Doubts about speaker and room size.

Khalondir

New Member
Aug 28, 2020
15
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#1
Hello guys,

I need your help on which type of speakers to buy for the room space I have available, its a room with these measurements: 8.40ft height, 12.30ft width and 21ft depth.
My room will be dedicated, partially closed, with only one opening on the right side opposite the speakers.
My question is whether I will have any kind of limitation in the choice of speakers because of the dimensions of the room. Should I avoid large speakers? Maybe the room is a good size and I shouldn't worry.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#2
Width is limiting. I have a room 24 x 12 x 8.5 ft, and a monitor/subwoofer system. If you want floor standers, I would suggest not too large ones, preferably with a relatively narrow baffle.

Otherwise you may have difficulty with the speakers completely 'disappearing' from the soundstage -- if that is important to you (it is to me). Of course, to some extent room treatment may mitigate potential problems.

I am certain you will get a wide range of opinions on this.
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
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NYC
#3
Hello guys,

I need your help on which type of speakers to buy for the room space I have available, its a room with these measurements: 8.40ft height, 12.30ft width and 21ft depth.
My room will be dedicated, partially closed, with only one opening on the right side opposite the speakers.
My question is whether I will have any kind of limitation in the choice of speakers because of the dimensions of the room. Should I avoid large speakers? Maybe the room is a good size and I shouldn't worry.
If possible if you have good local dealer or audio consultant ie, Jim Smith or Sterling Trayle, some expert advice might go a long way towards your decision.
 
Likes: PeterA

Khalondir

New Member
Aug 28, 2020
15
4
3
37
#4
Width is limiting. I have a room 24 x 12 x 8.5 ft, and a monitor/subwoofer system. If you want floor standers, I would suggest not too large ones, preferably with a relatively narrow baffle.

Otherwise you may have difficulty with the speakers completely 'disappearing' from the soundstage -- if that is important to you (it is to me). Of course, to some extent room treatment may mitigate potential problems.

I am certain you will get a wide range of opinions on this.
Yes, I prefer floor stading speakers, I intend over time to do acoustic treatment in the room, depending on the need, I'm reading about it. In your room, did you install the treatment yourself? Or did you hire a specialist?

If possible if you have good local dealer or audio consultant ie, Jim Smith or Sterling Trayle, some expert advice might go a long way towards your decision.
I don't know many audio specialists here in Brazil. But I will follow your advice and contact the local dealer from which I will buy the speakers. They work with some well-known brands and I believe they will be able to advise me on what type of speaker I should buy.
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
1,373
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665
NYC
#6
Yes, I prefer floor stading speakers, I intend over time to do acoustic treatment in the room, depending on the need, I'm reading about it. In your room, did you install the treatment yourself? Or did you hire a specialist?


I don't know many audio specialists here in Brazil. But I will follow your advice and contact the local dealer from which I will buy the speakers. They work with some well-known brands and I believe they will be able to advise me on what type of speaker I should buy.
Yes, sorry did not know your location. Nothing wrong with opinions from forums of course, but if your local dealer is good, then it would not hurt to get his opinion as well. It would give you an opportunity to hear some speakers as well.

Even if a speaker is right for your room, which is paramount for good SQ, you also have to like the way the speaker presents music. Nothing like hearing a few different speakers, even at a dealer, where of course the sound will be different than in your home, but you can still get somewhat of an idea. Good luck with it!!

Btw, some of my best meals were at Rodízios in Sao Paulo and Rio.....especially love the people. Very warm.
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
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#7
I just realized Asiufy here is from Brazil, he might be your answer!
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
3,637
620
485
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#8
Khalondir,

Yup, like Bob said, I'm Brazilian, currently stranded here too. If you want, you're welcome to reach out via PM!


alex
 
Likes: KeithR

Khalondir

New Member
Aug 28, 2020
15
4
3
37
#9
I just realized Asiufy here is from Brazil, he might be your answer!
Yes, I believe that the choice of speaker is based not only on the synergy between the space of the room and the speaker, but also on personal taste, preferred music style, among other personal characteristics.

It would be nice to be able to analyze some speakers in person, but I am unable to do this, because of the difficulties of the present day that we are facing. I will base my choice on analysis, user comments and expert advice.

Thankyou for the indication. I sent a pm to Asiufy.
 
