Speaker Dilemma: Floor Standing or In-Wall?


Old 01-11-06, 06:14 PM
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Speaker Dilemma: Floor Standing or In-Wall?

I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with my basement. My wife has given me free range on what I want to do (price is a concern of course). She said it's my basement, as long as I don't make it look like I "puked" Nebraska Cornhuskers everywhere... I work for a movie theater, so good sound is important to me. I'm wondering, for just my basement, would some in-wall speakers produce good sound for things like DVD's, music, gaming, etc...? I have my current set up using bookshelf speakers, but if I could get some amazing sound from in-wall/ceiling speakers, I would probably look into that a little harder. Any thoughts or advice from in-walls?

thanks for reading
Old 01-11-06, 08:44 PM
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Here's my 2 cents:

I believe there are no difference between in-wall speakers or floor standing speakers. What DOES matter is the quality of speakers, and how good your receiver is. There are many good speaker systems out there as are good receivers. It just depends on how much you want to spend. I personally like Klipsch speakers and Yamaha and Onkyo receivers. I also like Paradigm's but can't afford those. Some people swear by BOSE but I wouldn't be caught dead with one of their system; but that's just me. As long as your speakers are positioned right it doesn't matter if you go In-wall or floor standing.

Also, if your basement is already finished, it may be a Pain in the arse to conceal your cables and add In-Walls.

hope that helps,

Old 01-11-06, 09:23 PM
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Maybe I'm old school (ok, ok, I AM old school ), but I like floor standing speakers for music. Use floor standing speakers for the mains. But the rears are mostly special effects and ambiance. In-walls work very well for the rears.

I don't know what movie theater you work in, but where I live the sound systems are horrible. Much prefer my home surround sound system.

Quality does matter.
Old 01-11-06, 09:39 PM
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finished basement I have...yoda

I do have a finished basement, but I figure I can remove baseboards and go that route. My receiver is right next to the wall and the other side is a rather large "under the stairs" closet. So, I could always figure something out. As for the theater company I work for, I better not say. I don't want you to think my sound expectations are low I too, have been to theaters where I feel some home systems are getting better. I'm pretty good friends with the regional booth technician, so I'm sure he could help me out. I will say it's not Regal or AMC...it's the company next in line for being the largest in America.
Old 01-14-06, 07:47 PM
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Personally I think it is easier to find a good sounding free standing speaker. The manufacturer can control the shape, stiffness, volume & vents to get the sound they want. In-wall speakers have a big variable, the space behind the speaker.

Almost every in-wall speaker company says that their speakers sound great no matter where & how they are installed. That is a very tall order and I think impossible to achieve.

I have high end B&W in-walls and found that I could control their sound by varying the enclosure space behind the speaker. Placing them in a wall full of insulation sounds one way, a totally hollow wall cavity sounds quite different.

Of course, every speaker will sound different in your room.
Old 01-15-06, 08:41 AM
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I am a big fan of floor standing speakers. Even though they take up a lot of space in comparison to in-wall. Now, some in-wall installations are phenominal as far as sound but here is what I have noticed:

In-wall speakers are usually smaller and are unable to produce the bass range of a floor standing speaker. This requires a subwoofer to also be installed. But sub woofers are mono and only produce bass from one spot in the room. So when watching a movie and that car blows up behind my right ear, I want to hear it there, not a boom from wherever the sub is located and a hand full glass thrown in my right ear. I also did not care for the sound reprodution when listening to a regular CD. But that is just me. But if you have kids, in-wall speakers are hidden and usually up out of the way of probing hands, dont have to worry about being scratched. But remember, once they are in the wall, there is no re-arranging the room.

In the end I suggest you listen to both styles (if possible) and get what sounds good that you can afford. Even though the in-wall style is the "in" thing to do now-a-days, it saves space and has a much cleaner look. But what actually will sound good to you?

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