Speakers for 120 square meter room

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Home Forums General Discussion & Questions Speakers for 120 square meter room

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  • #56183
    Sia43
    BRONZE Member
      • Topics Started 15
      • Total Posts 96

      I’m developing a new house (architect stage) with a large, open living room/kitchen (around 126 square meters) with glass walls on three sides from floor to ceiling and the fourth one around 50% glass. The room is asymmetric, with the large sides in parallel (18 m and 15 m) while the short sides are not in parallel). In there I would like to arrange a listening corner  (5 x5 m) where I can listen to music while sitting (perhaps narrow beam speakers could be helpful to three) and also be able to listen to music with reasonable quality and not much distortion in the other parts of the room. I also need to mention that I don’t care much about surround sound or realistic theatrical sound projection. I prioritise music: classical, jazz, and some rock and pop.

      If I’m not mistaken, I will need to deal with (at least) two problems:

      1: Due to the size of the room, I will need a lot of speaker movement; therefore, speakers with many watts (or several speakers with lesser power that might become a problem dependent on their placement and combined projection).

      2: One of the more difficult challenges I’m facing is the large areas of glass in the room, which will likely cause significant sound reflection issues. The room’s floor will be hardwood with carpets, and there will be no curtains. I’m open to any ceiling material that can help mitigate these issues, as long as it’s visually not too bad.

      I wouldn’t say I like B & O’s floor-standing speakers much, such as the BL90s, 50s, or 20s. On the other hand, I’m quite fond of their wall-mounted options, such as the 18s, 17s, 12s, 8000s, and 3s, when wall-mounted.

      I’m sure neither of the speakers I like can provide enough speaker movement independently. Even if I use a par of  BL50s, I will lose around six DBL every few meters, so investing in those might not solve the problem, and they will make a significant hole in my budget.

      On the other hand, If I use several pairs of smaller speakers, BL17s, BL3s, or BL18s strategically distributed across the room, combined with one or two BL19s, I might get enough sound volume. Still, I will likely need to solve the problem with sound reflections.

      I understand that what I like and don’t like makes a tall order and is challenging to meet, but as this is a forum, I thought that maybe some of you have thought across the same line of thought, and I would love to hear what you think. Have you, for example, managed to solve similar problems, or do you have suggestions that might help me, especially regarding sound reflections? I would also be grateful for suggestions on ceiling material that could help minimise the reflection issue. If I find a solution or an acceptable compromise, I can leave enough space between the glass walls to mount the speakers before constructing the room, while I need to decide which speakers would be best for this room. Also, I’m sure I’ve forgotten additional factors and would be grateful for any hints you could provide.

      #56191
      NQVHNWI
      BRONZE Member
        • Topics Started 9
        • Total Posts 523

        I moved into a house with a basic description to yours, a lounge approx 10m x 5m wide, with a kitchen and dining room all in open plan to one another making the floor area over 12 x 8. To add to that, the lounge has 3m high ceilings but opens up to over 7m high in the staircase/atrium.

        The lounge, dining room and staircase/atrium all have large walls of glass on 1 to 3 sides.

        Im still renovating but expect to be done in the next 3 weeks when I can test how the room calibration on the 90s, 8s and Theatre all work once we have thrown down som soft furnishings (rugs, sofas, chairs, curtains etc)

        From an acoustic point of view, I can tell you the following:-

        1. The 90s fill the room, but then we know that and it’s about maxing-out the quality

        2. The Theatre can fill the room as a standalone. Again, it’s about maximising quality,

        3. The BL8s can’t fill the room without getting stressed. They will be surrounds anyway.

        4. The Shape on a hanging Atrium wall sounds surprisingly good for “atmospheric” music like jazz or piano – a bit like when you hear that music being played in a large hotel foyer.

        Good luck with the built – choosing what B&O gear you use will be the least of your problems..believe me.

        IMG_0494

        #56193
        Millemissen
        BRONZE Member
          • Flensborg————Danmark
          • Topics Started 23
          • Total Posts 1,072

          As for a passive treatment of your room, you ought to let a skilled person do the job – he will need to see the room and do some measurement.