Likes: Rhapsody

Duke LeJeune

[Industry Expert]/Member Sponsor
Jul 22, 2013
584
663
340
Princeton, Texas
#10
I need your help on which type of speakers to buy for the room space I have available, its a room with these measurements: 8.40ft height, 12.30ft width and 21ft depth.
The following is just my opinion.

The room dimension which is most significant in this case is the width, because the distance from speakers to sidewalls is relatively short, assuming the speakers will be on the short wall.

Early sidewall reflections are a two-edged sword: They increase the width of the soundstage, but can decrease image precision and image depth (and can cause coloration if they have a significantly different spectral balance from the direct sound). So there is a juggling of tradeoffs: Do you prefer a wider soundstage, or a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage?

If you prefer a wider soundstage, you might use a little bit of diffusion at the first sidewall reflection areas, and maybe minimal absorption as a last resort if the sound is too bright.

If you prefer "a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage", there are several things you can do to address the early sidewall reflections: Reflect them away from the primary listening area using large flat angled surfaces; diffuse them; absorb them (not my first choice); and minimize them via loudspeaker radiation pattern and speaker set-up.

Since you're asking primarily about loudspeaker types, I won't go further into room acoustics.

In general a wide-pattern speaker, whose off-axis energy is smooth (i.e. it sounds like the direct sound), is a good choice for the widened soundstage approach. Examples might include the three- and four-way Revels, as Revel pays a lot of attention to getting the off-axis sound right. An omnidirectional speaker might make sense if you want to go really far in this direction. I'm tossing these thoughts out without having much of a feel for your price range.

If you prefer precision and soundstage depth, then imo you want speakers with a fairly narrow radiation pattern. Horns and planars come to mind. Note that planars will sound best with at least five feet between them and the "front" wall, such that the arrival of the reflected backwave is delayed about 10 milliseconds by the path length. Dipoles have a null to the side so when you space them wide apart and toe them in fairly aggressively, they have relatively little early sidewall interaction.

If the sweet spot is just for one person, you might consider the Sanders Sound flat-panel electrostatic loudspeakers. Tiny sweet spot but magnificent imaging and articulation for one.

If you want a wide sweet spot, horn speakers aimed such that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening area are a possibility. The JBL 4367 comes to mind. Also omnis give a wide sweet spot.

I have not talked about speaker "voicing" because within these different loudspeaker types there are different voicings to choose from.

How the loudspeaker's radiation pattern interacts with your room is of course not the only consideration, but if you have strong preferences regarding soundstaging and/or sweet spot width, imo it's worth taking into account.

Note that the one thing I believe to consistently matter is, that the speaker's reflections sound like the direct sound. Which implies that the radiation pattern be smooth over most of the spectrum, or at least over something like 1 kHz to 8 kHz. This will avoid the reflections significantly coloring the sound, because they will be supporting the first-arrival sound rather than fighting against it.

An example of what is imo NOT the kind of speaker you want, unless you plan to hire an acoustician, would be a two-way with a 6" midwoofer and 1" dome tweeter. What typically happens with such a speaker is this: There is a significant discontinuity in the off-axis energy in the crossover region, as we transition from the 6" midwoofer (which is beaming somewhat) to the 1" tweeter (whose pattern is very wide because the wavelengths are long relative to the diameter of the dome). We end up with excess off-axis energy at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, typically 2-4 kHz or so. This just happens to be the region where the ear is most sensitive, so when that excess off-axis energy arrives as reflections, it can result in a forward sound, or even harshness and/or listening fatigue. (There are voicing techniques for mitigating this effect, but they involve tradeoffs.)

Feel free to ignore any or all of this if you feel it's not applicable.

Best of luck in your quest!
 
May 30, 2010
16,978
1,744
720
Portugal
#11
The following is just my opinion.

The room dimension which is most significant in this case is the width, because the distance from speakers to sidewalls is relatively short, assuming the speakers will be on the short wall.

Early sidewall reflections are a two-edged sword: They increase the width of the soundstage, but can decrease image precision and image depth (and can cause coloration if they have a significantly different spectral balance from the direct sound). So there is a juggling of tradeoffs: Do you prefer a wider soundstage, or a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage?

If you prefer a wider soundstage, you might use a little bit of diffusion at the first sidewall reflection areas, and maybe minimal absorption as a last resort if the sound is too bright.

(...)
One issue with diffusers is that in order to have an adequate bandwidth they are usally deep and a reasonable distance from speaker to diffusor is needed for proper diffusion. Do you think we can use lateral diffusors in a 12 feet wide room?
 
