Room Layout


 

For those of you who are completely new to built in speakers systems, lets make sure we de-mystify the process. 
 
Hopefully you have visited the “Planning Tips” page and it has helped to give you some basics about the speakers and where to mount them. Now lets look at different rooms, how many speakers do you need in each room, and how to tie it all together to your stereo?
   
Which rooms need speakers?
As for which rooms need speakers… any room does! One magical thing about the Ready2Rock systems is the simplicity in operation. Just turn on the stereo in the morning and when you walk into a room, turn on the lights and turn up the sound with the RVC-5A volume control. 
  
You can leave the sound playing in each room so as you’re walking around the house you can listen to great tunes or never miss the news report or sports scores. “Music wherever you go”. Think about parties too. Normally at a party the stereo is cranked up in the living room so the music can be heard in the kitchen or patio where the party is. Once you have installed speakers, you’ll have sound throughout your house so you’ll never have to say again “Sorry officer about the noise complaint”.
   
How many speakers do I need in a room?
The CSP-2 Ceiling speaker package (RWS 62 and RVC-5A) will work perfectly in almost every room and is the bang for the buck. That said… the larger the speaker the better bass or sound so here is a quick list of potential product model numbers for a typical house. If you need a little more detailed description, please read on.
   
 
Kitchen & Patio
The first places to install speakers in the house are the kitchen and outside deck or patio. Don’t forget a volume control for each area. Ceiling speakers work well in kitchens like the RWS 82 or RWS 62 but if you have a spare piece of wall, a pair of RWS 82W or RWS 62W rectangular speakers can work really well at distributing the sound throughout the room without really being seen. Take a look at the “Picture Gallery” for the painted blue RWS 62W in my kitchen.
 
As for the patio, RWS 550 box speakers work great because of their fully articulating mounting brackets which tuck nicely into corners. Because Ready2Rock speakers are moisture proof, another option is to mount a pair of RWS 82 or RWS 62 speakers in the soffits. Since the built in speakers are larger and they use the attic as the speaker box, they will give you better sound than a box speaker.
  
Living room / Dining room
If your stereo is in your living room and you already have some floor speakers that you like, don’t change them. They will work perfectly with any of the Ready2Rock speakers, volume controls and the RVC-J8 junction box that you choose for the rest of the house. 
  
If your needs are simple, (up to 15’ x 15” living room) then a pair of RWS 82 ceiling or wall mounted RWS 82W speakers will work great.  With an open floor plan where the living room and dining room are attached, two or more pair of speakers combined on one RVC-5A volume control or with a separate RVC-5A volume controls might be a better idea, giving you more control. Remember the goal is not to have the music loud in one room to be heard in another. 
 
 
One very important tip is, don’t put speakers directly above where people will be sitting either in the living or dining room. After a short time, it can become very tiring for person sitting directly below the speaker. I often put my ceiling speakers in the corners of the room so the sound fills the room. It also helps hide them visually.
  
If your living room has a wall mounted TV chances are that a surround sound system is in your future. For a speaker recommendation, scroll down to the “Home Theatre” description below.
  
Great Room
The great room can have a ton of different sizes and purposes. If the Great room houses acts as the living room and dining room lets treat it as just bigger versions of what we talked about above and add more speakers. A good rule of thumb is a pair of speakers for every 250 to 300 sq/ft. Often great rooms will have vaulted ceilings so RWS 82 ceiling speakers are often the choice located inline with pot lights. If the ceilings won’t accept speakers then, a series of RWS 82W speakers mounted lower along the walls work well.
  
Bathroom
This is almost the most important place in the house. With a pair of speakers in the ceiling you can actually hear the music while in the shower. What a novel concept!
  
Ready2Rock speakers are moisture proof so choose anything you want. Normally, when you are choosing speakers you want them to disappear. Think about this… most bathrooms are long rectangular rooms, what would match better with the rectangular ceiling fan than a pair of RWS 62W rectangular speakers?
 
Ensuite / Powder Room
Like the bathroom, Ensuites and Powder Rooms are one of the most important rooms for sound. A little music offers a lot of privacy. Unfortunately, they have often been a challenge installing a pair of speakers because of their small ceiling size. Now with the RWS 62DVC dual voice coil speaker you only need one in the room. So during your next house party, turn on a little tunes, light a candle and your guests will appreciate you even more.
   
Bedroom 
Maybe every pair of speakers should come with a free Barry White CD, nah… what for?  Bedrooms are pretty simple, a pair of ceiling like our CSP-2. Just like the dining room, don’t mount them directly over the bed, but in the corners of the ceiling or the wall at the foot of the bed.
  
Laundry Room
Why not! Who has used the better part of a morning spending quality time doing laundry? Need I say more… other than you don’t need big speakers in there, 1 x pr of RWS 62 will work great or for a single speaker use a RWS 62DVC Dual voice coil speaker. Don’t forget the volume control.
  
Garage
Don’t laugh, same rules as the laundry room. Think of it… a warm sunny day, garage door open your favourite tunes on, washing the car. You might need larger speakers like a pair of RWS 82 for the ceiling or a pair of RWS 82W for the wall facing to the outside because it’s a large room and you’ll want to hear the sound outside.
 
Home Theatre / Media Room
There are many theories and opinions about how to layout a home theatre system. For our purposes we want to take simplistic view and give you some basics and understandings, realizing that the Ready2Rock line is all about keeping things easy.  Speaking of easy our HTP-2 Home Theatre Package is great value for a 5.1 surround system, especially when you add a powered subwoofer.
 
5.1 surround sound systems are very main stream these days and 7.1 really isn’t very far behind in popularity. In easy terms, the “5” in 5.1 is the number of speakers you will need in order to enjoy the surround sound benefits while watching movies and TV. The “7” in 7.1 stands for… you guessed it… 7 speakers.
  
Two very important things to consider before you start. 
 
1)    Where the TV is being mounted on the wall
 
2)    Where the couch or seating will be. 
 
From there it comes down to where the speakers will fit and some basic rules.
  
Once you know where the TV is mounted there needs to be a full range wall speakers RWS 62W mounted on either side of the TV and a single RWS 62W speaker for the centre channel mounted directly underneath the centre of the TV so be careful that there isn’t a 2 x 4 stud in the way while you are doing your framing. 
 
 
When watching movies, the centre channel does most of the work with the wall speakers on either side of the TV helping as cars race from one side of the picture to the other. The wall speakers don’t do a lot of work while watching a movie but they do all the work when listening to the stereo. That’s why it is important to have the best sounding pair of speakers in the main wall.
  
For 5.1 systems the rear speakers don’t really play a big part until something zooms out of the screen past you. The rear channel speakers (RWS 62) are often mounted in the ceiling directly behind where the couch.   For a 7.1 system, a third pair of speakers is needed in the walls like the RWS 62W or the ceiling RWS 62 for the wall beside or just slightly in front of where you are sitting. These help give you even more impact as things zoom past you from front to back.
  
There is one more item that you might need or want, a sub woofer. Sub woofers are generally self powered (meaning they have their own amplifier built in) and can be connected now or later. What do they do? They give you the earth shaking bass that for action movies. There are many types and models available.  For now, take a look where you bought your surround sound amplifier.
  
A couple more last points, if your stereo in the media room is powering the rest of the house with sound, then we suggest that a RVC-5A volume control get connected to the front speakers of the surround sound system like you do for every other room. This way you can turn off the music in the media room while watching the hockey game listening to the built in TV speakers and someone else can have a relaxing bath and listen to music. Check out the “Wiring Plans” tab, and go to the “Multi Room with 5.1 Surround”.
  
We mentioned above that when you’re not playing movies and listening to music, some stereos will have full range sound playing out of the front wall speakers only. Other stereos can give you the option of having the mid and rear speakers playing as well. We mention this because you might want to go for a bigger speaker for your middle and rear channel speakers like RWS 82 vs. RWS 62?
  
How do I tie it all together?
There are two schools of thought for how to run your speaker wires from each room (or zone), home run and hub. If you have gone to the “Wiring Plans” page you have seen that on a “Basic Room Layout” the wire starts at the stereo, then runs to the volume control, then to the first speaker and then the second speaker. That is called “Home Run” wiring where all the wires from each room go back to the stereo. For new construction or for when you have all the drywall removed during a reno, this is the simplest way to run all your wires.
  
So if you have the kitchen, patio, bathroom and more… zones, there will be a cable from each zone back to the stereo. Right? How are you going to connect all the wires from the different zones / rooms to the stereo, there isn’t enough connections. Never fear the RVC-J8 junction box has capability for eight zones. Check out the “Wiring Plans” tab and go to the “Multi Room Wiring” diagram. Surface mount the RVC-J8 on the wall behind the stereo and it allows you to tidy up all the wires easily.
  
For reno projects where you might be doing a room at a time and you have an attic, you can use the RVC-J8 a little differently. The basic idea for wiring a room is the same and above but the difference is, that instead of mounting the RVC-J8 behind the stereo you mount it in the attic. You would run one set of wires (left and right channels) from the speakers outputs from the stereo to the middle of the RVC-J8 junction box and then as you reno a room… all you need to do is run the wire from the newly renovated room to the RVC-J8 in the attic and not back to the stereo. Think of it like a USB hub or for you electricians out there… a sub panel.
  
Summing up
 
Speakers are great in any room! It doesn’t matter which model of Ready2Rock speakers you use, as long as they fit and you are happy with them. The most important item is that you need a volume control in every room, including the room that the stereo lives in. (have I mentioned this enough times?). That way the stereo can be on in that room but not heard, and you can enjoy your favourite tunes in the rest of the house.
  
We are big fans of having a separate stereo per floor. In my case, I have a stereo upstairs on the main living floor which powers most of the house and a separate stereo downstairs for the TV room and bar area. I can enjoy great tunes upstairs and the kids can play games downstairs and not be subjected to my Tom Petty. (Although it might help them?)
  
In most cases, I would suggest using 8” speaker rather than the 6” speakers only because the larger the speaker you use the better the bass, even at lower volumes. But we have used 6” versions in our CSP-2 and HTP-2 packages for best value and they are our most popular sizes.
  
Do all the rooms now or some later, just make sure you run all the wires you might need before the drywall goes on and take pictures too so you will remember were those extra wires are hiding.
  
Hopefully this covers all your questions about room layout, if you still have a question or two, please drop us an email or give us a call. Remember our goal is to de-mystify the process and make Ready2Rock “the easy solution to sound in your home”.