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Home theater sound solution for small room?

Last response: in Home Theatre
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April 7, 2011 1:39:59 PM

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a sound solution for my room. I have a nice HDTV (Samsung 46") and I'd really like to get some sound to compliment the nice pictures. For a long while now I've simply been using my old pc speakers/subwoofer and I really think it's time to get something better. I use my HDTV for gaming, computer (via DVI/HDMI out), and occasionally tv watching.

Only problem is my living space is very small. There is definitely not enough room/space for a surround sound setup. The shape of my living space is also very odd, so for a surround sound setup I would not be able to have proper direction on the speakers, or distance.

So I'm trying to find something for what room I have. I was thinking perhaps a soundbar/subwoofer combo (not that I know anything about them) or perhaps finding a receiver/setup that I can use in my situation.

Price isn't really a huge concern, I'm just looking for the best quality I can muster under my living space constraints.

If you have recommendations/suggestions please help me out! Thanks everyone
April 7, 2011 8:13:58 PM

the THX setup console that comes with xfi soundcards can make those distances sound as if they are the same distance away.

otherwise you would need a receiver with individual time adjustments.
my receiver has distance adjustments.. but they dont change the sound when i adjust them.

its probably better to use a soundcard because then you can do more audio processing to adjust the equalizer.


as for the speakers, its all a matter of build quality.
bigger speakers can make a small room sound good.
the big speakers arent for big rooms only.. its about how much harmonics they put out.
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April 11, 2011 6:16:59 PM

theres a few options available to you.

a soundbar is only 2.0 or 2.1 if you add on a sub. you will most likely have to get a cheap receiver. sound will be ok but not great, however, you will save quite a bit of space.

a 2.1 pc speaker set such as the klipsch promedia 2.1. the subwoofer sometimes overpowers the satelites so you might have to turn them down but the quality is astounding considering the reasonable price. the nice thing about these is you dont need a receiver.

a typical 5.1 setup with a receiver that inclues a mic and mlacc. the auto-calibration can change the signals so that your speakers all sound the same distance away. pretty cool stuff. i'd suggest buying your pieces either seperate or as a speaker kit, sub, receiver as you get much better equipment than htib sets although you end up shelling out some more cash.

5.1 computer speaker system such as the higher end logitech one. i know the logitech sounds great but don't expect anything earthshattering. the nice thing about this is the fact that no receiver is required.

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overall i'd say it depends on how much you want to spend, how good you want the speakers to sound and how much effort you want to put into it.

the benefits of a computer system are that you don't need a receiver and everything just works. the negative is that your sound isn't on par with most normal ht systems (but the klipsch 2.1 is darn good)

the benefits of a reciever driven system is that you can connect multiple inputs for future expansion as well as use onboard mlacc. the quality of speakers you can get are also much better. the cons are that some speakers do take up more room (although you dont need bookshelf or floor speakers, satalites can be fine) and the subwoofers are larger. also be prepared to make room for a receiver. more work will be involved if you want to hide cables as well. typically you will spend quite a bit more this route if you want quality.

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since you said price isnt a concern i will list what i'm using in a smaller room. the room is about 12x15. the price of the system is in the medium range.

pioneer vsx-30
klipsch quintet (C/FL/FR/RL/RR)
klipsch 12hg 12" subwoofer (300w)

great sound for the price. i used wallplates with bananna clips to eliminate ugly cables. the only cables you see are from the reciever to the wall, the wall to the speakers, and from the pc to the receiver. though, the cables not in the walls are ran through a piece of u channel to hide them under a desk.
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April 16, 2011 9:26:10 AM

I appreciate the input guys. I wouldn't mind investing in a receiver/5.1 setup honestly, I just have no idea what I should look for or where to start. I could eventually use it in a bigger space later down the road.

Where could I start? A theater in a box? Or elsewhere?
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April 18, 2011 1:55:39 PM

HTiB are pretty much the lowest end of the scale. you are also severely limited choicewise to whatever comes in the packages. quality is also not usually as high as picking out your own equipment. the plus side is that they are cheaper.

if you buy things seperately you get more of a choice. this means that you can pick out a receiver with the functions you want as well as speakers that suit your room and style preferences.

if you are uncomfortable picking out speakers some companies do offer speaker "sets" such as the ones i listed that I use myself. if you want to pick out individual speakers then you can do that easy enough just make sure you find complimentary speakers (ones that work well together)

klipsch makes a wonderful product (but a bit pricey)
i've heard onkyo makes a decent product as well

my parents have a set of sony tower speakers which sound great. especially when i got two 4ft towers (tweeter, 2x mid, mini-sub - on each) for like $100usd for two. i've seen them on sears.com and in store for about $150/pair recently as well.

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it all comes down to what size speakers you want, what your budget is, and how many speakers you want.
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January 5, 2012 4:44:34 AM

Best answer selected by Kooper.
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December 15, 2013 10:30:10 PM

Even if your room is small you can turn it into a mini movie theater. But how? Easy friend. Install a home theater system and connect it with a good quality sound system. Jus tdo it and see how dolby digital sound change the ambiance of your room.
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