          A room like what you describe, is basically bad for sound, for listening…especially if you want to have a specific listening position (“narrow beam speakers“).

          Also you should consider that these treatment – done 100% – will have a heavy effect on the looks of the room.

          When B&O developed the BL90’s (and later on the BL50’s), they took into account that a lot of their costumer have acoustically bad rooms! These 2 speakers have a built-in room compensation, that lets them adapt to the room, when set up – and both can be costumized for specific listening positions (in fact several positions).

          You will not have to worry that the 90’er or the 50’s can fill your room with sound….in fact more than that.

          For insight in how the BL90 works please have a look here

          As for your other suggestions (“BL17s, BL3s, or BL18s strategically distributed across the room, combined with one or two BL19s“), you will need many to compete with the 90’s/50’s….and you will run into trouble finding the right placement of the  BL19’s. Apart from that you will never be able to have a specific/optimized listening position. You will never have this “listening corner  (5 x5 m) where I can listen to music while sitting” – it will (at best) be an even sound from all of the room.

          Apart from this you should think of the need for connecting these many speakers – they will each need power cables and the powerlink cables. Not that this could not work – it will be a different experience and taste can not be discussed.

          By the Way, which source/s do you intend to use?

          I’d say a set of the 50’s or even the 90’s is the right choice for such a room – I am sure you can arrange a demo at home – at least for the 50’s – from a good B&O dealer.

          Hope this helps a bit.

           

          P.S.

          This said – there would be another solution….the BS Theatre has similar capacities for Room Compensation and for creating different Listening Positions.

          This soundbar from B&O can without any problems be used as a stereo/2 channel setup. You can connect multiple (Beolab) speakers here and have these play unified for 2 channel listening. You can connect some of the speakers, that you have mentioned, wirelessly….which makes it easier to place these and rearrange if needed (they still need a power cord, though).

          The soundbar itself could be hidden away – if preferred. This would also provide several sources and a control with a B&O remote respectively with the Bang & Olufsen app.

           

          Edit!

          Seeing the post that came just before mine was finished . the BS Shape could be an excellent option too – however it will not give you the specific, optimal listening position, you have written about. The Shape is a terrific speaker setup to fill a room with sound.

          MM

          #56206
          Sandyb
          BRONZE Member
            • Topics Started 2
            • Total Posts 393

            I’d echo the first response, in that carving out a focussed listening space within such a large and larger open plan room is nigh on impossible, at least within reason.

            And I’d second MM’s comments, that if you rule out a pair of larger speakers and opt instead for 2-4 pairs of smaller speakers, then that choice comes with its own challenges and limitations, as described above.

            All depends on how particular you are with respect to the sound image and how precise you need it to be. Placing a few pairs of smaller speakers (and I dont know how you are thinking of connecting them, and to what source) can certainly sound very decent in a general sense with music. But it cant do what a pair of larger speakers can, with respect to soundstage reproduction and separation etc.

            Going down the route of 50s (for example) have one advantage – they sound so good that you can then forget about ever needing to change speakers ever again. With a few pairs of smaller speakers, and the hassle of that setup, there’s still a non-trivial chance that you’ll want to change them for something else / better down the road.

            #56214
            Sia43
            BRONZE Member
              • Topics Started 15
              • Total Posts 96

              NQVHNWI, your place looks great already. Thank you, everyone, for the valuable comments. I agree with you about them. I can see that even NQVHNWI is trying to adjust the room’s characteristics by adding a BL-Shape despite the BL90s.

              I believe even the best solutions will be a compromise in the case of rooms in those dimensions. The question is how much. A few months ago, I visited the B&O store in Puerto Banus in South Spain. Although the showroom was boxy with parallel walls, the size of the room was very close to what I have in mind. There, I listed several setups. I think BL 50s and 28s sound fantastic if you are within “normal listening distance” from them, while the sound quality drops significantly already 7-8 meters from the source. It could have depended on the room’s acoustics, but I imagine that they had tried to calibrate the sound. Therefore, it was the best they could manage. I also listened to a long array of BL-Shape, which filled the room nicely, probably due to its long arrangement. Yet the sound quality wasn’t even close to the one from BL50s or 28s (although good enough for background listening, say while working in the kitchen.