Likes: christoph

Duke LeJeune

[Industry Expert]/Member Sponsor
Jul 22, 2013
584
663
340
Princeton, Texas
#12
One issue with diffusers is that in order to have an adequate bandwidth they are usally deep and a reasonable distance from speaker to diffusor is needed for proper diffusion. Do you think we can use lateral diffusors in a 12 feet wide room?
My recollection is that there is a type of phase-grating diffusor which works well at close range, but I may be mistaken.

I used ficus trees to break up early sidewall reflections when I had a relatively long and narrow room. Not that that's an especially sophisticated form of diffusion, but to my ears it improved the image precision.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
8,209
2,635
730
Beverly Hills, CA
#13
I think 12' x 21' are not bad dimensions at all. Many audiophiles work with rooms smaller than this.

In a 10' x 16' bedroom in Manhattan repurposed as a dedicated listening room I used MartinLogan Prodigy speakers, which are not small or inconspicuous.

I would suggest you figure out what type of sound you like for your musical genre preferences from different types of speakers, and select from that type of speaker a model that is not too large for that room.

In conclusion, I think you do not have to worry.
 

Khalondir

New Member
Aug 28, 2020
15
4
3
37
#15
The following is just my opinion.

The room dimension which is most significant in this case is the width, because the distance from speakers to sidewalls is relatively short, assuming the speakers will be on the short wall.

Early sidewall reflections are a two-edged sword: They increase the width of the soundstage, but can decrease image precision and image depth (and can cause coloration if they have a significantly different spectral balance from the direct sound). So there is a juggling of tradeoffs: Do you prefer a wider soundstage, or a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage?

If you prefer a wider soundstage, you might use a little bit of diffusion at the first sidewall reflection areas, and maybe minimal absorption as a last resort if the sound is too bright.

If you prefer "a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage", there are several things you can do to address the early sidewall reflections: Reflect them away from the primary listening area using large flat angled surfaces; diffuse them; absorb them (not my first choice); and minimize them via loudspeaker radiation pattern and speaker set-up.

Since you're asking primarily about loudspeaker types, I won't go further into room acoustics.

In general a wide-pattern speaker, whose off-axis energy is smooth (i.e. it sounds like the direct sound), is a good choice for the widened soundstage approach. Examples might include the three- and four-way Revels, as Revel pays a lot of attention to getting the off-axis sound right. An omnidirectional speaker might make sense if you want to go really far in this direction. I'm tossing these thoughts out without having much of a feel for your price range.

If you prefer precision and soundstage depth, then imo you want speakers with a fairly narrow radiation pattern. Horns and planars come to mind. Note that planars will sound best with at least five feet between them and the "front" wall, such that the arrival of the reflected backwave is delayed about 10 milliseconds by the path length. Dipoles have a null to the side so when you space them wide apart and toe them in fairly aggressively, they have relatively little early sidewall interaction.

If the sweet spot is just for one person, you might consider the Sanders Sound flat-panel electrostatic loudspeakers. Tiny sweet spot but magnificent imaging and articulation for one.

If you want a wide sweet spot, horn speakers aimed such that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening area are a possibility. The JBL 4367 comes to mind. Also omnis give a wide sweet spot.

I have not talked about speaker "voicing" because within these different loudspeaker types there are different voicings to choose from.

How the loudspeaker's radiation pattern interacts with your room is of course not the only consideration, but if you have strong preferences regarding soundstaging and/or sweet spot width, imo it's worth taking into account.

Note that the one thing I believe to consistently matter is, that the speaker's reflections sound like the direct sound. Which implies that the radiation pattern be smooth over most of the spectrum, or at least over something like 1 kHz to 8 kHz. This will avoid the reflections significantly coloring the sound, because they will be supporting the first-arrival sound rather than fighting against it.

An example of what is imo NOT the kind of speaker you want, unless you plan to hire an acoustician, would be a two-way with a 6" midwoofer and 1" dome tweeter. What typically happens with such a speaker is this: There is a significant discontinuity in the off-axis energy in the crossover region, as we transition from the 6" midwoofer (which is beaming somewhat) to the 1" tweeter (whose pattern is very wide because the wavelengths are long relative to the diameter of the dome). We end up with excess off-axis energy at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, typically 2-4 kHz or so. This just happens to be the region where the ear is most sensitive, so when that excess off-axis energy arrives as reflections, it can result in a forward sound, or even harshness and/or listening fatigue. (There are voicing techniques for mitigating this effect, but they involve tradeoffs.)

