Room Treatment for a Small Rom with a 9.1.4 sound bar

Nordo

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I know a sound bar is NOT a good system for a home theatre, but please no flames. :rolleyes:

I had a great dedicated home theatre with 7.1 system and extensive room treatments.
We are now downsizing our house (moving to a smaller house).
The new house does, however, have a room that will be our "media room" (not quite a home theatre).

The video source is now a TV screen, not a projector, and the awesome sound system will now be a Samsung Atmos capable HW-Q950T (9.1.4) sound bar.
The sound bar comes with two wireless rear speakers, and a relatively small wireless sub.

The sound bar relies heavily on hard surfaces at the first reflection points, as well as a hard surface for the ceiling.
The room is 3.8m (11') x 4.0m (11'8") x 2.4m (8'6") high.

My question is :-
What would everyone recommend would be a suitable approach to maximising the sound in this room?

I'm familiar with speaker placement, seating placement, heavy floor rugs between the sound bar and the MLP, etc.
Perhaps I should be looking at bass traps only, with may some absorption behand the tv and sound bar, and perhaps some diffusion on the rear wall?
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

Sonnie

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I think your best bet for improvement will be to replace the sound bar. :hide:
 

ddude003

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Without telling us about what you like or dislike about your system's sound, what could we offer? With an almost square room there will be some issues... Post up some REW frequency sweeps (.mdat file please) and maybe we could guess at some suggestions...
 

Nordo

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Center Channel Speaker
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I think your best bet for improvement will be to replace the sound bar. :hide:
I haven't actually bought the sound bar. And we haven't actually moved into the new house yet.
We are living in a small apartment at the moment (only for 10 days) while waiting to take possession of our "new" house.

As ddude003 noted, the so-called "Media Room" is almost square. So even if The Boss allows me to set up all my old gear in there, the room is very small, and the dimensions are going to be hard to deal with. BTW, I've left all my acoustic panels and screen in the old house.

In order to keep the peace, and because of the size of the room, I have accepted that It's not going to be a home theatre, but more like a TV room, with a better than normal sound system.
If I installed all my old gear in the room, and added treatment at the first reflection points, plus bass traps, etc. I think the room would become too small for comfort.
Treatment would be almost like tackling a car sound system - which I know nothing about.

I guess you can hear come frustration in my posts, but I'm hoping that a new 65" 4K TV (instead of an old PJ), and a half reasonable sound system would satisfy my entertainment cravings (90% movies; 10% music).

BTW, the sound bar I've been looking at is the Samsung HW-Q950T, which has been recently superceded.
 
Last edited:

ddude003

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Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
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MacBook Pro, Custom i7 7700k De-lid build & Audirvana+
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Chord Qutest
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LG Blue-Ray
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Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
Lumin iApp...
Streaming Equipment
LuminU1 Mini Streamer/Transport
Streaming Subscriptions
Roon & QoBuz Studio Premier, Amazon Prime & Netflix
Other Equipment
ThrowRug, SaddleBlankets, WideBand & BaseTraps...
I don't know if Samsung is a big player in AV Sound Systems... And I don't know your budget and you might look at the Martin Logan Motion series... You might be able to build out a small Motion 5.1 system...
 

Nordo

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
I don't know if Samsung is a big player in AV Sound Systems... And I don't know your budget and you might look at the Martin Logan Motion series... You might be able to build out a small Motion 5.1 system...
Some MLs would be my dream - but not my wife's.
Being that I don't have a proper home theatre any more, but just a small room, I have reconciled to the fact that there are going to be some compromises. :sad:
 

ddude003

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PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium TubePre (2 channel+sub)
Main Amp
McIntosh MC152 SS Amp (2 channel)
Additional Amp
Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
Computer Audio
MacBook Pro, Custom i7 7700k De-lid build & Audirvana+
DAC
Chord Qutest
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
LG Blue-Ray
Front Speakers
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
Lumin iApp...
Streaming Equipment
LuminU1 Mini Streamer/Transport
Streaming Subscriptions
Roon & QoBuz Studio Premier, Amazon Prime & Netflix
Other Equipment
ThrowRug, SaddleBlankets, WideBand & BaseTraps...
Have you seen or heard the tiny Motion 2i Bookshelfs? I use 4 of the Motion 4s in my surround system and they really can hold their own as mains too... You could start with a pair of 2i and a small 400 sub... A little later add a center and another pair of 2i... Sell off some of that old stuff to fund a small Martin Logan Motion 5.1 system... :cool:
 

