When you’re designing your home theater, it’s best to look at both, your amplifier and speakers at the same time.
Each one affects the other, so researching them both at the same time will help you make the best choice for both. This article will focus on home theater speakers. For more details about the amplifier, make sure to check out the article in this series on the amplifier.
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What Was I Looking For In Home Theater Speakers
The initial search criteria was simple, quality speakers and a reasonable price.
After a lot of searching, I soon realized I needed to find a reasonable price above anything else. These things are expensive!
If money was no object, I would go with Klipsch speakers. But those were many thousands of dollars, way outa my budget.
Now back to the search criteria. They needed to be affordable, in-wall, and a strong enough wattage that I could feel the sound from them. I figured a couple of hundred watts would be in the right ballpark.
I wanted in-wall speakers because I liked the finished look it gives.
To me, having speaker enclosures hanging around the room doesn’t give it as much of a finished look.
I did a good amount of searching, but honestly, the prices I kept coming up with were knocking the wind out of my sails.
Then I came across a company called Acoustic Audio. They had sets of in-wall speakers that were very reasonably priced.
Now I’m sure these speakers wouldn’t compare to the high-end speakers I kept finding in my searches. But, at less than 1/10th the cost they were the right choice for me.
The speakers I chose are the Acoustic Audio HD728 7.2 Home Theater Speaker System. There is an HD726 model as well, which is the same amount of speakers, just smaller speakers with a bit less power.
I’m pleased with these speakers; they sound and look great.
One thing that they don’t mention on Amazon’s listing was the rotatable tweeters. All the tweeters rotate, to get high pitched sounds directed at the listener.
I have a few tips with these speakers that I’ll share. In the end, these speakers are great once you follow the tips.
The Speakers I Chose
The speakers are the Acoustic Audio HD728 in-wall home theater 7.2 surround 8 inch speaker system.
They work great for me, just follow the tips I have below and you are sure to have the same results!
Acoustic Audio HD728 in-Wall/Ceiling Home Theater 7.2 Surround 8″ Speaker System
Tips For These Speakers
I have a bunch of tips for these speakers. As I said, I really like these speakers, and the tweaks I used helped make this an even better purchase.
Don’t Judge The Speakers Until They Are In The Walls
When the speakers came in the mail, I did what most people do when they receive their speakers. At least I hope I’m not the only one that did this. 🙂
I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, I was dying to see what the speaker sounded like. So I ran to the movie theater and plugged them in without installing them in the walls.
It was a bit of a buzz kill – the speaker sounded like they were all tweet with no woof.
Luckily I didn’t act on impulse and return them. The thing to keep in mind with any speaker is they can only provide bass when there is some sort of air resistance. The speakers need an enclosure around them for air resistance.
In the case of in-wall speakers, they use the walls themselves to provide that resistance.
Once the speakers were in the walls, the mid-tones and deep basses came out, and the sound was great!
Home Theater Speakers – The Placement
The speaker placement took some time to figure out. Between the surround sound aspect of it and which speaker should go where it was a lot to put together.
Unfortunately, the speakers I bought don’t really specify which speaker is for what.
I did a lot of digging around in posts, forums, and reviews. With some process of elimination, I figured out where each speaker should go.
If you also buy one of the Acoustic Audio speaker systems, this will help you save hours on guesswork.
The Acoustic Audio speaker system I bought was the HD728. Acoustic Audio has several speaker packages, but they all seem to use the same speakers.
Here are the speakers the system came with and where I installed them.
(4) HD800 Front In-Wall Speakers – These are the rectangular speakers – I used them as the Front Left and Right speakers and the Front Left and Right presence speakers (in the ceiling)
(2) HD8 Rear In-Ceiling Speakers – The smaller round speakers with a round frame – I used these as the rear left and right surround speakers.
(1) HD6c Dedicated In-Wall Center Channel Speaker – The long rectangular speaker – it goes under the projector screen.
(2) HDS10 Dedicated 10-inch In-Wall Passive Subwoofers – The larger round speakers – Some posts said spreading the deep bass around the room makes the sound more immersive. So I put one in the bottom front right of the projector wall, and the other in the platform floor. Behind the back row of chairs.
I used the surround sound amplifier documentation a lot to figure out the speaker layout.
The layout I used is 5.2.2:
- 5 surround sound speakers (Front left and right, back left and right and center)
- 2 subwoofers (in the floor in the back and in the projector wall in the front)
- 2 presence speakers (in the ceiling in the front, just a little in front of the front row of chairs)
Below are a couple of diagrams that show the speaker placement.
Best Bang For The Boom
Part of my theater design included a platform for the second and third rows. I figured I’d use the platform as an enclosure for one of the subwoofers. So I installed the back subwoofer in the platform behind the third row of seats.
That was a fantastic way to get a whole lotta boom out of that subwoofer! The entire platform (second and third row) shakes when that subwoofer kicks in.
If you have a platform in your theater, I’d recommend doing the same thing to get a better theater experience. It is better than going to the movies.
Buy Good Quality Speaker Wire
I read in many many links that a good speaker wire has a lot of impact on the speaker’s performance.
Inferior speaker wire will affect even the best speakers in the world.
The wiring that came with the speakers was incredibly thin wire. Do not use that wire.
Luckily I listened to the articles I read and ran 14AWG wiring to all the speakers.
My setup required me to crawl into the attic above the movie theater to run the speaker wires.
Going into crawl spaces is not my idea of fun. If I was going to into the crawl space, I was making sure that I was going to use the right speaker wire right off the bat.
The Speaker Wire I Bought
Cable Matters 14 AWG CL2 in Wall Rated Oxygen-Free Bare Copper 2 Conductor Speaker Wire (Speaker Cable) 100 Feet
In Ceiling/Wall Speakers Are Great But….
The Front Speaker Enclosures
Here are the details for the front speaker enclosure, in case you’d like to do something similar for your setup.
The enclosure is constructed of 3/4″ OSB plywood, with 1/2 drywall covering it.
The front enclosure is one big box, that’s divided into three sections. That way, each speaker has its own air space.
I figured it was a good thing to do to prevent the speakers from interfering with each other.
The double gray lines show where I put the section dividers, which are also made of 3/4″ pieces of OSB plywood.
Speaker Enclosure For The Back Speakers
The boxes for the back were pretty simple. They also needed a box because the studs didn’t line up where I wanted to place the back speakers.
For the back speakers, they were butting up to the ceiling and the wall. Because of that, they only needed plywood for the face and the bottom.
The plywood for the face of the speaker is 12″ x 12″. The bottom of the box including the face is 6″ x 12″ x 11″
Here are some pics of the back speaker enclosure. Because there wasn’t enough air space created by the box, I cut out the drywall hidden behind the speaker box. It gave the speakers a little more space to work with.
A Modification To The Plastic Clips
One thing the manufacturer did skimp out on is the plastic clip that holds the speakers in place.
I ended up modifying the clips to make it easy for the clips to open and close.
Without the modification, the plastic clips can break when installing the speaker.
Unmodified, the plastic clips catch the edging of the plastic speaker frame. If you continue to screw it in, the plastic where the screw head sits will break (ask me how I know that).
The modification is simple. Once done, you’ll be able to screw and unscrew the speakers without a problem.
It’s only a matter of removing the corner of plastic and angling it, so it directs the clip where to go.
Do that to each clip, on each speaker, and you’ll be all set.
Cut This Corner Out
Choosing The Right Home Theater Speakers
I hope the information in this article helps you with your choice for home theater speakers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead and leave comments below.
Let me know if you have any questions or what you would do differently with your speakers.