Feel free to ignore any or all of this if you feel it's not applicable.

Best of luck in your quest!
Your opinion was very important, I am really grateful.

I also received advice that I should expect installing the speakers before making any acoustic treatment in the room. Once the system is up and running I will see the real need for some treatment for the room, when everything is installed I will follow your advice regarding the treatment, taking into account my sound preference.

I will take your opinion into consideration to avoid two-way speakers with a 6 "midwoofer and 1" dome tweeter.

Thankyou.

I think 12' x 21' are not bad dimensions at all. Many audiophiles work with rooms smaller than this.

In a 10' x 16' bedroom in Manhattan repurposed as a dedicated listening room I used MartinLogan Prodigy speakers, which are not small or inconspicuous.

I would suggest you figure out what type of sound you like for your musical genre preferences from different types of speakers, and select from that type of speaker a model that is not too large for that room.

In conclusion, I think you do not have to worry.
I'll follow your advice and not worry. As for the favorite musical genres, I don't usually limit myself to just a few. But the main ones are rock, heavy metal and electronic music.

Thankyou.
 
Likes: Duke LeJeune

Duke LeJeune

[Industry Expert]/Member Sponsor
Jul 22, 2013
584
663
340
Princeton, Texas
#16
As for the favorite musical genres, I don't usually limit myself to just a few. But the main ones are rock, heavy metal and electronic music.
I have kids who write electronic music, and ime the bass matters a lot for electronica. There is a technique for getting high-quality bass that might be of interest.

Briefly, room interaction peaks-and-dips in the bass region are an issue. The peak-and-dip pattern will differ for every listening location, and for every woofer or subwoofer location. If we take multiple small subs and spreading them asymmetrically around the room, each will generate a different peak-and-dip pattern at any given listening location. But the sum of these four dissimilar peak-and-dip patterns will be considerably smoother than any one alone, and that smoothness will extend throughout the room.

I can (probably) answer questions and/or post relevant links if you'd like.
 
May 30, 2010
16,978
1,744
720
Portugal
#17
My recollection is that there is a type of phase-grating diffusor which works well at close range, but I may be mistaken.

I used ficus trees to break up early sidewall reflections when I had a relatively long and narrow room. Not that that's an especially sophisticated form of diffusion, but to my ears it improved the image precision.
Perhaps you are addressing the Binary Amplitude Diffsorbor. They have reduced depth, but are very absorptive and have a higher lower frequency diffuser cut-off. IMHO they are inappropriate to stereo use and also need a significant distance between speaker and wall.

Plants can be good diffusers and have an excellent audiophile quality - as they are dynamic and grow, they produce evolutionary changes in sound quality, something we all love! :)
 
Likes: Duke LeJeune

RGMD11

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2017
76
57
85
#18
Yes, I believe that the choice of speaker is based not only on the synergy between the space of the room and the speaker, but also on personal taste, preferred music style, among other personal characteristics.

It would be nice to be able to analyze some speakers in person, but I am unable to do this, because of the difficulties of the present day that we are facing. I will base my choice on analysis, user comments and expert advice.

Thankyou for the indication. I sent a pm to Asiufy.
João Vieira on here is Brazilian and maybe he can help you

So Ingles e ja moro ai em Brazil entre 1990 e 2008 e adoro muito o povo, clima tropical, comida......boa sorte em sua procura, abraco
 

Khalondir

New Member
Aug 28, 2020
15
4
3
37
#19
I have kids who write electronic music, and ime the bass matters a lot for electronica. There is a technique for getting high-quality bass that might be of interest.

Briefly, room interaction peaks-and-dips in the bass region are an issue. The peak-and-dip pattern will differ for every listening location, and for every woofer or subwoofer location. If we take multiple small subs and spreading them asymmetrically around the room, each will generate a different peak-and-dip pattern at any given listening location. But the sum of these four dissimilar peak-and-dip patterns will be considerably smoother than any one alone, and that smoothness will extend throughout the room.

I can (probably) answer questions and/or post relevant links if you'd like.
Interesting your placement in relation to the bass sound, yes, if possible I would like to read more about this subject. It is always good to add more knowledge.


The bass sound within the electronic musical style, placed in an intelligent way, without exaggeration, plus the other elements of music, together with a high fidelity audio system, provide true journeys through music.