Nordo

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
Mmm, thanks ddude003, I'll look into that.
Whenever I think of Martin Logans, all I can visualise is Sonnie's set up. :sarcastic:
 

Sonnie

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Computer Audio
Intel NUC w/ Roon ROCK
DAC
miniDSP SHD (Two-Channel Music Only)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player (for movies only)
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Renaissance ESL 15A
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan EFX Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVS SB16-Ultra x4 (music) + PB16-Ultra x2 (movies)
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-NX9
Screen
Elite 128" Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Streaming Equipment
Roku Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Lifetime Roon Subscription
Tidal
qobuz
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Satellite System
Dish Joey 4K
Other Equipment
Kaleidescape Strato S 12TB
Certainly you could still do some small speakers with perhaps a 5.1 setup. Look at the SVS 5.1 systems they offer. I've owned a small SVS setup, and a large one... and heard the small setup in more than just my room. It's really a very good system. This is a very small and non-intrusive system that you will be much happier with vs a sound bar.

 

Nordo

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
Thanks Sonnie.
Just have to figure out the WAF.
Once I get a 5.1 set of normal speakers, I would be compelled to start adding sound treatment. And the whole cycle would start again.
Bugger, I'm starting to sound like my wife.:rant:
 

ddude003

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Location
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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium TubePre (2 channel+sub)
Main Amp
McIntosh MC152 SS Amp (2 channel)
Additional Amp
Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
Computer Audio
MacBook Pro, Custom i7 7700k De-lid build & Audirvana+
DAC
Chord Qutest
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
LG Blue-Ray
Front Speakers
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
Lumin iApp...
Streaming Equipment
LuminU1 Mini Streamer/Transport
Streaming Subscriptions
Roon & QoBuz Studio Premier, Amazon Prime & Netflix
Other Equipment
ThrowRug, SaddleBlankets, WideBand & BaseTraps...
@Nordo are you saying that if you got a sound bar that you would not be tempted to upgrade anything including room treatment? Seems unlikely no matter which way you lean... :rolleyesno:
 

Nordo

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My AV System  
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Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
Well, a sound bar relies heavily on utilising first reflections from side walls and ceiling, especially a 9.1.4 sound bar, which I have been looking at (Samsung HW-Q950T).
Hence my initial post, on opinions of what treatment would be worth doing in a small room with a 9.1.4 sound bar.

However Sonnie and you keep tempting me back to the dark side ("feel the power").
 

ddude003

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Aug 13, 2017
Messages
552
Location
Somewhere Northeast of Kansas City Missouri
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium TubePre (2 channel+sub)
Main Amp
McIntosh MC152 SS Amp (2 channel)
Additional Amp
Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
Computer Audio
MacBook Pro, Custom i7 7700k De-lid build & Audirvana+
DAC
Chord Qutest
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
LG Blue-Ray
Front Speakers
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
Lumin iApp...
Streaming Equipment
LuminU1 Mini Streamer/Transport
Streaming Subscriptions
Roon & QoBuz Studio Premier, Amazon Prime & Netflix
Other Equipment
ThrowRug, SaddleBlankets, WideBand & BaseTraps...
The dark side... :innocent: After a long look at the Samsung HW-Q950T it seems to have a lot of speakers in that "center channel" bar and rear left and rights and a sub?... Shame on you... :bigsmile: What did you tell the wife?:kiss: Its a sound bar and rear what's and naw thats not a sub...

As far as your interest in treatments... I would think you would still need to get some measurements before too many suggestions could be made...

Some of the comments on the Samsung product page lead me to believe there are still some kinks to be worked out...
 

JStewart

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@Nordo , you might find these threads interesting. They are home theaters in a smaller than typical room.

My room is 11x12.5x10. 92” screen. 5.4.4 atmos (for the moment). Wish I knew starting out what I know now.
My experience in my room is If you want good even bass you’ll need 3 or 4 subs and a miniDsp. They won’t need to be big though.
 
