New apartment, new setup (home cinema or hifi ?)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by FrenchPB, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently working on my new apartment audio and video settings. Since I don't know much about sound systems, I need your help to determine what kind of system I should get based on my needs and how I should set it up regarding the configuration of the living room.

    Basically, I'll have a huge "library / TV stand" in which I'll have a 55-inch TV, a Mac Mini working as HTPC, a PS3 and a TV box.

    I'll use this to watch a lot of sports (40% of the time), TV shows (20%), games (20%), movies (10%) and listen to my itunes music (10%).

    Anything is possible at this point, I can integrate the cables in the walls and configure the huge TV stand in order to have the speakers well integrated.

    I have three questions to start things off :
    • Based on my uses and needs, should I get a home cinema system or a hifi system ?
    • How many speakers should I have in the room based on its configuration, and where should they be set up ?
    • Would you rather have the TV on the left or on the right of the wall based on where the windows are ?
    Sound quality is my number 1 priority, but I'm also looking for speakers that will fit nicely in the living room design. I don't really want to go into premium hardwares, but I want great price quality for systems that will last for many years. To give you an idea, I plan on spending around USD 4.000 for the AV receiver / amplifier, cables and speakers.

    Can you advise me on what kind of system I need for my needs, and how I should set it up ? There are so many websites, reviews, and possibilities out there that I really need your help to go into the right direction with this new project.

    Thanks a lot for your help, it's great to tackle this new subject for me with well-advised / passionate people :)

    Living room (simplified version) :

    Living room (with furnitures dimensions)

    Living room view from dining room standpoint :
  2. Navdakilla macrumors 65816

    Feb 3, 2011
    I suggest you should head over to which is a forum for home theater and sound entusiasts. They would be able to help you ALOT with any questions/help you have (although I recommend going through the forums since most topics have been covered)
    Hope that helps a bit
  3. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    The more I think about it :

    1. I think I prefer to have a very good headset for my hifi needs. That's the way I like to listen to my music, without bothering other people in my apartment or even the neighbours. Would I need an amp for that ? The source of my music is my computer (iMac).

    2. I want the speakers to be well integrated in the room: the less we see them the better. Since my HC needs are related to sports, TV shows and games, maybe a soundbar would be more than enough for me ? I'd put it in the TV stand / bookshelf under the TV...
  4. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    If you really have "hifi needs" the iMac's analogue sound is probably not going to cut it.

    Aside from that, sounds like headphones would be an excellent choice for you.
  5. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    Sounds like you have a lot of options. Four grand can get you a very nice surround set up.

    If you want something unobtrusive and you primarilly watch sports then a soundbar would be a good option.

    If you want the full surround sound experience then you'll have to compromise on the unobtrusiveness a little, but you can find high quality 5.1 systems with small speakers that can be mounted on the wall or hidden behind the couch. I've had some success in the past placing rear surround speakers on the floor, firing upwards.
  6. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    $4000 is approximately what I spent and I'm pretty happy with the investment (It's been about 8 years)....

    I saved quite a bit of money negotiating with the audio store in the process of buying all the pieces at once, and also because the receiver I purchased was being discontinued as newer models were coming in (like computers they'll always become obsolete quickly, so why buy the newest unit?).

    The pieces I picked up were:

    STR-DA1000ES Sony 7.1-channel ES-series surround receiver
    KEF Q5 towers (front L/R)
    KEF Q9c center channel
    KEF PSW 2150 subwoofer (250 watt, 10 inch)*
    KEF Q-Compact bookshelf speakers (rear L/R)

    I didn't spend much on cables since I basically run optical from the TV, the AppleTV and the BluRay player, and speaker cable is speaker cable.... 16AWG oxygen-free copper will do the job, and if you're using optical cables for all your transports then there's no issue with electromagnetic crosstalk.
  7. JoeBlow74 macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012

    Try this Sound bar. It is designed to hold the weight of a 65inch HD TV. It has a LFE connection to hook a subwoofer for that extra deep sound. I have heard this in person at a local AV store and I was blown away. This box blended in so well with the TV, I honestly thought it was part of the stand.

    Or, if you have the room and want some floor standing speakers that sound excellent an are around $2,500, try these GoldenEar Triton Two. Each tower has a subwoofer, passive radiator, and a 1,200 watt amp. Each going for $1,500. I also have heard these at a local AV store and Let me tell you. Awsome!!!

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