds sticking up on stands on either side of couch, so best I can do is have them lower than couch arms, perhaps aimed at wall? Or angled towards us, partly toward wall?

Front speaker issue is also difficult due to fireplace directly in front of couch on opposite long wall and doorway next to TV.

Since rearranging room is not an option, would appreciate guidance on best placement to deal with these limitations. I know I won't get an optimal soundfield, but would like help getting as far as I can.

Budget IS an issue - need to keep costs down, so very expensive technology isn't a good choice - I am looking at probably no more than $700 for all speakers. COnsidering Cambridge SOundworks - focusing on quality of front and center, since side surrounds will be sub-optimally placed.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Unregistered guest
I would look at the Mirage Nanosat system. This is near your budget and have omnidirectional sound dispersion (they are more forgiving of placement). The surrounds could be mounted on the ceiling above you.

Bronze Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 37
Registered: Mar-05
In your case, ceiling mount of smaller satellites (just not Bose cubes, for God's sake!) would be the way to go...I'd look at the Hsu system for $560:

Bronze Member
Username: Blasterman

Post Number: 15
Registered: Mar-05
Guess I'm missing a few details here. First, are you asking for advice on fronts, just the rears, or the whole system? Next, is the spousal approval factor (SAF) forcing you to buy little cubes of any brand? Personally my friend I'd rather buy a good pair of headphones vs waste any more money on small speakers regardless of who makes them. Cambridge is a nice company that certainly builds superior speakers that those dreadfull Bose things, but they are still small. Small speakers = small sound. I'd also, given limited resources, get a good pair of decent sized floor standing speakers than a room full of little boxes, but that's just my opinion.

If you're room placement involves speakers placed along the long dimension of the room, you are correct in that this is not the most ideal scenario for most speakers and can be troublesome. My solution for fixing this type of room is to choose speakers that are preferably front ported vs rear, and stick to designs that have a good deal of driver area up front to over-power the long room boundries.

Oddly, bi-polar designs like the newer Mirage offerings tend to like this type of room, and will produce a very expansive soundstage. Haven't checked the price of Mirage though lately.

Best bang for the buck woukd be a pair of Athena FS-2's, which can usually be found for less than $500 per pair. I love these speakers for the price, and they would do well in this type of room because of their front porting and generous front driver area.

Magnepan MMG's would work as well (about $570 shipped), and if you get them in white, the SAF usually get's good marks. Planars aren't for everybody though, but maggies do like wide rooms.

The rears are a problem. Unless you can mount some di-poles on the walls, you're out of luck, and I'd rather not have rear channel than do it poorly. In a pinch you can set a normal pair of speakers fairly low and point them towards the ceiling as you suggested.

Assuming we're talking
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