• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Can speakers be too big for a room?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 9286
  • Start date
D

Deleted member 9286

Guest
Hello all

I have some lovely standmount speakers but am considering some floorstanders.

I’ll be moving to a bigger place the end of next year so I know they’ll be fine there but how much of a problem will they be in a smaller space until then? I fully appreciate you have to match the speaker size and type to the room and if I was staying I would just stick with stand mounters, but what are the likely issues of putting large speakers into a smaller space? I don’t listen loud to be honest so will not be blasting them.

Room dimensions: 3.5m x 5m. Speakers would need to be on the 3.5m wall (about 1 metre from said wall). Ceilings are 3.3m.

Speakers are Revel 228be

I know the obvious answer is buy some floor standers when I move but it’s a complicated situation which will be of no interest to anyone here.

All opinions on what I could expect welcome.
 

direstraitsfan98

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
826
Likes
1,226
A thick pile carpet and some treatments to first point reflections on the side walls and also behind the speakers and I think your room is plenty big enough.
 

RayDunzl

Grand Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
13,250
Likes
17,182
Location
Riverview FL
Can speakers be too big for a room? Room dimensions: 3.5m x 5m

Speaker dimensions:

1182.5mm x 341.8mm x 375.3mm

They'll fit.
 

Absolute

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
1,085
Likes
2,131
As long as you are capable of sitting far enough away from the speakers to let the drivers in a speaker sum properly, the room size and speaker size is unrelated.
The concern in general is acoustical rather than physical in the sense that deeper bass extension trigger more standing waves - which is basically a room problem.

A little EQ fixes that easily. I wouldn't worry unless you're one of those audiophiles who refuses to use practical means to solve simple problems :D
 
OP
D

Deleted member 9286

Guest
As long as you are capable of sitting far enough away from the speakers to let the drivers in a speaker sum properly, the room size and speaker size is unrelated.
The concern in general is acoustical rather than physical in the sense that deeper bass extension trigger more standing waves - which is basically a room problem.

A little EQ fixes that easily. I wouldn't worry unless you're one of those audiophiles who refuses to use practical means to solve simple problems :D

Thanks. Yes I’m not expecting perfect and am happy to eq a bit to improve things. I was just concerned it might sound bloody awful and mean I’m stuck with them sitting in a box for 18 months.
 

RayDunzl

Grand Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
13,250
Likes
17,182
Location
Riverview FL
Room dimensions: 3.5m x 5m.

My room is just a little less small at 4.2m x 5.6m

I've never considered my speakers to be too big for this room.

Speakers:

1803mm × 457mm × 330mm

Taller, wider, and just a little less deep than the Revels.
 

RayDunzl

Grand Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
13,250
Likes
17,182
Location
Riverview FL
I’m not expecting perfect and am happy to eq a bit to improve things.

That's what I do.

RTA of Jimmy Haslip - ARC, on CD

He's a fretless bass player, the CD would likely fit into the "Smooth Jazz" rack at the store, but just ambitious enough musically to interest picky me.

Nothing sticks out or is audibly missing in the playback...

1587627344243.png
 
Last edited:

Hipper

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
753
Likes
625
Location
Herts., England
I would suggest still using the stand mounted speakers at the moment as you find them 'lovely', then trying these stand mounts in your new place.

You may find they are still 'lovely' and you have no need to buy other speakers. You could then invest in other things - room treatment, DSP/EQ etc..
 

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
616
Yes, if they won't fit into the room.
Otherwise, no.
 

caioferrari

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
60
Likes
37
Hello all

I have some lovely standmount speakers but am considering some floorstanders.

I’ll be moving to a bigger place the end of next year so I know they’ll be fine there but how much of a problem will they be in a smaller space until then? I fully appreciate you have to match the speaker size and type to the room and if I was staying I would just stick with stand mounters, but what are the likely issues of putting large speakers into a smaller space? I don’t listen loud to be honest so will not be blasting them.

Room dimensions: 3.5m x 5m. Speakers would need to be on the 3.5m wall (about 1 metre from said wall). Ceilings are 3.3m.

Speakers are Revel 228be

I know the obvious answer is buy some floor standers when I move but it’s a complicated situation which will be of no interest to anyone here.

All opinions on what I could expect welcome.