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Nordo, first of all a sound bar in a well treated room will sound amazing compared to a mon treated room. I would recommed treating your first reflexion points with Auralex metrofusors. I would treat the ceiling with 2 geofusors with about 3 inches of polyfill or rockwool stuffed inside. I would treat your back wall with absorption and auralex t-fusors to the left and right side of the rear wall absorption, also filled with rockwool or polyfill. The auralex products are very reasonably priced and I have gotten stunning results for a fairly low amount of money. Their tech support is great too. If you are going to the dark side Infinity has an amazing sale right now, check the harman or infinity website. I recommend getting the treatments first because you will nned them which ever "side" you choose.
 

Nordo

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Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
73
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
The dark side... :innocent: After a long look at the Samsung HW-Q950T it seems to have a lot of speakers in that "center channel" bar and rear left and rights and a sub?... Shame on you... :bigsmile: What did you tell the wife?:kiss: Its a sound bar and rear what's and naw thats not a sub...

As far as your interest in treatments... I would think you would still need to get some measurements before too many suggestions could be made...

Some of the comments on the Samsung product page lead me to believe there are still some kinks to be worked out...
As sound bars go, it's packs a lot into a small package. But apart from the sub, the drivers would all have to be quite small (which is a worry).
The reviews are very good (rtings, etc.).
But as you said, the User ratings are not good. Seems to be mainly loss of wireless connection to the sub and the rears.
But other user ratings (who obviously haven't experienced any problems) are very good.
The latest firmware upgrade was released only late this April, so I'm hoping, if I go ahead with the sound bar, that they have finally sorted the wireless connections.

BTW, I definitely intend running some REW tests, once I have the room initially set up (with whatever system I end up with).
 

Nordo

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Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
73
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
@Nordo , you might find these threads interesting. They are home theaters in a smaller than typical room.

My room is 11x12.5x10. 92” screen. 5.4.4 atmos (for the moment). Wish I knew starting out what I know now.
My experience in my room is If you want good even bass you’ll need 3 or 4 subs and a miniDsp. They won’t need to be big though.
Thanks for the links.
I would really love to work on the room and get the best out of it. But as I have already explained, there is some internal opposition to that.
However, if I can sell all my old gear (except maybe the receiver), I might be able to create at least a hint of a home theatre, without ruffling too many feathers.
Problem with selling what I have, is that all the old speakers (7 two way speakers) are DIY. Now even though they test and sound very good, I am not the best cabinet maker in town.:sarcastic:
 
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I watched this series of videos by Anthony Grimani. He has a video on the basic, another one on absorbers, another one on diffusors, and then finally bass traps. The basic recipe is to interleaf absorbers with diffusors and not to make a mirror image of each side of the room.
I started with 12 inch foam bass traps from floor to ceiling in the two front corners of the room. The traps were big enough to be stacked.
Next Anthony recommends to place 2D (diffuse sound in 2 directions) diffusors in the front half of the room and 3D diffusors (diffuse sound in all directions) in the back half of the room. So I placed Auralex Sustain Quadretc diffusors as my 2D diffusors and Auralex Sustain Pyramid diffusors in the back. If I had an absorber on the left side I placed a diffusor facing on the opposite wall. Check out this diagram from Anthony's website sonitususa.com:
5f5b9d1c8cdbfbfdaf97b8bd_Cinema-Standard-100-200.jpg
 
Last edited:
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On the right wall I have a big picture window so I joined 2 Auralex Sustain Lens diffusors together and hung them like a picture. The design is classified as a 3D diffusor and the design lets light through the window.:
sustain lens.jpg
 
Last edited:
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If I were to do it again I would just buy the room kit from SonitusUSA. You can get the same kit at 3 price points depending on the materials you want. This is the first video in the series:

 
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As for the ceiling treatment it is critical in immersive audio. I placed 2 Auralex Geofuors filled with about 3 inches of polyfil on the ceiling at about a 60 degree angle from the MLP. They are extremly light and I mounted them using 2 sided alien tape NP:
geofusor.png
 
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Behind the MLP I hung a "cloud" of 4 Acoustic Lens joined together: This pic is about 9 of them joined together, I only used a single row of 4:
cloud.jpg
 
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These pyramids in the back half of the room are amazing. They double as bass traps when you fill them with polyfil:
pyramid.jpg
 
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