Hi Alan:
I am about to build a dedicated home theater in my basement the room will be 21'4"x 13'6"x7'7".There will be two soffits out of neccesity, 10"deep 20" wide running from end to end. There will be two rows of seats one at 154" and the other at 219" from the front wall. There will be 3' of distance from the back wall to the rear seating position. My question is rear speaker placement (possibly QS8's), Dolby recommends 135-150 degrees. At 135 degrees the speakers would be located in another room, and at 150 degrees the speakers would be located 21" from the adjacent walls. Is 21" far enough away to allow the QS8's to work properly? Should I be looking at direct radiating speakers (M3's), maybe a THX speaker placement setup?
Bill T.,
former Sound and Vision subscriber


Hello Bill,
Nice to hear from a former Sound&Vision (Canada)subscriber! Your room is of fairly modest volume (2,183 cu. ft), so depending on your preferences, you could go with a pair of our M22 v2 large bookshelf models as your main front speakers or the M60 v2 floorstanding towers. The latter will play at extremely loud levels, if desired. The M22s are impressive when coupled to a subwoofer like the EP500, which I think you'd find thrilling no matter which front pair you choose. Tonally, the midrange and highs from the M60s or M22s are quite similar. However, the M60s have more upper and lower bass authority, whereas the M22s have a little 2- dB boost in the upper midrange that gives them a sense of slightly greater detail and clarity compared to the M60s. I emphasize that these differences are subtle and are only noticeable on immediate blind A/B listening comparisons.
Given the 18-ft. viewing/listening distance of the second row, the VP150 would be the preferred center channel speaker choice. The Dolby guidelines are very flexible when you use either the quadpolar QS8s or QS4s, either of which are very forgiving. I'd suggest a pair of QS8s on each side wall midway between the two rows of seating, and a pair of QS4s on the rear wall. Tonally, they're identical. The QS8s have higher power handling for much larger rooms. Yes, 21 inches is sufficient when you adjust the individual levels, delay, and distance settings for the side and rear surrounds in your AV receiver setup menu. Don't use direct-radiating surrounds in this room. The quadpolars will deliver a much more generous sense of envelopment for all your viewers than direct radiators. Direct radiators are also quite fussy about placement, whereas the QS surrounds are really flexible. Try and get them at least a couple of feet above ear level. It's not critical. One of my QS8s is about 2 feet higher than the other, and it makes no difference in the surround field. I don't recommend the THX setup if you are referring to dipole surround radiators, which create a null. The Axiom QS surrounds are not dipoles, which THX still promotes; the QS surrounds are bipoles in that all four drivers in each surround speaker operate in phase. The problem with dipole (THX) surrounds is that they generate a peculiar out-of-phase quality that is annoying.
Kind regards,