The problem with big speakers is that they are a waste in a small room. When you buy big speakers you expect high spl levels usually with a lot of bass coming out of it. In a small room is almost impossible to see big speakers shine.

The other thing I'd like to say, since you didn't buy your new speakers yet, is that the 2.1 or 2.2 configuration is much more versatile than two big floorstanders. The small 5,25 or 6,5' driver from a bookshelf is powerful enough to give you a lot of sound above 100 Hz and one or two big subwoofers are going to give you much more solid bass than towers could give you. There-is no comparison between the bass output you get from a 12" sub and the one you get from a floorstanding, even the 2x8" ones. On the other hand, the small drivers you see on the bookshelfs are great to reproduce low mid and mid.

Another advantage of 2.1 or 2.2 configuration is the flexibility to place your speakers and align them in your place to deal with your room acoustics. You will have phase adjustment in your subwoofer to helps you with that either.
 

Severian

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
206
As long as you are capable of sitting far enough away from the speakers to let the drivers in a speaker sum properly, the room size and speaker size is unrelated.
The concern in general is acoustical rather than physical in the sense that deeper bass extension trigger more standing waves - which is basically a room problem.

A little EQ fixes that easily. I wouldn't worry unless you're one of those audiophiles who refuses to use practical means to solve simple problems :D
Yep, it's all about driver integration. I just built a pair of 15 inch coaxials for a 10'x11' room (also knowing they will one day be used in a larger space) and they sound great even in nearfield because they are a point source.

I tried my BIC RTR-EV15s in this room - also 15 inch woofers, but monkey coffins with two other drivers spread far apart - and they sounded like trash compared to my living room, which is still quite small relative to these speakers but with a listening distance that allows the drivers to integrate.

Bass is of course an issue in this room, but it has nothing to do with the size of the speakers.
 

Severian

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
220
Likes
206
Of course a small room can neutralize some of the appealing aspects of big speakers. I don't really get the visceral chest thump of 15 inch midbass because there's a horrific 110-120 Hz null at my listening position that I can't do anything about. But that was an issue with 7 inch woofers too.
 

Head_Unit

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
1,358
Likes
721
I fully appreciate you have to match the speaker size and type to the room and if I was staying I would just stick with stand mounters, but what are the likely issues of putting large speakers into a smaller space?
I don't believe in the generalization of big speakers are "too big for a room." I'm a loudspeaker engineer and what I believe is that some speakers when placed in smaller rooms can have unfortunate interactions with room gain and/or peaks and dips due to room acoustics. I think this could happen with big towers or with decent size stand mounts as well.

Having said that, if you like your current speakers' sound, the direct high frequencies should still be great in your new place, that won't magically turn into crap (unless your new room is super dead or something). So for that and due to placement considerations as noted by @caioferrari, I'd be thinking about a great subwoofer (or two!) IF IF IF your equipment has bass management including highpass filtering.
 
OP
D

Deleted member 9286

Guest
I don't believe in the generalization of big speakers are "too big for a room." I'm a loudspeaker engineer and what I believe is that some speakers when placed in smaller rooms can have unfortunate interactions with room gain and/or peaks and dips due to room acoustics. I think this could happen with big towers or with decent size stand mounts as well.

Having said that, if you like your current speakers' sound, the direct high frequencies should still be great in your new place, that won't magically turn into crap (unless your new room is super dead or something). So for that and due to placement considerations as noted by @caioferrari, I'd be thinking about a great subwoofer (or two!) IF IF IF your equipment has bass management including highpass filtering.

Thanks for your detailed response. I had always intended to go the standmount and sub route but reading more here recently I’ve been put off a little. It sounds like it’s incredibly difficult to get the subs and standmounts working well together and has the potential to easily mess things up and make things even worse.

Although I know floorstanders aren’t going to get me everything, if they got me 90% there, with a little eq, then I’d be happy.
 

caioferrari

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
60
Likes
37
Thanks for your detailed response. I had always intended to go the standmount and sub route but reading more here recently I’ve been put off a little. It sounds like it’s incredibly difficult to get the subs and standmounts working well together and has the potential to easily mess things up and make things even worse.

It's not true.
the result of adding a sub to a pair of books is better than floorstanders and the flexibility of having separate enclosures is better to fit your room acoustics although it requires some work.
 
Top Bottom