              I brought up this discussion to see if I could do anything to help the room acoustics. As I wrote, I’m still discussing the room’s shape with the architect, and it is possible to introduce some changes. For example, I’ve learned that parallel walls introduce several issues in the sound image in the case of large rooms and that things can be done, such as introducing smaller wall sections in odd angles, room partitioning and acoustic dampers. I will also consult with an acoustic engineer about this issue and hear what she or he suggests.

              #56216
              NQVHNWI
              BRONZE Member
                • Topics Started 9
                • Total Posts 523

                Hi Sia43,

                Like myself, your probably dealing with first-world problems and a big part of this is how to get the best out of big expensive loudspeakers and a big (probably v. expensive) lounge/listening area.

                I will know shortly how well our rugs (on a tile floor) and curtains (12m of glass wall on one side) can cut out the reflections. A good thing I know based on my last residence was my head was right next to the reflective stone wall 3.5 to 4m from the TV panel. By situating the sofa at approx. 50% mark, I know a lot of reflections will be eliminated (or reduced) coming from the wall/glass windows 6m behind my head rather than bouncing back 6cm from my ears.

                I think its also a little unreasonable to have any loudspeaker in say a 5m wide room and expect it to project “straight” down the room 15 to 18m in pure audiophile quality. The reality is….when would you use that and to what purpose? Better I think to adopt to the “equilateral triangle” positioning and ensure as much free space behind your head as possible. I suspect that will sound very good?

                The Shape was a spare wheel – no room I could have effectively placed it and used it well for what it is. Hanging it on a “what do we do with that wall” 5-6m up in the air gives the house a crappy sound ambience like listening to a grand piano in a hotel foyer kind sound and a bit of cubist art on the wall. Will be even better I think when my wifes Alabaster cascading chandelier/pendant arrives to go along side of the Shape. In a warped sense, I’m nurturing the family to give the Theatre and the BL90s a rest when they listen to crappy day-time Web radio.  Where Im at in the world will not be easy or cheap to have them serviced etc….

                So my recommendation (probably given elsewhere above), is design the BL50s/90s for optimum music positioning and enjoyment, and for want of a poor misnomer, have something else to do the day to day stuff. As mentioned previously, I just purchased an A5 specifically to have crappy web radio play on the roof-top terrace without worrying about mains power. Its good enough when gulping that first G&T down of the evening and you don’t need the BL90s up there holding your hand.

                Finally, to the acoustic treatment. Apart from a few plants, rugs and curtains I would not bother. Your in a deeply fortunate position and I wouldn’t think of turning any large house (in that locality) into a recording studio. Enjoy the views and the space and your brain will adapt to the sound and forgive you. If it really is that big a problem…….put a roof over the proposed swimming pool, acoustically fill it to your hearts content (with one chair, no mates) and you get the large listening room you desire and your partner gets the space and the views (but not the dip in the pool.)

                Good luck to you regardless.

                #56220
                Sia43
                BRONZE Member
                  • Topics Started 15
                  • Total Posts 96

                  El-Punto22Thanks again, NQVHNWI, for sharing your experience and suggestions. As you mentioned, I believe the problem can be solved if I divide the room into three zones (listening, sitting area and kitchen-dining, and solve the acoustic issues for each of them independently.
                  You are right about the scenery, yet a good quality sound (in the listening zone, at least) could significantly improve the general picture (see picture). As I wrote, I’m still planning the construction, so I believe I should try to get some help and prepare the room’s architecture to divide the room into the zones I’m considering. For now, however, the whole thing is an open canvas, and I’m trying to avoid unnecessary errors if I can, as I will be spending most of my time in that room.

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