I think the bass sound needs to be consistent with the moment of the song, not just something repeated, which for some is what it sounds like.

As I like the style, I will choose my speakers based on that aspect too, maybe a full range speaker is a right choice.

João Vieira on here is Brazilian and maybe he can help you

So Ingles e ja moro ai em Brazil entre 1990 e 2008 e adoro muito o povo, clima tropical, comida......boa sorte em sua procura, abraco
Legal, você morou aqui no Brasil por um bom tempo, fico feliz por ter gostado do nosso país.
Obrigado, temos alguns brasileiros aqui no fórum pelo visto.
 
Last edited:
Likes: RGMD11

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,514
248
498
#20
The following is just my opinion.

The room dimension which is most significant in this case is the width, because the distance from speakers to sidewalls is relatively short, assuming the speakers will be on the short wall.

Early sidewall reflections are a two-edged sword: They increase the width of the soundstage, but can decrease image precision and image depth (and can cause coloration if they have a significantly different spectral balance from the direct sound). So there is a juggling of tradeoffs: Do you prefer a wider soundstage, or a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage?

If you prefer a wider soundstage, you might use a little bit of diffusion at the first sidewall reflection areas, and maybe minimal absorption as a last resort if the sound is too bright.

If you prefer "a bit more precise and a bit deeper soundstage", there are several things you can do to address the early sidewall reflections: Reflect them away from the primary listening area using large flat angled surfaces; diffuse them; absorb them (not my first choice); and minimize them via loudspeaker radiation pattern and speaker set-up.

Since you're asking primarily about loudspeaker types, I won't go further into room acoustics.

In general a wide-pattern speaker, whose off-axis energy is smooth (i.e. it sounds like the direct sound), is a good choice for the widened soundstage approach. Examples might include the three- and four-way Revels, as Revel pays a lot of attention to getting the off-axis sound right. An omnidirectional speaker might make sense if you want to go really far in this direction. I'm tossing these thoughts out without having much of a feel for your price range.

If you prefer precision and soundstage depth, then imo you want speakers with a fairly narrow radiation pattern. Horns and planars come to mind. Note that planars will sound best with at least five feet between them and the "front" wall, such that the arrival of the reflected backwave is delayed about 10 milliseconds by the path length. Dipoles have a null to the side so when you space them wide apart and toe them in fairly aggressively, they have relatively little early sidewall interaction.

If the sweet spot is just for one person, you might consider the Sanders Sound flat-panel electrostatic loudspeakers. Tiny sweet spot but magnificent imaging and articulation for one.

If you want a wide sweet spot, horn speakers aimed such that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening area are a possibility. The JBL 4367 comes to mind. Also omnis give a wide sweet spot.

I have not talked about speaker "voicing" because within these different loudspeaker types there are different voicings to choose from.

How the loudspeaker's radiation pattern interacts with your room is of course not the only consideration, but if you have strong preferences regarding soundstaging and/or sweet spot width, imo it's worth taking into account.

Note that the one thing I believe to consistently matter is, that the speaker's reflections sound like the direct sound. Which implies that the radiation pattern be smooth over most of the spectrum, or at least over something like 1 kHz to 8 kHz. This will avoid the reflections significantly coloring the sound, because they will be supporting the first-arrival sound rather than fighting against it.

An example of what is imo NOT the kind of speaker you want, unless you plan to hire an acoustician, would be a two-way with a 6" midwoofer and 1" dome tweeter. What typically happens with such a speaker is this: There is a significant discontinuity in the off-axis energy in the crossover region, as we transition from the 6" midwoofer (which is beaming somewhat) to the 1" tweeter (whose pattern is very wide because the wavelengths are long relative to the diameter of the dome). We end up with excess off-axis energy at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, typically 2-4 kHz or so. This just happens to be the region where the ear is most sensitive, so when that excess off-axis energy arrives as reflections, it can result in a forward sound, or even harshness and/or listening fatigue. (There are voicing techniques for mitigating this effect, but they involve tradeoffs.)

Feel free to ignore any or all of this if you feel it's not applicable.

Best of luck in your quest!
Duke, you are amazing! I can't think of too many people who grasp this stuff and can explain it the way you do.

Question for you: can one do anything, in terms of placement or anything else, to make planars sound more omni-ish, more 3D, where the music just floats in space so properly, on the right recordings? Or is the technology limitation just is what it is?
 

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