Audio setup in new room - appreciate system suggestions/preferences

We have a new room that we are adding a TV to, and need to figure out how to set things up for (mostly) TV audio.

Dimensions are 17x21, basic layout below.

I think a simple 3.1 setup makes the most sense, as wife is not an audiophile by any definition and she will be the primary user in the bedroom. If we are watching movies we'll do that in our primary spot where I have a full home theater setup.

We also have limited room in the bedroom to place speakers due to how my wife wants to place furnishings (non-negotiable). :slight_smile:

Questions include:

  • Subwoofer: Due to set furnishing plans, the only spot we can really fit a subwoofer is in the far corner as indicated. I know subwoofers are non-directional, but will having it over there suck completely? :wink: My wife isn't anything close to an audiophile so it just has to work reasonably well to provide reasonable support for TV shows/movides, and for occassional music.

  • Surrounds: If we did go for a 5.1 setup, the surround speakers could be on wall behind couch, or on ceiling above the couch. Since the couch will be back against the wall there will be almost no space between the speakers and the person sitting It seems like the ceiling is the best option for surrounds.

  • Front L/R speakers: Planning on those being in-wall on either side of the TV. TV will be on a wall mount.

  • Center channel: Want a system that uses a soundbar/slim speaker for the center channel. She does not want "One of those big boxy speakers" sitting in/on her furniture) below the TV.

Anyone have a favored 3.1 and 5.1 setups that use a soundbar for the center speaker? Budget is $300 to $500. Extra points for "cheap but good" which is my wife's strongly preferred solution.


to be honest, this room layout isn't amenable to any surround sound setup, personally i wouldn't even try.
I would go for a good quality sound bar and a sub, and call it good, with a decent sound bar, you could skip the sub altogether.
The sub placement in the corner is going to cause a bass heavy response in the opposite corner where the couch is, so be aware of that when you set the sub level, or see if you can place it in the center of the wall the TV is on, or right next to the TV on the left side if possible.

Having the TV and the couch right next to the adjacent wall, and the couch directly against the back wall are the main reasons that a surround setup aren't going to be effective in this space.


The subwoofer can go virtually anywhere. Some people even have them behind them. You'll have to try different options to see what sounds best to you. And I agree with mike, don't even try surround unless you can get them at least several feet away from you. With a couch up against the wall those speakers would distract you more than add to anything. If you are really desperate for surrounds, maybe some in-ceiling speakers for a 5.1.

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Having just done such a setup in (approx.) the same sized room (on the main floor), I'd like to insert a note of caution.
We put 4 * 8" Polk speakers in the ceiling, in the corners of the room. We put back boxes in, with insulation in behind the in wall speakers. Sonos Amp, on a Sony Bravia 85" TV.
There is still (even at low volumes) a tremendous amount of sound leaking to the second floor.

Client was not happy.

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Thanks, to you and to @jtmpush18 and @waffles for the feedback. I think I'm leaning towards 3.1 as the high-end option, and possibly just soundbar and sub, w/an option to add the front L/R later if she desires.

Anyone have a suggestion on a soundbar/woofer combo? I've never owned a soundbar, no experience w/them.

Luckily there is no second floor...this is in an extension of our bedroom, and single-story ranch so the only folks we'll be annoying w/upwards sound leakage will be the birds on our roof. :slight_smile: