33 ft long living room

  • 21 January 2023
  • 8 replies


Can you please help me? This room is 33 ft long. Usually while listening to music, we sit in the blue chairs. I have two 5s on either side of the credenza and a sub woofer next to the right speaker. The music doesn’t have the sound I thought it would. Do I have them placed too close together? Can I put them on either side of the room, that means they would be 30 ft apart. Do I need 2 more 5s?

8 replies

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I think Buzz has a good understanding of correct room acoustics.From what I can see,your room is large and acoustically bright.A little dampening would not hurt,but with the size of your room,it is a strong contender for two additional speakers.Ones,or Fives.

I have a smaller room,with good acoustics,but the speakers present a wider sound stage,since I have them spaced appropriately apart…..I’m seated about 10 feet from the speakers(which are 8 feet apart) and also use a Roam as a rear channel/ambience speaker, a few feet behind the listening position and the sub in the right corner,next to the right side Play Five.

My pal had a similar situation as you and added more speakers,which gave a greater degree of dynamics and life.

Having ben a rabid high end audiophile for decades,this is the most enjoyable system I’ve owned.

Set up and room acoustics are important,even with True Play.

Good luck!

You should configure the FIVE’s as a stereo pair. Once paired, they will appear as a single “Room” on your SONOS controller. Rooms can be “Grouped” to play the same music. Grouped Rooms will play in sync.

Adding more speakers will help cover the large atrium. You could not easily achieve imaging in the atrium, but placing two to three pairs of speakers out there (more if the space is larger than indicated in the photo) would achieve pleasant, fairly even coverage. You could mount speakers in the soffits along the sides.

Note that we do not have adequate language to describe an aural experience. You could describe a robin such that I could recognize one if I saw it, but I doubt that you could describe its’s sound such that I could recognize its chirp.

To most people “imaging” means that with closed eyes you can imagine instrument placement in the orchestra. “Live” describes a room with hard, reflective walls that don’t absorb much sound. Once a sound enters the room, it keeps bouncing around until absorbed. Consider a single drum strike in a live room. It will whizz past you several times before finally being absorbed. In the extreme you would have difficulty understanding conversation. In large, live rooms you will perceive the reflections as echoes.

This is a very complex subject and there are some professionals who earn a good living by solving or preventing room issues.

When you open the glass doors, you have essentially created a very large “room” and the back wall will not reflect much, if any sound. Unfortunately you are then introducing the fountain sounds. It turns out that a completely dead back wall in a listening room (the situation is different in an arena) sounds too “dead” and uninteresting. If you were placed in a completely dead chamber with zero reflections and no outside sounds, you would ultimately become disoriented and fixated on your own body sounds. The ratio between direct and reflected sound must be balanced.

As I said, this is a complex subject. Now that I see the overview of your space, your listening position within the smaller room (glass doors closed, sitting on the blue chairs) is not so bad. and you have verified this in your comment. On a blue chair there is some rear reflection from the nearby glass doors and the side walls are not the worst that I can imagine. I still don’t like the fans when they are operating. Some listeners might differentiate between piano open and piano closed.

Finally, “best” sound is very personal. Only you know what is “best” (to you). As in the culinary or wine tasting arts, some people are easily satisfied and some are never satisfied. There are “cheap” and “expensive” ears (pallets).


The fives are grouped. Buzz,  I’m looking up what “imaging” and “live” means in “speaker” language. There are also two running fountains one in the atrium and the other at the stairs. I think maybe that’s what you mean by “live” when there is nothing on in the house, the house is still loud with all of the water sound.


Guys thank you so much! To make matters worse, and I think probably as important, there’s an indoor atrium across from the speakers. 90% of the time, the three. Sliding doors are open so the sound just continues on and “gets lost”. I adjusted the sub woofer so that it has more bass, closed the doors, and it sounded really good, right when I open the doors, it gets lost. I love the curtain idea, but when we have parties or people over, those doors open, each “quadrant” has three sliding doors that go into other rooms it makes it easier to go from room to room through the atrium. 

Userlevel 7
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You do have the Fives paired and not Grouped? If so:

The closest chairs, the ones the right distance (I think) from the Fives are facing the wrong way for your ears to form a good stereo image. 

The chairs facing the Fives are a bit far away. Fives further apart would help there.

Ideal is a triangle with three equal sides, speakers in two corners, you in the other.


Aside from the stereo image, running TruePlay (needs a supported Apple device) might help the room related sound issues.

Adding a second set of Fives (grouped) in different locations would give you more sound but might make the stereo image even worse. Stacking them wouldn’t hurt the imaging but would be iffy from a stability standpoint. Either way TruePlay both pairs.

For best “imaging” stereo speakers should be approximately as far from each other as you are from the speakers.

Just looking at your photo, I expect that your room is too “live”. An older sound is still bumbling around in the room as the next sound arrives. This confuses our perception. The furniture that you have installed and those small rugs help. Otherwise, simply attempting to have conversations in this room would be difficult.

There will be some added confusion when the fans are operating.

Adding heavy drapes and tapestries (with a nice thick pad behind) would help as would larger rugs (with a pad). I know this would interfere with your aesthetics, but you are fighting with physics.


This is my first post! This room is 33 ft long. I have two 5s. I wasn’t getting the sound I was hoping for so I purchased a sub woofer. It’s obviously better but was wondering if the speakers are too close together and can two speakers be 25 Ft apart? Do i need two more 5s? Is that overkill? I was hoping two would be enough.