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160 posts

Master Geek

# 255628 21-Aug-2019 15:47
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Quick q:




I'm setting up the HT room in our new place. Nice rectangular room, I can wire it up how I want, but there are two beams running across the room. I'm a bit cautious about putting in-ceiling speakers in case we have to move and because of sound feeding into the upstairs rooms via the floor cavity.




So I could do these:




or something like this:




and just stick them to the ceiling. The latter or similar is obviously cheaper, and the extension from the clamps will help get the sound past the beams running across the room. But I wonder whether they are likely to have wide dispersion needed? And of course it's a bit unsightly to have black things stuck to the ceiling.




Any thoughts, esp from those who have tried the KEF Q50a's?

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204 posts

Master Geek

  # 2303167 21-Aug-2019 16:40
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Would in-ceiling speakers be appreciably worse than a traditional set up, with or without height speakers, going full-bore during an Avengers movie as far as sound travel up to the first floor was concerned?


I've no personal experience, but if you want it to sound like it's coming down from the ceiling wouldn't you be better off actually having the sound coming down from the ceiling?


I certainly remember "virtual surround" systems from back in the day that were only virtual in that they were virtually useless at making it seem like the sound was coming from behind you. 😀    

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Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2303199 21-Aug-2019 16:52
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Atmos speakers are only effects speakers. There is an ‘ideal’ location for each according to Dolby Laboratories but unless you have the ideal room then things like reflections will alter performance anyway. My Atmos speakers are in-ceilings but I rely on my HT Amp’s calibration to make the most of them. But aesthetics played a part in my installation as WAF requires equipment to be unobtrusive as possible.


If you do go in-ceiling you will probably need to work around floor joists for the storey above and backfill with some sound insulation, and then figure out how to run the speaker cables. If the ceiling beams are in approximately the right place to mount Atmos speakers then my only additional comment would be that you wouldn’t want speakers that were too directional. I believe speakers mounted high on walls would also provide some overhead effect.


In the weekend we watched the 4K Bluray of Avengers:Endgame with its Atmos audio, it was awesome.




Edit: Was composing when evilengineer posted, funny we both referenced the Avengers. As an aside we also have an atmos enabled soundbar in another room. Its effect isn’t a patch on the ‘proper’ speakers in the HT.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.


160 posts

Master Geek

  # 2303243 21-Aug-2019 19:03
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I don't have to worry too much about aesthetics, thankfully, as I've kind of got approval for it to be *my* room. Having said which, the in-ceiling speakers definitely look better and all else being equal that's a big plus about them. The issue with the floor and sound transmission is that I'd imagine it's a bit different if the speaker is intruding into the inter-floor cavity. But the counter-argument is that I tend to have the volume pretty loud for the kind of fun movies that Atmos effects are made for so maybe it doesn't really matter…




I'd be especially curious to hear of anyone who has used the KEFs as they have quite good reviews.

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Uber Geek

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  # 2303286 21-Aug-2019 19:17
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The other thing I have done is positioned my effects speakers so they can be used as 7:1:2 or 5:1:4.


I’m sure there are gzers that have the up firing atmos speakers, possibly even the ones you linked. Could they be used as front height speakers if they don’t cut the mustard for atmos?


If setting up the room includes running cable before decorating, then cable is cheap compared to redecorating.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

160 posts

Master Geek

  # 2303296 21-Aug-2019 19:47
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I think those KEF and other similar up-firing speakers are pretty specialised - the idea is that they get their dispersion from the ceiling, so they have to fire the sound in just the right way to bounce off the ceiling from about the right spot. Apparently, from the reviews I've read, they do a pretty decent job. But it also seems obvious to me that in-ceiling wide-dispersion speakers are going to be the gold standard.

160 posts

Master Geek

  # 2303298 21-Aug-2019 19:50
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Actually this says that they work fine in the more traditional front height setup:

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  # 2303300 21-Aug-2019 19:57
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How much insulation are you putting into the interfloor cavity to dampen sound transmission? You could also use a double layer of Gib on the ceiling if you decide not to use in-ceiling speakers. Have a look at the Gib website and this will give you attenuation in dB's of various options.


Personally I wouldn't even bother with upfiring speakers for lots of acoustic reasons eg unpredictability of bounced levels & frequency response. Easy to do a Google search on upfiring vs direct Atmos speakers.


Anyhow, these are well worth considering depending on budget:

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